T O P

Speaker of the House Candidates Come From Contrasting Housing States

first_img Daniel Webster Jason Chaffetz Republicans Speaker of the House 2015-10-09 Brian Honea  Print This Post Speaker of the House Candidates Come From Contrasting Housing States Subscribe Share Save Daniel WebsterJason ChaffetzThe announcement from Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-California) that he is withdrawing his name from consideration for the soon-to-be-vacant Speaker of the House position has left no clear successor to current Speaker John Boehner, but a couple of candidates have emerged as of late to compete for the top position in the U.S. House of Representatives.Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Daniel Webster (R-Florida) have both announced their candidacy while Boehner, who originally announced that his resignation will be effective at the end of October, has now said he will remain Speaker of the House until a successor is found.”I am running for Speaker of the House of Representatives because I want to lead the way on tackling the toughest issues facing the United States of America,” Chaffetz said. “The American people have entrusted Republicans with the largest majority since the 1920s, but with that majority comes a responsibility to get the job done that we were elected to do. I came to Congress to help fix problems, and as Speaker I will fight every day to make that happen. I look forward to sharing my vision for the Speakership with my colleagues and the American people.”In an October 5 Tweet, Webster said, “This election is about fundamentally transforming Congress. I commit to serving Members as their Speaker of the House.”Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Ohio), the Republicans’ nominee for vice president in 2012, was reportedly asked by Boehner to run for Speaker of the House to succeed him\. But he announced that he will not run—although there is some speculation he will change his mind.One of the toughest issues facing the nation is the declining homeownership rate, which has fallen to its lowest level in five decades despite all the positive news from the housing market this year. Chaffetz and Webster come from different worlds when it comes to being affected by the housing crisis, however.”This election is about fundamentally transforming Congress. I commit to serving Members as their Speaker of the House.”—Daniel WebsterFlorida has been one of the states hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis. No state has seen more completed closures than Florida since 2008; for example, for the 12-month period ending July 31, 2015, there were 98,000 completed foreclosures in Florida—about one-fifth of the national total for that period, according to CoreLogic. Florida’s foreclosure rate has regularly been far higher than national averages; in July, it was 2.7 percent, more than double the national average of 1.2 percent.Webster has experience handling the effects of the housing crisis, having served as a Representative in Central Florida since 2011. He has vowed to strengthen Florida’s housing market and stabilize house prices by making sure that “over-intrusive” regulations imposed by Dodd-Frank are not shutting potential homebuyers out of the housing market, and also encouraged responsible savings toward a downpayment in order to create homeownership opportunities.Utah is a different story, however. Utah’s foreclosure rate and serious delinquency rate of 0.4 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively, for July 2015 are both far below the national averages of 1.2 percent and 3.4 percent, according to CoreLogic. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Utah’s homeownership rate for 2009 to 2013—the years immediately following the housing crisis—was more than 5 percentage points higher than the national average (70.1 percent compared to 64.9 percent).Utah has not been as severely affected by the housing crisis as some states, including Florida, and changes in housing policy have not been at the forefront of issues in Utah. As the top Republican lawmaker in the House of Representatives, how would each of these candidates attack the problem of the nationwide declining homeownership? Would Chaffetz approach it any differently than Webster? Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Related Articles Tagged with: Daniel Webster Jason Chaffetz Republicans Speaker of the House October 9, 2015 947 Views Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago About Author: Brian Honea in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Previous: Former Fed Chair Bernanke Says DOJ Should Hold Individuals Accountable for Crisis Next: DS News Webcast: Monday 10/12/2015 Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / Speaker of the House Candidates Come From Contrasting Housing States The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Brian Honea’s writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master’s degree from Amberton University in Garland. last_img read more

