Daily Archives: November 19, 2015

TRACE Announces Groundbreaking Initiative And Partnerships To Bolster Business And Advance Commercial Transparency In Ghana

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland, Nov. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — TRACE International, the world’s leading anti-bribery standard setting organization, today announced the launch of a pilot outreach program in Ghana, being implemented jointly with the USAID Ghana Supply Chain Development Program and Invest in Africa, to provide small and medium-sized enterprises with anti-bribery training and an internationally recognized business and compliance credential.

This initiative brings together TRACE International, PYXERA Global and Invest in Africa, forming a powerful partnership that will raise compliance standards in Ghana and create “champions for change.” PYXERA Global is a non-profit organization that has twenty-five years of experience with local content development, global pro bono programs, and integrated community development efforts. Invest in Africa is a growing group of companies working together to address the cross-sector challenges of doing business in Africa.

“We’re delighted to be launching partnerships with PYXERA Global and Invest in Africa in support of this strategic initiative. Corruption is a major barrier to economic development and through this program we hope to bring greater commercial transparency to Ghana and help local companies better compete in the global marketplace,” said Alexandra Wrage, President of TRACE International.

As part of this program, TRACE will work with PYXERA Global and Invest in Africa to offer TRACEcertification,a globally recognized due diligence review and compliance credential, to small and medium-sized enterprises in Ghana at no cost for one year. Companies that successfully complete the certification process will serve as valued business partners for multinational companies seeking to do business with suppliers, agents and consultants in Ghana who share their commitment to commercial transparency.

“This partnership with TRACE is the perfect opportunity to pilot ABAC with Ghanaian firms in the hope of demonstrating the impact it can have on firms’ competitive standing,” notes Harry Pastuszek, Vice President of PYXERA Global. “We are so thankful to TRACE for having the vision to establish this pilot, and pleased to be able to contribute to its implementation.”

Invest in Africa Ghana Manager, Sam Brandful, said, “TRACEcertificationwill enhance the quality of supplier companies that are on the African Partner Pool (APP) and thereby contribute to making the APP the go-to platform for sourcing of local companies by international and large corporates operating in Ghana.”

TRACE Certified entities will be invited to attend an anti-bribery training workshop on January 21, 2016, hosted by TRACE International and PYXERA Global.

The ever-growing global network of TRACE partnerships enables TRACE to better support small and medium-sized enterprises and address the heightened need for anti-bribery compliance services worldwide.

TRACE International and TRACE Incorporated are two distinct entities with a common mission to advance commercial transparency worldwide by supporting the compliance efforts of multinational companies and their third party intermediaries. TRACE International is a non-profit business association that pools resources to provide members with anti-bribery compliance support while TRACE Incorporated offers both members and non-members customizable risk-based due diligence, anti-bribery training and advisory services.  Working alongside one another, TRACE International and TRACE Incorporated offer an end-to-end, cost-effective and innovative solution for anti-bribery and third party compliance. For more information, visit www.TRACEinternational.org.

Risen Energy annonce que le plus grand auvent PV pour voitures est en cours de construction dans la baie de Hangzhou

NINGBO, Chine, 19 novembre 2015 /PRNewswire/ — La construction du plus grand auvent PV pour voitures a commencé dans la baie de Hangzhou au cours de la première moitié de l’année 2015. La première phase du projet d’une capacité de 20 MW utilisera les modules photovoltaïques de haute qualité 255W de Risen Energy.

La capacité totale du projet est de 55 MW, sa superficie couvre environ 20 terrains de football, ce qui est assez d’espace pour garer plus de 20 000 véhicules. C’est le plus grand projet BIPV au monde et il sera utilisé comme zone de stationnement par les employés de la filiale de Ningbo de Volkswagen à Shanghai. Le projet est une preuve supplémentaire que la baie de Hangzhou favorise un développement global du terrain.

La baie de Hangzhou va combiner la planification future de la ville de « la ville de la sagesse » et de « la ville à faible d’émissions de carbone » afin d’accélérer la mise en œuvre des projets globaux de développement. Cela permettra de surmonter ce qui est souvent appelé la « maladie urbaine » et assurera la promotion du développement durable. Risen Energy, un fabricant de modules photovoltaïques de premier plan, est heureux d’être en mesure de prendre part au projet de l’auvent PV pour voitures et de contribuer au développement durable de la baie de Hangzhou.

