This are great career move for the 2 gentlemen who were aggreesive enough, hardworking and systematic in their career to maintain in the multinationals that value, employees, talents and performance.. I congratulate each of them on their appointment. javan
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I received a instant money, (cardless service) from a client. It is my first time to use standard Bank instant money. I didnt see the first msg that has the voucher code, so i followed the prompt *120*2345# on the second msg. I created a wallet pin, following the prompt and i received a voucher code, i used my wallet pin on trying to draw the money at the atm with the voucher code shown on my screen. After entering the wrong pin (wallet pin) 3 times. The atm closed my resent use. I found out that i had to use the password provided from the sender. I tried using the password with the voucher code, ATM SAID THAT VOUCHER CODE WAS USE?!? I haven't received my money, and shows on (*120*2345#) that money was successfully sent to my own cell no.. Please do explain to me what would be the next following steps to receive my instant money.
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Here is an existing thread/explanation of different balance's on your account.
Let us know should need further information on this: https://community.standardbank.co.za/t5/General-Information/Latest-balance-vs-available-balance/ta-p/421230
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Hi Sazi, please refer to the article in the Learn section for details about clearance times.
If the money has not arrived in your account yet, please forward your query, contact details and ID number to [email protected] and one of our consultants will investigate.
Note, don't post personal details directly onto the community since it is a public space.
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I am sure efforts like these can certainly help grow our young generation with a mind full of creative thoughts. These children will get a recognition one day based on the strong foundation build from these festivals. We should really encourage these type of activities and most especially try to adopt some creativeness in ourselves too. A start with this creative designing help can lead to something bigger and fruitful. A special thanks to the education project of the Matisse: Rhythm and Meaning exhibition’s education outreach project in Grahamstown.
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The Standard Bank Joy of Jazz announced the artist line-up for the 20 th instalment which takes place from 28 to 30 September at the Sandton Convention Centre.
It’s arguably the strongest offering in the festival’s recent history. Central to the selection’s underlying discourse is the importance of honouring our evergreen jazz heritage. Consider that Standard Bank Joy of Jazz, as it celebrates its 20 th anniversary edition, is a flag bearer for more than just an annual musical gathering, but it is a co-custodian of a larger jazz culture in our country.
The musicians on offer all stack up to point festival goers to the living roots of modern South African jazz too. This is a narrative that involves curating a list that highlights our place on the African continent, and our perennial dialogue with the creative musical tradition of the trans-atlantic experience. By this we refer to a thoroughly modern culture that connects African, Caribbean, American, and European creative exchanges that result from voyages across that big mass of water. The artists who will ascend the festival’s four stages over the three days this September, seem to have been selected with deeper ideals than just musical entertainment. This is a line-up for the ages.
Think about the importance Salif Keita’s place in the pan African pool of musical genius. Often referred to as the "golden voice of Mali," Keita will share the Conga Stage with a number of continentally focused musicians. Lesotho’s Tshepo Tshola, the now American based singer and songwriter of Rwandan and Ugandan descent, Somi; our own guitar wizard, Selaelo Selota who straddles musical vernaculars of the Limpopo region with an internationalist thrust will give meaning to that stage too.
Then there is Abdullah Ibrahim, who is considered the true heir to Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk thanks to his ability to “invent singable melodies out of quirky note choices and off-kilter rhythms, as a composer and improviser”, to quote Geoffrey Himes of Downbeat. Now when you consider that Ibrahim, Hugh Masekela, and Jonas Gwangwa are all on the bill. Together they represent the remaining members of the Jazz Epistles. The band that produced South Africa’s first Bee-Bop record titled, Jazz Epistle, Verse 1 in 1960. This was also the first album by a black South African band ever recorded. The other living member of the band is Makhaya Ntshoko who now lives in Europe. Kieppie Moeketsi, Early Mabuza and Johnny Gertze have all since passed away.
Now if you rearrange that combination as Masekela, Gwangwa and adding Caiphus Semenya who will be on the Mbira stage, we have another historic piece of South African jazz represented: Hugh Masekela and The Union of South Africa. The band mastered an inspired melange of soul, highlife, and straight jazz.
For enthusiasts of post-bop and straight ahead jazz, bass genius Christian Macbride, reedmen Branford Marsalis, Joshua Redman along with the Clayton Brothers represent a rare treat. Their presence on Dinaledi Stage is a nod to the jazz police and purist. Marsalis and Redman are two composer reed-men who came along at an important time in the story of jazz music. They were part of a generation of musicians who forged a revival in popular interest for jazz music at the time when the music was going through a wane. Along with Marsalis’ trumpeter brother, Wynton and a handful of others were considered keepers of the lofty values of the tradition.
To an undiscerning eye, this line up may seem to be lacking youthful fervour in the form of contemporary young lions from our shores. However, they may have to check the quality of the personnel on the Mabida Bay Jazz Orchestra featuring inter alia, rising sax-man Sisonke Xonti and vocalist, Phinda Matlala, along with the 2017 Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz, Benjamin Jephta or the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Band.