Bosnian defender Kolasinac to join Arsenal

first_imgShare on: WhatsApp Arsenal supporters, some of whom have turned against Wenger and wanted him to leave, will be watching the Frenchman’s transfer activity carefully after the Gunners won just the FA Cup during a largely unsuccessful season.Arsenal have been linked with a big-money move for Monaco forward Kylian Mbappe, while Henry Onyekuru — a forward currently at Belgian outfit KAS Eupen — has also been touted as a target. London, United Kingdom | AFP | Arsene Wenger’s first activity in the transfer market since signing a new contract last week is to secure the services of Bosnian international defender Sead Kolasinac on a free transfer.Kolasinac — who turns 24 later this month — joins the FA Cup winners from Bundesliga side Schalke 04 and will compete with Nacho Monreal for the first choice berth.“Sead Kolasinac will join us this summer on a long-term contract,” read a short statement on the club website Tuesday.“Subject to the completion of all regulatory processes, the defender will start pre-season training in July.”Kolasinac, born in Germany but to Bosnian parents, made 94 Bundesliga appearances for Schalke and played over 20 Europa League and Champions League matches for the ‘Royal Blues’.He played for Bosnia in the 2014 World Cup finals making unwanted history in scoring the fastest own goal in the tournament’s history — the third minute of the group match with Argentina.last_img read more

Collecting Census Responses During COVID-19

first_imgBy law, the Census Bureau must deliver each state’s population total to the president, which determines the number of seats a state receives in the U.S. House of Representatives. Originally planned for Dec. 31, the revised delivery date to the president is April 30, 2021. By Allison Perrine He and other elected officials in the Two River area are now urging residents not to make the same mistake in 2020. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of May 9, 60.2 percent of New Jersey residents have self-responded to the survey online, by phone or by mail. In Monmouth County specifically, 63.9 percent of its residents have self-responded. In 2010, when the census was last conducted, a total of 70.1 Monmouth County residents self-responded. Perry said education funding from the state has been cut by more than $2 million over the years. If people fill out the census completely and accurately, the township hopefully won’t have additional cuts over the next decade,he said. The census is more than just a headcount. Mandated in the Constitution, it helps determine congressional representation, federal funding and much more. It is conducted every 10 years and allows state officials to redistrict congressional and state legislative districts to account for population changes. The goal is to have a complete and accurate count of U.S. residents in all 50 states and its five territories. He added that now could be easier than ever to fill it out, as most people are now working remotely from home in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and have more time on their hands. “Our lives and our representation are going to be dictated by this estimate that is done for the next decade,” he said. This year the COVID-19 pandemic has hindered the U.S. Census Bureau’s ability to get more residents to respond the survey. During previous surveys, census takers would go door-to-door to seek responses from those who hadn’t already self-responded. That can’t happen in New Jersey because of the governor’s executive order to stay at home. However, surveys can still be completed online, over the phone or by mail, without having to physically meet with a census taker and the self-response deadline has been extended from July 31 to Oct. 31. Several other extensions for Alaska, island areas, Puerto Rico and more are available on the U.S. Census 2020 website at 2020census.gov. Minority communities are traditionally underrepresented on the census, so before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, tutors from Literacy NJ Monmouth were teaching in-person lessons to English as a Second Language (ESL) students on the importance of the census. The tutors also reviewed the questions on the survey with students to be sure they understood the vocabulary. In Middletown Township, Mayor Tony Perry explained how the benefits far outweigh the time spent filling out the census form. “It’s about all these little things that are little – in terms of the time it takes you to fill it out and the impact that it has on you,” he said. “The time is so minuscule. “We need to get this number up – get it up meaningfully and get it up fast,” Murphy said. “Ensuring every New Jerseyan is properly and accurately counted in the 2020 census is incredibly important,” he added. “So much rides on an accurate and full count.”center_img The data on census response rates is available for some Two River area municipalities. As of May 9, that includes Atlantic Highlands with a 69.4 percent response; Fair Haven at 75.1 percent; Highlands, 50.2 percent; Little Silver, 77.0 percent; Monmouth Beach, 51.7 percent; Oceanport, 68.5 percent; Red Bank, 57.3 percent; Rumson, 67.9 percent; Sea Bright, 38.0 percent; and Tinton Falls, 67.4 percent. “With everything that is going on in our world today, I highly encourage our residents to complete the census as soon as they can so that we all can plan appropriately for the next decade,” said Hemphill. Ten years ago, when the U.S. Census was last conducted, New Jersey residents were underrepresented. Because of that, the state left “billions of dollars in federal aid on the table,” said Gov. Phil Murphy in a press conference May 6.  “A majority of the students we called have either already filled it out online or will do so shortly,” said Even. So far, they have had a 41 percent participation rate of students engaging in the remote learning to take the census, which Even said is “great” considering it was put in place so quickly. “It is very important,” said Rumson Mayor Joseph K. Hemphill of the census. “Outside of the effects it has on the U.S. House of Representatives and district boundaries on the local, state and national levels, the results directly impact the federal funding for our communities over the next 10 years. Not to mention, the preparation for emergency responses, disease outbreaks, and even the day-to-day functional planning of our town stem from these results. That has changed, said Jhanna Even, program director with Literacy NJ Monmouth. Since March 15 when formal tutoring sessions shut down, the group switched to remote online learning. Some tutors are still teaching lessons through the Zoom application and FaceTime. They continue to call students, encourage them to fill out the census and ask that they have five friends and family do the same. Mandated in the Constitution, the census is more than just a headcount; it helps determine congressional representation, federal funding and much more. As of May 9, just under 64 percent of Monmouth County residents had responded to the 2020 survey. Because of COVID-19, the deadline to complete it has been extended to Oct. 31 Courtesy U.S. Census Bureau The article originally appeared in the May 14 – 20, 2020 print edition of The Two River Times. “Everybody wants great roads. Everybody wants to have their voices heard, whether it’s in Washington or in Trenton. It’s about special education. It’s about education funding” and senior citizen benefits, he said.last_img read more

