African-Americans resettle in Africa

  • Written by Super User
  • Category: News

Ghana is the first African country to open its doors to people of African descent from all over the world..

The logo of the International Decade for People of African Descent

The logo of the International Decade for People of African Descent

In Prampram, a town just an hour’s drive east of Ghana’s capital Accra, many holiday houses line the shores of the South Atlantic Ocean. One of them belongs to Jerome Thompson. Located only 500 metres from the water, Mr. Thompson’s house is resilient to the effects of the salt and wind. The floors, windows and doors are made of hard wood. His self-designed furniture is made from quality Ghanaian timber and hand-carved by local artisans.

“The ocean helps me fall asleep and wakes me up in the morning,” says Mr. Thompson, an African-American retiree taking a stroll on the beach where palm trees shade hand-carved canoes. “Where else can I live this close to the ocean? It would cost me millions of dollars!” 

Mr. Thompson, a native of Maryland in the United States, retired to Ghana 11 years ago. He first visited the West African country on a tour in 2000. “I fell in love with Ghana and its people,” he recalled, during an interview with Africa Renewal. “It was good seeing black people, my people, in charge of the country (Ghana).”  

That trip took him to many attractions across the country, including the Cape Coast Castle from where centuries ago millions of Africans walked through the infamous “Door of No Return” into slave ships bound for plantations in the Americas and the Caribbean, never to set foot in their homelands again.

But for their descendants like Mr. Thompson’s, the sign that hangs on that infamous door today reads: “Door of Return”. 

“I was so ready to turn my back on the United States,” he says, adding: “We did so much for the US, yet they don’t want to see us as first-class citizens.” 

A feeling of belonging 

Mr. Thompson is one of the 20 or so African-Americans and other people from the diaspora of African descent who have found a home in this fishing community, attracted by the beaches and the peace and tranquility the town offers away from the hustle and bustle of Accra. 

According to 2014 estimates, more than 3,000 African-Americans and people of Caribbean descent live in Ghana, a country of about 26 million people. 

Whatever their motives, Ghana, the first sub-Saharan Africa country to shake off colonial rule 58 years ago, has become the destination of choice for diasporans looking for a spiritual home and an ancestral connection in Africa.

While some returnees have gone through the emotional journey of tracing their families through DNA testing, for the majority who just come to visit, or to settle like Mr. Thompson, the feeling of being “home” on the continent is satisfying. “It’s good to know that you came from some place and it’s not just a figment of someone’s imagination,” he says. 

Claudette Chamberlain shares Mr. Thompson’s feelings of belonging. She was born in Jamaica but lived in the US and United Kingdom. Seven years ago, she moved to Ghana and built a five-bed guesthouse at Prampram. 

“When I got off the plane, I just had this overwhelming feeling come over me,” Claudette says, adding that she realized then that Ghana was the place she wanted to be. She misses her mother and siblings who still live in London but she doesn’t miss London. “Ghana is definitely home, I’m going to spend the rest of my days here.” 

Ms. Chamberlain, a former dentist, says while her native Jamaica is more beautiful, it is not as peaceful as Ghana.

Currently, there are around 200 million people in the Americas identifying themselves as of African descent, according to the United Nations. Millions more live in other parts of the world, outside of the African continent, and in most cases they experience racism and discrimination.

To promote the respect for and protection of their human rights, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 2015–2024 as the “The International Decade for the People of African Descent”, to be marked annually on 25 March.

Right of Abode

Ghana, from whose shores the majority of 15 million Africans passed into slavery, has invited its descendants in the diaspora to return home.  The country has had a long history, from the days of its first president, Kwame Nkrumah, of encouraging the return of persons of African descent to help with the continent’s development.

In 2000, the country passed a law on the ‘Right of Abode’, which allows a person of African descent to apply and be granted the right to stay in Ghana indefinitely. And recently, the country set up a Diaspora Affairs Bureau under the foreign affairs ministry to provide a sustainable link between the Ghanaian diaspora and various government agencies to achieve development
and investment goals.   