As if to register the attendant celebration at play in this year’s jamboree, Standard Bank has worked in some discounts for ticket buyers.
All Standard Bank debit or cheque card holders get a 10% discount, and a 15% discount if using a Standard Bank credit card. The offer is limited to two tickets per person, and only on usage of a valid Standard Bank debit and/or credit card. This offer is subject to availability and will end on 31 August 2017.
Tickets can be bought at Computicket.
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China ranks seventh in terms of project numbers in Africa, but it created the most jobs, which is unexpected by many people.
Most jobs come from China's "greenfield investment" by private sector, possibly attributed to the job creation levels to China's investment strategy as well as its willingness to hire local people.
On the one hand, Chinese investment in Africa is mainly in labor-intensive industry; on the other hand, most African countries see employment as their top priority, which Chinese companies are willing to co-operate with.
Take Kenya for example. According to a policy research working paper released by the World Bank Group in March 2016, China ranked as the fifth biggest job creator between 2003 and 2015 as a result of its foreign direct investment in Kenya.
Contrary to the popular belief that Chinese companies only hire Chinese workers, 93% of companies report hiring Kenyan employees.
The paper also mentioned that Chinese companies have a higher number of jobs per project because they have fewer projects in Kenya. Between 2003 and 2015, FDI from China created 166.92 jobs on average per project. This was compared to 100 jobs generated per project by total FDI in Kenya, according to the paper.
It also said that 60% of Chinese companies offered formal training programmes on skills, safety, and hygiene for local staff, compared to 64% on the part of all foreign firms in Kenya.
Read more about our partnership with ICBC, one of the biggest banks in China.
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Dear Sir/Madam, How are you today? David a m looking to be partnership with your Bank in Lusaka Zambia and Investment in Copper Mining,Gem Stones,Fruit Production e.g Oranges,Vine Production,Manufacturing,Industries in the ten Provinces in Zambia today.Our NGO is Joy Human Development Center in and we are looking to create employment for Youth in Zambia today. Yours Faithfully, John Chi
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On 25 April, the world will unite in support of World Malaria Day.
For most people in Africa, World Malaria Day is a day to remind the world of the impact that this killer disease has on this continent. The aim of the day is to boost awareness and curb the spread of the mosquito-borne infectious disease, which causes fever, headaches and, in severe cases, can lead to coma or death.
We are a partner of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (http://www.theglobalfund.org) and are engaged in pro-bono projects in a number of African countries where the Global Fund guarantees are provided with financial and administrative training.
In 2015 and 2016, a number of our country teams played a role in helping reduce the number of new malaria infections. Here are some of their initiatives:
Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe donated malaria repellent kits to StAlbert’s Mission hospital in Centenary, a safe to Nzeve Deaf Children’s Home in Mutare.
Our Standard Bank Namibia team donated 200 chemically treated mosquito nets which were distributed to malaria-infected areas.
Stanbic IBTC distributed treated mosquito nets to school children in the Makoko, Yaba area of Lagos State, helping to stem the malaria scorch and in the process contribute to the health and wellbeing of children and other community members in the Makoko area.
World Malaria Day was instituted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) Member States in 2007, when a goal was set to reduce the number of deaths caused by malaria by 75% by 2015.
These are some of WHO’s current malaria facts:
Nearly half of the world's population is at risk of malaria.
Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.
In 2015, there were 212 million cases of malaria worldwide.
There was a global decrease in malaria incidences between 2010 and 2015.
For more information on Standard Bank Groups sustainability projects, visit sustainability.standardbank.com
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According to the Global Tuberculosis (TB) Report 2016, 40% of the 10.4 million people who get sick with TB, and 80% of the 580,000 people suffering from drug-resistant TB, are missed by health systems every year. Many are unaware that they even have it. TB can lay dormant in the body for years, the immune system merely restraining and not destroying it.
The first step to beating this disease is through awareness and education, the second being proper treatment. TB doesn’t have to be fatal. By educating communities, prevention becomes possible; and with proper treatment, TB becomes curable.
Standard Bank Group has partnered with many organisations in the fight against TB, HIV and Malaria. In 2015 we made a direct contribution of USD 2million to the Global Fund for the implementation of programs to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in Africa. We have also collaborated in consumer finance initiatives which align the purpose of the Global Fund and Standard Bank, and in doing so, have raised a further USD 2million in funding.
A range of employee community involvement initiatives provide our people with opportunities to give back and actively participate in making a difference in the communities in which they work and live.
For more information on Standard Bank Groups sustainability projects, visit sustainability.standardbank.com. Read more about the Global Fund here ww.theglobalfund.org.
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A group of young postgraduates from across the African continent, have recently embark on their Masters degrees at the most prestigious universities in the UK, facilitated by the Standard Bank Africa Derek Cooper Scholarship.
