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Category Archives: Personal Empowerment

Helping others is not about personal gain – POST-COURIER

Posted: August 22, 2017 at 11:50 pm

August 22, 2017


The ability to help others is not about gaining recognition because one needs to be passionate about what he or she does in their dream job.

Aspiring 23-year-old Eileen-May Kehena Murepe, who hails from Kikori in Gulf Province, is one of those young Papua New Guineans who has the passion to help others.

My desire to help people and give back is entirely driven by the lack of development and provision of basic and essential services in the rural areas. I come from one of the most remote places in PNG and I know the hardship my people are going through, Ms Murepe said.

As a young Papua New Guinea, Ms Murepe strives to impact the lives of others by doing what she is passionate about.

Ms Murepe had a glimpse of the employment world when she was an intern at Mineral Resources Development Company, 7 News Sydney, Australia, and Oil Search Sydney, Australia.

She is not so much a job dreamer as she is interested and passionate about a lot of things.

I would take any job that enables me to help my people of Kikori, especially the women, where gender inequality is rampant, Ms Murepe said.

Asked how her dream job would encourage other young Papua New Guineans to strive in their respective walks of life, she said her dream job would possibly be her passion.

My passion would encourage and inspire people around me to pursue their passion so they will enjoy and love doing what they do, she adds.

Ms Murepes educational journey has brought her into contact with a lot of amazing people that she tends to look up to. She thinks anyone who inspires you in any way is your role model and so she has a lot of role models.

My parents are my role models because they have proved that from nothing and through hard work and sacrifices, you can be somebody and you can make something for yourself, she said.

Some iconic role models that Ms Murepe also feels inspired by are one of Americas earlier presidents, Abraham Lincoln and talk show host, Oprah Winfrey for women empowerment and giving back to the people.

She also feels inspired by British actress, model and activist Emma Watsons fight for gender equality.

Ms Murepe is currently studying at the University of Papua New Guinea as a communication and arts student. She has keen interests in photography, video, events planning, community work, volunteering, leadership and advocating mainly in women empowerment, gender equality, equal distribution of wealth, childrens rights, entrepreneurship, travelling and adventures and enjoys reading books on crime and investigation.

As a young woman keen to make a difference in her community, Ms Murepe was not happy with how the results of the 2017 National Election, especially without a woman in the 10th Parliament, which meets for the first time today.

She posed the questions: What happened to the female population of voters? What happeneed to supporting each other?

The National Government has been urged to engage proactively with the business sector and community to provide and enable policies to successfully deal with challenges that they are currently encountering.

Papua New Guineas economy is in a strong position compared to similar economies around the world, Prime Minister Peter ONeill said in Parliament yesterday.

The Government does not really know how many people live in Papua New Guinea as there had only been estimates.

The National Government has been urged to engage proactively with the business sector and community to provide and enable policies to successfully deal with challenges that they are currently encountering.

Papua New Guineas economy is in a strong position compared to similar economies around the world, Prime Minister Peter ONeill said in Parliament yesterday.


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Personal leadership to give cos competitive advantage – Times of India

Posted: at 11:50 pm

By Anuranjita Kumar

Technology has come to play a vital role in the lives of many and has significantly shaped consumer perceptions, behaviours, and preferences. Technology is driving a host of disruptive innovations lately, also aided by the interesting demographic changes witnessed globally. Initially, driven by the younger populations of the world, the uptake of digitisation is slowly spreading far and wide sans boundaries, sans demographic or age barriers. On the other hand, evolving geopolitical equations are also shaping the world significantly, giving rise to newer opportunities. Yet also, in some cases, raising unforeseen barriers.

These are just a few things adding to the complexity of the environment businesses function in. It demands leaders to be nimble in evaluating the emergent situations and making prompt decisions. 'Speed to market' is critical to the success of organisations today. It allows them to reach their clients faster with better products, offers and services ahead of their competition and also being able to stay on their toes to constantly evolve these very products and services, sometimes even on the go, to give business as well as the stakeholders an edge.