Beyond laws

More needs to be done to make returning African brothers and sisters feel welcome back on the continent if Africa is to benefit from their return. Samuel Amankwah, the director of research at Ghana’s interior ministry, admits that the authorities need to engage more. “Those who left our shores are still our brothers and sisters,” he says, adding: “Offering Africans in the diaspora a right to abode in Ghana is a way of engaging for our common interest.”   

When the late televangelist Myles Munroe visited Ghana in 2012 and paid a courtesy call on President John Mahama, then a vice president, he encouraged people of African descent living in the diaspora to take advantage of Ghana’s Right of Abode law and reconnect with the African continent. 

Mixed feelings

Despite some initial setbacks, people of African descent continue to migrate to the continent, though not in the expected droves. And like Florindo Johnson, who just retired from Delta Airlines this January, says: it is important to encourage more blacks to come. 

Having flown in and out of Ghana for nine years, Ms. Johnson, a Caribbean who lived in Chicago, is retiring in Ghana to operate her six apartments in Prampram that she intends to rent out as holiday accommodations. “I really want black people to come and see for themselves. It is disheartening that a lot of black people don’t want to come because of what they’ve seen in the media, yet white people come.” 

 

Written by Efam Dovi  and Originally posted on: un.org/africarenewal 

Related: Africa could feed the world - if it overcomes these key challenges

How To Start Small by I.K Adusei To Go For FREE This X'mas || Special Feature

  • Written by Isaac Kwasi Adusei
  • Category: News

From Friday December 21, 2018 to X'mas  Day 25th December, 2018, I.K Adusei's book How To Start Small: Financial Skills For Business Success will be selling for FREE on Amazon.

You may have to save the date and grab yourself a FREE copy of his yet to be officially launched sensational entrepreneurship handbook How To Start Small.

How To Start Small reveals gripping real life entrepreneurial strategies, lessons and insight which continue to elude business startups the world over.

It presents an easy step by step approach to guide readers of all ages on well-tailored proven success methods on access to capital, human resource management, marketing and sales, business growth strategies as well as top business management practices.

Are you interested in starting your own business? Are you a business owner looking for new ways to expand your business? Do you want to take a jump from employee to business owner? 

This book is as easy as reading the alphabets. 

 

Patrons and readers can pre-order for hard copies of this classic entrepreneurship handbook, How To Start Small from January, 1st 2019  .

The official book launch is scheduled for 29th January, 2019 at University of Ghana, Legon, Accra. Get ahead a grab a FREE copy a any day, from 21st-25th December.

 

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For Better Retail Promotions, Ask These Questions

  • Written by Super User
  • Category: News

Discounts and promotions are at an all-time high, often comprising the single-biggest cost within many retailers’ P&Ls. Yet despite these high stakes, and the growing adoption of sophisticated analytics, many retailers continue to take a broad-brush approach to running promotions that results in missed sales and profits.

The most common explanation for this lack of precision is that retailers tend to evaluate promotions at a high level, without drilling down to understand the impact of individual tactics within each promotion. By this, we mean they compare the overall event to last year’s promotion in aggregate without understanding how different parts of the promotion might be more or less successful; getting the mix right is the key to creating more impact on sales and profits.

The good news is that many large retail organizations already have the tools and data they need to craft more effective promotions. What they lack, more often than not, is a logical way to structure their promotional effectiveness analysis. The solution can be found by asking a series of strategic questions, then carefully parsing the data for the answers.

When are discounts most likely to stimulate a sufficient sales response?

Promotions vary in effectiveness depending on the time of the year, key holidays, and even the day of the week. Retailers who have a firm grasp of how their customers shop during different periods can use this information to formulate more precise promotional strategies. For example, during certain holidays — Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc. — consumers tend to be in active shopping mode, and retailers should structure their promotions accordingly. Recent analysis for a leading apparel retailer showed elasticity of customer response to promotional discounts was up to three times higher during holiday periods than during non-holiday periods and two times higher during weekends than on weekdays. Given this, you’re almost certainly throwing away sales and margin dollars by not tailoring your promotions to time periods.