The Scholarship marks the culmination of over thirty years of direction, vision and action attributed to Derek Cooper, a true South African business leader and former Chairman of the Standard Bank Group.
Our Fellowship is offered across three top tier UK Universities: Cambridge, Oxford and London School of Economics and Political Science. It’s focused on unique academic specialism by institution, and aims to offer both educational enrichment and international exposure to highly talented African scholars wishing to pursue a post-graduate Masters degree abroad. These universities have famously high entrance requirements, including a distinction level pass just to be able to apply.
This year’s students represent the best and brightest Africa has to offer and their areas of discipline are wide-ranging, including: history of science, medicine and technology, computer sciences, engineering for sustainable development, African development and education.
The scholarship also intends to create a network of African leaders that will stay connected and committed to each other and support each other, no matter where they find themselves globally. They will be forming a community of people who share inspiration for Africa- the continent we call home.
Click here for more information or to apply for our 2018 Derek Cooper Scholarship:
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Our Africa focused strategy is proving to be the right one as we continue to grow our businesses across Africa despite the elevated levels of macro, political and policy uncertainty experienced in many of the markets in which we operate.
During the past financial year our Africa regions franchise contributed 30% to the group’s total income and 25% to the group’s headline earnings.
Our headline earnings were up 4% to R23 009 million, while headline earnings per share also grew 4% to 1 440 cents. Our cost-to-income ratio decreased slightly to 56.3% from 56.5%.
2016 was a tumultuous year. Globally, the ambiguity in the run-up to the UK's "Brexit" vote and the US election, as well as the contrarian outcomes, drove uncertainty and volatility. During the year, China’s policy stimulus continued and growth stabilised, providing some support to commodity prices, while OPEC's decision to trim output helped to lift oil prices.
In sub-Saharan Africa, widespread drought in east, central and southern Africa continued, which placed strain on food supply and drove inflation. Oil-export reliant countries remained constrained on the back of low prices, and many countries tightened monetary policy in an attempt to control inflation. Despite these headwinds, the more diversified oil-importing east African countries continued to offer better macro prospects, attract investment and outperform.
In South Africa, the threat of a sovereign downgrade by rating agencies to sub-investment grade persisted throughout the year. This in turn negatively impacted the already weak business and consumer confidence and further delayed much needed domestic investment and job creation opportunities. Inflationary pressures brought about by the drought and the weak exchange rate placed additional pressure on already constrained consumers.
Global trade activity should pick up on the back of policy stimulus and a gradual normalisation of large economies, such as Brazil and Russia. However, uncertainty surrounding US policy direction under the new administration, Brexit negotiations and the broader European macro outlook may pose downside risks to global growth prospects.
Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP growth is expected to be 2.8%, buoyed by global trade, resource demand and improved economic prospects generally. South Africa’s forecast growth above 1% is an improvement, but remains subject to event risks, such as rating agency and political decision points during the year.
With these dynamics in mind, we look to our clients, to the challenges and opportunities they may face, and seek ways to partner with them on their journeys in 2017 and beyond. As we focus on delivering market-leading client experiences, we continue to invest in our client-facing digital capabilities to enable our clients to transact independently and safely anytime anywhere.
As we look to the year ahead, we remain steadfast in our commitment to doing the right business the right way. In this context, we continue to embed a culture of responsible business practices. We remain committed to delivering through-the-cycle headline earnings growth and ROE within our target range of 15% - 18% over the medium term. In order to do so, we recognise the need to balance prudent capital management with appropriate return-based resource allocation and leverage.
Banks play an important role in society which is broader than creating shareholder value. We seek to create value for all our stakeholders - clients, employees, shareholders, government and communities alike. In doing so, we continue to contribute meaningfully to the social, economic and environmental prosperity and wellbeing in the markets in which we operate.
For a look at our full 2016 Group Annual Results reporting.standardbank.com.
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I was challenged by a group of young entrepeneurs (mostly tech start ups) that we are not the bank for entrepeneurs! Is there not perhaps a place in the incubator for us to assess some of these ideas and the people behind them? I accept that 80% of these will never become viable businesses, but at least giving them a hearing might change some of the perceptions about our bank.
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Though currently going through a tough phase in its development, China is applying clever tactics to fire up its economic engine. As a critical trading partner, Africa would do well to consider these tactics, but also remain aware of how it needs to adapt to succeed in the future.
Karl Gotte, Head of Commercial Banking Personal and Business Banking South Africa. In China, productivity gains are becoming the main engine of living-standard improvements. This subsequently calls for the encouragement of innovation and entrepreneurship to grow its main industries; a strong focus on education; and targeted policies aimed at industrial and business sectors that need advancement.
