An array of Africa’s finest talent comes to London for TEDx Euston
A dazzling array of some of the best of African talent will attend this year’s TEDx Euston on Saturday 6 December which takes place at the Mermaid Conference Centre, Blackfriars, London.
The spectacular line-up includes South African classical music performer Pumeza Matshikiza; Nigerian former footballer and coach Sunday Oliseh, award-winning writer and intellectual, Binyavanga Wainaina from Kenya, Rwanda’s Health Minister Dr Agnes Binagwaho and one of Africa’s most successful businessmen, Ghanaian Tutu Agyare.
Speakers will focus on the theme for this year’s TEDx Euston: “Facing Forward”. The theme draws on the words of Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah, who said: “we face neither east nor west, we face forward”. Speakers and performers will consider how Africans standing together and facing forward can achieve even greater prominence and success for the continent.
Now in its fifth year, TEDxEuston– an independenty organized TED-llike event organized under licence from TED – is a global landmark occasion for Africans, and those with a passion for the continent. Each year attendees from across Africa, the USA, the UK and other European countries travel to London to attend this inspirational day. This celebration of Africa’s finest has historically drawn some of the world’s most recognised names, including author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and the late BBC broadcaster Komla Dumor.
What: TEDx Euston 2014: “Facing Forward”
When: Saturday 6 December 2014: doors open at 9am, event begins at 10am
Where: Mermaid Conference Centre, Blackfriars, London
TEDx Euston 2014 speakers:
Zain Asher – National business and personal finance correspondent for CNN
Binyavanga Wainaina – Kenyan author, publisher and cultural worker, founding editor of Kwani and on TIME magazine and Foreign Policy’s lists of the world’s ,most inflyential thinkers in 2014
Kene Mkparu – MD/CEO of FilmOne Distribution Limited and Filmhouse Cinemas Nigeria
Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor – Kenyan writer named “Woman of the Year” by Eve Magazine in 2004 for her contribution to the country’s literature and arts.whose critically acclaimed novel Dust was published this year
Chioma Omerua – also known as c-flow, aka Chi-gul is a popular Nigerian comedian singer and entertainer.
Ali A. Mufuruki – Chairman of the Board Wananchi Group Holdings Kenya.
Dolika Banda – Joined CDC from the International Finance Corporation
Chude Jideonwo – Managing Partner of Red Media Africa, Y! Africa, and YNaija.com; and listed as one of Forbes Africa’s 30 best entrepreneurs under 30.
Frances Mensah Williams – Chief Executive of Interims for Development Ltd., the Publisher of ReConnectAfrica.com
Tutu Agyare – Founder of Nubuke Investments and one of a handful of Africans who sit on the board of an FTSE 100 company.
Fatima B. Muhammad – Demand Side Advisor for DFID supported Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in Nigeria
Agnes Binagwaho – Minister of Health of Rwanda and a Paediatrician.
Sunday Oliseh – former professional footballer and coach from Nigeria.
Pius Adesanmi – Nigerian academic and public intellectual, Professor of English and African Studies at Carleton University, Canada.
Pumeza Matshikiza – South African professional opera singer/performer
The latest figures show how Help to Buy, introduced by this government in April last year, is opening up home ownership to thousands and supporting the government’s long term plan to help hardworking people secure a better future for their families.
In total over 66,000 households have been helped by Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee and Equity Loan. Help to Buy continues to overwhelmingly benefit first-time buyers, with the vast majority of sales outside of London and at prices well below the national average.
The scheme was introduced to support hard-working people who can afford a mortgage, but struggle to save the deposits required by lenders in the wake of the financial crisis. Together with the government’s NewBuy scheme – which offers 95% mortgages for those buying new-build properties, the number of new home owners has reached more than 71,000.
Today’s figures reveal that 81% of Help to Buy sales are to first-time buyers, helping 54,000 into their first home – showing how although Help to Buy accounts for only a small percentage of overall house sales (recent estimates suggest less than 3% for each part of the scheme), the scheme is continuing to successfully target the people who need a helping hand to get on the housing ladder.
