Comments Off on Did You Know Ethiopia could soon become a leader in hydropower and wind energy

Did You Know Ethiopia could soon become a leader in hydropower and wind energy

Posted by | February 19, 2014 | life in Africa, Uncategorized


Located in the horn of Africa Africa, Ethiopia is home to more than 91 million people, and less than 30 percent of the population has access to electricity. Under the Growth and Transformation Plan, the country’s government aims to boost energy potential through recent construction projects.

Thanks to an investment partnership between a French firm and the government, Ashegoda Wind Farm was opened at the end of October 2013. The 52 MegaWatt farm is estimated to cost slightly over 200 million euros.

Have you heard of the Grand Renaissance Dam?

Though the structure’s estimated year of completion is 2017, it hasn’t stopped the $4.7 billion project from making headlines. Announced in 2012, Grand Renaissance will be Africa’s largest. It will rest along the Nile River and run between Egypt and Ethiopia. If executed, this could be two milestones marked for the East African country’s development, but debate about the dam’s potential effect on the water supply of neighboring Egypt has halted construction.


Comments Off on Nigeria poised to be largest economy in Africa

Nigeria poised to be largest economy in Africa

Posted by | February 10, 2014 | Uncategorized

The Nigerian government is adjusting the way it measures GDP to account for the true size of the economy. Expected to be completed at the end of 2013, Nigeria will become the largest economy in Africa, surpassing South Africa.  This will undoubtedly have an impact on the opportunity for MNCs and foreign investors seeking high growth rates in Africa.  I cover the rebase and its implications for MNCs in my latest podcast with FSG’s CEO, Richard Leggett, following the publication of our recent 

As it currently stands, Nigeria’s GDP is based on figures from the 1990s which excludes the emergence of new industries  such as the booming film industry, Nollywood, and the emergence of the telecommunications and services sectors. Nigeria’s economy is heavily driven by private consumption, and the GDP rebase will not affect this, but the rebase will fundamentally change the makeup of industries. The services sector is expected to comprise a much larger share of GDP as current figures indicate, as will wholesale and retail trade. The natural resource sector instead will decrease in terms of its share in GDP. Once the GDP is adjusted to reflect new realities, FSG expects the size of the economy to increase anywhere from 40% to 60%.   Though the exact timing for the rebase remains unknown, Nigeria is expected to release preliminary numbers by the end of November 2013.  Skeptics can rest assured; the fickle timeline for the rebase is likely caused by the complexity of collecting statistics and not an indication of the data’s reliability.  Ghana’s GDP rebase in 2010, an exercise that increased the size of the economy by 60% overnight, took 8 years to be completed.

The imminent rebase is expected to also lead to an increase in government spending as improved debt ratios are likely to make Nigeria one of the leastleveraged countries in the world.  The spending is expected to go into the government’s priority sectors including infrastructure, housing, education, and healthcare.  MNCs should monitor where new funds will be allocated to and take advantage of Nigeria’s improving economic indicators to make the case for resources and stay ahead of the competition as Nigeria becomes too large for companies around the world to ignore.

Comments Off on How Africa’s natural resources can drive industrial revolution

How Africa’s natural resources can drive industrial revolution

Posted by | February 10, 2014 | Uncategorized

Five years after the global financial system came perilously close to collapse, the global economic outlook is still uncertain. In Europe, GDP is still below pre-crisis levels and unemployment is at a record high. Recovery in the United States, although stronger, remains weak by historic standards, and even China, which has done so much to drive global growth, is slowing down.

 Africa now has the chance, as never before, to shape its own economic future through industrialization. This will help to spread prosperity throughout the continent. An industrialized Africa will also provide a much-needed new driver of global growth. It is in everyone’s interest that Africa succeeds.