Previously, major changes or transformations have been led by the executive teams of the organisation. The new realities, however, require organisations to be more agile by adopting the concept of distributed leadership. In order to deftly respond to market changes and exceed customer expectations, organisations need employees across locations to promptly make important decisions that impact 'speed to market'.

This calls for organisations to leverage 'individual leadership' which, simply put, means individuals who are ready to take decisions and hold the courage and integrity to not only stand by them but also bring with it the conviction to drive others to rally and succeed. No longer is leadership confined to the traditional definition of 'people management'. The 'individual leadership' concept inspires organisations to develop the leadership ability of its employees regardless of their work location, or position in the hierarchy. It aims to build the capabilities of employees across levels through the levers of empowerment and engagement.

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Personal leadership to give cos competitive advantage - Times of India

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Redlands East Valley student represents city at state, national Girl State mock government camps – Redlands Daily Facts

Posted: at 11:50 pm

REDLANDS >> The role of women in government and female empowerment is driving Caroline Irvings passion for getting involved.

The Redlands East Valley High School senior spent much of her summer learning about women in influential roles as a participant in American Legion Auxiliary-sponsored programs in California and Washington, D.C.

The programs, known as Girls State, are dedicated to developing leadership skills, confidence and action-based understanding of the government process to give young women a lasting foundation for success, both personally and professionally, according to the programs website. Caroline, 17, said her interest in politics and government began at a young age.

Her biggest inspiration is Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a woman she has idolized since the age of 8.

It was back when the Notorious RBG campaign was going on, Caroline said. I was enticed by it and thought, I think Im going to check out what she stands for.

Ginsburgs long track of court success and the personal battles she has overcome inspires Caroline to pursue her long-term goal of working on the preservation of ecological diversity in South America.

Caroline represented REV at Girl State in late June after receiving a nomination to attend the mock government camp.

There, she ran for higher office and was elected as the camps lieutenant governor.

At the end of the week she learned she was one of two girls selected to attend the national camp in late July.

The nomination came as a surprise, Caroline said.

It was awesome and one of the craziest experiences of my life, she said. It changed my life.

Back at REV, Caroline is heavily involved in mock trial and speech and debate. She hopes to continue to develop her passion and love for politics and government after she graduates. And she hopes to inspire others to get involved, as she was inspired by Ginsburg.

I hope I can bring the role of leader, friend, mentor and (advocacy for) female empowerment to REV, she said. I want to be (an example) to other girls that as a senior I am not afraid to be outspoken and hope it becomes more normal and less taboo.

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Accessible Public Transport: The Whole Journey – Sourceable

Posted: at 11:50 pm

These are of course the standards related to transport systems including aircraft, buses and coaches, ferries, taxis, trains, trams, light rail, motor rail, rack railways, and other rolling stock, and are formulated under the Disability Discrimination Act (1992).

The review, which began in 2012, recognised a number of areas where improvements could be made, with one of the recommendations being to develop accessibility guidelines for a whole-of-journey approach to public transport planning.

The resulting guideline which was recently published in draft form by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development is The Whole Journey: a guide for thinking beyond compliance to create accessible public transport journeys.

Comments were sought with regard to the guideline, the period for which has since closed. The guideline is therefore subject to change further the Departments assessment and implementation of any feedback gained.

The guide states that it has been "designed to encourage policy makers, planners, designers, builders, certifiers and operators to think beyond compliance and the physical and governance boundaries of services and infrastructure, and to focus instead on peoples accessibility needs across their whole journey."

The report acknowledges that Australians reporting a disability represent 18.3 per cent of the population, and that numerous previous reports and studies continually identify that people with a disability are more likely to experience social and economic disadvantage. Access to public transport is identified as a key factor in creating opportunities for personal empowerment, social inclusion and participation. A key factor in reducing dependence on families, friends and taxi services, and to participate actively and independently in the community be it for recreation, training or employment.

