Guinness Nigeria’s state-of-the-art brewing plant uses sorghum grown locally by small-scale farmers, instead of unsustainable barley imported from outside Africa, to brew its beer. (Image: Guinness Nigeria)• Matthew McGuinnessAccenture Media Relations – Sustainability+44 77 400 firstname.lastname@example.orgJustin KeebleAfrica is on a remarkable growth trajectory, with many analysts predicting economic growth to remain above 5% for the foreseeable future. This is to some extent underpinned by a strong rate of demographic expansion. Indeed Nigeria, the host of last week’s World Economic Forum on Africa, is expected to surpass the USA in population size by 2050.But all this growth is set in a rather different ecological context to that of the 19th and 20th century economic growth spurts of Europe, the Americas, Japan and China. Resource-rich Africa’s growing economies are facing expansion after the global commodity price spikes of the last decade wiped out the price falls of the whole of last century. Meanwhile, the world is now trying to wean itself off fossil fuels, while many economies in Africa still rely heavily on coal. So to anyone interested in sustainable development, Africa’s next steps are fascinating.Perhaps it isn’t surprising, in this context, that African CEOs overwhelmingly outnumber their peers from other regions in seeing global sustainability challenges as “very important” to the immediate success of their companies. According to last year’s UN Global Compact and Accenture CEO study on sustainability, in which 1 000 global CEOs took part, nearly three quarters of African CEOs cited sustainability as a major factor – as opposed to under a third from Europe.Innovation on the groundIt is easy to assume that this commitment to sustainable business is more rhetorical than real. But if we look at the situation on the ground in Africa we can actually see where innovative companies are adapting their business models to cater for and even benefit from adaptation to sustainability challenges.A good example is Guinness Nigeria, owned by UK brewer Diageo. The 2007 hike in malting barley prices hit Guinness Nigeria’s business hard. Barley generally has to be imported to Africa as it doesn’t survive well in the harsher climatic conditions. However, the long-term response was to build an Africa-specific business model around sorghum, a much hardier grain which needs much less water to thrive. The company has invested US$250 000 (R2.6-million), working with local governments to train smallholder farmers and secure a sustainable local supply. By 2012 sorghum accounted for 70% of Guinness Nigeria’s grain volume, cutting costs and reducing the risks of poor harvests. This model has since been adopted in all Diageo’s African operations and is playing a central role in securing the sustainability of the company’s operations across the continent.Cellphones for solar powerAnother good example is Kenya based M-Kopa Solar which brings together innovative finance, mobile technology and renewable energy to provide low-income homes with electric lighting. Underlying this innovation is the rapidly growing Kenyan economy, which despite strong growth still lacks investment in energy infrastructure, leading to frequent power shortages. As a result, an estimated 3-million Kenyan homes – or 80% of the population – live off-grid and spend an average of KSh70 (US$0.80) daily on kerosene to light their homes. Kerosene burned in houses for illumination is a major contributor to air pollution and is harmful to health.M-Kopa Solar’s customers buy a solar home system on a mobile payment plan, with an initial deposit, followed by 360 small daily payments. M-Kopa teamed up with Safaricom, operators of the hugely successful M-Pesa mobile money programme, to deliver a technology mix which enables the same cellphones charged by the panels to be used to pay for the electricity generated. Consumers benefit not just from cheaper and cleaner lighting, but have also reported an increase in monthly incomes by as much as 50% from the extended workday.Measuring the full impact of sustainable modelsA final example might be Actis Capital, the former investment wing of the UK’s Commonwealth Development Corporation with US$4.6-billion (R46.6-billion) in funds under management, exclusively for investment in emerging markets like Africa. Actis has developed an Energy Impact Model and a measurement tool with the aim of measuring the impact of an energy project well beyond just its financial return. Actis systematically measures its investment’s impact on people, wider communities, infrastructure, environment and governance. The model pinpoints where action is required and then tracks performance over the whole life of the investment. This means that environmental, social and governance issues are fully integrated into all of Actis’s investment decisions in Africa.The key to these success stories is that they have responded to specific sustainability challenges by adapting their businesses models. My question is how we administer the same shove to organisations with fewer immediate challenges, such as those in more developed economies. In the end, supply chain risk will be a global problem so the faster all businesses can lock in resilience the better for global as well as African prosperity.Justin Keeble is the managing director of Europe, Africa and Latin America at Accenture Sustainability Services. This article was originally published on the World Economic Forum blog.
