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Why Housing Stakeholders Must Attend AHCN Workshop

As experts in the housing sector under the umbrella body of Association of Housing Corporations of Nigeria, AHCN, gather on 28th Nov 2018, in Abuja, to brain-storm on issues in the housing sector, here is why housing stakeholders must attend the AHCN workshop;

1.AHCN, is the oldest housing body in Nigeria, formed in May, 1964 by four defunct regional housing corporations and the Lagos Executive Development Board, (LEDB) (now LSDPC), with the main objective of ensuring the increased availability of dwelling houses and the development of the housing industry.

It was through the Association’s efforts and useful suggestions on housing policy options that gave birth to viable government agencies like the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI), the National Housing Policy (NHP) and National Housing Fund (NHF).

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2.With massive support from Family Homes Fund, the workshop will among other things, help chart a new course towards sustainable housing delivery and address the housing challenge in all states of the federation.

3.The workshop will be a great avenue for housing stakeholders to connect and network with CEOs of states owned housing agencies, and other housing leaders who will provide guidance, information and inspiration to stakeholders on how they can solve the housing crisis and deliver great services for their clients and communities.

4.The workshop will give stakeholders the opportunity to know more about family homes funds agenda for financing homes for low income Nigerians.

5.The workshop will challenge stakeholders to share ideas, and come up with new solutions for challenges in the housing sector.

6.Stakeholders will have the opportunity of listening to knowledgeable speakers who have great pedigree and insights to provide solutions to Nigeria housing problem.

7.Stakeholders will discover new ideas that will add to the success of your organization.

8.Collaborate with others who are changing the dynamics, creating new approaches.

9.Witness the transformation of housing and the steps leaders are taking toward the future.

10. Energize your team and assign roles critical to the future success of the housing sector.

Join the most influential leaders, in the housing sector to proffer solutions to the housing challenge, at the AHCN workshop.

SOURCE:Affa Dickson Acho

Forum explores land degradation impact on people, ecosystem

For the first time since the adoption of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in 1994, world governments are meeting to consider the impact of land degradation on people and ecosystems, drawing on data gathered on the ground. The meeting will take place on January 29 to 30, 2019 in Georgetown, Guyana, during the Seventeenth Session of the Committee for the Review of Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 17).

In 2009, scientists recommended, and governments agreed on the 11 indicators to use to measure land degradation. The proportion of the population living above the poverty line, which measures the impact on people, and the change in land cover, which measures the impact on the land, are mandatory.

The indicator on land cover was refined further in 2014 and now measures land cover, soil organic content and net primary productivity. It was made one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) indicators of Life on Land in 2015 because achieving it – known as achieving land degradation neutrality – will ensure there is stability in the amount and quality of land resources necessary to support life on Earth by 2030, and onwards.

Further, CRIC 17 will consider, in depth, this and other emerging issues such as drought management, halting forced migration in degraded areas negatively impacted by climate change and progress in promoting gender equality, which are on the agenda of Conference of the Parties –  the governing body of the Convention – that will meet in Fall 2019. CRIC 17 will be preceded by a two-day training some of these issues.

Frequent building collapse:Time to curb the ugly trend

The collapse of a 7 storey building in Port-Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on Friday, 23rd November 2018, has apparently brought the disturbing trend of building collapse to the fore once again. The nation’s multi-storey structures are increasingly looking like disasters waiting to happen and an end seem not to be in sight to the menace.

This issue has become a cause for concern, the question to ask here is, are the building owners and/or their building professionals cutting corners in construction and putting up sub-standard buildings? Are unqualified people being employed to do the jobs? Or are they circumventing building regulations (with the connivance of the staff of the Building Authorities)? Or could it be that the liability for these mishaps may lie with the Building Authorities, who may have approved less than adequate building plans?

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Whatever the case, legally, if a building collapses and it is proven that it was sub-standard, then someone or people will have to be held accountable. In Nigeria, the main cause of building collapse has been found to be mainly structural failure, followed by poor workmanship and faulty designs respectively. In these circumstances, investigations usually reveal that specifications for the required building materials and safety procedures are sacrificed on the altar of profit and time, that is, to complete construction in record time.

To curb this ugly trend, builders and their clients, must ensure that all engineers on the construction project are COREN approved.
As a matter of urgency, there should be a review of the laws relating to construction, like the Urban and Regional Planning Law and the National Building Code, to ensure that all the bases have been covered. New legislation to fill any compliance gaps, which may have resulted in frequent building collapses, must be promulgated.