In addressing the identified gaps in the Whole Journey, the guide identifies eight key stages and elaborates on strategies, solutions, technologies and opportunities as they relate to each stage. The points below are offered as summary of some of the items and solutions raised.

Pre-journey planning

Journey start and end

Public transport stop/station

Public transport service


Return journey planning

Disruption to business-as-usual

Supporting infrastructure

The guideline can be downloaded here

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Infosys’ Sikka’s resignation letter: ‘I now need to… return to an environment of respect, trust and empowerment’ – Khaleej Times

Posted: August 20, 2017 at 6:09 pm

Vishal Sikka quit as Infosys CEO on Friday, following a public battle with the tech giant's founders that spanned for months.

In his blog, Timelessness, Sikka posted his resignation letter in full, under the title 'Moving On..." and which we are republishing below.

Dear Friends,

After a lot of reflection, I have resigned from my position as your MD & CEO effective today.A succession process has been initiated, with Pravin serving as interim MD & CEO, and I will work closely with the Board and management team over the next few months to ensure a smooth transition. In addition, I have agreed to serve as Executive Vice Chairman on the Board to further ensure continuity until the new management is in place.

For days, indeed weeks, this decision has weighed on me. I have wrestled the pros and cons, the issues and the counterbalancing arguments. But now, after much thought, and considering the environment of the last few quarters, I am clear in my decision. It is clear to me that despite our successes over the last three years, and the powerful seeds of innovation that we have sown, I cannot carry out my job as CEO and continue to create value, while also constantly defending against unrelenting, baseless/malicious and increasingly personal attacks.

In 2014, we started with a very challenging set of conditions, and in the last three years, we have decisively turned things around.

Three years ago, I started this journey with a calling, to help reshape the company around innovation and entrepreneurship, to deliver breakthrough value for clients, and to help elevate our work, our standing, our selves, on the basis of a dual strategy, bringing together dualities of renew and new, automation and innovation, people and software, to show a new path forward in a time of unprecedented disruption within the industry and beyond. That time, around and before June 2014, was a difficult time. Our growth rates were low and attrition was high. There was a sense of apprehension all around and I came here to help enable a great transformation as our core business faced intense pricing pressure, and clients looked increasingly to innovative partners to help shape their digital futures. Now, a bit more than three years later, I am happy to see the company doing better in every dimension I can think of.

We have grown our revenues, from $2.13B in Q1FY15 to $2.65B this past Q1. We did so while keeping a strong focus on margins, closing this past quarter at 24.1% operating margin, beating some competitors for the first time in many years, and improving against most in our industry.Perhaps more importantly, our revenue per employee has grown for six quarters in a row. Our attrition has fallen, from 23.4% in Q1FY15 to 16.9% this past Q1, and high performer attrition is hovering at or below the single-digit threshold for a while now.We grew our $100M+ clients from 12 when I started, to 19, and increased our large deal wins from ~$1.9B in FY15 to ~$3.5B this past year. We've done all this while improving our overall utilization, to a 10-yr high this past quarter, and an all time high including trainees, while improving our cash reserves, rewarding employees with a new equity plan, and returning cash to our stakeholders. And we have done all this while improving our standing with clients to the highest ever in the 12 years since we've done our client satisfaction survey, and a jump of 22 points in CxO satisfaction.

