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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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Press Release

Journey Wellness, an AI-Enabled, Personalised Healthcare Platform Launches in South Africa

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Journey Wellness Co-Founders, Dr. Jacques Ludik and Lara Wayburne (Image: Nomsa Mdhluli)

Journey Wellness, an AI-Enabled, Personalised Healthcare Platform set to Revolutionize Wellness & Healthcare in South Africa. The Platform will transform business employee benefits and medical schemes’ approach to offering wellness for employees and medical aid members.

A revolutionary new approach to offering Ultra-Personalised, Artificial Intelligence-Enabled Healthcare from tech-trendsetting company Cortex Logic is set to transform the way medical aid schemes, consumers and corporates offering employee benefits as part of their EAP (Employee Assistance Programmes) view their current healthcare offering.

The Journey Wellness platform is perfectly timed to coincide with the current global shift in Healthcare, as the focus moves from a disease-management model to one that encourages optimum health and disease-avoidance, targeting younger as well as existing members with a holistic, pro-active offering.

Corporates and medical schemes are realising that they need to offer their employees and members wellness and EAP benefits that move beyond expensive, reactive, chemical care to cost-effective, proactive preventative primary care.

“Globally, an ever-increasing portion of healthcare spend and focus is shifting to promote wellness and wellbeing, rather than responding to illness,” says Lara Wayburne, a respected Healthcare Actuary consulting to Cortex Logic and part of the development team of the Journey Wellness Platform.

“Healthcare analysts predict that over the coming decade the focus on wellness and wellbeing can reduce overall healthcare costs by as much as 30%.”

“Journey Wellness enables that future by empowering and engaging consumers to better understand the drivers that impact their health and therefore be more actively involved in managing their own health. By doing so, the Journey Wellness ecosystem encourages positive health seeking behaviour, promoting better physical and mental health,” says Wayburne.

The driving force behind Journey Wellness, Dr Jacques Ludik, Founder and CEO of Cortex Logic, who has also recently written a book called ‘Democratizing Artificial Intelligence to Benefit Everyone’, says that the Journey Wellness platform will provide more healthcare, to more people, faster.

“Essentially, Journey is a cost-effective, pro-active, personalised and engaged AI health companion that will improve health outcomes for everyone involved – the medical scheme provider, employers, employees, healthcare providers and ultimately the end-user consumer who will benefit from personalised, proactive healthcare with the added benefits of cost savings all-round,” says Dr Ludik.

Journey Wellness offers a number of benefits for Medical Schemes, Corporates and End-Users:

Employer Groups and Medical Scheme providers will benefit from the cost savings inherent in moving from expensive, reactive, chemical care to cost-effective, proactive preventative primary care for their members and employees. This will result in increased productivity, increased employee engagement, reduced absenteeism and cost-savings to all involved.

Healthcare Providers will benefit from having a 360-degree view of their patients that will improve wellness proactively without costly chemical intervention, usually at the reactive stage and will also empower patients with continuous self-care.

And, Consumers will benefit from a Holistic Wellness Solution and the reduced need for expensive healthcare options, improved wellbeing, rewards for engagement and ultimately having a personalised wellness coach on hand at all times to help them understand their health status and associated risks and better manage their health and improve quality of life.

“Overall, it’s a win-win scenario in which technology, data and analytics foster a collaborative and progressive healthcare environment, creating an ecosystem for improved wellbeing one step at a time that benefits everyone,” says Wayburne.

Journey Wellness has also made an exciting announcement around making the Platform’s Mental Health Module available for free to users from 1 September 2021.

“We realise that the current state of affairs globally, and in South Africa in particular, with pandemic lockdowns and economic uncertainty foremost on our minds, places an enormous amount of pressure on people. So, we’re offering free access to our Mental Health Module to users, where they can access an AI-enabled mental health companion 24/7,” says Dr Ludik.

The Journey Wellness Demo Platform for Corporate Employers and Medical Schemes is available at www.journeywellness.co.za, and for Consumers, the User App is available as a free download for Android and iOS devices at Google Play and App Store. Medical schemes and Employers looking to offer Journey Wellness to their members can interact directly with Journey Wellness by requesting a demo via the website.