The steps to obtaining building plan approvals seem to be quite clear and robust. However, ensuring compliance to and enforceability of the laws, during the construction project, seems to be more of a challenge. Building Authorities must ensure strict compliance to the existing laws, by those involved in construction projects.

Frequent inspections of construction sites by the Building Authorities, must be carried out for instance, while constructing a building with approval for 3 floors, the owner may decide to increase the number of floors to 5. However, an additional building plan approval for the extra 2 floors, must be sought and obtained, before the extra floors are added.

The onus is on the Structural Engineer to do the calculations to ensure that the existing structure can carry the additional load. However, in practice, staff of the Building Authorities that look the other way, permit these additions to be implemented, while assessments, regularisation and obtaining the approval for the additions are done later.

This practice must be curtailed, as it has resulted in several building collapses. Property owners should be careful of who they give out their projects to. To avoid building collapse, due diligence should be done. It is better to employ contractors based on referrals and their credibility. Contractors also popularly known for quality can be approached in cases where personal investigation cannot be conducted.

In conclusion, if we take proactive measures, we can drastically reduce the frequency of building collapses in Nigeria if not totally eradicate it. We only need to make simple changes and we will be on our way to having better buildings.

Affa Dickson Acho

Media executives to raise awareness on drought, flood management

About 20 media women and men from Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger and Togo took part in the regional workshop on “Integrated Drought and Flood Management: Contribution of media men/women in advocacy and awareness-raising in West Africa”.

The meeting, co-organised by Global Water Partnership West Africa (GWP-WA), the Volta Basin Authority (VBA) and the Country Water Partnership (CWP) of Burkina Faso, was held from November 20 to 22, 2018 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, at the premises of the VBA Executive Directorate.

At the end of the workshop, all participants indicated that they had a better understanding of the different concepts of droughts, floods and the issues related to their integrated management. They indicated that they now have a good understanding of the involvement and role of the media in promoting integrated drought and flood management in West Africa in their respective countries for sustainable development.

The participants particularly noted the good organisation of the workshop, which made it possible to clarify the concepts during the presentations and then reinforce the understanding of these concepts in the field by visiting pilot sites. Finally, the knowledge gained, and lessons learned from the visit enabled media actors to produce press articles and produce radio and TV magazines on the spot.

About 20 media women and men from Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger and Togo took part in the regional workshop on “Integrated Drought and Flood Management: Contribution of media men/women in advocacy and awareness-raising in West Africa”.

The meeting, co-organised by Global Water Partnership West Africa (GWP-WA), the Volta Basin Authority (VBA) and the Country Water Partnership (CWP) of Burkina Faso, was held from November 20 to 22, 2018 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, at the premises of the VBA Executive Directorate.

At the end of the workshop, all participants indicated that they had a better understanding of the different concepts of droughts, floods and the issues related to their integrated management. They indicated that they now have a good understanding of the involvement and role of the media in promoting integrated drought and flood management in West Africa in their respective countries for sustainable development.

The participants particularly noted the good organisation of the workshop, which made it possible to clarify the concepts during the presentations and then reinforce the understanding of these concepts in the field by visiting pilot sites. Finally, the knowledge gained, and lessons learned from the visit enabled media actors to produce press articles and produce radio and TV magazines on the spot.

“The field visit is always an enriching initiative that allows us to gather concrete elements of information in addition to connecting with experts,” said one of the participants.

“When I came here, I thought it must be another workshop like the dozens we have attended in the past,” said Aboubakar Sidiki Sylla of the Ivorian Radio and Television (RTI). “But I must admit that the workshop in Ouagadougou is quite different. A very good experience that combines theory, field visit and journalistic production practice”.

Joachim Batao of Burkina Faso’s online newspaper, Burkina Demain, said: “This workshop is undoubtedly the best workshop for journalists I have attended so far”.

Jasmine Arku of the Ghanaian Graphic News Paper added at the same time as her compatriot Samuel Asamoah of Metro TV, that the session was “an eye opener”. Being from the very humid south of the country, the field visit to the Ramitenga site where solar energy is used for drip irrigation and Komki Ipala with the successful experience of restoring degraded soil for agroforestry, allowed them to be confronted with real situations that are replicable in the northern part of their country, Ghana.

“The workshop allowed me to know that floods, if well managed, did not only have negative effects,” concludes Arku.

The contact with media women and men during the workshop made it possible to change the perception that researchers had of journalists.

“I understood that we need as researchers to make an effort to involve journalists in our work from the outset if we want our results to be known and understood by the population and decision-makers,” said Gnenakantanhan Coulibaly, a doctoral student at 2IE, who specialises in flood management.

