44 of 2020



                                                              Newsletter No. 44 / 20 November 2020                            




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Research key as Africa moves towards AfCFTA:ECA

Research and interaction between researchers and policymakers is crucial to ensure the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) delivers for the continent, according to Stephen Karingi, director of the regional integration and trade division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). Consolidating African markets into a single market of more than 1.2 billion people and a gross domestic product (GDP) of over $2.5 trillion is important in particular, he said.

Karingi was addressing the Seventh Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Annual Research Forum on the theme ‘Harnessing Intra-COMESA Trade through the Interface with the AfCFTA’.

He said the AfCFTA offered tremendous possibilities for businesses across the continent while expanding tax base for governments as a result of expanded or new business opportunities, adding the successful implementation of the pact will also depend in part on Regional Economic Commissions (RECs), both in terms of leveraging RECs’ achievements and also learning from and avoiding some of the pitfalls and challenges they have faced.

“There is a multiplicity of intervening enabling and impeding factors, including capacity constraints, which would shape and structure the AfCFTA-REC interface. These have the potential to determine the success or failure of these otherwise transformative integrative initiatives. These factors and forces need to be properly analyzed, understood and engaged, including through research and continuous interaction between researchers and policy makers,” Karingi was quoted as saying by an ECA press release.

With a membership of 21 states, a population of some 560 million people and a combined GDP of $769 billion, COMESA is one of Africa’s biggest RECs and has made significant progress in many areas of integration. Intra-COMESA trade growth, however, remains low compared to the region’s trade with the rest of the world both in terms of exports and imports.

Karingi said the AfCFTA-COMESA interface, if properly managed, would generate a range of win-win outcomes for various stakeholders in Africa’s integration agenda. The agreement provides COMESA countries with opportunities to position and reposition themselves on critical nodes of regional value chains for both goods and services, he added.

According to recent estimates by ECA, by 2040 the AfCFTA could increase the annual value of agricultural and food exports by $16.8 billion, energy and mining exports by $9 billion and industrial exports by $43.3 billion.

Largest percentage increases, that is over 25 per cent in intra-African exports for industrial sectors are found in textile, wearing apparel, leather, wood and paper, vehicle and transport, agro-foods such milk and dairy products, sugar, beverages, vegetables, fruit, nuts and rice. F2F


Expansion for fashion brand that celebrates SA cultures and embraces ubuntu

Mapholo Ratau’s gifted eye for fashion, her heart for culture and upliftment and her head for business have seen Ledikana, her fashion brand of contemporary African garments and accessories, expand into wide-ranging markets, both locally and globally.

Ledikana was established because Mapholo had seen a gap in the market for ready-to-wear contemporary African clothing. “I hated having to look for someone to make me an outfit every time there was an occasion,” she explains. “I decided I could operate like the major clothing retailers, but with a premium brand that celebrates South African cultures. I started in 2011 – and the rest is history.”

Ledikana manufactures and retails clothing, hats, bags, shawls, masks, and other items for women, men and children, using shweshwe print, leather, beads, and even porcupine quills, for international leisure and business travellers, for corporate gifting and branding, and for the local market. Retail outlets are located in the upmarket Melrose Arch precinct and at OR Tambo International Airport.The business has a team of 10 full-time employees, and a network of women “most of whom are sole breadwinners and retired pensioners based in rural areas in Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Gauteng, who handcraft Ledikana’s range of products according to designs we provide. Style and quality are the consistent focus throughout the manufacturing process,” says Mapholo.

Ledikana is committed to empowering rural women and child-headed households, as well as disabled learners, with experience and skills, in response to the concept of ubuntu and the spirit of giving back. “Unemployment is a huge challenge in our country and we hope that by hiring and providing work experience to disabled youth who are often disregarded in the workplace, we are making a difference.”

Ledikana has created a range of culturally authentic collections, the most recent of which is called Babina Noko, inspired by Bapedi culture. “Noko means porcupine, and it’s one of the nation’s totems. Porcupine quills are incorporated into my designs to symbolise the Bapedi’s rich heritage. Our popular Babina Noko product range includes wine and champagne bags, cosmetic bags and headwraps, beach bags, scarves, shawls and blankets.”

