Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Goal Dreams

Hi everyone!
Question: Will you consider going to work in Africa? Why?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Memoirs in work life

The job search
Friday, May 25, 2007
02:15 PM

A friend taught me about persistence. Keep calling until you get what you want. I'm trying this.

Game plan, sort of
Saturday, May 5, 2007
09:04 PM

From now on, I'll only internet twice a week: on Mondays and Fridays. That includes blog browsing, news browsing, email. I'll make exceptions for blog posting occasionally, for building things online, and for short, specific purposes.

Inspired by "The 4-hour workweek," I crave time to do other things, such as go out, learn languages, be active, make money, meet people, etc. If I don't stop being stuck, I won't be the liberated chica I want to be.

My search for a job
Friday, May 4, 2007
05:52 AM

In retrospect, it started out haphazardly, but is converging towards truth. I am very happy about this progress. I have given it the time and effort it takes, without rushing prematurely to aggressively take opportunities.
Nowadays, my desire is for work in electric power and energy.
The trouble with PG&E is location - it's not new enough, and so far from Africa and the Middle East, where I want to be.
EDF is a better idea, since it's based in France, which is a new and fascinating place in a more central location six hours from Lagos or Aden by air, with more vacation weeks, as well as incentives to master French. The only downsides are non-tropical weather, likely not enough weeks for travel, and possibly lower income. With winter clothing, luck, and negotiation, I can handle these problems.

by storm
Friday, Apr 27, 2007
12:32 AM

What's new and exciting?
business connections

Here's the deal: it will sign up thousands of small and very small businesses to use the internet. At the rate of 10-30 new sign-ups a day, it'll take at least a month to get 1000 new customers. If there are vagabond sign-ups, that rate could be higher. Vagabonds include individuals signing up on their own without using our consultants (for video and text representation) as well as those using independent consultants who may charge a fee.
I like the theory, building business ecosystems, as in "chop I chop." This is one definition of sustainability, if other people's business plans support your survival rather than threaten it.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Geeks for a Good Cause
Does helping to create a Wi-Fi antenna from a water bottle, wire mesh and a motorcycle tire valve stem sound like a great way to spend a few months away from work? How about working on a Linux-based PC that runs off a car battery and solar power?

If so, you may be a natural for Geekcorps, a hard-working nonprofit that trains people in the developing world to use technology. Geekcorps volunteers typically spend at least four months in countries like Lebanon, Mali, Ghana and Nigeria, working intensively with local people who want to use technology to accomplish some goal, like creating a network of regional markets to share prices of staples such as potatoes and pawpaw in African nations. Geekcorps pays the volunteers' travel expenses, housing, meals and other incidental expenses in return for their expertise.

The nonprofit's aim is to make themselves obsolete through training local people and creating systems that can survive in rugged and remote settings.

The water bottle Wi-Fi antenna was created by Moussa Keita, a college student in Mali who was working for the local Geekcorps effort, says Geekcorps Director Wayan Vota. The $1 makeshift antenna works as well as a $300 one from Best Buy, Vota says. But even more important than saving money is the fact that commercial equipment is incredibly difficult to acquire. "Literally, we are working out beyond Timbuktu," he says. "We come into Timbuktu for supplies."

Soon after Keita fashioned the innovative antenna, Geekcorps held a ceremony and fired him. A few days later, Keita returned with business cards for his own consulting service. He now employs a staff of three people handling networking problems in Mali and elsewhere.

Improvisation is also important to create equipment that survives the local conditions. The group uses low-power chips donated by VIA Technologies in PCs capable of operating on low power in hot and dusty conditions. They use Linux for one simple reason: Downloading the constant flow of Windows patches would be almost impossible in areas with sporadic and slow Internet access. Another challenge is to create an interface that works for illiterate people.

The work's is clearly difficult, but rewarding. About 70 percent of Geekcorps volunteers want to re-up and stay beyond their initial term of service, Vota says. "They're experts in their fields and we give them free rein to come up with the best solutions to a problem."

Interested in helping out? Vota is currently searching for French-speaking Linux experts, but no matter your speciality you can add your name to Geekcorps database.


Thanks, Nir, for the story link.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Communications Satellite: what does this mean?

From BBC news

China launches Nigerian satellite
China has successfully launched a communications satellite for Nigeria.

The official Xinhua news agency says it is the first time that a foreign buyer has purchased both a Chinese satellite and its launching service. The Nigerian Communication Satellite NIGCOMSAT-1 is expected to offer broadcasting, phone and broadband internet services for Africa.

China beat 21 other bidders in 2004 for the $311m contract to launch the satellite, Xinhua says. The satellite, lofted by a Long March 3-B rocket, is expected to reach its final position later this year and to remain in operation for 15 years. The launch is being portrayed as part of a drive to enhance rural access to technology and the internet and boost Nigeria's and Africa's knowledge economy.

