Horticulture farming in Zanzibar


By Paul Ndiho

Until recently most of the vegetables consumed in Zanzibar were imported from other parts of Tanzania. But due to the rising demand from the tourism sector, restaurants, hotels and Zanzibar farmers, are gradually taking up horticulture to boost their source of income. IMG_1103

The semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar is home to over a million people, the majority of whom are subsistence farmers. Over the last 20 years, the tourism industry has grown steadily, overtaking what was once the backbone of the nation’s economy, agriculture. Nearly 80 percent of the vegetables used on the island is now imported from other parts of Tanzania. Abdullahi Yahie, an agriculture economist, retired from the African development bank, wants to change this image.

“Our primary goal is to ensure that Zanzibar will get into a position to in fact, rather than import, export vegetables as well as other horticulture to Tanzania as well as to the region.”

Since moving to Zanzibar, Abdullahi has launched an agriculture investment and development company. With the goal of supplying hybrid seeds and raising the awareness of the farmers and to convince them that agriculture is just like any other business, and it can generate enough income for the farmer.

“People realize that it is worth trying. We can see now a lot of people, not ordinary farmers, but even businesspeople are getting into farming, now civil servants are getting into farming. So the feeling is that now the culture is changing.”

It was this passion that triggered him to start Zanzibar agriculture investment and development Inc.

“When I settled here, I recognized that there are a lot of challenges in agriculture and in particular that the island has been very much dependent on imported horticulture, mainly from Tanzania, as well as also Kenya and the neighboring regions.”

Environmentalist says Zanzibar’s climate is favorable for a variety of crops and with improved seeds, productivity stands to increase rapidly.

“Our focus is to ensure that people view agriculture in Zanzibar as a business given the fact that they have a lot of fertile lands as well as plenty of water.”

Abdullahi Yahie’s company is assisting the growers through providing them with inputs, especially quality seeds as well as advanced technology and training to enable the growers to undertake this new type of farming without a problem.

“We advise the farmer on how to use the pesticide, fungicide, maybe direct them on how to control the disease using the pesticide and also how to maintain the farm.”

Critics say poor roads, limited transport facilities and no storage facilities for vegetables, force a lot of farmers to abandon agriculture. But Yahie says these challenges present a great opportunity.

“If the trend continues the way, it is right now, the growing interest we have seen with the local population to get into farming my impression that within five years Zanzibar will be an exporter instead of an importer.”

He hopes that today’s flourishing horticulture industry will help people reduce their annual importation of vegetable from mainland Tanzania, the most prominent supplier of agricultural products to Zanzibar.

ZAMBIA’S HOMEGROWN INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY


 

By Paul Ndiho

A Zambian youth is making strides in innovation and technology. Joseph Lungu is one of Zambia’s youngest innovators, having designed a sports car and security system for motor vehicles. IMG_0885

Joseph Lungu is no ordinary person, at 25 years old, he has earned several ingenuity awards. He has a passion for fast cars, but his ability to build his own car from scrap metal is remarkable. He recently unveiled his latest automobile at a trade show Lusaka.

Lungu has also designed a safety and security device using a cellphone to monitor overloading passenger service vehicles. He discovered his love for innovation when he was just 10 years old.

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“I came up with a system that once the vehicle is overloaded, it automatically switches off. At the same time it will make a call to the owner of the vehicle. He will receive a text massage or a video call to alert him or her that car is being overloaded….

Joseph Lungu, comes from a very humble family.  He was the winner of the 2017 Zambia innovation award.  His innovations are generating a buzz even though they’re still at prototype level.

“I want to prove to Africa that even us, we have the brains that we can use to change the whole world.”

Joseph works at home, where he has turned his family home’s backyard into his workshop — he calls Joe Tech garage.

He uses his engineering skills to design all sorts of electronic products. From a personalized ATM machine, to a custom sports car, to his award-winning car security system.

“I came up with a domestic ATM machine, whereby you’re able to withdraw money using your personal mobile phone. The cool thing about this ATM you’re able to deposit and withdraw money using your mobile phone.”

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His goal is to solve problems using scrap metal and information he finds on the internet.

“In Africa we have a lot of problems. I can come up with solutions in agriculture, in the transport business, energy … all it takes is to see where people have problems and you see a solution.”

Parked outside his family’s compound in the Lusaka suburbs is Joseph’s father’s car that he uses for demonstrations.

