Career focus: South East

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Career focus: South EastOn 21 Sep 2004 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. A region by region look at working in HR in the UK. This month we investigate theSouth East.Great opportunities on offer in the SouthEastTheSouth East of England is rightly lauded as one of the UK’smost important economic regions. In fact, its economy is the 22nd largest inthe world, bigger than that of several European countries, according to theSouth East Economic Development Agency (Seeda).Theregion is home to around eight million people and comprises the counties of Berkshire,Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, the Isle of White, Kent,Oxfordshire, Surrey and Sussex.Accordingto Seeda, the South East isthe driving force of the English economy with the average gross income perperson higher than anywhere else in the country.TheHSBC Regional Focus Report 2004 places the South East near the top of theregional growth league, but warns that its economy is vulnerable to consumerretrenchment.Inthe long-term, it cites shortages of land, housing and manpower, and anoverloaded transport infrastructure as the key hurdles to continued success.However, it reports that ambitious government plans for development in theThames Gateway and Kent will partially alleviate some of these issues.Theregion also has a regional assembly that represents the area and hasresponsibilities around advocacy, accountability and regional planning.Thelatest government figures show the employment rate is 78.6 per cent or around4.07 million, up by 22,000 on the same period last year. Theseasonally-adjusted rate in the South East was 3.7 per cent (156,000) betweenApril and June, down by 0.3 per cent on the previous year.The seasonally-adjusted number of claimantsdropped by 1,500 in the last 12 months to 68,900 in July 2004. Althoughthe South East offers some great career opportunities for HR staff one of thekey challenges for the profession is recruitment and retention in such a tightlabour market.TomHadley, director of external relations at the Recruitment and EmploymentConfederation (REC) believes skills shortages and the tight labour market willprove difficult for the region’s HR departments.”It’sbeen the tightest labour market in the UK,”he says. “The need to recruit has increased again during the last ninemonths. One of the major challenges is finding and retaining the best people.”IThas been picking up again recently with companies looking to recruit new staff.However, EU enlargement could have a positive effect. A lot of new people arecoming from the Continent and alleviating some of the skills shortages,particularly in the service sector,” he explains.Hadleyalso pointed to a worrying trend that is seeing people move away to escape thehigh living costs.”Thereis some anecdotal evidence that workers are moving away from the South Eastbecause of the high living and housing costs, particularly staff in the publicsector,” he says.Accordingto the Manpower Economic Outlook Survey,employers in the region are not as confident as they have been in the past.South East businesses reported a net employment outlook of +11, below thenational average of +16 and the lowest quarter two results for the last sevenyears.Living in the regionEducationTherush for school places and the availability at the best schools is a majorworry for many parents. The average pupilto teacher ratios are 22.4 and 17.3 for primary and secondaryschools respectively. This compares with national averages of 22 and 16.4. Theaverage class sizes in the South East are 26.4 and 21.8, broadly in line withthe UKaverage.TransportTheSouth East has some of the most acute transport problems in the country, withhuge congestion at peak times on the road and rail systems. It has the busiestroad network outside of the capital, taking about 4,800 vehicles every day. Alack of investment coupled with difficult employee relations has led to arailway system that runs below capacity and, if you ask commuters, rarely ontime.Culture/LifestyleWithineasy reach of many Londonhot spots, the South East also has plenty to offer in cities such as Brightonand Southampton. There is also apleasant coastline and areas of natural and historical significance. Shopaholics should be happy withthe gigantic Bluewater and Lakesideshopping centres.HousingVarioussources say the rapid growth of property prices has abated slightly recently,but the region is still second only to Londonin terms of prices. The overall average cost of a home in the region is£213,828. According to official figures from the Land Registry an averagedetached house will cost around £339,824, with a semi-detached priced at£201,541. A terraced house will cost an average of £166,583, while a flat ormaisonette is estimated at £140,987.HR contacts and local informationSouthEast Development Agency www.seeda.co.ukSouthEast regional assembly www.southeast-ra.gov.ukCharteredInstitute of Personneland Development branches in the South East:http://branchwebs.cipd.co.uk/kent/http://branchwebs.cipd.co.uk/sussex/http://branchwebs.cipd.co.uk/csouthern/http://branchwebs.cipd.co.uk/chiltern/http://branchwebs.cipd.co.uk/thames/Company profileSkandiaStaff:1,600Based:SouthamptonFinancialservices firm Skandia hasbeen based in Southampton sinceits formation 25 years ago, and was set up as part of a deliberate move awayfrom the City of London.The decision led to a range of HR benefits, such as lower costs, and a moreattractive lifestyle for staff.HRdirector Mark O’Connell says the location has given him the edge overcompetitors.”Thevast majority of staff joining us aremaking a shift away from London,and the long commutes associated with working there,” he explains.”There’sa large catchment area fornew staff, and our employees have an average commute of just 20 minutes. Thishas really helped us with recruitment and retention and I think there’s a trendnow for people, especially those with families, to move away from London.”Headmits there is something of a trade-off being located on the South Coastas staff often have to travelfurther for business meetings and trips into London,but for many, this is a small price to pay. It has also enabled the company tobe proactive in the business community as it is one of the main operators inthe sector outside the capital.”Beingbased in a regional city has helped us build a larger profile than if we hadjust been one of the crowd inLondon,”he adds. “We play a bigger and more active role in the business communityas a regional head office.”Move here for…SalariesTherates of pay are higher than almost anywhere elseThe challengeWithsuch a tight labour market you will get to experience HR at its sharpest andmost innovativeCareersWithso many large, international organisations based in the South East, careers canprogress fasterBut beware of…Health serviceTheregion has the worst performing health service in EnglandStaff shortagesSkilledstaff in almost every industry arein short supplyCost of livingTheextra salary will not make the huge house prices easier to takelast_img read more

