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Africa calls on Egyptian Entrepreneurs – African Entrepreneurship Award 2016

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The African Entrepreneurship Award 2nd Edition 2016

Coverage: Warda Rashad Abdullah

Editor: Hadeer Salah Aldeen

“Dear entrepreneurs, women (and men), are you an African entrepreneur with a great business idea that will create jobs and improve lives in your region?”

Those were the opening words of the launching video of The African Entrepreneurship Award that was shown at the Goethe Institute. The event was held on the 13th of March to raise awareness for the competition and answer all questions that the audience may have. The keynote speaker was Laila Ahlafi, who came all the way from Morocco to engage more Egyptians in the competition.

The award was first initiated by Othman Banjelloun, the chairman of the BMCE Bank of Africa at the 5th Global entrepreneurship Summit, which was held in Marrakech between the 19th and the 21st of November, 2014. Hence, the African Entrepreneurship Award “AEA” commenced its first edition in 2015 and is now in its second edition in 2016. Here is a link to an introductory video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eNdmFfyhNA

I couldn’t help but notice that the AEA was giving more attention to women this year. It encouraged women from all over Africa to step up and show their creativity and willingness to improve the world around them. Such encouragement is highlighted in their launching campaign videos, where they declared:

“At the African Entrepreneurship Award, we also know the challenges for women to start and grow businesses in Africa. Our mentors include women who are experienced in how to break through to customers, get initial funding, get the product to the market, and manage legal processes.”

Laila Ahlafi, the head of Digital and Communication at the African Entrepreneurship Award BMCE Bank, happily revealed that Morocco hosted all the workshops and the events related to the Award and that all the participants, mentors and partners stayed there last year. Yet, she sadly expressed how shocked the award organizers were to find only 49 registrations from Egypt among a number of 3000 registrations from all over Africa.

Of the 49 registrations, 36 ideas were officially accepted, while Nigeria alone presented 2000 project ideas in Round one. The bank committee was expecting more from a country whose population exceeds 90 million! As mentioned, only 36 project ideas were accepted and only two participants have made it to Round 1. The first was from Alexandria but he didn’t make it to Round two and the other was from Cairo. The latter passed the second round, but didn’t make it to the third round. Consequently, the bank made the decision of sending representatives to Egypt to introduce the Award, rather than fully depend on the power of the internet and social media.

As a representative of the AEA, Ahlafi said she was expecting more of Egypt this year especially when almost 15 mentors expressed their interest in being recruited in the competition that very week! She hoped the number multiplies after meeting the press in Cairo. They are currently recruiting mentors in Egypt. There was also a short video on mentorship in the competition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VT5ag3GGHU

The meeting was short; it only lasted for one hour. We started at 5 pm and at 6 they had to rush to catch the train to Cairo and meet the press there. I was lucky to talk to Ahlafi telling her about my own idea in the field of Education. She was really interested and gave me her business card, pointing out that she will be delighted to answer any emails. She also added that there was a whole team dedicated to answering all participants’ questions and helping them out with any troubles they might face during registration. Those interested are encouraged to contact this amazing dedicated team at info@african-award.com

A lot of questions were raised by the audience, so I am going to highlight the answers as told by Laila Ahlafi in the following points:

  • The project idea must be sustainable, impacting people around you. It may solve a problem, satisfy a need, or provide jobs for people.
  • The project idea must be totally new; no one has applied it before.
  • There are two main categories: Education and environment. There is a third category called “Uncharted”. It includes any other domain such as agriculture, art, food so there is great flexibility.
  • Applicants can apply in more than one category with more than one project idea.
  • Even if your project idea has a social cause, it must be profitable.
  • Registration to the AEA is open from February till 6th of May 2016; however the earlier you apply, the better.
  • You shouldn’t have an ongoing project to register to the AEA competition. You can only have a good idea and then through the workshops and the meetings with the mentors, your ideas will become more tangible and real.
  • The difference between this award and other awards is that it not only gives the winners the money, but also gives the projects to incubators who live in the winners’ hometown. Thus, they continue mentorship and follow-up meetings with the winners to make sure the money is well used and the projects launch, succeed and hopefully spread all over Africa.
  • Last year, they only had one Egyptian mentor from the American University in Cairo (AUC), but this year they have many Egyptian mentors who are interested to guide and mentor participants from Egypt.
  • There is a criterion for choosing mentors. First he/she must be an entrepreneur who failed and succeeded and has been there in the entrepreneurship journey. He/she must have experience in mentoring. The problem last year was that African mentors had to mentor Egyptian participants because there was just one Egyptian mentor. This presents a challenge for the African mentors and also doesn’t help the participants so much because a mentor should know a lot about the backgrounds of the participants and all the surroundings and the obstacles they might face in their own country. Each mentor chooses the field he/she is going to mentor and the number of participants they are going to guide throughout the competition.
  • You may totally change the idea you proposed till 6th of May. In the first round, you can modify or change the idea completely and start a new one but once you move on to the second round, you cannot change it.
  • Those who entered the competition and didn’t win can still work on their ideas and apply again next year.
  • The application form is in English, French and Portuguese. Next year, organizers are likely to add Arabic as well to make it easier for Arabic-speaking countries in Africa.

