A big blue glob of sound hangs over the DSG precinct with the cool of blue branded banners. The Standard Bank Jazz Festival just kicked off and this part of Grahamstown has been christened #JazzTown.
There’s a hallowed gathering of youth wearing dreams of stardom on their sleeves. Many walk with extra limb – shimmering trumpets and saxes that sparkle with the hope in their hearts. A mix of vicious competition and empathetic brotherhood mark each of their genial faces. By the time you read this, the best among them will have been chosen to form part of the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Band, and the National School’s Big Band.
At lunch hour, which many casually ignore in deference to more ethereal feeding, I’m huddled among them in the DSG Auditorium to see Carlo Mombelli, take them through his difficult charts. As this year’s conductor of the National Youth Jazz Band, he has prepared some of his angular compositions for the nervous gathering of hopefuls. They take turns playing in different formations. At every turn, he screams out: new drummer, or new bass player, change horn section. They comply and play like their very lives are at stake. “I’m interested in people who can tell a story with their instruments,” says the soft spoken, Mombelli. “If you can play one note that can touch a spirit, to me that’s more important than a million notes that mean nothing.” A new spell is loosed upon the horde.
Later in the day, with the ring and chime of month-end coins giving a spring to their steps as they strut the streets of Grahamstown, more jazz lovers arrive in #JazzTown for drinks and dance. Sakhile Moleshe’s Soul Housing Project is the first gig on the bill. Their brand of jazz is as vibrant, youthful and promiscuous in its genre bending approach. Moleshe is at once a conductor, rapper and singer, even dancing mascot for the band. “Beautiful,” is the word issued by every second pair of lips.
Next up Brazilian outfit, Trio Corrente ascends to the stage with an equally charged but different set of tricks. They take apart familiar tunes to explore and experiment with intricacy. Tricky time signatures, sharp chord changes are the order of business. The audience is savvy. The only recognisable feature of a familiar tune, Girl from Ipanema is the head, which few attempt to hum along with the band. Then we are taken on a joyous journey through polyrhythm and complex harmony. This is serious music. However, the band’s capacity for clever comedy is a reminder that jazz is actually fun. By the time Claude Cozens take to the field jazz lovers are ready for a kind of ascension, and are moved. What a joy!!
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There’s a kind of harmattan of posters and banners, flyers and flags curiously gathering over Grahamstown, the site of the National Arts Festival. There’s a cumulative swell of cars and buses slowly streaming into town. The old frontier town with a modest population of around 120 000 will grow by thousands in the next few days.
The asphalt laden arteries bring an indispensable lifeline to a community battling with 70% unemployment rate, but as the banner at town’s entrance and gates to the 1820 Settlers Monument say, it’s about to be “11 days of Amazing.”
The little town with a long name is reborn. This back of beyond is now the center of the national cultural focus. There are hundreds of treats on both Fringe and the Main Programme. These span from visual art exhibitions, theatre and dance productions along with world-class jazz performances. In the next 11 days, the streets of Grahamstown will buzz with stalls selling various wares from everywhere. All sorts of weirdoes, wild men and women will wear make-up and wheedle festival patrons to their respective productions.
The 2016 Standard Bank Jazz Festival brings a world of virtuoso musos, savvy fans and record collectors with it too. You can see youth with shining instruments, wooden ones too, scuttling along to the DSG Hall. They will form part of workshops, performances and auditions to become part of the Standard Bank National Schools Big Band, or the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Band.
Talk of the town is also the work to be premiered by the 2016 Standard Bank Young Artists. Mohau Modisakeng for Visual Arts, Themba Mbuli’s history focused work in Dance, the multi-layered music of Siya Makuzeni in Jazz and the elegant simplicity of Avigial Bushakevitz’ violin in Music. And notably in theatre, Jade Bower will present a South African premier Scorched. It was described by The Guardian as, “a beautiful, sorrowful play about the legacy of anger, and the cycle of revenge and war.”
Already, before the toll of the first bells at theatre doors, there are some productions that reportedly sold out. Like the House Of Truth which celebrates the centenary of Fort Hare University and its most illustrious alumnus, Can Themba. The drum era journalist whose life was as enchanting as the stories he wrote. He is played by Sello Make Ka Ncube. Lara Foot’s critically acclaimed play about child rape, Tshepang staring Mcedisi Shabangu returns to the boards too. There’s everything for every kind of taste. This is to be the barometer of the national cultural health.
Written by: Percy Mabandu
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By David Munro, Chief Executive of Corporate & Investment Banking at Standard Bank Group
Africa Investor's Conference (AIC)- London, England
“Growth on the continent is only possible with visionaries who have also recognised the potential of the great continent of Africa that we all call home.”- David Munro, Chief Executive of Corporate & Investment Banking at Standard Bank Group. Over the last two decades, Africa has remained resilient through a number of global crises and its overreliance on Western economic relations has shifted to more inclusive trade and investment regimes, thereby elevating the continent’s long term prospects and lowering its dependency on any single region. Indeed, African markets may now present an even more compelling alternative investment proposition than in the past.
Nevertheless, it must be acknowledged that Africa has been through its own tumultuous period since last year’s Africa Investors Conference, with continuing commodity price depression, increasingly restrictive monetary policy and political uncertainty in a number of key markets having a direct effect on business.
Despite this, we remain resolute that Africa’s potential remains indisputable and we continue to support our clients through the tough times. It’s important to remember that even in the much slower-growing and more volatile world that has emerged from the Great Recession, Africa is still the second-fastest growing region.
Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole retains its capacity for rapid, sustainable, job-creating growth. While growth in the region is expected to remain weak this year, at 3%, it is forecast to pick up to 4% in 2017 and 4.5% in 2018, helped by a rebound in commodity price and by greater economic diversification.
Most fundamentally, Africa’s development indicators – health, education, connectivity, governance - continue to improve. 17 of Africa’s 52 countries have already reached middle or high levels of development. The middle class is growing, the consumer base is widening, and the demand for financial services is growing even faster. This is coupled with continued investment in infrastructure and transport, greater regional integration and intra-regional trade and abundant natural resources.
Growth on the continent is only possible with visionaries who have also recognised the potential of the great continent of Africa that we all call home. At last year’s AIC conference, people spoke about growing aggressively across sub-Saharan Africa, realising your ambitions and identifying opportunities to build both your businesses and the communities that develop as a result.
Standard Bank Group sees our purpose as being ‘Africa is our home, we drive her growth’, and it is a privilege to partner you on these journeys. The African Investors Conference is a key part of our ability to do this, bringing together an important group of institutions who will be instrumental in driving the continued growth on the continent. Now in its 6th year, we have policy makers from 5 key markets, 42 African corporates, and almost a hundred equity and fixed income investment houses.
