26 May 2011 South Africa has been awarded the title of most valuable nation brand on the continent, with its recent inclusion in the BRICS grouping and successful hosting of the 2010 Fifa World Cup contributing to strong positive perceptions both locally and abroad. Anitha Soni, chairperson of the International Marketing Council of South Africa (IMC), received the accolade from UK-based Brand Finance on behalf of the country at the launch of the Brand Finance African Nation Brand League in Sandton, Johannesburg on Wednesday. “This honour underlines the progress the country has made,” Soni said. The rating by Brand Finance’s Global Nation Brands League takes into account the GDP revenue that a country generates. Egypt is the second most valuable nation brand in Africa, while Nigeria takes third place and is followed by Morocco, Algeria, Angola, Tunisia, Ghana, Kenya and Libya. Brand Finance pointed out that the sophistication of infrastructure is what makes Africa’s best three nation brands some of the world’s serious competitors. Hosting the 2010 Fifa World Cup helped South Africa set up some impressive facilities, from which it’s poised to benefit from in future. And the World Cup itself did wonders to enhance the country’s image. “The world saw us and saw what we can do,” said Soni. Joining the BRIC economic bloc – previously comprising Brazil, Russia, India and China – has come at the right time for the nation, which is bracing itself for further economic growth. With the inclusion of South Africa, the group is now referred to as BRICS. “BRICS is a powerful new platform for promoting economic growth throughout Africa. This is a further recognition of South Africa as an important emerging country in its own right,” Soni said. The IMC is now aiming to make the country one of the top 20 most valuable nation brands in the world. South Africa is currently in 41st position. According to Brand Finance’s Global Nation Brands League, the top three most valuable nation brands at the moment are the US, Germany and China respectively. Brazil and India are also in the top 10.Enhanced reputation driving tourism The positive perceptions of the country are also a driving force in the growth of the tourism sector. “South Africa has become one of the fastest growing tourism destinations in the world,” said Oliver Schmidt, managing director at Brand Finance South Africa. But it’s not just tourism that’s benefiting from the country’s glowing brand – the entire private sector is scoring too. As Brand Finance CEO and founder David Haigh said: “There’s no doubt that nation-branding contributes to the perception of South Africa’s products.” The top three most recognised corporate brands on the continent are South African. MTN is number one, while leading banks Absa and Standard Bank are second and third respectively. MTN is the 199th most valuable brand in the world and the only African brand to be included in Brand Finance’s top 500 rankings. The telecommunications group has seen major growth since being established in South Africa 17 years ago. It now operates in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East, and its services connect over 120-million people. “It’s big thanks to my colleagues,” said Christian de Faria, the group’s senior vice-president for commercial and innovation. Brand Finance tips Standard Bank, which now ranks 510th, to break into the world’s best 500 in the coming years. “Standard Bank is one of the contenders”, Schmidt said. Brands of locally made goods are finding their place onto international markets, said Soni. “South African brands take their place in the global arena. We’ve taken ourselves into the international arena at every level.” All but one of the most valuable corporate brands ranked in the top 10 are from the US. The exception is UK-based Vodafone.Gateway to Africa South Africa has positioned itself as a gateway to the African continent for investors. The IMC’s aim is for South Africa to become a reflection of the continent. “Our role in Africa must contribute to the growth of the continent in entirety,” said Soni. In coming years “people will know that the African agenda is driven by Africa,” said Thebe Ikalafeng, founder of the Brand Leadership Group. “If South Africa does well, the whole continent does well as well,” Ikalafeng added. First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.