Yet, this large-scale infrastructure spending will only partly make up for slowing business investment in China, as overcapacity is being worked off in several industries. Furthermore, real estate investment is also declining, with talk of a potential housing bubble. Fortunately, China’s lowered barriers to entry have spurred entrepreneurial activity, and policies are shifting towards supply-side reforms that champion sustainable development. The country’s continuing reallocation of labour from agriculture to industry and services is also seen as a major driver of inclusive productivity growth.
Though the above developments are thanks to market reforms initiated as far back as 1978, the country still remains a developing one, with 70.17 million poor people in rural areas in 2014. However, the World Bank reports that China’s GDP growth has averaged nearly 10 percent a year—the fastest sustained expansion by a major economy in history—and has lifted more than 800 million people out of poverty.
What’s often left out in discussions about China’s outlook is the crucial role that education and up-skilling the workforce play in achieving success; the vital part that the financial and banking sectors play in facilitating the efficient sourcing of funds; and the need for collaboration: Chinese state-owned enterprises are viewed as strategic levers that encourage deeper levels of growth, improving essential access to markets and infrastructure, and, so, encourage growth in targeted areas.
Perhaps Africa could realise its immense potential by heeding these lessons of improved focus on education and ensuring money is placed where it will aid economic development. However, this cannot be done in isolation, that’s why South Africa’s CEO initiative - which includes Standard Bank as a key partner - commits to facilitating economic progress by driving change and social development together with government and labour.
As the largest bank by assets on the continent, we take our role as a growth facilitator seriously, because when Africa wins, we win. For Africa, the success stories of China are important to scrutinise. But, Africa has its own unique economic environment - an environment that we at Standard Bank understand and can altruistically exploit by helping key stakeholders build and adopt a strategy that will grow the continent’s commercial hubs so all may benefit.
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What matters in your time? It is what you do in your time that makes a big impact in the moment or what you do in your time that lasts even after you’ve gone?
For Brenda Niehaus, our Group Chief Information Officer at Standard Bank Group, is it about remembering that during this era, IT at Standard Bank became a true partner to the business and re-established itself as an engineering discipline.
Josef Langerman, Head of IT Transformation at Standard Bank sat down with Niehaus to discuss her time at the Bank. Brenda Niehaus, Group Chief Information Officer at Standard Bank Group.
Some of the most important lessons that Niehaus has learnt during her time as CIO at Standard Bank is to never sweat the small stuff. Focus on the bigger picture that you are trying to achieve, she says.
Something that Niehaus learnt while in her role, was actually asking people to voice their opinions.
“Actually asking people for input was a learnt behaviour it wasn’t something that came natural to me and that’s been an important piece of who we are as an IT exco team,” says Niehaus.
Langerman adds that having guts to speak up moves the bank forward.
While many people refer to the corporate world as a corporate ladder that you are expected to climb as fast and as high as you can. Niehaus begs to differ, saying that, it’s not about your next step on the ladder, it’s about your next step on the jungle gym.
She adds, “Focus on what you are doing now and your next job with follow.”
When asked about the one skill that has defined her, she explains that it would have to be the ability to integrate things, or as she puts it connecting the dots by seeing the bigger picture, breaking it down and integrating it across other things.
If you thinking about applying for a position in Niehaus’ department, you’d better mind you Ps and QS, “I hire for attitude any day above hiring for skill, people can get skill, you’ve got to have the right attitude!” she exclaims.
And when asked if she only had 2 hours in the day at the bank every day what she would use them on, she said to come in and sit with groups of people asking the right questions.
While Niehaus does think it is important to talk to others, she also thinks it is just as important to talk to yourself, “I always have a talk with myself on the way home, car radio goes off on the way and I talk about what went well, what can I change tomorrow and I reset my start for tomorrow.”
The one thing Niehaus knows for sure is that change is constant and she advises that in today’s fast changing world we must embrace change and ensure we are resilient to change if we don’t want to struggle.
Listen to the full podcast here.
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No one would disagree that Paralympic athletes are truly remarkable individuals; they overcome physical hardships to achieve their ambitions, regularly pushing their bodies passed the point of average endurance, and accomplishing feats that the able-bodied mostly cannot and will not.
When it comes to athletics, Africa is blessed. Our people are gifted with natural sporting abilities that are obvious and lauded in every continental and inter-continental event, and our Paralympians are often the epitome this physical grace. Namibian Ananias Shikongo is one such Paralympian. Namibian Paralympian, Ananias Shikongo with the Standard Bank Namibia team.
Born in a small rural village in northern Namibia almost 31 years ago, Ananias tragically lost his eyesight when he was a small child; first the left eye in a bow-and-arrow accident at the age of three, then, three years later, the right eye after being kicked by a donkey. Despite this, the young sprinter’s courage, perseverance and natural talent saw him become one of his country’s greatest sportsmen, competing and excelling in events all over the world and eventually being declared the Namibian champion (2010), the African champion (2015) and last year’s Rio Paralympic Record Holder.
