Daily Archives: March 14, 2018

Kubzansky Appointed Managing Partner Of Omidyar Network

Former Managing Partner Matt Bannick steps down after leading 11 years of innovation and growth

REDWOOD CITY, California, March 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Pierre Omidyar, Chairman of the Board of Omidyar Network, today announced the appointment of Mike Kubzansky as the philanthropic investment firm’s new managing partner.  Omidyar also announced that Matt Bannick, Omidyar Network’s managing partner since 2007, is stepping down from his leadership role and will continue to serve on the firm’s board of directors.

Kubzansky will lead a global firm that has invested $1.2 billion in more than 600 for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations across five continents.  He joined Omidyar Network in May 2013 to lead the newly-created intellectual capital function, a strategy and research practice designed to inform and set strategy, explore and seed new focus areas for the firm, and generate and publish insights gained through Omidyar Network’s global work across its initiatives and with its investees.

In his new role, Kubzansky will direct the next phase of the firm’s evolution, one that will:  (1) continue its early-stage investing and grant-making support of sector-level initiatives; (2) launch several existing Omidyar Network initiatives as autonomous organizations; and (3) generate, develop, and share new cutting-edge ideas, insights, experiments, and lessons to drive innovation.  Kubzansky’s appointment is effective immediately.

“Building upon the legacy that Matt helped build, I am happy to announce that Mike Kubzansky will assume the role of managing partner at Omidyar Network. Mike’s work with us the last five years has focused on developing models for impact and expanding the organization’s intellectual capital practice. Mike has been a critical partner to Omidyar Network’s teams around the world for strategy development; and his passion for testing new ideas will be highly leveraged as Omidyar Network continues to look for ways to bring positive social impact to the world,” stated Omidyar.

Before joining Omidyar Network, Kubzansky was a partner at Monitor Group (now Monitor Deloitte), where he co-founded and led Monitor’s Inclusive Markets practice. He also worked for the World Bank and IFC, and earlier in his career, Kubzansky held several roles at a start-up company in the telecommunications sector.  He earned his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and his bachelor’s degree with honors from Brown University.

Kubzansky will follow Bannick, who oversaw more than a decade of growth and led several innovations within the field and practice of philanthropy.  Bannick broadened the firm’s strategy to focus on entire sectors as well as making investments in early-stage entrepreneurs, and he applied approaches more typically found in venture capital, including a horizontal partnership structure to attract top talent and providing human capital expertise to support investees.  He instituted a policy of hiring local talent as the firm expanded into new geographies, and he directed the establishment of an intellectual capital function to capture and share sector insights with peers and the broader field.

Bannick’s tenure will be marked most notably by his efforts in helping establish impact investing as a mainstream approach to drive positive change.  He authored several pieces that framed the opportunity of the approach, co-chaired the U.S. National Advisory Board on Impact Investing, was a frequent speaker on the topic, and saw the industry reach more than $114bn in assets under management.

“Omidyar Network has benefited greatly from Matt’s leadership, vision, and expertise,” noted Omidyar. “He joined the organization at a critical time, quickly building a global team of world-class leaders, while also growing the field of impact investing through his advocacy. I’ve known Matt for 18 years and it’s been a pleasure to work alongside him. Pam and I are humbled by his service, and incredibly grateful for the impact he’s had at Omidyar Network, and beyond.”

Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change. Omidyar Network has committed more than $1.2 billion to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple initiatives, including Education, Emerging Tech, Financial Inclusion, Governance & Citizen Engagement, and Property Rights.

To learn more, visit www.omidyar.com, and follow on Twitter @omidyarnetwork #PositiveReturns

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African Bicycle Contribution Foundation (ABCF) Chairman and Executive Director Visit Ejisu, Ashanti Region, in Ghana, from the U.S., as part of the Distribution of 50 Additional Free Bamboo Bikes to Students and Teachers

The ABCF/Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative (GBBI) partnership will also distribute free bikes to Kumbungu Senior High School students in Ghana’s Northern Region, next week.

ABCF Executive Director Patricia Marshall Harris (left) and board chair A.Bruce Crawley (right) are shown, post-bike distribution ceremony, in Ejisu, Ashanti Region, Ghana with two helmeted bamboo bike recipients.

KUMASI, Ghana, March 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Officials of the African Bicycle Contribution Foundation (ABCF) today visited Ghana, from the U.S., to participate in an event, at Boama Dumase, in Ejisu-Juabeng Municipal, Ashanti Region, as part of a two-day program in which ABCF will distribute a total of 50 additional free bamboo bikes in Ejisu, today, and next week, at the Kumbungu Senior High School, in Ghana’s Northern Region.