 

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Investment

Chaka secures $1.5M pre-seed round to power digital investments and wealth management opportunities across Africa

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Chaka CEO, Tosin Osibodu at a press briefing (Image & Press Release: Chaka)

Chaka is thrilled to announce its $1.5M pre-seed funding round led by Breyer Capital, a global venture firm focused on catalyzing growth in high-impact companies like Spotify, Facebook, and now, Chaka. Other participants in the round are 4DX Ventures, Golden Palm Investments, Future Africa, Seedstars, and Musha Ventures.

Chaka is a technology solutions company on a mission to enable every business and person in Africa to access borderless digital investment and wealth management opportunities. The team combines investment expertise and best-in-class technology to provide reliable digital Investing, trading and wealth management solutions that are easy-to-use and easy-to-integrate.

Their mission is to enable digital border-less investing for African businesses and individuals. They’re powering the digital investment landscape in Africa through partnerships with asset managers, financial technology firms, and regulators with whom we have a shared mission. We achieve this by providing trading solutions that are easy to use and easy to integrate.

With this capital, they will focus on the goals to build a roster of formidable partners and accelerate expansion to other markets within West Africa. This investment also enables them to hire top talent and integrate more advanced functionalities into our investment and wealth management solutions.

Jim Breyer, CEO of Breyer Capital, shared his view on this investment and it illustrates their shared vision: “We are proud to align ourselves with a company that is leveling the investment playing field for Nigerians (and Africans at large). We’re confident in the value Chaka provides through its digital tools, and we look forward to playing our part in supporting Tosin, Bo, Olaolu, and the Chaka team.”

This is a significant milestone for Chaka and could not have come this far without their users, partners, early investors, and a talented, achieving team of Champions.

They see digital investments as a means to boost economic transformation in Africa, and we’re very keen to bring this vision to life.

 

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Manufacturing

Emmanuel Penneh set to lead the Ghanaian team that will re-assemble the first Nissan Navara made in Ghana

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Emmanuel Penneh (Image: Lusawovana Pius- edelman) 

Emmanuel Penneh arrived back in Accra this week, ready to start the next phase of a journey that’s taken three years so far and still has an intensive eight months to run. On Thursday 3 June 2021, the married 44-year-old father of three graduated with his team of 11 Ghanaians from an intense eight-week course at Nissan South Africa’s Rosslyn manufacturing plant outside Pretoria. That was just the first step for them. Now the hard work begins, getting Ghana’s brand-new Nissan assembly plant in Tema, outside Accra, ready to begin re-assembling the first ever Nissan Navaras to be built in Africa early in the New Year.

The graduation is a critical milestone in a process that began back in 2018 with the signing of the landmark Memorandum of Understanding between Nissan and the Government of Ghana, followed by the drafting and promulgation of Ghana’s automotive development policy the following year and then the appointment of Japan Motors Trading Company (JMTC), as Nissan’s preferred partner last year to ensure that the new facility will be 100% Ghana owned and run.

Penneh is up for the challenge. Speaking at the special graduation ceremony held at the Rosslyn, SKD plant, he said he and his team were proud and honoured, excited and delighted. “This is a historic evolution for Nissan Ghana, Nissan South Africa and Nissan worldwide. This is the plant where the Nissan Navara is being made for the first time in Africa, by Africans for Africa, now we are going home to re-assemble the first Navara made in Ghana for Ghana by Ghanaians!”

Penneh will be the plant manager. It’s a feather in the cap for the 10-year JMTC veteran. Before being approached to lead the team, Penneh was service co-ordinator for the group’s aftersales operations, overseeing five workshops across Ghana. He’s been in the automotive industry for 14 years, with four years at Man Truck Ghana before he joined JMTC.

“It’s exciting,” he says, “it gives a new dimension to my career. After concentrating on the after sales aspect, I’m now coming into the industry that actually builds the vehicles.”

The eight-week training that the team underwent in South Africa had been gruelling, he said, they had no idea what to expect. “It was challenging coming fresh into this industry and discovering so many processes and rules and mastering them, but it’s been exciting.”

He’s exceptionally proud of the team he led to South Africa and the way they’ve conducted themselves. “This (the creation of a Nissan assembly plant in Ghana) is going to be a game changer for ourselves, but also for our country, creating jobs, upskilling people and creating opportunities for local brand ownership.”

 

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