Daily Archives: October 4, 2016

Marriott International Opens Doors for Business, Tourism and Career Opportunities in Rwanda

In an innovative partnership, Marriott works with the Akilah Institute for Women, Women for Women International and Bloomberg Philanthropies to equip Rwandan women with business skills with the opening of the Kigali Marriott Hotel

BETHESDA, Maryland, Oct. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) today officially opened the doors of its first Marriott Hotel in Rwanda, bringing the signature brand’s welcoming service and world-class amenities to sub-Saharan Africa for the first time in its nearly 90-year history.

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161003/414839
Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160922/411014LOGO

“Rwanda is going through an economic transformation and we are proud to be a part of it,” said Marriott International President and CEO Arne Sorenson, who attended the Kigali Marriott’s opening ceremony with political dignitaries and executives including Alex Kyriakidis, Marriott’s President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa region. “Coupled with that transformation is a mutual promise for opportunity — both for Marriott as a hospitality company and for the associates and partners who will help us succeed in this market.”

Highlighting the importance of hospitality’s role in Rwanda, the World Travel & Tourism Council says Rwanda’s travel and tourism industry generated 7.1 percent of the country’s GDP in 2015 and predicts it to rise at 4.1 percent annually through 2025. Known as the Land of a Thousand Hills, Rwanda is becoming a popular destination for meetings and tourism.

The 254-room Marriott in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city, is creating approximately 500 jobs and will be among the country’s biggest and most luxurious properties, further enhancing Kigali’s reputation as a hub for conferences and conventions. The hotel will offer world-class meeting spaces with modern amenities to cater to the demands of this rapidly growing market.

“I have the privilege of being able to open hotels in one of the most fascinating and fastest-growing parts of the world,” said Kyriakidis. “But there is something about this project that is particularly fulfilling. Every time we open a hotel, we know there is an enormous positive impact on a community. But here, in Rwanda, that impact is magnified by the sustainable approach we have taken to both staffing and supplying the hotel.”

Marriott has been working with community-based organizations to help staff the hotel and supply it with locally produced goods, underscoring Rwanda’s goal of building up its core industries including tourism and agriculture. The hotel, for instance, has partnered with the Akilah Institute for Women to recruit and train Rwandan women for supervisory positions at its Kigali location. The Akilah Institute is an academy that enables young women from Rwanda and other East African countries to achieve economic independence with market-relevant education and training. Marriott International has invited nearly 40 Akilah graduates to work and train in Marriott hotels in Africa and the Middle East. After receiving on-the-job skills and leadership training, the first wave of graduates have returned to Rwanda to join the management team at the Kigali Marriott where they will help welcome guests from the around the world.

“Marriott’s placement of our graduates at the managerial level and beyond exemplifies our mission to enable women not just to find jobs, but to develop their careers with a globally respected brand and community,” says Elizabeth Dearborn Hughes, Co-Founder & CEO, Akilah Institute.

Marriott International has also been working with Women for Women International and the Relationship Coffee Institute, both of which are supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, one of the largest investors in the region. The local Women for Women Opportunity Center is equipping Rwandan women with the skills needed to apply for entry-level hotel positions or to supply the hotel with goods such as baskets, cheese and honey. The hotel has hired more than 25 women from the training center.

The Relationship Coffee Institute provides women with a new marketplace for locally sourced premium coffee, including the hotel. The Kigali Marriott’s Question Café serves the locally sourced coffee, grown by local smallholder farmers and served by graduates of this economic development training program.

“The opening of this Marriott hotel is providing long anticipated market activity for Rwandan women. Their café in the hotel provides the global business community with a perfect example of how business, philanthropy and government can work together to improve people’s lives,” said Patricia E. Harris, CEO of Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Beyond coffee, the Kigali Marriott is weaving in an array of local goods throughout the property, including in the retail store and on menus. The hotel sources locally grown products such as beef, poultry and produce, and incorporates more sustainable materials to ultimately help reduce the hotel’s overall footprint.

The opening of the hotel comes a little over a week after Marriott International completed its acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. The transaction created the world’s largest hotel company, with Marriott International operating or franchising more than 5,700 properties and 1.1 million rooms, in over 110 countries. With the completion of the acquisition, Marriott’s distribution more than doubled in the Middle East and Africa combined.

About Marriott International, Inc.

Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is the world’s largest hotel company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 5,700 properties in over 110 countries. Marriott operates and franchises hotels. and licenses vacation ownership resorts. The company’s 30 leading brands include: Bulgari Hotels and Resorts®, The Ritz-Carlton® and The Ritz-Carlton Reserve®, St. Regis®, W®, EDITION®, JW Marriott®, The Luxury Collection®, Marriott Hotels®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Renaissance® Hotels, Sheraton®, Delta Hotels by MarriottSM, Marriott Executive Apartments®, Marriott Vacation Club®, Autograph Collection® Hotels, Tribute Portfolio™, Design Hotels™, Gaylord Hotels®, Courtyard®, Four Points® by Sheraton, SpringHill Suites®, Fairfield Inn & Suites®, Residence Inn®, TownePlace Suites®, AC Hotels by Marriott®, Aloft®, Element®, MoxyHotels®, and Protea Hotels by Marriott®. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®. For more information, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com and @MarriottIntl.