A few days ago, Nitesh, Radha, and I met a client in our office in Palo Alto. It is one of the largest companies in the world - and the CIO was excited and proud about seeing automation come to life in their landscape.Her reaction to seeing many of our innovation projects, as well as our workspace itself, was thoroughly rewarding, and a testament to all we have achieved. She requested us to bring our innovative work and processes to everything we do with her team in a similar space, and even that we help them establish a similar presence for their company in the valley!This is a sentiment I've often heard from clients who've visited our 12,000 sqft space here, that has seen 2200 visits over its ~27 months; clients where we saw much faster than average revenue growth following their visits. So, as I look back on the three years as CEO, what brings me the most joy is the new roads that all of you have traveled, the new frontiers that all of you have enabled.From embracing the new ideas in education, teaching ourselves Design Thinking like no one else ever has, learning AI, new development processes, and more, to applying these learnings via Zero Distance, a one-of-a-kind program of massive grassroots innovation, powered by education, by the amazing Zero Bench, and by your creative confidence.With 16500+ ideas generated, 2200+ of which have already been implemented, ZD is proof that innovation need not be the domain of a chosen few in some elite department, but is the prerogative of us all; proof that the extraordinary within each one of us can indeed be unleashed. To complement this grassroots innovation, we've launched 25+ new services that contributed 8.3% of our revenue last quarter, up from zero in April 2015.And our own new software business is now at 1.6% of revenue.Our AI platform, Nia, now with 160+ scenarios deployed at more than 70 clients, is helping drive both automation within the company, and breakthrough new business scenarios outside.Beyond new services and new software, we've ventured into new horizons, from our startup fund's investments in promising new businesses, to the work we've done in the last 3 years in local hiring around the world, especially in the US, to the exemplary and inspiring work our US foundation has done in bringing computer science education and a culture of making, to the masses.

And I am proud of how we have upheld our values, our culture, our integrity, whilst we have gone about this massive transformation.I am proud of how our Board has worked, tirelessly, selflessly, these past quarters, despite intense, unfair, and often malicious and personal, criticism, in not only upholding our standards of governance and integrity, but also indeed raising these.None of our successes would be worthwhile for a moment, if this was not the case.

I was, and remain, passionate about the massive transformation opportunity for this company and industry, but we all need to allow the company to move beyond the noise and distractions.

Back in May 2014, when I first met many board colleagues, I thought of the road ahead as a road for the next 33 years of this iconic company. For Infosys is more than a company: it is an idea, a dream, a pioneering possibility.Back then I thought, just as I do today, that the time ahead called for a company that could show the way to a digital future, a future where our humanity, amplified by automation and software, would unleash our creativity, our imagination, to construct great worlds of our futures, and would do so powered by education, by our timeless value of learnability.Such an Infosys, whilst staying true to its core, to her values and timeless principles, would shine the light in an altogether different context, a different reality. Such an Infosys would be one where an individual's entrepreneurship, ability to imagine and create, ability to learn, and to amplify themselves with software, with AI, would create a greater whole. Rather than an overarching system enabling the people, the people's agility and imagination would create a greater system. Three years later, we can clearly see that the seeds of this idea have taken root and are growing, into beautiful new flowers and plants, and I see no reason why these cannot continue, and help shape our company's future.

For sure this journey has been a difficult one.No one, especially me, thought it would be easy.Transformations are hard to begin with.A massive transformation, of such an iconic institution, with such groundbreaking achievements behind her, would be even tougher, and the exponential rates of change all around us, further amplified by geopolitical matters, would add that much more headwind.But all this was known, and clear, and in many ways added to the calling that I felt.For as the legendary architect Daniel Burnham said, "Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir man's blood."

But after much contemplation I have decided to leave because the distractions, the very public noise around us, have created an untenable atmosphere. I deeply believe in creating value in an atmosphere of freedom, trust and empowerment. Life is too short to engage in battles of opinions in the public, these add no value, take critical time and focus away from the business, and indeed add more to the noise, to the eardrum buzz, as I wrote to you a few months ago. The founding principle of the strategy I laid out for our renewal was personal empowerment, working in an entrepreneurial environment.I need this for my own work as well.Steve Jobs, in his famous commencement speech at my alma mater, said:

"Your time is limited, don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other opinions drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become."

I now need to move forward, and return to an environment of respect, trust and empowerment, where I can take on new lofty challenges, as can each of you.

As Steve Jobs said, I must follow my heart and my intuition, build my buildings, give my givings, and do something else. Over the next weeks and months, I look forward to working with the Board and management to create a smooth transition, and simultaneously staring into the great unknown, and to doing something great, something purposeful, for the times ahead. And also to spend some time with my loved ones.I've been away from home far too often and far too long.