9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… EMusic, the popular subscription-based music service, just announced that it has signed a deal with Warner Music, the world’s third-largest music company. This is eMusic’s second deal with a major record label. In its early days, eMusic mostly focused on featuring music from independent labels. Since the middle of 2009, however, eMusic has worked on expanding its reach by bringing more mainstream music to its catalog. The company announced a deal with Sony Music in June 2008. Today’s deal with Warner Music allows the company to add 10,000 additional albums from Warner labels like Atlantic Records and Rhino Records. Thanks to this, eMusic will now be able to feature music from artists like Eric Clapton, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Depeche Mode. EMusic has about 400,000 paying subscribers.From Quirky to MainstreamFor eMusic, this transition towards a catalog that focuses more on mainstream tastes has been rocky. When eMusic added the Sony Music catalog to its repertoire, the company also had to raise its subscription prices. Quite a few of eMusic’s most loyal users were unhappy with the direction the service was going and left the service. So far, however, eMusic’s users have reacted positively to the Warner deal.Streaming Coming Soon?According to eMusic CEO Danny Stein, the company also wants to offer a streaming music service in the near future. Stein told Reuters that the company still has to work out deals with the respective rights holders, though. Given that Apple just bought streaming music service LaLa, it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that eMusic is also looking at streaming music. As consumers warm up to services like Pandora and LaLa, download services like LaLa and Apple’s iTunes have to react to the trend. Related Posts frederic lardinois 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App Tags:#music#news#web 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…
A week after clashes broke out between local Khasi people and Sikh community members, life in Shillong is gradually returning to normalcy with no fresh violence reported from anywhere in the city prompting authorities to relax the daytime curfew. The capital of Meghalaya was gripped by violence since May 29 following an altercation between Sikh residents in the city’s Punjabi Lane area and Khasi drivers of State-run buses. More than 10 people, including policemen and CRPF personnel, were injured in the clashes. As in past two days, curfew was relaxed for nine hours in the 14 “vulnerable areas” from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. today. Authorities will decide on further relaxation of curfew, Deputy Commissioner, East Khasi Hills, P.S. Dkhar said.
Director of the National Meteorological Service (Met Service), Jeffery Spooner, says the agency is fully prepared to provide timely and accurate weather forecasting during the 2013 hurricane season, which begins June 1.“We are ready with all the equipment. Our Doppler radar has been repaired and we have procured some of the critical spares. Virtually all of the staff are in place and are trained, prepped and ready to face the up-coming hurricane season,” he stated.Mr. Spooner was speaking to JIS News just before addressing a Heads of Agencies meeting held on Wednesday (May 15), at the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change in Kingston.He informed that the office is experiencing difficulties with the weather balloon station that monitors the characteristics of the upper atmosphere. The United States-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which manufactures and supplies the station, will be undertaking the repairs, he said.While the National Hurricane Centre have not yet issued official projections for the 2013 hurricane season, the Colorado State University has projected an above average Atlantic hurricane season with some 18 named storms.Nine of these are projected to become hurricanes, four of which are expected to be major systems.Mr. Spooner noted that while Jamaica has been spared the effects of major hurricanes in recent years, things could be different this year.He said the Caribbean has been mentioned “for the first time in a long time, that it is in line for a hit by a major hurricane”.Mr. Spooner is encouraging Jamaicans to begin making preparations for the season, and to heed the advice of the Met Office to ensure their safety and the security of their property during the hurricane season.Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, commended the Met Service’s proactive approach to the 2013 hurricane season, noting that the country will be well advised in the event of any eventualities.CONTACT: O. RODGER HUTCHINSON
Beijing: Researchers said Monday they have discovered more than 7,000 new microbial species from the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans, enhancing our understanding of biodiversity in the world seas. The scientists at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) discovered the microbial species, including Acidobacteria — a natural medicinal phylum containing the CRISPR gene editing system found at sea for the first time. Over a span of eight years, the team developed biofilms with the water samples on different materials, eventually discovering the new biofilm-forming species and 10 new bacterial phyla. The finding, published in the journal Nature Communications, contradicts the existing belief that the world has only 35,000 marine microbial species and 80 bacterial phyla. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi JinpingIt enhances our knowledge in microbial biodiversity of the oceans, bringing hope for the development of new drugs, researchers said. Acidobacteria — one of the new marine phyla identified in this research only exist in terrestrial soils, and has been used for developing novel antibiotics and anti-tumour drugs due to its high level of biosynthetic gene clusters. This marine phylum not only shares functions of its terrestrial counterpart, but is also the first ocean species found to contain the CRISPR gene-editing system, researchers said.