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SOUTH AFRICAN DEPUTY PRES RAMAPHOSA ARRIVES IN VIETNAM FOR OFFICIAL VISIT

South Africa Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has arrived in Hanoi, Vietnam, to begin his diplomatic working visit, which kicks off Monday.

During his visit, Deputy President Ramaphosa is expected to hold bilateral discussions with his counterpart, Vice President A�?ng Th?nh, today, said the Presidency in a statement.

The Deputy President’s visit is aimed at strengthening bilateral political, economic and trade relations between South Africa and Vietnam.

The Deputy President’s delegation includes Deputy Ministers Nomaindia Mfeketo, Gratitude Magwanishe, Madala Masuku, Barbara Thomson, Bheki Cele and Kebby Maphatsoe.

Deputy President Ramaphosa will also pay a courtesy call on President Tran Dan Quanga and Communist Party of Vietnam General Secretary Nguy?n PhA� Tr?ng.

On Tuesday, the Deputy President will pay his respects at the gravesite of the late former Chairman of the Vietnamese Communist Party, Ho Chi Minh.

He will later interact with Vietnamese business leaders in the ship-building and aquaculture sectors before visiting the Pha Rung ship-building site.

The working visit to Vietnam is at the invitation of the Vietnamese Vice President. The visit will be used to explore possibilities of breaking into new areas of trade and investment to help unlock trade imbalances between South and Vietnam.

Bilateral trade between the two countries has grown significantly from R13.4 billion to R18.5 billion in 2015, making Vietnam the fourth largest trading partner of South Africa in the Asian region.

By 2015, South African imports from Vietnam amounted to R16.3 billion from R11.5 billion in 2014. Exports were at R2.3 billion in 2015 from R1.9 billion in 2014, creating a trade deficit for South Africa amounting to R13.7 billion.

For South Africa, Vietnam offers great trading opportunities, particularly in the mining sector, roads and infrastructure as well as the defence industry.

The visit of Deputy President Ramaphosa will also seek to diversify South African exports to Vietnam by identifying new areas for market access of South African products. Vietnam is internationally recognised for its expertise in the field of missile defence systems, said the Presidency.

The Deputy President will also explore possibilities of increasing the number of South African students receiving training in the maritime economy.

Currently, there are six South African students studying at the Maritime University in Hai Phong, Hanoi. South Africa hopes to also increase study courses to include ship building.

Vietnam’s shipbuilding industry is ranked fifth in the world, with 60 ship-building and repairing yards.

Deputy President Ramaphosa’s working visit is expected to build a partnership between Vietnam and South Africa in the development of South Africa’s aquaculture sector.

Vietnam has utilised aquaculture as one of its key development programmes in addressing the challenges of poverty and unemployment.

To deepen bilateral political, economic and trade relations, the two countries launched the Partnership Forum for Economic, Trade, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Co-operation in 2004 to regulate relations between the two countries.

The forum has thus far agreed to expand co-operation to include the areas of defence, security, justice, agriculture, environment, water resources, transport, education and science and technology.

Deputy President Ramaphosa will conclude his visit to Vietnam on Tuesday ahead of his planned visit to Singapore on Oct 5-7.

Source: Nam News Network

Deputy President Ramaphosa concludes working visit to Vietnam and proceeds to Republic of Singapore

Deputy President Ramaphosa concludes successful working visit to Vietnam and proceeds to the Republic of Singapore

South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa today, Tuesday 4 October 2016, concluded his successful visit to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam ahead of the working visit to the Republic of Singapore from 05-07 October 2016.

The working visit to Singapore is the second leg of Deputy President Ramaphosa’s two-nation working visit aimed at consolidating existing bilateral, political, economic and trade relations between South Africa and the two nations, Vietnam and Singapore.

Deputy President Ramaphosa is expected to unlock future areas of trade and investment and among others to attract Singaporean State Owned Enterprises to invest in South Africa through the Public Private Partnership in line with South Africa’s Nine-Point Plan.

In this regard, Singapore’s State-Owned Enterprises have contributed significantly, through the sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings, to its economic development programme.

Singapore is a world model for its economic success which is partly attributable to its social cohesion. In this context Singapore is expected to share with the Deputy President and his delegation, lessons learnt on its path to economic success.

South Africa and Singapore have been strengthening their bilateral economic relations with trade between the two countries having grown significantly. Singapore is now South Africa’s second largest trading partner in the ASEAN region.

By 2014 bilateral trade amounted to R28.9 billion as compared to R23.5 billion recorded in 2015. Exports in 2015 amounted to R6.8 billion while imports totalled R16.6 billion.

