Thursday, 26 July 2012

Back to some more delicious African cuisine -

Mtuzi wa Samaki  (fish in coconut curry)
Mtuzi wa samaki is a tasty fish curry dish that originated on the tiny island of Zanzibar. The use of Indian-style curry is indicative of Zanzibar's history. Over time, mtuzi wa samaki has become popular throughout the coastal region of East Africa

NYAMA CHOMA (Roasted goat meat) is the ultimate Kenyan experience, with a cold bottle of Tuskers beer you're good to go

                                        calulu  Angola

Angolan Ibale (Pumpkin Seed Balls)

Mpondu is the fantastic Congolese meal made with ground cassava leaves, palm oil, and dried fish, which is unique to Central Africa

Moambé (or Mwambé) is a traditional African stew from the Congo river area. The moambé sauce is made from the fruit and oil of the African oil palm which is used in many African dishes. Moambé stew can be made with beef, chicken, fish, mutton, or any wild game meat such as crocodile or venison. If peanut butter is used, the dish is transformed into Muamba Nsusu.

Nkrakra (Beef and squash stew) Ghana

Red Red ( mashed beans and plantain) Ghana

Attieke, a special delicacy in Ivory Coast, West Africa. It's made from cassava and eaten with fried plantain, chicken and fish, with stew.

Ivorian dish Kedjenou. Chicken and vegetables are slow-cooked in a well-sealed pot with little or no added liquid

Iskudheh Karis - A Popular Somalian rice dish with a wonderful fragrant aroma of spices used like cardamom, clove and cinnamon.

Canjeero( pronounced Anjero) is a staple food in Somalia. It was traditionally made of maize, flour, and water but self raising flour is now used. Traditionally eaten for breakfast it can be served with liver and onions, with suqaar (small pieces of beef), or with oodkac (tiny pieces of jerky-style beef). Occasionally anjero is eaten during lunch.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Just in case you've got some lose change lying around why don't you buy yourself a small island. Nsonga island is on the picturesque Lake Victoria, 6 miles away from Entebbe in Uganda(East Africa) and less than 10 minutes from shore by speed boat.

This island is 135 acres of natural vegetation, surrounded by white sandy beaches. It's uninhabited and has no permanent buildings. It would make an excellent site for a tourist village with a hotel, cabins, docks, shopping malls, conference rooms, honeymoon suites, camp sites or very private holiday homes. Those who love birdwatching, fishing and boating will love this island.

Nsonga Island is easily accessible from Entebbe International airport. Its immediate neighbour is Bussi island famous for its steady supply of the sweetest pineapples to the mainland. The lake has an abundant population of freshwater fish like tilapia and nile perch, but thankfully, no sharks.

Like most of the areas in this lake region, the weather is exceptionally good. The sun is up promptly at 7:00 AM and it's hot most of the day with cool breezes coming in from the lake. The people of Uganda have always been known to be very friendly and hospitable.
This island is now available for sale. Price US $2M.

Aerial View

If you're just looking for a place to chill out with your family and friends, Africa offers up so many beautiful spots. Zanzibar in Tanzania for instance is a lovely island, with beautiful beaches and boutique hotels and resorts. Known as the Spice Islands (it was an important stop in the spice trade centuries ago) it is one of the few places in the world where saffron is produced. The sugar cane juice and fresh coconut milk are not to be missed.

Baraza Resort and Spa, Zanzibar

The lake Victoria Serena Resort is situated right on the shores of Africa's largest lake and between Kampala and Entebbe in Uganda. A lovely location to unwind and nibble on some fresh seafood.

The view from The Lake Victoria Serena Resort
Photo Gallery

The Obudu Mountain Resort in the Southern part of Nigeria is another breathtakingly beautiful location for a relaxing family break with fantastic views and serenity. Nestling at the top of the mountain, the resort is situated on a plateau at 1576 metres above sea level. The temperate climate is a welcome respite from Africa's tropical heat.

The Obudu Mountain Resort offers a fully equipped gym, two floodlit tennis courts, a squash court and a natural swimming pool. Keen golfers can show their prowess on the hotel’s 9-hole golf course. A major talking point for guests is Africa’s longest cable car system. At 4 km, Obudu Mountain Resort cable car gently transfers guests (and their bags) from the tropical climate at the base of the mountain right to the hotel’s reception area on the mountainside which is often in the clouds and is accompanied by an invigorating drop in temperature.