As I completed my three years recently, many people asked me if I have any regrets. This question is more apt today and the answer is a clear NO. Not for a second.However difficult the noise of the last several months has been, I wouldn't trade our time together for anything. I would not give up the experience of seeing the gleam in your eyes as you described a new idea, invention, or contribution. You worked on these confidently, without reward, without arrogance, showing exactly the kind of creative confidence that David Kelley talked about in Design Thinking - a wonderful thing to witness.

I am deeply grateful for the immense support and love I've received from all of you, from our worthy clients for whom we do our life's work, and by our shareholders across the globe.I am grateful for your trust, confidence and friendship, and am thankful to our team of amazing leaders, who will help lead our company to greatness.To my first Infoscion colleague and trusted friend Ranga, who enabled us to achieve the things we achieved, to the amazing Ravi, a pocket of passion and energy and execution excellence, to the calm and steadfast Mohit, who introduced me to the band of brothers and lived it, day after day, to the larger than life Rajesh, with his great heart and big laugh, to Binod, a veritable bulldozer brother with his broad shoulders and broader smile, to the one of a kind Ramadas, the architect and protector of our magnificent campuses with his indomitable spirit and world-class excellence, to the always smiling Deepak who helped live the strategy, to Krish and the best HR team in the world, especially the extraordinary Richard, Nanju, Shruthi and their amazing team for helping to carry out some of the craziest and most amazing people initiatives, to Inderpreet, a new voice to the team, a voice of calm, strength, integrity and a stability that far belies the little time she's been with us, to Jayesh and our entire finance team for their dedication, their impeccable meticulous integrity and world-class excellence, and especially to my partner, friend, and pillar of strength, Pravin, who carried all the load in the world, with a smile, impeccable integrity and the most amazing grace, and will now lead you to the next phase of our company's growth.To Zaiba, Bala sir, Nagaraju, Hari and many others for making it possible for me to be me and to do my work, to my Palo Alto family: Sanjay, Abdul, Navin, Ritika, Barbara, Tao, Vinod, Shabana, April, Sudhir and others who have stood by me and have given up so much to be a part of this journey and contributed so much to it, and indeed to thousands of Infoscions who've made it all matter.I am thankful to Sesh and our entire board for their unfailing support and confidence in me throughout this journey.

Together we have achieved a lot.Even in the midst of all of the distractions, even as the tendency was to return to the familiar, we still managed to persevere and make wonderful progress. We have laid the foundation for the next 30 years of Infosys, and I feel deeply proud to have worked alongside all of you in sowing the seeds that will return this company to the bellwether it once was.As you've all often reminded us, Infosys is no bigger and no smaller than any of us, the people, the Infoscions.You are the ones that will take Infosys to the next 30 years and beyond.As I think about the time ahead, for all of us, I can only see us powered by a freedom from the known, of renewing ourselves to thrive in the time ahead. Each one of you has vindicated my deeply held belief that people are capable of doing more, achieving more, being more, than they ever imagined possible. So, keep pushing yourself to do better at whatever you are good at, but also learning to do things you have never done before, indeed, nobody has ever done before. I know I will be doing the same.

The Board, Pravin, and I will communicate additional details as we move forward in this transition, and meanwhile, we continue our work as is. I wish all of you the very best in your journeys ahead.


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Seminar on women empowerment held – The New Indian Express

Posted: at 6:09 pm

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Tears of woman should not be seen as a sign of her weakness but as a representation of her power, rights and strength, ADGP R Sreelekha has said. She was delivering the keynote address at a seminar on women empowerment titled Tears of Fire. According to Sreelekha, when a woman cries, it is the flames of her anger that emerges out. Citing personal instances, Sreelekha stressed on the importance of women empowering themselves.

She said women would be attacked if they consider themselves weak. It is the responsibility of parents to make their daughters strong. Parents should not avoid or intimidate their daughters and thereby make them weak, she said.

