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.
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”.
Industry event co-location to boost science-based industry development
Three industry trade shows across interconnected value chains for food, drink, water, waste and analytics
The future of South Africa’s key industry sectors – including food & drink, water, sewage and waste treatment – rest heavily on science, and never more so than now, as the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the importance of testing and analytics in assuring a compliant work environment and safe products.
Messe Muenchen South Africa, organisers of several of Africa’s major industry trade shows, have co-located food & drink technology (fdt) Africa, IFAT Africa and analytica Lab Africa to bring science and innovation closer to food & drink, water, sewage and waste treatment, for one-stop access to the interconnected value chains in these sectors.
analytica Lab Africa, food & drink technology (fdt) Africa and IFAT Africa bring to Africa the full spectrum of the science and technology laboratory technology, analysis, biotechnology and diagnostics behind consumer products and pharmaceuticals, food and beverage production, and water, sewage, refuse and recycling, water and waste management as environmental concerns and food security become a top priority around the world.
The format of the trade shows and their peripheral events are designed to spark knowledge transfer, showcase global trends and solutions to Africa’s challenges, catalyse business and facilitate introductions that support collaboration and economic growth.
The industry response to co-locating analytica Lab Africa with fdt Africa and IFAT Africa has been resoundingly positive, with up to 10,000 visitors and nearly 400 exhibitors from across Africa and around the world converging at the events to network, share knowledge and explore multi-sectoral business opportunities. Suzette Scheepers, Chief Executive Officer of Messe Muenchen in South Africa, said the synergies between the three sectors were immediately apparent, and gave visitors an opportunity to learn about trends, innovations and opportunities across sectors. Together, the events occupied 17,000 square meters in four halls of the Gallagher Convention Centre.
In 2021, IFAT Africa, food & drink technology (fdt) Africa and analytica Lab Africa will be staged at the Gallagher Convention Centre from July 13 – 15.
analytica Lab Africa is the only trade fair for laboratory technology, analysis, biotechnology and diagnostics in South Africa. The show features both local and international market leaders, addressing visitors in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. The first analytica Lab Africa, in 2019, featured solutions by 148 exhibitors from 15 countries, as well as a strong supporting programme including a forum and demo area with practical presentations on food safety, laboratory applications and topics such as laboratory safety.
food & drink technology (fdt) Africa is a biennial trade fair held in Johannesburg, South Africa. The trade fair and its accompanying programme (including a high-quality exhibitor forum) is the third successful offset of Messe München’s drinktec, the world’s leading trade fair in the beverage and liquid food industry. In 2019, approximately 65 exhibitors from 13 countries presented custom solutions for the African market: from innovative developments for resource conservation to raw materials, through to processing, filling and packaging machines.
IFAT Africa is the leading trade fair for water, sewage, refuse and recycling in Southern Africa.
In 2019, the show welcomed 172 exhibitors and recorded an 83 percent increase in visitor numbers from 2017, with 3,302 visitors from across South African, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In 2021, the show will again feature a high-calibre forum programme addressing various trends, challenges and solutions from the water, sewage, refuse and recycling sectors, bringing together public and private sector, solution providers, academics, practitioners and decision-makers for three days of valuable knowledge sharing. Highlights of the event also include focused masterclasses hosted by the Water Institute of Southern Africa (WISA) and Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) the 3rd edition of the University Challenge, product demonstrations and interactive corner.
Issued by ITP Communication
Black Mamba- Changing the world one chilli at a time
Black Mamba, the HOTTEST African brand is on a mission to bring sustainable, freshly made products to the world, that taste good, look good and do good. In this exclusive chat with Claudia Castellanos who is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at Black Mamba, Claudia shares her African story with Alaba Ayinuola of Business Africa Online. Excerpts.
Black Mamba is a fair trade producer of gourmet chilli products, based in the African Kingdom of Eswatini. Founded in 2010, and manufactures a range of chilli sauces, pestos, pickles, chutneys and jams, all made with natural, fresh ingredients, and no artificial flavours or preservatives.
Currently Black Mamba exports its products to South Africa, the U.K., Germany, Norway and the US, amongst other markets. And their premises posses a FSSC22000 food safety certification, one of the strictest in the world.
This business was started by Claudia Castellanos and her husband Joe Roques who both share their love for chillies with the passion for development of communities and sustainable farming. From the beginning, while stirring a pot of chilli sauce from the back their house, they believed that it was possible to make a high quality, distinctively delicious product with a 100% sustainable value chain that would benefit those involved and the environment.
Black Mamba works in partnership with a local NGO called Guba, whose mission is to improve the livelihood of communities in Eswatini through the use of permaculture practices. Black Mamba and Guba have a symbiotic relationship where Guba develops the farmers and their farming skills, and Black Mamba provides the marketplace for the Guba-trained farmers to sell their organically grown products.
