The most worshipful Brother, James E. Pierre, 320 Grand Master of Masons, Republic of Liberia, The Deputy Grand Master of Masons Right Worshipful Brother Anthony Deline, II The Acting General Grand Matron and Grand Patron of the Order of Eastern Stars of The Republic of Liberia, The Rector of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, The Rt. Rev. James B. Sellee, Officers and Members of this Church, Officer and members of the Grand Lodge of Mason of Liberia, Worshipful Master, Officer, and Member of the Subordinate lodge, Matron and Patron of Subordinate Chapters of the order of Eastern Stars, Brothers and Sisters.Today we celebrate one of two days in craft Masonry that Masons holds dearest to their hearts.Firstly, we would like to thank The Most Worshipful Brother James E. Pierre, 320 Grand Master of Mason of the Republic of Liberia, The Deputy Grand Master and all officers and member of the Grand Lodge, The Worshipful Masters, Officers, and Members of Subordinate Lodges under the Leadership of King Solomon Lodge #20 headed by Worship Brother Joshua Doe-Smith for the Opportunity given me to serve as orator on this auspicious occasion. This gesture will forever remain embalmed in my heart. I am most grateful and humbled by my selection, and hope this occasion will be commendable to all of us.Brethren and Sisters, guests, one and all. Today we will endeavor to glibly speak to you on the topic, The Role of the Free Masonry in “the new Liberia.” We will give you a narrative of this day with special emphasis on Saint John the Baptist himself. Next we will give you a brief historical analysis of free Masonry in Liberia Past and Present and finally what we envision the role of Free Masonry will be in the New Liberia.Brothers and Sisters,Today is set aside by the Subordinate Lodges in the Liberian Jurisdiction to pay homage to Saint John the Baptist, one of the Patron Saints of the Masonic craft. This day is celebrated worldwide by Masons. Craft Masonry holds St. John the Baptist as well as St. John the Evangelist in extreme high esteem. While researchers have not been able to give any solid explanation as to why St. John the Baptist, a Christian Saints was chosen, researchers are of the shared opinion that the selection of this noble Saint was no mistake but rather a wise decision. Not only was he a saint, but he was wise and imparted knowledge through his teaching, preaching, and most importantly his exemplary life and works which made him a suitable candidate for this honor.This patron Saint along with St. John the Evangelist symbolizes almost everything in Free Masonry. That is from its, history, custom, tradition, to it ritualistic requirement. What we are doing here today is fulfillment of what is requires of true masons, as it indicative of our commitment to the past and our dedication to the tenant of Free Masonry.History tells us that the celebration of this day goes as far back as 1717 when the Mother Grand Lodge was formed. As early as 1717, Masons gathered to hold festival meeting on June 24, honoring the memory of this Noble Saint. We as Masonic Brothers must not search for the history of John the Baptist in Masonic doctrines or writings as very little is found. But rather we must concentrate our effort on the doctrine of Christianity, as St. John the Baptist was firstly a Christian Saint and later as Masonic brother.History tells us that, that in the Middle Ages, it was a common practice for craftsmen to place themselves under the protection of a Saint of the church. Craftsmen of different likings were under the banner of various Saints depending on their crafts. It is rumored that merchants tailors, selected and adopted St. John the Baptist. There cannot be any direct parallel link to Free MasonryHowever, St. John the Baptist was considered a stern, and just man. He was believed to be intolerant of sham, of pretense, or weakness.It is said that he was a man of strength, and fire, uncompromising to evil or expediency but yet he was courageous, humble, sincere, magnanimous. The greatest teacher described him, and I quote “Among them that are born of woman, there has not arisen as greater than John the Baptist.”We must be reminded that there is no historical evidence that clearly state that John the Baptist was a member of the craft. Yet we can say with certainty that he was adopted as one of our Patrons Saints. Lodges and institutions have all been dedicated to this man.By his doing he is mystified today, until we have conceptualized a sacred lodge in honor of John the Baptist. And I quote. “So, naturally, there came the idea or ideal, of a Sacred lodge in the Holy City presided over by the Saints John” No such lodge ever existed in fact, and yet it is not a fiction, it is an ideal, and without such ideals our life would be dim and dark. The taught back of the question and answer, then, is that we come from an ideal or Dream Lodge into this actual work-a-day world wherever