A. Bruce Crawley and Patrícia Marshall Harris, the board chair and executive director, respectively, of ABCF, joined Bernice Dapaah, CEO of Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative (GBBI), the manufacturer of the iconic, Ghanaian-made Eco-Ride bamboo bicycle; Ms. Ama Pomaah Andoh, member of parliament, Juabeng Constituency; Mr. Edward Adams, Ejisu-Juabeng Municipal Director of Education; Duampopo Chief Nana Adjei Bieni; Nana Abanquah Ababio, Boama Dumase Traditional Area; and other distinguished Ghanaian leaders, at the event, which saw the 240th ABCF-funded, free bamboo bicycle distributed to under-resourced students, teachers, small farmers and healthcare workers, in rural Ghana.

ABCF Board Chair A.Bruce Crawley(fourth from right) and Executive Director Patricia Marshall Harris(sixth from right) join Ashanti chiefs, and other guests, as they recently celebrated the students who received free bamboo bikes made by the Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative, in Ejisu, Ashanti Region, Ghana.

In addition to 39 bicycles that were distributed, today, to students and teachers in Ejisu, GBBI officials, in a separate event, next week, will also distribute an additional 11 of the ABCF-funded bikes, at Kumbungu Senior High School.

In Ejisu, the student-recipients will range in age from 10-17 years old, and the distance of their commutes to and from school, by foot, have averaged about 4.7Km (2.9 miles) per day, or 14.5 miles weekly.

In Kumbungu, the median recipient’s age will be 17 years, and the median distance traveled, on foot, to and from school, daily, has been 24Km (14.9 miles) or about 74.5 miles per week.

The attention of more than 300 onlookers was captured by 39 of the 50 Ghanaian-made bamboo bikes that were presented to under-resourced students and teachers at the African Bicycle Contribution Foundation's recent 7th bike distribution event, in Ejisu, Ghana

Ms. Dapaah, who recently returned from a visit to London where she joined, with several other young Ghanaian entrepreneurs, in an international trade presentation with President Addo, provided a brief progress report on GBBI and its partnership with ABCF, to date.

Solomon Amankwaah Owusu, development director, GBBI, also presented a broad overview of the efforts being made to make the company more customer- and technologically driven, including its work with the Ghana Climate Innovation Centre and the World Bank.

In his remarks, Mr. Crawley noted how pleased ABCF has been with its partnership with GBBI and Bright Generation Community Foundation, over the past 18 months. He also re-affirmed ABCF’s commitment to distribute 2500 free bamboo bicycles in Ghana over its first five years of operation. “Nothing quite compares, however, to actually being here, in West Africa, where our own families originated, and from where they were sold into slavery, so many years ago, to participate in these bike distributions,” Crawley said. “Being able to meet with all of you, and to actually speak to the students, today, inspires us to return home, work harder, and create more supporters for the important work being done on the ground, every day, by Bernice Dapaah and her team at GBBI.”

Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative CEO Bernice Dapaah(left) recently showed two students how bike riding is actually done in Ejisu, Ghana.

During the time they’ll spend in Ghana, this week, the ABCF leaders will also join with Ms. Dapaah, GBBI officials and previous recipients of the ABCF bicycles in producing a video documentary about the ways in which the Eco-Ride bicycles have affected their lives, over the past 18 months.

Established in July 2016, the African Bicycle Contribution Foundation is a U.S.-based 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, whose mission is to generate funding to underwrite the free distribution of bicycles to under-resourced students, small farmers, and healthcare workers in West Africa. The Corporation has made a commitment to finance the distribution of 2500 bicycles, in Ghana, over its first five years of operation.

Students from Ejisu-Juabeng School, in the Ashanti Region of Ghana sit prior to a well-attended ceremony in which they received free EcoRide bamboo bikes funded by the African Bicycle Contribution Foundation.

For additional information, please contact:
A. Bruce Crawley
African Bicycle Contribution Foundation

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Global Innovations for Character Development

Templeton World Charity Foundation to provide $15M in funding for character development innovations over 5 years

NASSAU, Bahamas, March 13, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Can humility go viral? Can we disrupt barriers to gratitude? Can technology promote forgiveness? Templeton World Charity Foundation is announcing $15 million USD in funding over five years to answer these questions through Global Innovations for Character Development (GICD). This first-of-its-kind initiative will support scientifically sound innovations that explore how character development can be recognized, invested in, and nurtured for its critical role in transforming lives.Facebook-1200x630

Andrew Serazin, President of the Templeton World Charity Foundation, remarked, “We believe that character development is a pillar of human development. Through this initiative, we hope that researchers, policymakers, and innovators around the world will respond with their best ideas.”

The Templeton World Charity Foundation has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for research and implementation projects in low- and middle-income countries worldwide, including Latin America and the Caribbean. This initial round will fund as many as ten proof-of-concept awards for up to $234,000 USD to proposals that develop novel approaches to fostering specific character strengths, as well as scales for measuring them.