EIA: Wind now the leading source of renewable generation in the U.S.

first_imgEIA: Wind now the leading source of renewable generation in the U.S. FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享CNBC:Last year saw wind generation in the U.S. overtake hydroelectric generation for the first time, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).Released Wednesday, the figures from the EIA’s “Electric Power Monthly” report show that yearly wind generation hit a little over 300 million megawatt hours (MWh) in 2019. This was roughly 26 million MWh more than hydroelectric production.Wind now represents the “most-used renewable electricity generation source” in the U.S., the EIA said.Overall, total renewable electricity generation — which includes sources such as solar photovoltaic, geothermal and landfill gas — at utility-scale facilities hit more than 720 million MWh in 2019, compared to just under 707 million MWh in 2018. To put things in perspective, generation from coal came to more than 966 million MWh in 2019.According to the EIA’s “Today in Energy” briefing, which was also published Wednesday, generation from wind power has grown “steadily” across the last decade.At the end of 2019, the country was home to 103 gigawatts (GW) of wind capacity, with 77% of this being installed in the last decade. The U.S. is home 80GW of hydroelectric capacity, according to the EIA.[Anmar Frangoul]More: Wind has become the ‘most-used’ source of renewable electricity generation in the USlast_img read more

#AFCONonCiti: Gueye asks Senegal to look forward after securing progress

first_imgSenegal midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye has urged his teammates not to rest on their laurels and focus on the next game. The Teranga Lions qualified in second from group C with two wins against Tanzania and Kenya but suffered defeat against Algeria. Senegal were very impressive in their last game against Kenya winning 3-0 after initially struggling to break the East Africans down. Gueye, who plays for English Premier League club, Everton however was not surprised by the Kenyan approach and understood as one of the favourites the lesser lights in the tournament would naturally use these tactics against you as he remarked after the game “We have a good team and when we play against this time of team we expect them to sit back”Gueye however was looking forward and asked his colleagues not to lose focus as they were a long way from the trophy. On the team’s approach to the next game he said: “We just have to concentrate and be ready for the next game”Senegal will face Uganda in the round of 16 at the ongoing African Cup of Nations on Friday, July 5 at 7pm GMT Source: Susu Graham | citisportsonline.com | Ghanalast_img read more