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Most of the money went into site improvementsA cursory look at the numbers makes the little houses look awfully expensive. According to the Quixote Village web site, the $3.05 million total included permit fees, road improvements and infrastructure. Each cottage cost $87,789, the website says, which translates to $610 a square foot.Miller says the community building plus some site improvements cost $420,000, while the houses and the bulk of the extensive site improvements amounted to $2.63 million.On their own, each house would cost $19,000, Miller said. That’s about $131 per square foot. Architect Sarah Susanka made a big splash with her 1998 book The Not So Big House, arguing that Americans didn’t need sprawling drywall palaces with two-story foyers and rooms that people rarely used. She wanted designers and homeowners to go on an architectural diet.Susanka might not have been thinking of micro-houses barely big enough for a bed and chair. But very small houses are gaining ground, and in one Washington State community they’ve become an innovative way of getting homeless people out of leaky tents and under a dry roof.In an article published this week, New York Times writer Michael Tortorello describes a settlement called Quixote Village just outside Olympia, WA. Each of the 30 houses is 8 ft. by 18 ft., or 144 square feet.The houses were designed by Garner Miller, an architect and LEED accredited professional with MSGS Architects. Last Christmas Eve, Tortorello wrote, these new rentals were turned over to what members of a “homeless community called Camp Quixote, a floating tent city that moved more than 20 times after its founding in 2007.”The project, on land the county leases for $1 a year, includes a community building with a kitchen, dining area and showers. Total costs were $3.05 million, according to the Quixote Village website, which came from federal, state, county and local sources. Miller cut his fee in half, and other professionals working on the project also donated services. Designs differ from typical tiny houseMiller said by email that the idea of higher-end tiny houses gathered steam partly through the work of Marianne Cusato, whose Katrina Cottages were designed to house victims of Hurricane Katrina. In fact, there are a number of companies that sell very small houses online, including Four Lights, Tumbleweed Tiny House Co., and Molecule Tiny Homes.But the Quixote houses, Miller said, are different in concept.“The typical tiny house contains everything needed by the resident, including the kitchen, and usually starts at 500 sq. ft. and up,” Miller wrote. “It is still an individual and isolated way of living. The Quixote Village concept creates 144-square-foot cottages that contain only a sitting/sleeping room, a bathroom and a closet. Everything else — the kitchen, laundry, showers, living room — is in the shared community building.“Quixote Village is closer to communal living,” Miller added, “where 30 residents share meals and spend time together, which they believe is a healthier way to live. “The Quixote houses are stick-framed with 2×4 walls on 16-inch centers sheathed with OSB. On the inside, 2x2s run horizontally 24 inches on-center and walls are covered with 1/2-inch plywood. The framing creates a 5-inch wall cavity, which is filled with batt insulation, Miller said, adding that the design reduces the amount of thermal bridging through the wall.“By adding the 2x2s, the only place thermal transfer can occur is where the horizontal and vertical studs cross each other, rather than the entire length of a vertical stud in standard construction,” he said.The roof is framed with rafters. The area above the collar ties becomes a small attic, which is filled with 12 inches of batt insulation. Miller said exterior walls include a continuous vapor barrier under the interior plywood, with air leaks around windows minimized with flashing tape and caulk.The siding was installed over a rain screen. For horizontal lap siding, builders used painted 1 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch furring strips. For vertical siding, builders applied horizontal strips of Cor-A-Vent, Miller said.
The son of a former BJP MLA was shot dead close to the Uttar Pradesh legislature complex late on Saturday night. The issue is likely to rock the State Assembly and the Legislative Council on Monday. Speaker Hriday Narain Dixit said if members were bent upon derailing the listed business, stopping the live telecast during the pandemonium may be considered.Vaibhav Tiwari, 36, son of former Domariyaganj MLA Prem Prakash Tiwari, was allegedly shot at from point blank range barely 300 metres from the U.P. legislature building, police said.
Nineteen Assam government officers, including the daughter of BJP MP R.P. Sharma, were arrested in Guwahati on Wednesday as their handwriting did not match with that in their answer sheets in the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) examination held in 2016, the police said. The Dibrugarh Police, which is probing the cash-for-job scam in the APSC, had summoned the 19 officers of the Assam Civil Service (ACS), Assam Police Service (APS) and allied services of the 2016 batch to appear for handwriting tests after forensic examinations of their answer sheets indicated anomalies.Handwriting mismatchDibrugarh SP Gautam Bora said the handwriting of the 19 officers did not match with their answer sheets that were found to be fake. The 19 officers were selected in the examination conducted by the APSC when Rakesh Pal was its chairman. The arrested officials include 13 ACS, three APS and three from the allied service, Mr. Bora said. The APS officers arrested are Gulshan Daolagpu, Bhargav Phukan and Pallavi Sharma (daughter of BJP MP from Tezpur), said Additional SP and investigating officer Surjeet Singh Paneswar. The allied service officer are District Transport Officer Suranjita Hazarika, Superintendent of Taxes Rituraj Neog and Inspector of Taxes Nipon Kumar Pathak, he said. Among the dismissed officers is former Congress Minister Nilamani Sen Deka’s son Rajarshi Sen Deka.