Comments Off on Africa Powerhouse

Africa Powerhouse

Posted by | February 10, 2014 | Uncategorized

Lately many observers have been avidly discussing the recent high rates of economic growth in Africa. Speaking in Washington earlier this year, Donald Kaberuka, the president of the African Development Bank offered some cautionary words. While the good economic news from the continent may well represent a turning point from a past characterized by hopelessness, he said, Africa nevertheless remains far from a tipping point. To reach such a threshold, Africa requires major investments in three “I’s”: institutions, integration, and infrastructure. Even with the recent robust growth experienced over the past decade, Africa still suffers a major infrastructure deficit. Most of the countries have relatively weak institutions. And the regional integration project has been slow and marred by compliance and commitment deficits. Thus, as Kaberuka noted, although Africa has reached a turning point, progress to a tipping point is not an easy journey.

One of the regions in Africa that is making remarkable progress in all these “I’s” is the East African Community. The EAC’s original members — Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania — have recently been joined by Rwanda and Burundi. South Sudan is expected to join the community soon. The region has fast-tracked regional integration and has seen considerable progress in institutional reforms. Moreover, East Africa boasts much greater political stability than it has at any time in its recent past, and peace has been restored in most of the countries. The region has also seen major investments in both national and regional infrastructure; many more projects have been planned and are scheduled to commence shortly.

Comments Off on Few Good Things About Africa Part 2

Few Good Things About Africa Part 2

Posted by | January 29, 2014 | Uncategorized

6. South African democracy took a turn for the interesting. During this past summer’s local government elections, Helen Zille’s Democratic Alliance party gained a surprising twenty-one per cent share of votes against the deeply entrenched African National Congress, which has ruled since the fall of apartheid. (Nelson Mandela was once its leader.) This is no small feat. The A.N.C., in spite of its corruption and multiple scandals, has held on to its dominance in part by invoking racial rhetoric and the spectre of the apartheid era, and has nearly turned South Africa into a one-party state. The D.A., led by a liberal white female politician who campaigns for multiracial progress, has had difficulty gaining voters across the racial divide. That may be changing.

And in other good news, President Jacob Zuma unexpectedly fired two top ministers and the police chief for corruption.

7. African innovation was celebrated for a third year at Maker Faire Africa. Emeka Okafor, a Nigerian, once said that he couldn’t understand why, in the tech realm, so little interesting and creative activity seemed to be coming out of sub-Saharan Africa. Curious about what good ideas from Africa looked like, he helped found Maker Faire Africa, where inventors from across the continent gather to showcase their wares—this October in Cairo, in previous years in Nairobi and Accra. The result has been astounding: mobile apps, seed-planting devices, solar-powered computer kiosks made out of recycled oil drums, paraffin lamps, and other technologies that, importantly, address the immediate needs of Africans.

8. (Some) progress in Somalia.the African Union’s peacekeeping troops, drawn from several African countries and supported by U.S. funds, drones, and contractors, appear to be prevailing in the war against Somalia’s insurgents. The situation is still bad—five hundred soldiers have been killed so far and the Somali government has yet to build any real infrastructure—but the African Union remains optimistic.

Better yet, the rains have finally started in central and southern Somalia, easing both the drought and the famine.

9. Botswana as a global leader in fighting corruption. According to the just-released Corruption Perception Index, done every year by Transparency International, Botswana was ranked thirty-two out of the hundred and eighty-three countries included in the survey, and was up four places from last year and eight places since 2009. The country ranked over half of all European nations. Botswana has launched an intense approach to weeding out corruption by setting up a Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime to investigate and bring prosecutions, and by drafting legislation that will protect whistle-blowers. Here’s hoping Botswana’s neighbors follow suit.


Comments Off on Few Good Things About Africa Part 1

Few Good Things About Africa Part 1

Posted by | January 13, 2014 | Uncategorized

Thinking back on media coverage of sub-Saharan Africa this past year, including some events that made my top-ten list of the major Africa stories for 2010, I got a little depressed. With all the doom and gloom of conflict and state-sponsored repression, it’s easy to forget the strides the continent’s residents make every day in business, technology, art, and politics. So, for this year’s list, I decided to choose positive stories that seemed especially auspicious. There are always caveats to any good news, but, for now, the good is outweighing the bad. Africa is a place that is impossible to reduce to any generalities, except maybe this one: it has an enormous amount of potential. Here’s why:

1. Africa is experiencing an economic boom. Africa is predicted to have the largest economic growth of any continent over the next decade, and the burst has already begun. As domestic industries, entrepreneurs, and foreign investors prepare to take advantage of this growth, the economies of at least a dozen countries have expanded by more than six per cent a year for six or more years. Ethiopia’s grew by seven and a half per cent this year. A number of big countries appear to be headed for ten per cent. And concrete middle classes are forming across the continent: as the Economist noted, sixty million African households have annual incomes greater than three thousand dollars. By 2015, that number is expected to reach a hundred million, a number almost equivalent to India’s today.

