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BPO giant in SA – more to follow

first_img31 December 2007The decision by US-based business process outsourcing (BPO) giant TeleTech to establish a facility outside Cape Town is proof that the country’s marketing campaign to attract new foreign investment is a success, says the International Marketing Council of South Africa (IMC).IMC chief executive Yvonne Johnston says TeleTech’s decision will stimulate further global interest in the country’s advantages in the fields of BPO and call centres.“The BPO industry is poised for significant growth in the near future and South Africa is an ideal location to set up base,” Johnston said in a statement following TeleTech’s announcement in November.“We deliver competitive advantages compared with other countries in terms of our geographic location and time zone, the quality of our infrastructure, our human resources and the widespread usage of English.”The IMC, the custodian of Brand South Africa, is responsible for promoting the country as a preferred trade and investment destination.Construction of the new TeleTech facility at the Old Match Factory in Salt River, Cape Town, kicked off in late November with a sod-turning ceremony attended by Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa.Colorado-based TeleTech Holdings is the first multinational company to benefit from a new incentive plan launched by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which has identified the BPO sector as a major future source of employment.“BPO is critical to our economic development strategy, and we see TeleTech as an anchor company for this new industry,” Mpahlwa said at the ceremony.SA a ‘high quality location’TeleTech has already announced that it plans a number of new facilities in South Africa, which will create thousands of new jobs in the BPO industry. The company already employs more than 50 000 people in 18 countries, and Cape Town is its first base on the African continent.“Africa’s future is in services, and South Africa is a virtually untapped market for offshore BPO,” TeleTech Africa general manager Craig Reines said in a statement. “We are attracted by the country’s excellent infrastructure, talented and growing labour pool, and the widespread use of English.“South Africa is a high quality location linking Africa into the global BPO supply chain.”Johnston said the TeleTech investment was a high-profile example of the success of the trade and investment missions jointly organised by the IMC and the DTI.“For the past five years we have conducted at least one mission a year – twice to the USA, Europe and the UK, and in October this year we went to India for the first time,” Johnston said. “We use these missions to inform the business communities in these countries about opportunities and prospects for trade and investment and to connect them with local contacts.“I am optimistic that we will see an increasing flow of trade and investment from companies that have come to know South Africa better through these visits.”SAinfo reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

New ‘light-eating’ protein discovered in the Sea of Galilee

first_img By Shandria SuttonJul. 5, 2018 , 11:40 AM New ‘light-eating’ protein discovered in the Sea of Galilee Alina Pushkarev center_img In their quest to find “light-eating” proteins, cellular components that help plants and microbes harvest light from the sun, a team of scientists has stumbled upon the first new kind in nearly 50 years—at the bottom of the Sea of Galilee. The unexpected discovery could help researchers better understand how microbes sense light, and it could power new kinds of light-based research and data storage techniques.Many organisms use light-sensitive proteins to gather the sun’s energy and help them survive. Some use chlorophyll to convert sunlight during photosynthesis and others use rhodopsins, proteins that bind to a form of vitamin A called retinal to capture light. The best known rhodopsin is embedded in the rod cells of our eyes, where it helps us see in the dark. But another form of rhodopsin helps small organisms, such as algae and bacteria, absorb light to make chemical energy.Researchers were searching for the second type of rhodopsin when they collected DNA samples from the Sea of Galilee in Israel. They returned to their lab and screened the DNA for genes that coded for the light-reacting proteins. When they added retinal to Escherichia coli bacteria hosting the DNA, it turned purple—a sign that rhodopsins might be present (above). When they tested the DNA further, they discovered a completely new light-eating protein, a type of rhodopsin they named heliorhodopsin, the team reported last month in Nature.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Scientists don’t know much about how heliorhodopsin works. Its DNA is similar to the rhodopsin that creates chemical energy. But because it takes so long to finish its light-conversion cycle, the researchers suspect that—similar to the rhodopsin in our eyes—it is a light-sensing protein. What they know for sure: The new protein seems to be everywhere, in bacteria, algae, archaea, and even viruses in the soil and in every major body of water on Earth. This new protein family is even found in bacteria and other microorganisms that were never known to sense light until now.The light-sensing protein could lead to applications in everything from data storage to optogenetics, which allows scientists to manipulate genetically modified nerve cells with light. But first, scientists must answer many questions about the protein’s fundamentals.last_img read more

African Nova Scotians worried about representation as school boards eliminated

first_imgHALIFAX – African Nova Scotians and other minority communities will have input as the province remodels schools administration under sweeping reforms, the education minister says.Zach Churchill said he wants full community involvement in the selection process for the new education advisory council that is to replace the province’s seven English-language regional school boards.“I want that to happen,” Churchill said. “We want this to be a fair process where we get good people who can contribute to good outcomes for kids in our province.”Minority groups have voiced concerns about losing their elected representatives through legislation introduced Thursday that will eliminate the school boards by March 31.Archy Beals, the African Nova Scotian representative on the Halifax Regional School Board, said Friday his community is concerned about losing its voice to a large bureaucratic body.“We need to have a strong voice at the table and we need to have a non-partisan voice and a transparent voice so that we are not just rubber-stamping what governments ask,” said Beals.Beals says there are concerns about who will be appointed to the 15-member council.He said the members of the African Nova Scotian school board caucus have written to Churchill but have received no response. He said they’ve also submitted the names of four people to sit on a transition team that will shepherd in the creation of the new advisory council, but have not heard back.“The problem with that is, you are hand-picking people,” said Beals. “Where’s the transparency in that? Where’s the non-partisan piece in that?”Beals said he believes a system of community nominations could be a part of the change process.However, he also defended the school boards as they are currently constituted, saying minority representation on the Halifax board has worked to make substantial changes. He pointed to reports on the incidents of racism and discrimination under the board’s auspices, and work on culturally relevant teaching methods.“Granted there are some things that we need to change and work on, but throwing the baby out with the bathwater is not the solution.”Churchill said there would be minority input as part of the transition team that will advise his department on the terms of reference and selection process for the advisory council.In addition to minority seats on the council, two new executive director positions representing the African Nova Scotian and Mi’kmaq communities will also be created at the Education Department as part of sweeping reforms based on a recent report by education consultant Avis Glaze.last_img read more