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first_imgWinning start It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend LATEST STORIES A costly, catty dispute finally settled The House of Representatives on Tuesday voted 119-32 to approve the P1,000 budget.This was not the first time that the Blue Babble Battalion used the halftime show to get their message across. Last year, members of the team wore shirts that spelled “NOT A HERO.” A costly, catty dispute finally settled Learning about the ‘Ring of Fire’ Stop the EJKs and uphold human rights. #UAAPSeason80#MensBasketball— Ateneo Blue Babble (@AteneoBabble) September 13, 2017The Ateneo Blue Babble Battalion on Wednesday took a stand against the extrajudicial killings and the House of Representatives’ decision to allocate just P1,000 of the 2018 budget for the Commission on Human Rights.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogThe group made the statement during the its routine performance at the halftime break of the game between Ateneo and University of the Philippines at Smart Araneta Coliseum in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament.ADVERTISEMENT Break new ground Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. center_img Right mindset key to Dennison’s easy transition to FEU’s go-to-guy For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. MOST READ After tearing a huge placard that said “P1,000″ into two, members of the BBB held up signs that read “stop the EJKs [extra judicial killings], uphold human rights” during their performance. OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View commentslast_img read more

first_imgLast year when we launched “the dollar for peace campaign” to strengthen and expand the peace clubs in schools and communities initiative, no one thought of the Ebola epidemic that stunned the people and economy of the country.The news of the Ebola outbreak, as we were rounding up our fundraising campaign, did not resonate with most Liberians and again, no one within Messengers of Peace (MOP)-Liberia knew we were actually raising funds for Ebola prevention and control activities.The MOP takes a rear view look at our 2014 report card, the challenges, achievements and impact of our programs. As you have noticed from our weekly column, we have worked hard with the Liberian public and communities to enhance the contents of our programs.We didn’t commemorate the International Day of Peace, as we wanted to because of the Ebola crisis. The focus of so many of our efforts, during 2014, continued to center on the epidemic. While we did not get to expand our peace clubs into other counties and schools due to the closure of schools, we were able to engage many young persons in the fight against Ebola.MOP-Liberia mobilized over 100 young volunteers in and around Montserrado for community education outreach program. We produced several information and educational materials on Ebola. We helped in the distribution of Ebola awareness materials, raising promotional items and training hundreds of children in the techniques of basic hand washing.In post-Ebola recovery, MOP-Liberia’s priority for this year would focus on the campaign “Ebola Educates,” to deal with EVD myths, issues of false information, stigma and discrimination and conspiracy theory of source of infection.There is an urgent need to improve the coordination of efforts and the sharing of information. We need to prepare the next generation of young people for future outbreak and finance, according to Joachim von Amsberg, a Vice President at the World Bank, “…can be a strong driver of preparedness”. We can no longer be seen to be tardy and sluggish in our approach to disease outbreaks. We must learn from our past mistakes, document our success stories and educate generations on how our resilience and tenacity paid off.Building on last year’s debut and as the fight to burn out the EVD continues, amid hopeful signs of the disease receding, MOP-Liberia hopes to raise additional funds to tell the stories of how it all began; how we managed to cope with the deadliest disease of our generation and how survivors were re-integrated into the society.The purpose of the MOP-Liberia is to build and strengthen the support we need to sustain our peace advocacy efforts. Thanks to you for your support during the year 2014. Even though we lost a significant few of our partnership during 2014, we would like to take this opportunity to thank our strategic partners, Daily Observer, Liberia Peacebuilding Office (PBO), The Carter Center Liberia, Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP), Shirley Ann Sullivan Educational Foundation (SASEF), UNMIL, board-members, volunteer peace messengers and Friends of MOP-Liberia that stood with us through our very difficult and happy moments. We owe our growth to you.We hope that as we launch our next fund raising campaign, it will stimulate us all to better collaboration in 2015.Until next week, when we come to you with another article on: “Ebola Educates”, Peace First, Peace above all else, May Peace prevail on earth.