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Louis Papaemmanuel, Project Director of iMENTORS, SU, presented iMENTORS at the IST-Africa Conference (06 - 09 May, Mauritius) during Session 8d: eInfrastructures (08 May). IST-Africa 2014 focused on the Role of ICT for Africa's Development and specifically on Applied ICT research in the areas of eHealth, Technology Enhanced Learning and ICT Skills, Digital Libraries, Open Source Software, eInfrastructures, Societal Implications of Technology and eGovernment.

iMENTORS (www.imentors.eu) is an interactive resource, the first of its kind, to contain  information about all known e-infrastructures in Africa in the past five years. Launched for public use and input in July 2013 iMENTORS provides you with the necessary tool to visualise e-infrastructures and all related projects in Africa.

Louis Papaemmanuel explained how using iMENTORS and open aid data enhances the coherence of international aid. Data acquisition and validation will continue to progress until the end of the project. By the end of the project the interactive system will contain at least 80% of all e-infrastructure available in Africa. 

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Research and Innovation will be at the centre of discussions today, on the second day (13.5), of the Informal Competitiveness Council (Research) chaired by Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos, Greek Minister of Education and Religious Affairs.

During the morning session, Ministers will focus on the Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation for Research and Innovation and the opportunities offered for Mediterranean countries to develop their human, natural and technological capital.

Tagged in: innovation Research
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Some of MDG 8 Results

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According to the World Bank, under the Enhanced HIPC Initiative, IDA has committed more than $16.4 billion of HIPC debt relief. IDA’s aid for trade financing rose from $2.6 billion a year between 2002 and 2010 to an average of $4,4 billion a year in 2011 and 2013.

The International Finance Facility for Immunization (IFFIm), for which the World Bank serves as treasury manager, has raised more than $3.6 billion on capital markets since 2006  to fund immunizations in the poorest countries.

Tagged in: MDG World Bank
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According to a post  on Youthink! World Bank blog, some preconceptions are universal. Whether  in Europe, South America, East or South Asia, in urban or rural areas, pretty much everywhere I have been I have heard young people explain why they dislike politics, either because it is boring or because they believe all politicians are corrupt. Did they – did you? – ever wonder what the world would be like if there were no policies, and no policymakers? Think about it.

Making policies is not just about sitting at a desk, writing reports and chatting with bureaucrats. It’s also about trying to make tangible positive changes for all.

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According to an article published on the IFC site, when IFC first invested in Kenya’s Gulf African Bank in 2013, Islamic finance was a growing phenomenon in Sub-Saharan Africa. Gulf African Bank was among only a handful of financial institutions in East Africa to offer sharia-compliant financial products. IFC supported Gulf African Bank’s new model by providing $5 million equity and a $3 million trade finance line.

 

A year later, Islamic financial institutions have gained a firmer foothold on the continent.  Nigeria, now Africa’s largest economy, and Sudan, have joined the $ 100 billion annual market for sukuk, or Islamic bonds; while Senegal and South Africa are set to follow soon.

 

Tagged in: Africa IFC investment
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IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, on May 7 announced an investment of $172.5 million in FirstRand Bank Limited. The transaction represents the first cross-border investment in Basel III Tier 2 instruments in South Africa, and one of the first globally in emerging markets.  The debt will be provided by IFC Capitalization Fund, which is managed by the IFC Asset Management Company.



Andries du Toit, FirstRand group treasurer said, “This significant financing from IFC Capitalization Fund is expected to provide support to our strategy to grow lending to small and medium sized entities (SMEs) in South Africa and the rest of Africa.”

 
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The 4th eI4Africa Thematic Workshop is taking place on June 3rd, 2014, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania at the Peacock City Center. This thematic workshop is organised by DIT with the support of Sigma Orionis and all eI4Africa project partners. The workshop is co-hosted by the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) and the Tanzania Research and Education Network (TERNET). It is en event organised under the aegis of the European Commission (EC, DG CONNECT) and in co-location with the Technology Transfer Alliance (TTA) Conference 2014.

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The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model is a next-generation meso-scale numerical weather prediction system designed to serve both atmospheric research and operational forecasting needs. WRF has a large worldwide community counting more than 20,000 users in 130 countries and it has been specifically designed to be the state-­of-­the-­art atmospheric simulation system being portable and running efficiently on available parallel computing platforms.

Tagged in: data Research
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The Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN) is happy to announce its fourth annual event “4thInternational Platform on Integrating Arab e-Infrastructure in a Global Environment – e-AGE 2014” that will take place on 10-11 December 2014 at Grand Hyatt Hotel, in Muscat, Oman. The platform will be hosted by The Research Council (TRC) of Oman and it will be held under the Patronage of His Highness Sayyid Taimur Bin As’ad Al Said.

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On VENTURES AFRICA, a Kenyan financier talks about opportunity and investment in the business of education.

The first thing a visitor to the Fanisi Capital boardroom notices when he walks in is a big black television and, below the television, a picture. It is an interesting one to look at: the people in it – students and teachers, presumably – are of every race, skin and hair colour, all smiling. The lawn in the foreground is lush and well manicured. Palm trees rise above the smiling faces, flanking seven thatched roof peaks. It could be a picture of a “Young United Nations” conference on a tropical island. The only thing that shows it is not the UN is a school crest. Hillcrest Investments Limited (HIL) currently owns the school in the photo, as well as its sister schools on the same campus.