The figures also show how Help to Buy is benefiting every region of the country. The North West is the highest region for the mortgage guarantee, while the Equity Loan – a scheme for new-build properties – is particularly successful in the East and South East. 94% of completions under the scheme remain outside London.
Leeds council is the highest performing local authority across the country for the two parts of Help to Buy – with almost 1000 new homes secured by its residents. While Birmingham council has seen a significant increase of over 300 new completions.
Help to Buy is also helping to increase housing supply and get Britain building by driving demand for new-build homes. Over half of the homes bought through the scheme are new-build properties, and private house building is up 20% since the launch of the Equity Loan scheme. In fact, in the past year, we have seen the sharpest rise in house building orders since 2003, with many leading builders crediting Help to Buy for reinvigorating the house building industry and boosting housing supply.
Help to Buy is supporting responsible lending, with the average house price for the combined schemes at £186,000, or £156,000 for mortgage guarantee and £211,000 under the equity loan scheme – all of which are well below the UK average house price of £273,000.
The average house price to income multiple under the mortgage guarantee scheme is just over 3.5x salary, and capped at a 4.5x ratio to ensure responsible lending.
Figures for the mortgage guarantee scheme also show completions have been least concentrated in regions where house price growth is highest, for instance in London the scheme makes up just 1% of all mortgage lending compared to an average of 3% across the country.
The Prime Minister said:
“But in the aftermath of the great recession the prospect of buying a first home was nothing more than a pipe dream for many thousands of hardworking people in Britain. Even those with a decent salary who could afford monthly mortgage payments were not able to get on the housing ladder because they could not find a deposit. Only those with access to big savings or the ‘bank of mum and dad’ could get the security together to buy a cherished home of their own.
“That is now changing. Today, Help to Buy has helped thousands of hard-working people buy a new home and enjoy the security and peace of mind that comes with that. And crucially, it’s playing a major part in increasing the number of new homes being built around the country – creating jobs and investing in communities.
“This is all part of our long-term economic plan to secure a better future for Britain – and, together with cutting income tax, lowering council tax bills and freezing fuel duty, the government is backing those who work hard and get on find the financial security they deserve.”
Chancellor George Osborne said:
“That’s why this government created Help to Buy, which has helped over 71,000 people across the country buy their new home, the vast majority of whom are first-time buyers. It’s also helping to get Britain building again: housing starts soared by 23% last year, reaching their highest level since the economic crisis. Help to Buy is good for homebuyers, it’s good for the construction industry, and it’s great for the economy.”
Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said:
“Helping people onto the housing ladder or into a new home is a key part of our drive for a fairer society. Help to Buy also contributes our stronger economy, supporting house-building as Britain continues to benefit from a wide economic recovery.
“I am particularly pleased to see that nearly three and a half thousand people across Scotland have taken advantage of the UK-wide mortgage guarantee scheme, demonstrating the value of sharing the rewards of living in a United Kingdom.”
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said:
“The 2008 housing crash left credit-worthy, hardworking people unable to fulfil their dream of home ownership – builders couldn’t build and lenders wouldn’t lend.
“Help to Buy is changing all that, offering a valuable alternative to the Bank of Mum and Dad and helping over 71,000 households to get on the property ladder with a fraction of the deposit they would normally require.
“On top of that, the scheme is a key part of our long-term economic plan, with private housebuilding up 20 per cent over the last year, and at its highest since 2007.”
House builders have also welcomed the role Help to Buy has played in boosting supply. Home Builders Federation Executive Chairman Stewart Baseley said:
“The increased certainty offered by Help to Buy has led directly to a significant increase in investment by house builders in land, the supply chain and labour. By unlocking demand and making home ownership affordable for many thousands of young people and families the scheme has provided the impetus for house builders to step up production. Building high quality homes also boosts supply chains and cements tens of thousands of jobs and apprenticeships for young people in communities up and down the country.
