Uganda (Africa) Forum - Discussion pages

[ Home | Contents | Search | Post | Reply | Next | Previous | Up ]

Re: Africa 2003 SMME Awards, Re:

From: David Fick
Category: Category
Date: 11 Jun 2003
Time: 14:22:37
Remote Name:


Re: Africa 2003 SMME Awards, Re: From: Host Category: Category Date: 06 Jun 2003 Time: 09:14:51 Remote Name: Comments Re: Africa 2003 SMME Awards, Re: has put a banner up on for people to nominate their African companies directly for the Africa 2003 SMME Awards. Re: AFRICA SMME AWARDS 2003 The Africa Centre for Investment Analysis (ACIA), a centre at the University of Stellenbosch Business School in South Africa recently launched the Africa SMME Awards. The Awards are backed by a number of international and regional institutions, including APDF, NORSAD, IICD, FNB (South Africa), Ashanti Gold (Ghana), K-rep Advisory Services (Kenya), SABC-Africa (Media partner), Africa-online (media partner), Citypress/Rapport (South African print media partner) and PriceWaterhouseCoopers (auditors). The Africa SMME Awards are presented to businesses that strive for excellence in order to be competitive in regional, national and international markets. These businesses are well established, in good financial shape and enjoy a reputation for quality, integrity and service. Furthermore, they act socially responsible, support community development efforts and create a work environment in which their employees can learn and grow. The nominees in the competition will enjoy media and other marketing exposure. Furthermore, winners in the various categories will win significant cash prizes of between US$1000 and US$5000 and a uniquely designed Africa SMME Trophy. Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME) owner/managers with 1 to 200 full-time employees can enter or be entered into any one of the Sector Award categories. In order to be considered for the award, nominations should be received by the organisers before 30 June 2003. Re: South Africa based MailAfrica International came into being in Kenya in October 1999 as the first truly African web portal There are many paths to the Internet, but owners and founders Yazmin Nanji and her husband Yazim realized that none of the existing portals were tailored for an African audience. What was needed was a customized interface for Africa designed to make users comfortable and informed about the continent. MailAfrica provides Afro-centric resources and services on the Internet that include free web-based e-mail, African news, a search engine and information on African countries. It also provides opportunities for marketing and chat services. The company brochure describes as an African Yahoo or Hotmail spiced with CNN. MailAfrica pioneered an e-mail engine that can be accessed in African languages, starting with Swahili. This was the first use of Swahili on the Internet. In order to accord Swahili speakers the advantages enjoyed by Internet users of other languages, MailAfrica employed a team of experts to develop a spell- checking device by the use of a regulated dictionary. It is estimated that more than 85 per cent of East African residents communicate in Swahili, with additional speakers in the Central African region. Yazmin Nanji says Africa is a significant continent that cannot be ignored. She points out that it is the second largest continent in the world with a sizable population representing a diversity of cultures and languages. However, she observes that until the MailAfrica initiative there was nothing on the Internet promoting the use of African languages. She notes that Africans' first language is not English or French or Portuguese, and that people communicate mainly in their mother tongues. Kiswahili is one of Africa's main languages with an estimated 85 per cent of the population of the vast eastern and central African region communicating in the language. The Kikuyu, Kamba, Kisii, Kalenjin, Luo and Luhya languages are now also available on the menu. The user can switch back and forth from one language to the next. Additional languages taken into the Internet era are Oromo from Ethiopia, Hausa, Ibo, and Yoruba from Nigeria, and Ewe from Ghana. In 2001, the portal was recording over one million hits a month and had 15,000 users. Email is just the beginning. The ultimate aim of Yazmin is to translate the entire content of the Web site to make it easier for users of different languages to interact. Many African families are separated by various circumstances: the pursuit of education abroad, job opportunities in town, emigration, etc. They need to communicate with each other. As a communications tool the Internet cannot be rivaled. Messages are sent cheaply and instanteneously. MailAfrica is Africa's version of Hotmail or Yahoo, a free Internet email service. Yazmin has been working on a non-profit project called AfricaLive. Founded in 2000, AfricaLive brings together people from all cultures and age: professionals, business people, organizations and volunteers towards a common objective - "Keeping Africa Alive." It was actually an idea that was adopted from the concerns expressed by the young Nadine Nanji (the founders daughter aged 9 at the time) regarding what appeared to be a bleak future for wildlife and forests. As a consequence, its interest areas from the beginning were wildlife and environmental conservation. With time, however, this has expanded to include poverty eradication. In 2002, having found venture capital to expand, Yaz and Yazmin changed career paths by shifting their Kenya base to South Africa to head up from there. They have divested themselves of their other interests in Kenya and are concentrating their efforts in South Africa concerning their continued ownership of They hope to make a difference from South Africa for the benefit of the rest of Africa. The above text is from the proposed book New Africa: Continent of Opportunity (March 2004) Best Regards, David S. Fick, Author of Entrepreneurship in Africa: A Study of Successes (March 2002)

Last changed: December 17, 2020