Mr. Alassane Toure, representative of the consultant in charge of developing the national drought management plan in Burkina Faso, explained that he has “understood all the benefits for a specialist to approach media men and women in order to create mutual trust that can facilitate a good understanding of each other’s functions and work”.

To reinforce the achievements of the Ouagadougou workshop, the participants recommended, among other things, that:

  • Such practical thematic workshops should be organised at the regional level and, if possible, in the countries to enable journalists to familiarize themselves with the different concepts;
  • Partner organisations pool their efforts and resources to provide better training for the better involvement of media women and men in the sustainable development of the region;
  • That participants at the workshop be integrated into the network of journalists already trained by GWP-WA and its partners since 2007 called “ShareInfo”;
  • The formalisation with VBA of the network of journalists of the Volta Basin to support the communication efforts of the Executive Directorate towards the populations and decision-makers of the member countries of the Volta Basin; this could be achieved through the establishment and regular animation of a media forum like the basin stakeholders’ forum.

At the end of the workshop, all participants committed themselves to making productions to inform, raise awareness and educate populations and decision-makers on the issues and challenges related to droughts and floods from the documentation and with the resource persons available at the workshop. Personal commitments for the post-workshop period range from maintaining collaboration with Country Water Partnerships (CWPs) in countries to creating sections in the media or even creating media (TV, websites or radio) specialising in environmental issues, especially online.

Participants believe that the objectives of the workshop were largely achieved beyond their expectations.

Officials of GWP-WA and VBA said that they are committed to supporting the media in their efforts to inform and educate the population on all issues related to integrated natural resources management. Both organisations called on participants and media women and men in general to get closer to the CWPs (for GWP) and national focal points (for VBA) for a better understanding of the issues discussed at the national level.

“The field visit is always an enriching initiative that allows us to gather concrete elements of information in addition to connecting with experts,” said one of the participants.

“When I came here, I thought it must be another workshop like the dozens we have attended in the past,” said Aboubakar Sidiki Sylla of the Ivorian Radio and Television (RTI). “But I must admit that the workshop in Ouagadougou is quite different. A very good experience that combines theory, field visit and journalistic production practice”.

Joachim Batao of Burkina Faso’s online newspaper, Burkina Demain, said: “This workshop is undoubtedly the best workshop for journalists I have attended so far”.

Jasmine Arku of the Ghanaian Graphic News Paper added at the same time as her compatriot Samuel Asamoah of Metro TV, that the session was “an eye opener”. Being from the very humid south of the country, the field visit to the Ramitenga site where solar energy is used for drip irrigation and Komki Ipala with the successful experience of restoring degraded soil for agroforestry, allowed them to be confronted with real situations that are replicable in the northern part of their country, Ghana.

“The workshop allowed me to know that floods, if well managed, did not only have negative effects,” concludes Arku.

The contact with media women and men during the workshop made it possible to change the perception that researchers had of journalists.

“I understood that we need as researchers to make an effort to involve journalists in our work from the outset if we want our results to be known and understood by the population and decision-makers,” said Gnenakantanhan Coulibaly, a doctoral student at 2IE, who specialises in flood management.

Mr. Alassane Toure, representative of the consultant in charge of developing the national drought management plan in Burkina Faso, explained that he has “understood all the benefits for a specialist to approach media men and women in order to create mutual trust that can facilitate a good understanding of each other’s functions and work”.

To reinforce the achievements of the Ouagadougou workshop, the participants recommended, among other things, that:

  • Such practical thematic workshops should be organised at the regional level and, if possible, in the countries to enable journalists to familiarize themselves with the different concepts;
  • Partner organisations pool their efforts and resources to provide better training for the better involvement of media women and men in the sustainable development of the region;
  • That participants at the workshop be integrated into the network of journalists already trained by GWP-WA and its partners since 2007 called “ShareInfo”;
  • The formalisation with VBA of the network of journalists of the Volta Basin to support the communication efforts of the Executive Directorate towards the populations and decision-makers of the member countries of the Volta Basin; this could be achieved through the establishment and regular animation of a media forum like the basin stakeholders’ forum.

At the end of the workshop, all participants committed themselves to making productions to inform, raise awareness and educate populations and decision-makers on the issues and challenges related to droughts and floods from the documentation and with the resource persons available at the workshop. Personal commitments for the post-workshop period range from maintaining collaboration with Country Water Partnerships (CWPs) in countries to creating sections in the media or even creating media (TV, websites or radio) specialising in environmental issues, especially online.

Participants believe that the objectives of the workshop were largely achieved beyond their expectations.

