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Learnability Critical to Developing Future-Ready Workforce in Africa

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Lagos, Nigeria – The contracting shelf-life of skills requires African businesses to focus more on strategies that would enhance employees’ ability to adapt to unfolding global workplace realities, Ivie Imasogie-Adigun, Group Head, Human Resources, Sahara Group has said.

Imasogie-Adigun told Human Capital Professionals at a session on “Strategies to Ensure Workforce Learnability” that public and private organisations in Africa need to respond to growing digital disruptions by creating a process that identifies a candidate’s learning agility right from the hiring process as “a person’s learnability quotient is a great predictor of future success in the work place.” She went further to define ‘Learnability’ as an individual’s ability to acquire new skills efficiently, in the shortest time possible.

According to her, the impact of globalisation makes it imperative for employees to vigorously and deliberately pursue self-directed development initiatives that equip them with new skills  beyond their current core areas of expertise. “Today, new skills have emerged that are quite different from what was needed about 5 years ago. LinkedIn’s talent research shows that half of today’s most in-demand skills weren’t even on the list a few years ago.  As such, it is imperative that there is a drive towards constant upskilling for continued relevance.”

Ivie Imasogie-Adigun, Group Head, Human Resources, Sahara Group delivering speech during The Lagos ATD 2019 Preview Workshop
Ivie Imasogie-Adigun, Group Head, Human Resources, Sahara Group delivering speech during The Lagos ATD 2019 Preview Workshop

Experts have suggested that by 2030, the Africa continent’s working-age population will increase by two-thirds, from 370 million adults in 2010 to over 600 million . Of this population at least 52 % will receive up to a  secondary education; a 16%  increase compared to the existing percentage in 2010  of 36% of the population. Imasogie-Adigun noted that this trend should elicit a firm and strategic response from stakeholders across the continent to improve global competitiveness. “As 15 to 20 million increasingly well-educated young people are expected to join the African workforce every year for the next three decades, delivering the ecosystem for quality jobs – and future skills to match – will be imperative to fully leveraging the continent’s demographic dividend,” she explained, urging policy makers, the academia and human capital practitioners to lead the charge of promoting “employability as the impact of the fourth industrial revolution hovers over Africa.”

Sharing the Sahara Group experience, she said businesses can enhance the capacity and adaptability of their people by hiring for learnability, making learning a key talent strategy, investing in new technologies, rewarding personal development achievements and creating a sustainable knowledge exchange framework that can be updated periodically.

“At Sahara Group where our business traverses the entire energy value chain, learnability is one of our critical employee selection criteria as it speaks to spontaneity and novelty. Employees must be supported to learn either via learning hubs or e-learning platforms to promote knowledge acquisition across all levels in the organization. It is also imperative for organisations to encourage the creation of an informal social platform where knowledge flows freely and can be accessed seamlessly,” she concluded.

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Access Bank Partners ScaleUp Africa To Boost Women’s Empowerment with the Pan-African Women’s Conference

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On Wednesday, 21st April, Access Bank and ScaleUp Africa will present the Pan-African Women’s Conference under the theme, Choose to Challenge. The virtual conference is part of a strategic partnership to boost the economic contribution and resources available to women in business and professional careers. The program will also mark 6 years of Access Bank’s “W”, the multiple award-winning initiative for women that has seen many beneficiaries inspired and connected.

‘We kick off our partnership with Access Bank with the Pan-African Women’s Conference to celebrate women in business across Africa and to open up new products and services to a broader audience beyond Ghana. We are truly committed to further support Access Bank to drive its W Initiative, Gender, Innovation and Entrepreneurship strategy, bringing our core capabilities of digital engagement, holistic programme design and implementation,” shares Amma Gyampo, CEO of ScaleUp Africa and a Strategic Advisor to corporations, foundations and governments.

The Pan-African Women’s Conference will feature leaders in finance, business growth strategy and organizational development opportunities from across the continent including Elsie Addo-Awadzie, 2nd Deputy Governor, BoG, Matilda Asante-Asiedu, Group Head, Retail Banking, Access Bank, Yofi Grant, Chief Executive Officer, GIPC and Franklin Owusu-Karikari, Director, Business Support & Policy, NEI.

Conference Discussion Topics will cover:

  1. Pushing the boundaries and thriving in the entrepreneurship journey.
  2.  Strengthening the capacity of women owned businesses to boost growth
  3.  Maximizing opportunities using the free trade agreement in Ghana and across the continent.
  4.  Business Growth: Surviving Covid-19 and beyond

Other featured speakers include:

Irene Ochem – (Nigeria) – Founder and chief executive officer of Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum

Fatima Alimohamed – (Ghana) – CEO of African Brand Warrior

Chilufya Mutale – (Zambia)- Founder and CEO of Premier Credit

Justina Mutale – (Zambia) – Founder & President of the Justina Mutale Foundation and its Scholarship 

Thelma Ekiyor (Nigeria) – Managing Partner, SME.NG

Women play a critical role in the entrepreneurship world, providing essential human care and food-related services and as such we must be intentional about mainstreaming impact, gender equality, upskilling and decent work for women as we embark upon development in this post-Covid world. The Pan African Women’s Conference is an ideal opportunity for women aspiring to get to the apex of their careers, grow their businesses and gain nuggets for personal development,” adds Gymapo.

