Activists’ conference deemed success despite eviction

first_imgAn activists’ conference designed to tackle the housing crisis in Oxford continued over the weekend following eviction from a University-owned building in Osney. It eventually had to move to Cowley Road Methodist Church.The three day conference, termed ‘House of the Commons’, described itself as an forum for “examining the current context and drivers of the crisis with the aim to explore creative solutions to these problems”.Campaigners, who initially occupied The Old Power Station, were evicted on Wednesday. The University said, “The Old Power Station is not a disused building, but it is used for storage for the University’s museums and has hosted art exhibitions in recent years. The people occupying left the building left peacefully and we consider the matter closed.”However, reactions to the eviction were mixed from students and the wider community, with some students criticising the move.Xavier Cohen, a member of the Oxford Activist Network, said, “Whilst the eviction is within the law, we need to question what the law is doing here. It’s facilitating the prioritisation of private property rights over allocating housing and space to those who actually need it and will make use of it.”The Oxford Green Party also added its voice to the controversy. Ruthi Brandt, Councillor for Carfax Ward, remarked, “We feel that the University has really let down the wider community and has squandered an opportunity to join the housing debate.”She continued, “The Old Power Station, a beautiful big building in such a central location, has no business being practically empty and out of bounds to the public. I hope that the recent squat by the House of the Commons will remind the heads of the University that the place has stood empty long enough, and it is time to consider how it can benefit the community.”However, a University spokesperson told Cherwell that it “intends that all its buildings will be used and we are constantly re-viewing the status of our properties. A major priority of the University is to provide accommodation for as many of our students as possible in order to ease the burden on Oxford’s rental market.”Despite the eviction, events went on as planned as the activists relocated to Cowley Road Methodist Church. The programme of events included talks and workshops on homelessness, fuel poverty and alternative housing models. One participant termed the conference a “wonderful success”, telling Cherwell that “so many people — from very different backgrounds and with different experiences — participated, learning about the root causes of the housing crisis, debating radical solutions, and making newconnections which are the seeds for implementing these solutions.”University members were among those who praised the conference. Sophie Terrett, a third-year undergraduate and member of the Oxford Tenants’ Union, told Cherwell that the protest was relevant to students, saying, “In a recent NUS survey, 50 per cent of Oxford students said that they had experienced delays by their landlord when in need of house repairs and 20 per cent have experienced an animal infestation in their accommodation. This is clearly unacceptable and reflects a wider problem with student housing in Oxford and beyond.”Danny Dorling, Oxford Professor of Human Geography, also took part in the conference, leading a presentation on inequality and the housing crisis. He told Cherwell, “In most of the country, many housing problems can be solved, given the housing stock that currently exists, by using it more efficiently, as we used to use it. However in Oxford, and especially nearby in London, there simply is not enough housing for the population any more.”Highlighting the structural problems that this causes in the community, he added that the “lack of housing makes it hard to run universities, hospitals and local businesses”.The protest comes as part of an ongoing debate over housing in Oxford, with a recent study showing that this is the most expensive place to buy a house in the UK, with property costing on average eleven times the salary of the average Oxford worker.On average, homes in British cities now cost 5.8 times the typical local salary, while the price of an average property in Oxford has risen t0 £340,864, according to a recent study by Lloyds Bank.last_img read more

