On the road to WEF

first_imgBrand South Africa will be in Davos for the annual World Economic Forum meeting of world leaders. It will be in Switzerland to tell the story of the country’s achievements in the past 20 years of democracy, and to speak about the way forward. Representatives from Brand South Africa will be attending the 44th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland this year.They’ll be taking the message that South Africa has achieved much in the 20 years since the advent of democracy. The country is a competitive nation on the continent, and globally – it is open for business and now is the time to invest.About WEFThis high-level meeting takes place from 22 to 25 January, with some 2 500 participants, including over 40 presidents and prime ministers. Central to the WEF agenda is finding ways to improve the quality of life for all, globally, involving leaders across the board – from politics to business to social activists.Under the spotlight are the ripple effects of evolving and changing social, economic, political and technological forces across the globe. With a growing need to focus on proactive strategies, rather than reacting to and managing crises, the theme for the 2014 WEF meeting is “The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business”.On the agenda are issues of providing sustainable resources to deal with population growth; finding innovative ways to close an ever-widening gap of economic inequality between the haves and have-nots; looking at ways to embrace and utilise the rapidly changing technological environment; and boosting confidence in government and business leadership through strengthening accountability and transparency.Among those taking part are the secretary-general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon; the president of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim; the director-general of the World Trade Organization, Roberto Azevedo; the head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde; and the chair of the G20, Tony Abbot.Team South Africa at WEFWhile South Africa has achieved much since the advent of democracy in 1994, the country is continually striving to improve. It has several far-reaching strategies:It has foresight in its Vision 2030;It is boosting competitiveness;It is growing the economy and playing a strong role globally through Brics;It is ensuring an innovative approach to science and technology; and,It is forging partnerships in support of an integrated Africa.last_img read more

Revisiting Net Zero Energy

first_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in An 6-kW photovoltaic (PV) system can be installed for about $18,000 in many U.S. locations. With a 30% federal tax credit, the system costs the homeowner only $12,600 — or even less if utility or state rebates are available.This 6-kW system will produce about 8,000 kWh per year in Boston (worth about $1,600) or 10,300 kWh per year in Phoenix (worth about $1,230). That’s a lot of electricity.If you want to save between $1,200 and $1,600 per year on your heating or air conditioning bill, and you are willing to invest up to $12,600 to make it happen, you’ll probably find that adding insulation or new windows won’t get you to your goal. However, adding a PV system will.Back in late 2006, when a Habitat for Humanity house in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, became the first house in the U.S. to achieve 12 months of net-zero-energy use, the net-zero goal was challenging. Eleven years later, the net-zero-energy goal is routinely achieved by builders all over North America. That’s because designing and building a net-zero energy house is becoming easier and easier. Less expensive PV means a less expensive thermal envelope The usual way to design a net-zero-energy house is to stop improving the thermal envelope of the house when the envelope improvements cost more per unit of energy saved than an investment in a bigger PV system.In 2007, installing 1 kW of PV cost about $8,500. These days, the same PV system costs only $3,000 or $3,500. As the price of PV drops, investments in envelope improvements make less and less sense. Why upgrade to triple-glazed windows when the windows won’t save as much energy as an equivalent investment in PV?With less expensive PV, today’s optimized net-zero-energy home will have a thermal envelope that performs worse and costs less to build… Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.center_img This article is only available to GBA Prime Memberslast_img read more

Carnival atmosphere at Ramlila Maidan

first_imgA carnival atmosphere prevails at Ramlila Maidan amid fight for space on national television, patriotic slogans and people dressed as Mahatma Gandhi and Chhatrapati Shivaji. Sporting tricolour headbands and wrist bands and waving tricolours, people started pouring in the Maidan from early in the morning on Monday. Many protesters returned to the ground after a good sleep, saying they want to ensure that the support the anti-corruption crusader was receiving should not dwindle. “I was here yesterday and we want to ensure that Anna’s support does not dwindle,” Kishan Kher, a businessman from Meerut said. The crowd broke into cheers as Anna took the centrestage at 9 am. The crowds also clamoured to give a byte to the TV cameras. “It is important to talk to TV cameras. After all this is how the message goes out that there is something happening here in Delhi,” Kamal Singh Rathore, a resident of Rohini in the national capital said. A host of people dressed as Gandhi and Shivaji were seen taking rounds of the ground. Volunteers were seen distributing biscuits, tea and water to the people and the large media and police contingents posted at the venue.  With inputs from PTIlast_img read more

PM Calls on Nation to Build Society Characterized by Excellence

first_imgPrime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller has called on Jamaicans to build a quality society characterized by excellence noting that “Jamaica cannot maximize its potential for greatness and achieve what we need in the next 50 years without sustained hard work.”Speaking to hundreds of persons gathered at Emancipation Park in New Kingston on Sunday (March 24) for the Prime Minister’s Youth Awards for Excellence, the Prime Minister said the nation’s youth’s represent our future and “this is the beginning of the next leg of the journey in keeping with the theme, ‘Youth on a Mission…Project 2062.’” “As I look at the nominees and awardees, I feel a deep sense of pride. Through your actions, you our nominees and awardees have said loudly and distinctly that you have a lot to offer this country. You are among the significant Jamaicans who have been making a valuable contribution at home and abroad. You have imagined a life of achievement, a life of excellence and have refused to accept mediocrity. You have refused to believe that because circumstances were hard and obstacles were in the way that you could not fulfill your dreams to pursue them meaningfully. You have refused to place limits on yourselves” Mrs. Simpson Miller highlighted. Reflecting on the confidence of the nation’s forefathers which saw the overthrowing a system that mocked human decency, Mrs. Simpson Miller said this confidence has a long lineage. She implored the audience to carry it onto 2062 and beyond. The Prime Minister called on the nominees and awardees to let their accomplishments serve as an inspiration to other young persons and the nation emphasizing that “your excellence is not an act, it is a habit, it is a way of life.” The Prime Minister’s Youth Awards for Excellence was instituted in 1998 to recognize the accomplishments of the Jamaican young people and are presented annually to young persons who have distinguished themselves locally, regionally and internationally. At Sunday’s function, awards were presented in the areas of Sport; International Achievement; Academics; Leadership; Arts and Culture; Journalism; Youth in Service; Entrepreneurship and Agriculture. The 2011 nominees and awardees were also recognized at the function. Communications Unit-OPMTel: 926-0244Fax: 920-4684Email: [email protected]: www.opm.gov.jmlast_img read more