Officials of GWP-WA and VBA said that they are committed to supporting the media in their efforts to inform and educate the population on all issues related to integrated natural resources management. Both organisations called on participants and media women and men in general to get closer to the CWPs (for GWP) and national focal points (for VBA) for a better understanding of the issues discussed at the national level.

Experts seek review of management of African cities

A team of experts has underscored the need to revisit urban management strategies of African cities. At a workshop on “Harmonised Regional Framework for Implementation, Monitoring and Reporting of the New Urban Agenda”, at the ongoing Africities 8 Summit in Marrakech, Morocco, participants also raised concern about the building the capacity of local communities and of promoting the involvement of all stakeholders in the creation of new integrated and spatially complementary cities.

While recalling the unified African position revealed at the 3rd UN Congress on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development on the implementation of a New Urban Agenda in Africa, they stressed that the implementation of this framework must focus on the management of urban and human development, while considering the expectations of Africans in terms of identity and integration as well as the preservation of the environment.

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Participants highlighted the role of local governments in urban management, calling on central governments to provide them with the necessary means and to use the skills of African managers who have a clear vision for Africa’s urban future.

In this context, the president of the Regional Council of Tahoua, Ilo Adamou, laid emphasis on regional planning, urging the regional councils to elaborate a road-map or regional development plans to come up with a clear vision of economic, cultural, social and scientific development.

According to him, these documents make it possible to identify issues relating to urban planning with the aim of implementing the New Urban Agenda.

Lilia Hachem Naass, director of the North Africa office of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, said the ECA has developed an implementation framework that helps local officials and mayors to turn the contents of the agenda into reality while focusing on their priorities.

Other speakers discussed themes related to the challenges facing African cities and the importance of improving the living conditions of the population.

Africities 8 has “The Transition to Sustainable Cities and Territories: The Role of Territorial Communities of Africa” as its theme.

The summit is addressing the fundamental issues raised by Africa’s Vision 2063 and takes part in the debate of the African Union Commission for its implementation.

No less than 5,000 participants and 3,000 elected representatives are attending this summit representing cities and local government councils in Africa, as well as their partners from other regions of the world, namely ministers in charge of local government, housing, urban development and civil service.

Coal Mining Cause Of Receding Waters-Stakeholders

As Nigeria continues its struggle to acquire alternative energy source through 30 per cent coal power generation, communities have lamented the increasing impact, coal mining has on their water sources, RUTH TENE NATSA writes

Executive Director, Global Rights and host community activist, Ms Abiodun Baiyewu, said mining is a water intensive activity that requires access to a lot of water, noting that the water needs of mining companies and artisanal miners will always challenge the conflicting needs for potable water of their host communities.

She said coal adds an added dimension to the mining, agriculture and energy dynamics, noting that while the rest of the world is divesting from coal, Nigeria has decided that it would generate 30 per cent of its energy need from coal.

Speaking at the stakeholder’s engagement on contextualising Nigeria’s water resource management in mining and energy policies in Abuja, yesterday, she said the dramatic shrinking of lake chad in less than 40 years to 1/10th its size as well as, the rapidly shrinking Kaduna river, river Niger and even River Benue are all ominous signs of the fate of these natural resources in Nigeria and it is true that it is largely due to climate change.

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Ms Abiodun said the essence of the programme was to bring together core stakeholders on our natural resources in Nigeria, with particularly water and other ministries that somehow impact our water resources in Nigeria. Water is the greatest security threat that we have in Nigeria right now and is at the base of every ongoing conflict across the country.

“The core challenge with water presently is climate change but then there are other man-made causes such as mining and Nigeria’s decision to generate 30 per cent of its energy source from coal and that Nigeria is not thinking very deeply on its energy future even in the face of climate change”

She maintained, “Coal is very water intensive, whether from mining or coal power generation itself. Nigeria has not even started coal power generation, yet communities in which they have started to mine have started losing their water and their waters are polluted as well”.

“Communities such as Awo community in Kogi State, Maiganga/Komta communities in Gombe, they have all lost their waters to just a few years of coal mining.”

The Activist revealed that after speaking with some of these communities and scientifically testing some of the water, the level of pollution in less than a decade of coal mining in those communities is simply devastating.”

She stressed the need for coherent policies that would be holistic and be in sync and the sequence must be forward thinking so that if we must think of our energy future, we must think in terms of the next 40-50 years in which coal will no longer be relevant, so we must invest in renewable sources which will then be a smarter way of investing and guaranteeing the development future of our country and also its financial future.

Also speaking, a representative of Awo Akpali community, Ankpa Local Government of Kogi State and chairman of the Community Development Association, Adejoh Ibrahim Samuel, lamented the loss of water in their communities to Dangote coal mines.