“Young people considering a career in house building today can be confident that ours is an industry with bold ambition and in need of talented, hardworking and enthusiastic people to build the communities of tomorrow.”
By Oliver Facey, VP Operations for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa
CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, December 3, 2014/ — In the lead up to the festive season, consumers are increasingly turning to online shopping portals instead of visiting physical stores.
Oliver Facey, VP Operations for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa (http://www.dpdhl.com), says that shopping online not only offers consumers access to a greater selection of products with easy to compare prices, but also allows individuals to purchase products that may not yet be available in in their own country.
(Oliver Facey, VP Operations for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa
Although internet penetration in Sub Saharan Africa is still far below the world average of around 30%, the numbers are increasing as Africans become more familiar and comfortable with online shopping. According to figures from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), in South Africa, 51% of individuals with internet access shop online and in Kenya, 18-24% make online purchases and according to a 2014 Phillips Consulting survey, Nigeria’s online shopping sector grew from N68.4 billion in 2011 to N78 billion in 2012, representing a growth of 25%.
He warns though that while there are many motivators of why to shop online, consumers must be aware of the do’s and don’ts of online shopping to avoid possible drawbacks. Consumers should also be aware of the regulations involved with purchasing from international retailers, in order to avoid incurring additional expenses, thereby making the product less of an attractive buy.
Facey offers advice to consumer on what to consider when buying from international e-retailers:
Be conscious of Customs’ import duties and taxes:
Consumers are often caught off-guard when their shipments arrive from international retailers with unexpected additional charges. It is therefore imperative for consumers to be aware that they may have to pay customs duty for their online purchases, depending on the country that they are buying the goods from.
All shipments transported across international borders must be cleared through Customs, where, depending on the type of goods being shipped, they may also be subject to additional charges. Import duties and taxes differ in each country and are usually calculated as a percentage of the item value. Import shipments may also be subject to interventions by Customs where the price, contents and country of manufacture are often investigated to mitigate a wide range of risks. This could result in delivery delays as well as additional costs.
There are also e-retailers that offer Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) terms which clearly communicates that all costs, inclusive of the duties, taxes and clearance costs, are payable at checkout, to avoid any surprise costs at destination.
Regulations/restrictions on certain products:
Some products are prohibited or have certain limitations when imported. These could be aviation restrictions – for example, flammable liquids are categorized as dangerous goods, therefore importing of perfume would be restricted. There may also be country specific restrictions – for example, on certain food or animal by-products.
Gifts are not necessarily exempted from duties and taxes:
When purchasing online products as a gift, check on the receiving country’s regulations to avoid the recipient being held liable for additional charges. For example, Customs Bureaus in Angola have legislated tax-free exemptions for gifts to an individual as long as the value is less than USD 350. In Zimbabwe, the limit is USD 50. This shows the varying limits for exemptions and demonstrates the importance of checking local regulations prior to making your online purchases.
Check delivery options and costs:
Most websites offer a variety of delivery options, with associated costs. Make your decision by taking into account the cost of shipping, the expected transit times and the value of your order. For peace of mind, it is advisable to select a premium courier delivery option, where the delivery process can be tracked from dispatch to final delivery.
Use reputable e-retailer websites:
Be sure to only make online purchases from websites that are well-known and reputable. Do not be fooled by websites with offers that may look enticing – if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
“Online shopping is definitely the way to go, from a convenience and cost saving point of view, so once consumers become familiar with their local regulations, they can really reap the rewards. We have seen a steady increase over the past couple of weeks as consumers took advantage of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals available online.
The build up to the festive season is always peak season for parcel shipments within the express industry, and this year is no different. We recognize and welcome the influx of volumes and our ongoing investment in our people and extensive infrastructure across Africa ensures that we are well positioned to continue to exceed our customers’ service expectations,” concludes Facey.