Duke vs. Louisville: 5 crazy stats from the Blue Devils’ improbable comeback win

first_imgWith less than 10 minutes left in the game, Louisville was up 59-36. Duke went on to outscore the Cards 35-10 and leave with a W! What a comeback!💪#HereComesDuke (@DukeMBB) pic.twitter.com/trFCl2n0Ir— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) February 13, 2019Star freshman Zion Williamson tallied a game-high 27 points and 12 rebounds for the Blue Devils. Jordan Nwora scored 23 for Louisville in the losing effort.Duke improved to 22-2 (10-1 ACC) with the win while the Cardinals dropped to 17-8 (8-4 ACC). Related News No. 2 Duke was headed for its third loss of the season Tuesday. Until it wasn’t.The Blue Devils trailed No. 16 Louisville by 23 points with 9:58 to play in the game. But, they strung together an incredible rally to come away with a 71-69 victory at the KFC Yum! Center. Here are five crazy stats from Duke’s improbable win:9 — Louisville held a 38-29 lead over Duke at the end of the first half. It was the Blue Devils largest halftime deficit of the season.25 — Duke outscored Louisville by 25 points in the final 9:13 of the game to pull out the victory.1 — Junior forward Javin DeLaurier made a free throw early in the second half. It was the Blue Devils only bench point in the game. Three takeaways from No. 4 Virginia’s road win over No. 8 North Carolinacenter_img No. 19 LSU tops No. 5 Kentucky on controversial game-winning tip-in 36.5 — The Blue Devils managed to secure a victory despite shooting 36.5 percent from the field. They also knocked down just 33.3 percent of their 3-point attempts.2 — The Cardinals connected on just two field goals in the final 9:58 of the second half. They also turned the ball over nine times.last_img read more

Joey Porter settling in as Steelers assistant

first_imgPittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Ryan Shazier (50) stands beside defensive assistant coach Joey Porter during NFL football training camp in Latrobe, Pa., on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 . (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)ATROBE, Pa. (AP) — Joey Porter hasn’t had much trouble adjusting to coaching.Porter, in his first year as a defensive assistant with the Pittsburgh Steelers, is three years removed from his playing career.But he continues to carry the same fire and intensity that helped him develop into one of the top outside linebackers of his time.“Either you got that type of passion for the game or you don’t,” Porter said. “When I was a player, it kind of worked easier because I could be out there in the fight. I can do all the ‘rah, rah’ stuff I want, but I’m still a coach. I don’t have the opportunity to back up my words.”Porter, a galvanizing figure on the Steelers team that won the 2006 Super Bowl, made his mark as a pass rusher.He had 60 sacks for Pittsburgh from 1999-2006, fifth highest in team history. He made the NFL’s all-decade team for the 2000s became the first player in league history with at least 70 sacks and 10 interceptions.Yet it’s not Porter’s resume that is winning over his new charges.“He brings a lot of energy,” rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier said. “Just Joey as a person, not even from a football standpoint. He’s a really intense person.”That intensity has been on display regularly throughout training camp, most notably when the former linebacker was an animated mix of encouragement and admonishment as he tried to inspire his group during the ‘backs on backers’ drill.Porter also jumped into the mix once, pulling RB LeGarrette Blount off LB Vince Williams during a practice skirmish.Now, it’s his job to mentor outside linebackers Jarvis Jones and Jason Worilds, both entering their first season as full-time starters.Jones, a second-year linebacker, struggled during his rookie year with just one sack, six passes deflected and 42 tackles in 14 games. Worilds enjoyed a breakout fourth season with eight sacks, 54 tackles and a pair of forced fumbles in 15 games.The Steelers want more from a key position on their defense, designed to create pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Who better to teach them than Porter?“I know the position, I know how the position is supposed to be played, I played under the same coaches these guys have now,” he said. “I know what they want and know how to do it. I just try and help them with stuff I used to do that worked.”Porter is learning methods that work as a coach now. It was a welcome nostalgia trip back to the familiar confines of Saint Vincent College, but it has been noticeably different as a coach.“We fool ourselves every day as coaches when we wake up and think we still got it,” Porter said. “Then, I throw on my cleats, go out there and try to lift with (the players), and I’m quickly reminded that my days are over. It does feel good to be out there with them every day. The kids keep me young.”Porter, a student-assistant coach at his alma mater, Colorado State, last year, isn’t looking to the fast track toward the next available opportunity.For him, the Steelers defense is home, and he plans to stay there with his energetic brand of coaching for as long as possible.“I’m blessed with this opportunity, not only being able to come home to Pittsburgh, but to be in the same room as (defensive coordinator Dick) LeBeau and learning the reason why we did things,” Porter said. “What better way to start off my coaching career than by having a legendary guy show me the ropes. I love my position, I love where I’m at, and I want to be here as long as I can.”NOTES: The Steelers placed punter Adam Podlesh on the reserved/did not report list on Tuesday because of family obligations. … Shazier (knee) was limited in practice and Jones (undisclosed) sat out. … OL Ramon Foster (knee), Williams (concussion), FB Will Johnson, and CB Shaquille Richardson all left Tuesday’s practice early. … The Steelers will hold joint practices with the Buffalo Bills on Wednesday and Thursday.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFLlast_img read more