DSS island wide consultations described as successful

first_img 29 Views   no discussions Tweet LocalNews DSS island wide consultations described as successful by: – September 14, 2011 Sharing is caring! Sharecenter_img Share Share Deputy Director of DSS, Mr. Augustus EttieneDeputy Director of the Dominica Social Security Augustus Etienne is describing ongoing island wide consultations with the public as “successful.”The DSS has been holding consultations around the island regarding a proposal to increase the retirement age from 60 to 65 and increasing the contribution rate by 1%.Etienne says Dominicans are embracing the new measures.“Generally people are embracing it because they understand the reason; the situation is similar to what happened in 2006.Initially when you hear the retirement age and contribution is going to increase, everyone is up in arms, that cannot happen but when they come and are faced with the reality of the situation, in fact what they are saying is why has it taken us so long to get those measures implemented so they appreciate the need for it. It’s a small sacrifice but it is necessary to ensure that they and all of us, even our children’s children who are unborn will be able to benefit from the system,” he said.Director of the DSS, Mrs. Janice Jean-Jacques Thomas.Meantime Director of the DSS Janice Jean-Jacque Thomas says while persons expressed concerns about an increase against hard economic times, the move is a small sacrifice for future returns.“It would be a small sacrifice for the returns that persons will get in the future. For instance we all save and it’s important for all of us to have a savings but when we no longer are able to save, we draw on that savings periodically until it’s finished. Whereas with Dominica Social Security, you make the sacrifice and as long as you live, there should never be a time that you will be told there’s no more,” she said.Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more

Ambassador discusses US, Israel future

first_imgChristina Schoellkopf contributed to this report. Despite being interrupted at his presentation last year at UC Irvine, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren visited USC Thursday to discuss his stance on U.S.-Israel relations.Foreign relations · Ambassador Michael Oren emphasized the importance of Israel to the U.S. to students in the Annenberg Auditorium. – Joseph Chen | Daily TrojanThe event was hosted by the USC Center on Public Diplomacy and moderated by the Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism Ernest Wilson III. More than 200 people attended the event.In his presentation, Oren told many personal stories to illustrate the “multifaceted and deep relationship” between the U.S. and Israel.Oren emphasized the strong spiritual, democratic, strategic and commercial similarities that tie the two countries together. He said support for Israel was at a 20-year high, by referencing how the U.S. House voted to put sanctions on Iran in November.In addition, he compared the alliance of the U.S. and Israel to that of Roosevelt and Churchill, saying that great alliances don’t always agree but that “the true litmus test is how they approach their differences.”“Israel does recognize Washington D.C. as the capital of the United States,” Oren said. Focusing on this relationship, he ended his speech by emphasizing that “Israel is not only America’s ally — Israel is America’s ultimate ally.”Oren believes the U.S. has a responsibility in moving beyond diplomacy to other parts of the world to provide humanitarian relief. He cited Israel’s support for several recent disasters, such as the earthquakes in Haiti and Japan and Hurricane Sandy, to further this idea.Trying to make light of the sensitive issues surrounding the politics, Wilson asked about Iran. of Iran.Oren gave a short response when talking about Israel’s relationship with Iran. He mentioned Iran’s swift advancement of its uranium program and said when it comes to a nuclear Iran, Israel has the most at stake.“Iran presents a national threat … we have a right to defend ourselves,” said Oren, who also clarified that Israel does not want to exercise that right and will continue to support sanctions against Iran.The ambassador said the “Iranian nuclear threat is paramount,” and that Israel will continue the escalated sanctions in light of the Iranian conflict.He also addressed the Palestinian conflict. Oren talked about the desire to establish a compromise between the Palestinian and Israeli-Jewish communities by offering a two-state solution.“We recognize that there is a Palestinian people but we need them to recognize the Jewish people,” Oren said.Oren remained confident of future relationships between Israel and the United States will remain strong.“As a historian, I had enough trouble predicting the past,” Oren joked, before stressing that he knows Israel will continue to be a pro-American, stable country.Julie Cooperman a sophomore majoring in biologoical sciences said she was surprised by Oren’s positive outlook on Israel’s future.“It surprised me how confident he was that Israel would be everything it is today in 20 years,” Cooperman said. “As a Jewish-American, I don’t feel that confident. It was more comforting to hear him be so hopeful and surprising that he was so optimistic.”Revital Batoniashvili, an Israel Fellow at USC Hillel, said this event was successful because students remained respectful.“The USC campus was very peaceful, and I really appreciate how calm the lecture was and how everyone was respectful,” Batoniashvili said. “It was something we should admire and is one of the great things about USC. It really showed the university’s support of freedom of speech. The environment tonight is what made it happen.”last_img read more

