US, SA to sign $2bn green energy deal

first_img7 August 2012The US Export-Import Bank is to offer US$2-billion in loans to South Africa to fund renewable energy projects involving US firms, the bank’s chief said on the sidelines of the South Africa-United States business summit in Johannesburg on Monday.“We are signing an agreement tomorrow for $2-billion for renewable energy exports from the US to South Africa,” the bank’s president, Fred Hochberg, told reporters.“South Africa has one of the most forward-reaching energy policies in terms of diversity in power,” he said.“We are signing tomorrow and it goes into effect immediately.”“We have been an active financier of solar and wind … energy all over the world,” Hochberg said. “In fact last year we were the largest single financier of solar power in India, we would like to do the same thing here.”The agreement was due to be signed by visiting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday.“It’s a declaration of intent between Ex-Im Bank and the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa to consider a financing option for up to $2-billion in credit in support of South Africa’s energy sector,” Charles Randolph, the US embassy energy officer, told news agency AFP.South Africa plans to double its power supply by adding more than 50 000 megawatts of electricity to the country’s grid.The government plans to generate 3 725 megawatts of power from “green” renewable energy sources, as part of a $127-billion scheme to overhaul the national electricity system.Clinton’s tour to South Africa is aimed at boosting trade and business ties between the two countries.Trade between the United States and South Africa shot up to $16.8-billion last year, up 18 percent from the previous year.The United States is the third-largest source of foreign direct investment in Africa’s biggest economy.Sapalast_img read more

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Wildlife vet on a rhino mission

first_imgDr Will Fowlds doing what he does best. Photo: williamfowldsdaytoday.blogspot.comBy Anne Taylor27 August 2013South African wildlife vet Will Fowlds is in Hanoi today to lead a rhino workshop hosted by the Vietnamese government.South African, American and Malaysian ambassadors, Vietnamese government officials, a delegation from Vietnam CITES as well as journalists are expected to attend the information-sharing event in Hanoi.“Hopefully this will pave the way for some serious action to reduce demand. My message, the reality of rhino poaching for the rhinos that are being slaughtered by the hundreds. I am praying we hit a nerve,” Dr Fowlds said on his Facebook page this week.Dr William Fowlds. Photo: InvestecAbout a year after having her horn hacked off by poachers, Thandi recently underwent a skin graft. Photo: Jason Loest, Kariega Game ReserveHe describes South East Asia as the “root of the rhino crisis”. Rhinos are poached for their horns which, according to some South East Asian countries, have healing capabilities and other medicinal uses and values. Science – and common sense – show that’s certainly not the case. It is hoped that education and raising awareness will help curb rhino poaching and the illegal rhino horn trade.“Rhinos are a tangible link to our pre-historic past, a reminder of an era of species long extinct, which makes them survivors in their own right. Man has already demonstrated how easily we can decimate animals like these but, significantly, South Africa has shown what is possible through active conservation: We can bring species back from the brink of extinction.”South Africa, Dr Fowlds says, is currently losing an average of two rhino every three days. “This crisis is now the most significant conservation issue this country has faced … South Africa is now custodian to most of the world’s remaining rhino. We are the rhino’s last stand.”Dr Fowlds is a deeply passionate – and compassionate – wildlife vet. Based in the Eastern Cape, he has had first-hand experience in dealing with poached rhinos.In 2012, he documented a poaching attack on three rhinos at the Kariega Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape. Two died, but Thandi, the surviving rhino, has proved to be a real fighter and Dr Fowlds has been dedicated to her rehabilitation.Dr Fowlds has also partnered with Investec in the Investec Rhino Lifeline. This aims to raise awareness of the rhino crisis and to respond through education, rescue and prevention initiatives.Thandi, the Kariega rhino, recently received a skin graft in a pioneering operation. You can follow Thandi’s progress on Kariega’s website.Interact with Dr Fowlds:On Twitter: @DrWillFowldsOn Facebook: www.facebook.com/william.fowldsRead about his adventures as a wildlife vet: www.williamfowldsdaytoday.blogspot.comRead more about Investec Rhino Lifeline projectRead more on SA.info: SA, Vietnam sign rhino action plan and SA to take rhino plan to CITESlast_img read more

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Marketing Inspiration: The Viral Video Sensation, Poo Pourri

first_imgBask in the sweet smell of viral marketing success with the story of Poo Pourri.A bathroom stall door opens to reveal an adorable redhead in pearls and a tight teal-blue dress perched delicately on a toilet. She greets you with, “You will not believe the motherload I just dropped.”Such is the beginning of Poo Pourri’s viral video smash hit, Girls Don’t Poop. The video, launched in 2013, has racked up over 36 million views and climbing. But what made it work?Here are three things that Poo Pourri got right and every viral video should try and emulate.Be DifferentFrom iconic visuals which contrast the upper-class socialite in a dirty pasture surrounded by cows, to sharp copy that never misses a chance for a solid pun, the video as a whole reeked of something new and different. In an internet culture that produces content by the dump load, it takes something fresh to make it stand out.Be FunnyWith a few notable exceptions, the majority of the videos that go viral are of the comedic variety. From Dollar Shave Club to Old Spice, the key to an audience’s heart is through the funny bone. Be irreverent, be ironic or slapstick — you’ll need to rack up the laughs early and often to keep your viewer’s attention.Be ShareableThe number one symptom of virality is the desire to share it with your friends, family and colleagues. Poo Pourri was (and still is) a small start-up with a micro-marketing budget compared to its major counterparts. The video’s success was driven almost exclusively by people passing it around on their own accord. Give people a reason to watch it again through someone else’s eyes.What’s your favorite viral marketing sensation? Let us know in the comments!last_img read more

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