Early this year, the African sprinting champion added yet another honour to his ever-growing list of achievements: on 13 January, Ananias was announced as the ambassador for Standard Bank Namibia’s Buy-a-Brick initiative , a community-based project that raised funds from both the public and private sectors to enable residents of low-income households to build decent dwellings for themselves and their families.
To date, our Namibian subsidiary has raised a total of R1.4 million to build 40 new houses. So far, 17 houses have been built, and the remaining are expected to be completed by March.
“I am really grateful and would like to thank Standard Bank for realising that athletes living with a disability can also make a change in society, and that is what I plan to do for the duration of this partnership,” shares Ananias. “[Buy-a-Brick is a] great project that aims to house as many Namibians as possible and I would like to join that effort, along with Standard Bank.”
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Receiving 3 600 hours of sunshine per year, Kenya’s Lodwar is one of the sunniest places on earth. It’s also one of the most unexplored in the region, so I made it my quest to get to know this seemingly modest town, situated in an area rich in history.
Located north-west of Nairobi, Lodwar is the capital of Turkana County. Some of the most significant archaeological findings of pre- and early man were made there, and many claim that this is the place where the human species originated.
My bus journey to Lodwar from Nairobi’s capital was a tiring, though uneventful one, save for an overly excited elderly man who occasionally danced in the aisle. However, Kenya is a land of abundance both in nature and culture, so what better way to experience them than traversing through 700 kilometres of countryside?
We made a rest stop in Kainuk, a border town between the Pokot and Turkana communities. The first thing I noticed about Kainuk was the heavy police presence. I found out later that this was due to the decade-long conflict between the two communities.
After our break, we continued our tortoise-like pace toward Lodwar. Eventually, our bus creeped into the town near midnight. Like my fellow passengers, I was exhausted from the journey. After finding a guest house, I gratefully fell into bed.
Hearing of the magnificent sunrise in the region, I woke early the next day to experience it. Lodwar has a hot desert climate and I could already feel the heat rising at dawn. Soon after the sunrise, I met my guide and driver, Joseph, to plan the day.
Our first visit was to the detention houses in which Kenya’s first President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta was imprisoned during the colonial period. Later, I visited Lodwar’s basket market. Here, elegantly woven products are sold alongside other cultural artefacts. The market was abuzz with activity, and colourfully adorned women sang as they weaved. I made a quick round and then set off to Kalokol, a few kilometres from Lodwar, where I was scheduled to interview some schoolchildren.
On the way, we stopped at Namoratunga, an archaeo-astronomical site situated on the west side of Lake Turkana. Made up of basalt pillars that are aligned with star systems, the site is believed to have been built thousands of years ago by early communities for ceremonial purposes.
Arriving in Kalokol, I headed straight to the shores of Lake Turkana, the only permanent desert lake in the world, to carry out my interviews. The security situation in the area was unpredictable, so I swiftly completed my work and left for Lodwar.
That night, I stayed in a different guest house, Nawoitorong. Owned by local women, it offers a variety of meals from international food, such as pizzas, to local cuisine, such as roasted goat. I settled for nyir nyir, a local delicacy of deep-fried meat. I felt that the tasty, traditional meal was the best way to end an enlightening two-day visit.
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When traveling to another country, some of the things you'd probably want to see are the famous sites and landmarks that tell the story and origins of that country. These may include: iconic buildings, natural wonders, museums, and of course, art galleries. There are many galleries in Africa that are dedicated to promoting contemporary African art. We’ve selected just a few that might be worth a visit if you feel like acquainting yourself with some extraordinary artworks by African artists.
OMENKA GALLERY, NIGERIA
Omenka Gallery houses impressive collections of contemporary art by a string of artists with unique and diverse styles. Representing a selection of emerging and prominent Nigerian and international artists, the gallery is a vital cog in the machine that is Nigeria’s contemporary art scene.
As one of the top galleries in the country, Omenka is home to an extensive collection of artworks by celebrated Nigerian painter and sculptor, Ben Enwounwu. It also houses the works of several African artists like Cedric Nunn (South Africa), Owusu-Ankomah (Ghana), and El Loko (Togo). Additionally, Omenka participates in major art events both on the continent and abroad, including the Art Dubai, the Joburg Art Fair, the Docks Art Fair in France, and Cologne Paper Art in Germany.
AFRIART GALLERY, UGANDA
One of the major art galleries playing an integral role in promoting African art on an international scale, the Afriart Gallery is home to an outstanding collection of Ugandan and East African art. Founded in 2002, Afriart Gallery has exhibited hundreds of African artists whose work has been showcased on international stages. Some of these artists include Eria Nsubuga Sane, Daudi Karungi, and Edison Mugalu, who are all at the heart of Uganda’s burgeoning art scene.
In addition to exhibitions, Afriart offers impressive art consultancy and education programmes, and also runs an art shop that sells art books, statues, ceramics, recycle glassware, and traditional fabrics.