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgCome on Jason!THIS is Donegal’s own Jason Quigley – in the ring where he will make his professional debut on Saturday night.Jason is pictured in the right at the world famous MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas where he will face Florida’s Howard Reece.The former Irish European Amateur Champion and World Championship silver medalist will battle the American fighter in the 4-round middleweight contest. The headline bout is his Golden Boy Promotions stable-mate Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, who takes on Erislandy Lara in a junior middleweight bout.Brilliant Alvarez has been picking up on some of the Donegal lingo too – and has now taken to calling Jason “lad” in his best Irish accent! GOLDEN BOY JASON TAKES TO THE RING TO PREPARE FOR BIGGEST FIGHT OF HIS LIFE was last modified: July 10th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:FightGolden Boy PromotionsJason QuigleyLas Vegaslast_img read more

first_img moving on Liverpool’s signings under Michael Edwards – will Minamino be the next big hit? Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January three-way race RANKED The Hammers risk missing out on landing the midfielder as the report further states that both Lazio and Wolfsburg have submitted bids for Mendes during the last week. Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade LATEST Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ West Ham are yet to make a concrete offer for Lille star Thiago Mendes, who is also attracting interest from Lazio and Wolfsburg.The Hammers are looking to continue their spending spree, having already brought in seven new players so far during the summer transfer window. targets Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland 2 Mendes only moved to Europe from Brazil last summer 2 Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father Manuel Pellegrini, the club’s new manager, is targeting further additions in midfield and the Chilean is reportedly keen on Mendes. Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star targets LIVING THE DREAM The Brazilian shone in an otherwise disappointing Ligue 1 campaign for Lille last term and his stock across Europe has risen dramatically. He scored four goals and created a further four in 35 matches for the French side, following a move from Sao Paulo in his homeland for a reported £8m fee.However, L’Equipe say West Ham have not yet tabled an offer for Mendes despite holding great interest in the 26-year-old. Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti Mendes caught the eye playing for Lille last season Chelsea confident of beating Man United and Liverpool to Sancho signing TOP WORK Latest transfer news IN DEMAND REVEALED last_img read more

first_imgJohn Terry is welcome to return to Chelsea in a coaching capacity once he hangs up his boots, according to manager Maurizio Sarri.Terry, the Stamford Bridge club’s most successful captain ever, left Chelsea after 22 years last summer and joined Aston Villa in the Championship. He departed Villa Park after they lost in the play-off final and missed out on promotion to the Premier League, and the 37-year-old remains on the lookout for a new club.Earlier this week Terry rejected the chance to join Spartak Moscow after consulting with his family, and it has been widely reported he has other options on the table to continue playing.However, it has also been reported that Chelsea want to bring Terry back to west London in a coaching role. England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won “For sure he will be a point of reference for me, for everybody here (if he returned).“It’s up to him. If he wants to play for another season I think it’s right he tries to play. If he wants to help us, I’m very, very happy.” Did Mahrez just accidentally reveal Fernandinho is leaving Man City this summer? Sky Sports presenter apologises for remarks made during Neville’s racism discussion Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? latest SORRY gameday cracker 2 revealed REVEALED Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update predicted Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT whoops changes Guardiola-inspired tactics: Is this how Arsenal will line up under Arteta? Terry made over 700 appearances for Chelsea during a trophy-laden career How Everton could look in January under Ancelotti with new signings silverware tense The average first-team salaries at every Premier League club in 2019 Most read in Premier League 2 There have been suggestions Terry could return to Aston Villa despite leaving the club at the end of last season Sarri, the Chelsea manager, was pressed about the former England captain returning to Stamford Bridge in his press conference ahead of the club’s Premier League fixture against Cardiff.“The last time I spoke with him he told me that he wants to play for another season,” Sarri said.“I don’t know now the situation. I’m talking about one week ago. Chelsea is his home, of course.“I don’t know. He told me another thing. He told me he wants to play. I don’t know. I have to speak to him.last_img read more