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Here are the links of the official sites, twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Feedburner:

https://africanentrepreneurshipaward.com

https://www.facebook.com/AEAward/?fref=ts

https://www.linkedin.com/company/african-entrepreneurship-award–

http://feeds.feedburner.com/AfricanEntrepreneurshipAwardRssFeed

You can also get to know Laila Ahlafi through her LinkedIn profile:

https://ma.linkedin.com/in/laïla-ahlafi-mhaimdat-0270ba82

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How did the International Certification from the HRCI change your career?

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Testimonials from Certified HR Professionals in the Middle East

Journalism: Menna Hamdy

Mostafa Gallal (PHRi, Egypt) – Recruitment Manager at Al Ezz Dekheila Steel

“The most important thing about the certification content is that it helps us to understand the HR science from a global perspective. In addition, to updating us about the new HR trends.

Most of us don’t practice at work all the HR functions, so it allows me to learn about all the HR functions.

Being certified gave me the opportunity to take a role in many projects, as well as participating in many events that added a real value for me.

My mindset started to think about top management decisions and how I can solve the regular issues that happens between top management and unions. I learnt that when proposing any new idea, I should take into consideration how to apply it in a way that fits my company culture

I would advise HR professionals when approaching their HRCI Certifications content study; to try to understand the practical way of each module, and to get acquainted with the HR Expressions and abbreviations as they are very important; they have to study them very well.”

Ezzddin Malek (SPHRi – PHRi, Egypt) – HR Manager at Misr Capital S.A.E

“I acquired my PHRi and SPHRi certifications in 2017 and it gave me an edge to make 2 steps up in my career from senior HR specialist in 2017 to Head of HR in a multinational company within just 2 years and I was chosen by HRCI to be an exam development panelist since 2018.”

Mina Adel (PHRi, Egypt) – HR Manager at IRAM JEWELRY

“Knowing the latest internationally applied methods of human resource management and being a certified practitioner from the premier human resources certification institute (HRCI) made me qualified to undertake larger tasks and assume advanced responsibilities in the field of human resources”

Mohannad Albashabsheh (SPHRi- PHRi, Jordan) – HR & Training Section Head in JBC

“Practicing HR Professionally is an outstanding responsibility. Being SPHRi certified facilitated for me the knowledge, skills, attitude and resulting power to be successful HR Professional”

Dana Hasan (PHRi, Jordan) – TA, LD Section Head

“I have got my first HRCI certification in 2014, then I got my recertification in 2017 as PHRi. Getting such certification helped me to grow in my HR career, stand as a distinguished HR professional in international and multinational companies. 

One of the main reasons that enabled me to work for big companies and be a business partner is having a professional certification.

I advise each professional: Invest in yourself, strengthen your experience with knowledge”

Mariham Magdy (PHRi, Egypt) – HR, Strategy and Management Consultant & Trainer

“As an HR Trainer & Consultant I believe that one of the most important benefits of the International Certification by the HRCI is how efficiently it builds the mind-set of the HR professionals acquainting them with the technical know-how for HR, spoken and standardized in an international language.

The HRCI exerts sound efforts to provide learners with valuable framework that can help them understand technically correct the processes of the different HR functions.

The HRCI Certification enabled me to understand the HR science from an international perspective, which gave me confidence in my work as an HR practitioner and Trainer.

The knowledge learnt throughout the certifications content designs for us a reliable road-map for the right steps to follow for decision making in HR.

I strongly recommend the certification for each professional aiming to progress his/her career in the HR field. Take a step today that you will thank yourself for it tomorrow”

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Interview with Eureka (ICS Learn Student) Customer Service Agent – Qatar Airways

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Interviewer: Mariham Magdy

1. HR Revolution Middle East: Welcome to HR Revolution Middle East Magazine. It’s a great pleasure to have the opportunity to make this interview with you.