Youngster impresses former England manager, attacker finally finds form and more – Man United loan watch

first_img 9 Ben Pearson (on loan at Barnsley) – Click the arrow to see how other United players are getting on – As the Tykes look to avoid relegation to League Two, Pearson was brought in to bolster their midfield at the start of January. In his first four matches, Barnsley won three, while Pearson netted in their victory over Port Vale. But since that run they have now lost their last three and will need the ‘tenacity’, which he has already brought to the team. Jesse Lingard (on loan at Derby County) – Click the arrow to see how other United players are getting on – At the start of February, talented youngster Lingard moved to Derby County as a replacement for Liverpool’s Jordon Ibe, who had spent the first half of the season on loan at the iPro Stadium. In his first start, the Rams lost 2-1 to Reading in the FA Cup, but he has shown great promise according to Steve McClaren and came on as a sub in their 3-3 draw with Rotherham. 9 Sam Johnstone (on loan at Preston) – Being unable to play against his parent club in the recent FA Cup clash between the two sides means Johnstone has been limited to five appearances since his loan switch in January, but the 21-year-old has now kept two clean sheets in his last two games. Javier Hernandez (on loan at Real Madrid) – Click the arrow to see how other United players are getting on – Mexican poacher Hernandez has found it hard to break into Carlo Ancelotti’s first-team at the Bernabeu and has only managed one start in La Liga. Across all competitions he has managed three goals in 15 appearances. 9 9 Tom Cleverley (on loan at Aston Villa) – Click the arrow to see how other United players are getting on – The England international is on a season long loan at Villa Park but, despite playing in 20 Premier League games, he hasn’t managed to score a single goal or register an assist. 9 Will Keane (on loan at Sheffield Wednesday) – Click the arrow to see how other United players are getting on – Striker Keane has only managed one goal since his January move to Wednesday, which was from the penalty spot in a 1-1 draw with Cardiff City. It was thought the youngster had suffered a medial knee ligament injury against Brighton but it appears he could now be in contention for this weekend’s game with Derby County. 9 Joe Rothwell (on loan at Blackpool) – Click the arrow to see how other United players are getting on – Midfielder Rothwell, 20, has only played once for the Tangerines in the Championship since a switch at the end of January – a 45 minute cameo in their 4-0 loss to Norwich City. 9 Saidy Janko (on loan at Bolton) – Click the arrow to see how other United players are getting on – Swiss youngster Janko moved to the Trotters at the end of the January transfer window and got off to a storming start with an excellent goal and an assist in their 3-1 win over Fulham. He also started Bolton’s clash with Watford but on this occasion was on the wrong side of a 4-3 scoreline. 9 9 Nani (on loan at Sporting Lisbon) – Click the arrow to see how other United players are getting on – With his form continuing to wane at Old Trafford, Nani re-joined former side Sporting in the deal which took Marcos Rojo to Manchester United. And it looks like the switch has done him the world of good. Seven goals in 22 appearances appear to have enlivened the skilful midfielder. As Louis van Gaal looks to improve his Manchester United side, he has loaned out several of his players in order to provide them with first-team football.Senior stars Luis Nani and Javier Hernandez are in Portugal and Spain respectively, as they attempt to get their careers back on track, while younger players like Saidy Janko, Jesse Lingard and Ben Pearson are plying their trades in the Football League.One of the starlets has even drawn praise from a former England manager as he impresses in the Championship, so click through to see how the Red Devils’ loanees are getting on…last_img read more