In his words, “Dangote Coal Mines came to our community in, 2016, they cleared the bush after paying grossly inadequate compensation to us and then mining started February 2017. Immediately mining commenced, our community began to run out of water for the first time in the history of the community, we experienced dryness in our stream”

“There was no water for such a long time, when it began raining, the water was so bad, that we could not even use it for our baths, talk more of cooking. At this point, the community began to face lots of water challenges and were only able to survive as a result of the only borehole provided by the missionaries in 1992.”

He added, “it got to a point when they also began experiencing smells from the borehole water and had to cry to the company because in the Community Development Agreement signed with the company, there was provision for the company to provide a borehole for the host community and we cried to them. They began the project and till now it is still ongoing.

“They claimed two weeks ago that they had completed the project, but sadly the water is salty as he noted that the location of the company is on the hill top of the community which is in the valley and the mining pits are directly on the source of our water.”

“We have three sources of water in the community, these are Enedue, Enejane and these two sources connect about 18 communities, which they use for their domestic activities. At the same site we also had a spring source, but right now the dumpsite of the company has collapsed and covered the spring water.

He said they had made several reports and the Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO) had called the company and community to a dialogue, however, the company failed to honor the last two meetings

The chairman called on the federal government to help the community remedy the water situation as communities had been disconnected from their stream as a result of pollution.

Recall that prior to the water challenge, the company provided tanker water to one of the communities, even though, they could not ascertain the source of the water and now that supply had been stopped.

On the community’s water source currently, he said, “community members have to travel some distance to fetch/buy water from private boreholes, adding that even some of the water sources are salty and not drinkable, even as he lamented that erosion has washed away the farmlands and they have no roads again, the road has been disconnected.

In his keynote address, the permanent secretary to the Ministry of Water Resources, Musa Ibrahim, said Nigeria prior to the assumption of office of the current administration varied from inadequate policy issues, poor funding, low budgetary allocation, lack of political will and inadequate power supply among several others.

He said the federal government through the Partnership for Expanded Water supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) had initiated projects to rehabilitate 77,693 facilities and provide 17, 264 facilities to increase access to rural water supply from 57 per cent to 62 per cent, provision of 42, 201 new facilities to increase access to rural water supply from 62 per cent to 80 per cent

The permanent secretary maintained that Nigeria is blessed with abundant water resources; however, the sustainability is threatened by land degradation, deforestation, rapid population growth, poor sectorial investment as well as climate change. All of these have placed pressure on water resources systems of our country, he said.

“Community members have to travel some distance to fetch/buy water from private boreholes, adding that even some of the water sources are salty and not drinkable, even as he lamented that erosion has washed away the farmlands and they have no roads again, the road has been disconnected”

Building and Construction Industry Players to Storm 13th Edition Of Abuja International Housing Show

No fewer than 400 exhibitors and 15,000 thousand participants are expected to participate at the 13th edition of the Abuja International Housing Show, taking place from the 23rd to 26th July 2019,at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

The event ,regarded as the largest built and construction exhibition in Africa, will play host to  some of the biggest names in construction, estate development, engineering, architecture, estate surveying, quantity surveying, estate management, finance, Interior decoration and design, furniture and building products, materials and services businesses from across world.

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Speaking on the event, the Managing Director, Fesadeb Media Group, convener of the show, said ‘’Once again, it’s open to subsector businesses aiming to beat projected turnover for the year 2019 and establish positive brand perception in the hearts of decision makers and prospective buyers, as it prepares to host over 15,000 participants including governors, housing ministers, state commissioners, CEOs, and global world body heads from over 10 countries’’.

Speaking further he said ‘’As always, the event promises to be a treasure chest of new ideas, industry insights, products and service innovations, networking, huge discounts and special offers, as well as being the precursor of next steps for thought leaders looking to make new statements to move the market forward or forge new paths to take on uncharted territory’’.

‘’As in the past years, the impact of this leading event resonates beyond borders and awaits professionals, businesses and government officials to be a part of determining the future of the built and construction industry’’.He concluded

The Abuja International Housing Show is known to be a platform that boosts businesses, and creates an avenue for partnerships, networking and business deals.

SOURCE:Affa Dickson Acho

Top 10 Richest Chinese of 2018

1 Jack Ma- $35B

A former English teacher, Jack Ma cofounded and chairs Alibaba Group, one of the world’s largest e-commerce businesses.In September 2018, Ma announced he would resign as Alibaba’s executive chairman in one year and would be succeeded by CEO Daniel Zhang.Its 2014 IPO in New York set a record as the world’s biggest public stock offering, raising $25 billion.Ma’s investments beyond Alibaba include stakes in Chinese entertainment industry firms Huayi Brothers and Beijing Enlight Media.