Olympique Lyonnais and EDward Gaming partner for FIFA Online 3

first_imgEDward Gaming, a well respected Chinese esports organisation has today announced that it has entered a partnership with French football club Olympique Lyonnais (“Lyon”). The move will see Lyon expand its existing Chinese FIFA Online 3 roster and be named “Lyon EDG E-Sports Club”. In March this year Lyon announced their entrance to the Chinese FIFA scene with the signing of four players, becoming the first European club to enter the Chinese FIFA Online 3 market in the process. The move back then was a continuation of Lyon’s Chinese expansion. In December 2016 investment fund IDG Capital took a 20% stake in OL Groupe’s capital holding. The collaboration was part of a joint venture called ‘Beijing Lyon Xingzhi Sports Culture Co., Ltd’ along with Xingzhi Sports, an affiliate of IDG Capital and OL Groupe.Whilst Lyon previously unveiled four FIFA Online 3 players, EDward Gaming have yet to venture into FIFA. The team is most famous for its League of Legends team, who have won the Chinese regional championship five times and are frequenters of the World Championship stage. The move will see three further players added, bringing the total roster up to seven.FIFA Online 3 is likely a game that the West are unfamiliar with. It’s the competitive medium of FIFA in the East, with Asian countries all offering a free to play title that one would assume is similar to the Western version. The game is distributed by Tencent in China, the company also behind titles such as League of Legends. At the moment it has been outlined that the partnership does not extend beyond FIFA Online 3, but it’s almost a dangerously close move towards the League of Legends scene given the EDG’s status within the League scene. EDG were the first global esports team partner of Gillette, with the partnership being revealed back in May.Esports Insider says: Big news as Lyon continue their esports expansion in China. They’re still the only European club out in Asia at the moment. It’ll be interesting to see if the move means a potential foray into esports outside of FIFA for the French outfit at some point soon.last_img read more