‘JOHN DOE’ TOLD TO PREPARE HIMSELF FOR JAIL IN HOUSE ROW

first_imgA man who is occupying the home of a dead Church Minister has been told to prepare himself to possibly go to prison when he appears in court.John Doe, aka Daniel Greene appears at court in Letterkenny.Daniel Greene has been living in the home of the late Very Rev Samuel Reede for a number of months. He moved into the property in Newtowncunningham following the death of the 86 year old Anglican Reverend in 2010.It was only last February when estate agents visited the site that they noticed ‘For Sale’ signs had been removed from the property.The locks of the house had also been changed and a sign saying ‘No Trespassing’ had been placed in the window.The proceeds from the sale of the house, which had been left to the dead man’s brother Charles, were to be divided between three local charities.Barristers and Gardai were initially unable to discover the identity of the man living in the property and he was referred to by the courts as John Doe.A barrister representing the family of the late Rev Reede won an order for vacant possession of the lands and the bungalow and an injunction against ‘John Doe’.Mr ‘Doe’ was eventually brought before Letterkenny Circuit Court where he told Judge John O’Hagan that his name was Daniel Greene.He claimed he has bought the house and had legal documents to prove this.Judge O’Hagan adjourned the case until August to allow Greene to hand in his documentation but the case was again adjourned until yesterday at Letterkenny Circuit Civil Court.Solicitor for the late Rev Reede’s family, Ms Fiona Brown said yesterday that she had tried to serve papers on Greene but they had been returned to her office.Judge Petria McDonnell told Ms Brown to serve the papers on Greene, 51, again and not to place them in an envelope.“I am a firm believer in not using envelopes,” said the Judge.She instructed Ms Brown to inform Greene that Gardai will be collecting him to appear in court this Friday to put the allegations to him.“Gardai will be calling to collect him on Friday and the court will decide if he will go to prison so he might want to make the necessary arrangements,” warned Judge McDonnell.‘JOHN DOE’ TOLD TO PREPARE HIMSELF FOR JAIL IN HOUSE ROW was last modified: October 9th, 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:Daniel GreenehomeJohn DoeRev Samuel Reedelast_img read more

QPR v Stoke player ratings

first_imgSee also:Late Kranjcar goal rescues point for QPRMidfield injuries a worry for QPR bossRangers boss Redknapp backs FerdinandDuo set to miss out but Sandro can returnKranjcar nursing injury ahead of Saints clashHoddle working closely with QPR’s TraoreQPR will produce improved display – HenryBoss Redknapp hails ‘amazing’ SouthamptonRangers midfielder Henry backs IslaQPR boss Redknapp still favours 3-5-2Redknapp: Morrison should go abroadFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img

