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Lockdown: Why we are training African Talents for the future of work

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Nicolas Goldstein is the co-founder and chief strategy officer of Talenteum.Africa. A seasoned business man with extensive experience in technology, outsourcing, and marketing services. Nicolas’s exceptional knowledge of strategic marketing including product positioning, brand plan development, growth hacking and launch excellence within B2B sectors positioned him as a leader in the space. In this interview with Alaba Ayinuola of Business Africa Online, he shares how Talenteum is training African talents for the future of work and why Remote working is here for good. Excerpts.

Alaba: How do you see Remote Working in Africa during this global crisis ?

Nicolas: Unfortunately, it takes a pandemic for remote work to become a trend. Corporations all over the world are setting up the logistics for their teams to work remotely. In a global economy under the siege of the Coronarivus (COVID-19) – with more than 200,000 cases worldwide – those who still have doubts about the potential of remote work should reconsider now.

Working remotely is proving increasingly useful today and is steadily earning its place in the Future of Work. We at Talenteum have been working remotely since inception and all companies needs to know how to work with Distributed team.

Alaba: Do you think Remote Work is here to stay?

Nicolas: It is our belief at TALENTEUM, even before the Covid19 crisis erupted that remote working is a device with multiple virtues:

– Economic: telework allows you to extend the spectrum of the job market beyond your regions, and even beyond the borders where your companies are established;

– Social Impact: telework allows talents from foreign countries to access a job, even though their countries of origin do not offer them in their specialties; allowing remote work means allowing people to no longer have to immigrate elsewhere in order to be able to work and live decently. It is also participating in the reestablishment of parity between men and women by allowing women who could not get away from their homes to have a job, done from home;

– Environmental: when we know that transport is responsible for 10% of the global emission of greenhouse gases, we understand that by reducing travel, teleworking has a certain positive environmental impact on the planet;

– Sanitary: the Covid19 crisis has demonstrated this, remote working contributes to limiting the spad of epidemics.

Alaba: What about training Africa to the Future of work ? this is one of your goal.

Nicolas: In this digital era, economies evolve more rapidly and in response, companies and their staff need to adjust quicker. We have observed that regular upskilling is now a must. We have understood that it’s a reality for Africans as well; particularly those who want to work for employers based outside Africa remotely. Despite coming from developing countries – with a more limited range of local training opportunities – than in Europe or North America, African talents have to be proactive in finding ways to increase their competencies.

They need to stand out amongst international competition in order to be hired or get better jobs and earn higher wages. The candidates having skills sets that closely match employers’ needs will be more successful than others. That means keeping an up-to-date knowledge in one’s field, improving or adding to one’s abilities or acquiring the adequate skills in response to a shortage in a particular niche.

Thus, it is a competitive advantage to make upskilling efforts. One becomes more employable. Amongst our talents at Talenteum, we have some very ambitious young Africans who, in addition to their qualifications and professional experience, have taken online courses for specific skills and secured better work as a result.

Also Read: How Tech Is Enhancing Recruitment: An Interview With Sandy Simagwali, Co-Founder Of Graft Africa

Alaba: Which sectors will experience more upcoming Skills Shortage and how prepared are African talents?

Nicolas: According to Linkedin Talent Blog, “within the next 12 years, demand for highly skilled workers is going to skyrocket especially across knowledge-intensive industries”. This source indicates that globally, there will be a shortage of 10.7 million workers in the sectors of financial and business services and 4.3 million in the technology, media and telecommunications industries respectively.

African talents need to get ready to be part of the answer to the major talent shortages in the world by 2030. The implementation of “an ecosystem for quality jobs” and “future skills to match” is crucial for “fully leveraging the continent’s demographic dividend”, as “15 to 20 million increasingly well-educated young people are expected to join the African workforce every year for the next three decades” (World Economic Forum in 2017 report “The Future of Jobs and Skills in Africa”).

Nevertheless, “skills mismatch” is one of the factors impeding young Africans in responding to the current and future industry needs (African Development Bank). The unequal access to tertiary education , particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) may be one of the causes. The World Bank in a 2017 study “Sharing Higher Education’s Promise beyond the Few in Sub-Saharan Africa”, asserts that “increasing demand and limited supply of tertiary education … has led to tertiary education being available only to a subset of the youth population”.

According to the World Bank, “[t]o date, tertiary education in SSA region has remained elitist, benefiting students mostly from the most affluent, well-connected families. Coupled with the “brain drain” phenomena that talented tertiary graduates leave SSA regions after they finish education, tertiary education in the region is not equitably producing the human capital that the countries direly need”.

Visit: Talenteum.Africa

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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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