Cross border location to be major selling point in US, NW City Region say

first_imgThe North West City Region’s unique strategic cross border location will be one of the strong selling points for the seven companies from across the Donegal, Derry and Strabane Council areas that travel to the US next month as part of a high-level trade and investment delegation.The companies travelling from Donegal are EKO Chute, MMG Welding and Wild Fuschia Bakery while O’Neill’s International Sportswear, Humanity Cosmetics, Learning Pool and Visual Edge will also be taking part.The Trade and Investment mission will be led by Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Councils and will include third level and further education providers and development organisations including the Ulster University, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, the North West Regional College, Donegal ETB and Catalyst. The trade and investment mission will run from 11 to 15 November. It will build on the strong political, economic and cultural linkages already established in Boston and Philadelphia with the North West City region and will be an opportunity to further reach out to the Irish diaspora.Picture includes seven companies from across the Donegal, Derry and Strabane Council areas will travel to the US next month as part of a high-level trade and investment delegation. Front row: Sian McCann, Wild Fuschia Bakehouse; Eibhlin McGuinness, MMG Welding; Rob Rae, Littus Consulting; Ian Friel, Visual Edge and back row: Gerard Floyd, Humanity Cosmetics; Laverne O’Donnell, Derry City and Strabane District Council; Christopher Reid, Humanity Cosmetics; Francis Burns, Eko Chute.Speaking ahead of the visit and welcoming the confirmation of the seven local companies, An Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Cllr Nicholas Crossan said he welcomed the inclusion of local companies in the trade mission. He said it provided them with the support to make real, lasting and worthwhile business and networking links.“This trade mission has real potential to not only showcase Ireland NW as an investment location but it’s a fantastic opportunity for us to strengthen the educational, political, cultural and diaspora connections we have with the US.“This is a very successful and unique collaboration between the two Councils and partners. We have enjoyed much success to date with three trade missions to Boston and two to Philadelphia and 40 companies availing of the support to develop exports into a new market. “In addition to strengthening our cross border business networks and developing strong civic links with Boston and Philadelphia, the delegation have successfully signed a MoU with the City of Boston, a MoU with NWRC and Philadelphia Community College and a MoU between NWRC and State of PA.”Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr Michaela Boyle said the visit was particularly timely for the companies and partners to promote the NW city region’s unique strategic cross border location.She said: “This trade mission is a real opportunity for us to focus on our strengths in terms of location, talent and skills and support. It is our chance to really sell our location to the business community in the US, by educating them to the fact that post Brexit they can locate in our region and access both the North of Ireland and the EU.“We will be very positive in our approach to emphasise to potential investors the strong selling points we have in terms of our location, our talented skills base, our cultural compatibility and quality of life.”During the visit, the participating businesses will meet with key contacts, explore and understand opportunities in the US market, develop in-market networks and develop relationships with potential customers. The civic delegation will engage with industry influencers and leaders, meet with Philadelphia Council and attend a Philadelphia Diaspora event. While in Boston they will visit the Irish Immigration Centre, meet State representatives at the State House and attend the official launch of the Harvard GSD Visit Atlas for a City Region project as well as engaging with senior business executives.In addition to attending bespoke business to business meetings and engaging with potential investors and business connections, the delegation will attend a reception hosted by the Irish Consulate in Boston and be guests at the Golden Bridges Conference.Last year, Joule, a locally based fire engineering consultancy business, was one of a number of companies that took part in the trade mission.The company’s founding director John McColgan says the trade visit was a fantastic opportunity to look at new markets in the United States and his company’s participation was a very positive experience. He said: “Our participation in the trade delegation was hugely beneficial to us in that it provided us with opportunities to research the implementation of both our consulting business in Fire Safety and the rolling out of our digital fire safety platform, TFS Compliance.It was the first time we participated in a trade mission and we really made the most of this opportunity by meeting new clients, customers, distributors and showcasing our expertise and services to the US market.“It was a fantastic opportunity for us to promote the consulting and technology solutions we offer and the way in which we can digitalise the management of fire safety in our clients’ portfolios. Thanks to the trade mission we have registered a company in the US, are at an advanced stage in the distribution of our digital fire safety platform in North America and maintained and built upon many of the contacts we made and we look forward to working with them in the near future.”The US trade mission takes place from 11-15 November and is funded by the Irish Government and the Executive Office.For more information on the trade mission visit www.irelandNW.com and follow the hashtag #IrelandNW19.Cross border location to be major selling point in US, NW City Region say was last modified: October 23rd, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare 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:Donegal County Councilnorth west city regionlast_img read more