Public education campaign emphasizes vital role of healthcare workers and features new Ebola prevention communications for West Africa, including ‘We’ve Got Your Back’ PSA
MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, December 3, 2014/ — At the Official Draw for the 2015 OrangeTM Africa Cup of Nations today, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) joined football stars, celebrities, international health organizations and corporations to announce the launch of Africa United (http://www.weareafricaunited.
Watch the video “West Africa vs. Ebola”:https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Watch the video “We’ve Got Your Back”:https://www.youtube.com/watch?
In a new TV spot titled “We’ve Got Your Back,” (https://www.youtube.com/
“For me the battle against Ebola is a personal one. To see those amazing countries in West Africa where my father grew up and my parents married being ravaged by this disease is painful and horrific,” said Idris Elba, actor and the creative force behind the development of the campaign public service announcements. “Imagine having to sit down and tell your family that you were going to fight this disease. That conversation is happening across West Africa and around the world every day. I am in awe of the bravery of these health workers, who put their lives at risk day in and out to stop the spread of this terrible disease. My hope is that, in some small way, through the development of these PSAs and the creation of the Africa United campaign, we can ensure that these workers get the support they need and that health messages are delivered to people on the ground to help them in their fight. #wevegotyourback. We will support you.”
In another campaign video titled “West Africa vs. Ebola,” (https://www.youtube.com/
“I wanted to support this campaign for so many reasons. I could not sit back without doing something to help fight Ebola. It is important we don’t treat this as something we just discuss with work colleagues or simply follow on the news for updates – instead our focus should be to do something,” said Yaya Touré, Ivorian professional football (soccer) player. “I also wanted to get involved with this campaign as it pays tribute to the many, many African heroes who are in the villages, towns and cities using their skills, resourcefulness and intelligence to battle Ebola. Those people on the front line are often forgotten. African mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters are doing everything they can to fight Ebola – we have to support them. #WeveGotYourBack”
The video spots and other multimedia educational materials—including video and radio messages, billboards and posters—will be available on the campaign website, www.WeAreAfricaUnited.org, in English, French, Krio and additional local languages. The educational materials are designed to be adapted and distributed by Africa United partners such as ministries of health, health clinics, government and non-governmental organizations, media and sports organizations. These include the CDC Foundation and current partners Africa 24, SuperSport, ONE, UNICEF and Voice of America. CDC staff working in the affected countries contributed to the development and distribution of the health messages, and Africa United will continue to develop and provide messages to CDC and partners in real time based on changing needs in country.
To further leverage the power of football to reach Africans, Africa United also will distribute FIFA and CAF’s ‘11 Against Ebola’ messages through Africa United partners.
The 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history, infecting nearly 16,000 people with more than 5,600 deaths to date. While the spread of Ebola is a threat to people, health systems and economies around the globe, West African communities in particular are being crippled by the disease as a result of already-strained healthcare systems, mistrust of healthcare workers and fear and stigmatization of those infected.
“Private and public partnerships like Africa United are critical to aligning organizations fighting Ebola and to ensuring quick, effective responses to changing circumstances and needs,” said Charles Stokes, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation. “The CDC Foundation remains committed to advancing response efforts in West Africa through public education and resources for use on the front lines of the Ebola battle.”
Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Africa United.
The Kano State Governor and presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, Rabiu Kwankwaso, on Tuesday said only a transparent party primaries could guarantee adherence to agreements reached between the aspirants and the party.
Kwankwaso said this while fielding questions from journalists after his screening by the Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu-led presidential screening committee of the APC.
The aspirant spoke against the background of a commitment the party had extracted from all aspirants that they would abide by the outcome of the primaries and support whosoever emerged the party’s flag bearer.
He explained that he and his colleagues were prepared to abide by the commitment they made with the party, as long as the primary was not only transparent but also seen to be so.
The aspirant said, “Agreement or no agreement, once there is a transparent primary not only me but the other aspirants will support whoever emerges.