SA to lend helping hand to South Sudan

first_img8 July 2011 South Africa will offer whatever help it can to establish and build Africa’s newest nation, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said ahead of the inaugural independence celebrations of South Sudan. President Jacob Zuma will lead a high-level delegation to Saturday’s celebrations, as oil-producing South Sudan declares independence from Sudan – a split approved in a referendum resulting from a 2005 north-south peace deal that ended two decades of conflict. The agreement was brokered by an African Union panel led by former South African president Thabo Mbeki. However, with just days to go to independence, there is still fighting in the Kordofan region, which has displaced an estimated 73 000 people. South Africa has called on the parties to resolve the underlying issues to the conflict through political dialogue, and to build on the framework agreement on political and security arrangements for South Kordofan, signed last week between the government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-North). Briefing the media in Pretoria on Wednesday, Nkoana-Mashabane said it was South Africa’s desire to see peace, security and stability prevail beyond the declaration of independence of the South. “South Africa views the restoration of peace, security and stability in the Sudan positively in the Horn of Africa region, and on the continent as a whole,” Nkoana-Mashabane said. “Any instability in the Sudan impacts negatively on the nine countries that it shares a border with.” Nkoana-Mashabane said South Africa had already trained more than 1 500 South Sudan civil servants and diplomats through various programmes, and hopes to sign a memorandum of understanding on agriculture with the fledgling country. A number of South African companies, including MTN, which has acquired a majority shareholding in local mobile operator Areeba, and SABMiller, which has established a brewery in South Sudan, are also showing interest in the new country. Nkoana-Mashabane said South Africa would maintain a consistent balance at the onset of the separation of South Sudan from the North, indicating its commitment to good relations with both Sudan and South Sudan. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Driving a new vision for Africa

