LEDFC Gets New US$20M Fund for Support to SMEs

first_imgDr. Papa Kwesi Ndoum (5th from left) joins LEDFC, GN Bank representatives in calling on Liberian SMEs to be hopefulThe Liberian Enterprise Development Finance Company (LEDFC) has received another boost in its efforts to support small and medium enterprises in the country through a loan of US$20 million.The signing ceremony of the loan agreement was chaired by Groupe Ndoum, a Ghanian finance company operating in partnership with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).OPIC is a self-sustaining U.S. government agency that helps American business invest in emerging markets.The Liberian Enterprise Development Finance Company (LEDFC), following a performance assessment of its operations by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), has won a chance, for the second time in row to receive US$20 million for lending. The announcement was made by Dr. Papa Kwesi Ndoum, President and chief executive officer (CEO) of Groupe Ndoum, parent company of LEDFC.According to Dr. Ndoum, the money will be used to lend to Liberian-owned small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and it is hoped that an additional US$16 million will come from other sources (not named) to increase the lending pot to US$36 million.Dr. Ndoum added that the signing ceremony was to announce the availability of the second US$20 million so as to provide the space for qualified Liberian SMEs to apply for funding from the LEDFC.LEDFC is the only Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) licensed development finance company in Liberia and is a member of Groupe Ndoum, a multinational company that has investments in Liberia.“It is because of OPIC the first US$20 million came. This second US$20 million demonstrates, on the part of OPIC, not just a common support to the SMEs, but commitment to the revival of the Liberian economy,” Dr. Ndoum said.OPIC was established in 1971 and, since then, it has and continues to provide businesses the needed tools to manage the risks associated with foreign direct investment, fosters economic development in emerging market countries, and advances the United Staes foreign policy and national security priorities.“OPIC helps American businesses gain footholds in new markets, catalyzes new revenues and contributes to jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad,” Ndoum said. He added that OPIC also fulfills its mission by providing businesses with financing, political risk insurance, advocacy and by partnering with private equity investment fund managers.Dr. Papa Kwesi Ndoum affixes his signature to the US$20 million OPIC loan to LEDFC for onward lending to SMEs.For those seeking loans from the LEDFC, the general manager, Ambrose Houphouet, said an applicant must be a Liberian and running a business through which a few or some other Liberians are earning their daily bread and improving their lives through the acquisition of skills in order for them to provide help for others in need.Houphouet said every applicant must be willing to pay back the full amount given him or her.“The interest rate ranges between 11 percent to 15 percent per annum and it is the uncompromising expectation of LEDFC that applicants pay according to the interest rate agreed upon, so as to enable his company return the money to the companies that provide it. Other people, too, need the same money to expand and improve their businesses,” he said.He said applicants, depending on each one’s business case, are encouraged to apply for at least US$10,000 or even up to US$1 million.“LEDFC was founded in 2007 and as of that time, over 500 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have benefited from the loan program and over 5000 jobs have also been created in the Liberian struggling economy,” Houphouet said. According to him, the initial money for the LEDFC to begin administering its loans was provided by the Robert L. Johnson (RLJ) Foundation.“LEDFC has financial inclusion as a priority and, for this fact, three additional offices of LEDFC are now operating outside of Monrovia,” he noted.He pointed out that in 2013 there were concerns that LEDFC could not have survived the tough business conditions in the Liberian economy but, having interest in ensuring that Liberian businesses keep up and running, his company got in touch with Groupe Ndoum for assistance and advice.“Due to Groupe Ndoum’s in-depth experience and knowledge in financial matters in the sub-region, LEDFC accepted that it (Groupe Ndoum) take over the management of our company. This was in 2011,” he said.Houphouet explained further that given Groupe Ndoum’s successful management of LEDFC, GN Bank went ahead to acquire the entity for an ownership transfer consideration of US$2,000. GN Bank also assumed the existing OPIC loan liability of US$20 million.“GN quickly restructured LEDFC’s management and operations. It is significant to note that GN kept all employees of LEDFC as members of its employees. I mean, this was after it took over LEDFC,” he said.He said the SMEs will soon be informed of when the disbursement of loans will begin at LEDFC for the second US$20 million.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Wikimedia CTO Departs for Open-Source Microblogging Startup