2. South Sudan gained its independence. It has been a long time coming. Two decades of civil war in the former unified Sudan left the southern half empty of people and resources, and broke. But, despite worries to the contrary, the Sudanese government allowed the independence referendum promised in a 2005 peace treaty to proceed, and South Sudanese voted in approval by a margin of ninety-nine percent.

3. Ugandans staged Walk to Work protests in a movement partly inspired by the Arab Spring and rooted in rising fuel and food prices and overwhelming unemployment and corruption. (The movement was so named because of the hundreds of thousands of Ugandans who walk to work because they can’t afford fuel.) Why were the protests good news? President Yoweri Museveni has clung to power for a quarter century, while the opposition leader Kizza Besigye has competed tirelessly for his seat, losing three times in the past decade alone. As Besigye led thousands on the streets of the capital Kampala through tear gas and bullets, and protesters walked through the streets of other towns, it appeared that, for the first time in years, Ugandans were telling Museveni that enough was enough.

4. Two Liberian women won the Nobel Peace Prize. Though the timing was awkward—the political opposition complained that the announcement of the award, to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (the country’s first female leader) and the activist Leymah Gbowee, came right as Sirleaf was vying for reelection—much of the country found the recognition of the work of Sirleaf and Gbowee to be well-deserved. Gbowee is particularly impressive: during what looked like a hopeless civil war in the nineteen-nineties, her peaceful, all-women prayer protests, sit-ins, and appeals to rebels to sign a peace deal effectively ended the fighting.

5. Cell phones continue to change how Africans live. The devices have proven to be invaluable: health-care workers use cell phones to track and monitor pregnant women in rural Rwanda (where the number of maternal deaths is high) and H.I.V. patients in Kenya, and Kenya’s mobile banking system, which has been called the world’s most innovative, lets Kenyans pay bills, send remittances, purchase goods and airtime, move funds among accounts, and even take out and pay back loans for entrepreneurial ventures.


Comments Off on Tribute to Great Nelson Mandela

Tribute to Great Nelson Mandela

Posted by | December 11, 2013 | life in Africa, Uncategorized

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa on July 18, 1918. His father was Hendry Mphakanyiswa of the Tembu Tribe. Mandela himself was educated at University College of Fort Hare and the University of Witwatersrand where he studied law. He joined the African National Congress in 1944 and was engaged in resistance against the ruling National Party’s apartheid policies after 1948. He went on trial for treason in 1956-1961 and was acquitted in 1961.
After the banning of the ANC in 1960, Nelson Mandela argued for the setting up of a military wing within the ANC. In June 1961, the ANC executive considered his proposal on the use of violent tactics and agreed that those members who wished to involve themselves in Mandela’s campaign would not be stopped from doing so by the ANC. This led to the formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe. Mandela was arrested in 1962 and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment with hard labour. In 1963, when many fellow leaders of the ANC and the Umkhonto we Sizwe were arrested, Mandela was brought to stand trial with them for plotting to overthrow the government by violence. His statement from the dock received considerable international publicity.

On June 12, 1964, eight of the accused, including Mandela, were sentenced to life imprisonment. From 1964 to 1982, he was incarcerated at Robben Island Prison, off Cape Town; thereafter, he was at Pollsmoor Prison, nearby on the mainland.

During his years in prison, Nelson Mandela’s reputation grew steadily. He was widely accepted as the most significant black leader in South Africa and became a potent symbol of resistance as the anti-apartheid movement gathered strength. He consistently refused to compromise his political position to obtain his freedom.