BANANA HILL ART GALLERY, KENYA
Located on the fringes of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, Banana Hill Art Gallery’s primary purpose is to showcase some of East Africa’s most spectacular paintings and sculptures, having exhibited countless artists from the region.
The gallery calls itself “The pearl among the art galleries in Nairobi,” and a trip to this Kenyan art heaven reveals why. The art pieces found here tell part of the story of Africa, seen through the eyes of African artists. You’ll find artworks that beautifully explore a range of topics such as daily life in Kenya’s urban and rural settings, its rich wildlife, and cultural traditions. Apart from exhibitions, the gallery offers an online shop where you can get artworks by some of the continent’s top artists.
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With demand for chocolate at an all time high, the industry is booming and is now valued at over US $100 billion. Leading manufacturers post impressive profits each year as appetite for the sweet treat grows. But have you ever wondered where the finished product starts its journey before it finds its way into your mouth?
Keeping the global confectionery business thriving and the world’s sweet tooth satisfied are four West African nations: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon, who are the world’s largest producers and exporters of cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate. More than 70% of the world’s cocoa comes from the region, with Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana jointly supplying 60% of the global total.
Cocoa production continues to be an important economic driver for the West African countries, with cocoa beans remaining the chief agricultural export for countries like Ghana and Nigeria.
The cocoa plant is a small tree that grows in deep tropical regions where the climate is warm, and the soil is fertile and well-drained. Farmers use machetes to harvest, cutting off ripe pods from the trees. The lack of machinery means everything from planting to harvesting is done manually.
After the pods are cut from the trees, they are split open, and the seeds are taken out. The seeds go through a two-step process before they become proper cocoa beans. First, they are piled and covered with tree leaves before being left to ferment for four to five days. After that, they are dried for about a week. From there, the beans are ready to be sold or exported, with the majority of them ending up in Europe and the US. The increasing number of consumers in China, Brazil, and India is also creating the demand for the beans.
In all of Africa’s cocoa-producing countries, small-scale farmers are responsible for the production of the unique plant. In Ghana, they comprise nearly 85% of the industry, with the majority of them living in small villages across the country. The cocoa sector contributes about 15% of Ghana’s GDP. In a country of about 28 million people, nearly 25 to 30 percent of the population relies on the sector for employment.
As the world’s second largest cocoa exporter, Ghana produces nearly a million tonnes every year, with 2015’s output sitting at more than 800,000. If you want to understand further how valued the country’s second-most-important commodity after gold is, just look at the Ghanaian money, and you’ll see cocoa pods displayed as a symbol of national pride.
In Nigeria, many farmers gave up on the trade in the 1980s after commodity prices plummeted. The agricultural industry was further destabilised by a lack of investment as government prioritised spending on the country’s booming oil sector. But now, as Nigeria continues to grapple with high unemployment levels and a struggling economy, the government has been focusing more on cocoa production in an attempt to create jobs and boost the economy. There are more than 300,000 cocoa farmers in the country, most of whom live in the rural areas.
Nigeria’s goal is to increase production to 1 million tonnes a year by 2018, and ultimately be the largest cocoa producer on the continent by 2020. It’s an ambitious target. To achieve it, the Nigerian government has been training farmers, supplying them with cocoa trees, and distributing disease-resistant seeds, fertilisers, and other chemicals at low prices. The ministry of agriculture also plans to plant 2 million cocoa trees by 2019.
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Here on the dusty south-western shores of Lake Turkana, amid the sand and stones, stand large basalt pillars arranged in a circular pattern, the Dancing Stones of Namoratunga; megalithic structures that point to a grand design and purpose by an ancient people from thousands of years ago that most of the world didn’t even know existed.
When archaeologists started examining the Kalokol Pillar site, the basalt pillars reminded them of something else… the entire spectacle had a touch of Stonehenge about it and it led to an incredible theory that pointed to ancient African astronomy; archeoastronomy and an archaic Borana calendar that was thousands of years older and more accurate than any discovered previously in Europe and which seemed to reveal a mathematical ingenuity of the middle-Holocene period of African history that was previously unknown.
For decades astronomers and archaeologists (and the occasional conspiracy theorist) studied the formations at Namoratunga for its astronomical significance, which was further bolstered by similar discoveries across the continent indicating even more ancient calendars with grand purpose. At the time, during the 1970s, archaeologists weren’t in possession of the same carbon dating tools they use today, so Namoratunga was thought to be a few thousand years old – line that up with star constellations at the project time of construction and it appeared as though an astronomical chart or calendar emerged. The problem was that it’s now clear that Namoratunga is much, much older – almost five thousand years in fact – which makes the previous projection moot and irrelevant, alas.