“When we were in the PDP in 1999, we had a transparent primary. I have gone round the country and I have interacted with the people both within the PDP and the APC, I can assure you that there are people within the PDP that have endorsed my aspiration and are willing to vote for me if I emerged.
He also claimed that 50 per cent of members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party would vote for him if he emerged as the candidate.
Kwankwaso further explained that the party would be better served with him as candidate because of the support he enjoyed across party lines.
Ex-Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, who took his turn before the screening committee after Kwankwaso, expressed optimism about his chances.
Atiku described himself as the most prepared among the party’s aspirants not only for the party primaries, but also for the presidential race.
He said he had been on the campaign train for about two months and had visited all but two out of the 36 states of the federation
All Progressives Congress, APC, has described as the height of lawlessness and an orchestrated provocation the second raid that was carried out on the party’s data centre in Ikeja, Lagos, by Department of State Services, DSS, officials, Monday night, saying the agency must urgently be called to order.
“The raid by over 40 armed DSS officers, despite a court order restraining the service from such action, shows that DSS considers itself to be above the laws of the land, and this is totally condemnable,” the party said in a statement in Abuja, yesterday, by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
“Even under a Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, government that has nothing but contempt for constitutional order, the lack of respect for a court order by an institution of state like the DSS has plumbed the depth of anomie, and shows that our democracy is in clear and present danger from anarchists.”
APC said the 40 armed DSS officers, who came with trucks, shoved the security personnel at the building aside and broke into the storage facility from where they carted away over 30 bags filled with APC membership registration forms.
The party said the raid came on the same day it challenged DSS to make public its findings after the first raid that was widely condemned and described as the worst political scandal in the nation’s history.
APC said it was particularly alarming that DSS carried out its raid despite the November 26 order by Justice Mohammed Yenusa of the Federal High Court in Lagos, restraining DSS from further sealing off the data centre or taking further steps in connection with the property.
The Lagos chapter of the party said: “Impunity and brigandage is fast assuming a way of life in Nigeria and unless our security agencies are called to order, they may inflict maximum damage to our hard-earned democracy.”
The Minister who gave this directive during the inspection tour of the national houses said that the completion would coincide with the new dispensation of the National Assembly.
In a statement signed by the chief Press Secretary to the Honourable Minister Mohammad Sule, The Minister insisted that the project is of priority to the Federal Government and that is why all outstanding certificates are being paid without any delay.
He emphasized that the FCT Administration would do everything possible to meet its own financial obligations to ensure that the houses are delivered on record time.
He further revealed that the approximately N24 billion National Houses’ scope of the work include the residences of the Senate President with Banquet Hall; Speaker of the House of Representatives with Banquet Hall; Deputy President of the Senate and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Bala Mohammed further while emphasising the importance of the project said that each residential compound comprises a 5-Bedroom Main Building with a Swimming Pool and Lawn Tennis Court, 3-Bedroom Residence for ADC, 3-Bedroom Guest House, 4-Bedroom Staff Quarters and a Gate House.
His words: “There are provision of common facilities such as Chapel, Mosque, General Gate House and utilities”.
The Minister also inspected the Vice President’s House under construction and employed the contractor to double its efforts to deliver the project; assuring that his Administration is determined to iron out all the knotty issues of variation due to the additional work on the project.
The Minister was also at the United Nations Building, which is being rehabilitated due to the unfortunate incident of Bomb attack.
He pleaded with the contractor to as a matter of urgency complete the project; stressing that even the angle of corporate social responsibility should be able to motivate the contractor.
The Minister promised to sit down with the representatives of the United Nations and the contractors to find ways of handling the new additional work that include the security and furniture.
Mariam Sissoko who received the Minister and his entourage at the UN House on behalf of the Country’s UN Agencies Coordinator, Daudou Toure thanked the Minister for his concern and the support received so far by the government.
Julius Berger Nigeria Plc is the construction firm handling all these projects.
21 St Andrews Way,
Tel: +44 208 808 8800