SA leads African competitiveness

first_img5 September 2012 South Africa is the highest-ranked African country and third-placed among the BRICS economies in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) latest Global Competitiveness Index, ranking 52nd out of 144 countries surveyed while placing third overall for financial market development. Published on Tuesday, the annual Global Competitiveness Report was first released in 1979 and has since evolved into the prime authority on relative competitiveness among most of the world’s nations. South Africa (52nd) and Mauritius (54th) continue to lead the competitiveness rankings by African countries, followed by Rwanda (63rd), Morocco (70th), Seychelles (76th) and Botswana (79th). China (29th) continues to lead the BRICS group of influential emerging market economies, followed by Brazil (48th), South Africa (52nd), India (59th) and Russia (67th). Switzerland tops the overall rankings for the fourth year running, followed by Singapore, Finland, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, United States, Hong Kong and Japan completing the list of the top 10 most competitive economies.Strength of institutions, financial markets According to the report, South Africa benefits from the relatively large size of its economy, particularly by regional standards, ranking 25th overall for market size. It also scores well for the quality of its institutions, ranking strongly for strength of auditing and reporting standards (1st), efficacy of corporate boards (1st), protection of minority shareholders’ interests (2nd), efficiency of legal framework (17th), intellectual property protection (20th), property rights (26th), and judicial independence (27th). Particularly impressive, according to the report, is the country’s financial market development, for which it ranks 3rd overall, “indicating high confidence in South Africa’s financial markets at a time when trust is returning only slowly in many other parts of the world”. Contributing to this assessment was South Africa’s high rankings for regulation of securities exchanges (1st), soundness of banks (2nd), availability of financial services (2nd), and financing through the local equity market (3rd). South Africa also shows up well for business sophistication, ranking 38th overall, and innovation, ranking 42nd overall – benefiting in the latter case from good scientific research institutions (34th) and strong collaboration between universities and the business sector in innovation (30th).Weaknesses At the same time, the report identifies weaknesses which South Africa will have to address in order to further enhance its competitiveness. South Africa ranked 63rd overall for infrastructure, and even though this was good by regional standards, it would require upgrading, according to the report. This is something the country has already embarked on, with President Jacob Zuma announcing a massive state-led infrastructure drive in his State of the Nation address in February. The country ranks 113th for labour market efficiency, thanks in large part to “rigid hiring and firing practices (143rd), a lack of flexibility in wage determination by companies (140th), and significant tensions in labour-employer relations (144th)”. The country can also develop its innovation potential by increasing its university enrollment rate, the WEF says, adding: “Combined efforts in these areas will be critical in view of the country’s high unemployment rate of almost 25 percent in the second quarter of 2012.” Other concerns raised by the WEF report include the security situation and the health of the country’s workforce.Sub-Saharan Africa On sub-Saharan Africa more widely, the report notes the region’s impressive growth over the last decade. “Registering growth rates of over 5 percent in the past two years, the region continues to exceed the global average and to exhibit a favorable economic outlook,” the WEF states. “Indeed, the region has bounced back rapidly from the global economic crisis, when GDP growth dropped to 2.8 percent in 2009.” In recent years, according to the report, the region has been improving its competitiveness in specific areas, such as educational attainment and goods market efficiency, “but a persistent infrastructure deficit and health concerns continue to be significant bottlenecks.” As a whole, sub-Saharan Africa continues to lag behind the rest of the world in competitiveness, “requiring efforts across many areas to place the region on a firmly sustainable growth and development path going forward”. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

How to Integrate Your Ruby on Rails Application With Google Apps and the Apps Marketplace

first_imgTags:#hack#How To Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid klint finley Why You Love Online Quizzes 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac…center_img How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Vincent Van Gemert and the Floorplanner team ran into a few stumbling blocks while preparing their product for the Google Apps Market. “We found out that a lot of people were struggling with the existing Rails libraries and the OAuth authorization method,” Van Gemert wrote. That’s why Van Gemert created a guide for integrating Ruby on Rails applications with Google Apps and the Apps Marketplace, which Google has published on its Apps Developer Blog.Van Gemert’s guide covers:The initial setupRails libraries and OpenIDUsing the Google Data APIsAlthough this guide is Google specific, learning more about oAuth is a great idea if you want to start offering your projects through web-based app stores. Related Posts last_img read more