They configure your number in the vehicle’s system.

This is a point when you put more weight on the car, the car engine will stop and sound and arlm. You see it can’t start…. I have also received a call to show that my vehicle is being overloaded.

The vehicle sensors automatically stop car from moving. Joseph hopes to inspire other young people.

“If you have a dream, if you’re focused, and you have a plan, you can make it without money. Convert that Idea into reality. It only take you believing in yourself that you can do it then you’ll do it.”

Finding funding for his projects is difficult. Joseph says that he depends entirely on his family’s income. But despite the challenges, he remains optimistic.

“I made a touch four sensor which is able to detect the force of a human being. If someone parks the car and activates the system – The moment you want to steal, let’s say the tire, the moment your apply the force on the tire then this system is able to trigger the sensors and it will alert the owner on a mobile phone.”

With his innovation, experts say this could be a game changer, and for a kid whose dream is to dream big, he believes with the right support it can become a reality.

Kenya Takes a Ride on Chinese Rail — With Billions in Debt Aboard


 

 

 

The Madaraka Express

By Paul Ndiho, Enming Liu, and Betty Ayoub

The country’s biggest public works project since colonial times is a $5 billion test of the Belt and Road Initiative’s pledge to be a ‘win-win’ for China and African partners.

It is the biggest public works project ever in Kenya. A $3.8 billion bet on the country’s economic future.

 

SGR TRAIN BROLL

Sealed on a deal with China – to help build a sprawling rail network in east Africa …

They call it the ‘Madaraka Express’ – after Kenyan independence day.

And in its first year of operation, it has given Kenyans new freedom and optimism.

A 10-hour drive time between the coastal city of Mombasa and the capital, Nairobi …… slashed by half or more. Frederick, passenger from Nairobi:

“Really there is no comparison to the transport system that we’re used to.”

Shipping costs slashed by half, too – a shot in the arm for business and – hopefully – new jobs.

The train – more widely called the ‘S-G-R’, for standard-gauge railway – is a critical link in something far bigger:

China’s massive ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ – a trillion-dollar plan to finance and build railroads, ports, roads and other huge projects in nearly 70 countries.

China casts Belt and Road as a friendly effort to help emerging economies like Kenya’s.

But the deals are boon for China, too. Chinese state banks lend the money. Then, Chinese companies cash in on construction deals.

Yunnan Chen, is a research fellow at the China-Africa Research Initiative, Johns Hopkins University

“So these infrastructure projects are not altruistic projects. … What  Chinese companies get out of it are lucrative infrastructure contracts, where not only Chinese construction firms win these contracts but they also pull along smaller suppliers and other Chinese companies that also get to participate.’’

Belt and Road projects are certifying China’s ascent to the top trade partner for African states.

“If anything it’s an acceleration of existing trends we’ve already seen for the past decade or more, where China has already overtaken the U.S. in terms of being the primary economic partner for African countries and for the continent as a whole.

“Africa does not take the same priority in U.S. foreign policy as perhaps it used to, and it doesn’t occupy the same sort of attention. Whereas for China, the relationship has become, over a decade or more, very politically institutionalized.” she said.

And African countries are getting a payoff.

An extensive survey by McKinsey consulting found that thousands of Chinese-owned firms – some big, some small – are hiring, training and promoting tens of thousands of African workers. Jackline Kemboi, Train Attendant, SGR

“It’s a win-win for me. If you don’t have the Standard Gauge Railway, you’re going to be losing on the economy. … We’ll go back to the ‘80s and ‘90s. We’ll never grow as an economy.”

Kemboi’s story is one the Kenya government wants to reproduce.

She landed a good-paying job after graduating from the railway’s training school.

Ms. Milly Kiziili-Otieno, Kenya Railway Training Institute Principal

“With the SGR training I think we have trained close to 1,000 graduates who are currently running railroad.

“Our graduates have been handling the cabin crew, the maintenance, the passenger operations – all the people that would help in the running of the train have actually passed through this institution.”

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Kenya hired Chinese state-owned companies to build the railroad, then operate and maintain it for up to 10 years, when enough Kenyans will be trained to take over.

“The training period is about 3 to 5 years in China. It takes about 3 years to become an assistant driver and 5 years to become a driver.

“For less than one year of training, the Kenyan trainees are still interns.”

Another success story: Edgar Sirucha, a Mandarin-speaking civil engineer.