Read more on how we remain #CommittedtoAfrica.
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Investment in Africa is under the spotlight this week at our three-day Africa Investors' Conference, which Standard Bank Group is hosting with ICBC Standard Bank at their London office. Among the select guests invited are policymakers, international investors and African corporates from numerous African countries, such as South Africa, Kenya, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Nigeria, Botswana, Malawi, Mauritius, Egypt and Zimbabwe.
This is the sixth year that the conference is being held. It is designed to connect international investors to leading policymakers and some of Africa’s most successful companies, sharing plans and ideas with a view to finding key opportunities for growth on the continent.
The conference format consists of one-on-one and small group business meetings that allow attendees to network and discuss investment opportunities in Africa.
We invited 45 corporates from a broad range of sectors, including financial services, mining, construction, chemicals, hotels, leisure, telecoms, food and retail. Close on investors from over 100 companies are attending.
Last year’s event was attended by nearly 250 delegates and a close on 830 meetings took place.
In the video below, David Munro, Chief Executive of Corporate and Investment Banking at Standard Bank Group, explains why we host the Africa Investors' Conference and the value it brings to our clients.
Read more on how we remain #CommittedtoAfrica.
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Olajumoke Orisaguna, the Nigerian bread seller turned model, stumbled upon a photo shoot on the streets of Sabo-Yaba, Lagos. The camera was instantly drawn to her, but photographer, TY Bello only saw the remarkable photos later that day. She then posted the images on social media and received overwhelming feedback from the general public.
When you hear the story of Olajumoke you can’t help but believe that anything is possible. The 27-year-old married mother of two moved from her town of Osun State to work at a bakery in Lagos to provide and support her family. Little did she know that her quest would bring her riches.
Her story has inspired millions across the world and she's now one of the most Googled people in Nigeria with over 90k followers on Instagram.
Photo credit: TY Bello
Instead of disappearing into obscurity she turned her 15 minutes of fame into a stepping stone for her and her family. Here’s what she's been up to:
Stanbic Bank Nigeria awarded full scholarship to her children
Stanbic IBTC, Standard Bank’s Nigeria division, was so inspired by Olajumoke story, they awarded her two children full scholarships until university level.
Photo credit: Stanbic IBTC
Olajumoke is now a philanthropist and co-founder of Olajumoke Foundation. Her first mission was to donate N5000 to her former colleagues, paying it forward and giving a hand up to her community.
Photo credit: Mukosolu Nzom
Going back to school
Olajumoke has gone back to the classroom to further her studies in English grammar, Communication and Total Personality Development at Lekki campus . The 27-year-old mother is using every opportunity she's getting to empower herself.
Photo credit: Olajumoke Instagram
Brand Ambassador of PayPorte
She's the brand ambassador, bringing awareness to PayPorte – an online shopping site for electronics, fashion and beauty products. Several companies are queuing up at her doorstep to tap into her luck by making her a part of their business.
Photo credit: cd blog
Everyone likes a happy ending, especially one that’s so unpredictable it could happen to anyone. Follow Olajumoke Orisaguna’s story on Instagram to see how her life is unfolding.
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Africa is a continent of 54 independently administered countries, home to 1.2 billion people, and holds a fascinating range of histories, languages, and diverse and complex cultures.
The Standard Bank Group celebrates 153 years on the continent this year – the continent we call home. As an organisation, we believe in the potential of this continent and its people to be great. As a bank, our strategies have been created to support growth and focus on investment in infrastructure in six sectors as the foundation of this growth: oil and gas; telecommunications and media; consumer; power, infrastructure and renewable energy; mining and metals; and real estate.
Standard Bank Group has just under R2 trillion in assets, and is present in 20 countries in Africa. Our headquarters are in Johannesburg, South Africa, and we plan to grow by expanding into more African countries over the next five years. Today, we have over 40 000 employees, 1 221 branches and 8 800 ATMs serving almost 15 million retail banking customers across the continent.
We have demonstrated an understanding of local conditions, cultures and market drivers in each country in which we do business. This has underpinned our success in Africa as well as in other emerging markets. We are the proud recipients of 3 huge awards this year including Global Finance’s Best Emerging Markets Bank in Africa, Banker Africa’s Best Corporate, Retail and Regional Bank in Southern Africa and The Banker’s Most Valuable Bank Brand in Africa.
When we win, Africa wins! #AfricaIsMyHome
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We sat down with Petter Wettre, Norwegian Grammy Award winning saxophonist, ahead of his performances at the Standard Bank Jazz Festival at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown from 30 June to 9 July. He fills us in on what to expect at Jazztown this year, what inspires him and why jazz can be experienced and enjoyed and doesn’t always require audiences to understand it.
What can Jazztown audiences expect from your show?
I'm looking forward to performing again in South Africa. I have a great new band comprising some of the very best young Scandinavian players of today - a Swede and two Norwegians. We will perform music from my album Fountain of Youth. It is a suite in four parts and I was awarded a Norwegian Grammy for that recording when it came out nine years ago. We will also play some of my contemporary compositions.
You have an enormous body of work, how did you choose the material that you’ll perform at Jazztown?
I like performing Fountain of Youth. It gets me 'in the zone' so to speak. It has a timeless quality to it and my band really lift it off the ground. It is reminiscent of Coltrane's Love Supreme and I think the Grahamstown audience will like it. It is a very diverse piece.
Who are the musicians you will be bringing out with you?
They are Erlend Slettevoll on piano, Julian Haugland on bass and Karl Henrik Ousback on drums.
Karl Henrik has actually visited the Standard Bank Jazz Festival once before. He was part of a young talent programme that won him a spot at the festival a couple of years back. This festival is known for encouraging and uncovering young talent.
You have been in music for many years, to what would you attribute your longevity in the industry?
I make sure that I always have another project that I want to do. I enjoy music very much and that probably is the main reason I keep going. There is no feeling comparable to being on the bandstand with a great band, and hear my ideas played out in real time. Having said that I don't have any other skills. This is what I know and this is what I do. I love this life and I always will.
What have you been doing recently?
Lately I have started composing again. After a break of several years, I enjoy this now more than ever. This autumn I'm also releasing a new physical product for the first time since 2008 - a re-launch of my first album Pig Virus, which celebrates its 20 th anniversary. We're recording the same music with the same band as we did 20 years ago.
What have been you career highlights so far? Your Grammy wins must be among the top.
Well, a Grammy is always fun. My two Grammy's are hugely appreciated and have made me somewhat exotic among my children’s friends. Having said that, I will always rate travelling around the world, meeting musicians and audiences as the coolest thing of being a musician. I appreciate the opportunity I have as a performer to experience the world, and experience the diversity in which we live. I used to think it was important to be well known, to be "important", but now I know that being part of the "jazz musician legacy" is the best that I could ever hope for.