Riverview, Bayshore Hospitals to Host ‘Your Body, Your Health, Your Way’

first_imgRED BANK – Knowledge is power. Riverview Medical Center and Bayshore Community Hospital are inviting the public to learn more about the latest developments, treatment options, and medical advances in breast health at a special breast health event.“Your Body, Your Health, Your Way,” will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, at the Joan and Robert Rechnitz Conference and Education Center at Riverview Medical Center.The event will include an evening of education, fun, and exclusive access to the women’s health experts from Riverview Medical Center and Bayshore Community Hospital. Guests will hear from a multidisciplinary panel of Meridian Cancer Care experts, who will answer questions and discuss the latest news in women’s health, breast cancer prevention, and more.Guests will participate in a panel discussion and Q and A with Meridian’s radiologists, oncologists, genetics counselors, and surgeons, learn about nutrition, sample foods and recipes that promote breast health, and enjoy unique and exclusive opportunities such as custom bra fittings from the experts at Sweetest Sin Boutique in Red Bank. In addition, guests will have a chance to create their own pampered mammography experience.The moderator for the evening will be Dr. Mark Krasna, medical director of Meridian Cancer and panelists will include: Drs. Debra Camal, Peter Hetzler, Ian Horkheimer, Priti Patel and Bokron Won. Also participating will be Jackie DiBernardo and Jayne Murphy.The event is free but registration is required and may be completed at RiverviewMedicalCenter.com or by calling 800-560-9990.last_img read more

