AFCHAM, FESCO ADECCO and The World Bank Group present Global Job Opportunities for International Students in China. The event took place on Friday June 2nd in the popular conference room of Octave – an all-inclusive events venue located downtown Shanghai. Over 40 attendees from 23nationalities, all postgraduate degree holders in various fields were drawn into in-depth analyses on career choice and development by experienced professionals from the three organizations that brought the event to bear. At exactly 2.30pm the event moderator from AFCHAM, Miss Neyet Mehari gave the opening word, introduced the key speakers and led a session of self-introduction during which participants got to know their peers better. She stressed that the overall objective of the event was to give attendees the opportunity to see how they could proceed in life after their rich academic achievements. Taking over the floor, the Chairperson of The African Chamber of Commerce, D. Nkwetato Tamonkia, spoke on the topic Academic Certificates and Career Paths. He empathized with the scholars present regarding the difficulties of pinning down a decent career worth the many years of studies invested. He gave valuable tips on how to choose a career path from 16 career clusters and explained how AFCHAM could serve as a springboard to graduates targeting international organizations. Mr. Fabrice Faure, a senior executive in one of the biggest human resources company in the world, FESCO ADECCO, followed with an insight on the job market in China. Illustrating with the latest facts and figures from the industry, he revealed that in spite of the high number of graduates in China, there was still a lack of qualified and skilled graduates in many well-paid positions. He encouraged the graduates present to fine-tune their CVs, target jobs carefully, stay determined, confident and give their best whenever given the opportunity. A short coffee break ensued in the form of a networking session. Business cards exchanged hands and participants chatted around making new friends while savoring some delicious food and drinks that had been prepared for the occasion. The delegation from The World Bank that had just arrived got their presentation ready as the second part of the event started. The World Bank Group’s Talent Acquisition Manager, Dr. Geremie Sawadogo took to the floor. He introduced himself, lauded all the efforts that had been put into the organization of the event, presented his delegation and gave an overview of The World Bank. Drawing from his own experience in searching for a job after finishing his studies, he gave the audience much hope by explaining the kind of mindset needed for those targeting international organizations. He then let his colleagues to present in details, other branches and services of The World Bank that were equally very open to qualified graduates with the right skills and mindset. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) Senior Human Resources Business Partner for East Asia and the Pacific, Dr. Sophia Cho added more specifications on how to get to work in organizations like The World Bank, also drawing from her own personal experience. Ms. Natalya Kuznetsova, in charge of recruitments explained in details how internships were organized within divisions of The World Bank Group including valuable tips for persons hoping to become interns while Mr. Yizheng Lou, an Investment Officer from the IFC Beijing office, threw more light on the role of their office in relation to investment projects. There was a moderated question and answer session at the end of the event to allow participants to get more information and clarifications on issues they had in mind. As the doors of the conference room at Octave closed for the evening everyone expressed much gratitude to team AFCHAM led by John Belinga, Neyet Mehari, Jihane Jdaa, Rukto and collaborators for a successful and enriching event and in return were promised more events of the same nature. AFCHAM News Flash Shanghai, June 7th 2017.