What inspires you when composing?
I try to listen to a lot of music and keep the flame of interest burning. It's hard to inspire yourself everyday considering I have no one who requires anything from me. Listening to music I will say is the most important factor. I can hear something and think, "Ah, I wonder how that looks like on paper?" So I transcribe it, write it down, and then, and (this is the most important thing), I try to make it in to my own. Fountain of Youth is inspired by Chic Corea's Three Quartets with its piano voicings, its structure and the melody. But still with my identity intact. You'll hear it when we're performing it.
You are associated with post-bop and free jazz expressions. In what musical idiom do you feel most at home and why?
My musical background comes from the time I spent at Berklee College of Music in Boston in the US. I travelled to the States because I love American jazz and I think my music reflects that. Combined with my Norwegian heritage I believe that the fusion of these two styles gives my music a unique touch. I definitely feel more at home in the post-bop era rather than the free jazz era. This is due to the fact that I prefer structure over coincidences.
What is your opinion of today's jazz scene in Europe and America?
I used to be very opinionated when it came to these types of questions. Today I really only care if the music is good. American or European – it doesn't matter. Having said that, I tend to prefer American jazz over European. It probably has to do with the fact that I was educated in the US. I like melody, rhythm and harmony.
Do you get much time to relax, and if so what are your hobbies or passions away from music?
Playing music is all the relaxation I need. Having said that, I love to travel and experience new things. I strongly believe travelling provides me with the inspiration I need to fuel my inner drive.
What advice would you give a young musician wanting to enter the industry full time?
You have to be committed. Nothing happens by accident. Be prepared, be nice, and be cool-headed. You will have to prepare for a situation where you are your own booking agent, tour manager and roadie. And most importantly never turn down a gig.
Is there a message for audiences who will come to see you at the festival?
I think in many cases jazz suffers from the audience trying to be intellectual because there is a notion that jazz has to be “understood”. I strongly believe in the audience just showing up and experiencing us on stage. As soon as you see us play, you'll understand our music.
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Afrika Mkhize is one of South Africa's most prominent jazz pianists, composers, producers and arrangers. He will be one of the star attractions at this year's Standard Bank Jazz Festival, which is part of the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. We picked his brain and found out why initiatives like the Standard Bank Young Artist Awards are so important for developing young talent.
Why will you be honouring Bheki Mseleku at the Standard Bank Jazz Festival?
I wanted to honour Bheki when he was alive but I never got the chance to do it. When he died musicians from around the world paid tribute to him except in South Africa. We honoured him in October last year with a big band concert at the Orbit Jazz Club in Braamfontain. We did a big band tribute (17 piece and two vocalists) and arranged selected music from Bheki’s various albums. It was a big success so I decided to do it for a second time at the festival. I felt it was the right time to do it again, but I needed funding and then a Swiss friend came forward and helped. New names and talented young 'finds' will be featured in the band and the concert promises to be a musical highlight at the festival. The line-up includes saxophonist Dave O’Higgins from the UK, American trumpeter Eddie Lewis and Swiss trombonist Andreas Tschopp with wonderful South African musicians including Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz 2016 Siya Makuzeni on vocals.
In 2012 you won the Standard Bank Young Artist Award. Did it open doors for you?
Yes, it helped open doors for me. I was invited to perform in spaces I'd never been in before. I received invites from the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz and the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. I'd never performed before on such big stages. It was incredible and I learnt so much.
What has the Standard Bank Jazz Festival done for you?
It helped me to connect with so many international artists and through them I was able to form a band, Band Oyster and the Rain Makers. I was able to network and receive invitations to perform in such glamorous locales as New York, London and even in Japan.
How does a jazz festival like Standard Bank Jazz Festival in Grahamstown help musicians?
The only times a festival works is when musicians from all nine provinces come together to perform on one platform. Lots of musicians from the provinces practice hard and hope to be featured at these events but this is not always possible because many lack the required standards. We need an educational programme in place that will elevate these musicians and school them in their chosen fields, so that one day they can take their rightful places on these stages.
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Mozambican born drummer Frank Paco has played with everyone from Bono and Queen’s Brian May to Peter Gabriel and the late Miriam Makeba. And now the acclaimed Frank Paco Art Ensemble will be making their debut at the Standard Bank Jazz Festival’s Jazztown at the National Arts Festival from 30 June to 9 July in Grahamstown.
He gives us the lowdown on what to expect and why he’s inspired by the South African music scene.
What Jazztown audiences can expect from your show at the Standard Bank Jazz Festival?
The music can be described as Nu-World Jazz - an amalgamation of jazz tones with its African roots from East to West. The band boasts high calibre musicians who promise to deliver a highly dynamic and entertaining performance. They include Buddy Wells (sax), Zoe Modiga (vocals), Keenan Ahrends (guitar), Blake Hellaby (piano) and Peter Dlala (bass).
Why is Grahamstown so important on a jazz musicians’ calendars?
The Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival, part of the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, has provided a platform for interaction between young aspiring musicians and their mentors, an initiative to be applauded! I have also had the opportunity to partake in these mentorship sessions and was impressed by the young musicians’ enthusiasm, drive and hunger to grasp all the info that was thrown at them. The other aspect of the festival is that it exposes youngsters to different genres that aren't necessarily straight ahead jazz but genres with some jazz elements. In my opinion it broadens their musical landscape.
Standard Bank’s commitment to the arts – and jazz in particular – has paid dividends. What do you think of this support of the arts?
I highly commend Standard Bank for the investment in musical development and it has certainly paid dividends. Standard Bank can stand tall knowing that they've been an integral part of young musicians’ success in their careers.
It's really sad that many companies shy away from investing in cultural development activities. I guess it's a lack of knowledge by certain CEOs of the fact that a nation’s identity is based on its culture and that this needs to be cultivated and nurtured for it to blossom and become an export that contributes to the country's GDP.
What are you up to and what are plans for the future?
I'm pleased to say that I'm at the best time of my career as a solo artist. I'm also open to collaborations with artists from various countries and this has helped me to participate in some major festivals around the world. Besides this year's appearance at CTIJF and Total Jazz Fest with an Indian Ocean collaborative project JAV, I've recently participated at Africa Festival in Germany and I'm performing at IOMMA in Reunion to promote my albums. I'll be releasing my forthcoming album a week before the Grahamstown Standard Bank Jazz Festival and I'm also planning a national CD launch tour.
The SABC has committed itself to playing 90 % local music across 18 of its radio stations. How do you feel about this?
