Readout of the Secretary-General’s meeting with H.E. Mr. Ibrahim Ahmed Abd al-Aziz Ghandour, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Sudan - African Business Magazine
Readout of the Secretary-General’s meeting with H.E. Mr. Ibrahim Ahmed Abd al-Aziz Ghandour, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Sudan

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    The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies says that successes achieved by Abagold Way aqua enterprise in increasing its employee workforce even during tough economic times is testimony that there is an existing abundance of job growth opportunities in the aqua-culture and processing industry. Davies was speaking in Hermanus during the “Taking the dti to the factories” campaign that was embarked upon by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) in partnership with Productivity SA to witness Abagold Ways’ successes since its uptake of the Workplace Challenge Programme. Abagold Way cultivates, produces and markets natural abalone.

    “We need to unearth more of these opportunities and we need to move this work further forward. We look forward to strengthening this partnership and to helping Abagold become the gold standard in the global abalone farming industry,” said Davies.

    Minister Davies highlighted that the programme is trying to bring up improvements in competitiveness based on productivity.

    “The Programme we’re celebrating here today is something called the workplace challenge. It’s a programme supported by the national economic labour council. The national productivity institute is part of that. Over the years they have supported 250 enterprises with about 500 000 people. What happens is that there is a small contribution from the enterprise itself and a larger portion comes from the dti through the skills for the economy programme. That is how we come into the picture as the dti. Abalone farming is a high value industry which we have identified as part of our oceans economy strategy,” added Minister Davies.

    Abagold Way Managing Director, Mr Tim Hedges stated that the Workplace Challenge Programme has made a big difference in the company.

    “It was through the implementation of the Workplace Challenge programme that the company was able to successfully increase its employee workforce from 323 in 2012 to 463 in 2016. As an organisation we have been blessed in that we recently received the Exporter of the Year Award from the Cape Chamber of Commerce in recognition of our efforts. A lot of the accolades we have received from the industry have been a great motivator,” said Hedges.

    In 2015, the dti renewed the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Productivity SA as a programme management entity for the Workplace Challenge Programme.

    The Programme aims to improve the productivity and competitiveness of enterprises through collaboration between employers and employees on issues such as developing common goals, implementing improvements that lead to a world class competitiveness and best operating practices.

    The Chief Executive Officer for Productivity SA, Mr Mothunye Mothiba said that the Workplace Challenge Programme is about building a culture of dialogue between management and employees in an organisation.

    “And I have seen the fruits of that today. If you listen to employees at this facility you get a sense of what worker involvement is about,” said Mothiba.

    Mothiba added that the Workplace Challenge Programme starts with small things.

     “At the heart of productivity is the elimination of obstacles. Over and above you can see that since Abagold joined the WPC Programme their turnover has since increased, their productivity has increased and the number of workers they employ has also increased. What we want as Productivity SA is to have the culture of productivity and competitiveness by focussing on enhancing the productive capacity and operational efficiency of enterprises across the value chain,” he said.

    In conclusion, Mothiba said that they had finished implementing the programme at Abagold.

    “Going forward we will be establishing productivity champions in each of these beneficiary companies to an extent that we create a community of practitioners that will work with our teams so that they continue working and maintaining the momentum,” said Mothiba. 

    Distributed by APO on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.

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  • Agriculture Entrepreneur from Madagascar wins $25,000 2016 Anzisha Grand Prize for African Youth Entrepreneurship

    African Leadership Academy ( and The MasterCard Foundation ( are pleased to announce Heritiaina Randriamananatahina, 22 year old agriculture entrepreneur from Madagascar, as this year’s winner of the $25,000 Grand Prize in the sixth annual edition of Africa’s premier award for youth entrepreneurship. Heritiaina is the founder of Fiombonana, an agro-processing enterprise that manufactures dairy products and confectioneries using only Malagasy raw materials, employing farmers and providing local job opportunities. Heritiaina was selected from a competitive pool of diverse entrepreneurs from all over Africa. For the first time ever, Anzisha Prize ( is pleased to award one of the top prizes to a finalist from Madagascar, creating a truly pan-African network of entrepreneurs who represent Africa’s best youth entrepreneurs.