 

2 Ma Huateng- $32.8B

Ma Huateng (also known as Pony Ma) chairs Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings, which ranks among the nation’s largest businesses by market cap.Tencent’s popular social messaging app WeChat has more than 1 billion users.In contrast to his outgoing rival at Alibaba, Ma has a low-profile style that befits his engineering background.Tencent acquired a 12% stake in Snapchat-parent Snap, according to a November 2017 filing; it also made a pre-IPO investment in Snap.Ma cofounded Tencent in 1998.

 

3 Hui Ka Yan- $30.8B

Hui Ka Yan is chairman of Hong Kong-listed Evergrande Group, one of China’s biggest real estate developers.Evergrande, which Hui took public in 2009, has over 800 projects in more than 280 cities.Hui worked as a technician in a steel factory for 10 years after graduating college in 1982.Hui started Evergrande in Guangzhou in 1996, and began picking up low price properties in small markets. Its first project was Jinbi Garden.Hui’s son Xu Zhijian, who holds an MBA from prestigious Tsinghua University, is a vice president at Evergrande.

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4 Wang Jianlin- $22.7B

Wang Jianlin chairs Dalian Wanda Group, one of the world’s biggest commercial real estate developers with more than 200 plazas in China.His group also owns U.S. movie theater chain AMC and film studio Legendary Entertainment.Wang retreated in 2017, selling his Chinese hotel and tourism portfolio — including theme parks and a movie studio complex — for over $9 billion.By early 2018, Wanda was also selling its real estate assets in London and Australia, and a stake in Spanish soccer club Atletico de Madrid.

5 He Xiangjian- $19.5B

Entrepreneur He Xiangjian built Midea Group into one of the world’s largest appliance makers.He stepped down from its operations in 2012.In 1968 he led a group of 23 local residents of the town of Beijiao in Guangdong Province to form a lid production workshop that became Midea.Midea has more than 200 subsidiaries, including Germany-based robotics firm Kuka.His son He Jianfeng is a director of Midea Group and of Midea Real Estate Holding.

 

6 Yang Huiyan- $17.1B

Yang Huiyan owns 57% of real estate developer Country Garden Holdings, a stake largely transferred to her by her father Yeung Kwok Keung in 2007.Yang’s younger sister Ziyang also sits on Country Garden’s board.Yang chairs Bright Scholar Education Holdings, a Chinese education company that went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2007.Yang’s aunt, Yang Meirong, holds a stake in Bright Scholar and was a member of the 2017 Forbes China Rich List.Yang holds a degree from Ohio State University.

7 Wang Wei- $14.9B

Wang Wei chairs S. F. Holding, a package delivery service known as the “Fedex of China”; it’s also called SF Express.In March 2018, the company obtained China’s first license for drone deliveries.S.F. was founded in the city of Shunde in Guangdong Province in 1993; Wang owns just over 60% of the shares.Wang took the package delivery firm public through a reverse merger on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in early 2017.

8 Robin Li- $14.6B

Li is CEO of Baidu, China’s top search engine and one of the world’s most popular websites.Baidu is known in China as part of BAT — Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent — the trio of companies that rank as the country’s three largest.Li in 2016 was criticized for trying to buy Baidu’s iQiyi video channel at a bargain price; he failed and iQiyi went public in 2018.

9 Li Shufu- $14.2B

Li Shufu chairs Geely Automobile Holdings, one of China’s 10 largest automakers and one of few non-government controlled ones.

Geely’s business and share price have been flying high in the past year on successful SUV sales.His private holding company acquired Volvo in August 2010.Li holds an engineering degree from Yan Shan University and is a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.Li told Forbes Asia in 2014 he made his first cars from the sand as a boy. “We couldn’t afford any toys. I couldn’t imagine making a real car.”

10 William Ding- $13.5B

William Ding is the CEO of Netease, one of the world’s largest online and mobile games businesses.Netease’s business partners include Mojang, a subsidiary of Microsoft, and Blizzard.Netease, facing tough competition in games from China rival Tencent, expanded into movies, online music and e-commerce.Ding was China’s richest man and its first Internet and gaming billionaire back in 2003.Ding holds a B.S. degree in communication technology from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China.