first_imgYoungsters from organisations likeBrightest Young Minds, One YoungWorld and the African LeadershipAcademy took part in a paneldiscussion on their vision for Africa.(Image: Ray Maota)MEDIA CONTACTS• Brand Africa+27 11 463 5091• Brand South Africa+27 11 483 0122Nicky Rehbock and Ray Maota  The 2011 Brand Africa Forum, sponsored by Brand South Africa and Brand Leadership Academy, saw an impressive range of pan-African, diasporan and global thought leaders, influencers and decision-makers coming together to debate how Africa can drive its growth, reputation and competitiveness.The event was held on 29 September at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg and attracted more than 300 government, business and civil society representatives.Special focus areas included the role of the nation brand in economic development, governance and sustainability on the continent, economic lessons for Africa and the role of business in driving progress.The significance of South Africa joining Brazil, Russia, India and China in the BRICS bloc was explored, along with lessons to be learnt from emerging markets.The forum shone the spotlight on youth and their vision for the continent by including a panel of young leaders from Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and Senegal.The inaugural Brand 100 Awards for Africa also took place at the forum.In the opening address, Brand South Africa chairperson Anitha Soni challenged African nations to cooperate in developing strong country brands to improve the continent’s global competitiveness, adding that this would require better cooperation and information-sharing among countries on the continent.“For us, Brand South Africa’s involvement in the Brand Africa Forum is a natural fit because the health of Africa’s brand is important for the strength and health of our own nation brand,” said Brand SA CEO Miller Matola.“If countries on the continent improve in terms of their image and reputation, the same holds for South Africa. Our prosperity is inextricably linked to that of the other countries on the continent,” he said.Nation branding: we must walk the talk“National branding is not about slogans, it is about what you do and what they think, that matters. If one does not change the negative perceptions they will become realities. In Africa we are good at talking and planning, but weak in implementing. We must walk the talk,” said Zimbabwe’s Deputy Prime Minister Dr Arthur Mutambara.“A brand must transcend political affiliations and should not be the sole property of a set political party … it must be taken personally because we will never be respected as Africans unless Africa has done well as a continent. This applies to individual countries as well,” he added.Telling it like it isGlobal economist Dr Dambisa Moyo spoke frankly about the current economic crisis, the sovereign debt crisis extending beyond Europe, and Africa’s place in the global picture.“We could be in for a 10-year bear market and recessionary environment. Where does Africa fit into this?” she asked. “We’re facing a very serious problem … there are simply not enough resources to go around.”Moyo said in the coming years the world will increasingly struggle due to a shortage of arable land, energy constraints and a lack of food security, compounded by a lack of water.“This is particularly in the context of the famine that’s going on in the Horn of Africa,” she added.“There are about 1-billion people in the world who go hungry every day – and the majority of them are on this continent. And yet, Africa has the largest amount of untilled land left on the planet.”As an economist, Moyo sees this in terms of supply and demand: “We’ve got hungry people, and we’ve got land.”When there’s a food crisis in Africa, the first response of NGOs is often to “provide a so-called band aid solution, sending bags of maize to Somalia or Ethiopia immediately”.Moyo said she doesn’t find this objectionable, but as an economist, she believes it presents a structural problem.“We’ve got to get to the root cause: why is it that Africa, in the last 30 years, has been the only continent that has failed to feed itself – especially in light of the fact that we have the most untilled land?”But there is some good news, she added: “In a future world of 9-billion people, in a world where we know there are going to be supply constraints in commodities and resources, Africa has an important role to play.“But before we can actually get to a point where we are producing food and coming up with innovative ways to develop, we need to deal with Brand Africa.”Moyo said Africans had to proactively discuss and respond to its important role in the future of the world.“Without us getting our heads around this, it’s all just wonderful conversation – but it’s not going to help us in the long term.”Addressing forum delegates, Moyo concluded: “I urge you in your discussions today – and when you return to your respective businesses – to really focus on where the world is going, and to also focus on Africa and its very important role in the future.