Nelson Mandela was released on February 11, 1990. After his release, he plunged himself wholeheartedly into his life’s work, striving to attain the goals he and others had set out almost four decades earlier. In 1991, at the first national conference of the ANC held inside South Africa after the organization had been banned in 1960, Mandela was elected President of the ANC while his lifelong friend and colleague, Oliver Tambo, became the organisation’s National Chairperson.His life struggle ended in December 2013,May his soul rest in Peace.

Comments Off on Top African Markets on the basis of Global Imports & Imports from India

Top African Markets on the basis of Global Imports & Imports from India

Posted by | November 22, 2013 | Uncategorized





Rank in African Country’s Imports from India Year 2008




Country’s Total Imports in 2007

Country’s Total Imports in 2008

%age Share in African Region Year


%age Growth in African Country’s Imports in the year



Country’s Imports from India in 2008

Country’s Imports from India in 2008

%age Share of India in Country’s Total Imports

%age Growth in African Country’s Imports from India in the year




South Africa 79872.58 87593.07 18.71 9.67 1777.54 2261.94 2.58 27.25




52752.14 11.27


1758.33 3.33


Kenya 8989.26 11127.82 2.38 23.79 844.55 1309.55 11.77 55.06


Mauritius 3900.9 4669.75


19.71 825.95 1116.64 23.91 35.2


Tanzania 5919.02 6140.95 1.31 3.75 512.71 1063.92 17.32 107.51


Nigeria 32357.35 28193.6 6.02 -12.87 1443.21 1023.98 3.63 -29.05


Ethiopia 5808.65 8680.33 1.85 49.44 429.11 635.62 7.32 48.12


Sudan 9830.37 16416.73 3.51


277.21 579.37 3.53 109


Algeria 27631.2 39306.06 8.4 42.25 444.35 554.95 1.41 24.89


Uganda 3493.35 4525.86 0.97 29.56 344.97 470.49 10.4 36.39


Djibouti 2330.4 2042.86 0.44 -12.34 405 394.05 19.29 -2.7


Ghana 7278.29 9057.69 1.94 24.45 319.19 392.48 4.33 22.96


Morocco 31650.39 42321.96 9.04 33.72 314.31 353.41 0.84 12.44


Angola 12317.37 20443.49 4.37 65.97 233.83 330.03 1.61 41.15


Benin 4621.95 6292.78 1.34 36.15 220.05 244.26 3.88



Tunisia 19099.37 24638.38 5.26


162.57 218.37 0.89 34.32


Congo 3442.93 3420.03 0.73 -0.67 137.94 209.25 6.12 51.7


Zambia 3971.13 5060.48 1.08 27.43 162.7 191.59 3.79 17.76


Madagascar 2445.48 3845.89 0.82 57.27 70.18 180.76 4.7 157.58


Namibia 4026 4688.57


16.46 32.72 162.36 3.46 396.15


Togo 787.1 3505.93 0.75 345.42 16.63 151.98 4.33 814.08


Mozambique 3049.75 4007.76 0.86 31.41 131.82 144.36 3.6 9.52


Senegal 4871.39 6527.6 1.39


194.63 139.79 2.14 -28.18


Côte dIvoire 6683.12 7883.68 1.68 17.96 169.78 131.47 1.67 -22.56


Malawi 1377.85 2203.69 0.47 59.94 69.24 106.79 4.85 54.23


Libyan ArabJamahiriya 11938.63 17924.55 3.83 50.14 123.46 102.84 0.57 -16.7


Somalia 823.78 924.21 0.2 12.19 108.6 99.3 10.74 -8.57


Cameroon 3174.08 3826.08 0.82 20.54 65.3 94.68 2.47



Mali 2184.85 3338.93 0.71 52.82 78.34 66.08 1.98 -15.65


BurkinaFaso 1301.76 1333.71 0.28 2.45 21.15 53.09 3.98 151


Guinea 1281.5 1907.9 0.41 48.88 63.72 50.29 2.64 -21.08


Sierra Leone 610.4 742.98 0.16 21.72 27.55 44.26 5.96 60.66


Rwanda 696.88 1145.62 0.24 64.39 24.85 39.74 3.47 59.96


Lesotho 270.31 307.2 0.07 13.65


35.44 11.54 399



Rank in African Country’s Imports from India Year 2008




Country’s Total Imports in 2007

Country’s Total Imports in 2008

%age Share in African Region Year


%age Growth in African Country’s Imports in the year



Country’s Imports from India in 2008

Country’s Imports from India in 2008

%age Share of India in Country’s Total Imports