    This year, Anzisha Prize celebrates increased representation of winners from francophone countries. The first runner-up was environmental entrepreneur Yaye Souadou Fall, 21, from Senegal (who will receive $15,000) while agricultural entrepreneur N’guessan Koffi Jacques Olivier, 19, from Cote d’Ivoire was the second runner-up (and will receive $12,500).

    The presence of two agriculture entrepreneurs in the top three is emblematic of the important role agriculture plays in Africa’s economies. Agriculture represented the sector with the largest share of applicants for the prize this year. The Agriculture Sector Prize was also claimed by N’guessan Koffi Jacques Olivier who demonstrated the potential for agriculture to create jobs for youth.

    As the grand prize-winner, Heritiaina impressed a pan-African panel of judges with his venture response to a real need within his community, effective business model, job-creation potential, scalability, and demonstrated leadership potential. Fiombonana has enjoyed significant success to date including sizeable growth as Fiombonana produces 800kg of cheese a week, with potential for rapid and low cost expansion due to innovations such as reverse-engineering machinery for food processing. “I am so excited to win the Anzisha Prize for 2016, even though I had to drop out of school when I was in grade six. My hard work in my business is paying off. I appreciate the training I have already received so far. Now that I have won, I will invest in my own education and grow my business,” says Heritiaina.

    The first runner up for the prize, Yaye Souadou from Senegal and founder of E-cover, is also the first Senegalese entrepreneur ever in the top three in the history of Anzisha Prize. The core need the venture meets is to repurpose the many discarded tyres that are available in her home city, Dakar, into multi-purpose tiles for paving playgrounds, pavements, roads, and other surfaces. Yaye believes that youth can be agents of change to solve the problems that Africa faces and can drive pursuit of opportunities for economic growth. Her win will enable her to build the production capacity that her venture desperately needs in order to meet customer demand.

    N’guessan Koffi Jacques Olivier from Cote d’ Ivoire is the remarkable second runner up who founded Yaletite Entrepreneurship Group CI. Yaletite Entrepreneurship Group CI is an agricultural group with the aim of producing and selling chocolate and food crops for profit and mobilizing youth for agricultural employment. It is unique for the manner in which Koffi operates his farm, through modern methods to ensure maximum yields during processing. Koffi has managed to tirelessly pursue this innovative venture, and create employment for 35 people. Koffi creates improved livelihoods for over 100 households through access to innovative farming practices.

    The Anzisha Sector Prize in Agriculture was also awarded to N’guessan Koffi Jacques Olivier. The Anzisha Prize in Agriculture is offered with the sponsorship of the Louis Dreyfus Foundation (, which promotes projects in the areas of sustainable agriculture, food security and self-sufficiency, particularly through education and direct support to farmers. The Louis Dreyfus Foundation Award for Entrepreneurship in Agriculture was offered for a second year this year, and aims to recognize young African entrepreneurs who are making a sustainable impact in the agriculture sector.  

    The MasterCard Foundation continues to support both entrepreneurs and the Anzisha Prize support program that the entrepreneurs will now access. “Joining the ranks of the Anzisha Fellows, this impressive group of young men and women are igniting the entrepreneurial spark in young people across Africa,” said Koffi Assouan, Program Manager, Youth Livelihoods at The MasterCard Foundation. “This ripple, the #AnzishaEffect has the power to transform the continent as these young entrepreneurs rise to become the next generation of African movers and shakers.”

    “Anzisha Prize is a truly inclusive and pan-African Prize. The program is run in a multi-lingual learning environment in which entrepreneurs can learn regardless of their preferred language of instruction such as Arabic, French, Portuguese, and even Malagasy this year. The entrepreneurs really represent the true cream of the crop from the entire continent,” says Grace Kalisha, Program Manager for the Anzisha Prize.