SOURCE:Forbes

Focus on Great Ife as Architecture symposium begins in Lagos

The symposium Decolonizing the Campus will begin in Lagos today, 23 November and end on 24 November 2018, the symposium is been held in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut, Gallery 16/16, the Department of Architecture at the University of Lagos and Obafemi Awolowo University, Osun State, Nigeria.

The symposium will offer a critical dialogue on design pedagogy and campus construction as practiced at the start of Nigeria’s transition to independence. Through dialogue between local and international architects and scholars, the symposium asks how and in what ways did art, design and architecture education differ after Nigerian independence from methodologies practiced within colonial era institutions? What can we still learn and take from decolonial pedagogical practices in the present day?

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“How did the resulting purpose-built campus in the ancient town Ile-Ife differ from colonial era campus architecture built, for example, by the British architecture firm Fry, Drew and Partners in Ibadan? How was the Ile-Ife Campus perceived by local students and architects and how does it function today?”

The Decolonizing the Campus symposium focuses in particular on Obafemi Awolowo University. Founded in 1961 as the University of Ile-Ife in protest against British education policy in place at the end of colonial rule, it was, significantly, the first post-independence university in Nigeria to possess an architecture faculty. The Israeli architect Zvi Efrat had been commissioned by bauhaus imaginista to conduct on-site research and produce a short film about the development of the University of Ile-Ife campus, which was designed by Bauhaus graduate Ariel Sharon together with a team of Nigerian architects (including Lagos-based architect A. A. Egbor).

Sharon completed his studies at Bauhaus Dessau in 1931, returning to Palestine where he was subsequently appointed head of the State Planning Authority during the War of Independence. His involvement with Ile-Ife campus came about due to his participation in Israel’s development aid programs in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sharon and his team designed and constructed the University of Ile-Ife campus over a twenty-year period lasting into the 1980s.

How did the resulting purpose-built campus in the ancient town Ile-Ife differ from colonial era campus architecture built, for example, by the British architecture firm Fry, Drew and Partners in Ibadan? How was the Ile-Ife Campus perceived by local students and architects and how does it function today?

Speakers at the symposium Moving Away. Decolonizing the Campus include the architects, curators and theorists Bayo Amole (Obafemi Awolowo University), Abimbola Asojo (University of Minnesota), Regina Bittner (Bauhaus Dessau Foundation), Zvi Efrat (Efrat-Kowalsky Architects, Tel Aviv), Babatunde E. Jaiyeoba (Obafemi Awolowo University), Hannah Le Roux (University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg) and Cordelia O. Osasona (Obafemi Awolowo University).

SOURCE: livinspaces.net

 

How emerging markets in Africa can transform utilities through disruptive technology.- Loggerenberg

The entire installed generation capacity of Africa’s 48 Sub-Saharan countries is just 68 gigawatts, no more than Spain; this is according to the Africa’s Infrastructure report conducted by the World Bank. Up to one-quarter of that capacity is unavailable because of aging plants and poor maintenance. In Sub-Saharan Africa, just one person in five has access to electricity. If current trends continue, fewer than 40% of Sub-Saharan African countries will reach universal access to electricity by 2050. Per capita consumption of electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) averages only 124 kilowatt-hours a year and is falling. The rate of consumption is barely 1% of that in high-income countries. If entirely allocated to household lighting, it would hardly be enough to power one light bulb per person for three hours a day.

Marleze van Loggerenberg who is the Head of Business Development Africa at Wipro Limited, had an exclusive interview with Construction Review on how emerging markets in Africa can transform utilities through disruptive technology.

She recently attended the Sub Saharan Africa Power Summit in South Africa which according to her was a very eye opening summit. What stood out for her was that in attendance were various African countries including South Africa, the senior decision makers from the IPP, PPP and National Power communities across the region. Also, how people came together to discuss the challenges that Africa is facing and trying to find solutions around it and the real time interactions among the people was very successful.

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What are the unique challenges that utilities in emerging markets are facing in Africa?

600 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to electricity and two thirds of people do not have access to modern energy services mostly because the electricity supply perhaps is not strong enough. The current rate at which electrification is happening shows that by 2040 there will still be 500 million people that don’t have access to electricity.

In Africa we have got a very widely spread or dispersed population and there are a lot of people in rural areas that do not have access to electricity because it is really expensive to take the electricity to the people, i.e. it is not cost effective and not a viable option and for some areas there is land issues that act as a challenge.

Also, aging infrastructure of our utilities in Africa across the board that has not been maintained or most of the infrastructure has been replaced due to poor maintenance over time leading to a struggle to build new infrastructure to try and bring electricity to those that have no access. This now brings a challenge of either choosing to maintain the existing ones or building new ones.