State Denies Red Bank Charter School’s Plan For Growth

first_imgBy John BurtonRED BANK – State Commissioner of Education David C. Hespe made known his decision this week, allowing for a sigh of relief for many in the community and delivering a major setback for the charter school community.Hespe on Monday issued his nervously anticipated decision, in the final analysis denying the Red Bank Charter School’s proposal to expand its enrollment and facility – a proposal that had become quite controversial and contentious in Red Bank.In his brief, one-page letter sent to the charter school’s board of trustees on Monday, Hespe offered little in way of explanation other than saying the state Department of Education (DOE) had reviewed the charter school’s request “based on a review of its academic, operational, and fiscal standing as well as an analysis of public comments, fiscal impact on sending districts, and other information in order to make a decision,” concerning the charter school’s plan. But based upon his review of the school’s request and information provided and review of the public comments, Hespe decided against the proposal.In response to Hespe’s ruling Meredith Pennotti, the charter school principal, offered a released statement: “The Red Bank Charter School is disappointed in the Department of Education’s to deny the expansion to the charter school. This is a missed opportunity to have served Red Bank and an increased number of disadvantaged students via the weighted lottery. We look forward to continuing to serve our students and families with a high-caliber education.”“It’s quite relieving,” said Jared Rumage, the district’s superintendent of schools, after being notified Hespe had denied the charter school’s proposal.Rumage had been expressing his fears about what a larger charter school would mean for the public school district, saying it would have a profound impact on the district the state traditionally underfunds. He regularly said it would be “devastating” to the public school district.“Certainly, the board of education and I are very satisfied with the decision,” Rumage said, referencing Hespe’s action.The Red Bank Charter School, 58 Oakland St., had very quietly initially sought approval from Hespe and the DOE to double the enrollment to 400 students over a three-year period and to expand its facility to an available Monmouth Street property that abuts the school’s Oakland Street location. School officials had maintained given the school’s ongoing waiting list for placement, the availability of the neighboring property and the state’s modification to the random lottery system that would give added weight to more disadvantaged students, it was an ideal time to undertake this plan. Officials said the expansion would be a benefit for the community, offering families a choice in public schools.When the charter school’s submission became public last December, concern and opposition began and grew as all waited for Hespe’s decision. Public school officials said the expansion would mean the cutting or elimination of much-needed programs and staff members for the district that has considerable challenges. It would also mean additional taxes for property owners to help meet the cost requirements of the expansion; and the expansion would exacerbate what is already a heavily segregated district, with charter school white students outnumbering the number of whites in the primary and middle schools.The local board of education has made these arguments in the past, even taking the charter school to court, alleging it worsened segregation in the public schools and had a detrimental impact on the traditional public schools. The board was unsuccessful a decade ago with both the state education officials and the Superior Court of Appeals rejecting the arguments.The public school district out of its budget supplies 90 percent of the charter school funds – currently at approximately at $1.6 million – to provide a thorough and efficient education under the state formula. The charter school also receives additional direct state aid.Amanda Vega, director of communications for the New Jersey Charter Schools Association, provided a statement that noted: “Commissioner Hespe’s letter indicates the reason for denial was based upon information received during the 60-day public comment period. The Christie Administration has stated a strong commitment to strengthening not only the charter community, but also supporting public education overall.”As time progressed, public opposition grew. The borough council offered its bipartisan, unanimous opposition to the plan. Mayor Pasquale Menna had convened a special committee to study the proposal and reported it would have “devastating” effects on taxes and the public school. (Some charter school supporters alleged the committee’s verdict was politically charged and motivated.)Red Bank RiverCenter, which manages and advocates for the borough commercial Special Improvement District, issued a statement that the threat of higher taxes to support the expansion could have a negative impact on business recruitment and by extension the entire community. State Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) and the 11th District’s Assembly members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey, both Democrats, all voiced opposition, especially in light of the state’s continued short funding of educational aid. Just last two weeks Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-13), who acknowledged he is ideologically supportive of school choice, also raised objections to the plan.One community member who attended a meeting in Trenton with Harold Lee, the state’s director for the Office of Charter Schools, said Lee told the Red Bank group he hadn’t experienced such an outpouring of community opposition, as had been the case for the Red Bank Charter School.“I’m in shock, in shock, in shock,” said a jubilant Board of Education Member Ben Forest over the denial. “Based upon the state policies of encouraging and expanding charter school’s I’m very proud the commissioner of education did the right thing.”Menna said what he was hearing from those in the know in Trenton, the expansion was a fait accompli. But “What I think tipped the scales was basically the community coming together to speak with one voice.”Indeed, both Hespe and Gov. Chris Christie are on the record as supporting school choice. Hespe last month announced at a school choice conference in Jersey City, that the Christie Administration hoped to expand the number of charter school classroom seats to 50,000, from its current approximately 41,000, by the end of the administration’s term in 2018.The Department of Education recently approved 16 charter school expansion proposals and gave the OK for three new ones.“This is a tremendous win for the people of Red Bank,” the mayor said, “and for the public schools, which have done an incredible job making up for years of challenges and really creating a fantastic educational atmosphere for people to grow in.”“The sweetest thing in all this, as I see it,” observed Marybeth Maida, a borough resident opposed to the charter school’s proposal, “is the community rose up and the community spoke. And what a great feeling to be part of a movement that made sense and prevailed.”“It was the perfect civics lesson,” Maida noted.The charter school could reapply to the DOE again next year or even seek to appeal Hespe’s decision to the state Superior Court of Appeals, according to a DOE spokesman.This year seven of eight charter schools that sought expansion through the charter renewal were approved by the state; nine of the 18 that requested expansion through the amendment process – as was the case with Red Bank – were approved, according to the DOE. Correction, March 10The Page 1 story “State Denies Red Bank Charter School’s Plan for Growth” in the March 3 edition of The Two River Times mischaracterizes the position of Red Bank RiverCenter. According to James Scavone, RiverCenter’s executive director, the business organization was neutral on the charter school’s expansion plan; but expressed concern about what a possible tax increase to pay for it would mean for the current business community and for RiverCenter’s efforts to attract new businesses.last_img read more