He was hired by China Railway Construction Corporation to work on roads.

“I studied in China for my bachelor and master’s degree, and it was in engineering. And to see a country that has been so developed, I carried the dream here. And I hope one day I see a Kenya that is so developed or even further developed than China.”

But the SGR has also become hugely controversial.

Most recently, the arrests of Kenya Railway’s managing director and the country’s land commission chief — accused with others of fraudulent SGR property deals.

And there are complaints that the Chinese kept the best-paying jobs for themselves … mistreated Kenyans in lower-skilled positions … even segregated them in cafeterias.

Kenya Railways and lawmakers are investigating the treatment of workers. The officials accused of land fraud pleaded not guilty.

For his part, Sirucha said tensions sometimes do surface on the job … but they can be overcome.

“Coming here, of course there are challenges. I’ve got people who complain the pay is low; I’ve got people complain the hours are long. I’ve got people who complain the Chinese don’t treat them right. Everyone has a reason to complain.

“But if you have a vision, if you have a driving force – that makes those problems be actually stepping stones.”

Kenya’s economy has been growing – but not as fast as neighboring Ethiopia – where the Chinese also financed and built a railway.

The government is counting on the SGR to deliver. Already the line is being extended to connect with proposed industrial parks and eventually reach into Uganda.

James Macharia is Minister of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing & Urban Development:

“As you know the plan is to have the SGR contribute about 2.5 percent of GDP. You’ve seen the impact of the transport from Mombasa to Nairobi, both for passenger and for freight.

“And so by the time we put the SGR up to Malaba it will be adding another 2.5 percent of the country’s GDP.”

Other Kenya Railway and government officials declined VOA’s interview requests. So did the SGR’s builder, China Road and Bridge Corporation, and the Chinese embassy.

In Mombasa, officials say cargo traffic is growing thanks to the SGR’s lower costs.

Until recently, Catherine Mturi-Wairi was managing director at the Kenya Ports Authority.

“We are looking at $250 for a 20-foot container and $300 for a 40-foot container. Compared to trucks we are looking at $700 US dollars for a 20-footer, and $800 US. So it is definitely cheaper to go by rail.”

But what’s good for the SGR isn’t good for long-haul truckers.
They say the train already has cut into their business. Mahfudh Mbarak Mahfoud is a long distance track driver.

“The business was great in the beginning. The trucks would leave from Mombasa to Kampala, unload the containers and come back. That’s how we worked.

“But since the SRG, our work has been affected.” “The future doesn’t look bright.”

Officials say that in the end, truckers will benefit as container traffic increases at points inland.

“The railway can only take up to 40 percent of cargo. … So you will find that whatever is taken up by the railway line, ultimately has to be trucked to someplace.” The SGR’s economics depend on more than cargo and passengers.

To build the railway’s first leg, Kenya borrowed almost all the $3.8 billion-dollar cost from the Chinese.

Same for the next section – now under construction – another 1.5 billion dollars. The debt makes China far and away Kenya’s biggest lender.

Repayment was forgiven for five years – but in 2019, loan obligations to the Chinese will rise more than 5-fold.

Critics fear the debt will make the SGR a long-term loser – a victim to China’s “debt-trap diplomacy.”

Akshay Vishwanath is an environmental activist who studied SGR finances.

“Any country any business any company uses debt to grow. But the magnitude of that debt, the ability to repay, the magnitude of those loans in comparison to the gross domestic product all does matter.

“And I don’t think that level of analysis has been conducted for this project, and therefore I say we need to worry.”

SGR passengers already are paying 70 percent more for tickets than when the train launched a year ago.

One of the SGR’s fiercest opponents is Okiya Omtatah Okoiti. He has filed lawsuits alleging Kenya failed to do sufficient economic or environmental studies.

Instead, he said the government bowed to the Chinese.

Okiya Omtatah, lawyer and activist

“With the Chinese, everything is negotiated in China, the money is paid in China like the SGR money. What is brought to Kenya is the debt.”

Omtatah said China should be working to lessen financial risk for African states that take part in the Belt and Road Initiative.

“… So you can end up with a developed China and a developed Africa. But we’re going to end up with the corrupt states in Africa, with a thriving China, which is the main problem we have.”

Across Africa, the needs are great. The Africa Development Bank said countries face an annual infrastructure funding gap of some $70 to $108 billion. China has pledged $60 billion in financing for Belt and Road projects in Africa.