Steelers offense sputters in second half against Ravens

first_imgPITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers can’t blame their latest loss on a struggling defense. The Steelers defense kept Baltimore out of the end zone in the second half, but Ben Roethlisberger and the offense struggled to find rhythm as Justin Tucker kicked four second-half field goals, leading the Ravens to a 26-14 victory on Sunday night.“I just didn’t make enough plays,” Roethlisberger said. “I’ll take ownership on this game. I just wasn’t good enough.”Roethlisberger led the offense from a 14-point hole and threw for 224 yards in the first half. The Steelers offense managed just 47 yards in the second half, and converted 2 of 12 third downs in the game as Roethlisberger finished 27 of 47 for 274 yards with a touchdown and an interception.“I didn’t make enough throws and we didn’t convert first downs,” Roethlisberger said. “We were terrible on third downs and that’s on me.”The Steeler defense allowed Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes to throw for six touchdowns in Week 2, while Tampa Bay’s Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for more than 400 yards last Monday.The Steelers (1-2-1) struggled defensively at the outset against Baltimore (3-1) as the Ravens held a 14-0 lead less than seven minutes into the game. They settled down and allowed four Tucker field goals the rest of the way, but it wasn’t enough.“We were able to tie it up at half and the score was 0-0 to me,” defensive end Cam Heyward said. “We didn’t get off the field and our offense didn’t score. When we do that and don’t get off the field, it’s not a good recipe for success.”Quarterback Joe Flacco completed 28 of 42 passes for 363 yards, with TD passes to John Brown and Alex Collins as the Ravens ended a three-game losing streak to their AFC North rivals. Tucker accounted for all the scoring after halftime as Baltimore ended Pittsburgh’s long run of success on Sunday nights.Pittsburgh came in having won nine straight Sunday night appearances, a streak that included a pair of victories against the Ravens. Baltimore brought Pittsburgh’s run to an abrupt end by shutting down Roethlisberger and the Steelers in the second half. The Ravens have allowed just nine points after halftime in four games.Roethlisberger threw for more than 500 yards and led four fourth-quarter scoring drives the last time the Steelers met the Ravens a Heinz Field. He tossed a memorable ball-over-the-goal-line extension touchdown to Antonio Brown that secured a division title for the Steelers on Christmas night in 2016.Flacco and the Ravens started strong on Sunday. Flacco completed his first six passes for 73 yards and two touchdowns, as he led the Ravens on an 8-play, 75-yard scoring drive and quickly capitalized on a Steelers’ turnover.Brown caught the Ravens’ first touchdown with Joe Haden and Cam Sutton giving chase on the 33-yard deep pass. Ravens’ S Tony Jefferson ripped the ball from tight end Vance McDonald’s grasp, and Flacco tossed a 3-yard swing pass to Collins three plays later.The Ravens looked like they were going to add to their lead following a Chris Boswell 34-yard field goal.Brown beat Terrell Edmunds on a 71-yard deep ball, but the Steelers’ rookie first-round pick recovered a Collins fumble on first-and-goal from the 2-yard line three plays later. It was the first time the Ravens didn’t score a touchdown in the red zone this season, going a league record 13-of-13 in four games.It also briefly swung momentum in Pittsburgh’s favor as Roethlisberger led the Steelers back from the early deficit.Antonio Brown, who caught five passes for 62 yards, scored his second touchdown in as many weeks following a Boswell 39-yard field goal. The 2-point conversion to James Conner evened the score.But then, Flacco and the Ravens took over.Tucker kicked a 47-yard field goal on the Ravens’ second possession of the second half, and then ended two clock-churning drives, spanning more than 11 plays and six minutes with field goals of 49 and 28 yards, increasing it to a 23-14 lead with less than four minutes to play.“They drained the clock on us,” Heyward said. “Whether it was quick passing on the outside or over the middle, we have to get better.”Tucker’s final field goal, a 31-yarder, came four plays after a Roethlisberger interception.“I don’t think I’m on the same page as anybody right now because I’m not playing well enough,” Roethlisberger said. “Today was just a bad day at the office. We’ve all had them. I had one today and I promise I’ll be back to play better.” Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws a pass in the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Fred Vuich)last_img read more