first_imgTags:#news#NYT#web Related Posts Brion Vibber, CTO of Wikimedia and lead developer for Wikipedia and MediaWiki, announced today that he’s leaving the company to work for StatusNet (formerly Laconica) as their chief architect.StatusNet is the open-source microblogging platform that powers sites such as identi.ca, which impressed us from its inception as a “framework for a distributed network of federated microblogging services.” Read on for more details on what Vibber will be doing there.In a post today on the Wikimedia technical blog, Vibber wrote that he had been involved with StatusNet “as a user, bug reporter, and patch submitter since 2008,” and that his being hired coincided with StatusNet’s ramping up for “a 1.0 release, hosted services, and support offerings.”Vibber hard at work at the Wikimedia Foundation office.And according to this StatusNet announcement, Vibber’s job description will revolve around “architecture and development of the core StatusNet microblogging software, as well as ancillary services to support the status.net platform.” And in addition to launching a first release and public signup over the next few months, it is hoped by StatusNet leadership that Vibber’s “natural skills as a mentor and leader will help build our Open Source developer and user community.”Although Vibber’s new duties will commence on October 12, he will continue to be involved in Wikimedia development and will remain in the Wikimedia office until the end of 2009 “to make sure all our tech staff has a chance to pick my brain as we smooth out the code review processes and make sure things are as well documented as I like to think they are,” he wrote.In an interesting study in open-source, free-as-in-freedom/free-as-in-beer cross-pollination, StatusNet founder Evan Prodromou is also known for his work in the wiki community, launching Wikitravel and helping with MediaWiki development. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img jolie odell A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Surging Painters wrest top spot

first_imgUS judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants “Another good win for us. Phoenix came back …  They didn’t stop. That’s probably why they’re on the top: they never give up.  They fought their hearts out,” said coach Caloy Garcia after pinning a first loss in six games on Alas and his Fuel Masters.With James Yap struggling all night, it was Kris Rosales who made the most impact. He fired 16 points to tie his career-best scoring output.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption charges“James wasn’t as lucky, but other players stepped up,” Garcia said of the veteran, who has been crucial in Rain or Shine’s previous victories.   “Today it was Kris in the beginning.  We had a good start and our bigs in the end were the factors in the end—when Raymond (Almazan) got that rebound, even Beau (Belga) was setting good screens.”Belga also had 16 points to go with nine rebounds and seven assists.  Almazan accounted for 13 in the affair, four of which coming in the extra period. Rain or Shine center Raymond Almazan beats three Phoenix players for the loose ball. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netLouie Alas regarded Rain or Shine the next hottest team to his Phoenix Pulse.On Sunday night, the Elasto Painters turned that around, carving out a 98-94 decision in overtime against the Fuel Masters in the PBA Philippine Cup curtain-riser at Smart Araneta Coliseum.ADVERTISEMENT D-League opener pits UAAP champ Ateneo versus Go for Gold Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next In the nightcap, Arwind Santos was on fire all night while Terrence Romeo mounted his best scoring performance in a San Miguel uniform as the Beermen made mincemeat of sister team Magnolia Hotshots, 113-92.Santos paced San Miguel with 29 points while Romeo had 23 more as the four-time defending champion improved to 4-3.Magnolia has yet to win in two starts.Rain or Shine, now flaunting a league-best 6-1 record, takes on the Hotshots on Feb. 13 before the league takes a break for the national team which resumes its bid in the Fiba World Cup qualifying matches on Feb. 21 and 24.Phoenix, which dropped to No. 2 with a 5-1 slate, takes on NorthPort when  the tournament resumes on Feb. 27.ADVERTISEMENT Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations MOST READ PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte LATEST STORIES Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes View comments Jason Perkins also had the finest scoring performance of his young career, pouring in 27 points and grabbing nine boards for Phoenix.Calvin Abueva and Matthew Wright both chimed in 16 including a couple of crucial plays in the fourth period, but they fell flat when it mattered.Garcia lauded his wards who made significant contributions in the tussle.  But his words of praise came with a warning: They could not take their next assignment lightly.“We play Magnolia on Wednesday and it’s going to be difficult because we know throughout the conference, they’re only going to get better,” he said.First Game:RAIN OR SHINE 98—Belga 16, Rosales 16, Ahanmisi 13, Almazan 12, Nambatac 10, Norwood 8, Torres 6, Borboran 5, Maiquez 4, Daquioag 4, Yap 2, Mocon 1, Ponferada 1.PHOENIX 94—Perkins 27, Wright 16, Abueva 16, Mallari 12, Jazul 7, Kramer 6, Mendoza 5, Marcelo 3, Napoles 2, Dennison 0, Chua 0, Revilla 0.Quarters: 24-20, 45-36, 70-61, 87-87 (reg.), 98-94 (OT) Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woeslast_img read more

