Category: cpteh


MOH, MOA, ACF to Fight Malnutrition in Liberia


first_imgThe Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with Action Contre la Faim (Action Against Hunger, or ACF) has planned a high level advocacy for leaders to ensure domestic resource commitment are generated to fight chronic malnutrition in Liberia.Speaking at a one day workshop hosted by MOH and (ACF) on addressing the way forward by Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the Government of Liberia on malnutrition held on Tuesday May 13, the country Director, Madam Mireine M. Noramu expressed commitment for the fight.The ACF Country Director said it was important for the civil society organizations and the government of Liberia along with local and international partners to find the way that best addresses the malnutrition as many children have lost their lives due to low nutrition in the body.“We are using this workshop to call on civil society organizations to form alliances that join local and other international partners with the government to ensure that Liberia is free from malnutrition.She explained that they would also discuss with local marketers to improve the quality and availability of healthy food on the local market including those that are basically needed for the fight against malnutrition in the country.“We want to create the world that children can live a better life through the process of having access to nutrition and other bodies building food in Liberia, and invest to improve nutrition in the first 1000 days of the child’s life.”The program, under the theme; Liberia Civil Society Coalition for Scaling Up Nutrition is intended for working together to support, encourage and mobilize the necessary resources to scale up nutrition across Liberia.According to the country Director, they are ensuring that marketers and farmers are advised to support the ideas of providing the right nutrition for children on the market, and ensure the protection of it for long lasting period on the market.She used the occasion to express thanks and appreciation to the participants and other government institutions, including the Ministry of Agriculture, for their commitment and contribution in fighting malnutrition that has adversely affected many children in the world.Madam Jestina B. Johnson of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare said they were working to endorse the adaptation of the country initiative to sustain essential nutrition intervention, to address chronic malnutrition and ensure better living condition of children.She further explained that the Ministry of Health would ensure that, “access to affordable nutrition food is made possible on the local markets, clean water, sanitation and social protection can be provided for all Liberians and the children at large.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more