The Foundation will also offer an award of up to $1 million USD to scale up a character development innovation. This larger opportunity is open to innovations that have a peer-reviewed evidence base, and that are ready to achieve substantial impact through widespread implementation. The Foundation anticipates additional calls for proposals in this initiative in future years.

Character strengths are learned and learnable attributes, skills, or habits which enable individuals to live better, more fulfilling and prosperous lives. Successful proposals will demonstrate a clear path to generating impact on individuals through demonstrable changes in knowledge, awareness and the practice of specific character strengths. Proposals must also include a rigorous evaluation methodology.

Based in Nassau, the Bahamas, the Templeton World Charity Foundation aims to provide scientific breakthroughs and practical tools relating to the search for meaning, purpose, and truth. The Foundation works with top institutions, thought leaders, and innovators from around the globe to support projects of the highest caliber and communicate the results of these projects to a wide audience.

The deadline for Round 1 of the RFP is June 15, 2018. For more information, visit www.globalcharacter.org.


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/9df12984-a6d7-4015-a28a-b93d7a397118

MEC Alan Winde on Western Cape business growth

Western Cape shows excellent growth in business confidence for first quarter of 2018

Business confidence in the Western Cape grew by a record number of points in the first quarter of 2018, despite the province being in the midst of a drought disaster.

According to the Bureau for Economic Research’s Business Confidence Index, business confidence in the province rose by 15 points, reaching the 50 point mark, for the first time since 2016.

Business confidence in South Africa also rose sharply, by 11 points, in the survey of 1700 executives in the five most cyclically sensitive sectors of the economy.

MEC of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, said: This score shows one of the biggest increases in business confidence recorded in the province in the past four years reflecting a better national political situation, our sustained focus on growing the economy in the Western Cape, and ensuring that the Western Cape is an excellent place to do business.

CEO of Wesgro, Tim Harris, said the growth in confidence in the province and in the country, were a positive boost for the regional economy.

This boost in business confidence in the Western Cape demonstrates that our city and province are open for business, despite the drought. This increase, to a score of ’50’, is also a demonstration that many businesses are looking forward to President Cyril Ramaphosa implementing pro-growth policies.

We are particularly excited about his focus on boosting investment into the country, and growing the tourism sector. As the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for the Cape, we are ready and waiting to assist with this important task.

As part of his drive to ensure that the Western Cape continues to be viewed as a world class investment destination, MEC Winde is meeting with ratings agencies to detail the Western Cape and the City of Cape Town’s response to the drought situation.

Moody’s cited the drought and its impact on key sectors of the economy as a risk in its January statement. In its report released yesterday, sentiments around the drought were more positive, noting the responses by the public, government and private sector.

MEC Winde, together with Premier Helen Zille, and MECs Ivan Meyer and Anton Bredell and City of Cape Town officials, today (Wednesday) met with representatives from Moody’s to brief them on the impact of the drought on the local economy and the mitigation plans put in place to protect the economy.

Provincial and local government level initiatives have been significantly bolstered by the public’s concerted efforts to save water, MEC Winde said.

Harris said Boosting investor confidence in our region is a top priority for Wesgro, and we will be working closely with all stakeholders to get the message out that Cape Town and the Western Cape are open for business.

We therefore welcomed the opportunity provided by Premier Zille and MEC Winde to engage with Moody’s today. Our world-class infrastructure, skilled workforce, high levels of broadband connectivity, and growing economy presents a compelling case for any investor looking to access opportunities in South Africa and the rest of the continent.

Source: Government of South Africa

Deputy Minister Maggie Sotyu leads Back to School Programme for Social Cohesion, and moral regeneration in Northern Cape, 16 Mar

The Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture’s Back to School Programme for Social Cohesion, and moral regeneration promotion in the Northern Cape

The Deputy Minister of the Department of Arts and Culture, Ms Makhotso Maggie Sotyu, will be leading a Back to School national campaign to foster and promote Nation Building, Social Cohesion and moral regeneration in historically disadvantaged schools. The activities will also include National Identity competition amongst the schools that will form part of this event. The campaign is a national programme that will be rolled out throughout the year in all nine Provinces, as this is a campaign for ensuring that all children that are supposed to be at school, are indeed at school.

The Deputy Minister will also be engaging learners and their parents, in the quest to revive the nation building principles and legacy left by the first democratically elected President of South Africa, the late former President Nelson Mandela, and other liberation heroes and heroines, as 2018 has been officially pronounced as the year of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu. In this instance, Programmes like Artists in Schools, Young Patriots, and the establishment of School Libraries, will be prioritised by this annual campaign.

Source: Government of South Africa