To date, Black Mamba provides a sustainable income to 60 farmers, mostly women, that are part of this initiative. Over 1000 individuals are directly impacted as each farmer has in average 6 dependents and shares their knowledge with 11 members of their community.
Claudia said; “We have established ourselves as a cult brand locally, and envision growing this worldwide, connecting chilli heads and ethical foodies across the world to generation of growers, providing proof that planet and people matter.”
- 14 full-time employees, 12 of which are women and the main breadwinners of their households in average 5 dependents.
- 60 farmers, of which 50 are women- in average 6 dependents and sharing knowledge with 11 members of their communities.
- Current impact over 1000 individuals Possibility to engage up to 180 farmers with a potential impact on 5000 individuals.
- Access to work and sustainable income.
- Welfare programmess: Peer education on health and gender topics, mobile clinics (general checkups, breast and cervix cancer, HIV) and savings programmes for employees
- The farmers have also learnt how to grow herbs for medicinal use, other crops to sell to their communities, healthier food and firewood.
- Improved soil structure.
- Diversity of ground cover crops.
- Reduced erosion.
- Improved use of water resources.
- Improved biodiversity at homestead level.
- Packaging material: glass and cardboard.
- 90% of our waste gets recycled or composted.
Visit Black Mamba Foods
Biography: Remi Duyile- RemiSpeaks, Career and Impact
Remi Duyile: Author | International Speaker | Empowerment Coach | Strategic Consultant
About Remi Duyile
Dr. Remi Duyile is a Nigerian-born and accomplished author, founder of Legacy premier foundation, a business leader with expertise and extensive experience in the financial sector, government and corporate strategy and communication , an eloquent International Keynote speaker who is intentionally in the Diaspora and abroad impacting the next generation and being a business bridge to Global Investors. She is an insightful legislative advocate and trusted community leader. Remi Duyile wears many hats, the one that she wears very proudly is being a devoted wife, and mother to three awesome children.
Dr. Duyile is an example of how faith, hard work and diligence can lead to numerous exposure and growth, she is passionate about seeing others succeed, it’s no doubt she was honored by the Governor of Maryland in the United States of America for her matchless efforts to better humanity. She has made it her life’s purpose to empower others to recognize their own strength, skills and abilities.
Early Life and Education
Dr. Remi Duyile was born and raised in Ondo City and Lagos State, Nigeria. where she learned the thesis of discipline, hard work, commitment and staying true to oneself. With this strong foundation, she relocated from Nigeria to the United States over 30 years ago with just one purpose: to shatter the glass ceilings which she fulfilled, is still fulfilling and will continue to fulfill.
As a fervid believer in the power of education as the key to unlocking opportunities, Dr. Duyile enrolled at the University of the District of Columbia between 1982 and 1987 where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Masters’ of Business Administration in Finance and Business Economy.
Dr. Duyile started her corporate career at one of the nation’s most revered banking institutions, Bank of America(one of the largest financial institutions in the United States). It was here that she shattered glass ceilings when she was promoted to Vice President of Retail, Premier, and Mortgage Banking. Dr. Duyile served in these roles managing over 600 financial portfolios of high net-worth clients for several years, until she decided that it was time to step into her true calling as a serial entrepreneur and empowering others in her community.
Impact and Philanthropy
Dr. Duyile founded Premier Mortgage Solutions (a mortgage solutions business), Image Consulting Group (an international consulting firm), and Legacy Premier Foundation (a non-profit providing mentorship and financial literacy for women and girls. She’s also the founder of RemiSpeaks. RemiSpeaks is a Coaching, Speaking and Training Platform for Management, Emerging Leaders and Entrepreneurs in quest of sustainable growth with Global Relevance. Under the umbrella of her companies, she has become an empowerment mentor, community mobilizer, certified trainer, as well as an international key note speaker.
She has spoken throughout Africa, Europe, and extensively within North America (Canada and the US) teaching financial literacy, offering entrepreneurial development, and encouraging emerging leaders to engage in the Diaspora and beyond.
Professional Memberships, Affiliations and Boards
- Member Continental Who’s Who
- Member, World Trade Center Institute
- Member, National Black MBA
- Advisory Council Member, Leadership Initiatives
- Member, Wambia Capital
- Advisory Board Member, Mentoring International
- Member, National Speakers Association-DC
- Member, Les Brown Platinum Speaker Network
- Member : NCBW 100 of Prince George’s
- Member: LPGA Golf Female Executive Member
- Board Chair: Pan African Diaspora Women Association
- Board Member, Sisters 4 Sisters Network, Inc.
- Member, Jesus House, DC
- Chair, Census 2010 Complete Count Committee. 2009 – 2010
- Member, Maryland Democratic Party, Continental African Leadership Council
- Member of the National Coalition of 100 Black women
Nomination and Recognition
- Top 100 MBE award winner 2009
- 2010 Smart CEO Award
- Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, 2013