first_imgThe Republic of Ireland finished their UEFA Nations League campaign on a relatively good note after grinding out to a 0-0 draw away to Denmark.They were second best in their stalemate at home to Northern Ireland on Thursday but Martin O’Neill’s men were much better against the Danes – who had already secured promotion to League A – by battling to another goalless draw. However, they needed the help of the woodwork on a night on which they failed to muster a single attempt on target. They have now not scored in 397 minutes of football, while their nine games in 2018 have yielded just a single victory.O’Neill, who handed Southampton’s 18-year-old Michael Obafemi a debut as a second-half substitute, will take positives from a gritty display, but will once again face questions over his team’s lack of ambition, something which will have to change radically if they are to mount a credible bid for Euro 2020 qualification.Enda Stevens enjoyed an early escape when, having lost full-back Peter Ankersen, he appeared to tug the full-back’s shirt inside the penalty area, but crucially not in the opinion of Azerbaijani referee Aliyar Aghayev.The Danes, who trounced the Republic 5-1 in Dublin 12 months ago, were surging forward in numbers and skipper Christian Eriksen saw a goal-bound effort blocked by Shane Duffy before Yussuf Poulsen whistled his follow-up just off target. Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade The Irish defended stoutly against the Danes 3 Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card MONEY huge blow ADVICE REVEALED Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions 3 Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won 3 Latest Football News Ireland will still drop down to the third tier of the competition despite putting in a good performance tonight Ireland skipper Seamus Coleman bundled the ball towards goal as Robbie Brady’s mis-hit 13th-minute shot rolled into his path, but it took another block by Duffy to deny striker Nicolai Jorgensen after Poulsen’s clever flick had put him in on goal.With Lasse Schone, Eriksen and Poulsen orchestrating behind frontman Jorgensen, the visitors found themselves having to defend deep.They survived once again 14 minutes before the break when Poulsen headed Schone’s teasing cross tamely at goalkeeper Darren Randolph.Brady curled a 34th-minute free-kick into the side-netting after Schone’s foul on Jeff Hendrick had handed Ireland a rare opportunity. no dice Ireland have not scored in 397 minutes of football Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move REVEALED RANKED However, Coleman had to be in the right place at the right time to block Jorgensen’s shot after Randolph had palmed away Ankersen’s dangerous low cross and Eriksen clipped a free-kick inches over Randolph’s crossbar as the half drew to a close.An off-balance Poulsen skied over from close range within two minutes of the restart, with Tottenham schemer Eriksen, who scored a hat-trick in Dublin 12 months ago, having made way at the break, and Coleman put his body on the line once again to block Martin Braithwaite’s well-struck 54th-minute effort.Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg drilled over from distance two minutes later with the Republic camped deep inside their own half and they very nearly succumbed with 21 minutes remaining.Defender Richard Keogh dwelt on the ball and was robbed by Jorgensen, who raced in on goal and beat Randolph, only to see his shot come back off a post and substitute Lukas Lerager blast the rebound high over.Obafemi arrived with 10 minutes remaining, but found himself engaged in a rearguard battle as the visitors clung on to their point. BEST OF Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade last_img read more

first_imgA Donegal craftsman has won one of Ireland’s most prestigious craft competitions.Martin GallagherMartin Gallagher, from Bundoran, beat competitors from across the country to win first prize at the RDS National Craft Competition.Martin’s stunning piece, ‘Cascade’ scooped the award in the furniture category. The sculptural set of drawers, which was inspired by water and waves, collected a first for Martin who is a member of the Donegal Designer Makers.Martin, who graduated from the Letterfrack Furniture College in 2006, was delighted by the win.“It is great to have your work recognised by people from within the industry.“It has given me a great incentive to go on and make even more pieces,” he said. Martin’s stunning work can be viewed on his website at‘Cascade’ which won Martin first prize. CRAFTSMAN MARTIN PROVES HIS DESIGNS ARE ‘TOP DRAWER’ was last modified: August 13th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:CascadefurnitureMartin Gallagherlast_img read more

