18 July 2008South African petrochemical company Sasol and Mozambican state-owned energy company Empresa Naçional de Hidrocarbonetos have finalised drilling and towing contracts to pursue their hydrocarbon exploration project off the Mozambican coast.The two have signed a lease agreement for a mobile offshore drilling unit with Transocean Offshore International Ventures, while two towing and anchor handling vessels to support the rig will be supplied by the Varun Shipping Company.The rig and vessels are expected to arrive in Mozambique towards the end of August, with drilling operations expected to start in the third quarter of 2008.“The drilling of explorations wells will take place in deep water, well away from the shallow environmentally sensitive waters of the Bazaruto Archipelago,” Sasol International Energy Cluster group GM Lean Strauss said in a statement this week.“Safety and protection of the environment will be key to the drilling exploration program that is expected to be completed by year end.”Concession holdersSasol Petroleum Sofala Limitada and Empresa Naçional de Hidrocarbonetos are the concession holders of Blocks 16 and 19 offshore Mozambique. The exploration area covers about 11 000 square kilometres and is directly opposite Sasol’s existing onshore gas operations at Pande and Temane.“The drilling campaign is a further demonstration of our commitment to upstream development in Mozambique and the technical and commercial ability of Sasol to execute upstream exploration projects,” said Strauss.“We recently completed our seismic operation in the two blocks incident free and with no impact on the environment.”Should the drilling campaign be successful, Sasol intends to supply the natural gas to markets in Mozambique and South Africa.SAinfo reporter Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
26 October 2016The renewable energy industry is a two-fold opportunity: it offers cost- effective, environmentally friendly energy to consumers in Africa and it provides a new avenue of business for entrepreneurs. Five companies are at the forefront of making alternative energy viable on the continent.Solynta EnergySolynta Engineering Team in action! #solar#nigeria#lagos# pic.twitter.com/vcoDDeKIpo— Solynta Energy (@SolyntaEnergy) October 6, 2015Founded by Lagos entrepreneur Uvie Ugono in Nigeria in 2013, Solynta provides solar panel installations to Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa. Operating with little corporate support, the company focuses on installing systems onto schools, healthcare facilities and small businesses. The company also operates a number of solar “filling stations” around Nigeria that offers consumer education, repairs and pre-loaded solar panels.Off Grid ElectricOur customers rely on their mobile devices to make payments https://t.co/3SxVFpiE6c pic.twitter.com/K8YcDs2j7t— Off Grid Electric (@OffGridE) August 18, 2016This Tanzanian small-scale power supplier uses the M-Pesa mobile money service to provide solar power systems, including LED lighting systems, to rural areas. The self-sustaining solar system complete with panels and lithium battery can be installed for as little as US$6 (about R82). It has installed over 10 000 systems in rural Tanzania and Rwanda. The company raised over $25-million (about R344-million) in 2015 that goes towards providing systems, maintenance support and technical training.Ugesi GoldUgesi Gold and EnergyNet’s off-grid energy solution starts generating power at SA school https://t.co/T4tJXNVYIA pic.twitter.com/QHrR3u8jKf— Damilola Ade (@aadedamilola) February 17, 2016A South African energy start-up, Ugesi Gold provides solar battery charging stations, called SolarTurtles, in rural areas where users can charge solar battery packs which are then carried home. In February 2014 the project was proclaimed as a Climate Solver by the World Wildlife Fund that highlights the best technologies in reducing carbon emissions and support energy access while creating awareness of the value of innovation as a tool to tackle climate change.JuabarAnother great concept for #solar mobile phone charging kiosks in rural areas – this one Juabar from Tanzania #tech4D pic.twitter.com/mpOc6zurpO— Anna Lowe (@annawillcreate) January 29, 2016Juabars, Swahili for ‘sun bar’, are becoming a common sight in Tanzania in small towns and urban areas alike. Started in 2013, Juabar travelling solar-powered phone charging kiosks use 50W solar-PV systems to charge up to 20 mobile phones or small electronic appliances at once. The company charges $600 (about R8 200) for start-up equipment and aftersales technical support to entrepreneurs who want to offer charging services to the approximately 30-million mobile users in the country. The stations are also used