How to Get Hired as a Video Professional

first_imgThere are many outlets for employment in the video industry, it’s simply a matter of positioning yourself so you are visible and well-represented to employers. Here’s how to get hired as a video professional.Sometimes, we find ourselves searching for work in a certain niche that we think we belong in, but it’s important you don’t let preconceived notions limit your access to quality opportunities. For example, many of us come out of school certain that we will become professional, classically-defined filmmakers but, frankly, those jobs are limited.If you haven’t already, consider other kinds of production, like commercials, reality television, or even corporate marketing and training videos. There are many opportunities to be creative and produce beautiful work in areas you may not be thinking about (often with the added bonus of a more preferable work/life balance).NetworkingImage from SXSWRegardless of your field, the single best way to get work is through people you know. This has proven true for me and those I know time and again. Start early and don’t ever stop!In fact, I wish I would have been more intentional about networking earlier in my life. Even if you are still in school, use that opportunity to create connections! You are surrounded by a built-in network of people who are preparing themselves to go out into the work force. They may not be a professional resource in the near term, but foster relationships with people who are smart and who are driven, or who you find common ground with, because, down the line, those relationships will be very valuable when you are looking for employment.Networking in school is a less formal version of the practice, but the value is that you can foster the relationship on a personal level without any of the baggage of the quid pro quo nature of most professional interactions. Relying on family members can be a mixed bag, but often reaching out to relatives can be beneficial, too (they should have a vested interest in your success, after all!).If you are post-graduation, don’t give up on tapping into that network. Get involved in alumni organizations or reach out to the career center at your school and ask them for ideas for organizations or clubs to join. Connect with old friends online and, if they are working in your field, reach out to them.Image from ShutterstockThe goal can’t always be to find a job directly from those in your network. A great way to utilize those you’re connected to is to ask them for “warm introductions” to people that may be in their network. Look at their LinkedIn profiles to see who they are connected to and if you find anyone who you may be interested in meeting, ask them to write a simple email of introduction. The recipient will be far more likely to talk to you or help you out if they know you have a mutual connection.For professional networking events, look on Facebook, LinkedIn, or MeetUp.com for industry organizations in your area. Good keywords in this search are “[Your Town] Producer’s Association” or “Filmmaker’s Group.” Find an open meeting or networking event, bring your business cards, and show up! For nearly all of us, networking is unpleasant. The hardest part is making yourself actually show up and walk through the door, but once you are there, you’ll find others that are happy to talk to you (because they’re uncomfortable, too!). In fact, a great ice breaker can be, “Man, I always feel so awkward at these, don’t you?”If you’re not comfortable talking about yourself, be prepared to ask questions of others. In fact, it’s good practice to have a few prepared questions you can ask others about themselves.  It helps keep a conversation going and some people really enjoy the opportunity to talk about what they do. How did they get into their profession? What kinds of projects have they worked on? If you hear something you can relate to or you’re interested in, use that as an opportunity to share a little about yourself or ask follow-up questions. Just remember, the more often you can rally yourself to attend these events, the easier they get.Go SearchingImage from Bootstrap BayProducers want to find a talented crew that they can trust and will always be on the lookout for those people. Beyond networking, they use other resources to fill open positions.One great resource is Staff Me Up, a production-specific, nationwide job posting site.Look for gigs on your state’s film commission or entertainment department’s website for listings. These sites can also inform you of work limitations in your state, like union or guild requirements.Your ResumeImage from Design InfographicsWe work in a creative field and employers want to see a creative resume (if you are applying for a job that requires a resume). Submitting a plain-text Word document may not necessarily hurt you, but it won’t do anything to help you stand out from the rest either. A quality resume is an effort multiplier — it takes some time to do it right, but it will continue to yield you better results every time you use it down the road.Use Behance.net or other resume design sites to look at designer’s resumes to find inspiration for yours. If you’re not comfortable building something from scratch, download a resume template.Take time to get the wording just right. You can find lots of advice about what content to include in your resume. Then go the extra mile to double and triple-check each sentence and the visual layout. Be sure to watch your spacing and alignment; we work in a visual industry and those who will employ you want to know that you can identify visual errors. Also, spelling or grammatical errors will irritate an attention-detailed producer, and may automatically disqualify you from employment, depending on the temperament of the employer.If you don’t have a lot of credits to your name, make sure you have a well-written summary statement that highlights your abilities, your competencies, and your goals.Your Online ReputationImage from TIMEThe first thing many employers will want to see is your website and portfolio, so make sure those are updated with your latest and best work.Almost always, if you work in production, you need a reel of your work. Depending on the types of projects or the clients you’ve worked with, you may not be able to use certain collateral. Ask them if it’s okay to use samples from content they own. Sometimes you can use clips as long as you don’t use the original audio. If you‘re not sure, it’s best not to risk copyright infringement!With regard to social media, if your personal profiles are public, you need to be especially careful. Just be mindful of what you are putting out there into the great ether that is the internet.  As Susan Adams with Forbes.com put it:Keep private things private, while assuming nothing is truly private.It’s important to be present on social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn because it allows people to get a better sense for who you are. Use these platforms to promote your work, if possible. Share production stills or industry related article or blogs you like.But keep in mind that what you post can hurt you too (especially as election season rolls around).The bottom line is that, if you look for them, there are opportunities to connect all around you. Whether it’s face to face or online, engage with others and be prepared to share your experience and knowledge. And don’t limit yourself by what you think you should be doing. Sometimes it’s worth it to take a low-paying Production Assistant gig if it means you can form relationships with new people you’d like to work with or get to know. Be mindful, be intentional, and don’t give up!Got any job-hunting tips for your peers? Share them in the comments below!last_img read more