Barcelona chief Abidal unimpressed by Fabian Ruiz after Napoli scouting tripby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona chief Eric Abidal was left unimpressed by Fabian Ruiz during a weekend scouting mission to Italy.Abidal traveled to Italy last weekend to see Napoli defeat Lecce at the Stadio Via del Mare.And the subject of his trip was Napoli pair Ruiz and Kalidou Koulibaly.However, Abidal came away unimpressed by the antics of Spanish midfielder Ruiz, says Mundo Deportivo.He scored the third goal for Napoli and could not think of anything better than celebrating in the face of angry local fans – a gesture that did not go down well with Abidal. TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
West Brom ponder futures of loanees Willock, Dianganaby Paul Vegas14 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveWest Brom are keen on retaining the services of Chris Willock.The former Arsenal youngster, who Albion picked up on a season-long loan from Benfica’s B-team, is yet to feature in Slaven Bilic’s first-team but he has been scoring goals in the U23s side with regularity, says Birmingham Live.Another loanee in Grady Diangana has been performing at a particularly high level in recent weeks. They’re performances that have led to suggestions that parent club West Ham United may consider their options in the January transfer window.As is customary between sides in England, the Premier League Irons have the right to recall Diangana in January, understood to be at any time over a two-week period in January.Albion lost Harvey Barnes back to Leicester City in similar circumstances last season. TagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Pazardzhik (Bulgaria): Indian junior shuttlers reaped rich dividends at the Bulgarian Junior International Championships, returning with six medals including three gold, a silver and two bronze. Samiya Imad Faruqui defeated second seed Anastasiia Shapovalova of Russia 9-21 21-12 22-20 in the finals to win the gold medal in the women’s single’s category. Mixed doubles pair of Edvin Joy and Shruti Mishra also won the gold after defeating No 2 seeded British pair of Brandon Zhi Hao and Abbygael Harris 21-14 21-17 in the summit clash. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhIn women’s doubles, Indian pair of Tanisha Crasto and Aditi Bhatt also continued their fine run to pick a gold, beating top seed Bengisu Ercetin and Zehra Erdfm from Turkey 21-15 18-21 21-18 in the finals. Men’s doubles combination of Ishan Bhatnagar and Vishnuvardhan went down in the finals to top seeded British pair of William Jones and Brandon Zhi Hao 19-21 18-21 to settle for silver medal. In other singles events, Malvika Bansod lost 13-21 15-21 to No 2 seeded Anastasiia Shapovalova in the semifinals to settle for a bronze medal, while Meiraba Luwang suffered a 19-21 21-12 18-21 loss to Georgii Karpov of Russia to also settled for a bronze.
Gurdaspur: Congress’s Lok Sabha candidate from here Sunil Kumar Jakhar has declared movable assets worth Rs 1.53 crore, besides an over Rs 7 crore deposit in a Swiss bank in his wife’s name, according to an affidavit filed with poll authorities. Son of former Madhya Pradesh governor late Balram Jakhar, the Congress nominee has declared Rs 1.23 crore as deposits in different bank accounts. He has declared deposits worth Rs 7.37 crore by his wife Silvia Jakhar in the Zurcher Kantonal Bank, Zurich, Switzerland, according to the affidavit. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghThe Zurcher Kantonal Bank is one of the biggest Swiss banks, as per its website. Sunil Jakhar has Rs 4.49 lakh as cash in hand and his wife Rs 1.38 lakh. He has declared immovable assets worth Rs 2.88 crore, including those which are self acquired and inherited, and that of his wife as Rs 12.06 crore in the affidavit. Sunil Jakhar, the sitting MP from Gurdaspur, is up against actor-politician Ajay Singh Dharmendra Deol, popularly known as Sunny Deol. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadDeol has declared movable assets worth Rs 60.46 crore, including bank deposits, and Rs 5.72 crore assets of his wife Lynda Deol, according to his affidavit. He has declared immovable assets worth Rs 21 crore in the affidavit. Sunny Deol has Rs 26 lakh cash in hand and his wife Rs 16 lakh. The actor has declared liabilities, as loan or dues to financial institutions or individuals of Rs 49.3 crore. His wife’s liabilities, as mentioned in the affidavit, are of Rs 1.66 crore. Sunny Deol has declared Rs 2.49 crore as “government dues”, including Rs 1.07 crore as Goods and Services Tax dues in the affidavit. Voting in all 13 Lok Sabha seats of Punjab, including Gurdaspur, will be held on Sunday.