Enhance scrutiny at polling stations, not remove names – Jagdeo


first_imgVoters list Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo believes that there is no need to remove the names of Guyanese who are overseas from the Official List of Electors (OLE), saying that enhanced scrutiny at the polling stations can prevent any attempt at illegal voting.Speaking at his weekly press conference last week, Jagdeo pointed out that it would be unconstitutional to remove people’s names from the voters’ list, especially if those persons are overseas for short-term visits.“You cannot remove people’s name from a list if you’re simply abroad because what if you abroad for two or five months? Then you will lose your rights to vote, because your name would not be on the voters’ list,” he argued.However, the Opposition Leader noted that his party – the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) – is not interested in working out a deal with the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition Government either.He made this statement recalling that for the 1997 elections, the PPP had done that with the then People’s National Congress (PNC) Opposition, which is the leading party in the APNU alliance, and ended up losing two years of its term in office owing to litigation filed by the PNC.“PNC and PPP agreed to use voters’ ID as identification absolutely necessary for voting. The same PNC, after losing elections, filed a case that the use of ID is unconstitutional and the elections were vitiated. We lost two years of our term, not because there was fraudulent elections, but because the arrangement we made with PNC was deemed unconstitutional. So we’re not interested in making no arrangements like that, so they can go challenge it again,” he asserted.Moreover, he also ruled out using immigration records to cleanse the OLE, saying that it would not properly reflect the movement of Guyanese, since persons leave through the Suriname ‘Backtrack’ route and through Lethem as well.Instead, Jagdeo suggested that a parallel list be prepared in addition to the OLE, which would still have the names of overseas Guyanese.“So each Presiding Officer will have the Official List of Electors and they would have a list of the immigration records of people who have been abroad for over three months,” he noted.This way, according to the Opposition, if someone from the immigration list shows up to vote, then an alarm should be raised and that person will be thoroughly vetted and scrutinised before being allowed to vote.“Enhance scrutiny so you don’t have to worry about people aboard voting. So that was what we suggested (as to) how you address it. Not by removing people’s name from the OLE; that would be unconstitutional. (You) can’t remove them just like that, but have to enhance the safeguards that they don’t vote,” he reasoned.Extra polling agentsFurther, Jagdeo, a former Head of State himself, said he had also suggested to President David Granger that monies be set aside to hire extra polling agents, in addition to those appointed by the parties, and to have an observer in each of the 2200 polling stations to lessen the chances of illegal voting and ensure that those eligible to vote are able to do so.“Besides, GECOM (Guyana Elections Commission), themselves, have been arguing how robust their system with the Presiding Officer is. So, you would not have people, even with their names on the list and they may be abroad, they wouldn’t be able to vote and that would work well with us because we don’t steal no votes,” the Opposition Leader noted.Jagdeo’s comment on the issue of overseas Guyanese voting comes on the heels of Government’s spokesperson, Minister of State Joseph Harmon last week saying Guyanese living overseas who usually return home to vote during local elections may not get the opportunity to do so at the upcoming polls.Harmon said that once overseas-based Guyanese were not here to register during the house-to-house registration exercise, then they would not be included on the voters’ list and as such, would not be allowed to vote at the next elections.