    The Anzisha Prize is a partnership between African Leadership Academy and The MasterCard Foundation. The 12 Anzisha Prize finalists were hand-picked from an applicant pool of 550 entrepreneurs from 32 African countries. Now in its sixth year, Anzisha Prize celebrated these outstanding young people at an exclusive, invitation-only ceremony on Tuesday 25 October 2016 in Johannesburg. The 12 finalists presented their ventures to a panel of judges after spending ten days in a business accelerator camp to strengthen business fundamentals. They join a now 67 strong pool of Anzisha Fellows and will receive ongoing business-consulting support, access to experts, and access to networking opportunities to enable sustainable venture growth.

    Applications for the next cycle of the Anzisha Prize will open on 15 February in 2017. Nominations for promising youth entrepreneurs are welcome all year round. 

    For more information on the Anzisha Prize and to nominate an entrepreneur, please visit the Anzisha Prize on, Facebook: and Twitter: @anzishaprize.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of African Leadership Academy (ALA).

    Media Contact:
    Anzisha Prize
    African Leadership Academy

    About the Anzisha Prize:
    The Anzisha Prize ( is delivered by African Leadership Academy in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation. Through the Anzisha Prize, the organisers seek to catalyse innovation and scale entrepreneurship among youth across the continent.

    About the African Leadership Academy:
    African Leadership Academy (ALA) ( seeks to transform Africa by developing a powerful network of entrepreneurial leaders who will work together to achieve extraordinary social impact. Each year, ALA brings together the most promising young leaders from all 54 African nations for a pre-university program in South Africa with a focus on leadership, entrepreneurship and African studies. ALA continues to cultivate these leaders throughout their lives, in university and beyond, by providing on-going leadership and entrepreneurial training and connecting them to high-impact networks of people and capital that can catalyse large-scale change. For more information, visit 

    About the MasterCard Foundation:
    The MasterCard Foundation ( works with visionary organizations to provide greater access to education, skills training and financial services for people living in poverty, primarily in Africa. As one of the largest private foundations its work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. Based in Toronto, Canada, its independence was established by Mastercard when the Foundation was created in 2006. For more information and to sign up for the Foundation’s newsletter, please visit Follow the Foundation at @MastercardFdn on Twitter.

    About the Louis Dreyfus Foundation:
    The Louis Dreyfus Foundation ( helps to alleviate poverty and hunger by bringing sustainable solutions to smallholder farmers. The Foundation promotes projects in the areas of sustainable agriculture, food security and self-sufficiency, particularly through education and direct support to farmers, with a specific focus on developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. For more information, please visit

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  • Hitachi Data Systems introduces New, Enhanced Flash Storage Lineup

    Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) (, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE:6501) (, announced new systems and software designed to deliver better customer experiences and return on investments.

    Powered by the next generation of Hitachi Storage Virtualisation Operating System (SVOS) and backed by a 100% data availability guarantee (, the expanded Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) lineup delivers performance, resiliency and workload scalability beyond what is offered by other platforms.

    In today’s digital economy, it is critical that customers receive information in real time and that businesses recognize maximum cost-efficiency from their operations. To meet these needs, the new SVOS 7 has been engineered with an improved flash-aware I/O stack and selectable data services:

    • Quality of Service (QoS): Enables predictable performance for a consistent user experience. Data reduction services can be dedicated to workloads for more predictable response times as data levels grow.
    • Adaptive data reduction: Provides deduplication and compression for 2:1, 5:1 or greater capacity savings. SVOS 7 can offload compression to Hitachi flash modules (FMDs) for more scalable data reduction than other flash arrays.
    • Cloud tiering for all-flash VSP F series: Transparently moves files to private or public cloud storage, reducing data center footprint and enabling lower, more predictable storage costs for superior IT efficiency.

    “The industry is moving to flash and the introductions of our new SVOS, FMD and VSP technologies dramatically expand the reach of flash technology and make it more accessible to our customers as the look to reduce overall costs,” said Bob Madaio, Vice President, Infrastructure Solutions Marketing, Hitachi Data Systems.

    SVOS 7 is available on all new and existing Virtual Storage Platform G series and F series systems. Existing customers can take advantage of SVOS 7 and its deduplication and compression features through a nondisruptive upgrade.