“There is some justified skepticism on the part of the World Bank and other economic financiers on the economic viability of these new railways.”

“Estimates for justification of the Kenya railway really depend on whether the target for freight can be met. This will depend in a large part on how well the Chinese and Kenyans can cooperate to localize skills and knowledge to operate and maintain the railway in order to make it sustainable.”

It’s too early to say whether the Madaraka Express will be an engine of progress for all Kenyans.

 

But there’s no doubt it’s already a win for the Chinese.

 

 

 

 

Environmental Costs Of China-Kenya’s New Standard Gauge Railway


By Paul Ndiho,

Nearly 4 million people live in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

Perhaps no big city has such an abundance of nature — right at its back door.

“This is like what Central Park is to New York.”

Trish Hayes has been a Nairobi National Park fan for many years.

On the border of one of Africa’s fastest-growing cities, it is home to endangered rhinos, lions, buffalo, giraffes – more than 400 species.

The British first protected the land in the 1940s. And it has remained unspoiled …

Until now.

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Kenya’s government is extending the country’s new Chinese-built railway straight through the heart of the park …… splitting the cherished preserve in two … … and igniting a firestorm. Opponents say they were blindsided.

Until his death earlier this year, Sidney Kuntai led the coalition fighting the route. He said construction started before most Kenyans understood.

“In the last one year and a half … This matter was kept in the dark.”

Chinese contractors erected massive concrete pillars – an elevated track visible from one end of the preserve to the other.

The railway, known as the S-G-R, is a vital link in China’s trillion-dollar “Belt and Road” initiative – a massive effort to build railways, roads and ports linking Africa, Asia and Europe.

China promises to lift emerging economies like Kenya’s with new trade and manufacturing.

But there’s also an environmental price to pay.

According to the World Wildlife Federation, that hundreds of threatened and endangered species stand in the way of China’s construction plans …

Critics say that in the rush for jobs, Kenya’s government failed to properly study the environmental impact.

Lawyer Okiya Omtatah Okoiti joined conservationists who sued to halt the extension.

“I got court orders stopping it, until there were some few basic minimums, like an environmental study to understand the impact of the SGR on the environment, a socioeconomic survey, what was the impact of the SGR on the communities where it was going to pass.”

But ultimately, the challengers lost in court.

“All these things are not in place, and the Chinese are busy blasting.”

The Kenya Railways Corporation and Chinese builders declined to answer VOA’s questions or agree to interviews about Nairobi National Park.

But the Kenya Wildlife Agency did allow VOA to visit the Tsavo National Park in central Kenya to see the SGR’s impact there.

The railway’s first leg, from Nairobi to Mombasa, opened a year ago. It cuts through the five-thousand-square mile preserve.

A busy highway and older rail line already split the park.

The new train adds yet another obstacle, disrupting wildlife migration and attracting human squatters.

Dr. Ben Okita is with Save the Elephants. He is helping Kenya Wildlife to study the environmental effects.

“One major impact the SGR has had on the ecosystem is to do with interfering with the contiguous movement and the ecosystem. So, it’s contributing to further the splitting of Tsavo East and Tsavo West national park.”

The Chinese built eight high overpasses to allow wildlife to move freely under the train.

To see if they’re working, Okita uses GPS collars to tag elephants and track their movements.

His maps show signs that the animals are confused.

“There is crossing, but then you can see there are some sections, where the animal seems to be struggling. They stay right there doing a lot of pacing here.”

Making matters worse, humans are drawn to the overpasses because they create park access for livestock and scavenging.

“Because of these human settlements, when animals want to come through, they reach a point where they’re scared. … So then that underpass eventually is rendered useless for wildlife.”

The Chinese built concrete and wire fence guards the track from animals. But they are failing.

“This outer fence line is barely one year old. And you can see already seriously damaged by wildlife. And because of that, the risks of wildlife crossing over and causing accidents are very high.”

Now, all the original fencing is being replaced.

Alex Mwazo of Kenya Wildlife Service is on the research team at Tsavo.

He said most animals – Zebras, Buffaloes, Antelopes, even Lions – are slowly adjusting.

One exception: The giraffes.

“Giraffes tend to be shy animals, so it will take time before they actualize and gain the confidence and start utilizing the underpasses.”

Lala Frederick is the leader of Mwazo’s research team.