“One-of-a-Kind’ Mansion is Transformed for Designer Show House

first_imgIF YOU GO: The Fourth Edition of Stately Homes-By-The-Sea Designer Show HouseApril 30-June 910 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through SundaysThe Hartshorne Mansion, 80 Oakes Road, Little SilverTickets: $30 before April 30, $35 after April 30, $25 for seniors or groups of 15 or moreOffsite parking with free shuttleAdditional information: By Patti MartinFor Greg Strand, growing up on the grounds of the historic Hartshorne Mansion was a young boy’s dream come true.The Hartshorne Mansion at 80 Oakes Road, Little Silver, will be the setting from April 30 through June 9 for the fourth edition of Stately Homes by-the-Sea Designer Show House, a Visiting Nurse Association Health Group fundraiser.Perched on the banks of the Shrewsbury River in Little Silver, the then 28-acre property had it all: a pond, riverfront access, and acres and acres of lush grounds. “It was like a great big park,” Strand recalled. “It was the most beautiful place … you couldn’t ask for a better place to grow up.”Strand’s parents, John and Theodora, worked for Harold Hartshorne from the time his mansion was built in 1929 until he sold the property in 1957. For a number of years, the Strand family lived in the carriage house of the property, and it was there that Strand spent the carefree days of his youth, running and playing, skating and sailing. What Strand didn’t realize at the time was that he had access to a piece of history, a place that few people ever had the chance to see.But that’s all about to change.Built in 1929 by world champion figure skater Harold Hartshorne, the 11,000-square-foot Tudor was designed by noted architect Roger Harrington Bullard. Now as the setting for the fourth edition of Stately Homes by-the-Sea Designer Show House, the mansion’s doors will open to the public for the first time.Visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy the home’s magnificent historical elements enhanced by many of the area’s leading designers while supporting the vital mission of Visiting Nurse Association Health Group during the event, which runs April 30 through June 9.Born in 1891, Harold Hartshorne was a graduate of Princeton University and a veteran of World War I, serving as a second lieutenant in the Department of Criminal Investigation. Like his father and grandfather, Hartshorne was a stockbroker and a member of the New York Stock Exchange.Hartshorne, though, is probably best known as a pioneer in the history of U.S. ice dancing. The primary force in instituting a national dance title in 1936, Hartshorne went on to become – along with different partners – the five-time U.S. dance champion. Compet­­ing well into his 50s in the veterans dance section that he helped to institute as well as in other various exhibitions, Hart­shorne also became a revered national and international judge and mentor to numerous U.S. skaters.While traveling to serve as a judge in the 1961 World Championships in Prague, Hartshorne and his wife Louisa died in a plane crash that also claimed the lives of the entire U.S. Figure Skating Team. He was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1981.The Hartshorne Mansion as it appears in a vintage photo.Hartshorne’s ties to the area can be traced to the 1920s, when he acquired the land by an inlet in Little Silver, once known as Halcyon Bight. A Victorian home, which had belonged to a sea captain, existed on the site. Hart­shorne had the home moved to another area of the property (where it still stands today) to make room for the mansion he planned to build.Renowned architect Roger Harrington Bullard was hired to design the new home. It wasn’t surprising that Hart­shorne enlisted the services of Bullard, who had designed estates for a number of prominent families of the time, including J.P. Morgan. Al­though impressive in scale, the homes retained an airof rural domesticity. Among Bullard’s designs still stand­ing are Rynwood in Old Brookville, N.Y., now the home of Banfi Vintners, and the Maidstone Country Club in East Hampton, N.Y.In 1933, Bullard won a Gold Medal in the Better Homes in America competition for his design “America’s Little House.” The modest-size colonial, built at 39th Street and Park Avenue in Manhattan, reflected the changing needs in housing and became something of a phenomenon. Then-Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia broke the ground, and Eleanor Roose­velt laid the hearthstone. CBS Radio broadcast live from there several times a week and over 150,000 people toured the home until its eventual demolition about two years later.Many elements of Bullard’s signature style have been preserved in the Hartshorne Mansion. Bullard imported bricks from England for the Tudor-style façade accented by a pitched slate roof and tall chimneys – design elements that became his trademark. The mansion features 217 leaded-glass windows, also imported from Britain, many inset with stained-glass images depicting Swiss Canton coats of arms and historical or literary images. Sweeping views of the river can be seen from nearly every window.The formal living room boasts a cathedral ceiling with wood beams from Germany’s Black Forest and oversize fireplace, one of 10 fireplaces throughout the house. A sculpted plaster ceiling is found in the banquet-style dining room. Knobs that once controlled a hot and cold water system that would cool the slate roof in the summer and melt the ice in the winter can still be seen throughout the house.Not surprisingly, Hart­shorne added his own unique features to the mansion, echoing his world travels and stylish entertaining during the Prohibition Era. European hand-carved panels acquired during his voyages abroad decorate the vintage phone booth off of the baronial entry hall. Across from the phone booth, a concealed panel releases the entry to a hidden wine cellar. “Secret” passages that run underneath the length of the house can be entered from doorways incorporated into the living room’s paneling. Music could be heard throughout the home from the organ room whose ornate grill still graces a living room wall. A small window in the master bedroom looks out over the living room and mischievous younger guests were known to use that vantage point to fly paper airplanes down on the adults’ parties. The initials HH can still be seen on the drainpipes and the original bell used to call family members in for meals still hangs in the cupola on the roof.The McCarthy Family in front of The Hartshorne Mansionin 1959.Although Hartshorne could occasionally be seen skating on the river, he added a pond to the property to supply smooth ice for his practice and that of his guests, including figure skater and film star Sonja Henie, as well as the many young skaters he took under his wing over the years. Winters also would find members of the family ice boating on the Shrewsbury River. During the warmer months, the Little Silver fire department would make sure the pond was sufficiently filled to allow for rowing in a molded mahogany boat.“I really have Mr. Hart­shorne to thank for my love of boating,” said Strand, a lifelong resident of Little Silver who went on to become borough police chief, retiring in 1997. “If it wasn’t for his pond, access to the Shrewsbury River and his boats, I would not have gone on to racing power boats or ice boats. There’s a direct correlation between growing up at the Hartshorne Mansion property and my love of boating.”While Hartshorne spent most of his time in New York, Strand recalled Hartshorne spending many weekends at his Little Silver home – especially in the winter months. “There was no question that the pond was the center attraction (outside),” Strand recalled. “The Shrewsbury didn’t always freeze, so Mr. Hartshorne needed a place to skate – the pond was the perfect choice.”While Strand ice-skated, it was boating that drew more of the young boy’s attention. “He had boats on the property, and he was very generous in allowing our family to use them.”Hartshorne’s generosity also extended to the community, especially the borough fire department. “The fire department would come and fill the pond when the water dried up,” Strand said. “And Mr. Hartshorne always made a donation to show his appreciation.”For a young boy, the property with its woods, rolling lawns, horses, goats and rabbits was a dream come true. “You were never bored, and there was always something to do,” Strand said. When he was a preteen, Strand’s father allowed his son to accompany him to work on occasion. “It was so pretty, so different … it was a little bit of heaven.”The Hartshorne Mansion features 217 leaded-glass windows, many inset with stained-glass images depicting Swiss Canton coats of arms and historical or literary images.While Strand doesn’t really remember the guests dressed in white that would enjoy a leisurely summer afternoon in the shade of the gingko trees, he does remember the Hartshorne mansion. “When I put an addition on my own home, I used long wood beams on the ceiling and put in a fireplace – just like Mr. Hartshorne,” Strand said. “My house is nowhere the size of Mr. Hartshorne’s, but when I walk in the room, I always think of him fondly.”Over the years the surroundings have changed, and new families have come to live within the walls of the Hartshorne Mansion. For Strand, though, the memories live on. “And it’s really nice that the Hartshorne Mansion will be open for the show house,” he said. “It’s really a one-of-a-kind place that I was lucky to call home for a little while.”last_img read more