What special recommendations would you share with CIPD students to encourage them to progress in their study?

ICS Learn Student:

Going through a period of change is very challenging and emotionally draining with the end outcome almost always unforeseeable. Everything seems to be unpredictable, but that is okay! Take some time to adapt to this new situation, accept it as positive reinforcement to yourself. Add value to yourself. Break through the situations in life. Continuing to learn will bring you academic and professional value to be the person whom you always want to be.

2- HR Revolution Middle East: How did the online set-up provided by ICS learn supported you to finish your CIPD Certification?

ICS Learn Student:

As a CIPD student, I am very glad that I choose ICS Learn as my platform. The online set-ups are very easy to go through and convenient to manage time. Especially as I am a full-time worker, it is very challenging to manage time for study or attend classes. However, ICS Learn supports you with recorded classes and fast responsive tutor support. That connection always made me feel that I was in a live classroom.

3- HR Revolution Middle East:  To what extent do you believe that the CIPD has helped you to progress on your professional path and opened new doors for different career opportunities?

ICS Learn Student:

CIPD is an internationally recognised professional body. Most employer’s value and recognize the professional certification of CIPD. Being a CIPD Member gives professional values to my CV, especially in the field of Human Resources Management.

4- HR Revolution Middle East: How did your HR practice at your organization changed after acquiring the CIPD certification?

ICS Learn Student:

My organization recognized me as an HR student as I am successfully achieving my professional qualifications with CIPD. I feel more confident as they look at me as someone whom they can rely on professionally at any given task.

5- HR Revolution Middle East: What special support have you received from your Tutors at ICS Learn that evidently helped you to finalize your certification?

ICS Learn Student:

During my study period, the support that I received from all ICS Learn tutors is special. Personalized feedback with regards to any assessments helped to achieve pass grades. I highly appreciate that all my tutors are available to answer or clarify any inquires related to my assignments or theoretical doubts in the one-to-one online chat forum.

6- HR Revolution Middle East: The online administrative support is one of the most important things an online global learner need, how was it flexible to proceed with such important certification through the online platform of ICS Learn?

ICS Learn Student:

ICS Learn is one of the best and most recommended online learning providers. The online admin support is a click away as we all are connected in different time zones in the world. That is very important as an online global learner. They do not only support academically but also technically. As a path connecter to the CIPD body, ICS Learn have a very professional admin team.

7- HR Revolution Middle East: How did your problem-solving techniques changed in dealing with HR challenges after finalizing your CIPD certification?

ICS Learn Student:

As an HR student, a CIPD qualification will enrich you with academic techniques. I have improved lots of skills that are helping me to handle challenges in a patient and professional manner. All the studies are practical scenarios rather than theoretical ones which allows me to improve as an individual and improve my behaviours as a people person.

8- HR Revolution Middle East: What would be your next academic degree in mind after the CIPD?

ICS Learn Student:

I would like to do a master’s degree in Human Resources Management.

9- HR Revolution Middle East: Do you believe HR/L&D professionals shall create communities of practice to encourage one another in finalizing their CIPD certifications and nurture the profession that way?

ICS Learn Student:

Yes, I do believe so. Being connected to a community that is driven by the same goals and targets is encouraging. It also helps to build confidence and practice some of the professional behaviours by supporting each other. Sharing each other’s knowledge and giving feedback and different viewpoints always achieves a better outcome.

10- HR Revolution Middle East: What are the needed competences for an HR professional to excel in his/her CIPD studies?

ICS Learn Student:

The field of HR is dynamic and our ability to process and understand it requires self-motivation. Growing in your job means being receptive to new ideas, wherever they may come from. HR professionals who never stop learning are well-positioned to translate well thought out industry trends and data into actionable insights. CIPD is the perfect gateway to our dream career. They support choosing the right course to up-skill your HR practice and stay motivated remotely.

THANK YOU

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تعاون بين شباب السودان ومصر لتنظيم النسخة الثامنة لتيدكس ودمدني بالسودان

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شباب من مصر والسودان يترجموا التعاون بين البلدين الشقيقين في المشاركة في تنظيم النسخة الثامنة لمؤتمر تيدكس ودمدني بالسودان.