Microfinance is one opportunity readily available to invest in Africa. They play an important role in national economies by providing credit to sections of the market that other market players are not willing to take part in. They are predominantly aimed at small to medium enterprises.

MFI's should be socially responsible and belong to self regulating bodies, in Zimbabwe's case the Zimbabwe Association of Microfinance Institutions. Quite a lot of Zimbabweans do not have access to banking facilities for example, and so setting up a Microfinance firm is an attractive proposition. The capital requirement of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is as low as US$5000.

Microfinance companies can target specific sectors like farmers, encouraging small rural farmers to form cooperatives to increase their yield and providing them with the capital to expand and be more profitable. Dr Muhammad Yunus is credited with the success of the industry. He started off in humble beginnings with Grameen Bank in Bangladesh lending small amounts to rural women who demonstrated that the loans could be paid back. It grew enormously from there and he was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 2006 for his groundbreaking work.

In Africa we have success stories like that of Prince Kofi Amoabeng, a retired military officer in Ghana who later worked in the UK for several years before returning home to Ghana. In 1997 with little capital he started a small microfinance company called UT Financial Services in a small one-room office in Accra and in 10 years had grown the company to be worth over $25million. Today UT is a Holdings company with eight subsidiaries; including a Bank, a Life Insurance Company, a Logistics company, a Properties Company among others with a staff strength of over 1000 people and 26 bank branches scattered over seven out of the ten regions of Ghana and others in Nigeria, Germany and South Africa. I believe with proper research and due diligence there is significant opportunity to replicate this route all over Africa by setting up your own microfinance company.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Here is a list of African CEO's on top of their game,  some of the most powerful in business -

Sifiso Dabengwa (Zimbabwe)

Sifiso Dabengwa is Group President and CEO of MTN Group Limited, Africa's largest telecommunications company. Despite increased competition he has managed to maintain and improve MTN Group's market position.

Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, MTN operates in 21 countries across the region. Mr. Dabengwa holds B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering, University of Zimbabwe, and an MBA from the University of Witwatersrand.

Aliko Dangote (Nigeria)

Alhaji Aliko Dangote is the President/CEO of the Dangote Group. The Dangote Group has 13 subsidiaries in Nigeria they include cement, sugar, salt, flour, pasta, noodles, poly products, logistics, real estate, telecommunications, steel, oil and gas and beverages. The Group operates in 14 African countries including Senegal, Zambia, Tanzania, South Africa, Congo (Brazzaville), Ethiopia, Cameroun, Sierra Leone, Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia and Ghana, and others.

Dangote is a graduate of Business Studies from the Al-Azahar University, Cairo, Egypt. He has raised the company to be the largest quoted company in Nigeria. He is listed by Forbes magazine as a billionaire and richest black man in the world.

     Abdeslam Ahizoune (Morroco)
Abdeslam Ahizoune is Chairman / CEO of Maroc Telecoms, one of Africa's largest telecom firms. He is a member of the management board of the French media giant Vivendi. He graduated with an Engineering degree from Telecom ParisTech in 1977.

Patrice Motsepe (South Africa)

Patrice Motsepe is the executive chairman and founder of African Rainbow Minerals Limited, ARM, a mining and minerals firm based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He initially practiced as a lawyer specializing in mining and business law before forming ARM in 1997. 

Today he is the biggest single shareholder of the fifth largest gold mining company in the world. He also owns Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club. Forbes magazine ranked him 442nd richest person in the world and South Africa's first black billionaire with an estimated net worth of $2.7 billion dollars as of March 2012. 

Reginald Mengi (Tanzania)

Reginald Mengi is one of the most powerful media barons in Africa. He is the owner and executive chairman of IPP Group. A chartered accountant by training he previously held the position of Managing Partner and Chairman, Coopers & Lybrand Tanzania.

The IPP holding company has subsidiary companies engaged in mining, manufacturing, bottling (Coco-Cola products and Kilimanjaro drinking water), and media which includes television, radio and newspapers. He has received numerous awards because of his belief in social responsibility, including Environmentalist of the Century Award 2000 - Kilimanjaro Region and the 2008 Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major for Justice Award by the United States of America.

Tidjane Thiam (Ivory Coast)

Tidjane Thiam is the Group Chief Executive of Prudential Plc. Prudential is an international Financial services group with operations in Asia, the US, and the UK. The organisation has £351 billion of assets under management (at 31 December 2011) and are listed on stock exchanges in London, Hong Kong, Singapore and New York.