first_imgAward-winning Mozambican-born jazz guitarist Jimmy Dludlu gave a passion-filled performance, with a blend of melodic expressions and rhythmic guitar lines. (Image: Rod Taylor)Khanyi MagubaneThe buzz at Cape Town’s usually suit-and-tie International Convention Centre was electric as jazz fanatics from across the world got together for the city’s ninth annual International Jazz Festival in late March. With 41 acts performing on five stages, more than 32 000 fans and musicians from five continents, for two days South Africa’s mother city was the world centre of “the democratic music”, as legendary composer Max Roach called jazz.And jazz democracy there was – on a global scale. Held on 28 and 29 March, the festival showcased indigenous interpretations of jazz from countries as different as Brazil, Zimbabwe, the US, Switzerland, Japan, the Netherlands and South Africa.“In South Africa, jazz has captured the hearts of our people for many years,” South African President Thabo Mbeki said in his festival message. “Jazz artists have, in the past, harnessed the power of rhythm and melody to communicate to the rest of the world the extent of the injustices of our past and to give hope to our people.”A highlight was the Latin American sound of Grammy award-winning Brazilian Sergio Mendes, possibly Latin America’s greatest jazz musician. Using regional jazz variants popular in places such as Bahia and São Paulo, he took the Cape Town audience on a musical tour of his people’s history. Mendes, who introduced Brazil’s samba and bossa nova to the world, is most famous for the song Mas que Nada, a crowd favourite at the festival.Then there was veteran Zimbabwean guitarist and vocalist Oliver Mtukudzi, an African jazz institution. Affectionately known to his fans as “Tuku”, Mtukudzi started out in 1977 with Harare band The Wagon Wheels, going on to international stardom. To celebrate over three decades in music, Mtukudzi has revamped his band and sound, culminating in a new album, Tsimba itsoka (“no foot, no footprint”). He treated audiences to an exhilarating performance, at one point dancing up a storm on stage along with his ensemble.From the US came Gerald Albright, famous for his saxophone duet with Bill Clinton at the former president’s 1993 inauguration, who blew the audience away with his skill with the instrument. In music circles Albright is known for his swiftness on stage and unique round sound, which is percussive yet soulful. He is always able to surprise the audience with something out of the ordinary. The Los Angeles-born musician began piano lessons at an early age, even though he had no great interest in the instrument. His love of music picked up considerably when his music teacher gave him a saxophone.Award-winning Mozambican-born jazz guitarist Jimmy Dludlu gave a passion-filled performance, with a blend of melodic expressions and rhythmic guitar lines. This year, Dludlu led a 10-piece band made up of some of Cape Town’s most talented and energetic musicians. The guitarist has recently released his fifth album, Portrait, which the artists described as “a representational expression of my music captured in the frame of surrounding and cultural influences.”Other international acts included Atlanta-based producer, composer and remixer Chris Brann’s Ananda Project, the energetic and intelligent percussion music of international drum quartet Beat Bag Bohemia, smooth jazz saxophonist Candy Dulfer of the Netherlands, virtuoso Japanese speed pianist Hiromi, Boston’s John Baboian and the Be-bop Guitars, the Kenny Barron Trio, headed by the retired Rutgers University professor of jazz piano, Nigeria’s Kunle Ayo, Californian Lee Ritenour, Swedish saxophonist and flautist Lennart Åberg, the Lionel Loueke Trio from Benin, UK group The Bays, and Tierney Sutton, one of the hottest jazz singers in the US today.Homegrown jazzThere was also plenty of local South African flavour, including Zola, Jimmy Dludlu, Vicky Sampson, The Manhattans, Darius Brubeck and more.The Soul Brothers, a legendary mbaqanga or contemporary Zulu music group, thrilled the crowd with their fusion of indigenous rhythms and Afro-American styles. Formed in 1974, Brothers combine strong vocal sounds, brassy horns and a rhythmic section.The festival has also been experimenting with fusing untraditional sounds into the jazz genre. Zola, a South African superstar, performed with a live band, giving his kwaito music genre a different dimension. Also popular with the younger crowds this year was the jazz-influenced performance of South Africa’s bestselling hip-hop group Skwatta Kamp.The festival also staged a training and development programme, with various workshops held in the local communities of Cape Town. Guided by dedicated professionals, the various workshops provided valuable, accessible and free information directly related to the music industry.A school music workshop was held two days before the festival. Pupils from primary and high schools in the less privileged suburbs in Cape Town were bussed in to attend workshops presented by leading musicians. Not only were the pupils introduced to the instruments, their history and the sounds they make, but workshop presenters also offered demonstrations and performed on the instruments.The South Atlantic Jazz Music Conference is also a highlight. The conference is a platform that has become a vital meeting place for a variety of stakeholders involved in the music industry, especially those with an interest in jazz. Held on the day preceding the main festival, the event attracted delegates and speakers from around the world and created invaluable networking opportunities for those who attended.