“It’s not a matter of dis-enfranchising anyone. Our laws do not provide for overseas voting save and except those persons who are in the employ of the State and are in the embassies, and so on, abroad. So persons who are Guyanese residents abroad, at the time of house-to-house if you are not here, then certainly your name cannot be on the list. That is why house-to-house is so important,” he asserted.Only last week during a meeting with the GECOM Chairman, Retired Justice James Patterson and the Commissioners, officials from the US-based Carter Center suggested, among other things, that a list of non-resident persons be generated to use on Election Day to identify substitute voters and/or illegal voters.GECOM has already rolled out its 2019 work programme, which includes the conduct of house-to-house registration, something which has been a topic of contention between the Opposition and Government-nominated Commissioners at the elections body.Nevertheless, the Commission had voted to go ahead with House-to-House registration, which Chairman Patterson had indicated would conclude in November. In fact, he informed the Head of State in a letter that polls could not be held before late November 2019 and the elections body needed some $3.5 billion to prepare for the hosting of elections.last_img read more


Bus operators strike as condition worsens


first_imgLinden-Lethem roadSome minibus operators who ply the Mahdia and Lethem routes were forced to halt their services until the weather pattern and the state of the road improves. The road, according to the operators, is almost impassible as a result of the persistent heavy rainfalls.The present condition of the Linden to Lethem road which bus operators are forced to traverse seeking their daily breadOn Monday, minibus owner Calvin Drakes told Guyana Times that his driver was forced to park the bus because the road had become worse over the past few days.“The truth is, he can’t make a trip for now at all…if you see what is going on the trail. It’s terrifying and ridiculous at the same time. I just hoping and praying for some improvement in the weather so that we can make a trip soon because we both depend on this for our livelihood,” he said.This was the case with at least four other operators who said they cannot continue to operate given the circumstances.In an invited comment on the issue Monday, Mayor of Mahdia David Adams said there have been no improvements in the condition of the road and although the rehabilitation of the road does not fall under his council, no works can be done due to the persistent rainfall.Adams last week explained that during the rainy season, some attention needed to be paid to the trail between Mahdia and Mabura which is in dire need of repair works.He noted, however, that there are no plans in place for such rehabilitation works by the council. “Getting in is very difficult and some works have to be done in the short term to offer relief to those traversing,” he had said.The minibus operators since last week have complained bitterly of the deteriorating condition of the trail which they are forced to use to transport passengers and goods as a means of earning their daily bread.The bus operators who had reached out to this publication described the trail as a “death trap” and bashed the Public Infrastructure Ministry for paying zero interest in conducting long-term repairs to that trail which is the only access to those areas.The trail has been in a deteriorated state for years and worsens during the rainy seasons after which minor substandard repairs are done on certain patches and the problem continues to recur.Route 72 minibus drivers said that they were forced to park their buses due to the condition of the road since the risk of making a trip is way more than its gains.They called on the Government to put measures in place for urgent and long-term repairs and maintenance of the road.The drivers said they are suffering since they were forced to use the road in the present state as best as they can in getting passengers into and out of Mahdia just for an income to take care of their needs.They described the situation as unacceptable and called on Government through the Ministry of Public Infrastructure to come up with a plan to commence repairs to the road soon.Meanwhile, it was recently announced by the Public Infrastructure Ministry that sections of the damaged road in Mahdia were being repaired after the recent flash flooding. The bridge at Red and White, which had been washed away, was replaced by wooden planks until those works are executed.Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson had told this publication that the pathway was opened for vehicular traffic on both lanes. Efforts to obtain a comment from him on Monday on this issue proved futile.last_img read more