Journalist Jacob George, who spoke at the seminar cited instances from Malappuram to show how women embraced freedom through education. Chalachitra Academy Vice- Chairperson Bina Paul said the mindset of society to place women a step lower than men was also a form of harassment. Dubbing artist Bhagyalakshmi and psychologist Dr Gireesh addressed the gathering.

Rotary Governor Suresh Mathew presided over the function and Rotary Chairperson Parvathy Reghunath delivered the introductory speech.

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Seminar on women empowerment held - The New Indian Express

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Monthly On line personal loan for bad credit direct lenders – The Santa Clara

Posted: at 6:09 pm

The Santa Clara
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Africa’s second liberation will be women’s empowerment | News … – Mail & Guardian

Posted: August 15, 2017 at 12:07 pm

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Graa Machel said the forum will help to establish networks among women with a common interest in developing their countries using pan-African ideas. (Gallo)

The Women Advancing Africa (WAA) Forum launched this weekend in the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam with a call on women to take centre stage in Africas economic liberation. The forum is an initiative of the Graa Machel Trust and celebrates the critical role women play in development. It will also provide a platform to showcase womens leadership and how that can be used for social change and economic transformation. Suzgo Chitete was at the launch.

The platforms launch attracted nearly 300 professional women from across Africa, representing business, politics, law, civil society, and media. Speakers at the forum said that the political liberation achieved decades ago is not good enough for Africa to move forward, and therefore there was a push for what they are calling the second liberation with a focus on making the continent economically independent.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Graa Machel said the forum will help to establish networks among women in the region with a common interest in developing their countries using pan-African ideas.

Our networks are rooted in each country where we are represented. We believe that any social, cultural and economic transformation has to be driven by women in the context of the country they belong to, but a country alone is not enough. Hence, we encourage sub-regional cooperation, explained Machel.

She said the choice of Tanzania as the host of the event was deliberate, as the country was a sanctuary of early African liberation struggles. Machel said the delegates came to Tanzania to pay respect to the East African countrys role in achieving African liberation, and to embark on a second liberation which will set the continent on a path to economic independence, with women as central drivers of change.

In her opening address at the conference, Tanzanian vice-president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, commended the initiative saying ideas shared there could help inform policies and bring about gender parity. She agreed with other speakers that it would be a mistake to ignore women in pushing forward Africas transformation agenda. The Tanzanian deputy leader, who is also a member of the UN High Level Panel on Womens Economic Empowerment, made a personal commitment to support women in her country in any way to ensure their effective participation in the WAA forum.

Tanzanian vice-president Samia Suluhu Hassan

Governments should provide an enabling infrastructure which seeks to promote gender parity. May I also call upon all of us here to ask our governments to take into account the implementation of [the United Nations] sustainable development goals for faster realisation of economic empowerment, especially for women, Hassan said.

The four-day event hosted several specialised discussions covering topics like agribusiness, energy and extractive industries, cross-border trade, financial inclusion, technology, and media in the context of changing the narrative on womens representation.

The discussions highlighted varied opinions, with some participants blaming men for monopolising power during the independence movement, thereby marginalising women. Other participants felt lessons could be drawn from the first stage of political liberation to succeed in the second struggle for economic independence.

Appearing on a conference panel, Hadeel Ibrahim, the executive director of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, stressed that the second liberation struggle needs to have an inclusive feminist agenda.

The first liberation was about gaining power while the second one is about empowerment. This liberation should aim at inclusiveness for marginalised groups while adhering to good governance, where everyone is treated with dignity regardless of gender, said Ebrahim.

The former president of the Pan-African Parliament, Gertrude Mongella, thinks that independence was achieved due to unity of purpose among nations, and that same spirit of unity should help to make the second liberation a success.

Male speakers at the forum also supported women taking a driving seat in the economic transformation of Africa. Studies have shown that investing in women has economic benefits because the global GDP can expand by $12 trillion. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, the GDP can expand by $300 billion, which is three times the amount of foreign aid to the continent, explained Sangu Delle, a Ghanaian entrepreneur and chief executive officer of the Golden Palm Investments Corporation.