Growth in African Country’s Imports from India in the year




Zimbabwe 3441.65 2831.81 0.6 -17.72 40.81 33.42 1.18 -18.1


Mauritania 1430.42 1913.3 0.41 33.76 9.07 32.24 1.69 255.66


Niger 955.69 1247.49 0.27 30.53 30.48 28.96 2.32 -4.96




911.89 0.19


26.34 2.89


Liberia 7856.61 11739.94 2.51 49.43 20.94 24.8 0.21 18.47


Botswana 3986.92 896.61 0.19 -77.51 13.63 23.31 2.6



Gabon 2297.63 2487.39 0.53 8.26 23.36 22.2 0.89



Eritrea 349.76 256.02 0.05 -26.8 104.96 20.99 8.2



Chad 531.22 710.57 0.15 33.76 14.28 16.59 2.33 16.16


Burundi 423 315.16 0.07 -25.49 14.24 15.86 5.03 11.41


Swaziland 1270.08 276.74 0.06 -78.21 16.17 14.79 5.34 -8.52


Comoros 160.26 197.54 0.04 23.26 8.87 12.86 6.51



EquatorialGuinea 1248.76 1629.6 0.35 30.5 9.17 7.63 0.47 -16.72


Gambia 320.94 329.4 0.07 2.64 6.45 5.69 1.73 -11.86


Dem.Rep.of the Congo 2779.15 3761.56 0.8 35.35 3.25


0.1 16.91


Central African Republic 185.79 294.56 0.06 58.54 1.28 2.05 0.7



Guinea- Bissau 205.66 239.63 0.05 16.52 3.77 1.85 0.77



Cape Verde 736.99 853.81 0.18 15.85 0.29 0.35 0.04 21.23


Saint Helena 77.41 45.75 0.01 -40.9 1.59


0.43 -87.65


Sao Tome and Principe 79.42 114.05 0.02 43.6


0.17 0.15 75.79
AfricaTotal 336375 467851 100 39.09 10382.9 15005.52 3.21 44.52





Comments Off on The Plastic Identification Codes (Plastic Engineering)

The Plastic Identification Codes (Plastic Engineering)

Posted by | November 22, 2013 | Uncategorized


Symbol Type of


Properties Common Uses Recycled into:





PET Polyethylene Terephthalate


Clear, tough, solvent resistant, barrier to gas and moisture, softens at 80˚

Soft drink and water bottles, salad domes, biscuit trays, salad dressing and containers

Pillow and

sleeping bag filling, clothing, soft drink bottles,

carpeting, building insulation








HDPE High Density Polyethylene


Hard to semi-flexible, resistant to chemicals and moisture, waxy surface, opaque, softens at 75˚C, easily coloured, processed and formed

Shopping bags,

freezer bags, milk bottles, ice cream containers, juice bottles, shampoo, chemical and detergent bottles, buckets, rigid agricultural pipe, crates

Recycling bins, compost bins, buckets, detergent

containers, posts, fencing, pipes, plastic timber








Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride PVC-U




Plasticised Polyvinyl



Strong, tough, can be clear,

can be solvent welded, softens at 80˚C






Flexible, clear, elastic, can be solvent welded

Cosmetic containers,

electrical conduit, plumbing pipes and fittings, blister packs, wall cladding, roof sheeting, bottles


Garden hose, shoe soles, cable

sheathing, blood bags and tubing

Flooring, film and sheets, cables, speed bumps, packaging,

binders, mud flaps and mats, new

gumboots and shoes






LDPE Low density Polyethylene


Soft, flexible, waxy surface, translucent, softens at 70˚C, scratches easily

Cling wrap, garbage bags, squeeze bottles, irrigation tubing, mulch film, refuse bags



Bin liners, pallet sheets











Hard but still flexible, waxy surface, softens at 140˚C, translucent, withstands solvents, versatile

Bottles and ice cream tubs, potato chip bags, straws, microwave dishes, kettles, garden

furniture, lunch boxes, packaging tape


Pegs, bins, pipes, pallet sheets, oil funnels, car battery cases, trays














PS-E Expanded polystyrene

Clear, glassy, rigid, opaque,

semi-tough, softens at 95˚C. Affected by fat, acids and solvents, but resistant to alkalis, salt solutions.  Low water absorption, when not pigmented is clear, is odour and taste free.