    For businesses that need to drive IT consolidation and support both open-system and mainframe applications, HDS is offering two new high-end VSP models. The all-flash VSP F1500, built on new high-density FMDs with raw capacities of up to 14TB, delivers over 4.8M IOPS and up to 40PB of effective flash capacity. It scales to 576 FMDs, providing up to 2304 extra cores for handling data reduction and enabling superior price and performance value.

    For businesses looking to transition to all-flash over time, HDS offers the new VSP G1500, which offers 4.8M IOPS – a 20% improvement over VSP G1000.

    VSP G1000 customers can upgrade to VSP G1500 via a data-in-place, nondisruptive migration. This simplifies the transition to the more powerful VSP G1500 platform and reinforces the HDS commitment to protecting our customers’ investments.

    In conjunction with the release of SVOS 7 and the enhanced VSP lineup HDS is upgrading its management stack to simplify data management. New versions of Hitachi Storage Advisor, Automation Director and Infrastructure Analytics Advisor enable customers to more easily implement new SVOS 7 functions and reduce IT operational costs and complexity.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Hitachi Data Systems.

    Media Contact: 
    Hitachi Data Systems South Africa

    About Hitachi Data Systems:
    Hitachi Data Systems (, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help global organizations open new revenue streams, increase efficiencies, improve customer experience and ensure rapid time to market in the digital age. Only Hitachi Data Systems powers the digital enterprise by integrating the best information technology and operational technology from across the Hitachi family of companies. We combine this experience with Hitachi expertise in the internet of things to deliver the exceptional insights business and society need to transform and thrive. Visit us at 

    About Hitachi, Ltd.:
    Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501) (, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, delivers innovations that answer society’s challenges. The company’s consolidated revenues for fiscal 2015 (ended March 31, 2016) totaled 10,034.3 billion yen ($88.8 billion). The Hitachi Group is a global leader in the Social Innovation Business, and it has approximately 335,000 employees worldwide. Through collaborative creation, Hitachi is providing solutions to customers in a broad range of sectors, including power & infrastructure systems, information & telecommunication systems, construction machinery, high functional materials & components, automotive systems, healthcare and others. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company’s website at 

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  • Press statement by Peter Lundberg Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator A.I.

    Nigeria is facing the worst humanitarian crisis on the African continent. Currently up to 400,000 children face starvation and citizens suffer with little or no access to clean water, health, protection, education and food security.

    As I complete my first few weeks as the Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator a.i., I want to assure the Government of Nigeria of the international humanitarian community’s commitment to working closely with the federal and state mechanisms to accelerate our collective response. I welcome the recent announcement of the Inter-Ministerial Task Force and High Level Humanitarian Coordination Group, as well as the Borno State Humanitarian Response Committee and look forward to seeing a tangible impact in the coming weeks and months.

    I appreciate all the humanitarian assistance provided by the government and the humanitarian community at large who face insecurity and access constraints to reach the millions in desperate need. Humanitarian organizations should continue to maintain neutrality, impartiality and independence and we will continue to work where security permits. Needs are currently higher than the response capacity and we must ensure that we have both access and resources to scale up our humanitarian support in the months to come.

    We are grateful for the generosity of the UN Central Emergency Response Fund and the continued contributions of the wider donor community. However, the Nigerian Humanitarian Response Plan for 2016, which requires US$484 for life-saving interventions, is less than 37 per cent funded. Without the means to respond, innocent boys, girls, women and men will die. The highest priority requirement for this response remains food security which is just 25 per cent funded.

    I welcome the increase in air capacity with a second UN Humanitarian Air Service helicopter, transporting humanitarian workers and life-saving assistance to areas still inaccessible by road.

    The attack on the humanitarian convoy on 28 July and more recent the suicide bombing in Maiduguri on 12 October serves as a stark reminder that we must not let down our guard in such a high risk environment. The security of humanitarian actors remains a top priority for the humanitarian community.

    I look forward to leading the international humanitarian community in forging stronger relationships with our host government, as well as international and national non-government organizations, to support their valuable work and assist them with the necessary structures and mechanisms they require to safely carry out their work. Indeed recent, albeit limited improvements accessing displaced populations has created the opportunity for the establishment of field-based humanitarian hubs in selected Local Government Areas and I see this development as a springboard to continued improvements in access to affected populations.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

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