Edwards powers Hawks past Leafs; Rebels sweep Bruins in Murdoch weekend action

first_imgBeaver Valley travels to Grand Forks Tuesday before meeting the Rebels in a home-and-home series Friday and Saturday.The Hawks then play the Braves in Spokane before hosting the Leafs in the final game of the regular season — a game that could decide the Murdoch Division crown.Nelson plays Grand Forks in a home-and-home series beginning Friday in Nelson at the NDCC Arena. Puck drop is 7 p.m.Bruins sliding out of race for final Murdoch Division playoff spotHunter Jenerou scored twice and Kody Disher added three assists leading the Castlegar Rebels to a 6-2 victory over the Border Bruins Saturday in Gand Forks.The win was the second time in as many nights the Rebels defeated the Bruins by a 6-2 score.Matt Reed and Aaron Brewer gave the Rebels a 2-0 first period lead before Jenerou and Connor Beauchemin scored in the second to give the visitors a commanding 4-1 lead.Aaron Petten had the other goal for Castlegar.Connor Gross and Dakota Kittle replied for the Bruins, losers of three straight games.Castlegar outshot the Bruins 62-41 as Nate Rabbit secured the win in goal for the Rebels.The weekend sweep, combined with a Spokane loss to Kimberley, gives then third-place Rebels a three-point lead over the Braves.Grand Forks, still with seven games remaining on the schedule, trails Spokane by eight points in the hunt for the final playoff spot.Spokane is in Creston to meet the Thunder Cats Sunday. Beaver Valley Nitehawks held serve against the Nelson Leafs in the race to finish on top of the Murdoch Division in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.Ryan Edwards snapped a 1-1 tie with a power play goal late in the third period to lift the Hawks to a 2-1 victory over the Leafs in KIJHL action Saturday night at the Fruitvale Arena.The win allows the Hawks to climb to within four points of the division-leading Leafs. Beaver Valley has two games in hand on Nelson.Nelson opened the two-game home-and-home set with a convincing 6-2 victory Friday at the NDCC Arena.Edwards took advantage of Nelson’s leading scorer Jamie Vlanich in the penalty box, serving a two-minute slashing penalty.After a scoreless first period that saw the Hawks out shoot Nelson 17-9, Beaver Valley opened the scoring when Sheldon Hubbard beat Brad Rebagliati in the Leafs net 17 minutes into the second period.Alec Wilkinson tied the game in the third, combining with Vlanich to beat Bret Clark in the Beaver Valley net.It was Clark to came into Friday’s game after Grayson Sharpe was unable to stop the Nelson offensive attack, serving up five goals in two period.The Hawks then held of a late charge by the Leafs to secure the victory and make the final two weeks of the season a sprint to the Murdoch title and home ice through the division playoffs.Beaver Valley out shot the Leafs 43-31 making a winning out of Clark.Rebagliati lost for the first time in three games in the Leaf nets.last_img read more