À propos de Risen Energy

Risen Energy Co., Ltd. a été fondée en 2002 et est coté en tant qu’entreprise publique chinoise (code boursier : 300118) en 2010. Risen Energy est l’un des pionniers du secteur de l’énergie photovoltaïque, secteur où l’entreprise assume son rôle d’expert en R et D, de fabricant intégré dont la production va des plaquettes (wafers) aux modules, de fabricant de systèmes hors réseau, ainsi que d’investisseur, de développeur et prestataire de services EPC pour les projets photovoltaïques. Ayant pour objectif de fournir de l’énergie verte dans le monde entier, Risen Energy se développe à l’échelle internationale à travers des bureaux et des réseaux commerciaux en Chine, en Allemagne, en Australie, au Mexique, en Inde, au Chili et au Bénin. Pendant sa phase de croissance rapide, Risen Energy a gardé un rythme stable avec un ratio d’endettement moyen d’environ 50 % entre 2011 et 2014, et l’entreprise compte ouvrir des filiales qui se consacrent à la finance sur Internet et au crédit-bail financier, afin de poser ses jalons dans « l’énergie de l’Internet ».

Pour plus d’informations, veuillez visiter : www.risenenergy.com.

MyBucks and Opportunity International Partner to Drive Financial Inclusion for 460 Million Unbanked Citizens of Africa

First-of-its-kind partnership between international NGO and leading fintech company will transform lives and forever change the face of poverty in the developing world

CHICAGO and LUXEMBOURG, Nov. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Opportunity, Inc., a next generation microfinance organization that invests philanthropic and social impact capital to spark and scale innovative solutions to global poverty, has entered into a share purchase agreement to sell six banks serving sub-Saharan Africa to the MyBucks Group, a Luxembourg-based financial technology (fintech) company which holds the three brands GetBucks, GetSure and GetBanked. Opportunity International will be a minority shareholder in MyBucks and retain at least one board seat at the parent level and one on the board of each bank. In addition, funding will be made available to the African banks to ensure continued social impact and responsibility. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval from the Central Bank in each country.

“This partnership will greatly accelerate our work to help lift more people out of poverty, transform their lives and strengthen their families and communities,” said Vicki Escarra, Global CEO, Opportunity International. “MyBucks will supercharge our mission by adding significant capital, resources and expertise to help drive financial inclusion of the unbanked and underbanked clients throughout Africa. It also helps us achieve our goal of creating and sustaining 20 million jobs by 2020, which will impact 100 million lives worldwide.”

MyBucks has operations in eight African countries, including Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as two European countries, Spain and Poland. This partnership marks the first time a fintech company has acquired banks to bridge the gap between the virtual and traditional worlds of banking to enable faster, more efficient and less expensive access to financial services for clients.  In fact, this move is contrary to the current trend worldwide where banks are acquiring fintech companies to add value and expand services.

“MyBucks brings a number of other benefits to banks including integrating cutting-edge digital and mobile banking technology to serve clients in even the most remote areas of Africa,” Escarra said. “MyBucks will also expand the number of small, medium and micro-entrepreneurs served. Often, these are small businesses that need financial resources but have been declined by traditional banks. MyBucks uses a comprehensive credit analysis process that can get critical resources into the hands of our clients quickly and efficiently.”

MyBucks believes personal financial management is key to helping clients manage their financial affairs, lives and families. Through a unique blend of innovation and cutting-edge technology, the company is refining the process of banking, building credit and accessing other short-term financial services through virtual solutions and advanced technological applications.

“This is truly a groundbreaking partnership between an international non-governmental organization and a leading fintech company in Africa,” said Dave van Niekerk, Global CEO, MyBucks. “It offers the best of both worlds by combining MyBucks products, credit expertise and technology with Opportunity International’s network, client base and expertise in using financial services to create and expand businesses that help break the cycle of poverty. We’re very excited to be joining forces to impact and improve lives in Africa.”

Van Niekerk says MyBucks will recapitalize all banks to accelerate growth and support banks in tapping capital markets to raise debt and capital. Upon receiving regulatory approval from the Central Bank on the MyBucks-Opportunity International transaction, MyBucks intends to recapitalize the Malawi bank immediately, followed by the other banks as needed to keep pace with their growing loan books and depositor bases.

Since 1971, Opportunity International has pioneered financial solutions through microfinance institutions (MFIs). Over the past 44 years, the organization has continually found new ways to adapt to changing conditions and target its resources to create a sustainable impact on the lives of clients in Africa, China, India and other areas of the developing world.