I'm in awe of Don Laka and everyone else who were at the forefront of this historical realisation.
Ninety percent of local music on our radio stations means a boost for local artists and less of the country's royalty revenues being taken offshore. This will serve as a platform for more quality music to be heard and it will bring pride to the nation as people identify with their own.
Do South African/African musicians get the recognition they deserve in this country?
Every time I perform overseas with other projects, I feel that something is amiss in the way one gets celebrated. Back home most artists fall into oblivion. It is like the expression "no one can be a preacher in his own backyard". I hope that the 90 percent local music drive will change this so local artists get the recognition they deserve.
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By David Humphrey, Global Head: Power & Infrastructure at Standard Bank Group
With power shortages hampering economic and social development across much of sub-Saharan Africa, new and existing technologies are coming together to allow alternative off grid solutions to complement the conventional grid system in getting power to the largest number of people quickly.
Building a fully fit for purpose electrified grid in Africa has become increasingly challenging and the downturn in the commodity cycle in the last two years has added to the challenge. Capital outflows from Africa have resulted in the continent having significantly weaker balance sheets to fund capital expenditure, and this has been further exacerbated by the expectation that a stronger US economy will cause an increase in dollar interest rates, and the increase in repayments will further weaken emerging economies saddled with dollar debt. We now have a vicious circle - the ‘African emerging market problem’, weakening currencies, capital outflows and reduced investment capacity, each spurring the other on in an unfortunate way.
The hard choices about infrastructure delivery that emerging market economies need to take have now arrived at Africa’s doorstep. Governments do not have the balance sheet to fund all necessary investment. What needs to be done? The private sector needs to take on most of the investment, but against sound and reliable regulatory and legal frameworks that investors can trust. Most importantly, infrastructure investment needs to be in local currency. This means multilaterals (IFC, EIB, AfDB etc) and DFIs must decrease the amount of dollar lending and increase the amount of local currency lending in African countries. However this will take some time.
Government to government loans should not be discounted either, but here again local currency funding by the developed market Government (e.g. China, US, EU) should become the norm, not the exception.
Certainly the successes achieved in South Africa’s renewable programme can be replicated across Africa, where opportunities abound for solar, wind, hydro and gas projects, but where only 20% of people are connected to power grids. Innovative models for project finance are going to be needed to help fast track energy projects in Africa and bridge gaps that existed previously.
Against this backdrop, there is little doubt off-grid solutions and renewables are set to become a much bigger source of supply in the future, and while off grid was not a solution three years ago, it is fair to say it is inevitable now as technology and funding mechanisms become more accessible and applicable.
So much of Africa is remote and rural, the wait for power from the grid can still be decades away. But the same is not true of mobile phone coverage. Most Africans live within the coverage of a mobile phone mast, and with it comes the ability to communicate and to use ‘airtime’ as an alternative means of payment for a number of things, including access to power at the household level. Combining solar power solutions with existing telecommunications infrastructure and technology, linked to the banking system, allows “local” solutions to be one of the quickest and perhaps more affordable in enabling the pay as you go concept for off grid electricity to the home.
Business models for at home off grid supply have been in existence for some time, particularly in the USA, but this has developed into a complex hybrid solution in the sense that access to the grid is always there, and ability to take or supply into the grid (and pay or get paid for the energy consumed or supplied), in combination with favourable tax treatment has created a complex and competitive market for off grid power solutions.
Africa differs fundamentally from the USA in the sense that off grid in its truest sense needs to be just that and affordable down to very low disposable income households. So the cost of the technology at its most basic (a few solar panels, a few light bulbs, a battery and phone charger) has to be reasonable, and be part of the overall budget a customer can afford, and if combined with the cost of a pay as you go or contract mobile phone, is something that should be capable of financing by commercial banks. Once payment histories are known, and hence default rates, banks should be able to lend on a portfolio basis to solar off grid equipment suppliers, and allow leverage and hence significant growth into the off-grid industry.
Making off-grid initiatives bankable will be a key component and this is where public participation can be encouraged, for example, by launching a public bond that crowds in public funding. It is early days yet, but what is clear is that a solution like this could work and could be funded.
A key driver for off grid in the future is going to be rural electrification as these areas have only limited electrification networks. The secret will be bringing power to rural areas without necessarily extensive expenditure on transmission costs.
The future energy mix should also include far more off-grid solutions where big industries create their own power and sell excess power to the grid, for example if they need 8 -10 megawatts (MW) but build capacity for 12 MW, they can sell the additional 2MW to communities or villages in the area.
At Standard Bank we continue to see potential in developing the continent and facilitating economic growth and we believe off-grid solutions can be bankable if the right partners are found. As these developments help businesses and economies to grow, they also indirectly support regional development. Off grid can be also be expanded into the retail market, where modular rooftop solar solutions can be rolled out to commercial neighbourhoods, either individually or as collectives.
These solutions can be used to target African countries with limited power rollout. We just need to get more creative with how we fund these opportunities as the bottom line is: Africa needs power.
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Power trading agreements between countries that possess excess power generating capacity and those battling supply shortages will be a dominant theme in the electricity markets of south-central African nations in the next three to five years.
Mozambique, which currently has the potential to produce more electricity than its economy requires at present, is likely to dominate the supply-side of this trading market with Namibia, Zambia and Botswana expected be the main purchasers in the region, after South Africa.
The biggest challenge to these arrangements will be reliable and stable transmission networks to facilitate the seamless transfer of electricity between sellers and purchasers. These networks require significant co-operation between neighboring countries, so the role of the South African Power Pool (SAPP) in ensuring cross-border planning, investment and trading between member states remains critical.
Our executive in the power and Infrastructure division, Cody Aduloju says "power will increasingly become one of the most tradable commodities across the region in the coming years given the electricity shortage we are seeing across Southern Africa," says Cody Aduloju, Executive in Standard Bank's Power and Infrastructure division." "Almost every aspect of a modern economy relies on electricity to function so the countries that emerge as the ones with excess supply will have significant negotiating power, so to speak."
Mr Aduloju says that Mozambique, which plans to double its generating capacity to 5 Gigawatts (GW) by 2025, is one of the few countries in Africa that currently possesses an over-supply of electricity thanks to the hydro power available from the Cahora Bassa dam, which has an installed capacity of 2,075 Megawatts (MW) of power per year or around 73% of the country's installed generating capacity.
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Most parents would be familiar with home-grown children’s clothing sensation Keedo. With a loyal customer base in South Africa and abroad, and a large distribution network throughout southern Africa, it seems the brand’s popularity knows no bounds.