ideals are to be tested”.As most of us should be aware Free Masonry came to Liberia abroad he first vessel that brought wise, fee men, seeking greater opportunities and a brighter future. Abroad this vessel were few craftsmen, all from colored Lodged in the United States of America, under the Prince Hall jurisdiction. We must here pay homage to the works and suffering of Prince Hall a Mason and a Preacher of noticeable distinction. As a review the history of Free Masonry in Liberia today we must give homage to those laudable men, Headed by the Rev. Brother Thomas Amos, The Deputy Grand Master, who championed the cause of opening the grand Lodge. Included in this number was the first President of Liberia, Joseph Jenkins Roberts. These men assemble in solemn convention in Monrovia, and establish the Grand Lode in 1867. In September 22, 1867 the most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Liberia was constituted and consecrated with three subordinate Lodges: Oriental Lodge #1, Monrovia, St. Paul’s Lodge #2, Clay Ashland, and St. John Lodge #3 Monrovia. The first code of officers included the following: Rev. Thomas Amos, Grand Master; Ashbury F. Johns, Deputy Grand Master Beverly A. Yates, Senior Grand Warden; Hilary R.W. Johnson, Junior Grand Warden; Gabriel Moore, Grand Treasurer and John N. Lewis, Grand Secretary.These men were honorable men who risked their lives to come back home to build a black nation where free men and women would dwell and govern themselves. They brought free masonry with them and establish the fraternity in Liberia. Free Masonry assisted in building Liberia. Masonic brothers participated in governance as well as in the building of the Republic of Liberia. They labor for Liberia; some gave their lives for Liberia. We must never allow their labor to go in vain nor their bloodshed for null.What we as Masonic brothers and Eastern Star Sisters are plague with today is basically a filthy state with basically a dysfunctional institutions contaminated by and with immoral people.The Golden Tenets and principles of our Noble orders forbids us from living, working or even existing under such conditions. We as Mason are an upright people. The Golden Tenets of our Order must be practiced by us in Liberia. We must stand up for something or we will die for anything. The blood of all our brothers who passed due to the lack of basic Medical Care is flowing near us daily. The thoughts of our sick brothers and sisters who cannot get Medical attention should be plundering our minds daily.We must vindicate ourselves and Craft Masonry. We must do what we should have to do as Patriotic Liberians, Humanitarians, Fathers, Mothers, or True Masonic Brothers or we will be held responsible. Now is the time for all Masons to come together and correct the past, change the present and build the future.Masons are Craftsmen and therefore we must unite ourselves and rededicate ourselves to Building a New Liberia.We must never be perturbed by Senile Visionaries. These uncompromising agonists, who have not taken off time form there unproductive, schedule to really read and learn about free Masonry. They have come up with unsubstantiated statement against Free Masonry, Religious Organization and traditional Societies. They have issued unsubstantiated statements, castigating laudable institution that have existed for centuries. We believe that the time has come for these statements to be challenged. We believed that it is incumbent up our Grand Master, to respond to these statements. We have kept quiet too long and “silent” in most instances means consent. We believe as Masonic Brothers, we must respond to these false allegations and statement. Liberian must be educated on the true principles of the Craft. If not we might find ourselves in another 1980 situation. Out of ignorance, one of the charges against Elected Government officials was that they were Masonic Brothers. Only after the execution of these laudable men did they find out the truth and came begging on their knees for forgiveness and seeking membership into our Noble institution. Yes, it was mere ignorance, but we must ensure that it never happens again. We must embark on a campaign to educate the Liberian people on the true principles of Craft Masonry. Our lives and that of our children depend on this.Misinformation has become an integral part of our society and we must fight as our Masonic obligations says, “my life you may take; my integrity never”. We must fight for our integrity disregarding every situation.Today I stand before you as a member of Most Fraternity in Liberia, The Masonic Craft, The Eastern Star, the UBF Poro, Sande, Malah, ect. All of these fraternities preach brotherhood and sisterhood. Most of them are deeply religious. What differs is the mode of initiation. We as a people must stop making absolute statement about fraternities and traditional institution, when we do not know the facts. We must admit that due to