“The winners in the decades to come will be the people who look to Africa as a place of business opportunity and a place for partnerships – not as a place that is a drag on the world economy.”What should Africa do to be a powerful continent?Malik Fal, MD of Endeavour spoke about the Africa 2.0: Kenya Report. Endeavour is a New-York based NGO dedicated to the promotion of entrepreneurship in emerging markets.The report is a manifesto of the envisioned economic and political transition Africa should take if it is to rightfully claim its spot as a powerful continent.Fal said: “The manifesto is the collective effort of young Africans’ views about what Africa should do to be a powerful continent.”Fal added that Africa was in danger of developing presidential monarchies, with leaders favouring their children to become future presidents. He said this was the same as a dictatorship.The report, which comes out in October 2011, will have four main themes: uplifting Africans; creating and sharing African wealth; upgrading Africa’s infrastructure and creating a stable environment for growth.Seeing Africa through the eyes of youngstersCedric Ntumba, an executive at Capitalworks Investment Partners, led a panel of youngsters in discussing their vision of Africa in the future and how their goals could be achieved.The panel included Gertrude Kitongo of Kenya and Ralph Baumgarten of South Africa – both from Brightest Young Minds organisation; Zamatungwa Khumalo and Erik de Ridder – both of South Africa from the One Young World organisation; and Francis Ekii of Uganda and Linda Rebeiz of Senegal – from the African Leadership Academy.Ntumba asked the panel what should be done to inspire African youngsters.“Youngsters should be forward-thinking and their thoughts should sketch a positive future,” Baumgarten said.De Ridder added that for the youngsters of Africa to be inspired, countries should have a human-centred approach to development and that young people should take ownership of the fact that they are the future.Ekii said: “Youngsters should be proactive and not reactive to their situations.”He cited an example of how, when he was just 13 years old, he and a few friends from his hometown in Uganda took it upon themselves to talk openly about HIV in the community.When Khumalo was asked how youngsters from other continents welcomed African youth, she said: “Youngsters from other parts of the world have a warped sense of Africa and African youngsters are more receptive to the outside world than their counterparts.”BRICS and the role of AfricaA panel discussion on South Africa’s role in the BRICS grouping of nations was chaired by Abdullah Verachia, director of Frontier Advisory.The panel included Ajai Chowdry, chair of HCL in India; Dr Vijay Mahajan, author of Africa Rising; Dr MG Vaidyan, CEO of the State Bank of India in South Africa; James Mwangi, global managing partner at Dalberg and Christine Jiang, from Huawei Technologies.Chowdry said that for Africa to protect itself from the effects of the looming economic crisis, it had to indirectly help Europe by keeping its domestic consumption growing.He said South Africa would play a direct role with its involvement in BRICS as the bloc would probably contribute money as a group to the International Monetary Fund.Dr Vaidyan said: “India understood early on like China that population size is not a burden but an asset, and an asset should be maintained.”Vaidyan said that although India had a large population; it had 18 000 colleges, 350 universities and 1-million schools to provide education to its citizens.“The country also recognised that for urban India to progress, rural India has to be developed, that is why at least 40% of the loans we give are to small-scale farmers. South Africa needs to follow that route if it is to be a major player in the BRICS grouping,” said Dr Vaidyan.Mahajan said Africa’s greatest challenge was its migrants overseas who talked negatively about their native countries, creating a warped view of the continent. Africa should make sure its “ambassadors” in foreign countries celebrated Africa, he added.Speaking about competition between companies in the BRICS grouping, Mahajan said: “Africa should not just roll out the red carpet for companies from the BRIC grouping to invest in the respective countries on the continent, but should advocate for African companies to also invest in those markets.”Brand Africa 100 awardsThe inaugural Brand Africa 100 awards also took place during forum, giving credit to the continent’s most valued brands as voted for by pan-African consumers.Research methodology for the awards was developed by the Brand Leadership Academy in partnership with TNS, a globally respected consumer knowledge and information company, and Brand Finance – the world’s leading independent valuation consultancy.“One of the primary drivers of Africa’s growth lies in stimulating and growing thriving African and global businesses and brands in Africa,” said Thebe Ikalafeng, founder and chairperson of Brand Africa.Ikalafeng added that consumers were the ultimate arbiters of a brand’s success and that the awards would show which brands are getting it right on the continent.The award sector categories included food, beverages, electronics, telecoms, automotive, apparel, banks, oil and gas, retail and personal care.Credit was also given to the most valued non-African brand, the most valued brand in Africa and the Grand Prix award for the most valued African brand overall.The winning brands were:•    Food – McDonalds•    Beverages – Coca-Cola•    Electronics – Samsung•    Telecoms – MTN•    Automotive – Toyota•    Apparel – Nike•    Banks – Absa•    Oil and gas – Shell•    Retail – Blue Band•    Personal Care – NiveaThe most valued non-African brand went to Shell, while MTN was voted the most valued brand in Africa and took the Grand Prix award.last_img read more