The conference, the first of its kind, took place on Wednesday November 30th 2016 in Novotel, Wangfujing in the heart of Beijing. Dignitaries attending the conference included diplomats from embassies of African countries in China such as Nigeria, Senegal, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Benin, Rwanda and South Sudan. Mr. Dee Zhang, international department deputy director, represented the China-Africa Industrial Forum and China WTO Africa Affairs Committee. Vice president Tian Wenhui represented the China-Asia Economic Development Association. CEOs of companies doing business in Africa, leaders of governmental and non-governmental organizations in China working in Sino-African relations, young entrepreneurs, researchers as well media personnel, in 5hours, examined issues regarding business and development in Africa from three perspectives; agribusiness, urban infrastructure and energy. The African Chamber of Commerce (AFCHAM) organized the conference as a first of a series of upcoming conferences aimed at gathering stakeholders in Africa’s booming construction industry. Opening the conference, AFCHAM’s sitting chairperson D. Nkwetato Tamonkia delivered a speech in which he emphasized mainly on the need for all plans on the development of Africa to involve Africans. He frowned on policies made for Africa outside the continent without the participation of Africans. “Build with Africans” He put it in short. He called on companies doing business in Africa to “grab but grab with care, care for the environment, care for the underprivileged and care for social issues.” Among other things, he announced the introduction of the AFCHAM Corporate Social Responsibility program to help companies and organizations have a more positive impact on the African society. The conference moderator Mr. Daniel Ntui, chief strategist at AFCHAM, lauded the efforts and sacrifices attendees had made in order to be present at the conference. He introduced six keynote speakers who made presentations on six different topics: Ms. Ada Shiferaw, the first keynote speaker from Ethiopia, talked about the abundant opportunities for business and growth in agribusiness in Africa. Drawing from her experience working with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Mechanization Sciences, she presented stunning facts and figures showing fertile areas for investment in the sector. The next keynote speaker was an experienced South African agro-business entrepreneur Mr. Buyambo Mantashe who elaborated on some of the points that had been raised by the previous speaker and drew particular attention to investment opportunities in South Africa. He highlighted recent measures taken by the South African government to facilitate the growth of the agribusiness sector. He pledged his availability and unconditional support for any projects investors had in mind for Africa in general and South Africa in particular. Architect Daan Roggeveen; founder of More Architecture took to the floor next, to share his research experiences on urbanization in China and Africa. The Dutchman juxtaposed urban growth in China with that of Africa using as case study, one of his projects, the ongoing Accra city expansion mega project, a project he hoped could become a point of reference for similar projects in future in Africa. The next presentation was on the recently launched AFCHAM Corporate Social Responsibility program. The program was presented to participants at the conference by the duo Emily Yeates and Tova Levin from the United Kingdom and the United States respectively and both working at AFCHAM. The two young ladies explained the objectives and advantages of the program. They said the CSR rating system developed by AFCHAM would henceforth distinguish companies doing business in Africa while giving back to the society from companies only interested in exploiting resources without any care for the society. Many representatives of large companies at the conference immediately rushed to consult the paperwork for the CSR program that had been laid out prior to the conference. The last segment of the conference had two keynote speakers. First, the Global Marketing Director of GCL System Integration Technology Co., Ltd Algerian-born Mr. Laid Sahraoui drilled the audience on the indispensability of energy, especially solar energy, to the development of Africa. He reproved the popular belief that solar energy was expensive and not affordable to the poor by illustrating how cheap, available and easy to set-up the technology had become. He presented small, medium and large-scale quick plug-and-play solar energy solutions which he believed could go a long way to curb frequent outages in Africa as well as provide off-grid, remote and or enclave areas with energy while saving cost as the case is in Northern African countries. The last keynote speaker for the day was the founder and Managing Director of SIVECO China, Mr. Bruno Lhopiteau. The Frenchman drew from his 18-year experience in maintenance consultancy to show the disparate approaches in construction by Chinese and Western construction companies while pointing out the merits and demerits of both approaches. Stressing on the importance of ensuring the sustainability of infrastructure, he outlined the fact that many countries in Africa allow construction companies to engage in multi-million dollar projects without taking into consideration this aspect only to find out later that more money needs to be spent on huge repairs or entire malfunctioning facilities need to be abandoned. The quality of questions participants asked at the end of each presentation was good proof of how enriching and enlightening the conference had been. As the conference came to an end, participants, eager to mingle and socialize with other participants were seen shaking hands, hugging and exchanging business cards while the stage was cleared for souvenir picture poses in front of the backdrop with AFCHAM partners, member companies and sponsors. The after conference party was an exquisite inter-continental buffet style dinner at the VIP dining section of the hotel which lasted until late. Big thumbs up to team AFCHAM as absentees itch for the second conference which sources close to AFCHAM management say will likely be coming up early in 2017.