Today the archaeoastronomical aspects of the pillars have been largely debunked, but the fuss around the Turkana stones and the Borana calendar has had an interesting knock-on effect… it’s drawn attention to a deeper investigation of the people who could have created these basalt megaliths and here we’ve discovered something even more fascinating about the genius of our ancient ancestors.
“The construction of the various [pillar sites] around Turkana coincided chronologically with some other significant events,” says Elisabeth Hildebrand, Professor of Anthropology at Stony Brook University and Director of the LPWT team that has been excavating the Turkana sites over the past several years. “One of these was a major climate change in the region that lowered Turkana’s lake levels substantially over a 500 year period, likely affecting fishing... the second major event that happened around this time was the introduction of livestock into the Lake Turkana Basin. Up until 5,000 years ago, everyone around Lake Turkana was a fisher-hunter-gatherer, eating only wild foods… Our dates place the pillar site construction during a transitional period when herding just would have been getting started around the lake.”
It’s a series of discoveries that eclipse the almost prosaic concept of an ancient astrological calendar. It’s an utterly new discovery that defines an idea about the nature of collaboration in ancient Africa – despite massive turmoil, lack of food and climate change our ancestors didn’t resort to violence, instead they found ways to connect and build community.
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HERIETH PAUL KHOUDIA DIOP CARMEN SOLOMONS
It has been a phenomenally successful year for Tanzanian model Herieth Paul. In February, she was named as a new global spokesmodel for large cosmetics brand Maybelline, and just last month she made her debut as a Victoria’s Secret angel at their spectacular annual fashion show in Paris.
Herieth moved to Canada with her diplomat mother when she was still a teen. There, she was discovered during an agency open call. Often compared to the likes of supermodel Naomi Campbell, she has appeared on the cover of Vogue Italia and Elle, has featured in campaigns for Tom Ford, and has walked the runway for Armani, Cavalli and Diane von Fürstenberg, among others.
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Ovidiu Hrubaru / Shutterstock.com
Nicknamed “Daughter of the Night,” 19-year-old Senegalese model Khoudia Diop was bullied throughout her childhood because of her dusky skin tone.
The self-dubbed “Melanin Goddess” grew up in France, and is now based in New York.
Within just a few months of starting her Instagram account, she has already garnered thousands of followers praising her flawless skin. #melaninpoppin
@melaniin.goddess / Instagram
@melaniin.goddess / Instagram
Fiery red hair and a flawless freckled face are what give Carmen Solomons her standout look. Represented by Boss Models, the Cape Town-born model’s unique features have propelled her into the international spotlight and caught the eye of bookers throughout the globe.
Carmen was recently booked to shoot a campaign for the popular Kendall & Kylie clothing line, and was later called back to star as one of the faces of Kylie Jenner's new cosmetic range.
Teri Robberts / Boss Models
BETTY ADEWOLE ANAIS MALI
A self-described tomboy, Betty Adewole has already graced the pages of British Vogue, walked the runways for some of fashion’s biggest names, including Tom Ford and Givenchy, and has featured in Beyoncé’s Ivy Park athletic range campaign.
Born to Nigerian parents, the London-based model was scouted while out shopping with her mother when she was just 15 years old.
Tom Ford campaign
A natural beauty born to Chadian and Polish parents, Anais has graced the runways in the world’s most prestigious fashion capitals while walking for notable fashion houses like Vera Wang, Marc Jacobs Carolina Herrera and Vivienne Westwood.
The face of Dolce & Gabbana cosmetics and a Victoria’s Secret angel, Mali moved to New York when she was just 18, and has since appeared in numerous editorials, including for Vogue and Allure magazines. While she grew up in France, Anais is now based in New York and has long been outspoken about the lack of representation of black models in the fashion industry.
Ovidiu Hrubaru / Shutterstock.com
Ovidiu Hrubaru / Shutterstock.com
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The African fashion scene has captured the attention of the world through its unique designs and its trend towards environmentally sustainable fashion that provides stable employment for local artisans, while also preserving African culture.
Here’s a look at five fashion-forward African designers who are taking over the international fashion scene with their fresh looks.
Kibonen NY Marhaw Fashion ChizÓ Designs by Chisoma Lombe
Kibonen NYKibonen NY is a fashion brand owned by Cameroonian designer Kibonen Nfi. A certified image consultant with a Master’s Degree in International Trade and Marketing from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, Nfi began her design career as the co-founder of KiRette Couture, which gained popularity in the West African fashion industry. In 2011, she branched off as a solo designer, establishing Kibonen NY.
Made from ethically sourced fabrics and crafted by Cameroonian artisans, Kibonen garments infuse traditional African fabrics and prints with contemporary designs to create an authentic African design. Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o was recently spotted wearing a handwoven A-line dress from the latest Kibonen NY collection at the premiere of her latest film Queen of Katwe.