From Mogadishu to Mayfair: Somali diaspora finds home in Johannesburg

first_imgDuring apartheid, Somalia took in South Africans fleeing from an oppressive government. In recent times, South Africa has had to pay back the favour, taking in Somali refugees running from a civil war. In Johannesburg, particularly, Somalis have found a home in a bustling neighbourhood where their entrepreneurial spirit can thrive: Mayfair.Ebrahim Alli in his coffee shop in Little Mogadishu. His walls are adorned with art, crafts and pictures that remind him of Somalia. (Image: Sinikiwe Mqadi)Sulaiman PhilipSomalia offered South African activists safe harbour during the liberation movement. Now, a small section of Johannesburg’s Mayfair neighbourhood offers sanctuary to Somalis fleeing the war in their country.Little Mogadishu is a three-block wide slice of Somalia. Its streets are lined with restaurants and Somali-owned shops offering money transfers, travel and clothing. Spicy aromas from Somali restaurant kitchens and boisterous chat from their communal tables follow you as you walk down Eighth Avenue.Turn left onto Somerset Road and you find yourself at Qaxwo Coffee Shop, Ebrahim Alli’s coffee and juice store. Alli has been in South Africa since 2000 and has witnessed the best, and worst, the country has to offer.Ebrahim Alli has found a home and success in Mayfair. (Image: Wits)“This is a welcoming place,” he says of Mayfair. By his own estimate, there are between 60 000 and 70 000 Somalis in the diaspora. Spread across South Africa, they all see Mayfair as the heart of their displaced community. “Somalis have true affection for South Africa. A real love despite the anxiety we sometimes feel.”Alli lost his business in the violence that targeted foreign nationals in 2008. A successful panel beating business, it was stripped before being torched. He found himself in Mayfair among other disheartened Somalis, a place they saw as a refuge. Alli was determined not to be cowed.“We Somalis are inspired by two decades of hardship to be entrepreneurial. We have learnt to persevere in spite of hardship,” he says. He bought two flasks and began selling coffee on the street. Slowly he rebuilt his life and is now a leader in the Somali diaspora.“I believe we can benefit from each other. South Africans are skilled and educated. We Somalis are entrepreneurial. South Africa offers us opportunities to start businesses. This freedom is not available to us in Europe and the US.”The Somali civil war has made it difficult to hold on to his country’s history, but Alli works at it. He collects memorabilia, art and crafts and shares Somalia’s history with his children – who were born outside his homeland – and people who visit his store. “It’s important to me to preserve our culture, to help my children recognise an identity they don’t know.”Alli’s story is mirrored in the people you speak to on the street in Little Mogadishu. People like Mohammed Jama, the owner of Towakal 2 supermarket. His shelves are stocked with familiar products in unfamiliar packaging. “My customers want a little piece of home; they want products they are familiar with. So I sell rice from India and Pakistan, dates and juice from Saudi Arabia and pasta from Italy – products we know from home.”By the time he was 22, Jama was the breadwinner for his family. His father was long dead and his mother and younger siblings depended on him to provide. In a country where death was always present his options were to join a militia or flee. Jama fled, hoping to build a better, safer life for his family. “For one month I drove and walked towards South Africa. When we got close to a border I would walk, try to find a place where I could cross. I have no passport, so even today I can’t go back.”Jama is old enough to remember Somalia before the troubles. There are days when Johannesburg reminds him of home. “I like the stability of South Africa – the chance you have to make something with your life. Somalia was like that.”Opportunity is the reason so many Somalis make the foot of Africa their home. Shops along Eighth Avenue are crammed into every little space. The shop fronts are adorned with bright billboards advertising the goods on sale inside. Competition is stiff, but friendly. Store owners stand at their doors enticing passers-by, strangers and friends, to come inside.“I own this supermarket,” Jama begins. “This is possible in South Africa. Here, there is opportunity. I think this [is what] we can teach South Africans; how to build their own business. This is what we want to teach. We are tired of fighting and fear. South Africa has opened her borders for us and we want to give back.”A young Somali man who fled to South Africa to escape the violence of Somalia. (Image: Wits)In some of the restaurants you will still find bananas on the tables. Traditionally, the fruit is served at the end of every meal. At Qaxwo Coffee Shop the pavement tables are occupied by men intently discussing the day’s events or arguing about the performance of their favourite sports team. Thick Somali coffee washes down treacly sweet coconut biscuits or spiced meat pies. As the day wanes the argument becomes familiar. Who will have the honour of paying the bill?“When people here argue, it is about the honour of being the host. At the shop it is usually the person who sat down first who wins the argument. Being welcoming to friends and strangers is a very important part of the Somali culture. We enjoy sharing company.”i’ve been praying,/ and these are what my prayers look like;dear god/i come from two countriesone is thirsty/ the other is on fire/ both need water.later that night/ i held an atlas in my lapran my fingers across the whole worldand whispered/ where does it hurt? – Somali poet Warsan ShireWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more