as mini-hubs for the community “to interact with, learn about, and create their own solar energy solutions.”SolarKiosk@solarkiosk empowers the sustainable economic development of BoP communities through clean energy services and products. #CleanSolcution pic.twitter.com/6D9AGbt4MF— GoodFestival 2016 (@GoodPowWow) October 22, 2016Operating in Kenya and Ethiopia, SolarKiosk converts traditional kiosk-stores with solar panels, enabling it to run on its own power and provide additional services to consumers, including battery charging, refrigeration and internet access. The converted kiosks provide a vital connection for rural communities to the rest of the world. The concept has been featured at the global ideas hub Tedx and won several international innovation awards.Source: AFKInsiderSouthAfrica.info reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SouthAfrica.info material
From a visit to the SKA project in the Western Cape to a visit to the CSIR in Pretoria to find out more about intelligent field robotic systems, six senior journalists and bloggers from the US, UK and China are exploring Innovative South Africa.Brand South Africa plays host to the Innovation Media Tour this week, from 22 to 29 March 2014, introducing visitors to hi-tech developments across the country.Download itinerary [PDF, 181kb ]Blogger NewsA group of foreign bloggers are in South Africa to find out more about the country’s innovation and technology sector. Hosted by Brand South Africa here are some of the articles currently being published world-wide by members of the group.Time-travelling SKA to look back at the birth of starsForeign journalists get the inside storyBloggers take a trip back to humanity’s originsMining at a South African Coal FaceEditor’s #BloggingSA14 Diary: A Relaxed and Fashionable Arrival in Johannesburg Tweets about “#bloggingsa14”
What Nobody Teaches You About Getting Your Star… China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … Related Posts Guest author John Fearon is CEO of Dropmyemail.com, which backs up emails in the cloud and Dropmysite.com, a cloud-based backup company.At any startup, the first hurdle is the lack of resources – lack of funds, lack of manpower, lack of time. Outsourcing – or relocating – the work can be a great to overcome those obstacles while controlling costs, increasing efficiency and even making workers happierBut it’s not a simple, one-size-fits-all process. In building my company – Dropmysite / Dropmyemail – I found that managing outsourcing was an ever-evolving combination of local and remote capabilities that stays flexible enough to meet changing conditions.(See also Are Crowdsourcing And Outsourcing No-Nos For Startups?)Learning The Hard Way: My Outsourcing ExperiencesWhen we launched two years ago, for example, the whole development team was based in India. As a one-man founder bootstrapping the business, this allowed me to hire a team for much less money.Plus, with India being 2.5 hours behind my Singapore headquarters, my productive workday was effectively extended. In the morning, I conducted business deals and meetings. Then, in the evening – as the team returned from their lunch – I would concentrate on working with them in real time over Skype on building our product.After six months, I was able to sign up a local CTO to help build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that enabled me to secure funding. With some cash in hand, I started building a local team of developers to be able to improve the product more quickly.At that point, I had two teams of technical workers in different locations – which started to cause problem. We had constant confusion, communication issues and lack of control. At this stage of the business we needed top talent, no low cost workers, so I ended the contract with the Indian team to focus on the local team.So far so good, but soon my lead technologist decided to go back to Argentina for family reasons. He had consistently delivered good work so we decided to try a long-distance relationship. He hired a few ace developers for the Argentinean team and everything seemed like smooth sailing.Eventually, though, the 12-hour time difference started to take a toll. Meetings were impossible to schedule and both teams were exhausted. Work delays proliferated, as even the assignments were received 12 hours later. We closed the Argentinian office, bringing one developers to Singapore.