Mussenden charts course for CONCACAF presidency

first_imgRocked by the recent FIFA corruption scandal, regional football authority, the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), will continue its push towards turning a new page with upcoming elections for a new president.Long-time Bermuda Football Association president Larry Mussenden is looking to be the man to lead the confederation into a new age of transparency, credibility and growth and has been taking this message across the region as he drums up support ahead of the May 12 presidential election.CONCACAF has long held significance in FIFA’s corridors of power, but as a wide-ranging investigation revealed, many within the organisation played major roles in under-the-table operations.The organisation’s last three presidents, Austin ‘Jack’ Warner, Jeffrey Webb and Alfredo Hawit, have all been indicted by the US Department of Justice. Webb has since pleaded guilty to racketeering, money laundering and racketeering charges.Mussenden, who distanced himself from the culture that clearly existed in the previous dispensation of regional football leadership, believes his experience in football administration, coupled with his base as a former Bermudian attorney general, would serve the region well.”I have been the president of the Bermuda Football Association for a number of years, so I have been around a number of years, and I have been encouraged by presidents of other countries, who have asked me to consider running,” he told The Sunday Gleaner.GREAT CONSIDERATION”I have given it great consideration, and I have seen how the previous presidents and general secretaries operate and I thought that with the right effort, the right support and with my background in legal affairs and football, that I could be an effective leader,” added Mussenden.”We took some serious damage, but from the bottom, there is only one way to go and that is up. CONCACAF has started the process with the reform package that we have been through over the past few months. We have been working on changes to our statutes to bring in greater checks and balances,” he said. “That is the first and early step in us working hard to demonstrate that CONCACAF can be one of the greatest confederations in FIFA, but also that we could be a credible organisation in the eyes of the people in our 41 countries.”Mussenden, an attorney-at- law, promises, if elected, to transform the organisation into an effectively run body with strong marketing, communications and tech-driven execution, while crucially committing to put into good use some US$10 million, which is being withheld as part of the ongoing corruption investigations.”Funds that have been seized and due to be returned … I understand that a significant amount of that will be due to CONCACAF as the victim and the money that comes back to CONCACAF, whatever it is, I think it should be used for development,” he said, before outlining his planned breakdown.”Thirty per cent should be used to develop various programmes, 20 per cent should be divided on a needs basis between the three unions, and the other 50 per cent should be divided equally among the 41 countries of CONCACAF because it should have been delivered to those countries in any event, and I will pledge to put this forward if elected,” noted Mussenden.COACHING EDUCATIONMussenden is also hoping to improve coaching education across the region and outlined plans to introduce a multi-tiered licensing system similar to that which exists at UEFA.He is also promising to work to ensure that the region continues to produce top-class referees and assistant referees, even as he underlined the need to pay close and immediate attention to bringing the confederation in line with best practices.The candidate says he has received encouraging reception from the various associations and believes he will get their support when voting begins.”I have had great encouragement from countries across the board and I feel very confident about the support … I have a good plan, I think I can get the respect of our member associations, I can get the respect of the people that we have to do business with and the region on a whole,” Mussenden noted.The CONCACAF presidential election will take place in Mexico City on May 12.last_img read more