(Image source: bizmag.co.za)
The idea for Keedo was sparked when founder Nelia Annandale began sewing clothes for her new-born twins more than 20 years ago, using memories of her childhood and her love of brightly coloured African clothing as inspiration, according to an Entrepreneur Magazine feature . The future clothing-store mogul was recovering from a skiing accident and so decided to put her time of convalescence to good use.
Keedo was soon launched in 1994, and six months later a customer from Switzerland bought merchandise to sell back home. This alerted Ms Annandale to her product’s export potential, an opportunity she grabbed with enthusiasm.
12 years later, Keedo was supplying more than 100 boutiques across the USA, and it seemed that things couldn’t get better. But then the global ‘Great Recession’ hit, and it hit South African entrepreneurs in the export business particularly hard, as they faced less demand for their products . Keedo was no exception.
At the time, the brand had more than 60% of its business tied up in the export market, with most of it in the US. Ms Annandale quickly realised she had to re-assess her business strategy or risk losing a significant percentage of her market – a potential death sentence for most SMEs - emerging or established.
After much consideration, Ms Annandale decided that her best chance for long-term sustainability was to develop Keedo’s existing presence in Africa. Though the brand was always available in South Africa, growing it was never the main strategy.
Her revised plan included strengthening Keedo’s local market presence, increasing her number of stores, initiating an online retail platform and subsequently increasing business turnover. All these actions not only maintained Ms Annandale’s business in a time of great economic stress, it also grew and strengthened it.
Today, Keedo is thriving: international exports to more than 16 countries throughout the globe comprise 25% to 30% of the business, and it now also supplies Mozambique, Botswana and Zambia. Most significantly, Ms Annandale’s enterprise also has 20 retail branches across South Africa. As the bank that calls Africa our home, we encourage and facilitate success of this nature. We are invested in the development of African entrepreneurs, as their prosperity translates into greater prosperity and upliftment on the continent, as Keedo’s over 200 local employees can undoubtedly confirm.
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The World Economic Forum has placed Luanda in the top 10 of growing economies on the continent and now a third ranking fashion hub with national apparel and footwear market worth $1.5 billion. The textile industry is slowly picking up, with over 3000 jobs created in 2015.
Nadir Tati, fashion designer
Tati makes couture dresses and tailored bridal wear, which she sells at a price point ranging from $500 up to $10,000 a dress. She boasts of creating dresses for Michelle Obama, but also highlights the much needed textile development in the country as 90% of her fabrics come from abroad.
(Photo Credit: Nadir Tati)
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According to Euromonitor, Nigeria has the second growing and thriving fashion industry in Africa, claiming a stake of the national apparel and footwear market valued at $4.7 billion. The country is seeing the growing need to develop their textile industry in light of the mounting influence of the fashion designers across the globe and they’ve put aside an investment of N37.2 billion to resuscitate the industry.
Lisa Folawiyo, fashion designer
Lisa is famous for her colourful collections which bring together traditional West African fabrics with modern tailoring. In 2012, she won the African Fashion Award nominated alongside Maki Oh and Kofi Ansah, two more creative designers from Nigeria.
(Photo Credit: Lisa Folawiyo)
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According to Euromonitor, South Africa is leading in the fashion industry and boasts an apparel and footwear market worth $14.4 billion. The textile industry is being relooked in order to align with the growing need for fashion designs. A R200 million investment has been set aside for five years to bring to life the industry that was no longer contributing to the GDP.
Laduma Ngxokolo, fashion designer
A young man born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa is a knitwear designer, best known for his inspired traditional Xhosa beadwork. Laduma recently won the 2015 Vogue Italia Scouting for Africa price to showcase his collection at the Palazzo Vogue Morando Show in Milan and Italy.
(Photo credit: Laduma Ngxokolo)
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According to Euromonitor, sub-Saharan Africa’s apparel and footwear market was reportedly worth an impressive $31 billion in 2015. Can we attribute our young population and access to technology to this success?
While touring Africa in 2013, Michelle Obama wore an elegant shirt from Nigerian designer Maki Oh and the world took notice. That was an endorsement of the existing talent that we possess and now the world is looking to us for fashion inspiration. Fashion design is more than just a hobby, it’s a viable industry and there’s growing appreciation for African print and patterns all over the world as local designers position themselves at the forefront of the inventions.
Africa has the youngest population in the world, with over 40% of its population between the ages of 15-24. Most of the millennials are highly educated, prefer urban areas and are technologically savvy. With this combination, they are exposed to the trends that are happening around the world. For many years, Africans have been influenced by Europe when it comes to fashion, but not anymore. Emerging designers are no longer spectators, but active players that are contributing to the innovation in the industry. They are able to market themselves through social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram as part of building their brand.
The fashion industry is gradually growing and making strides far beyond the continent and creating wealth along the way. Here’s how each country is benefiting from the fashion industry:
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A common problem that most cyclists struggle with is adjusting the saddle height of their bike. The incorrect height can lead to cramps so it’s important to adjust it properly. 8 times Ironman champion and coach, Raynard Tissink, shows you how in this video.
Take your inseam measurement and multiply it by 1.09. Your new measurement in cm’s can be used to adjust the saddle height of road bikes and tri bikes and it takes into account the bike’s crank length.
To find out more about our involvement with Ironman visit our sponsorships website and follow the conversation online using #SBIronman
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When you hear the words “jazz festival” you may think of internationally renowned festivals like the New Orleans Jazz Festival. But did you know that the Standard Bank Jazz Festival, which is held at National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, is the longest running jazz festival in South Africa? That’s why we think it deserves to be called Jazztown.
It brings together an exciting mix of artists from Africa and other parts of the world. And with an injection of hip young musicians, new audiences are being drawn to this innovative festival.
We are gathering a mesmerising collection of musicians from around the world who will spend a week generating jazz that has a unique Grahamstown energy, creativity and thrill. We look forward to hosting audiences who are keen on sharing this vibrant art form with us.
This year the Standard Bank Jazz Festival promises a fantastic selection with cutting-edge artists like Standard Bank Young Artist Award winners Siya Makuzeni and Afrika Mkhize Big Band , South African legends Simphiwe Dana , Caiphus Semenya , Ringo Madlingozi and Swing City as well as The Kiffness and Soul Housing Project with Bokani Dyer and Sakhile Moleshe, the voice behind Goldfish.
You can also catch artists such as Brazil’s Trio Corrente , Norway’s Petter Wettre , Austria’s Rabitsch & Pawlik and Holland’s Toon Roos .
If you are planning an adventure to the National Arts Festival look out for Standard Bank’s Late Night Jazz Café and enjoy great food, wine and hot jazz collaborations.
Tickets are available online from the National Arts Festival .
The National Arts Festival programme is available at select Standard Bank branches in South Africa. Click here to find out more.