Read the full story here

What does this news mean?

Saturday, May 05, 2007

NIGERIA'S briefcase bankers are finally putting down roots.

Saw this interesting piece..thut I should share ..and una talk say country no good?

Briefcase bankers from JPMorgan, Citigroup build Nigerian roots

Investment bankers who until now had flown into Lagos to do deals then retreated to homes in New York or London are now opening offices in the country as record oil revenue, asset sales and a crackdown on corruption spur economic growth. Nigeria may overtake South Africa as the region's largest economy by 2020.

Nigeria's commitment to democracy and free markets will be tested after the election, which may bring the first peaceful transfer of power from one civilian leader to another since independence from Britain 47 years ago. President Olusegun Obasanjo will step down May 29 after eight years in office.

``We're not waiting on the sidelines to see if the elections are successful,'' says London-based Yvonne Ike, JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s country chief, who is moving back to her homeland to open a permanent office. ``We're trying to end briefcase banking in Nigeria.''

Bankers are warming to Nigeria after record oil prices helped slash the country's international debt to $3.4 billion from $35 billion in two years. The government plans to invest $67 billion in the oil and gas industry and spend $7.3 billion to double power production by the end of next year.

Nigeria is also selling state-owned companies to diversify the economy, which gets 95 per cent of its export revenue from oil. The government is seeking investors for coal mines, power plants and oil-services companies. It is also selling stakes in cement and sugar companies owned with neighboring Benin.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. last year advised China's Cnooc Ltd. on its $2.7 billion purchase of a stake in a Nigerian oil field.

``All indications we're getting are that the reforms will continue after the elections,'' says Craig Bond, chief of African operations outside South Africa for Johannesburg-based Standard Bank Group Ltd., which is buying a Nigerian bank. ``We're going into this market boots and all.''

While Obasanjo has boosted spending on roads, communications and power, a festering insurgency in the oil-producing Niger River delta cost the economy $4.5 billion in oil revenue last year. Poll monitors said that April 14 states elections were tarnished by ballot rigging and violence that left at least 21 people dead, raising concerns about the presidential vote.

``There is a fair bit of turbulence there now because of the elections, and ideally you would like to see that settle down before moving in,'' says Dana Botha, head of African operations at Johannesburg-based Absa Group Ltd. ``The opportunities, however, do exist.''

A ``robust understanding of the risks is critical,'' says Ike, who flies to Nigeria twice a month to meet with clients.

Ike is one of a new breed of bankers who are trading Fifth Avenue and Piccadilly for the streets of Lagos, Africa's most populous city, where vendors weave through miles of gridlock wielding dead rodents to advertise rat poison.

The 40-year-old says she'll miss the things she takes for granted in London, such as well-stocked shops, working telephones and watching television without the hum of a generator in the background. Yet she's upbeat about Nigeria's future, even if she's moving to a city where burning trash blacken the sky.

``Nigeria is delightfully chaotic,'' Ike says. ``You can look at things and think it's terrible, but you can also look at it as an opportunity.''

Deutsche Bank AG, which has seven people in the country, is among the biggest holders of Nigerian government bonds. The Frankfurt-based bank says fees from sub-Saharan Africa, outside South Africa, are growing more than 30 per cent a year, double the rate in Europe.

``Big players are coming to the market,'' says Kayode Akinkugbe, Deutsche Bank's head of global markets coverage for sub- Saharan Africa.

Citigroup Inc., which has rented offices in Nigeria since 1984, will move into its own building on Lagos's Victoria Island in August, says Emeka Emuwa, head of the bank's Nigerian unit.

``It's hard to compete if you're not in the corridors,'' he says.

The biggest U.S. bank is loaning United Cement Co. of Nigeria Ltd., a venture between Lagos-based Flour Mills Nigeria Plc and Switzerland's Holcim Ltd., $205 million to finance a new cement plant in Nigeria.

``In the past we would never have done that much,'' says Emuwa, 46.

BNP Paribas SA, the biggest French bank, opened a representative office in Nigeria last year, helping it win more deals, says Ronke Onadeko-Osayande, the bank's country director in Lagos. Last month it arranged a $1.5 billion loan to Zenon Petroleum & Gas Ltd., which is building an oil-products storage facility and a chain of gas stations.

``We're more on the ground, which makes it easier to spot opportunities,'' she says.

The International Monetary Fund forecasts Nigeria's economy will expand 8.2 per cent this year from an estimated 5.3 per cent growth in 2006. The country's benchmark stock index quadrupled over the past seven years.

Nigeria has proven trustworthy on what it owes. The country last month paid $480 million to Merrill Lynch & Co., the last of its debt to the London Club of commercial lenders.

``The excitement I feel about what is happening in Africa and Nigeria is more about untapped opportunities than about going back to my roots,'' Ike says.

Previously on UpNaira