Red Bluff girls swimmers win meet; boys finish third

first_imgRed Bluff >> The Red Bluff High swim team hosted Central Valley, Mercy and American Christian Academy on Wednesday and the Spartan girls emerged victorious while the boys placed third.The 200 Medley Relay of Jordan Munoz, Stevie McKenzie, Jayne Brandt and Abby Lair remained undefeated on the season, capturing the event in 2 minutes 13.84 seconds. Lair captured wins in the 500 Freestyle (6:35.96) and the 200 IM (2:51.35). Jayne Brandt was also a double winner, placing first in the 100 Fly …last_img

South Africa’s green nation status improves – Global Status Report

first_img
The world experienced its largest increase in green, renewable energy in 2015, adding over 147 gigawatts of wind, solar and other alternative energy power to the global grid, according to the Renewables 2016 Global Status Report, released on 1 June by the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century, or REN21.South Africa is one of the stand-out green nations, making remarkable strides in renewable energy, says Christine Lins, the REN21 executive secretary.According to the report, the $1-billion (about R15.6-billion today) investment in African renewable energy initiatives in 2004 increased to more than $12-billion in 2015/16, a growth of 58%, thanks in large part to projects begun in South Africa.South Africa was the first country on the continent to produce a gigawatt from solar power, and its contribution to wind power generation had pushed Africa’s output to more than 3 gigawatts.Global investment in renewable energy is driven, the report states, by being both cost competitive with traditional fossil fuels and a dynamic job creator in several countries, particularly in Africa.“Renewable generation has created 60 000 jobs in Africa, and of those, half are in South Africa,” says Lins. This boost has been driven mainly by South Africa’s successful Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme.The programme is projected to attract another $35-billion by 2020, according to data compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.The REN21 report confirms that governments are still key in driving renewables as a legitimate power alternative.While 173 countries are meeting renewable energy targets in 2016, with South Africa especially making up ground in utility-scale renewable generation, a challenge still remains in effectively using residential energy production.As has become the norm in Europe and North America, households that generate their own electricity through solar or wind power are encouraged to sell electricity back to local and national utility operations.South Africa has the infrastructure and know-how to incentivise individual power generation to help bring renewable energy to more people, in turn lessening the reliance on fossil fuels.The boost in South Africa’s renewable energy profile, fuelled by larger and better-performing energy solutions with the full support of the government and private enterprise is “truly remarkable”, says Lins, “(particularly when) achieved at a time when fossil fuel prices were at historic lows, and renewables remained at asignificant disadvantage in terms of government subsidies”.Source: TimesLIVElast_img read more

Infographic: Nelson Mandela’s notable namesakes

first_imgHere’s a collection of some of the quirkiest things named after Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela’s name has been given to many things around the world. (Image: Brand South Africa)Research by Chili Kier and Hunter NestadtDesign by Jae Brits and Tumisang SitholeClick on the image for a larger view.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img