Bolasie tipped to return ‘stronger than ever’

first_imgEmbed from Getty ImagesCrystal Palace boss Alan Pardew has tipped Yannick Bolasie to come back “stronger than ever” from his knee injury.The west London-raised former Hillingdon Borough winger, who joined Everton from Palace in the summer, faces a long spell on the sidelines with cruciate ligament damage.Bolasie, 27, suffered the injury during Everton’s recent draw against Manchester United.“I had some contact with ‘Yala’ this week and sent our condolences about his injury,” Pardew revealed.“He is such a buoyant character. They’ll miss him – miss him in the dressing room and miss his play.“He’s a super character and he’ll get his head around it and get himself back stronger than ever.” See also:Palace’s former Hillingdon Borough player targets second win over ChelseaPardew denies Bolasie’s move to Everton is imminentBolasie set to seal Everton move  Ads by Revcontent Trending Articles Urologists: Men, Forget the Blue Pill! This “Destroys” ED x ‘Genius Pill’ Used By Rich Americans Now Available In Netherlands! x One Cup of This (Before Bed) Burns Belly Fat Like Crazy! x Men, You Don’t Need the Blue Pill if You Do This x What She Did to Lose Weight Stuns Doctors: Do This Daily Before Bed! x Drink This Before Bed, Watch Your Body Fat Melt Like Crazy x Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

