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A tribute to Nelson Mandela - a fighter against injustice who happened to become President

Today, the world continues to mourn the loss of one of the greatest men to walk the Earth - Nelson Mandela (died 05 December 2013).

The best time to evaluate a man is after his death, as he can no longer make worldly mistakes that may undo his positive image.

As Calvin Coolidge once said, "No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave". This is benefitting for Nelson Mandela. He went through temptations to test his courage, to test his strength of character, hoping to discover his breaking point - his price tag. But, they never succeeded in finding his price. "Every man has a price, but some are far more expensive than others". In Mandela's case, it has been difficult to find his price. As Arch. Bishop Tutu puts it, "he was always perfect". He made mistakes, as he is human, but his impact on people's lives makes his mistakes look like a drop of water in a bucket full.

He stood for what he believed in …

Exploring the Impact of the Internet of Things - IEEE - The Institute

Exploring the Impact of the Internet of ThingsA new IEEE group is taking on the quest to connect everythingBy KATHY PRETZ7 October 2013
Image: iStockphoto SHARE AND PRINTShare on printShare on emailShare on linkedinShare on facebookShare on twitter

Back to school (Wednesday 14 August)

The 2013 / 2014 school year has started and they're back!

No more late night movies during the week,
No more waking up late,
No more late breakfasts,

and...
stuff staying longer in the fridge these days :-)


Common sense tips on strengthening relationships

Common sense tips on strengthening relationships (in marriage and in friendship)

Relationships need to be nurtured. Often, we take for granted that relationship is like a beautiful flower. If left unattended, it will wither and die. We often admire its beauty but fail to realise that the beauty needs to be be maintained if it has to remain to be admired.

There are simple things that we take for granted, simple words that we say or fail to say that can either nurture or starve relationships. When you care about someone, you need to pay attention to what you to that person and how it is said. The deeper someone cares about you the more significant is the impact of the spoken words.

Some simple (two and three letter) words and how much they can mean when said with sincerity.

Commitment: "I love you"

These three words are very powerful. When you love someone, do not hesitate to tell them that you love them. In fact, do not be afraid to tell the world! There are no words so uplift…

Purpose of Life - Life Purpose and Life Intentions

Purpose of Life

Life Purpose and Life Intentions
Ideas on How to Find What the Purpose of Life is For You
What is the purpose of life for you? Finding and clarifying your life purpose and core life intentions can help you to move with greater focus and clarity every day of your life. Especially in these challenging times, setting clear intentions and developing and refining our life purpose can make it much easier to navigate stormy waters. There are many ways to both find and develop your life purpose and intentions. Below are a number of useful resources to help you on this path of discovery. This information is provided to inspire you to be all that you can be and to lead an ever richer, fuller life. A great way to start exploring your life purpose and intentions is to stop for a moment and ask yourself these two key questions: What is most important to me in my life? 
What are my deepest values and beliefs? Give yourself time to explore these important questions and notice what touches…

Segway test drive at WFP's warehouse

WFP's warehousing complex in Dodoma, Tanzania, boasts of storage facilities extending close to 1km. The Segway makes it easier for the warehouse staff to shuttle back and forth between storage tents during loading and unloading operations in the warehouses.

I took my first test drive on this exciting two-wheeled, self-balancing, battery-powered electric vehicle. It is indeed a green and fun way of getting around in the heat and getting stuff done.




The Customer Service Equation: Aim for customer delight!

The Customer Service equation

If you are in the customer service business, then you should be aware of these three equations:

Customer frustration  : Service Delivery < Customer ExpectationCustomer satisfaction: Service Delivery = Customer ExpectationCustomer delight       : Service Delivery > Customer Expectation

Customers get frustrated when you promise more than what you can deliver. So, do not over-promise.Customers are generally satisfied when you deliver what you had promised. But, you are only doing what is expected of you - nothing exciting.However, customers are delighted when you deliver beyond what they were expecting.

Aim for Customer delight!

Happy Father's Day Papa!

Some Father's Day wishes...