Reporting by Suzgo Chitete, images by Gare Amadou

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PM: Youth entrepreneurial empowerment to be ‘major focus’ of … – Bahamas Tribune

Posted: at 12:07 pm

By Natario McKenzie

Tribune Business Reporter

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said that youth entrepreneurial empowerment will be a major focus of his administration, while urging the private sector to be "bold and imaginative".

Dr Minnis, who was speaking at the recent launch of the Bahamas Striping Group's Investment Group funding arm, said: "Youth entrepreneurial empowerment will be a major focus of my administration as we see this as a means of tackling some of our long-entrenched problems in our urban areas such as unemployment, crime and social anomie."

Dr Minnis applauded the efforts of the striping group, while noting there are countless examples of young individuals who have ideas to start a business enterprise but who have nowhere to turn to find the necessary funding to advance their proposals. "They are unable to obtain funding through the established commercial banks and quite naturally they would not have the connections or the knowledge to obtain private financing. And so what happens, the dream is deferred, and the dream dies. Needless to say, this leads to personal frustration and social explosion."

Dr Minnis also stressed that the private sector must expand. "One of today's realities is that the private sector must expand. It must be that sector of our economy that must be bold and imaginative. We know that the public sector is already overburdened when it comes to creating new employment and so any opportunity that the private sector has to expand and create new employment should be welcomed," said Dr Minnis.

He added: "Our economy needs small and medium enterprises to grow and become successful. More often than not, these are the companies that employ those who are marginalised and who may not fit into the conventional mainstream of employable skills. But the market place must find room for such young men and women, and often the best way to do this is allowing such persons to do their own thing."

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2017 AFAC Expo’ll be successful Runsewe – NIGERIAN TRIBUNE (press release) (blog)

Posted: August 13, 2017 at 2:08 am

DIRECTOR General of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, has assured that all is being done to make the 2017 African Arts and Crafts Expo (AFAC), a success.

The fair with the theme, Our Culture: The Untapped Treasure will hold in Abuja from August 27 to September 17 with Nigerians and foreigners participating.

Giving an update on preparations for the fair, Runsewe explained that the theme was chosen to complement the Federal Governments efforts to diversify the economy and make culture a significant contributor to the countrys GDP.

He said: On assumption of office about three months ago, I made a firm commitment to reposition the arts and culture sector as a key player in the nations economy with the capacity to generate wealth and employment as well as contribute significantly to the nations Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Accordingly, the new vision of the Council under my leadership is encapsulated in the statement culture: the new revenue base for Nigeria.

This vision statement is far from being a mere slogan. It is borne out of our firm conviction that there are abounding opportunities in the arts and culture sector that could be harnessed and channelled towards reinventing our economy. The theme Our Culture: The Untapped Treasure was chosen to highlight the vast opportunities in the sector, mobilize Nigerians to take advantage of the opportunities therein for personal empowerment and the economic development of our country.

He disclosed that as part of efforts to make AFAC 2017 opening formally on September 5 a great outing, the venue, Arts & Craft Village, is being renovated. The expo had previously been held on a bare, dusty and uneven ground but we have now graded and tarred the main bowl of the exhibition arena, measuring about 1.5 hectares. We plan to also do landscaping and beautification.

Runsewe, who added that other innovations at AFAC 2017 include skill acquisition programmes, language classes, a pre-event dinner for Cultural Attaches to foster cultural diplomacy and build more international friendships, and an investment roundtable, also assured of adequate security.

We now have a police post within the premises of the village to provide 24-hour security and for the first time, we have illuminated the entire village with flood lights. We are also constructing and renovating environment-friendly public utilities to make the arena conducive for exhibitors and delegates, he said.

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2017 AFAC Expo'll be successful Runsewe - NIGERIAN TRIBUNE (press release) (blog)

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