Midwives offer solution in Fort Nelson


first_imgIn B.C., clients who choose midwifery have the option of a home or hospital birth. The Midwives Association of British Columbia has called upon the provincial government to use the services of midwives to help address the shortage of maternity care providers in Fort Nelson.”It is critical that women in labour be able to birth their babies in the communities in which they live. Expectant mothers in our province shouldn’t be forced to drive hundreds of kilometres to receive maternity services,” said Ganga Jolicoeur, Executive Director of MABC.  “Midwives can offer a practical and cost-effective solution to deal with the growing shortage of maternity care providers, not only in Fort Nelson, but in all regions of British Columbia.” Increasingly in rural British Columbia, women and in particular low-income and First Nations women, have no other options but to leave their community to receive the maternity care they require.- Advertisement -“With the BC Liberals and the NDP selecting new leaders, we call upon the leadership candidates of both parties to commit their support to midwifery in British Columbia. Expectant mothers, regardless of whether they reside in urban or rural BC, deserve locally-based maternal care.”BC Midwives now deliver over 10 per cent of the province’s babies each year and are publicly funded and regulated by the provincial government. There are currently around 200 practicing midwives registered in B.C.; there are approximately 720 throughout Canada.Advertisementlast_img read more


LAUSD claims reopening schools is too costly


first_imgLos Angeles Unified has five shuttered campuses — four of them in the San Fernando Valley — but says it would cost too much to reopen the schools despite the pleas for classroom space from the booming charter movement. And charter operators also say they can’t afford — and shouldn’t have to pay — the multimillion-dollar cost of renovating the decrepit campuses and preparing them for students. Still, with state money available for charter development and charters a key issue in the upcoming school board race, officials on both sides now say there may be a way to work together to help the independent campuses evolve. “These seats cost money,” said Greg McNair, the district’s chief administrator for charter schools. “If they want to partner with us in identifying the cost there in order to make an intelligent decision about whether they want to pay the cost, I’d be happy to do that, but that just hasn’t happened yet. “I think this should be a joint venture between the district and charter schools, not just this constant complaining and haranguing about nothing’s happening,” he said. Caprice Young, who heads the California Charter Schools Association, said she’s prepared to discuss reopening the schools as charters, but was skeptical of the district’s commitment. “What our experience has been is we have meetings and meetings and meetings in rooms full of 30 district staff, none of whom have the power to make a decision,” Young said. “We’re ready to meet on it and we’d like to get schools in those campuses, but so far that hasn’t been our experience. “They’re all talk and no action, but we’re ready to get it done.” The dilemma is exemplified by Highlander Road Elementary in West Hills, which was closed 18 years ago because of declining enrollment in the area. Currently used for storage, the campus was offered by Los Angeles Unified to a charter, but operators refused because of the $11 million cost to get it ready for students. Charter officials note that voter-approved Proposition 39 makes the district responsible for providing them with classroom space and say LAUSD should foot the bill. District officials say that money — about $85 million remains — is earmarked to relieve classroom overcrowding and cannot be used to build outdated buildings up to code. Still, Tamar Galatzan, who is challenging school board member Jon Lauritzen in the May 15 runoff, said she would make it a priority to get the shuttered campuses reopened if she’s elected on May 15. “One of the first issues I intend to pursue is how to turn Highlander Road and other closed school sites into thriving schools once again,” she said during a news conference last Thursday in front of the campus. “We cannot continue to deprive the West Valley and any other neighborhoods in the district of quality schools.” Lauritzen noted that the school board is spending $12 million to reopen Enadia Way Elementary in Canoga Park, and that it may be time to take other campuses out of mothballs, as well. “We have taken on that bureaucracy when we fought to have one of those schools reopen,” Ed Burke, Lauritzen’s chief of staff, said of the Enadia Way project. “And now we will fight to open others as we create the need.” The creation of charter schools is an issue that has sharply divided Lauritzen and Galatzan in their high-profile race to represent the West San Fernando Valley on the LAUSD board. Like the teachers’ union that supports him, Lauritzen is a critic of charters, maintaining that students can best be served by working through the district. Galatzan, who is backed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and his education-reform movement, maintains that the independent schools offer alternatives that help spur student achievement. The fact that there are five shuttered campuses in LA — Highlander, Collins Street, Oso Avenue and Platt Ranch in the Valley and 98th Street in South LA — while scores of charters are clamoring for space demonstrates the need for new leadership on the school board, Galatzan said. “The condition of Highlander School — weeds growing out of the pavement, boarded-up classrooms — is symbolic of the LAUSD’s failure to serve the parents, teachers and students of our community,” she said. But LAUSD officials said just a handful of charters have expressed interest in the shuttered schools. Most of the 103 charters are located over the hill, so the Valley campuses don’t meet their needs. Still, the facility shortage has surfaced as the No. 1 impediment to the growth of the charter movement, with many operating out of churches and warehouses with concrete parking lots serving as the playground. The district is using the empty campuses for adult education, professional development centers, staff offices, and in some cases leasing them out. Highlander was leased for years to a private school until 2004 and is now being used for storage. LAUSD officials maintain they don’t have enough surplus classroom space in their 850 schools to meet the demand voiced by charters. The district is in the midst of a $19 billion construction program, but only after years of not building schools. “The reality is that the district has what it has and offered what it has to the charter schools under Prop. 39,” McNair said. “The district doesn’t want to hold anything back. We’ve been busing students for over a decade to spaces in the Valley and the Westside because we didn’t have space for kids in their neighborhoods.” Two dozen Valley schools were closed between 1970 and 1987, and all but five have since reopened, most for instructional uses, said Guy Mehula, LAUSD’s chief facilities executive. The Enadia Way project will bring that number down to four. “The reason they’re not being used as a school right now is they don’t have the enrollment in that area to substantiate opening them as a school,” Mehula said. McNair said he’s open to conversations with charter operators about reopening shuttered campuses, but noted there’s just $85 million to be shared among more than 100 charter schools. “We should go jointly and make a reasonable evaluation of cost and reasonable decisions on how much we each want to contribute in terms of resources,” McNair said. “Saying to one school we’ll spend $10 million of the charter bond money to give 300 seats is probably going to make a whole bunch of people upset. “Charter bond money could be utilized in better ways.” — Naush Boghossian, (818) 713-3722 naush.boghossian@dailynews.comlast_img read more


