Department of Tourism And IDC Launch New Programme To Promote Energy Efficiency In Tourism

Posted on November 2nd, 2017
Biz News

Today's Top Entrepreneurship And Business Stories (2 November)

The Department of Tourism in collaboration with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), has recently introduced an incentive programme to encourage privately-owned tourism enterprises to move towards cleaner energy sources and more energy efficient operations.

The launch of the Green Tourism Incentive Programme (GTIP), which supports the Department’s mandate of sustainable and inclusive tourism development, follows the recent handover of a solar photovoltaic mini-grid at Robben Island Museum by the Minister of Tourism, Tokozile Xasa.

Managed and administered by the IDC, the programme will provide grant funding on a sliding scale from 30% to 90% (capped at R1 million) to qualifying small and micro tourism enterprises to implement interventions that will improve energy efficiency and reduce operational costs.

Minister Xasa indicated that the programme will support several energy saving solutions.

“Renewable energy generating systems should be more accessible to all within the sector. For this reason we have introduced the Green Tourism Incentive Programme developed in partnership with the Industrial Development Corporation. The aim of the programme is to encourage small and micro tourism enterprises through a cost-sharing grant to retrofit their facilities with energy efficiency systems.

“Responsible tourism is everyone’s business, with an immense potential to increase our country’s global competitiveness. I urge the industry to embrace the Green Tourism Incentive Programme, and help us build a sustainable and inclusive tourism sector,” concluded Xasa.

The Department and IDC will work closely with the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa to conduct energy efficiency audits and determine the best possible solutions to be implemented. The IDC’s head of Development Funds Department Christine Engelbrecht says one of the programme’s fundamental criteria is transformation.

“Transformation and ownership is a critical dimension of the IDC’s mandate. Enterprises with high levels of compliance in terms of the Tourism B-BBEE Scorecard will be awarded a larger grant,” says Engelbrecht.

She added that only exempt micro enterprises with the total annual turnover of below R5 million and qualifying small enterprises with the total annual revenue of between R5 million and R45 million respectively will be considered.

The first two month application window will be opened from 1 November 2017 to 31 December 2017 to call for prospective applicants to submit applications for the GTIP.

Information, application forms and guidelines are obtainable on the IDC website and enquiries can be directed to gtip@idc.co.za.

Sage Foundation’s Enterprise Fund Offers New Funding For Bright Ideas From African Non-Profits

Sage yesterday launched the second round of funding from Sage Foundation’s Enterprise Fund. The fund supports the creation of either new or piloted entrepreneurial programmes to help improve the lives of military veterans, young people or women and girls in Africa and Sage’s local communities around the world.

After awarding $500,000, through over 30 grants, across 15 Sage countries earlier in 2017, Sage Foundation will open the next wave of $500,000 until November 28, grants between $10,000 – $25,000 will then be awarded to successful applicants. In South Africa, the New Africa Education Foundation has received a $10,000 grant towards a project that will provide mobile libraries to disadvantaged schools.

Says Ahmed Motala, CEO of the New Africa Education Foundation: “We are delighted to partner with Sage Foundation to boost literacy in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Our mobile libraries can be wheeled from one classroom to another, making books more accessible for learners in communities with poor access to libraries. Support from Sage Foundation is helping us to expand a project that will enable many learners to boost their performance at school and work towards a brighter future.”

The fund is only open to organisations with an income that is less than $2 million, and projects or initiatives have been operational for two years or less.

Sage Foundation is especially keen to support organisations that have ambitions to expand, grow and deliver sustainable change. It is also hoped that the fund will support traditionally hard to fundraise needs such as capital projects and core running costs.

There are many passionate people in African non-profit organisations who have great ideas that could make a real difference, but they need access to funding to take action,” says Joanne van der Walt, Sage Foundation Programme Manager for Africa.

“We aim to help small charities bring their innovative ideas to life so that they, in turn, can deliver positive, sustainable change for people and communities who need their support.

Nonkululeko Nyembezi Appointed As First Black Woman To Chair Alexander Forbes

South African financial services group Alexander Forbes on Wednesday announced the appointment of veteran business executive Nonkululeko Nyembezi as the new independent non-executive chairman with effect from 1 January 2018.

Nyembezi will become the first woman to chair the board in the company’s 82-year existence. She will succeed Sello Moloko whose extended term ended on Tuesday.

This comes after former chief executive and senior partner at audit firm KPMG Moses Kgosana failed to become the group’s chairman after he resigned as non-executive director following his alleged role in the scandal of R30 million in public money being used to pay for a Gupta family wedding.

Nyembezi joins the company at a time of strategic and business transformation in the implementation of its Ambition 2022 growth strategy to create a globally distinctive pan-African financial services leader.

She has held executive and non-executive corporate positions in a career spanning over 30 years across financial services, mining, IT and the telecommunications sectors.

Nyembezi is presently the independent non-executive chairman of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), and a non-executive director of Old Mutual plc. She is also chief executive of Ichor Coal, an international mining company operating in the thermal coal industry in South Africa.

Spending on Cognitive And Artificial Intelligence Systems to Undergo Sustained Period of Growth in the Middle East & Africa, says IDC

The latest projections from International Data Corporation (IDC) show that spending on cognitive and artificial intelligence (AI) systems in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) will grow by 31.8% this year.

The global ICT research and consulting services firm’s recently updated Worldwide Semiannual Cognitive Artificial Intelligence Systems Spending Guide indicates that the region’s investment in this space will total $37.49 million for 2017, with the market tipped to reach $114.22 million in 2021, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32.0% for the 2016-2021 period.

In terms of the technologies used in cognitive/AI implementations, software will continue to account for the largest portion of the investment in 2021 at 44.7%, followed by IT and business services at 35.0%. However, the IT and business services segment will grow at a much faster rate over the course of the forecast period, with IDC projecting a CAGR of 49.0% for this space versus 27.7% for software. Hardware will account for the remaining 20.3% of spending on cognitive/AI implementations in 2021, with this segment growing at a CAGR of 23.8%.

“Given the exponential growth we are seeing in data volumes, organisations across the region are increasingly looking to leverage solutions that can help improve the efficiency and productivity of their employees,” says Megha Kumar, IDC’s research director for software in the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. “To that end, cognitive/AI systems can play a key role in helping to automate and augment processes, which is why we expect to see sustained growth in spending on such solutions over the coming period.”

The use of cognitive/AI systems will see significant growth across all industries, although IDC’s research suggests the biggest opportunity lies in the financial sector, where an estimated $28.32 million will be spent on cognitive/AI solutions in 2021, accounting for a quarter of overall spending. This will be followed by the public sector (including government, education, and healthcare) with 19.8% share and manufacturing with 14.1%. IDC expects the fastest growing use cases to be defense, terrorism, investigation, and government intelligence; automated customer service; and fraud analysis and investigation.

“Cognitive systems will increasingly utilize natural language processing, content aggregation, and machine learning to enable applications for a wide range of use cases,” says Kumar. “At the consumer level, we are already seeing this with the likes of Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google Now, and such intelligent agents will become increasingly common in the enterprise setting as well. Indeed, we are already seeing this in action in the UAE, where cognitive assistants called Eva and Rashid have been deployed by Emirates NBD and Dubai’s Department of Economic Development, respectively.”

“Of all the countries in the MEA region, the UAE is clearly a pioneer when it comes to the use of cognitive/AI systems,” continues Kumar. “Cementing this position, the country’s government recently launched the ‘UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence’, which aims to provide a comprehensive framework for the use of AI across various different sectors and services. At IDC, we expect this initiative to fuel demand for a new range of skills and services within the country over the coming years.”