Mapholo and Ledikana participated in the Absa Lionesses Xpo, a sophisticated virtual platform designed to showcase products and services from over 100 of South Africa’s leading women-owned businesses to corporate buyers and decision-makers. The Xpo  launched with a dynamic, interactive event on Thursday, 29 October, and is open to virtual visitors for several months thereafter. Lionesses of Africa (LoA) is a Public Benefit Corporation that empowers leading female entrepreneurs of Africa, the ‘Lionesses’, to create game-changing impact for the continent.

Mapholo participated in last year’s Lionesses of Africa Demo Day in November, another collaborative initiative between Absa and Lionesses of Africa, and says the show gave her business a boost. “I enjoyed excellent coverage through Lionesses of Africa in social media, I was able to network with amazing women entrepreneurs, I engaged with potential clients in various industries, and I became an Absa client. Through the demo day, I also participated in the B2B networking webinar this year.”

During the Covid-19 pandemic this year, Mapholo says her company survived by manufacturing cloth face masks and other PPE products, designed to appeal to the general public and businesses in the travel and hospitality sector. “Our business and operation model had to change quickly – and our online store became successful for the first time since it was launched in 2018. We contributed to reducing the spread of the pandemic and to ensuring that Ledikana remains a viable business throughout these trying times.”

Melanie Hawken, Lionesses of Africa founder and CEO, says Mapholo Ratau has a strong brand that stands out from the crowd. “Mapholo has created a design ethos for her brand that resonates uniquely with local and international clients, and which has encouraged expanded market opportunities for her business. We have enjoyed seeing Mapholo’s tireless commitment to building her business and her brand, while empowering others as Ledikana grows. She is an inspiration to many other women entrepreneurs in Africa who aspire to follow in her footsteps, and we wish her continued success on her business and brand-building journey.”  Source My Pressportal

GIPC to make Ghana’s textile-garment industry attractive

The government in Ghana and the country’s textile and garment Industry are working hard to be more attractive to the global markets, according to Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) chief executive officer (CEO) Yofi Grant, who attributed the decline to a surge in Chinese imports, smuggling from China and Vietnam and lack of raw materials.

China’s low-cost products in Ghanaian markets lead to lower demand of domestic textiles, he said.

GIPC is determined to add value to the textiles and garments produced to make it more appealing to the global market, he said.

Grant was speaking at meeting on investment in garments and textiles in Accra that was organised in partnership with the Cotton Development Authority and the Association of Ghana Apparel Manufacturers.  F2F

Woolies – 2021 performance share plan

The Group publishes its LTI performance conditions prospectively in its Remuneration Report that forms part of the Group’s Integrated Annual Report. The Group noted in its 2020 Remuneration Report that this year, given the impact of COVID-19 and the consequent uncertainty with regard to economic conditions, the WHL Remuneration Committee needed to deliberate further on the details of the LTI performance conditions for FY2021, in order to ensure alignment between appropriately incentivising management to deliver the Group’s strategic objectives and the creation of sustainable shareholder value. The Company undertook to publish the finalised performance conditions before the Group’s annual general meeting, to be held on 25 November 2020.

Having concluded the abovementioned process, and in order to assist shareholders with voting on the Group’s Remuneration Policy at the annual general meeting, the Board advises that the FY2021 performance conditions are as set out below:
HEPS Growth: weighting 25%

Relative HEPS Growth (relative to select peer group) :weighting 25%
ROCE:weighting 25%
CASH FLOW:weighting 25%

The target measures will be published in the FY2021 Remuneration Report once finalised. The performance conditions will be tested at the end of the three-year vesting period and the LTI awards will lapse to the degree that performance conditions are not achieved at the end of the period, with FY2020 to be used as the base year. Shareholders are welcome to email any questions they may have in this regard to governance@woolworths.co.za.

Did you know……..

Deadly Fashion

Ever wonder why starchy collars are sometimes called “father killers?” It’s not just a joke. Fashionable collars grew so high and tight in the 19th century that they could actually cut of a man’s circulation and respiration, causing asphyxia or brain abscess. A man named William F. Dillon was reported to have been killed by his collar in 1912, choked to death by his tight collar after an attack of indigestion caused his neck to swell slightly

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