State plans to appeal exam ruling


first_imgO’Connell authored the exit exam legislation while he was a state senator and has been a strong advocate of the requirement. He said the exam is the only way for students to demonstrate they have learned the curriculum. But some Whittier-area educators worried the rapidly unfolding legal developments will result in anxiety and uncertainty among seniors who have yet to pass the exam. “The unfortunate part about this is that it puts students on an emotional roller-coaster,” said Ralph Pacheco, a trustee on the Whittier Union High School District school board. “One day it appears they can participate in graduation, and on another day it could be just the opposite. “That’s unfortunate for families who obviously would like to see their students walk on graduation day,” he added. About 200 area seniors in the El Rancho Unified School District, the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District and the Whittier Union High School Districts have yet to pass both portions of the exit exam, officials said. Officials at all three districts also are awaiting results of the exit exam taken by students in March. Those results could show that more students have now passed the exam. Confusion also is trickling down to high school juniors who have yet to pass the exam. Those students can enroll in summer classes that provide additional tutoring to help them pass the exam, local officials said. But the deadline to sign up for those classes is rapidly approaching, even as the future of the exit exam is in limbo. “If I was a parent of a junior, or a student who is a junior, I’d be asking, `Should I attend summer school?”‘ said Ron Carruth, superintendent of the Whittier Union High School District. “We don’t really want to see that kind of confusion now,” he added. Wire reports contributed to this story. tracy.garcia@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WHITTIER – The state will appeal a judge’s suspension of the high school exit exam to the California Supreme Court, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell said Thursday. But O’Connell said attorneys are still working on that appeal and advised school districts to follow the ruling for now. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Robert Freedman last week granted a preliminary injunction against the state in a lawsuit that claims the exit exam discriminates against poor and minority students who do not have the same preparation for the test. The ruling cleared the way for about 200 Whittier-area seniors who have met every other graduation requirement except passing the exit exam to graduate next month. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsO’Connell said the Attorney General’s Office, which is arguing the case on behalf of the state Department of Education, will request an immediate stay of the ruling, so the exit exam can take effect for this year’s senior class. “They are working around the clock to prepare those papers, and we expect to file within 24 to 30hours,” O’Connell said Thursday morning outside the Supreme Court. “This is a remarkably fast turnaround for an appeal of a ruling that was made less than a week ago. … I am hopeful that our appeal to the state Supreme Court will bring quick resolution to this issue.” As of March, about 47,000seniors in California have yet to pass both sections of the math and English test – roughly 11 percent of the senior class. The Class of 2006 was supposed to be the first required to pass the exam to receive a diploma. A group of seniors sued the state in February, asking for an injunction barring the exit exam from taking effect until a judge can decide on their claim that all students do not have access to equal education in California. last_img

DONEGAL PEN BROTHERS GET LEAD OUT AS THEY OPEN NEW WORKSHOP!


first_imgDonegal Pens brothers Ronan and Conor Mc Garvey celebrated the completion of their new workshop and installation of new equipment with an open day yesterday.The brothers received sponsorship of €4,500 euro from the Expert Hardware company who came on board to provide them with new facilities when they were turned down for and grant aid because they are both under 18. Alan Grant, a director of Expert Hardware, that has just under 50 outlets nationwide, heard about their plight before Christmas and offered to fund the new 7 X 4m workshop and a new Record Power Nova Lathe.Mr Grant was on site yesterday in Loughanure to see the boys working in their new premises and with the new equipment.The schoolboy brothers set up Donegal Pens over two years ago and have been going from strength to strength with orders shipping worldwide and many companies now also using the pens as corporate gifts. They have also updated their website www.donegalpens.com and the revised version will go live shortly.Ronan, 15 said he and Conor, 12, said they are delighted that the project is now complete. “Everything is in place now and thanks to Alan and all at Expert Hardware we have a brilliant new workshop and equipment.“We are also delighted to hear that Expert Hardware has signed up its first outlet in Donegal – Mc Clafferty’s Mace & Hardware store just out the road from us in Gortahork.” We were delighted with the open day and it was great to allow people the chance to see us at work and get a first hand view on how we make the pens,” he said. DONEGAL PEN BROTHERS GET LEAD OUT AS THEY OPEN NEW WORKSHOP! was last modified: April 15th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Donegal Pen BrothersEXPERT HARDWARElast_img read more


DONEGAL WORKERS PICKET TESCO LETTERKENNY AGAIN OVER JOB LOSSES


first_imgProtestors have returned to Letterkenny Tesco todayWORKERS with a Co Donegal company who face losing their jobs are picketing Tesco in Letterkenny again today.The employees of Rock Shopfitting Services in Muff are angry at losing a contract to a French company to carry out re-fits and merchandising at Irish branches of the British supermarket chain.Company MD Martin McCafferty said the workers were in Letterkenny again today to protest at the loss of 100 jobs – 50 of them in Co Donegal. “Local companies are losing out to foreign companies in the tender process,” he said.“We are so grateful for all the support we have received in Donegal and in Letterkenny.”Tesco has denied discriminating against the Muff company.It says the tender was awarded fairly and says Rock can tender for future work.   DONEGAL WORKERS PICKET TESCO LETTERKENNY AGAIN OVER JOB LOSSES was last modified: September 4th, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:letterkennymuffrockTesco boycottlast_img read more