On the 3rd of July 2012 he was appointed Chairman of the board of the Association of British Insurers (ABI). Born in 1962, he previously worked with McKinsey and Company in Paris and New York and in between had been Minister of Planning and development in Ivory Coast. When he was appointed Chief Executive of Prudential he became the first black man to lead a FTSE 100 company.

James Mwangi (Kenya)

James Mwangi is the CEO and MD of Equity Bank with headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. Equity Bank is the largest bank in East and Central Africa and the largest African majority owned company in the region with operations in Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda and Tanzania.

He transformed the bank from an ailing Micro-Finance institution into a publicly listed commercial bank. Mr Mwangi remains the largest individual shareholder, and on June 09 2012 he was named the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012 at an awards ceremony held in Monte Carlo. He is also Chairman of Equity Group Foundation which has partnered with MasterCard Foundation to form the largest Secondary Education and Leadership Scholarship Program in Africa.

Mike Adenuga (Nigeria)

Mike Adenuga at 58 is a reclusive colossus in business, he is the Chairman and CEO of Globacom, Nigeria's second largest mobile telecom operator. He also runs Conoil Producing, the country's largest oil exploration company. From once driving Taxi's in the US to sitting on top of a multi-billion dollar conglomerate he is one of Africa's richest men, said to be worth $4.3 billion according to Forbes 2012 Billionaire's List. He is also a huge soccer fan and has sponsored tournaments in Africa

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Land ownership means different things to different people, to some it is an investment, while for others it is having roots in the community. In many countries around the world land ownership is an emotive subject, leading to violent conflict not just among families but among communities and even countries. In Africa land ownership is emotive for several reasons, it is viewed culturally as signifying one's roots in the community, a sense of belonging, but also spiritual, as a giver of life bringing forth food and status.

In parts of Africa we see how some governments are trying to deal with the thorny issue of land ownership and distribution, and trying to redress the imbalance in the scale and size of land in the hands of white settlers. In countries like South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya for example, the governments are trying to find ways in which to redistribute the land, especially the huge swathes of land in the hands of white settlers, among its majority black populations. Now some methods are more palatable than others but the reality is that the issue has to addressed and tackled head on.

Land in Africa is gold as far as i'm concerned, it is important for Africans to have a stake in the future of Africa and that means buying land, whether it be arable or residential. Other countries have realized how fertile African land is and how vast, and have started buying huge swathes of fertile arable land to feed their populations in the future. Africans need to plan ahead like others, be ahead of the curve, invest in land. There are several opportunities to do this across Africa, do your research and you will find something suitable. So if you put on your economics hat for a minute, buying land can be profitable both in the long and short term depending on what you do with it, but you are also buying into the viability of the African state in terms of her development. For many Africans, buying land outside their immediate countries is still a rare phenomenon, but that should not continue to be the case, the opportunities are there to buy land and develop it for cultivation or housing.

 Kigamboni Beach, Tanzania

A beach plot of 7.5 acres, has an approved hotel project, has two acres of free beach area, secluded quiet location, clean title, white sand, clean sea water, etc. From $300,000

Kigamboni is an area south of Dar es Saalam which has been earmarked for redevelopment with a new city masterplan. It is an area blessed with abundant unpolluted beaches and a new cable bridge is in the process of being constructed.

Land on the lake front for sale in Bunga, an exclusive area of Kampala, Uganda. Measuring 2 acres at $550,000
Key Africa Property

Prime beach front land for sale in Batukunku, Gambia
This 51 x 60 metre plot is located in the sea resort area of Batokunku with amazing unobstructed ocean views. The property is fenced with small house for staff and has both well water supply and local wind turbine electricity. The surrounding neighbourhood is developing with several  luxury villas already being built. $93,600

177 Hectares of prime farm land on the south bank of Kafue River, Chirundu, Zambia. The property has about 350m long frontage on the Kafue River on the outside of a bend in the River. The location is 130km from Lusaka. Asking price $300,000

20 Acre Agricultural Farm With Greenhouses & Dam In Highlands, Kenya on the border of Central Province and Rift Valley province, approximately 200kms from Nairobi city. Asking price $149,000

These examples above are prime land for investment whether it be for development or for resale at a later date or even for commercial farming.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Africans are naturally talented and brilliant people and if they are in the right environment will always excel. This is why it is so important for governments to provide basic amenities like education, health care and security amongst others. Government cannot be expected to do everything, individuals have to play a role in enhancing the environment and that means investing in the people, mentoring and imparting acquired knowledge. This is what the Asians have done and is now becoming common place in Africa.