Although buffalo and other animals have been hit by the train, Mwazo said SGR is less of a risk than trucks on the nearby highway.

“Their main problem is not even the railway, I think the road adjacent to the railway, is just a like a brick wall.”

While scientists studied the impact on Tsavo, Kenyans looked on with alarm as the train cut Nairobi National Park in two.

Their protests in March came too late.

By that time, Chinese builders had bulldozed into the preserve, quickly erecting an imposing row of concrete pillars to support the track.

Eventually the route will extend to the Ugandan border.

Long-time neighbors say the government turned its back on the park’s heritage.

Kitengela Glass sits at the end of a long dirt road in Oosilikron, south of the park.

Owner Nani Croze has collected newspaper clippings documenting every twist of the railroad construction.

“They had so many different maps, and I’m sure it was to confuse people, because nobody knew when we …

Croze said something precious is being forever lost.

“We have so few animals. African animals. Where do you find them? In Kenya! Maybe a few in Tanzania. Maybe a few, not even Uganda any more.

And how can you — this is such a treasure! This is a treasure of the world.

And here you come, and you sell it to the Chinese? For a railway? Bloody Hell!”

Zimbabwe decides 2018


 

By Paul Ndiho,

On a South African airliner, much like this one, Shaka and I left from Dulles international airport outside Washington DC on the evening July 17th.  It was a tremendously exciting, rewarding, productive and tiring trip.

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We started out in Zimbabwe, where Shaka moderated the hugely successful and widely attended first ever presidential debate — in a post-Robert Mugabe era. The television, radio and internet broadcast was co-produced by the voice of America and the rising zimpapers television network.

We covered political rallies for both the leading opposition party – mdc alliance and the ruling party zanu pf. The general elections to elect the president and members of both houses of parliament were held on July 30th. On Election Day, Shaka visited different polling stations to witness the voting process which was mostly peaceful. Journalists and observers were granted access to all polling stations.

However, deadly protests broke out after supporters of the opposition felt that preliminary election results announced by the Zimbabwe electoral commission did not reflect their own exit poll tallying. But the final official election results showed that incumbent Emerson Mnangagwa won last month’s presidential election with 50.8% of the vote, while Nelson Chamisa of the m-d-c alliance trailed with 44.3%. The opposition alleges that the figures were manipulated.

I met with “citizen’s manifesto”, a non-partisan coalition of young Zimbabweans representing various constituencies; civil society, faith-based organizations, students, youth and women who want to see a better Zimbabwe.

My next stop was “impact hub Harare”, a co-working space where change makers, social disrupters, impact innovators, and entrepreneurs interested in solving everyday problems gather to see their start-ups launched.

From Zimbabwe, Shaka traveled to Malawi and his first stop was a meeting Malawian journalists — and a meeting with the former official hostess of the late Malawian president Kamuzu Banda.

Shaka also had a one-on-one with former president, Bakili Muluzi, in Blantyre. Muluzi served as the first freely elected president of Malawi from 1994 to 2004. As Shaka would say — Muluzi is retired but not tired, he is involved with many charitable organizations.

Shaka also conducted an exclusive interview with Malawi’s vice president Saulos Chilima, who has expressed interest in running for president in next year’s elections. Chilima, 45, a former chief executive officer of the mobile-network operator “Airtel Malawi limited” left the ruling democratic progressive party last month, saying corruption in the government is at an all-time high. We’ll have more of Shaka’s interview with Chilima on an upcoming episode of straight talk Africa.

Tanzanian Entrepreneur Makes Gas Stoves


 

Many Africans use charcoal for their cooking, but over the years the effect has been disastrous for the continent’s forests.  In Tanzania, a new home-grown energy saving cook stove fueled entirely with gas has the locals buzzing.

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A revolutionary gas stove invented in Tanzania has won several international ingenuity awards.  The stove has transformed the lives of people living in several impoverished communities in the east African country. Now, orders for the gas stove are arriving from across the country and beyond. Here is a quick demonstration of the product.

“i will start with the first process of how to release the gas. Make sure that everything is connected very well, like this; now this bolt holds the tank in place. As you can see the cooker is ready for cooking.”

Humility is what describes innocent kazungu, a self-taught engineer with inventions in a wide variety of pursuits, including office carpet, a gas flat iron box, a massive duty vacuum cleaning the machine, and environmentally friendly paper bags. He has a remarkable ability to use locally sourced materials to invent products, despite repeated hardships.