(See also The Pros And Cons Of IT Outsourcing: Globally, Nationally And Locally.)6 Outsourcing Lessons LearnedMy experience with outsources taught me a variety of valuable lessons:1. Keep Teams Together In One Place. Specific functions should be grouped in the same office and time zone to reduce miscommunications or time lags performing urgent work done. It also makes brainstorming sessions easier to coordinate to create better products.2. Not All Functions Need To Be Together. That said, it may not be necessary for different function teams to be together. Front office teams (sales and marketing, for example) should be in their home market while the back office (IT and operations) can be anywhere.3. Give Each Team A Focused Goal. Beyond stating the obvious, all teams need clear directions and key performance indicators (KPIs). Just as important, local and remote teams work better when staffed with self-starters who need less direct supervision.4. Contract Remote Teams On A Per Project Basis. This frees them to do their work without having to rely on other teams to proceed. The offshore work should be completed parallel to that done onshore. If the remote team isn’t pulling their weight, this approach contains the impact, reducing contamination of other teams and projects. Finally, per-project deals make it easier to replace them if necessary.5. Daily Communication/Alignment Is Critical. There needs to be constant two-way communication between teams. Remote technology development teams must make frequent reports back to the home base. The lead tech officer has to ensure that their work remains aligned to the overall company direction. Communication between business functions is also essential. Tech teams having to speak to each other, and also keep the salespeople in the loop so clients and partners stay informed.5. Outsourcing Strategies Must Continually Evolve. Currently, Dropmysite / Dropmyemail keeps core functions and technical development in Singapore, but we have business development staff in India, Japan, and the U.S. And we have outsourced side projects to other locales, including Vietnam. The key is to find and execute the right strategy at the right time.Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock. john fearon Tags:#international#startups#Telecommuting How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture How to Get Started in China and Have Success
Members of the Amateur Radio Society of Odisha got together at an uninhabited island within the Chilika lake to test their operational skill and technology to help the public during natural calamities such as cyclonic storms.The team had chosen this island as it is inaccessible by conventional telecommunication network. During their two-day camp at the island that ended on Sunday evening, eight licensed private HAM radio operators of Odisha experimented transmission of messages to the outside world through radio signals.‘Used solar power’ It was an attempt to simulate real-life situation during any natural calamity when all conventional modes of communication cease to exist. “To simulate such a situation, we remained cut-off from the outside world for two days and used solar power to operate our HAM radios. A bamboo pole was used as an antenna tower,” said Gurudatta Panda, one of the participants. Amateur radio operators can link up with other HAM enthusiasts through ‘short wave’ radio frequency.Contacted 130 operators During the event, these operators, despite their lack of infrastructure, managed to contact around 130 Amateur radio operators around the world. Around 90 of these were from different parts of India while others were from countries including Denmark, Russia, Indonesia, Thailand and Australia. On Sunday morning they made contacts with HAM enthusiasts of neighbouring countries except Pakistan.According to ARSO members, the importance of HAM radios during natural calamities has not diminished in this era of advanced communication. According to them, during the Titli cyclone, Gajapati district was completely cut-off from the outside world for a few hours. During that time HAM radio with the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force became the main means of communication of the district administration with the outside world.A big help ARSO members feel that an increase in the number of Amateur radio enthusiasts in the State can be a major help to society in a cyclone and flood-prone State like Odisha. On Sunday, Puri district administration representatives arrived at the island to watch the experiments being conducted by the Amateur radio activists.“There are youths with technical education in electronics and telecommunication in all parts of Odisha who can take up Amateur radio as a hobby and help society at the time of need. In future, we may have HAM radio operators in all blocks of the State,” said Priti Ranjan Mekap, another participant.Apart from Mr. Panda and Mr. Mekap, other enthusiasts who participated in this event were Samir Ranjan Panda, Umakant Swain, Chandrasekhar Patnaik, Sunil Biswal, Tusharkant Mishra and Rajesh Kumar.