“It’s just nice to be able to come together with other local businesses and perform these kind of things,” Natzle said. “Especially with what’s going on right now with this unnormal world.” The Cider Mill will be hosting another Pink Doughnut Day with Visions Federal Credit Union next week. The Cider Mill began taking orders yesterday to be picked up today. Brent Natzle, assistant manager, says the significance about this event is local businesses helping each other out. All pink doughnut proceeds will benefit the UHS Sock Out Cancer Fund. ENIDCOTT (WBNG) — The Cider Mill and UHS hosted their 2nd Annual Pink Doughnut Day Tuesday. For more information, check out their Facebook page.
One of several hand pumps constructed under management of VIPeE in one of the villagesMany towns and villages in Foya have started to benefit from safe drinking water through the construction of hand pumps in the district at a cost of US$6,000, as part of the Village People Empowerment Group (ViPeE) initiatives in Lofa County, according to ViPeE executive director Rudolf Janke.In a dispatch from Berlin, Germany, Mr. Janke noted that since 2010, safe drinking water was agreed upon by all stakeholders as a basic human right. However, he added that there are still numerous villages and settlements in rural Liberia which have not had access to safe drinking water for the past several decades.Mr. Janke said the ViPeE has been supporting the construction of wells with hand pumps in Foya District from 2008 to 2017 but there are still countless villages that do not have safe drinking water.He recalled that in May, 2018 three hand pumps were constructed in collaboration with Liberia Freunde of Germany and the German Embassy in Monrovia.Construction and installation work in Gbongoma, Borma, and Tuladu was organized and supervised by a rural water technician residing in Kolba City, Kolahun District, while the work was carried out by the villagers themselves, said Mr. Janke.He said a water manager will soon be nominated to collect monthly water fees from the beneficiaries and the funds will be used to finance repairs.Mural depicting VIPeE’s transformative activities, especially with providing safe drinking water in Foya DistrictHe also added that such small fees will buttress maintenance costs instead of depending perpetually on external support from foreign organizations.He disclosed that the German Embassy near Monrovia provided US$3,300 and the rest of the financial contribution came from members and associates of the VIPeE in Germany, United States and Liberia.He said everybody is aware that development cannot be sustainable without financial support from the community, district and the county and therefore officials of government in the sector should be aware of it.Mr.Janke said materials such as sand, gravel, and provided manpower to buttress the efforts of the water technician were mobilized in those villages.“Such independence or self-dependence gives everybody a good feeling in the struggle to replace the missing activities on the side of the government, local or regional as well as on the national level as it is in all societies where taxes are collected on a general level to finance the necessary infrastructure of education, health, communication, and mobility,” he explained.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city and the country’s commercial capital. Since 2008, some 359 000 skilled South Africans have returned home. (Image: Brand South Africa. Click for a larger view.) • Kotie Basson Media liaison Investec Asset Management +27 21 416 1812 +27 82 375 1317 [email protected] • Global perceptions key to competitiveness and foreign investment • Homecoming Revolution expands to African diaspora • South Africa: Sound investment destination, emerging market that matters • South Africa’s competitive advantage in the developing world • Foreign journalists get the inside storyJeremy Gardiner, Investec Asset ManagementMy brother has just returned to South Africa after living in Geneva for 14 years. He is going to reside in Johannesburg and work for Discovery Health and he is deliriously happy.What is exhausting, though, is the question (accompanied by a look of near disbelief) asked by almost every South African, from the travel agent to his friends to the real estate agent and the car salesman: “Why are you coming back? Especially now?”What is it about us South Africans that make us truly believe that we are die vark in die verhaal (the pig in the tale) in every story? Whether it is the economy, politics, the currency, corruption, you name it – we really do seem to believe that this South Africa is the only country in the world with problems and that anything that goes wrong is directly self-inflicted.A few points are worth noting.First, most of the pain we are feeling economically is currently being felt more or less similarly across all emerging markets. Very simply, it is our turn. For the first three years after the global financial collapse, former US Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke plumped up the global economy with billions of US dollars and emerging markets were a happy beneficiary of this liquidity. South Africans looked on in amazement as the developed world came close to collapse, companies slashed their workforces and these developed economies ground to a halt. Meanwhile, life in South Africa was good – we were still growing, retrenchments were there (but not widespread) and the sun was shining.But then, inevitably and eventually, the developed