Kazungu is part of a new breed of young African innovators. He says that in his community, families spend hours looking for firewood, bending over a hot Smokey charcoal stoves preparing their meals and this ignited his interest to come up with a solution that is cheap and user-friendly.

“The place where i live there is a woman who sells charcoal. Someone came to buy charcoal worth 2000 Tanzania shillings. The amount she got was minimal, and she started complaining that it was not enough to cook with… that’s where i started having this idea. She was saying some of us cannot buy gas tanks, so what do we do.”

Innocent kazungu spent several months working on a prototype for the cooker, a process that wasn’t easy. Now, his cutting-edge design has picked up several international innovation awards. The stove is entirely made out of scrap metal found in the slums around Dar el Salaam.

“I started designing this cooker. Well if people are complaining that they cannot afford enough charcoal and they cannot afford to buy the big tank. So this cooker which is smaller and uses a small gas (tank) and they can use it for several days and cut down cost.” Since the introduction of the gas stove, – it has become a hit in the city. Martha Mkunde is a local businesswoman interested in buying the product.

“For now, I’ll start with ten pieces and see how the customers respond to them and if they like them I’ll continue to sell them”

Mary Mwandre, a resident of Dar el Salaam, says this stove will have a significant impact on the community and hopes that the idea will spread across the country.

“We’re very inspired by what he’s doing. He is doing something that he’s passionate about, and you can see it in him. If he gets, sponsor, he can expand his knowledge and probably take this project to another level. i am sure he will be on a different level in the next five years.”

Kazungu hopes to use this platform to network and scout for potential investors. For a young man whose dreams are significant, the sky is the limit on his ideas and inventions.

MAERSK LINE EXPANDS ITS FOOTPRINTS IN CENTRAL AFRICA


By Paul Ndiho
A Congolese entrepreneur is leading one of the world’s largest container shipping companies’ Maersk line, in the democratic republic of Congo, and Congo Brazzaville.
MAERSK LINE DRC PKG - No ChyronsHer story is inspiring to thousands across the region. Despite repeated hardships, Nancy Mbalayi’s ability to lead a male-dominated industry is amazing.  As the chief finance officer for Maersk line, she oversees the democratic republic of Congo and Congo Brazzaville, managing nearly half a billion dollars in annual revenues.“When they look at you as a young lady, when you are competing with other men in this industry, and the shipping industry is a very high male-dominated industry. You have to show that you are a master at what you do. So, I challenge myself to go out of my comfort zone, to learn a bit faster, and also to show that I can take more.”Mbalayi is part of the next generation of young African leaders who are trying to make a difference and inspire others to aspire for leadership positions.“You need to have the passion first for what you are doing. You need to be highly engaged and motivated because it is not easy, especially in our context here in the D.R. Congo and Congo Brazzaville. There’s a lot of challenges that you cannot master. So, you always have to be ready to make the right decision at the right time.”Mbalayi attributes her accomplishments to partners and supporters and says her goal is to empower other young entrepreneurs through mentorship programs.“It goes far beyond the capital; because leading people, it all starts with leading yourself. You have to know who you are, what your values are, what makes you fight every day, and what makes you tick. Because the why is the reason – why you wake up every morning, despite what’s going on in your life.”Nancy’s rise to the top has not been without its challenges.The challenges are a lot, but I see them as a way to do better, to improve. As a woman in our African society, we are seen as a mother first more than a human being. So, the people looking after you to take care of your family, to be a good wife, to ensure that the food is ready that the house is clean and whatever. So, I would say that it requires additional effort.With offices in Kinshasa and Matadi, Maersk line is creating employment and helping businesses in the country to connect with key global markets.The voice of America was recently given an exclusive tour of the new multi-billion-dollar container terminal located at Matadi on the Congo River.  The facility opened for business in august 2016 with the help of the Philippines, in partnerships with the Congolese government and the private sector.The new terminal is fitted with state of the art security cameras, sophisticated computer systems, modern cargo handling and storage facilities — including a fire engine and an ambulance on site. The new terminal dubbed a one-stop shop has dramatically reduced the cost of doing business transactions like clearing cargo and paying taxes — it has also restored some faith in the system.Critics say that even though Maersk line has made a concerted effort to localize many management positions previously held by expats in Africa, the company still falls short and needs to do more.
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