“South African creative artists have shared space and time with outstanding international performers from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe, on the cultural platform that this festival has become,” said Arts and Culture Minister Pallo Jordan.“Jazz is a musical genre that has demolished the man-made fences that divide humanity into different nations, races, ethnic and linguistic communities, and has brought joy to people in every part of the world.”Useful linksCape Town International Jazz FestivalDepartment of Arts and Culturelast_img read more

first_img28 July 2011South African chemicals, explosives and property group AECI has unveiled a R1.2-billion black economic empowerment (BEE) deal that will see a 11.5% stake in the company being held by an employee share trust and a community share trust.It has also announced the restructuring of an existing BEE deal between AECI subsidiary AEL Mining Services and newly merged empowerment company Kagiso Tiso Holdings.Employee, community BEE transactionAECI’s permanent employees in South Africa – of whom approximately 72% are black and 12% are black women – and black managers who are not already part of any of the group’s existing long-term incentive schemes will participate in the deal through an employee share trust, which will hold a direct stake of 8% in the company.The AECI Community Development and Education Trust, which will fund educational and development initiatives benefiting black South Africans, will hold a direct interest of 3.5% of AECI’s issued share capital.The transaction will have a maximum term of 10 years, will not require any funding from AECI or any external parties, and participants will receive a dividend from the first year.The participants will be entitled to acquire ordinary AECI shares at the end of the transaction term.“The [transaction] will advance AECI’s empowerment objective of increasing black participation in the hroup by providing long-term economic benefits of its success to a broad spread of black South Africans,” the company said in a statement this week.Deal with Kagiso Tiso HoldingsIn 2004, AECI concluded the sale of an effective 25.1% interest in AEL Mining Services to an empowerment consortium led by the Tiso Group, which has since merged with Kagiso Trust Investments to form Kagiso Tiso Holdings (KTH).The KTH Consortium holds its 25.1% interest in AEL through a special-purpose vehicle which is 75% owned by KTH and 25% owned by the AEL Community Development Trust.AECI has reached an agreement with KTH that will see the KTH Consortium swap the 25.1% holding in AEL Mining Services, in return for 4.18% of the issued ordinary share capital of AECI itself.The transaction will see the AEL Community Development Trust retained as a shareholder in AECI.“The KTH Transaction will allow AECI to control 100% of AEL and will provide AECI with greater flexibility in managing the operations of AEL, a leading developer, producer and supplier of commercial explosives, initiating systems and blasting services for mining and infrastructure markets in Africa and selected international markets,” the company said.According to the statement, the two transactions will contribute to AECI achieving an effective 27.4% BEE equity ownership in terms of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Codes of Good Practice.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

first_imgSouth Africa’s presence is increasing in Africa, with local brands able to shape the culture of shopping in countries like Nigeria, says Brand South Africa’s research manager, Petrus de Kock. South Africa is one of the top three countries of origin for foreign direct investment in Africa, meaning our companies have internationalised at a rapid pace since 1994.Between 2008-2013, the South African Reserve Bank approved nearly 1 000 large investments by South African corporations into 36 African countries. Brand South Africa general manager for research, Petrus de Kock.Petrus de KockThe dawn of a democratic dispensation in South Africa in 1994 did not only bring with it a bill of human rights, the right to vote, and freedom from oppression, but also led to a proverbial explosion of the country’s corporations onto the continent.Evidence of this proverbial explosion can be seen not only in the number of South African brands active in peer African markets, but also in the 2013 EY Africa Attractiveness Survey which indicates that the top three countries of origin for foreign direct investment (FDI) on the continent (by number of projects) are the UK at 104; the USA at 78; and South Africa with a total of 63 during 2013 alone. This