China signals a new day for Africa

first_img9 November 2007The recent acquisition by China’s largest bank of 20% of South Africa’s Standard Bank is a watershed event in the growing relationship between China and the development of the African continent.The symbolism is overwhelming.China is an emerging global power and the sheer scale of its economy is already beginning to dwarf anything that has come before it.The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), which made the move on Standard Bank, recently overtook Citigroup as the world’s largest bank, with a market capitalisation of US$254-billion (R1.4-trillion).Its $5.5-billion (R36.7-billion) stake in Standard Bank, the bank with the largest presence in Africa, is the largest ever inward investment in South Africa, as well as the biggest Chinese financial acquisition ever.It further consolidates the uniquely strategic relationship between China and South Africa, its major partner on the African continent, and marks the moment at which South Africa can look to the new “BRIC” global economic powers – Brazil, Russia, India and China – as the source of foreign direct investment which has fallen short of expectations in the case of traditional trading partners Britain, France, the United States and Japan.China moves on AfricaChina has in the past decade or so become the fastest growing investor in African infrastructure, one of the major source of soft loans to African states, one of the largest consumers of African oil and steel and the largest exporter of cheap manufactured goods to the continent.Bilateral trade between China and African nations has increased a staggering tenfold to $55.5-billion (R350-billion) in less than a decade. In the six years from 2000 to 2006, China pumped $6.6-billion (R43-billion) in foreign direct investment into Africa.China’s state financial institutions – such as the Chinese Export-Import Bank – are advancing soft loans for developing African infrastructure, which run into $25-billion (R152-billion) over the next three years or so in four countries alone: Nigeria, Angola, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).China’s strategic approach in building a long-term relationship with Africa to serve its own economic interests has opened up opportunities for African countries which were unthinkable even a decade ago.The Chinese approach of doing business without preconditions based on human rights and good governance has presented the continent’s traditional trading partners – and multilateral bodies such as the World Bank – with a major challenge.Beyond aid and debt reliefThe stark reality is that Western aid to Africa has not worked. It is estimated that since 1960 more than $655-billion in Western aid has been pumped into Africa, with little to show for it.That is six times more than the $111-billion (at today’s prices) invested by the United States in the Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of Europe after World War II, according to Richard Dowden, director of the Royal Africa Society.It is only in the past five years or so that the G8 and the European Union have started to recast the relationship with Africa in terms of a partnership in which aid could be jointly monitored and managed and sustainable joint ventures could come into being.The call for a Marshall Plan for African development – which has been made at various times by Nobel peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown during his term as Chancellor of the Exchequer – is an analogy which can only be taken so far.Clearly, what Africa needs, more than aid and debt relief – although it needs these interventions too – is trade and investment, and partnerships which will ensure a transfer of skills and technology that will enable Africans increasingly to become the architects of their own renaissance.African interventionsIn that sense, there has been much progress through the interventions of South Africa President Thabo Mbeki and other African leaders is setting new standards of political and economic governance through the reformation of the African Union, and the creation of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).Mbeki has also been at the forefront of positioning Africa – which has contributed least to climate change but stands to suffer most from its impact – as a potentially key broker in the quest for a global deal on climate change.Then there are the interventions of homegrown African role models such as Mohammed Ibrahim, the former chair of Celtel, who set up a foundation to encourage African leaders to leave a legacy of development for their people and to monitor governance throughout the continent.Former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano recently became the first recipient of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s $5-million (R33-million) award for his wise leadership and contribution to development. Mozambique is growing impressively from a low base.Neighbouring Tanzania’s former president, Benjamin Mkapa, is Reuters chairman Niall FitzGerald’s co-chair as head of the Investment Climate Facility, which seeks to remove impediments to investment and streamline registration and customs clearance procedures.African success storiesAngola, mainly beyond the scrutiny of Western correspondents, is undergoing an extraordinary economic revival and is set to become a regional power in the years ahead.Botswana, long a role model of good governance and economic efficiency, was described recently by Barclays Chief John Varley, at a symposium at the CASS Business School attached to London’s City University, as “one of greatest undeclared miracles of growth and economic management”.Nigeria, which is projected to be one of the word’s 10 largest economies by 2020, is moving on a trajectory of growth and accountability, and countries like Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia have become relative havens of peace and development.The advent of the mobile phone has given entrepreneurism a major boost throughout the continent, and the most pressing needs lie with infrastructure development – particularly in energy and transport – financial inclusion and access to capital, the revival of the continent’s universities, and a sound education and health infrastructure.Most pressing – and this is where the Western countries could deliver, but vested interests in the US and the EU prevent it – is the need for a levelling of the rules for global trade, in particular through scrapping agricultural subsidies.Seeing Africa in a different lightBut one can already begin to feel the difference in Africa. Investors are looking at Africa in a new light and increasingly seeing the need to have a foothold there, much as was the case with China 20 years ago. Banks talk excitedly about the opportunities, and venture capital is engaging increasingly in the once marginalised continent.“To be successful in Africa, business leaders must reject the image of a continent in constant crisis,” said FitzGerald, Britain’s most credible and passionate Afro-optimist. “Challenges remain but, in a continent of almost a billion people, so do huge opportunities. The potential dividends for businesses which are bold and forward-looking are huge.”China’s involvement in Africa is strategic and long-term. There are already signs of a shift in China’s terms for business in Darfur and Zimbabwe, and similar shifts are evident in China’s growing attention to intellectual property rights and anti-corruption measures.Western countries have long tended to dismiss China’s interest as inimical to human rights and sustainable development, but they might not be able to do so for much longer.“China is lining up its entrepreneurs behind a vision which is based on securing mineral supplies and building future markets,” said Fitzgerald. “This is very powerful and we ignore it at our peril.”The marriage of China’s largest bank and South Africa’s Standard Bank is the clearest sign yet that the global economic order is in the midst of fundamental change. Its centre of gravity is moving eastwards and southwards, and the trend is gaining momentum rapidly.As a strategic partner of China and closely allied to Brazil and India, South Africa is strategically placed to make the best of the new day that is coming … just around the bend.John Battersby is the UK country manager of the International Marketing Council of South Africa. He is based in London. This article was first published in South Africa magazine.last_img read more