Lack of funding is also a huge challenge that came up during the summit as well as getting funding from lenders. This is because most of the funders need to have securities in order to lend the money and if you do not have the funds you will obviously not be able to do the maintenance. Currently, there are several utilities that are running below the capacity some of them are running at 30% capacity because it is poorly maintained and replacement of the equipment in the plant will equally be so expensive.

 

How can these markets overcome these challenges?

Independent power producers (IPPs) are going to play major role in the future because they can run at a much more cost-effective way and do not go through the aging infrastructure because they do things differently. There is also the rise of prosumers, meaning people that produce and consume their own energy e.g. businesses, industry or even individuals who should have a multi-directional smart grid hence sell power back into the grid. Also, a consumer can sell the power back to the grid but they have to have a multi-directional smart grid to be able to do that.

IPP are popping everywhere in Africa, in South Africa there is an office for that specifically but then they are moving into Africa at a very fast rate and the major challenge is government regulations and how to work with them together with the traditional utilities so as to bridge the gap.

Smart metres and prepaid metres are also starting to become a strong topic of discussion and this will help in better revenue collection and eventually there will be a reduced rate of illegal connections of electricity.

Good governance and the automation of the backing processes and provide ERP solutions is becoming really important because it will create transparency in revenue collections where resource managements and utilities can better make their decisions and how they spend their funds.

Productive ways of maintenance that can help prolong the life of the assets and also help utilities to run at maximum capacity and also contribute towards controlling power outages. Also, having power pools is another solution in Africa that utilities can participate in but the participation of this is not as active in Africa, so if the African utilities can start grouping across the international boundaries and upgrade those infrastructures and start making this resourceful then it can create a cost-effective solutions within the traditional utilities.

 

What interventions are required in order to be at par with the rest of the world?

Incorporation of renewable energy; low-carbon, low fuel sources and making more cost-effective like use of liquid- natural gas where we still do not have that in South Africa and other African countries. IPPs and other government regulations should also be applied so as to add to these incoming agreeable results.

Becoming more customer centric, i.e what we see in the rest of the world where consumers can choose if they want a green energy or they want power from a utility, and they can see what the power usage is in that they can manage their costs, however, in Africa we don’t have customer centricity and that is one of the major interventions that should be applied.

Also, obviously the renewing of infrastructure in Africa is definitely a huge intervention that needs to happen.

 

What technology can utilities leverage in order solve real problems that African markets are currently facing?

When talking about utilities, there are three things under which I would like to point out; the first is connected asset, connected customer and connected workforce.

Under connected asset easily have predictive and preventative maintenance on your grids and in your plants so that before a problem happens you can be able to detect that there is going to be a problem and this will prolong the life of your assets.

Under connected customer, we delved into it briefly. This is where the consumer is more in control of the energy usage, see if the customer is not connected and have real energy data, have specific programs, so that they can say when I use my energy at this time then it’s going to be more expensive than when I use it later.

Connected workforce is really under the theme of optimal field services so having the right people with the right knowledge of the right time with the right material to go and do the job.

 

What innovative and sustainable solutions would you recommend?

Incorporation of renewable energy into Africa- low carbon and low fuel, in that we should start embracing the independent power producers and what they are doing because they are making significant strives to help people especially in the rural areas

 

How can technologies such as AI, Blockchain, IOT, UAV assist?

One of the main innovations is drone technologies that can be used in the maintenance of the power lines and all your technology. With IOT on the other hand, you can use in predictive maintenance and thus can help, also giving information through the digital field operation that you can use for disaster inspection with drones or Augmented Reality (AR) that transposes digital information over the real reality and the inspections are what is happening on the power lines or if there’s any disaster or if there is anything else that needs to be done.

Then there’s artificial intelligence where you can use human centric self service i.e a concept called shifting from calls to clicks, so rather than having a huge call centre where there are a lot of people who have to call into to deliver a complaint you now have you now have an automatic platform that will help in answering your questions on a portal or on a cell phone app that will solve your problem and help deliver almost instantly.

What are the digital misconceptions that African emerging markets are currently had to dealing with?

For utilities, the digital misconception is probably that Africa does not need to digitize. I would say that Africa has been very slow to adapt to digital technologies, they need to embrace this because the digital world is here and is here to stay. We cannot continue delaying it because we are moving into the fourth and fifth industrial revolution and if we keep on delaying it the whole market will probably lose so if we’ve got all these emerging digital technology coupled with IPPs and all these new ways of generating energy that are cost-effective and new renewable energy, then Africa should just consider and embrace it as it comes.

SOURCE:constructionreviewonline

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