Furthermore, retailers should use this insight to educate themselves on when aggressive promotions are a waste of effort and valuable margin dollars. If your typical customers have traditional work weeks, it’s very difficult to entice them into the store for an unplanned purchase during the week, regardless of the type of promotion. Therefore, rather than trying to use steep promotions to drive traffic on weekdays, use more strategic promotions to encourage consumers who are actually in the store during the week to fill their baskets.

Does the promotion work best in-store or online?

It’s important to structure promotions based on what works best for a particular channel. Our recent work in women’s fashion suggests more complicated promotional structures aimed at basket-building — such as buy one item and get a second at a discount — work far better in-store. Simpler promotional structures — such as an off-the-top 20% discount — tend to yield better results online.

What products are most likely to garner more response when promoted?      

Not all items a retailer sells are created equal. Some have higher elasticities or stronger pricing power. Certain items that are on promotion will be especially effective in driving traffic, while others are better used as basket or margin-builders. For example, our analysis in the men’s apparel category shows that, compared with everyday basics, promotions for in-season fashion items bring significantly more people into stores. The same is true for lower-ticket sub-brands and product lines at aggressive price points.

At the same time, retailers need to be aware of the signals they send to consumers when deciding which items to promote and how often. Understanding which are your strongest or marquee items, brands, and product lines is essential, because you could easily erode their value by over-promoting them. Promoting too frequently may cause consumers to equate your brand with low prices, which is probably not the profile you want to communicate unless you’re a low-cost retailer.

How does response vary across tactics (discount depths and promotion structure)?

 

Promotions comprise a rich set of tools, and it’s no longer enough to just pull out a hammer every time there’s something that needs doing. Instead, match the tool to the job, making sure your promotional structure is aligned to your desired outcome and the manner in which your customers shop. For instance, if you’re trying to build basket size, more complex, tiered promotions — such as giving increasing discounts for each subsequent item purchased — may be a better way to go. Co-promoting the right items across the store, and knowing which promotional levels are too deep or not deep enough, will further help drive sales and improve profits.

Who is most likely to respond (e.g., new versus existing customer groups)?

Most retailers have a vision that a customized promotions strategy — one that optimizes promotions for every consumer — is the future. But for major marketed promotions, that’s not always achievable or practical. Nevertheless, you need to make sure that your efforts target your most important customers who can ‘move the needle’ — either those who drive the most sales or the ones who are the most profitable. Companies now have the data and analytic power to create specific customer profiles at relevant group levels — for example, loyalty members or top customers, or those who tend to purchase on certain occasions or within certain categories — and craft promotional offers tailored specifically to these groups.

Getting promotions right

Savvy retailers now have the tools to build their promotional calendars from the bottom up, eliminating wasted promotional dollars and moving from scattershot decision-making to effective actions tied to strategic objectives (e.g., driving traffic, building basket, driving sales and profit). Our experience suggests that retailers can find roughly 400 to 700 basis points of incremental margin dollars by deconstructing and deploying promotions that are strategically designed, targeted, and timed.

Of course, the most effective promotional strategy will differ for each retailer, and must account for many things, including the intended value proposition, competitive position and pricing power, and the specific consumer segments served. But through data science and a careful, strategic approach, retailers can solve the promotional Rubik’s Cube and unlock substantial value. - Harvard Business Review, JOHN RIZZO/GETTY IMAGES 

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5 Powerful Quotes From I.K Adusei's New Book How To Start Small || Special Feature

  • Written by Isaac Kwasi Adusei
  • Category: News

Here are some powerful quotes from I.K Adusei's latest book, How To Start Small. 