means that since the end of apartheid South African corporates have internationalised at a significant pace, making the country one of the leading sources of investment on the continent.In the 2013 budget speech, the then minister of finance, Pravin Gordhan, indicated that during the 2008-2013 period the South African Reserve Bank approved nearly 1 000 large investments by South African corporations into 36 African countries. These are in many instances not insignificant projects, for example, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has investments in 41 projects across 17 countries that added to a cumulative African investment portfolio of R6.2 billion by 2012. These IDC-led investments are predominantly in mining, industrial infrastructure, agro-processing and tourism.The IDC is but one significant example. During 2014 Brand South Africa’s research into the country’s exposure to peer African markets from a business, government, and civil-society/cultural point of view finds that the country’s corporate brands (both private and parastatals) have played, and will continue to play, a crucial role in carrying the nation’s flag across the continent. For this reason Brand South Africa set out to, in a more systematic manner, research the profile of the nation brand, how South Africa and South Africans are perceived on the continent, and additionally to identify opportunities and challenges South Africans, South African brands, and generally speaking the nation brand faces when investing in, trading with, interfacing or interacting with markets across Africa.From the fieldwork and related research it has become apparent that if South Africa, and South Africans are known for a few key attributes of features then in Nigeria one finds significant interest in South African corporate brands’ managerial and corporate governance capability. In Kenya fieldwork found that while there may be some criticisms of the South African personality (more on that in a moment), products and services from South African suppliers, retailers or service providers are often cited as reputable, reliable, and in some cases competitively priced.In some markets, such as Nigeria, several interviewees indicated that Shoprite’s entry has to some extent changed the shopping culture. This implies that South African brands have not only internationalised, but have in the intervening twenty years of democracy become well known, and respected for rendering quality services & products.Any South African who may suddenly develop a craving for a Spur or Steers “fix” – outlets can be found in Lagos and Nairobi. South African banks such as Stanbic have made it easy to transact, draw cash, and pay for services in the markets where it has a presence. Metropolitan Life in Ghana offers increasingly sophisticated insurance solutions to a growing business and consumer market. In Nigeria the Protea and Southern Sun hotel groups have become well established brands that form part of the Nigerian hospitality industry. Also in Ghana, corporates such as AFGRI, John Deere and smaller South African service providers deliver valuable services in the agriculture, plumbing, electrical, engineering, and automotive spaces.This means that the profile of the South African brand in markets such as Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana (the countries focused on in the 2014 phase of the SA Inc project) is quite diverse, and by and large each market has unique reasons to accept, use, buy and interact with South African brands, products and services.However, while there is a lot to celebrate in terms of the significant economic and business ties that have developed during the past twenty years, Brand South Africa’s fieldwork research in Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana during 2014 also uncovered some important findings regarding challenges, particularly focused on market entry strategy some corporates have faced in their efforts at entering these markets.Learning to listenFieldwork interviews in Kenya and Nigeria indicate that South Africans can from time to time come across as somewhat aggressive, imposing and unwilling to listen to the advice from partners or local advisors. This raises an important issue pertaining to the internationalisation strategy South African corporates deploy when considering entry into peer African markets.Typical market entry strategy will consider “hard factors” such as:         Any internationalisation strategy has to consider inherent risks pertaining to the sector, local competition or international presence, the policy and regulatory environment of the market;         In order to mitigate the unique market entry risks corporate leaders must assess risks and then decide on an appropriate strategy such as:         Will the company go and establish a o Should the company seek local partnerships and/or shareholders to create joint ventures, or         Should the company operate in a foreign market by licensing the firm’s products in another market to be distributed and marketed by local partners.The