It has since dawned on some in the tourism industry that unless they use their stature and influence to lobby their governments to do more to protect the species and by extension, their business, they stand to lose out. Their argument is that if there are no rhinos to see, they cannot sell the Big Five to potential tourists.
The world’s most powerful women should be getting into something that some might say is not exactly their business: the physical, emotional and sexual abuse of women less powerful than themselves.
There are businesswomen’s associations that help to fund halfway stations where women recovering from or fleeing their abusive partners can learn business principles that can help them be independent once they leave their tormentors. Such associations should lobby their governments to improve conditions of girls and women and tighten punitive measures for those who hurt, abuse and marginalize women.
The logic is simple. The more women do not need to depend on men, the less they will tolerate abusive men. The more women there are in business, especially if they are confident in their femininity, the greater the chances of the feminine motif becoming the norm in the business world and in the executive suite.
It is not enough to assume that being a woman means you can understand the plight of a woman in an abusive relationship. Even if you did, unless there are programs in place in your business that recognize the debilitating effects of patriarchy on productive capacity and therefore the bottom line, you are no better than those who see or hear no evil.
I am not holding my breath that business is ready for such a leap of faith in the interest of abused women and marginalized girls. Far too many still go with the logic that the business of business is business. Everything else is someone else’s business – the preacher, the teacher or the politician.
I continue hearing about how women boast about what they have had to go through, implying that others who want to attain the same status must also grin, bear and get on with it. And still some insist that having a female boss is better for one’s self-worth.
I don’t know if it is just me, but one hardly sees powerful women – except in their capacity as government officials or public representatives – become champions of the anti-woman abuse movement. The rest of the time, it is the less glamorous women in non-governmental organizations, academia or in the arts, who are left to make the big deal of this social scourge and drain to the economy.
It seems to me that powerful women do not want to risk their power reputation by associating themselves with what they might see as being weak or the doormat at home.
I can see why some women would not want to contaminate their reputation as tough task masters who drive a hard bargain by confessing to have been pushed around like British TV personality Nigella Lawson. But it is the recognition that there are many other Nigellas and that businesswomen’s associations can become socially relevant and inspirational to the women who do not yet own a power suit or have not yet been invited for high tea.
There is also the economic impact of women who are prevented from earning a living and being financially independent by abusive partners, or who are forced to divert their earnings into areas that are not as productive as they could have been.
Women should not be forced to buy make-up only if the intention is to hide the marks and scars on their faces if they could be investing that money into areas that grow their wealth and independence.
There is also the denialism in the top echelons of business that makes top businesswomen or executives pretend that abuse is only suffered by others with a less net worth than themselves or who hold mundane jobs.
Some may say that I am blaming the victim by not addressing the patriarchal power that places women in these situations. Perhaps I am. What is clear to me though is that it is those who feel and have known the discomfort of a stone in the shoe, who are best placed to remove the stone. Demanding that whoever placed the stone there remove it, might slow you down.
The stories we hear about women needing to juggle being wives, partners, parents and business executives should not be used as a demand for sympathy or a self-pat on the back. It should be a catalyst for change that is driven by those who understand the pain and unnecessary hurdles it has brought and ensure it does not happen to other women.
Cryptocurrency for Africans
George Gordon is on a quest to revolutionize the financial system. The director of Africa Master Blockchain Company talks digital currencies, blind risks and board games.
What is this new African cryptocurrency you are offering?
Where the majority of current digital currencies are based on speculative models, AfriUnion Coin (AUC) and the AfriNational Tokens (ANT)are designed for a transactional purpose allowing international payments, remittances, foreign direct investment as well as day-to-day transactions at local retail stores and other outlets. While the option for speculative trade is available with AUC, the focus is not around that.
Each African country will have a specially-designed ANT which will allow users to pay for goods and services and bills easily through completely digital means without requiring any bank account. AUC and ANT will be fully interchangeable to one another and there will be no fees for the user.
It’s the natural next step for digital finance from mobile banking which most Africans are accustomed to. The ability to freely have the power to send and receive money locally and internationally will allow the freedom of choice and spending power many Africans don’t have currently.
What is your own investment philosophy?
I am a gambler! I believe in taking risks and putting things on the line. That being said, blind risk or whimsical guesses don’t get you very far. Always acquire enough information to understand to a reasonable level what the thing you are planning on investing is or how it works and then trust your instinct and gut feel.
What advice would you give entrepreneurs wanting to invest in blockchain?
First, do some research in terms of what the blockchain technology is being applied for or created in terms of its application to an industry or project. Thereafter, check the white paper for the design of the platform as well as its functionality and applicability to what it is trying to achieve. If it aligns with your personal investment rules, then go for it,however, remember that blockchain is continuously evolving and thus you need to explore outside the usual and standard.