Marhaw is an African brand that creates uniquely designed handbags using the best raw materials that are ethically sourced from throughout the continent. The bags are made with high-quality leather from Ethiopia and hand-woven fabrics from Ghana, with women employed from both countries to manufacture the goods. Giving job opportunities to locals is part of Marhaw’s efforts to keep the traditional batik-making, leather creation and weaving industries alive.
Founders Elsa Adane from Ethiopia and Ghanaian Edith Uyovbukheri describe the handbags as proudly African with a global appeal. Their ultimate goal as designers and entrepreneurs is to support African artisans, and showcase their work to the world as proof that Africa is a fashion hub to be reckoned with.
ChizÓ Designs by Chisoma LombeChisoma Lombe is a Zambian designer and founder of ChizÓ Designs. A qualified Chartered Accountant, Chisoma left her cosy finance job in 2014 to pursue her fashion and design passion. She made her debut at Zambia Fashion Week that same year, and her signature colourful embroidery, bold shapes and bright colours have since gone on to feature on other runways in some of Africa’s major cities.
Chisoma has been appointed as the Textile Ambassador to Zambia by the African Union and, being an activist at heart, she hopes to use the platform to bring real developmental change to Africa.
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There has been substantial positive technological development in recent years that has improved our lives in one way or another. However, as we celebrate these contributions, we are faced with a subsequent problem: What do we do with our old or obsolete electronics?
Our homes and offices are filled with an assortment of electronics. This might be because we hope that one day they might be revived, or we consider it a treasure that we cannot let go of given the amount of money we paid for it.
While many wonder what to do with the technological waste at our disposal, a group of young Kenyan innovators have started a venture that uses it as raw material to make useful and sought-after products.
Started by two ambitious innovators in a home garage in 2013, E-Lab is a start-up with a mission to clean up the environment, as well as offer job opportunities to the growing number of unemployed youth in Kenya. University students and art-lovers Alex Mativo and Simon Mumo say they were inspired to start the venture by the availability of so much obsolete electronics in their homes.
Electronic waste is now Kenya’s fastest growing waste component. According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), over 17 000 tons of electronic waste is generated in the east African country every year. This includes personal computers, refrigerators and mobile phones.
The duo and their team collect electronic waste from households and electronic shops in Athi River, a growing urban centre a few kilometres from the capital, Nairobi. After collection, the electronics are taken to their warehouse where they are cleaned and sorted. What’s left is then transformed into various art pieces as per their clients’ needs, including jewellery and sculptures.
Joan Wanjiru, designer of E-lab’s fashion products, says they use everything from capacitors, to transistors and copper wire, incorporating colourful beads to give them a touch of diversity. According to Joan, they sell their creations to various models, corporates who promote conservation of the environment, as well as individual ladies who want to look good.
Their efforts have been gaining recognition. Earlier this year, Alex was among 21 young Africans to receive the prestigious Queen’s Young Leaders Award for his role in working to solve the electronic waste problem while creating jobs for young people. Soon, E-Lab aims to expand their operations:
“We see ourselves as the company that will absolve all that e-waste, and also create employment opportunities for people in Nairobi and all over Africa,” says Alex.
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Africa is experiencing a new wave of interest in agriculture as many now venture into the sector - not only for the sake of food production, but also for economic purposes. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), cultivatable lands in Africa (excluding forest areas) are three times larger than that currently being cultivated. This offers great potential and many young Africans have seized the opportunity to not only generate income, but to enhance food security, reduce poverty and boost employment levels.
It’s six in the morning and chilly outside, but Emmanuel Muniu is already in his greenhouse spraying tomatoes. Not your typical farmer, the 27-year-old quit his banking job last year to venture into agribusiness. He teamed up with a friend and leased half an acre of land in Kiambu, a town only a few minutes’ drive from Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. After leaving their city jobs, the two learned the art of farming by visiting other farmers, as well as interacting with their customers in a local market.
According to Emmanuel, engaging fully in agriculture has generated positive results; he now understands his crops, the seasons and his market. He also asserts that farming is a good venture for young people to participate in as their main source of income.
Hundreds of kilometres away from Nairobi in Mogotio, we find another young farmer, Joyce Macharia. Realising that banana farmers in Kenya couldn’t rely solely on government institutions to provide them with banana seedlings exactly when they needed them, the mother of two decided to start a pilot project on a small farm, nurturing said seedlings. After it succeeded, she expanded and embarked on a mission to market her products to farmers who only thought they could get good seedlings from the government institute.
In the future, Joyce intends to start value additions like milling the bananas into flour to sell, and plans to form farming cooperatives to attract good market and bargaining power. She adds that there is great potential in agriculture and encourages the youth to venture into it, saying, “With agriculture you will never go wrong, because people need food.”
Emerging, ambitious entrepreneurs like Emmanuel and Joyce are why the Standard Bank Group has been committed to the agricultural sector for over 150 years. With us as a facilitator, we believe that the continent can be a bread basket to the world - capable of sustaining itself through successful development initiatives and uplifting communities throughout society.
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