above are but a few of the somewhat challenging questions corporate leaders, marketers, and strategists face when deciding to internationalise and expand into foreign markets be they on the continent, or further afield in emerging markets or so-called developed economies.Seeing that the Sub-Saharan African economy has been growing at significant rates during the past decade, opportunities for expansion onto the continent have expanded. However, during fieldwork interviews in all three markets it became apparent that perceptions of corporate brands, South African individuals, and the country as a whole, plays an important role in managing relationships.For example, in both Kenya and Ghana interviewees (both South Africans in these markets and local businesses or corporate leaders) indicated that the success of a market entry strategy relies on the ability to take the above decisions on “hard issues” including elements noted above. However, the perception of personalities, and the manner in which South Africans interact with local business partners can in some instances cause deals to fail.The above means that one of the key findings of Brand SA’s research is that the success or failure of a corporate market entry strategy often hinges on the “soft factors” as well. These include an awareness of, and willingness to learn from partners, advisors, or South African individuals or corporates with experience in the market. In Kenya as well as Ghana local advisors often indicated that South African corporates are good with dealing with the hard issues, but when it comes to understanding local business culture, nuances in the use of language, and etiquette associated with social and business interactions with local stakeholders often lead to misunderstandings and failure to develop synergy at an interpersonal level.In Ghana, for example, an interviewee (a South African with more than fifteen years of experience with doing business in West Africa – particularly Nigeria and Ghana) indicated that corporates from South Africa in some instances think that they can proverbially ‘go it alone’ through the market entry process. Such processes often entail complex business registration and licencing procedures, tax compliance and expat quota management to name but a few unique challenges corporates may face when entering markets. Furthermore, unheeded advice from local partners, or advisors such as the case mentioned here, can often mean disaster and massive loss of capital due to deals that go wrong.Key lessons & recommendations to draw from the fieldwork         The South African corporate brand profile on the continent is extremely diverse;         South Africa, as third largest source of FDI on the continent can continue to play a pivotal role in the diversification of economies in peer African markets to the mutual benefit of the nations concerned;         In all three markets where fieldwork was conducted this year a bi-national business chamber exists. From a strategic point of view government and business from SA already active in these markets, or intending to expand there, can utilise these as strategic platforms for a range of services, such as:         Introductions to possible local partners, advisors, suppliers, service providers;         A platform to share knowledge, build insight and networks to understand local business environment;         Develop relations with local partners not only to grow business, but also to get exposure to the local business culture, and national culture generally;         Such platforms that typically involve the South African High Commissions or Embassies in the markets can with increased support fulfil a critical bridging function that can soften the landing of SA corporates in peer markets.The lesson to draw from this is that while South African corporates have exploded across the continent post-1994, a lot of work remains to be done to understand the unique hard and soft factors that may impact on the internationalisation- and market entry strategies of South African corporates across the continent.As the National Development Plan outlines, South Africa aims to expand not only its own trade with African markets, but essentially to support the gradual increase of volumes of intra-African trade. This has to be facilitated and supported with relevant policy, infrastructural and innovative solutions. To this end Brand South Africa’s SA Inc research project aims to bring new insights to the fore that can assist governmental, business, and civil-society stakeholders when engaging with markets, people, businesses, universities, or cultural activities.Finally, the conclusion is that South Africans may have to learn how to listen more carefully to the advice of local partners, advisors, or friends. By learning to listen, we will be better equipped to listen in order to learn more about the soft factors that can sometimes come and bedevil the best laid corporate internationalisation strategy.This research note was republished in volume 26, issue two of PMR Africa magazine.last_img read more