“When Opportunity International launched its Banking on Africa Campaign in 2007 we were serving 1.2 million or 1 in 550 people in Africa,” Escarra said. “We set a goal to impact 30 million people with loans, deposits and insurance by 2015. We’re thrilled to have surpassed that goal. The population in Africa has grown by 290 million people and we have cumulatively impacted 39 million lives, or 1 in 24 people on the continent.”

The organization is now in a position to leverage its resources by investing in the highest-performing MFIs and developing partnerships in health care, education and agriculture—the three pillars of transformation widely recognized by the international development community.

As part of the agreement, Opportunity International will open “Transformation Centers” around Africa to deliver outreach services it previously offered through banks, including business and financial training, Social Performance Management, education services, health counseling, agriculture training and other transformative and extension services to help ensure clients can break the cycle of poverty, transform their lives and strengthen their families and communities.

This move to bring partners into its banks is similar to Opportunity International’s decision in 2008 to bring other investors into MicroEnsure, which it launched in 2006 as the first organization to provide a financial safety net for families in developing nations. “Additional capital has enabled MicroEnsure to grow very rapidly and provide microinsurance to many millions more clients than would have been possible without the additional investors.”  MicroEnsure was recently called a “game changer” and won the 2015 Transformational Business Award from The Financial Times and The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation.

Opportunity International is a next generation microfinance organization that invests philanthropic and social impact capital to spark and scale innovative solutions to global poverty. Founded in 1971, the organization has provided more than $9 billion in loans to help clients launch and expand businesses, provide for their children and create jobs in their communities. Through our long history in developing microfinance and complementary products and services in health, education and agriculture, we have helped 12 million people in 28 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe to build sustainable businesses, care for their families and grow their communities. The organization has set a goal of helping clients create and sustain 20 million jobs by 2020. More than 94 percent of Opportunity’s loan clients are women who would otherwise likely not have access to financial services because of legal and cultural gender inequities in most developing nations. The global headquarters of Opportunity International are in Chicago, with other key offices in Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The organization serves clients through a network of more than 20,000 people worldwide. Discover more at opportunity.org

MyBucks is a leading fintech company that delivers seamless financial services through technology.  MyBucks is a Luxembourg-based company and incorporates brands: GetBucks, GetSure and GetBanked. Country operations include eight African countries – South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, Namibia, Botswana, Malawi, Swaziland and two European countries – Poland and Spain. MyBucks provides financial products and services to the unbanked and underbanked consumer segment in predominantly high-growth emerging markets thereby driving financial inclusion for this market. The group aims to ensure that its offering is fast, simple and trustworthy, and when compared to traditional methods, ultimately works towards enhancing the customer’s experience. MyBucks believes that personal financial management is the key for clients to manage their financial affairs. Through offering a unique blend of innovation and cutting-edge technology, they continue to refine the process of banking, attaining credit and other short-term financial services through virtual solutions and advanced technological applications. Discover more at: www.mybucks.com

Sandra Greaves Campbell | MyBucks | t+27 83 408 3373 | sgreavescampbell@mybucks.com
Christina Koliopoulos | Opportunity International | +1.312.718.2317 | CKoliopoulos@opportunity.org

Boyden Launches East Africa Operations

— Top Global Executive Search Firm Opens New Office in Nairobi to Serve the Burgeoning East Africa Region —

NEW YORK and NAIROBI, Nov. 19, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Boyden, a global leader in executive search with more than 70 offices in over 40 countries, today announced that the firm has opened a new office in Nairobi, Kenya, further expanding its presence to a third region in Africa.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/f2b0c681-28f6-4420-b119-368b0a482b58

Boyden has appointed Farah Samanani as Managing Partner to lead its East Africa operations, serving Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia.

“The increasing investment in the region by global organizations has created an exciting landscape, and there is strong demand for world-class professionals to repatriate or transfer to East Africa,” said Trina Gordon, President and CEO of Boyden World Corporation. “With Boyden’s rich heritage as a pioneer in global executive search with local expertise, we offer an ability to support clients’ leadership solutions in this growing market.”

“Farah’s extensive management experience, her network of connections in East Africa, as well as her passion for the rising tide of economic opportunity in her home of East Africa will make her a key member of Boyden’s global team,” said Magdy El Zein, Managing Partner for Boyden Middle East and North Africa.

“There is an abundance of opportunities for leading professionals in East Africa,” added El Zein. “However, there are some challenges for businesses to identify those individuals with the right credentials, education, knowledge and experience. At Boyden we are ideally suited to identify the very best talent to help transform multinationals and regional businesses.”