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As South Africa commemorates the 40 th anniversary of the 1976 Soweto Uprisings we take time to reflect on the daily challenges that young people in South Africa still face.
For many passionate young musicians quality musical education is still not within reach but the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival aims to change that by providing talented musicians an opportunity to gain world-class exposure that could set them on the path to success.
The National Youth Jazz Festival is South Africa’s leading jazz development programme and Standard Bank has been a proud sponsor since 1995. The festival runs alongside the Standard Bank Jazz Festival at the annual National Arts Festival in Grahamstown and provides a forum for musical education and unique performance opportunities.
Over 250 young musicians attend the festival and they are mentored by 35 jazz educators and 80 jazz performers. The young musicians are divided into three groups: tertiary students, secondary students and development students, the latter come from disadvantaged backgrounds with limited musical educational opportunities.
The young people attend jazz workshops and seminars led by world-class musicians and teachers that focus on South African jazz heritage, jazz history, theory, practice and associated disciplines like sound engineering and management.
They are also divided into mixed-ability big bands who practice daily, giving students who do not normally play in a quality ensemble, great exposure and experience.
Finally students have the opportunity to engage with many of the performers attending the Standard Bank Jazz Festival to learn about their personal philosophy and their jazz experience.
The Festival is not the end of the road as all participants audition for the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Band and the Standard Bank Schools Big Band, allowing them to take their exposure to the next level.
For more information click here .
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This winter why not head down to Grahamstown, South Africa, and take in the Standard Bank Jazz Festival at the National Arts Festival? We have 5 reasons why you should add ‘take a trip to Standard Bank’s #Jazztown’ to your 2016 bucket list!
It’s one of the continent’s premier jazz festivals. Many people don’t know about this world-class jazz festival that takes place on their doorstep. As South Africa’s longest running jazz festival, it’s Africa’s best-kept jazz secret that plays host to some of the world’s best musicians like tenor sax duo Dave O’Higgins and Per Thornberg.
Unique collaborations. The festival director strives to put together collaborations between local and international artists that will delight and inspire you! This year, among others, you can see Cape to Calais, a collaboration between the French duo of Daniel Mille and Stéphane Chausse, joined by Dutch master bassist Hein van de Geyn and South African guitarist Dave Ledbetter.
See the work of the Standard Bank Young Artist Awards winners. Visit the National Art Festival and you can see the work of these up and coming artists. These prestigious awards recognise established young South African artists who show exceptional talent but haven’t yet received national exposure and acclaim. These prestigious awards play a vital role in nurturing South African artistic talent
Raw talent in the making. One of the most inspiring features of the Jazz Festival is the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival. This festival brings together 250 talented young jazz musicians for one of the most significant jazz development programmes on the continent, and you get to see the country’s future jazz maestros performing live.
International and local legends. One of the great joys of music festivals is rediscovering some of your old favourites. The Standard Bank Jazz Festival has a stellar line-up of local legends including: Caiphus Semenya, Simphiwe Dana, Afrika Mkhize, Ringo Madlingozi and international stars Trio Corrente, Petter Wettre, Michaela Rabitsch, Robert Pawlick and Toon Roos.
To find out more about purchasing tickets please visit our sponsorships website.
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It’s now no secret that successful, formalised entrepreneurial businesses contribute to an economy’s success. This is even truer in emerging markets, where employment opportunities are often scarce and precarious.
As the bank that services the greatest market share of business banking accounts in the country, we realise that we have a responsibility to help start-ups contribute South Africa’s economic development. To this end, the Standard Bank Incubator was launched in late 2015, providing promising small businesses with much-needed support, and access to networks and corporate value chains.
As a testament to this initiative’s success and popularity, there are currently three different types of incubators: The Business Incubator in Rosebank, Johannesburg provides mentoring, coaching, and access to training in enterprise development and content delivery for corporates; the Technical Incubator, also in Johannesburg, offers access to technical support on manufacturing, design, 3D printing, patenting and new technologies to enable rapid prototyping; and the One Virtual Incubator in Cape Town provides access to development opportunities.
Less than a year after the official launch, the Incubators have received global recognition and can boast more than 100 alumni with inspiring success stories. Some of these include:
Till: A point-of-sale solution for other SMEs that manages their stock and provides helpful analytics to help them grow
SA Florist: An online marketplace for ordering South African flower arrangements and gift hampers
Value Forest: A platform that allows the user to conduct only one search to find the best deals on sites like Gumtree and OLX
Bookclubbing: A mobile app that helps book lovers and book clubbers stay organised
According to Jayshree Naidoo, Head of the Standard Bank Incubator, the Incubators have the potential to add 350 thriving businesses to the economy annually, because they focus on the sustainability of new businesses. And, because the businesses will be fundamentally innovative, they will help lay a foundation for an extremely competitive, producer economy that will attract investment for African ideas.
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The arts, within entrepreneurship, have a significant ability to uplift the individual, create enterprises and jobs, support communities, honour culture and, critically, move economies forward.
(Image source: twitter.com/bethlehemalemu)
As the financial institution that positions itself as the bank for entrepreneurs, and as an enthusiastic patron of the arts, we acknowledge and honour creative yet practical, business-minded individuals who use their passion for music, design, the written word, painting or sculpture to grow successful careers or small enterprises.
Bethlehem Tiluhun Alemu, founder of SoleRebels
Bethlehem Tiluhun Alemu was born and raised in Zenebework, an impoverished community near Ethiopia’s capital city of Addis Ababa. Most of her fellow community members lived in poverty due to the high levels of unemployment, yet many possessed extraordinary artisan skills.
Sensing an opportunity to transform and uplift her home, Ms Alemu sourced start-up capital from her husband and immediate family, and, in 2004, SoleRebels was born.
Now sold in more than 30 countries around the globe, SoleRebels footwear is handcrafted using a blend of recycled materials and indigenous Ethiopian plants, ensuring the production process very eco-friendly. The unique shoes feature a strong Ethiopian cultural influence blended with a modern design, an aesthetic so popular that the shoes now rival well-known and coveted western brands, such as Nike and Reebok.
Founder Ms Alemu is just as celebrated as her brand: Among other accolades, she was declared Business Insider Magazine’s Top Entrepreneur in Africa and one of CEO.com’s Most Creative CEOs in 2013; and in 2012, FORBES Magazine named her as one of their World's 100 Most Powerful Women.
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When we entered into a partnership with IRONMAN South Africa only two years ago, we undertook not only to secure the long-term sustainability of one of the country’s premier endurance events, but also to develop IRONMAN SA’s IRONMAN 70.3 Series into a world-class triathlon that attracts participants and media from all around the globe.