world started healing. Today the US economy is recovering, economic numbers are improving and they’re fast becoming energy neutral. Producing all their own oil and gas will make them more competitive, improve their deficit and reduce their debt.On the other hand, the European recovery – whilst nowhere near the US recovery – seems intact, and while they are hardly growing, they are at least no longer shrinking. Their risk now is deflation, although recent data has been encouraging and any signs of deflation will be doused quickly enough through monetary methods. Britain is almost booming with growth forecasts for 2014 being raised from 1.5% a year ago, to the current predictions from the Bank of England of over 3%.So with all the good news coming out of the developed world, the quantitative easing drip is slowly being removed. Global investors, seeing the recovery, also decided they could generate decent returns closer to home.Suddenly the rug was pulled out from underneath the feet of the emerging markets currencies and stock markets. What was described in general economic parlance as the Brics (a grouping to which we as South Africans felt unworthy, but delighted to be part of) quickly became referred to by many pundits as a Bloody Ridiculous Investment Concept.Emerging markets remain resilientFrom Argentina to Indonesia, via Turkey, economies are slowing, unemployment is growing and currencies have been smashed. But the time for the emerging markets is not over. Many are in far better shape than 1998, and in many cases, they are in better shape than the developed world. They have lower debt-to-GDP ratios, more reserves, better demographics, higher growth prospects, and are generally more resilient.As members of this “club” known as emerging markets, we benefit when times are good, but similarly we suffer when sentiment towards emerging markets sours. As South Africans, we sometimes delude ourselves that we are “first world”, yet whether we like it or not, we are just another emerging market. Interestingly, there was a time we experienced contagion as a result of our proximity to Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa. Today, South Africa will lift from our current growth impasse due to our preferred emerging market status. Preferred, ironically, due to our proximity to the rampant growth economies of Africa.Key to psychological survival in South Africa is being able to see us the way foreign investors do, and comparing us to the countries against whom we compete for investment flows. Nobody asks whether they should invest in London or South Africa, or New York or South Africa. What they do say however, is should they invest in South Africa or should they rather invest in South America, the rest of Africa or Asia? And against those countries or continents we generally stack up (reasonably) well.‘We’re not that fascinating’So, the South African economy isn’t alone in facing tough times. The Brazilian and Indian economies have also slowed significantly, as has foreign investment into these markets. Their currencies are at record lows and their deficits and unemployment levels are high. In fact, most emerging market economies have slowed considerably. The rand isn’t being punished because of our politics or strikes, for that matter. Despite ourselves, the rand has been punished along with most emerging market currencies, simply because massive inflows suddenly become massive outflows as sentiment towards emerging markets deteriorated.We have enormous youth unemployment, but the levels are not dissimilar to that of many other emerging markets. For that matter, many European countries have similar youth unemployment levels. We grumble about our politics, but politicians across the world behave badly. “Gravy” is not unique to South Africa; after all, was it not expedient politicians feeding tax breaks to voters in exchange for votes that led to the European collapse (and in many cases debt levels that will take generations to repay)? The French president’s approval rating is below 20%, less than half the level of our president.From a corruption perspective we have much work to do, but we are by no means worse than other emerging markets. In fact, we are better than (or equal to) the majority of South America, the rest of Africa and most of Asia, according to Transparency International’s 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index. On the list of 177 countries, we rank 72nd.We have to continue to jealously guard our press freedom, for which the country has fought so hard. We also have to appreciate that we currently have one of the freest press in the world. According to the World Press Freedom Index for 2014, we are in line with the UK and the US and once again freer than the majority of South America, the rest of Africa and Asia.In short, we are not nearly as fascinating to the rest of the world as we think we are. Very simply, we are part of a grouping known as emerging markets, and when they are in vogue, so are we, and the reverse applies when they are not. As I have argued earlier, what we are going through at the moment will pass. Almost like winter eventually becomes spring and then summer, so too will the sun return to the emerging markets and indeed to South Africa. Then this phase will be forgotten, and my brother – along with the 359 000 other skilled South Africans who (according to Adcorp) have returned home since 2008 – will stop getting asked why they came home.Jeremy Gardiner is a director at Investec Asset Management.