يعتبر شهر مارس بكل عام بمدينة ودمدني السودانية شهر مختلف ومتميز وذلك لأنه على مدى 7 أعوام متتالية يشهد على تنظيم حدث لمؤتمر تيدكس العالمي، وجاءت النسخة الثامنة التي كانت بيوم 27 مارس 2021 نسخة متميزة ومنفردة بجمال أفكارها ومشاريعها وتنظيمها الذي تم الأشراف عليه من البلدين الشقيقين، وكانت المشاركات شاملة لكل المجالات التي تهدف لتنمية المجتمع والفرد ونذكر منها:

ياسمين يوسف (جمهورية السودان) تحدثت عن تحديها للإعاقة ووقوفها ضد المجتمع ودفاعها عن حقوقها في التعليم وكيف استطاعت أن تتجاوز كل تلك الصعاب بإرادة قوية حتى تم تسميتها باسم صاحبة الإرادة وتعتبر ياسمين الآن من الشخصيات الملهمة في السودان.

تحدث محمود منسي (جمهورية مصر العربية) على أعادة بناء الدول والمجتمعات بعد الثورات وجاء الموضوع مناسباً للمرحلة التي يمر بها السودان الشقيق وأستطاع محمود إلهام الشباب السوداني لأخذ دور في بناء البلد وذلك بتفاعلهم مع موضوعه.

تحدث كذلك أحمد رجب (جمهورية مصر العربية) على فكرة رقصة التانجو وعلاقتها بالإدارة والقيادة داخل المؤسسات.

وكذلك سها هيكل (جمهورية مصر العربية) وجهت رسالة توعوية للمجتمع لتغير نظرته تجاه الفنيين باعتبارهم شريحة مهمة في المجتمع، وأن محاربة العنصرية والتمييز في شتى مجالات العمل.

بينما وعد عصام (جمهورية مصر العربية) تحدثت عن الصعوبات التي تواجه طلاب الثانويات خصوصاً في تعلم اللغة الإنجليزية وكيفية التغلب عليها بنصائح سهلة بسيطة ومباشرة ووضحت وعد أن اللغة عبارة عن مهارات تكتسب وتمارس.

ياسمين يوسف (جمهورية السودان) تحدثت عن تحديها للإعاقة ووقوفها ضد المجتمع ودفاعها عن حقوقها في التعليم

ومن المشاركين كذلك من البراء عثمان (دولة الأمارات العربية المتحدة) الذي تحدث عن تجربته مع الاكتئاب وكيف استطاع تجاوزه بتوجيه طاقته تجاه ممارسة هوايته وهي الموسيقى وكيف أن ممارسة الموسيقى تساعد على التوازن النفسي.

فاطمة أحمد (جمهورية السودان) التي دعت للمحبة والسلام وتقبل الاّخر لبناء سودان جديد مستعرضة تجربة رواندا.

وكذلك تحدثت ماب خالد (جمهورية السودان) على أهمية التوعية بالعلاج النفسي وتجربتها في إقناع الحكومة لتضمين العلاج النفسي في التأمين الصحي وتوعية المواطنين بالصحة النفسية.

وعن السياحة تحدث بشغف محمد مجذوب (جمهورية السودان) وعن تاريخ السودان الذي يمتد ل 7000 سنة وعن حضارة الفراعنة داعياً الحكومة للترويج للسياحة في السودان معتبرا مؤتمر تيدكس مدني مؤتمراً يساهم في دفع عجلة السياحة بالبلاد وذلك للمشاركة الكبيرة من المتحدثين والجمهور من المناطق المختلفة.

وتحدثت أصغر المشتركات أسيل يوسف (جمهورية السودان) عن إمكانية استغلال الموهبة لمصدر دخل وتنميتها بالممارسة داعية شباب جيلها لحذو طريقها وختمت خنساء سيربال (جمهورية السودان) المؤتمر بحديثها على دور الممرض في المنظومة الطبية.

بالإضافة إلى الإعلامي إيهاب مجدي من مصر معد ومقدم فقرات برنامج المؤتمر، بالمشاركة مع الإعلاميين السودانيين خالد علي وآية عابدين.

وبختام المؤتمر قدم محمود منسي درع الأكاديمية العربية للعلوم والتكنولوجيا والنقل البحري للمنظم د. وائل العائد الذي شكر بدوره الأكاديمية العربية على دورها الكبير في إنجاح المؤتمر باعتبارها الشريك الأساسي وشكرها للمنحة التي تم تقديمها للمؤتمر وقام كذلك بتوجيه الشكر لكل الجهات التي ساهمت في إنجاح المؤتمر:

السيدة مونيكا وحيد، ممثل شركة تاركو للطيران مكتب مدني

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