Using our numerous Standard Bank IRONMAN events as evidence, it’s fair to say that we have achieved and exceeded our goals. One particular example is the Standard Bank IRONMAN 70.3 Durban, to be held on 19 June in the coastal city: Launched in 2015, the Durban triathlon’s seamless organisation, gruelling yet breath-taking course and enthusiastic support have made it an unmissable event on the sporting calendar for triathletes from far and wide.
According to Jenny Pheiffer, Executive Head: Group Brand, Sponsorship and Events at Standard Bank, the number of competitors and their supporters are up from only a year ago, showing our dedication to breaking barriers and making meaningful change in the sporting industry.
This year, a total of 3 023 athletes will be participating, compared to 2015’s 2 914. The number of male athletes has increased from 2 180 to 2 214, and the number of female participants is now 805, compared to last year’s 722. We’re also excited to report that 34 countries from around the globe will be represented, including nine from Africa, making this year’s Standard Bank IRONMAN 70.3 Durban a truly international endurance event.
More traction from foot traffic and tourists is also expected due to the fact that the triathlon is now established in the city. Undoubtedly, World Cup winning legend Springbok John Smit will be amongst those who will be giving their heart to the challenge as well fellow Boks Ollie Le Roux and Stefan Terblanche. They will be pacing through some of Durban’s most charming areas, with retired Protea Andre Nel and former Sharks player John Slade together with them.
Durban can expect a significant economic boost as 87% of athletes will be travelling to the city from outside Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN). This translates into direct spend in the region over the winter period.
Not only is this helpful to the city’s bottom line as winter is generally regarded as its ‘slow period’, but the cooler season allows for weather that should provide perfect triathlon conditions. That, combined with our skills and support, KZN’s unique beauty and hospitality, and the excitement of the athletes, should make for an unforgettable 2016 Standard Bank IRONMAN 70.3 Durban.
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The goal has been set: Finish your first Standard Bank IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon or, even better, set a personal best time for the 113km challenge after having raced before. But there are various outside influences that will affect your path to glory if you don’t have a clear idea of how you will get to the start line and, ultimately, cross the finish to say "I am an Ironman".
Preparation and attitude are the keys to success. Here are 10 tips below:
Implement a strict training regime
Consistency is critical: Shorter, faster and frequent sessions deliver better results than longer, intermittent ones.
Include your family
If your family forms part of your team, you all will be much happier and that opens up an opportunity for better preparation.
Find the balance
A training plan within your limits is paramount to success; train within your means and introduce rest days and family time.
Start small, finish big
If it’s your first event, keep the budget small and your gear simple - commitment is enough to get you across the finish line. Once you have tasted success, aim for that personal best by going bigger.
Be open to advice from fellow competitors, as together you can push the performance bar a little higher each time you race.
Mix it up
A daily consistent training routine is good, but sometimes you need a change of scenery to stay motivated. Try different training routes and terrain for some adventure.
Keep it fun
If your training routine is enjoyable, you’ll maintain the motivation necessary to continue the pre-race training phase. It’s easier to stay focused if you have company in some of your sessions, so find a training partner or a group.
Race for charity
Why not offer to raise money for the various charity organisations that are involved with each 70.3 event? This way, you get to help others at the same time you test your personal limits.
Alternate between events
Avoid racing the same event every year. Alternating between the various Standard Bank IRONMAN 70.3 triathlons should ensure a renewed sense of motivation and excitement.
Anyone lucky enough to participate in an IRONMAN 70.3 event is blessed. Be thankful for your health and consider yourself lucky to be able to swim, bike and run.
Competing in any triathlon is impossible without consistent training, but it should be fun to keep you motivated. To all those preparing for the Standard Bank IRONMAN 70.3 in Durban, we wish you strength in your training.
Keep Moving Forward.
Visit our website to find out more about our involvement with Ironman.
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With Africa month coming to a close, we continue to support Africa’s development.
With a heritage of over 150 years, we have an on-the-ground presence in 20 countries in sub Saharan Africa, fit-for-purpose representation outside Africa, and a strategic partnership with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).
Our work to refocus the group on Africa is largely complete, with our capital resources aligned to pursue our growth objectives on the continent. The below Infographic details our current Africa footprint:
Standard Bank Group Africa Footprint (2015-2016)
Our vision is to be the leading financial services organisation in, for and across Africa, delivering exceptional client experiences and superior value. This sets the primary goals and standard of excellence we intend to achieve in the medium term.
For more information about our African presence, visit www.StandardBank.com, or to join the Standard Bank team visit www.careers.standardbank.co.za.
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By combining our strong presence in Africa with our global capabilities, we support the aspirations of local and international corporate and financial institutions looking for a banking partner to lead the way across Africa.
We have the depth of local knowledge and partnerships to understand and manage the various risks that face businesses, across political, operational and security risks, in and beyond the countries in which we operate. This includes a detailed understanding of the changing policy and regulatory environments at country and regional level. In understanding the risk environment, we unlock the real opportunities for businesses in Africa and for organisations looking to be part of unstoppable growth on the continent.
With our on-the-ground knowledge, risk appetite and balance sheet, we are involved in some of the biggest deals in Africa. We connect individuals, businesses and governments in, for and across Africa to opportunities that move them forward.
Read more about our Corporate and Investment Banking capabilities and on how we are #CommittedToAfrica by visiting www.standardbank.com/CIB.
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Our head office at 30 Baker Street in Johannesburg, South Africa, won a gold prize for energy efficiency at the Eco-Logic Glamorously Green Gala Awards recently, enhancing our reputation for sustainable business practices on the continent.
The awards give recognition to individuals, organisations, products and services that make a real and measurable difference in creating a more sustainable world to live in.
The building was designed and constructed according to international best practice in sustainability, energy efficiency and reduced carbon footprint. Completed in 2013, it comprises 650 000 sqft in area and accommodates about 4 500 employees. It is one of a handful of buildings in South Africa to have achieved a five-star Green Star rating.
The building has a number of innovative technologies which reduce consumption and diversify its energy mix. It houses a gas-powered, tri-generation plant which has a production capacity of 1MW which is roughly 30% of the building's electrical demand, significantly reducing the demand on the municipal energy grid.
The waste heat from the plant provides approximately 0.8MW of energy for the building's heating and cooling requirements. The tri-generation plant is only the second of its kind in South Africa. The estimated energy saving from this plant alone is approximately 1 889MWh, which amounts to annual savings of about $812 500 (R11.7 million), and a carbon dioxide reduction of 11 434 tons a year.
Other innovative technologies include triple-glazed glass façades which cover more than 65% of the vertical external surfaces of the building, ensuring optimal use of natural light, and a remotely activated window blind system linked to a rooftop weather station for sunlight tracking. The blinds can be retracted into the framing system to enable maximum natural light on cloudy days, thereby reducing the need for artificial light.