CattleWomen’s Corner: Cola-braised beef brisket recipe offered

first_img1 cup barbecue sauce1 cup colaPreheat oven to 325 degrees. Place brisket, fat side up, in a roasting pan. Stir together steak seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, barbecue sauce and cola; pour over beef.Bake, cover tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil, for 3 to 4 hours or until tender.Remove brisket from oven; let … This recipe for cola-braised beef brisket is from, Spring 2017.5 pound beef brisket2 tablespoons Montreal steak seasoning2 tablespoons Worcestershire saucelast_img

Five African cities of opportunity

first_img17 March 2015Johannesburg, South Africa’s economic capital, is in the top five cities when it comes to opportunity, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the multinational professional services network.Joburg is named in PwC’s report, Into Africa – the Continent’s Cities of Opportunity. It details the potential of 20 African cities believed to be among the most dynamic and future-focused on the continent. The report is part of PwC’s global Cities of Opportunity series, and was released on 17 March at the African CEO Forum of 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland.The report’s analysis is structured around the critical issues of the business community as well as those of the office holders and other public authorities who are responsible for improving the collective life of each city examined, according to PwC.The continent is crossed by five trends: demographic change, urbanisation, technological changes, the transfer of economic power, and climate change. Urbanisation is of particular importance, as by 2030, half of Africa’s population will live in cities where economic activity and growth will be focused and which will become communication centres and hubs for social trends.The global megatrends are colliding across Africa, says PwC. “The growing middle class, strong demographic growth with an improving age mix, technological innovation that we have already seen in mobile payments and a growing choice of investment partners from the global south, as well as fast-paced urbanisation are all shaping what the future of Africa will look like.”Stanley Subramoney, PwC’s head of strategy for Southern Africa, says: “We have sought to answer ‘What makes an African city one of opportunity’ by developing a set of questions that investors should ask themselves and themes which city politicians and officials can work on to improve their competitiveness.“This report assesses how the cities are performing not only on a regional level but also on an international one, which is hugely important in terms of these cities being able to compete and prosper on both of these stages.”PwC studied four indicators: the economy, infrastructure, human capital and population/society (which itself contains 29 variables). From this analysis, two rankings emerged: general and opportunities for cities.“We believe that these cities demonstrate the relative strengths and weaknesses of Africa’s urban future. Our evaluation and re-evaluation of that future is, of course, a continual work in progress,” adds Kalane Rampai, the company’s leader for local government for Southern Africa.North African cities lead the wayFour of the top five cities in the report are in North Africa: Cairo, Tunis, Algiers and Casablanca; the fifth is Johannesburg. The preponderance of North African cities at the top is mainly due to how long they have been established. This has given them time to develop infrastructure and a regulatory and legal framework, and to establish a socio-cultural ecosystem.Johannesburg is the only exception to this pattern since it was established more recently, in 1886, compared to the other cities with which it is ranked highly, and was developed rapidly for political reasons. Therefore, its infrastructure and services are comparable to those of the more established African cities.African cities with promiseAnother major criterion of a city’s potential is the vision it has for its future. Accra, the capital of Ghana, for example, has a good reputation throughout Africa and beyond for the quality of its communications infrastructure, low crime rates and steady democracy. Economically, it ranks second for both its attractiveness as a destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) and the diversity of its gross domestic product (GDP).Most of the African cities with promise can (and will), with a little effort and organisation, climb to join those cities at the top of PwC’s overall ranking, says the company. Moreover, many of them have already become key regional platforms, such as Dar es Salaam and Douala as centres for telecommunications, Accra and Lagos for culture, and Nairobi for financial services.“Outside our top five cities, Kigali finishes at the very top for both ease of doing business and health spending; Abidjan ranks number one in both middle-class growth and diversity; Dar es Salaam is first in GDP growth; and Nairobi outscores all African cities in FDI.”With 5% growth, dynamic demographics and a growing middle class, Africa is extremely appealing to investors. After undergoing a period of pessimism about the future of Africa with some exaggerated optimism, leaders today share a more realistic view of the economic climate of the continent. This is what PwC calls Afro- realism.Source: APOlast_img read more

Microsoft Private Cloud: It’s Right for eBay but is it Right for You?