SA gets tough with rhino poachers


first_img2 February 2012 South African Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa has welcomed the 25-year sentences handed down to three Mozambicans this week, as the country steps up its efforts to combat rhino poaching. The poachers were sentenced by the Phalaborwa Regional Court on Tuesday for illegally hunting rhinos in South Africa’s Kruger National Park in 2010. Aselmo Baloyi, Jawaki Nkuna and Ismael Baloyi were found guilty on four counts including illegal hunting of rhino, possession of a prohibited firearm, possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition. Molewa said the sentence would send a strong message to poachers. She was optimistic that the sentence, coupled with increasing anti-poaching measures by the country’s law enforcement agencies, would serve as a deterrent.Increased anti-poaching measures These measures include the South African National Defence Force returning to monitor the 350km of national border in Kruger National Park and other country borders, as well as the deployment of conservation specialists at ports through which the trade in endangered species can be exported and imported. The Department of Water and Environmental and South African National Parks are also in the process of beefing up patrols in the Kruger National Park with the deployment of an additional 150 rangers. Bilateral engagements between South Africa and Mozambique to deal with cross-border law enforcement are also ongoing, while South Africans have been urged to report any illegal rhino activities by calling the dedicated line 0800 205 005. 232 suspects arrested in 2011 The Department of Water and Environmental Affairs said last week that 232 suspects were arrested in connection with rhino poaching in South Africa last year. These included 194 rhino poachers, 24 receivers of rhino horns, 12 couriers and two exporters. No buyers were arrested. Briefing parliamentarians in Cape Town, the department’s deputy director-general on biodiversity and conservation, Fundisile Mketeni, said the crime was grossing about R160-billion annually worldwide. Mketeni said that 122 rhinos were poached in South Africa in 2009, rising to 333 in 2010 and to 448 in 2011. He projected that about 300 rhinos were likely to be poached in the country this year. He added that the North West and Limpopo provinces had the highest numbers of poached rhinos. Mketeni was speaking during a briefing to Parliament’s portfolio committee on water and environmental affairs by over a dozen concerned organisations and individuals. Mketeni said that most of the poached rhino horns were destined for Asian countries such as Vietnam, Thailand and China. He indicated that South Africa was at various stages of signing bilateral agreements with these countries to help combat the crime.More co-ordination needed Mtekeni complained about a lack of coordination between his department and its provincial counterparts as well as other related departments in dealing with problem, and called for his department to be given centralized powers to allow them to decisively deal with the matter. Mtekeni said that the department should have its own officers trained along the lines of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA). “We want to have our own intelligence and use it the way we want,” he said, indicating that these would be able to directly pursue rhino poaching syndicates outside the country. He said they planned to deploy their own officials at ports of entry as well as to train customs officials to help detect suspects about to leave the country. He called for the Department of Public Works to fix, electrify and insert an electrical detection system on the fence between the Kruger National Park and Mozambique, where rhino poaching activities were frequent. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more