Japan’s landmarks illuminated in celebration of two years to 2020 Olympics

first_imgAcross Japan, famous landmarks were illuminated simultaneously on Tuesday as the two-year countdown to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games began.2020 Tokyo Games are scheduled from July 24 to August 9 and the preparation and countdown to the mega sporting event has begun.Even as Tokyo deals with a record heatwave and construction delays in two major venues, they celebrated the upcoming event with absolute grandeurTokyo Tower and the Yoyogi Building shone in the Japanese capital, while other buildings stretching from the Goryokaku Tower in the northern Hokkaido region to Fukuoka Tower in the south were also lit-up in the colours of the Olympics rings.Tokyo Skytree, the tallest tower in the world, was also illuminated following a countdown event held halfway up the 634-metre structure.Also read – 2020 Tokyo Olympics hit by construction delays, record-breaking heatwaveAt the ceremony, commemorative lanterns were lit by school children, athletes and dignitaries, including Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori and Governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike.”We want to send a message to the world that Tokyo is a host city. Also, the success of the Tokyo Games depends on reconstruction (in Fukushima),” said Koike.Eric Garcetti, the mayor of 2028 host city Los Angeles, was also in attendance as a guest of Koike.”We share a common geography of the Pacific and we share a common dream of the future between Los Angeles and Tokyo,” Garcetti said.”We come here with a delegation from Los Angeles today to pay our respects to the wonderful organising efforts of Tokyo 2020.”advertisementThe presentation stage was decorated with 731 paper lanterns, each representing the days remaining until the Games’ opening ceremony. Attendees wrote their wishes for the 2020 Games on the lanterns.Sport climber Miho Nonaka, who will hope to be competing in the sport’s Olympic debut in Tokyo, said she wrote ‘even higher’ on her lantern.”I want the (climbing) walls and my goals to be higher, and I want to climb to the highest point,” she said.After the illumination, the athletes joined the assembled children in performing the Olympics’ official song ‘Tokyo Gorin Ondo 2020.'(With Reuters inputs)last_img read more