 

Image courtesy of africa / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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According to an article published on VENTURES AFRICA, the US-based TIME Magazine’s most recent publication, The 100 Most Influential People, which profiles global shakers, draws a collection of iconic names. From controversial entertainer Miley Cyrus, who has received a rave of criticism for her recent over-expression of sexuality, to political juggernauts like North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un, whose every breath is keenly watched by global leaders, the names on the list draw from all facets.

But what does the list – which reserved 8 slots for 10 Africans – mean for the African continent?

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tagged in: Africa investment
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According to a blog post on the United Nations Foundation blog, the recent IMF/World Bank spring meetings were another important moment for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as leaders from around the world came together to make a number of important announcements. Gathered in Washington, D.C. for the meetings, United Nations officials and partners from government, civil society, the private sector, and multilateral institutions highlighted the urgent need to step up efforts to improve lives around the world through the MDGs.

Established in 2000 by the UN and governments around the world, the MDGs provide a shared “to-do list” for the global community: reduce poverty and hunger, improve education and health, and promote gender equality and the environment – all with a target achievement date of 2015.

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Louis Papaemmanuel, Project Director of iMENTORS, SU, will present iMENTORS at the IST-Africa Conference during Session 8d: eInfrastructures (Thursday, May 08, 2014). He will explain how using iMENTORS and open aid data enhances the coherence of international aid. IST-Africa 2014 is taking place in Mauritius (06 - 09 May) and is the ninth in an annual series of Ministerial Level Technology Research Conferences.

 

iMENTORS (www.imentors.eu) is an interactive resource, the first of its kind, to contain  information about all known e-infrastructures in Africa in the past five years. Launched for public use and input in July 2013 iMENTORS provides you with the necessary tool to visualise e-infrastructures and all related projects in Africa.

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Africa as a region and as individual countries, is slowly making a steady progress towards establishing national and Regional Research and Educational Networks (RRENs). Although still in its infancy compared to other world regions such as Europe where each country has an active National Research and Educational Networks (NRENs) with established regional networks such as TERENA, iMENTORS database provides evidence for tremendous progress over the past few years.

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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According to an article published on VENTURES AFRICA, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the charity organisation of billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg, has announced a $5 million investment in Little Sun, an artsy-looking solar-powered lamp designed to provide clean and affordable energy to off-grid populations in Africa who depend mainly on kerosene lamps.

 

Image courtesy of Pixomar / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The investment which will be provided through a low-interest loan from the foundation marks its first support to a social business. It will help Little Sun expand its production and distribution networks in targeted markets.

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According to an article published on Ventures Africa , as a new generation of wealthy businesspeople make different choices, turning their backs on the one-off donations of the past, so the face of African philanthropy is shifting.

Rising from the depths of the global financial crisis, Africa’s richest are faring well. Among them is a breed of “billionaire philanthropist” – men and women who want to give back to their communities like never before. Philanthropy is alive and well on the continent, with those who made fortunes through their own business pursuits donating millions of dollars to disaster relief, education and young entrepreneurs. Africa’s new super-rich are going beyond just shelling out money for causes: their philanthropic pursuits are aiming to change the way Africans live.

 

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Africa’s Tech Edge

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How the continent's many obstacles, from widespread poverty to failed states, allowed African entrepreneurs to beat the West at reinventing money for the mobile age. 

According to an article published on The Atlantic, it's a painfully First World problem: Splitting dinner with friends, we do the dance of the seven credit cards. No one, it seems, carries cash anymore, so we blunder through the inconvenience that comes with our dependence on plastic. Just as often, I encounter a street vendor or taxi driver who can’t handle my proffered card and am left shaking out my pockets and purse.

When I returned to the United States after living in Nairobi on and off for two years, these antiquated payment ordeals were especially frustrating. As I never tire of explaining to friends, in Kenya I could pay for nearly everything with a few taps on my cellphone.

Tagged in: Africa Technology
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The next e-IRG Workshop under the Greek EU Presidency of the European Union will take place in Athens, Greece from Monday 9th until Tuesday 10th of June.

-- Registration is now open! --

The workshop will address important topics related to the e-Infrastructure Commons, data management, user aspects, and future e-Infrastructures.
The keynote in the opening session will be on the e-Infrastructure policy of the European Commission. The four plenary tracks are:

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According to an article published on the TERENA website, during TNC2014, in addition to the conference programme many side-events will be organised. For some of those you need to register, so don't forget to check our events page. Online registration for the conference itself will be available until 9 May. After 9 May only on-site registration will be possible at the event location in Dublin.

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Monitoring & evaluation (M&E) is an integral part of the life-cycle approach underlying RBM (see Figure below). M&E provide invaluable information for decision-making and lessons learned for the future (United Nations Development Group 2011).

iMENTORS team for Platform customization and integration has been working on the method for performing 'what-if' analyses in the context of e-infrastructure projects as well as on a method for following-up on ongoing projects relative to the expectations outlined in its early proposal stage.

The method is generalized into a method for project risk-opportunity analysis monitoring the state of expected threat to project success and expected favour to the project given that external factors develop in different ways (factors such as mobile internet speed, analphabetism, Internet dissemination).

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EuropeLogo eInfastructure This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 313203
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