Let us meet some of the most influential icons in contemporary African culture -

Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe is one of Africa's most important and original writers. Born (1930) and raised in Eastern Nigeria, he is best known for his first novel, Things Fall Apart (1958) which has sold more than eight million copies and been translated into more than forty five languages, making him the most translated African writer in history.

He is a Pan-Africanist and has been critical of the traditions of racism in the west. He took on literary giants and rubbished their so called liberal writing, exposing their subtle racism, which caused a storm of controversy.  His books speak mainly to the social and political ills in Nigeria. He is a recipient of over 30 honorary degrees from universities around the world including Harvard and brown university in the U.S.A. He holds the position of Professor of English and Literature at Bard College, New York.

Didier Drogba

Didier Drogba is an Ivorian football star best known for playing for Chelsea Football Club and captain of the Ivorian national team. He recently won the Champions League Cup with Chelsea and is now signed to Shanghai Shenhua football club in China for a reported £200,000 a week.

 He was named as one of the world's 100 most influential people by Time magazine for 2010 after playing a pivotal role in establishing peace in Cote D’Ivoire after five years of civil war and unrest. In 2009, he donated his $5 million Pepsi endorsement fee to the construction of a hospital in Abidjan, his hometown through his Foundation. He is married to his Malian wife with 3 children.

Oumou Sangare

The gorgeous Oumou Sangare known as the “Songbird of Wassoulou” is recognised as one of the greatest ambassadors for Malian music.
She has sung with Oprah and was named an official ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 2003. A successful entrepreneur, in 2006 she partnered with a Chinese automobile company to create a car named after her, Oum Sang.

Oliver Mtukudzi

Oliver Mtukudzi is a zimbabwean musician born in 1952 with a husky voice that has become the most recognized voice to emerge from Zimbabwe onto the international scene and has a devoted following across Africa and beyond. He has released over 45 albums and sold millions of copies.

The government of Italy honored Mtukudzi with the prestigious Cavaliere of the Order of Merit award (similar to a knighthood in England) in recognition of his work as an international musician in 2011.  Tuku, who is the UNICEF Goodwill ambassador for Eastern and Southern Africa, was named as the 12th most influential celebrity in Africa by Forbes Magazine IN 2011.

Liya Kebede

Liya Kebede is an Ethiopian Supermodel, clothing designer and maternal health advocate. She's appeared 3 times on the cover of  US Vogue and in February of 2003, Liya became the newest face of Esteé Lauder cosmetics – the first woman of colour to serve as a representative of its brand’s 59-year history. She has served as the WHO's Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health since 2005.

Yvonne Chaka Chaka

Yvonne Chaka Chaka is known as the Princess of Africa. Born in Soweto, South Africa in 1965, she has been in the music industry for over 25 years. She was the first black child to appear on South African television in 1981.

She has shared the stage with megastars like Bono, Angelique Kidjo, Annie Lennox, Youssou N'Dour, the classic rock band Queen, Miriam Makeba, and Hugh Masekela, to name a few.
Yvonne has also performed for Queen Elizabeth, US President Bill Clinton, South African President Thabo Mbeki, and many others. In January 2012 she was the first African woman to be awarded the prestigious World Economic Forum's Crystal Award in Davos, Switzerland, an award given to distinguished artists who have used their respective talents to improve the state of the world.

Binyavanga Wainaina

Binyavanga Wainaina is the founding editor of the groundbreaking Kenyan literary magazine Kwani. Born in Kenya in 1971 he is an author, journalist and winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, and National Geographic.

 He is currently a Bard Fellow and the director of the Chinua Achebe Center for African Literature and Languages at Bard College, New York. His debut novel  'One Day I Will Write About This Place' was published in 2011 and was selected by the Oprah magazine for its summer reading list.

Chimamanda Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in Nigeria in 1977. She is the author of the novels Purple Hibiscus (2003) and Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), and of the short story collection The Thing around Your Neck (2009).
She is arguably the most popular new generation writer to emerge from Africa and has received numerous awards and distinctions, including the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction (2007) and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (2008).

This is just a sample of the talent Africa is endowed with, and they are making positive contributions not just to their communities but to Africa as a whole. I salute them and i salute all those who are giving back to their communities no matter how small.