 

# 1: "Whenever you stop to take a look at the things around you including the malls, skyscrapers, latest technology, cars, bullet trains, etc., you need to ask yourself what you have used your imagination to create." - [How To Start Small]

 

#2: “There is no real business school than a business you set up yourself. With your own business, you can learn quickly about what works and what doesn’t work, as you do your utmost to better manage your cash flow.” - [How To Start Small]

 

#3: The grass is always greener on the other side of fear. Taking an entrepreneurial leap of faith is no mean task. The brave often succeed, leaving behind the masses who are chicken-hearted.  - [How To Start Small] 

#4: “As a small business owner, you have to pay yourself a specific salary each month which should be paid after all your other expenditures are paid for.” - [How To Start Small]

#5: “Keep a low profile just to be able to increase your assets and create more positive cash flow. Many people who are expectant of you keeping up with the Joneses will decide to ridicule you, but always bear in mind that, entrepreneurship is not a popularity contest.” - [ How To Start Small]

Patrons and readers can get copies of this classic entrepreneurship book, How To Start Small from Amazon and can pre-order for hard copies from January, 1st 2019.

The official book launch is scheduled to take place in Accra, Ghana on January, 29th 2019.

You can follow the author's social media pages for further details: Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

Related:

 How to search for business opportunities

  •  

A 17 year Old Kenyan is Making Over $40,000 Revenue With An MIT Endorsed Technology

  • Written by Super User
  • Category: News

 

At 17 and not yet out of high school, Tom Osborn—an entrepreneur from Awendo, Kenya, with a passion for clean energy and technology—had an idea that could change the life of many Kenyans. Having seen how deforestation to create cooking fuel resulted in suffering fromsmoke inhalation, he came up with a solution: a “clean charcoal” briquette.

His idea won a $3000 innovation grant in 2013, and shortly after, withIan Oluoch, a schoolmate, Osborn founded Greenchar—a company that produces briquettes made with sugarcane waste, for household and industrial use. Shortly after, Osborn and Oluoch were joined by a third partner, Yina Sun, a student at Chapel Hill University in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Flash forward 18 months, and the company has 10 full-time employees and 15 part-time salespeople who get its products to 3,000 homes and 20 companies. Since February 2015, the company has sold about 130 tons of briquettes.

With an overall investment of $210,000, Osborn said in an interview, Greenchcr has generated $40,000 in revenue, selling to pilot projects in rural areas in the southwest of the country, and in two urban slums in Nairobi. The products for household use, branded as Maaka Poa (cool charcoal), are sold by kiosks run by locals, are providing employment and revenue for the communities.

 

Most Kenyans use charcoal or firewood to heat their cooking stoves. Maaka Poa, Osborn says, is both better and cheaper. A kilo costs $0.3, versus $0.5 for firewood or charcoal. The briquettes burn longer, adding to the savings. “We understood that [for customer] the main proposition is price, not health,” Osborn said during the Women Deliver conference in Copenhagen, where he won the Social Enterprise Challenge.

In Kenya, 75% of the population uses charcoal, firewood or biomass to operate their stoves. This not only creates pollution, but depletes natural resources, as increasing quantities of wood are required to satisfy demand.

The product distributed by Greenchar is an adaptation of an MIT technology (which has been developed together with Takachar, an MIT-based company) and Osborn says similar products are available in Uganda, Tanzania, and India. In Kenya two competitors sell recycled charcoal dust—a product still linked to wood and with lower environmental and health benefits. According to MIT studies, the “clean charcoal” results to 70% less smoke inhalation than charcoal, and up to 90% less than firewood.

Greenchar plans to expand its range of products as well as its distribution, selling to more places in Kenya as well as in Eastern African countries. The company also plans to produce a cooking stove that works more effectively with Maaka Poa.

Osborn hopes that clean fuel will be used not just for cooking but to generate electricity. In the absence of reliable electricity, he says, “families in Kenya still use kerosene for lighting.” It’s his mission—and business goal—to change that While Osborn, who is not 20, was accepted into Harvard, he says has no intention of diverting his attention from Greenchar. “I’ll go, eventually,” he says. -Quartz Africa

 

More African Stories: Africa's first tablet for schools

 

 

 

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