First cash-less, now card-less. What is the future of online banking?
If we are looking into what is currently science fiction, I would say the future is digital contact lenses that will be able to connect you to all your social media accounts, internet, news as well as make payments by just looking at QR codes or specialized barcodes to approve and accept payments.
Now, realistically we are not far off from such innovation and technology, but for the time being, I think the next step is scanning of QR codes at retailers and having the transaction automated from your wallet to the retailers digitally.
What is your most prized investment and why?
My mind. I believe that the work I have put into developing my mind, and continue to do so every day, is the number one investment that I have ever done. It allows me to look at things in a unique perspective as well as provides me with the tools to push boundaries and create new opportunities.
Money, success, fame? Which is most important to you?
I would have to say success… because it is most likely going to bring the other two as well, right? But success in the form of starting something and letting it grow and succeed and knowing that something new exists because of your efforts.
What do you spend your money on mostly?
Board games. I love board games and believe it’s a fantastic way to expand your mind as well as have fun with friends.
King Price CEO On Why He Invested On Insurance
King Price Insurance’s CEO Gideon Galloway, who built an insurance company in South Africa worth over $226 million in six years, talks investments, industry trends and how self-driving cars will change the entire car insurance landscape.
Offering The American Dream
Gar Lippincott and Daniel Ryan of Atlantic American Partners were in South Africa recently looking for high-net-worth individuals wanting to invest in the US.
It’s a warm spring day in September, and Gar Lippincott and Daniel Ryan have just arrived in South Africa. It is Lippincott’s first time in the country, and he is jet-lagged.
A little over two months ago, he was booked to fly here from the United States (US) but was turned back at immigration.
“At Atlanta airport, the lady looked at Daniel’s visa and let him through and she looked at my visa and she said ‘I am afraid you can’t get on the plane because you have to have a blank page on your passport’. I said ‘I have three blank pages’ and she said ‘no, it’s supposed to be the one that says visa on it’. She said it’s the rules in South Africa so I had to sadly go back home… now when I was coming, I was told that’s not an issue anymore so I am happy they have made traveling into the country easier,” says Lippincott.
With a brand-new passport, he’s here with Ryan looking for people who want to invest in the US in exchange for a green card.
Lippincott, the Managing Partner of Atlantic American Partners, says he has always been keen on South Africa for its growth opportunities and prospects.
“From what I understand, the things that are causing short-term decline in the economy in South Africa are set up to provide long-term growth and hopefully people will understand this,” he says. Ryan, the company’s Managing Director of Emerging Markets – Africa, agrees: “I lived in Malawi for 12 years and South Africa is still considered the shining one throughout the continent. Even with all the problems, everyone still wants to come here because of the opportunities.”
According to an AfrAsia Bank report, South Africa comes second to Mauritius in boasting the highest number of high-net-worth individuals.
These are the kind of people Ryan and Lippincott target through their work at Atlantic American Partners. The company has real estate investors and professional private equity fund managers that manage money for banks, insurance companies, and pension funds. In addition, they help people get US green cards and ultimately US citizenship through the US government’s EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program.
“Basically we look for people who want to move to the United States and we help them do so legally by investing and the nice thing is, with our program, they are also able to get a nice return on investment,” he says.
According to Lippincott, for a $500,000 investment that creates 10 jobs for American workers, you could get a green card in about two years and be a US citizen in about six or seven years. “Twenty seven countries have an investor visa program but with most of them, it’s essentially a fee you pay, or you need to be actively engaged in the day-to-day operation of a business. For example, you invest $1.5 million in Australia, but you need to hire employees and generate a certain amount of revenue. One of the biggest advantages with our program is you actually invest the $500,000 into a fund. We act as a trustee of that money and within five to seven years, they get that money back with a bit of return on investment and you are a permanent citizen in the US.”
Atlantic American Partners invests the money in real estate developments like hotels, apartments and student accommodation.
“What’s nice about the program is it doesn’t only cover the investor; it covers the spouse and children under 21. Our biggest family was a Hungarian family with seven children so they got nine green cards for $500,000,” says Lippincott.
The company says it has had positive response in South Africa. “Two months ago, we were here and we had scheduled six presentations for 100 people and we ended up speaking to 450 people. Most were business people, people worried about the economy, people worried about the political future of South Africa and people concerned about the education future of their children,” says Ryan.
According to Lippincott, despite the news of the clampdown on immigration, the US economy is booming and will perish without immigration. In the era of Donald Trump and his anti-immigrant views, that’s heartening news indeed.
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