Ten South African companies with a total capital expenditure of R1.67 billion between 2003 and 2015 have invested in Singapore. These include Naspers, Computamaps, Investec among others.

During this period a total of 987 jobs were created in the industrial sector, hotels and tourism, financial services and ICT. According to FDI market database four FDI projects from Singapore were recorded up to March 2016 with a capital expenditure amounting to R246.06 million creating 223 jobs.

Deputy President Ramaphosa is also expected to secure the commitment of Singapore to assist South Africa with skills development and to increase the number of training courses for South African students offered under the Singapore Co-operation Programme. Deputy President Ramaphosa chairs the Human Resources Development Council of South Africa (HRDCSA) charged with the responsibility of developing South Africa’s human resource strategy.

During his working visit to Singapore, Deputy President Ramaphosa is expected to:

pay a courtesy call on the President of Singapore Tony Tan Keng Yam and

meet Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong over a working lunch

address the Lee Kuan School of Public Policy

engage in a round table discussion with Investors

meet with Government Investment Corporation

tour the Housing Development Board (HDB)’s My Nice Home Gallery

The Deputy President will also visit the Ports of Singapore Authority.

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Imports 2,76 7,3 19 19,7 16.6

Exports 8,24 10,9 9,5 9,2 6.8

Total trade 11 17,6 28,5 28,9 23,5

Source: Government of South Africa

South Africa: Cosatu Free State Takes to the Streets On a Legal Strike to Make Our Voices Heard, Enough! Is Enough!

COSATU Free State would engage in two marches to demand banning of e-tolls, safe affordable and reliable public transport and to put an end to all the barbaric acts which continue to diminish permanent and decent jobs in favour of casualised, labour brokered and indecent jobs. We demand the banning of labour brokers with immediate effect, the creation of decent jobs and an end to retrenchments. We will not tolerate the situation whereby big business continue to rake in super profits at the sweat and blood of poor workers continue to come to work and go back home hungry!

We demand the revamp of the current health care system through the immediate implementation of the National Health Insurance. On the same breath we would demand the revamp of Government employees Medical Scheme which should start with the restructuring of benefits to benefit the workers and not the administrator. Demand the in-sourcing of the administration of GEMS with immediate effect.

We will not tolerate the situation whereby communities in and around Senekal, Kroonstad and Qwaqwa continue to suffer due to unavailability of water with no clear and known plans on how the challenge would be overcome. We demand a comprehensive plan with clear timeframes on how the problems of water shortages are going to addressed and to be mitigated going forward now that climate change is upon us! We reject with contempt the continued enrichment program on the owners of water tankers who continue to rake in thousands of rands whilst there is no plan in place to provide water through the installed infrastructure!

We are in full support of the legitimate demand of the students for free tertiary education. As workers we are the suffering masses whose oxygen is held by mashonisas due to loans we have to take to finance our children in tertiary education! we therefore hereby formally support the demand for free tertiary education!

Source: Congress of South African Trade Unions

Investment in research infrastructure vital to global development

Scientists at the international conference on research infrastructure in Cape Town have commended the efforts of governments to deliver on the global science facility, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope.

The SKA radio telescope is one of the biggest international research infrastructures in the world and will assist scientists all over the world to work towards answering previously insoluble questions. The SKA has seen huge financial injections from the governments of South Africa, Germany, Australia and the United Kingdom, among others.

The SKA has attracted great interest internationally. Already more than 500 astronomers, 58 from Africa, have submitted proposals to do scientific work using the SKA once it is complete.

Professor Philip Diamond, the Director General of the SKA Organisation in the United Kingdom, told the International Conference on Research Infrastructures (ICRI 2016) that many governments across the world are beginning to support the project.

He was addressing over 500 scientists and researchers from 60 countries gathered in Cape Town for the event, which kicked off on 3 October. The researchers are deliberating on the relevance of research infrastructure, such as the SKA, to advance knowledge and technology.

The conference was officially opened by the Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor and the European Commission’s Director General for Research and Innovation, Robert-Jan Smits.

“I remain impressed that governments across the world are willing to make compromises to deliver on the global science facility,” said Prof Diamond.

He said a project like the SKA could not have been built without international collaboration. “It adds cost, complexity and risk � but it is worth it.”

The Deputy Director General for Large Research Infrastructure in Germany, Dr Beatrix Vierkorn-Rudolph, said such infrastructure is necessary to provide opportunities for training scientists and engineers, who will in turn contribute to economic development.

“People from different countries with different culture and backgrounds work together, learn to cooperate with each other and gain intercultural knowledge,” said Dr Vierkorn-Rudolph.

The conference will also see the launch of South Africa’s first own roadmap on research infrastructure as a guide to the country’s deployment of such infrastructures. The launch will take place this afternoon.

Minister Pandor said research infrastructures were the lifeblood of any successful system of innovation, and should be used to solve some of the challenges the world is facing today.

Source: South African Government News Agency