That was the key message attendees went home with after 3hours of enlightening presentations and discussions on how the construction industry can improve on the quality and sustainability of the products they deliver. The joint event by The French Chamber of Commerce (CCIFC) and The African Chamber of Commerce (AFCHAM) was organized on the evening of November 10th 2016 and brought together experts and stakeholders of the construction industry - the forefront of emerging economies in Africa. The first keynote speaker Mr. Bruno Lhopiteau, founder of China’s largest maintenance consultancy SIVECO, walked the audience through the life span of products frequently delivered by construction companies, highlighting loopholes often neglected and the consequences of such negligence. Drawing from his rich experience in that business sector, he demonstrated how government entities could regulate the construction industry to ensure greater efficiency and sustainability in the facilities delivered by construction companies. Having worked with large construction companies of diverse backgrounds on multi-million dollar projects in many countries, he pointed out the importance of having partner companies on the field to follow up on the solutions offered to companies by SIVECO. Mr. Lhopiteau, in his light humoristic style presented the achievements of his company modestly although full of ambition and excitement with his growing influence and active involvement in the much talked about New Silk Road. The second keynote speaker Mr. Louis-Marie Ebanga, founder and CEO of SHRLOMEN, a company based in Cameroon and specializing in electricity and energy related projects, explored the indispensable leading role of energy in the development of Africa in general and the construction industry in particular. Firstly, he drew everyone’s attention to the shortsighted perception of energy consumption being limited to the small utility bills we pay monthly. Then he brought to light the other kind of energy consumption, which he labeled indirect energy consumption usually not taken into consideration. He lambasted the much-touted green energy propaganda nowadays and iterated the reliability and sustainability of traditional energy sources like coal and hydropower. “Solar energy, wind energy can provide energy for household consumption but can not power a factory, let alone a whole industrial revolution in a country. African countries need reliable and sustainable energy in order to develop properly” the CEO emphasized. He then illustrated the above with hair-raising facts and figures about current energy needs in the entire continent of Africa, the future potential and investment opportunities available. Regarding quality electrical installations, he pointed out that the so-called international norms more often than not; don’t fit in the African context as they were established by non-African experts with little or no knowledge of the realities of Africa. His eye-opening presentation left many attendees yearning. He pledged to make more data on the subject available at the statistics department of The African Chamber of Commerce. The evening ended with a networking session. Graced by excellent French wine and delicacies, participants chatted, made new friends and exchanged contact information until late. The organizers promised the event was only a warm up to a bigger event under the same theme planned for Beijing at the end of the month.
- "Because Women are key to Africa's Development"
Agrius OLEMEA social entrepreneur with 10years experience in China working with the French community on numerous humanitarian projects in China and beyond.
His ProjectIn Cameroon his native country, he is the co-founder and promoter of FONDATION COMBI, a social entrepreneurship initiative which has empowered more than 500 women so far and involved them in various activities positively impacting their lives and entire communities.
- "The gift of a simple solar buddy light starts to actively address energy poverty and enables communities to achieve a brighter"
Mawukoe KodahCesar Mawukoe Kodah is an entrepreneur and songwriter originally from Togo, West Africa. His entrepreneur career in business began in 2009 where he founded KIW Group with his brother. An international trading company focusing in import and export between Africa and Asia dealing primarily in product development and procurement. With most recent expansion of an office in China under the name: Star Harbor Trading (星航国际贸易（上海）有限公司)—a Shanghai based international trading and consulting company serving clients from around the world.
His projectToday, as part of his mission to give back to the community, partnering with BrightBeam by Doble to improve the quality of education, health, safety and economic status of all people in developing world by supplying innovative, safe, engaging and sustainable solar energy solutions. Together they run a children empowerment program with schools in developed countries—a buddy-to-buddy system where students would buy a light to gift to students living in rural off grid areas around the world. The lights have successfully been distributed to countries such as Papua New Guinea, Tibet, Rwanda, Uganda and currently in talk with several other countries such as India, Togo, Ghana, to name a few. Combining its growing popularity of the mission and Cesar’s musical talent in music—a song titled “Until The Light Comes” will soon illuminate many other rural communities in Globally.
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