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting VMware Lacks Experience?Bob Muglia of Microsoft made the point in his address today that VMware lacks the experience of building private cloud environments. Microsoft makes the claim that its experience in building a public cloud environment means it can carry a number of different insights that only cones when you build something yourself.This may sound good but VMware also has considerable experience in hybrid and private cloud development. Customers are choosing VMware based on the company’s experience in virtualization. It entered the game before the rush of the past few years. VMware has to be pretty deeply involved into data center operations. Its job is more in keeping its position with the larger hardware providers, which it is doing in its partnerships with Cisco, EMC and others.Customers need to weight the cost benefits of a private cloud environment with a public cloud service from the the likes of Amazon, which provides infrastructure for companies. Microsoft’s private cloud means a capital expense that can be considerable.Potential customers should consider, too, what Forrester’s James Staten has to say:“The key question for Forrester clients is whether this makes Windows Azure a more appealing cloud platform. PaaS offerings have seen lower enterprise interest and adoption thus far due to concerns about lock-in. Windows Azure isn’t immune to this as there are unique APIs for leveraging this platform. But if you are a .Net shop or develop in .Net and Java and deploy to Windows Server, then you’ll find what you are looking for here. Yes, it is possible to build an app for Azure and move it back and forth between the PaaS platform and Windows Server 2008. The real question is what do you want out of the Azure platform? If you simply want to test the functionality of an application destined for Windows Server 2008 in your own data center and are just looking for faster access to resources for this type of testing, Azure fits the bill. But more likely you want to run the application on Azure because you want to take advantage of its automatic scalability. For that, you have to write to its APIs. And you should.”The reality of what service to choose comes down to what fits with your company culture. Even though the cloud has its own level of security, a private cloud environment may make more sense for the more conservative also doesn’t mean that a customer can transition to a more public cloud. Amazon’s IT department used virtualization to initially gets its infrastructure ready to for the cloud. That’s a prudent approach to consider for any company making a significant change in its infrastructure. alex williams Tags:#cloud#cloud computing#Virtualization Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Microsoft unveiled its private cloud in a box today. Windows Azure Platform Alliance is a container system that plugs into an enterprise data center. Microsoft is touting eBay as its showcase customer. That’s a big name company. But is Microsoft’s private cloud right for you?Microsoft’s strategy is to form partnerships with hardware providers. In the first wave this includes aliiances with Fujitsu, Dell and Hewlett-Packard. If you want a Microsoft private cloud you will have to go with one of these companies solutions. More partners are expected to be announced in the months ahead.The company is using these partnerships as hardware alliances to house Microsoft’s pre-configured systems. It’s not entirely new news. It follows up on promises the company made several months ago. The overall strategy is to fit this private cloud into any ISP. That means customers may just be able to go to their local provider for a virtualized cloud environment. That’s a bit off in the distance but it could mean a tiered service that scales up and down, depending on the needs of the client. As part of its big show today at the Worldwide Partners Conference, Microsoft pointed to eBay as one of its first customers.From the eBay ink blog:“eBay will incorporate the Windows Azure platform appliance into two of its data centers. The goal being to further optimize its platform and achieve greater strategic agility and datacenter efficiency.” That doesn’t tell us a whole lot. Microsoft says the environment provides a strong test environment for eBay. It can test apps on the platform to see how performance pans out. What’s more interesting is what eBay VP of Technology, James Barrese has to say what cloud computing will do for eBay:last_img read more