Special types of PS are available for special applications.

CD cases, plastic cutlery, imitation glassware, low cost brittle toys, video cases\

Foamed polystyrene cups, takeaway clamshells, foamed meat trays, protective packaging and building and food insulation


Coat hangers, coasters, white ware components, stationery trays and accessories, picture frames, seed trays,

building products




OTHER PACKAGING In packaging, it

could be multi-layer materials e.g.


Includes all resins and multi- materials (e.g. laminates). Properties dependent on plastic or combination of plastics.

Automotive and appliance components, computers, electronics, cooler bottles, packaging

Plastic timber, sleepers – looks like wood, used for beach walkways, benches etc.


Comments Off on How to carry out greenfield project Hiring?

How to carry out greenfield project Hiring?

Posted by | November 21, 2013 | Uncategorized

Ideally for a Greenfield project, the company should do the following

1) Make sure that the organization chart for the new site reflects the needs of the future, and is not a replica of the organization chart as it exists in the current plant/work site. Make it flatter, less supervision.

2) Ensure that the jobs are defined so as to empower the people who are going to work at the new site.

3) Change the culture of the new site to encourage more participatory work-style, rather than the traditional top-down, boss knows best attitude. This will ensure that you not only attract the hands, but also the hearts and heads of the employees.

4)  Get a large number of references from your existing employee base. Use existing employees to market the new employment opportunities to those whom they know and interact with. But ensure that you have a robust selection process in place to rule out bias and ensure hiring on merit.

5) Get the word out early and often! Build a buzz in the market about your new site. Crank up your PR machine and ensure wide coverage in the press. Make sure that your marketing department is involved in drafting the advertising for these new jobs.

6 Hire the top honchos early. Make sure that you have the future H.O.D.’s on board and involved in the hiring process. In fact they should be involved right from the time staffing requirements are being mapped out.

7) Use your new site for training freshers, but send some of them to the old site for exposure. Or send them all, depends on how many numbers and how much money is involved. After all it is better to spend money upfront on hiring the best and training them, rather than lose out due to poor quality of your people. On their return ask them to submit a report on what they learned.

8) As for your experienced hires, send them to the old site,if they are not already from there but ask them to submit a report stating what they recommend be done differently in the new site

8) Make sure that you select only those from your existing site, who will be able to fit into this new set-up. They should not only bring in phenomenal technical skills, but also great attitude. Be careful that you do not import existing salary structures with your hires from the existing plant.

9) By mix of people, do assume you mean how many to hire from existing plant. The new site should not be seen as a way by the departments to offload their problem employees. The new site is a new project, and is not started to solve the HR issues of the existing plant. Do not export the problems from your current site. However hire all those who are good, who bring a positive can-do attitude and who will contribute to building a new institution. You may use this as an opportunity to provide growth to employees who have shown signs of being ready to handle more responsibility.

10) Hire pan Africa, go out and interview across the country. Look upon this not only as a one time expense,(as it is, it will be drop of the total project cost) but as an HR- marketing cost. You are strengthening the employer brand and we all know brands are invaluable in today’s competitive market-place. For some of the top jobs, think regionally or even globally. Thanks to technological advances, geography should not be a limiting factor.

11) Stop thinking blue-collar and white-collar. Think of them as employees who contribute in different capacities. Ensure your canteens and locker rooms are not encouraging this segregation. They should be the same for everyone. Yes I know people are paid different amounts, but that is the only difference that you should have.

12) Hopefully as an existing employer, you have a strong employer brand and you will attract potential employees in droves and your only problem will be how to say no to so many applicants.