Lille (France): People occupying high offices in French football are firm believer of ‘Black, Blanc, Beur’, a phrase often used to celebrate the ethnically-diverse national team’s 1998 World Cup triumph and the one last summer. Black is black, Blanc means white and Beur Arabic, implying that the players stay united on the field, irrespective of their origins and religions. People in high places believe that the French society is as accepting as its national team, ignoring the right-wing voices’ sporadic outbursts against the country’s immigration policies. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhFootball took them from the streets of Paris’ banlieues (suburbs) to the stadiums of Russia and when the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Paul Pogba flew back with the glittering World Cup trophy in their hands, it was hailed as the triumph of France’s immigrants. “Immigration is not an issue, immigration is a chance, and we have big players from Africa. It is a chance for France to develop football. Mbappe is French. France is known for its acceptance, accepting people from all over, including Africa. It’s France’s strength,” said Didier Quillot, CEO of Ligue de Football Professional (LFP), which runs the country’s major leagues. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterWhile its national team is looked at as a symbol of its multiculturalism, the country is often divided over the issue of refugees. France’s last major triumph was attributed to the efforts of a diverse, multicultural group of players. In the 23-member World Cup squad, 17 were immigrants or the children of immigrants. It comprised players of African and Arab descent, reviving memories of the 1998 World Cup triumph. Headlines such as ‘Triumph of Africa’ and ‘The last African team’, after the team’s win in Russia, left Paris Saint-Germain’s communications director, Jean-Martial Ribes, surprised. “The French people don’t think that they are African or Arabic. For us they are all French. France is known for its diversity, something like the USA. We were a little bit surprised to see the comments in some of the media. “Perhaps that’s what makes France a better place. People from every origin are welcome here and accepted. Our focus was on the triumph,” Ribes said.Chelsea legend Didier Drogba, who is presently a brand ambassador of Coupe de la Ligue, said there is no place for racism and exclusion in football “I feel people are focusing on France but this (immigration) is a general problem in all society right now. People speak about discrimination and all but this has no place in football. Football is a place where we try to include everyone. Football has the power to unite more than anything else,” Drogba said. The former Ivory Coast striker added, “When you look very closely at the teams, the players, the stars you will not see discrimination. Most of the time it’s the people coming to the game from outside who bring that. People from outside, politicians do that. But inside it’s different.” Though the players of African or Arab origin in France have often been questioned over their allegiance to the flag.
Mumbai: Over a month after a foot overbridge (FOB) near the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) collapsed, killing seven persons, a blame game has erupted between the Mumbai civic body and the Central Railway (CR) over it.The Brihanmumai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has recently written a letter to the CR, seeking to know whether the railway authorities had intimated it about linking the FOB to 18 platforms at the CSMT. The 40-year-old Himalaya FOB was connected to CSMT’s suburban train platforms one to seven and long-distance train platforms eight to 18. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The civic body said it wanted to know whether linking of outstation train platforms led to an increase in the load on the bridge. However, CR officials said it was very immature to say that the bridge fell because of the human load. “Don’t consider our letter as blame-game. We simply want to ascertain whether linking of platforms for outstation trains with the (collapsed) FOB led to increase in the load?” said a senior BMC official requesting anonymity. When contacted, CR officials objected to the civic body’s letter and said a reply to the BMC will be given soon. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”Let us make it clear that the railways constructed the FOB to facilitate the passengers. But in the last 10 to 12 years, the footfall of suburban passengers at the FOB had gone down. Hence, it is very immature to say that the bridge fell because of the increasing load,” a senior CR official said. “In fact, human load does not affect a bridge as much as the static load, like the use of heavy material, such as tiles, which was also the case with the ill-fated bridge,” the CR official added. Although the number of long-distance passengers have gone up, they approach to the platforms via P D’Mello Road and not from the collapsed bridge, the official added. After the bridge collapsed on March 14, Mumbai police had booked both the BMC as well as the railway officials and launched a probe. However, the police had later dropped the charges against the CR officials.