***

Have a wonderful father's day Papa. I wish you all the best

ParticipativeAmazingPleasingActive
Happy Father's Day Dad
A wonderful poem written by the heart and soul
We love you we say as the plants just sway
Papa I want you to know you make my day

***

Papa we love youAmazingPerfectionistAffectionate
I hope you have an amazing time today!

***

Moving up - the boys getting older...

Congratulations to our boys!


Razzaq graduates from Elementary School to Middle School.


Bella has graduated from Middle School to High School.
Some more photos here


Inspirational leadership: Caring is contagious

"The way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers." - By Richard Branson. Founder of Virgin Group
I find this quote from Richard Branson very inspirational and I cannot resist the urge to comment and share it on my blog.

It is one of the best comments on employer / employee relationship that I've come across, that cuts across public, private and the not-for-profit / NGO sectors.

If you treat your staff well, they will treat your customers well. It's as simple as that.

Your customers could be paying customers / receivers of service (in the private sector), citizens (in the public sector) and beneficiaries (in the NGO / humanitarian world). It doesn't matter who your customers are, but if you want your staff to care about them, you have to care about your staff. If you treat them right and you make them feel appreciated and cared for, they will pass it on to the people that they serve.

Caring is contagious!



Human Development Index in 2013 Report shows major gains since 2000 in most countries of South | UNDP

14 March 2013 (UNDP)

Additional updated indices in 2013 Human Development Report measure gender equity, extreme poverty, and HDI inequalities  

Mexico City — Norway, Australia and the United States lead the rankings of 187 countries and territories in the latest Human Development Index (HDI), while conflict-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo and drought-stricken Niger have the lowest scores in the HDI’s measurement of national achievement in health, education and income, published today in the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) 2013 Human Development Report.

Yet Niger and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, despite their continuing development challenges, are among the countries that made the greatest strides in HDI improvement since 2000, the Report shows. The new HDI figures show consistent human development improvement in most countries.

“Over the past decades, countries across the world have been converging towards higher levels of human development, as shown by the …

International Women's Day 2013

ABOUT INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY (8 MARCH)
This video was kindly provided by International Women's Day has been observed since in the early 1900's, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. 1908
Great unrest and critical debate was occurring amongst women. Women's oppression and inequality was spurring women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. Then in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. 1909
In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman's Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on 28 February. Women continued to celebrate NWD on the last Sunday of February until 1913. 1910
n 1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named a Clara Zetkin (Leader of the 'Women's Office' for th…

Immigration entry / exit forms now a thing of the past in Abidjan airport

I just travelled through Abidjan airport and I noticed an interesting development. You no longer need to fill in entry / exit forms at Immigration. They simply scan your passport, scan your fingers and take your photo - the usual stuff. What else do you need?

I just popped over in Accra and the usual forms...

I'm amazed at why these forms are needed when all the information that's required are already available on the passport. The only additional information (on the form) is the purpose of visit and accommodation details. What relevance is this info anyway? Who's going to check if the hotel you indicated is the one that you're staying at? Most times they simply want you to enter an address, and that's it. No real interest in checking. So, what's the point?

The people who suffer the most are the illiterate travellers who are subjected to the inconvenience of finding someone to complete their forms. I see no real positive value in this old-fashioned practice, es…

10 Observations on Technology in Africa from Eric Schmidt of GoogleICT Works | ICT Works

After a week of business meetings in the cities of sub-Saharan Africa, Eric Schmidt posted a detailed list of observations. As he used to run Google and is still on their board, I’ll give him a bit more credit than others who might want to opine after a week’s exposure to the continent’s dynamism. Eric starts with 3 positive major trends: the despotic leadership in Africa from the 1970s and 1980 is in decline, replaced by younger and more democratic leadersa huge youth demographic boom is underway, with a majority of the population of 25, or even under 20mobile phones are everywhere, and the Internet in Africa will be primarily a mobile oneAnd then he lists 10 observations that many of us already see, but its great to have validation from a global business leader:

10 Observations on Technology in Africa from Eric Schmidt of GoogleICT Works | ICT Works