The South African government is on Ello

first_imgDeputy minister of communication, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams and Aslam Levy conducting a Twitter chat.• Social media means more than just business in Africa • Durban developer’s mobile app scores in Nokia competition • #BringBackOurGirls shows the power of social media in Africa • World-class tech hub planned for Joburg • South African women on Forbes Africa tech list Sulaiman PhilipEllo is the coolest party on the internet. Hailed by fans as the anti-Facebook, the creators describe it as a “simple, beautiful, and ad-free social network created by a small group of artists and designers”.If Facebook is the all-access, rowdy, boisterous cheap seats, Ello is the velvet-roped VIP section where the cool kids make themselves heard over the rattle of pearls of artistic wisdom. It is a safe, commercial free space, designed by hipsters for hipsters. It is invite only: you have to be asked to join, or you can send in a request and stand in line (at one point they were getting 50 000 requests an hour). The South African government has an Ello pageAslam Levy, the director of online platforms for the Department of Communications, contends it is hardly unusual, and should not be surprising. “We track usage trends on social media. There has been a surge in the 45 – 55 demographic on Facebook; that’s a group we want to reach. The flipside of course, is teens drop off Facebook. Youth and youth unemployment are issues we are trying to deal with so we need to know where they go. So we have a presence on Ello, on Twitter, on Instagram, and on MXit.”Social media platforms are always organising data about their users; and access to this data makes it easier for governments to do what they need to do. The South African government has embraced digital media because it wants to change the way it talks to its citizens and residents. Once upon a time there was the message, and the government’s need to get that message out. It chose a medium and spread the word. It was a straight line without an opportunity to ask questions or seek clarity.That this approach is changing grew out of a constant complaint from the country’s electorate – elected officials and ministers appear just before the elections, only to disappear again straight afterwards. Levy gives an explanation for this that is simple enough: “Ministers can’t visit every town in the country, but social media allows them to have a conversation with any citizen who wants to take part.”Recently the deputy minister of communication, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, conducted a Twitter chat. There were 93 active users but the minister’s responses were seen by half a million people on Twitter. The problemsA driver of this change has been the use of social media by younger members of the cabinet. They regard social media as a link to the public and their profile helps the message filter through the ranks. They understand social media as a platform to bypass traditional media, but its newness does throw up its own problems. Minister Fikile Mbalula is one of the most active Twitter users in the cabinet. He is also well known among Twiteratti for expressing his opinion.“Sports Minister Mbalula is a good example of that. There are conversations that should be private, but even so, it does remind people that ministers are human, with strong opinions. His interactions, actually, reinforce the fact that an interaction on social media is with a real person, and not just another attempt to pass on a message.”Another factor that has eased the acceptance of social media in government circles was the successful adoption of social media by political parties in the run up to the last general election. In the months prior to the elections, the ANC grew its Twitter audience threefold to 103 000 and its Facebook attracted 12 000 new followers and stood at 52 000 on the eve of voting. Larger opposition parties fared just as well on the most popular social media platforms – by January, the DA’s numbers were on Facebook: 51 411 and Twitter: 54 825; and the EFF’s were on Facebook: 63 226 and Twitter: 33 302. The Presidency has 98 000 fans on Facebook, President Zuma almost 5 000, but his page is not as active. The benefitsA huge benefit for the government is the cost-effectiveness of using social media to get out its message in the grand scheme of things. But there are non-financial considerations and benefits as well. These include building relationships with citizens and allowing for real time response to concerns. Being on social media platforms also allows the government to track and deal with frustrations.“What social media does is make for flatter government and removing the hierarchical structure that citizens have been forced to deal with. Social media removes the layers between a citizen and a minister, creating real engagement,” Levy says.Yet there is a downside to using social platforms of which the government is wary, he counsels. “When you are dependent on free social media platforms you don’t own your presence. You don’t own the content you create.”And the government creates a mountain of content. Some it appears in the government issued Vuk’unzenzele newspaper. Printed in all 11 official languages and distributed to 1.7 milllion mostly rural readers, it is a repository of original material. To retain ownership of material like this in the digital media, the government is creating a Vuk’unzenzele app that will launch in the next few weeks.This heralds a new era in the government’s engagement with its citizens. From this comfort with social media has grown its desire to develop apps and other mobile sites to help get its message out. “The biggest concern we have is creating a uniform presence on platforms. How do we allow differentiation without diluting the message? People looking for government information want to know the information we are putting out is credible and authoritative. This is an issue we struggle with every day.”What makes the job easier for Levy and the government is that social media is already integrated into the fabric of South Africa’s noisy democracy. “We may be loud, and angry and proud, but at the end of the day we embrace the joy of living in this democracy,” he points out.last_img read more