Boyden East Africa will be led by a Boyden team adept at working within a global economy. Client service offerings will include high growth sectors such as financial services, real estate, life sciences & healthcare, technology and industrial. Since 1999 Boyden has operated within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, customizing international services to reflect the local market and the international clients Boyden serves. Sub-Saharan Africa continues to be supported by the firm’s Johannesburg regional office.

Ms. Samanani has worked in a number of different sectors and geographies, including North America, India, the Middle East, and Africa. She started her career in the US as a management consultant focusing on the healthcare industry. She subsequently returned to Kenya as the Director of Strategic Planning within the Aga Khan Development Network.

In 2013, Samanani founded Kenyans Come Home, the first boutique executive search company in East Africa. The firm focuses on the repatriation of experienced, educated and talented members of the East African diaspora into regionally based roles. She holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in economics from McGill University in Canada.

About Boyden World Corporation
Boyden is a global leader in executive search and talent advisory services with more than 70 offices in over 40 countries. Founded in 1946, Boyden specializes in high level executive search, interim management and human capital consulting across a broad spectrum of markets and sectors. For further information, visit www.boyden.com.

The photo is also available at Newscom, www.newscom.com, and via AP PhotoExpress.

Farah Samanani, Boyden East Africa
t. +254 791 242 192
e. f.samanani@boyden.co.ke
Hillary Rossi, for Boyden 
t. +1 (212) 850-9287
e. hillary.rossi@fticonsulting.com

Copyright © 2015 GlobeNewswire, Inc.

Labour appoints Lennie Samuel Presiding Inspector of Grayston Drive Pedestrian and cyclist structural bridge collapse Inquiry

The Department of Labour Chief Inspector, Tibor Szana today (18 November) officially announced the appointment of Mr Lennie Samuel as the Presiding Inspector to head the Section 32 Inquiry into the collapse of the temporary walkway bridge between Sandton and Alexandra on the M1 freeway.

Samuel has 30 years of service with the department. He was a forensic investigator and co-commissioner for the Tongaat Mall Structural Collapse Inquiry.

The latest announcement follows a media briefing held by the Department of Labour on October 28 – in which it released a preliminary report on the state of the collapsed bridge – and announced it will set up a section 32 inquiry in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act.

In terms of the mandate from the Chief Inspector, Samuel will preside over the formal inquiry to determine if there was any contravention of the OHS Act and any of its Regulations which led to the uncontrolled collapse of the aforesaid structure or any part thereof, consequently resulting in the untimely deaths and injuries of the people.

The collapse of the temporary bridge in the Grayston Drive Pedestrian and cyclist structure led to the deaths of two people and injury to 19 others.

Szana wished to reiterates that at this stage, no party stands accused of any wrong doing leading to the untimely collapse of the structure.

The Grayston Drive Pedestrian and cyclist structural bridge collapse inquiry will be held in public. The Inquiry is expected to last at least six months. Post the Inquiry the Presiding Inspector (Samuel) will be expected to compile a written report which will be forwarded to the Office of the Department of Labour Chief Inspector, who will subsequently hand it over to the National Prosecuting Authority for a decision.

Samuel said a crucial briefing session will be held on 8 December 2015 at the Tshwane Municipal Offices in Pretoria (Tshwane) to unveil the terms of reference of the Inquiry. The briefing session will also include unveiling of a media protocol on the media coverage of the Inquiry.

He said on Tuesday (17 November) there was a meeting with 26 role players ranging from Murray & Roberts, legal representatives, the City of Johannesburg, The Johannesburg Roads Agency, engineers, Foamscaff, and all interested players in the matter. He said the meeting came following a request by Murray & Roberts to seek permission to remove the temporary collapsed structure on the site of the accident.

“The request to remove the collapsed structure was not granted until all stakeholders have sufficiently documented the site of the accident. No stakeholder should feel prejudiced by the removal,” Samuel said. He said the meeting agreed Murray & Roberts should first prepare a protocol document highlighting procedures that would be followed, the stages of removal, safety specifications, safety plans and related matters.

He also said Murray and Roberts has also been requested to circulate all protocol documents by November 20, and once all these have been accepted by all parties the Department of Labour would then consider the request by Murray and Roberts to remove the collapsed structures. Samuel cautioned that the removed structure, while it would be kept with Murray & Roberts, it would still be under the control of the Department of Labour.

“While all these processes are unfolding, the Department of Labour is still continuing gathering statements and evidence,” Samuel said.

Further details regarding the Inquiry will be communicated in the next few days.


Mokgadi Pela

Acting Departmental Spokesman

Cell: 082 808 2168