The Pan African Women’s Conference will begin at 11:00am GMT on 21st April, 2021.

To register visit: Pan-African Women’s Conference 

Virtual conference details will be provided upon registration.

 

 

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Cairo-Based Grocery Delivery Startup, Appetito Raises $450k Seed Investment

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Appetito truck and press release (Source: Shehab Mohamed) 

Appetito, a Cairo-based grocery startup, has announced a raise of $450k seed round of financing. The Startup operates through dark stores model, where products are sourced from manufacturers, stored in mini fulfilment centres then delivered to household customers. Established in March 2020, the company started with a wide range of private label products serving all areas of Cairo, Giza, and Alexandria with next day & pre-scheduled deliveries.

Recently, the company expanded its product portfolio to include more than 1000 SKUs from well-known consumer brands and entered the hyper convenience race by offering its customers less than 60-minute delivery in selected areas.

The round was raised by a group of Saudi Angel investors led by Ahmed Al Alola, an early-stage investor who was one of the early backers of Nana and Sary, alongside with Afropreneurs Fund, an African early-stage technology fund that has previously backed top startups such as Andela, Flutterwave and Trella, in addition to the participation of Jedar Capital an emerging VC focusing on early stage start-ups in the Middle East, Africa & Emerging Asia.

Speaking on the raise, Appetito Founder and CEO Shehab Mokhtar says: “We’re proud of what we have achieved in just a few months from our launch. We’re privileged to have such prominent investors backing us. With their support and the team, we’re building, I’m confident we will be in a leading position in the global race of grocery delivery.”.

Ahmed Al Alola commented on the round “Observing the radical change in consumer’s behaviour post-COVID-19, the grocery delivery market is expanding rapidly in the region. I believe Appetito – with its stellar team – is well positioned to lead that segment and capture the market by delivering superior experience compared to what is currently available in most of the African space.

On his part, Idris Bello, Managing Partner, Afropreneurs Fund said ” Our investment into Appetito’s seed round follows on our proven thesis of investing in strong founders with unique local insights and a bias towards execution. We are excited by what Shehab and his team have achieved so far, and we are very bullish on the Egyptian early-stage ecosystem.”

Sherif Nessim, Founder and Managing Director of Jedar Capital said “We are excited to be part of Appetito’s journey in Egypt and MENA region. We have been watching Appetito’s execution and the team’s growth focused approach with very limited resources early on, this was a clear message to us on how resilient and focused they are. Appetito is best suited for growth with the digital transformation happening in Egypt where online commerce growth is skyrocketing and saw a huge leap with covid, more and more customers now are adopting online grocery shopping as their standard now. We believe that Appetito’s model focusing on dark stores rather than aggregating from grocery retail stores will add value and differentiation in the market and play a pivotal role in terms of operational efficiency and gross margin contribution. We look forward to supporting them with their expansion and growth plans in Egypt and beyond.”.

 

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Flux Panda Brings Live Stream Shopping to MENA Region

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Flux Panda Founder, Alexander Rauser

In response to the restrictions caused by the pandemic, Flux Panda was created to encourage businesses in the Middle East and North African region to utilize live streaming platforms to sell their products. The App combines the functionalities of an eCommerce website and live streaming app. Merchants upload the products they want to sell during the live stream, connect Flux Panda to multiple social media platforms with live streaming like Facebook Live or Instagram Live, and their customers can buy the products by clicking the buy button and entering their payment details.

“Our goal is to make the selling and buying process on live streams much easier and enable any business to own the experience. While many small and large businesses are already selling live on social networks, our solution fixes some key problems such as order management, real-time inventory, and customization capabilities. You could say we are similar to a platform like Shopify, but focused on live commerce.” says Alexander Rauser, Founder and CEO of Flux Panda.

The App offers a flexible pricing model to cater to small businesses, eCommerce companies, and even large retail brands. Currently, the Flux Panda partner network covers South East Asia, Central America, Africa and the Middle East with further expansion plans in 2021.

According to research by Coresight, live selling generated $60 billion in global sales in 2019 and expectedly doubled in 2020 to $129 billion. Live selling has been popular in Asia for many years, even before the pandemic hit. The largest western fashion brands like Burberry and Louis Vuitton have already tried live stream eCommerce through China’s biggest marketplaces like Tmall and Little Red Book.

About Flux Panda

Flux Panda is a live selling solution established in 2020. It combines the functionalities of a multi-platform live streaming tool and an eCommerce website so viewers can view the details, add to cart, and pay for the items being demonstrated. It is the only solution where merchants can sign up and go live without any assistance or setup fees. It can be used by merchants with or without their own eCommerce site.

 

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