A Digitally Addressable Lighting Interface (Dali) system was installed for 99.26% of the usable area, allowing light fittings to be efficiently operated according to need, and facilitates the efficient switching of lights depending on the occupancy, as well as dimming or brightening as the amount of natural light in the building varies.
About 50% of the air conditioning systems in the building are energy efficient evaporative cooling systems, and to reduced water dependency, the balance is made up of air-cooled systems.
The Eco-Logic Award cements Standard Bank's reputation for sustainable design and energy efficient facilities across its operations. Our vision for energy efficiency and sustainability extends to involvement in energy sector financing across the continent to help clients meet increasing demand. Our headquarters at 30 Baker Street are testament to the commitment that we really do live our vision, not only in our investments, but also in the facilities in which we conduct our business.
Visit our sustainability website to find out more about our renewable energy efforts.
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In just one year, our world-class Global Leadership Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, has reduced electricity consumption by 7,3%.
The centre, which is the first building within our Standard Bank Group, and the first commercial building in South Africa to achieve the prestigious ISO 50001 certification, introduced an energy saving drive in 2015 to further reduce consumption.
Measures including changing the way we operated equipment, retrofitting inefficient equipment with energy efficient equipment, and investing in renewable energy sources. The most extensive of these initiatives included:
Re-examining the way air-conditioning is provided to the facility. A needs analysis revealed that some of the air-conditioning equipment did not operate optimally. Optimisation of the equipment led to 33% of the equipment being switched off, while still maintaining the indoor comfort levels personnel have become accustomed to at the centre.
There were two boilers with a capacity of 10 000 litres and electric electrodes of 120kW each to heat the water used in the showers in the accommodation facilities. These boilers heat the water to 55˚C, which was then supplied to the 151 bedrooms as well as the gym facility. The boilers were retrofitted with four heat pumps, realising a reduction in electricity consumption of 50%. The installation was completed at the end of September 2015, and commissioned on 15 October 2015.
A Solar PV system was installed and completed on the roof of the parkade. The size of the system, roughly 200kW, is enough to produce 25% of the centre's daytime electricity requirement from a renewable and environmentally friendly source. The project was completed in December 2015.
These projects, as well as changing the way we use electricity at the centre, lead to a reduced electricity consumption of 353 513KWh in 2015 alone.
Visit our sustainability website to find out more about our renewable energy efforts.
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There is no doubt that hospitals are often scary environments for children. In light of this scenario, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa, due to open in December 2016, has made being child and family friendly one of its core principles.
The public-private funded hospital, which was one of Nelson Mandela’s last and lasting wishes for the children of Africa, will offer state-of-the-art specialist paediatric care to children in Sub-Saharan Africa, irrespective of socio-economic status. But that is not the only area where it stands out: in addition, all of the elements of the hospital, from equipment to furniture, signage and accommodation, is conceived to be child and family friendly.
Use SnapSCan to donate.
The problem, typically, is that from the moment a child enters a hospital, nothing speaks to them – it is all directed at adults. Another issue is the fact that most hospitals don’t cater for the parents and siblings of patients – although the presence of family is essential for happiness, comfort and healing.
“The challenge is to create information that is child-friendly, that children can consume alone. This applies to all aspects of the hospital, from the artwork, to way finding and signage, to the internal finishes.”
The NMCH Trust has worked with leading children’s hospitals around the world to establish how to be child-friendly. The team sought to convey the authentic voice of children in the design, rather than merely giving them something created for children by adults.
“It’s not an adult hospital that will look after children, but a child-centric hospital,” said Graham Maritz, the General Manager of GE Healthcare Southern Africa, one of the key private-sector funders of the project in partnership with Standard Bank. “One of the curve balls we faced was that our equipment could not be white as this is scary for children. It had to be customised. Even the handles on the doors are not at a height that makes me comfortable.”
The hospital’s furniture and facilities are all child sized. Wards are small, with just two beds per ward, and each bed is accompanied by a recliner for parents. In addition, each ward contains a play space and a family lounge.
To make sure that it speaks the language of children, the hospital’s design team has involved children from various backgrounds in the creation process, holding workshops facilitated by artists and storytellers. The resulting artworks, artifacts and stories have been woven into wall design, tapestries, mobiles, and paintings. Even the clay artifacts made by children will be transformed, in collaboration with PPC, into benches in the hospital’s many gardens.
Being child centric doesn’t just apply to content. Bright colours, languages and shapes are also directed at creating an environment of calm. So too are the hospital’s many landscaped courtyards, which break up the building and allow natural light to flood in.
Click here if you'd like to donate to the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital.
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More than two-thirds of Africa’s population live without electricity, resulting in reduced economic growth by 2% to 4% annually. While Africa is undergoing growth and transformation, this growth needs to be fuelled and supported by massive investments in energy.
A look at the power demand in Africa
(Source: African Development Bank)
This is an opportunity for the social entrepreneur, who sees opportunities for profit, economic development and - most significant of all - social upliftment where others see obstacles.
According to The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), local entrepreneurs are essential for African countries to have access to electricity by 2030. Not only will such innovators literally light up the lives of millions, doing so will be economically competitive, unlock economies of scale and offer significant benefits in terms of equitable development, local job creation, energy security and environmental sustainability.
Thousands of these socially minded businessmen and women already help meet both urban and rural energy demands, but the following three are set on making a profound, positive difference.
Off Grid Electric
This Tanzanian-based company uses a low-cost, environmentally-friendly, pre-paid solar power system for lighting, cooking and mobile phone-charging needs. Last reported, Off Grid Electric supplied 35 000 solar-home systems in East Africa.
Based in Kenya, M-Kopa has connected 200 000 homes with solar systems that come with three lights, a mobile phone-charger and a radio. Its innovative business model means it takes only a year for customers to attain full ownership and access to free solar electricity.
The South African company offers LED-powered lights that provide about 20 hours of light. It also offers Nuru PowerCycle, which uses pedal power to recharge Nuru lights and mobile phones.
Though these energy entrepreneurs serve an integral need, accessing funding for such start-ups can be challenging, as new small ventures are seen as high risk to investors.
Standard Bank Group recognises the vital need for renewable energy and entrepreneurial businesses, to stimulate and stabilise Africa’s economies. We are active in renewable power projects, having financed numerous renewable energy initiatives that now deliver power to many African country’s grids.
Read more about our role in Power and Infrastructure development in Africa.
Sources: www.theconversation.com, www.ventureburn.com, www.one.org, www.irena.org, www.engineeringnews.co.za.
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