Demo Africa sheds light on investing in startups


first_img29 August 2016Approaching the right investors and the characteristics of a good or badinvestment were discussed in How to Get Deals Done, one of the knowledgesessions held on the first day of the Demo Africa 2016 conference in Johannesburg.At the two-day event, held at the Sandton Convention Centre on 25 and 26August, entrepreneurs and investors from all over the continent were networkingand sharing insights into the tech industry.The event was hosted by Lions Africa in collaboration with the City ofJohannesburg, the Department of Science and Technology, Google, Intel andMicrosoft.Some of the investors said: “The cheapest investment is to just bring cash.Access to business networks is another way of being part of an investment deal.”PresentationsThe organisers said that this year, 723 tech entrepreneurs from 27 Africancountries applied to be part of Demo Africa. Of these, 30 entrepreneurs werechosen to present their businesses to local and international investors at theconference.The entrepreneurs included Rodney Kuhn of Sortd., a Johannesburg companythat designed an app to help businesspeople organise their lives and work throughtheir emails.Other start-ups at the conference included Art Nigeria, an online company thatsells the work of Nigerian artists globally. This artwork can be in the form of a mug,a throw pillow, a duvet or on a frame.Mum’s Village is an online platform that gives information to pregnant womenin Kenya.Owners of all the startups were given six minutes to pitch their businesses toinvestors and judges on the two days of the conference.The judges then gave their opinions on the presentation and offered advice.Through this, the startups stood a chance to get funding for their businesses.The boot campTwo days before the conference began, 27 tech entrepreneurs took part in aboot camp hosted by Demo Africa. During this, they received coaching andmentoring on how to pitch to investors.“The Demo Africa boot camp is a continuation of an online mentoring andcoaching process we have in place for the finalists,” said Harry Hare, executivedirector of Demo Africa.The online programme ran for four weeks and was concluded with the bootcamp.The process of mentoring and coaching was vital for many of theseentrepreneurs, said Hare. “Our experience has shown us that the Demo Africafinalists are at different development and maturity levels within their businesses.“A lot of them are also technically minded rather than business-minded, so werefine them to think more about their business and what they are offering toinvestors,” he explained.Stephen Ozoigba of the African Technology Foundation was one of the mentorsat the boot camp. He said 30% of the startups in the finalists’ group were led bywomen.He encouraged the attendees to support their local startups, especially thoserun by women. “It’s important that we empower women.” The 27 Demo Africa 2016 finalists were part of a two-day boot camp withmentors. (Image: Demo Africa 2016)Advice on making dealsIn the How to Make Deals session, Ozoigba said designation was importantwhen approaching an investor. “Some cities are more favourable.”He spoke about issues that could cause an investor to stop funding a business.One of these was lack of structure, which could lead to your losing a deal with aninvestor. “It’s good to learn governance early [about how business works]. Comeinto board meetings and learn how things work.“For example, learn about what voting is in a board meeting.” At Demo Africa 2016, Stephen Ozoigba (right) of the African Technology Foundation says everyone should support their local startup. Liew Claasen (left) was also part of the discussion. (Image: Melissa Javan)It was important that owners of startups understood the legal status of theentity, said Tomi Davies of the African Business Angels Network. “Before making adeal with an investor, decide who will get the money that you will make.”Their process as investors was simple, said Liew Claasen of Newtown Partner.“You first send out the application to us. We then meet face to face if we think wewant to invest into your business. It helps us to make consistent decisions.”Mistakes some entrepreneurs made were that they did not communicate muchwith the investor after they got the capital, he said. “Post-deal communicate a loteven if you feel this person is too important and busy.“A bad investment is when [the startup] doesn’t give updates [to the investor].We must have a good relationship. Your relationship with your investor will alsosend out a message to the next investor about you.” A panel at Demo Africa in Johannesburg on 25 and 26 August 2016 on How DealsAre Done gives advice to entrepreneurs on dealing with investment partners.(Image: Melissa Javan)Other knowledge sessions included Venture Growth Strategy.Insightful eventEntrepreneurs such as Innocentia Msimango said the conference was an eye-opener for her. She is the owner of a food distribution company called Cyber MobiRoyal Kitchen. Her staff cooks food for clients, which the company then delivers.Msimango said she did not have an idea about what investors sought. “Thisinformation gives me hope.“Not only will I get capital, but heartfelt support of experience. I find itencouraging that there are people wanting to help us.”The conference gave quite refreshing insights, said Donovan Nadison of theBusiness Place Network. “The information here is about how to deal with andmanage complex small businesses support issues.“It confirms to me that South Africa is on the right track. We have expertise indealing with SMME issues that are complex… Everyone can benefit from thenetworking done here.”There were 500 attendees at the conference. The Global EntrepreneurshipCongress will be held in March 2017 in Johannesburg. One of the objectives of thisconference is to brand the City of Gold, as Joburg is known, and the whole of Africaas an investment destination.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website?See Using SouthAfrica.info materiallast_img read more