Nominations Open for Public Sector Customer Service Competition

first_imgMembers of the public can now vote for the public sector entity that is delivering the best customer service through the Public Sector Customer Service Competition 2012/13. Nominations are open for entries to the competition designed as one method of rewarding key performers in the National Customer Service Programme under the Public Sector Modernisation Division, Office of the Cabinet. The deadline for receipt of all nominations and submissions is January 31, 2013. Speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank held on December 5 at the agency’s head office in Kingston, Communication Consultant at the Public Sector Modernisation Division, Cabinet office, Fabian Brown, said the competition provides an opportunity for the public to  encourage, highlight and support the work of public sector workers in the various entities. “We are looking for the best customer service entity, we’re looking for the most-improved entity, we’re looking for the best customer service officer, we are looking for the most creative entity in these challenging economic times,” he said. Mr. Brown reminded the public that voting for a government organisation should not be limited to the “big names” only, noting that, “it is also the post offices, the individuals in every nook and cranny in the Jamaican landscape. Wherever there is public service being given, the opportunity for you to recognize and highlight the quality of service is at hand.” He said that all public sector bodies are eligible to participate, including central civil service organizations, executive agencies, public companies, statutory bodies and government departments. The winners for some categories will be chosen based on feedback and nominations collected from members of the public island-wide. Additionally, he said that presentations will be done by entities seeking to justify why they should be recognised for a prize. The Communication Consultant noted the increasing willingness from members of the public to express their opinions on the quality of service received from government organisations. He stated that voting has increased from approximately 2,000 in the first staging of the competition in 2001 to a high of 28,000 at the last staging of the competition in 2010/11. “That is very encouraging because it says to us that the public is really looking out and demanding good quality customer service from the public sector, which is a good thing, and so the Modernisation Division of the Cabinet Office is really about supporting and engaging persons towards this end,” he said. Persons can vote for any public sector entity or individual of their choice by using the toll free line 1888-991-2752 or by voting online at www.cabinet.gov.jm . Customers can also place their entry forms in voting boxes available at the various entities. Nominations are not restricted to the entity at which persons are doing business. The National Customer Service Programme, which was implemented in 1994 by the Public Sector Modernisation Division, was created to recognize and reward efforts of organizations to improve service delivery to customers. It is also intended to promote and encourage commitment to, and continuous improvement in the quality of service in the public sector.last_img read more

Farm Aid Founder Willie Nelson Announces 30th Anniversary Concert

first_imgFarm Aid co-founders Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp have announced that the 30th annual Farm Aid celebration will take place this year on Sept. 19.The pair represented Farm Aid at the 17th annual GRAMMY Foundation Legacy Concert, where the GRAMMY Foundation honored the organization for its ability to harness the power of music for social change as the longest running concert for a cause.“The first Farm Aid concert featured more than 50 artists on one stage,” said Farm Aid President Willie Nelson, who was among the artists to perform at the GRAMMY Foundation Legacy Concert. “In the 29 years since, hundreds more artists have given their time and talent to support family farmers. This year, we would like to invite even more artists to join us onstage as we celebrate family farm agriculture.”In recognition of its unique collection of live performances of more than 400 artists over 29 years, Farm Aid received a preservation grant from the GRAMMY Foundation Grant Program, which awards grants to organizations and individuals to support efforts that advance the archiving and preservation of the music and recorded sound heritage of the Americas. The $15,000 grant will be used to develop a plan to digitize, preserve and archive the legendary Farm Aid performances.“The legacy of Farm Aid is twofold: in the change we’ve made in our farm and food system, and in the rich musical record of concerts held since 1985,” said John Mellencamp, who also appeared at the GRAMMY Foundation Legacy Concert. “The list of artists who have played on the Farm Aid stage is a who’s who of the best artists of our time.”Farm Aid artists represent all genres of music, from rock ‘n’ roll and country to reggae and bluegrass, including BB King, Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, Bonnie Raitt, The Beach Boys, Tracy Chapman, Emmylou Harris, Hootie and the Blowfish, Carlos Santana, Loretta Lynn and hundreds more.Farm Aid has partnered with Boston’s Berklee College of Music to engage the school’s professional audio engineering faculty and state-of-the-art studio facilities in the music preservation project while creating unique learning opportunities for students.Farm Aid 2015, an all-day music and food festival, will feature a unique lineup of artists and genres and will offer concert-goers family farm-identified, local and organic foods with its own HOMEGROWN Concessions. In Farm Aid’s HOMEGROWN Village, attendees will have the chance to meet farmers; engage in hands-on food and farm activities; and learn about the ways family farmers are enriching our soil, protecting our water and growing our economy, in addition to bringing us good food for good health. More details about 30th anniversary Farm Aid events will be announced soon.For concert updates, follow Farm Aid on Twitter (@farmaid) and on Facebook, and visit www.farmaid.org/30.Farm Aid’s mission is to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America. Farm Aid artists and board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews host an annual concert to raise funds to support Farm Aid’s work with family farmers and to inspire people to choose family farm food. For 30 years, Farm Aid, with the support of the artists who contribute their performances each year, has raised $48 million to support programs that help farmers thrive, expand the reach of the Good Food Movement, take action to change the dominant system of industrial agriculture and promote food from family farms.last_img read more