13Mar Rep. Heise helps announce formation of Michigan Advisory Commission on Human Trafficking Rep. Kurt Heise, R-Plymouth Township, chair of the House Criminal Justice CommitteeCommission will tackle crimes through comprehensive effort between legislators, law enforcement, and advocates State Rep. Kurt Heise, along with state Attorney General Bill Schuette and several other state lawmakers, announced the formation of the Michigan Advisory Commission on Human Trafficking to develop a comprehensive set of laws and policies to combat this growing crime problem.“The goals of this commission are to raise awareness, deter human trafficking with tougher laws, protect victims’ rights, and to develop policies within all levels of government to fight the problem in a coordinated way,” said Heise, R-Plymouth Township. “Because this crime is so complex, we need to ensure that we are tackling all facets of the problem. In the past trafficking was handled as a single crime of prostitution, exploitation or illegal immigration. This is short-sighted and often harms the victims of these crimes while letting the pimps and perpetrators get away.“Human trafficking is a horrific crime that isn’t just a problem for other parts of the world. It has sadly become a serious illegal activity right here in Michigan,” Heise said. “Unfortunately it covers everything from the prostitution of youngsters to the enslavement of adults.”Reports show that nearly 40 percent, almost 300,000 victims, of trafficking cases involve the sexual exploitation of children.“As the father of two teenage daughters, this is personal for me. We, as a society have a moral obligation to fight this atrocity right here, right now,” Heise said.The commission includes members from the office of the Attorney General, the state House and Senate, the Michigan departments of Health and Human Services, Corrections, and State Police, and various federal government agencies. Non-governmental groups include anti-human trafficking academics from the Harvard University School of Government, University of Michigan, and Michigan State.Other legislators on the task force include state Reps. Eileen Kowall, R-White Lake; Nancy Jenkins, R- Clayton; Dale Zorn, R- Ida; and Phil Cavanagh, D-Redford. Senators include Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge; Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton; and Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor.“We want to bring together the best minds from the state, law enforcement, and academia to develop the best laws and policies that we can on this issue. It is an unprecedented and comprehensive response,” he added.Heise is chairman of the House Committee on Criminal Justice. Schuette will come before that committee next week to give a presentation about the commission.Residents can educate themselves by visiting the human trafficking section of the Attorney General’s website, www.michigan.gov/humantrafficking, to be able to recognize the signs of traffickers and provide tips to law enforcement.-30-PHOTO ADVISORY 1: State Rep. Kurt Heise today participated in a news conference with Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, state legislators, and officials from around the state announcing the formation of the Michigan Advisory Commission on Human Trafficking. Heise announced plans to take a comprehensive approach to eliminating this crime in Michigan. The commission will address through a formal review process and report the areas of legislation and policy, public awareness of the issue, professional training, victim services, and data collection. Heise is pictured with state Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette (left) and various other members of the advisory commission. Categories: News
Russian service provider Akado plans to launch an interactive digital OTT TV service by the autumn, the company’s spokesman Denis Rychkov has told local journalists at the CSTB trade show in Moscow.Rychkov said that the cable and pay TV operator, which operates in the Moscow region, will decide on a supplier by the middle of this year in the hope of launching something in the third quarter.Akado has lagged behind rival platform operators in launching an advanced TV offering, and has been mulling its options for the last two years without taking a final decision. Rychkov told journalists that the operator wants to launch something that will put it ahead of other players in the market.The company currently offers a linear digital TV service. Exhibiting at CSTB, Akado teamed up with channel and content provider Amedia to highlight premium content. The company also demonstrated the ability of its network to deliver internet speeds of up to 1Gbps through DOCSIS 3.0.