Saturday, September 10, 2011

Preseident Obama's Job Plan Address

We are familar with the black unemployment numbers:

While the country's unemployment rate stands at 9.1 percent, black unemployment has hit 16.7 percent, the highest since 1984. Unemployment among male blacks is at 18percent, and black teens are unemployed at a rate of 46.5 percent.

After months of frustration, some blacks vocally expressed their disappointment with the first African-American elected president.

Granted, this is the Great Recession - the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930's to hit the USA and global markets.

Granted, the GOP majority in the House of Representatives is stacked with obstructionist and anti-government Tea Party zealots.

Black folks are feeling the most intense pain and want relief. We know the refrain: When White America Catches the Cold, Black America Catches Pneumonia

So to many, the tone and substance of President Obama's Job's speech in front of Congress was a welcome relief:

President Barack Obama's jobs pitch is already playing well with blacks, who had grown plenty irked with him over what they perceived as his indifference to their needs.

Social media sites were abuzz with highlights from the president's plan. Amid the comments were excited responses to the proposal, especially from the black community. Twitter was full of similar bursts of excitement over the plan, with some black Tweeters defending the president and applauding his message. One user tweeted: "Taking a sharp tone `cause the NumbersDontLie! Pass this bill and put America back to work."

Prominent African-Americans like Kenneth Chenault, chairman and CEO of American Express and Michael Nutter, mayor of Philadelphia, quickly applauded the plan. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., has been one of the most vocal advocates for dealing more effectively with black unemployment, but she was enthusiastic.

This excitement aside, President Obama alone can not rescue wayward elements of the African-American community. To be more precise, government alone can not rescue the ailing black underclass from systemic problems that retard progress.

Yes, they can be partners. Yes, they can provide targeted resources, strengthen public schools, create more job and vocational training programs.

But they can not go into the home and turn off the gameboy and open a book. They can not disconnect the TV and host study time.

They can not make parents attend PTA meetings. They can not make parents read to infants and toddlers.

They can not make parents set high academic standards for the children.

This work has to start in the home.

The support can organically grow in the community, churches, mentoring organizations, fraternalties, sororities and the local business commerce.

But it starts with personal choice.

For example, most people in the USA can transition from poverty to middle-class by adhering to the following life style choices:

Stay in school.
Find steady work - if out of work continue education in a community college, vocational training program or internship.
Delay parenthood until two committed parents are financially and emotionally ready.

Virginia to Launch Online Database of Slave Names

News You Can Use:

This Wednesday, a searchable database of about 1,400 slaves and 180 owners will become available at, The New York Times reports. They are the preliminary results of a research project conducted by scholars at the Virginia Historical Society with a goal of going through eight million documents, some dating back to the 17th century.

“’Unknown No Longer: A Database of Virginia Slave Names’ is searchable by locations, professions and first and last names, among other keywords,” the Times reports. “Listings for Thomas Jefferson’s holdings do not yet mention Sally Hemings, but they do include ‘Thurston the son of Isabel’ and ‘Bec daughter of Minerva.’ A search for nurses brings up Judy, near age 10, valued at $900, working at a plantation near Fredericksburg, Va., with dozens of other slaves including Jef Davis, Magnus, Fenton and Jinney.”
read more

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Terrell Owens is in tears over some financial issues: "I Just Don't Get It"

I am and will always be a huge Philadelphia Eagle fan (read my profile).

As a fan, I must say, Terrell Owen's first season as an Eagle (2004) was magic in a bottle - we're talking Super Bowl.

TO's second season was toxic.

Not able to reign in his self-destructive tendencies, he imploded. Who can forget the TO vs. Donavon McNabb reality show that prematurely ended his Eagle career?

Between the hash marks, TO gets it:

TO as a football player is as dynamic as they come - arguably after Jerry Rice, TO is the greatest wide-receiver to ever play the game - the numbers don't lie.

As a matter of fact, TO was on pace to break most of Rice's records.

But TO's problem is TO.

TO has an infectious and charismatic personality and you want to cheer for him to win - but like he says, with tears, at the end of the video: I just don't get it.

If TO got it, he would have multiple Super Bowl rings (as an Eagle of course), multi-million dollar contract and commercial endorsements out the ying yang.

But since he doesn't get it, he got tears.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

British: Africa's growth next 30 years will surpass India and Brazil combined

THE City of London is convinced Africa’s growth potential in the next 30 years will outstrip that of India and Brazil combined, and that UK business should start planning for about 750-million middle-class Africans by 2040.

This goes a long way towards explaining why the visit to SA by Michael Bear, the 683rd lord mayor of the City of London, focused not only on showcasing the financial power of his constituency — which is what his day job is all about — but also the promotion of British construction companies eyeing SA’s infrastructure development.

The affable Mr Bear, resplendent even in just a fraction of his ceremonial medieval regalia, explained that his quest to boost business ties with local enterprises was underpinned by the agreement between UK Prime Minister David Cameron and President Jacob Zuma to double bilateral trade to about R180bn by 2015. read more

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ten business opportunities for September

Even in this harsh economic era, opportunities are there for the brave, innovative and determined. Indeed failure or hard times viewed from the proper prism is just another opportunity for those with a vision.

So, consistent with my personal philosphy - Don't focus on the problem, focus on the solution - I am reposting an article on business opportunities in Africa.

Important Note: Think Global, the world through technology is shrinking.

Below are ten business opportunities entrepreneurs in Africa can pursue in the month of September.

1. Spur Steak Ranches: Reaching new frontiers!

Spur Steak Ranches, the much-loved family restaurant, is seeking to expand and strengthen partnerships in Africa. This serves as a great opportunity for those with a taste for success; who wish to sink their teeth into a reputable business that has grown exponentially over the last 43 years! Read more

2. Interlocking blocks – a cost effective building solution for Africa

Interlocking soil-cement blocks allow for the quick and cost efficient construction of housing units and other buildings. South Africa-based Hydraform’s Interlocking Blockmaking Machines are currently being used across Africa by property developers, entrepreneurs, governments and NGOs. Read more

3. Vending machines: Be your own boss

With Pro Vending as a trusted partner, entrepreneurs in Africa can now run their own full-time or part-time vending machine businesses. Read more

4. Manufacture quality beverages for the growing African market

Soda King, a manufacturer of soft drinks and purified water, is offering business people and entrepreneurs across the continent a unique franchise opportunity to establish a localised bottling plant. Read more

5. Tap into the market for furniture

Furniture manufacturer Outdoor Lifestyle is expanding into Africa and seeking distributors in the rest of the continent. Read more

6. Build a viable business by partnering with Calculus Products

Calculus Products, one of Africa’s foremost manufacturers, is looking to partner with stakeholders on the continent in expanding their capacity. Read more

7. Establish your own ice manufacturing business

Minus 40′s Ice Block Maker gives entrepreneurs in Africa a platform to start their own business by manufacturing and selling ice. Read more

8. Grow your business by investing in bottle filling technology

Aspiring entrepreneurs as well as established food and beverages companies can benefit from using Marefa International’s state-of-the-art bottle filling equipment. We sat down with Marefa’s Peter Vermaak to talk about the company’s products and the opportunities in bottle filling. Read more

9. Start a successful dairy business

Central Milk, a South Africa-based manufacturer of stainless steel equipment for the dairy industry, is able to offer African farmers a complete solution for the establishment of a dairy processing facility. Read more

10. Juice company looking to expand brands in rest of continent

Pacmar, a contract packaging company, is seeking capable distributors in West and East Africa for its own brands of fruit juice. Read more

For more information about promoting business and investment opportunities on How we made it in Africa, email us at