the change in time and technology we believe that there should be some modification in our traditional societies, but never abandon it. All of these institutions are deeply religious. These are institutions that molded the character of great men in the history of our nation. It was good then, is good now and will be good in the future.Most Worshipful Brother, James E. Pierre, Brothers and Sisters, we must build a new Liberia. There is a dying need for a New Liberia. Our Ancestors are crying from their graves. We have destroyed what they worked for. We have shamed them. We have disgraced them. We all participated in the destruction of this country directly or indirectly. Our failure to voice out against the ills of this society makes one as guilty as one who participated directly in the destruction. Our children deserve a better Liberia. We must give them somewhere worthy because they do not have a good enough home to come to. Our Brothers are lingering in jails all around the world, because of petit crimes committed in the process of trying to service. Our relatives have died, because of the lack of Medical Care. We must have a generation that lacks the requisite education to survive in this abhorrent world. The quality of Education is at its lowest ever in the history of Liberia. Dishonesty lying, crime in general has become the order of the day in this country.Brethren, the day we are celebrating in honor of one of the greatest Saint in the Bible, St. John the Baptist. This man was a just and upright man, was a stern man, compromised nothing for right, and good. As said earlier, he was a man of strength and fire, uncompromising with evil or expediency, and yet, courageous, humble, sincere and magnanimous. These characters led to his death. What more meaningful way to die, than to stand up for something. Oh, God Almighty, how much I pray for many St. John the Baptist in this abhorrent country of ours.Finally brethren, as we continue the festivities of this day, and as we remember our Masonic Hero, we must start preparing and thinking about the new Liberian 2018. We must not sit supinely and allow what was not to be, to be. We must get involved in the process to endure that the right people are elected. If we fail to do this, the burden will rest on us. We will have to take the responsibility of the suffering of our people, the sale of our country, the death of our brothers and sisters, etc. and the list goes on and on.The Masonic Craft over the years have played a significant role in the building and governance of Liberia. We have had approximately five Presidents who were grand Masters of Masons of Liberia. Namely: MWB, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, MWB William Coleman, MWB Charles D.B. King, MWB William V.S. Tubman, and MWB William R. Tolbert. These men served their country and craft. We have vice Presidents, Speakers of the House, President Pro-temp and an array of High ranking Government Officials as well as eminent citizens of Liberia, including Head of Political Parties, Ministers, Chief Justices, Senators, Representatives, all serving as grand Masters of Masons.Many problems in Government were settled at the Masonic temple. Good governance decisions were made there; Bad decisions or actions were challenged at the temple. Boys were made men, and girls were made women. This Noble institution was a part of the Governance process. Even though, largely misunderstood, it significantly, impacted the people of Liberia.The New Liberia we envisage will and must be one with a Masonic Head, This New Liberia must have a God fearing Leader, who love and care for his people. The Leader of this New Liberia must be his brother’s keeper. He must be patriotic, honest, and hard-working. He must be and stay in good moral standing.My brothers and Sisters, such a character meets the Tenet of the Free Masonry. All that I have said is covered in the statement “A Master Mason must be upright” once upright he will meet all that is required of a good leader.As we celebrate, this day in commemoration of St. John the Baptist, we must rededicate ourselves to being upright men and women as St. John the Baptist was. We must rededicate ourselves to improving our country, this entails firstly, electing the right leader who valued are as the same as yours. One who have gone where you have been, one who have done what you have done. One who value are similar to yours, and lastly one that have seen the light as you have seen.Most Worshipful Brother James E. Pierre, 320 Grand Master of the Republic of Liberia, Rt. Worshipful Brother Anthony W. Deline, II 32% Deputy Grand Master, RL, Wardens, Officers, and Members of the Grand Lodge, RL, Worshipful Masters and Wardens, and Members of Subordinate Lodges, Acting Grand Matron and Grand Patron of the Orders of Eastern Stars, Matrons and Patrons, Officers and Sisters of the Subordinate Chapter, distinguish ladies and gentlemen, Oh, how good would it be to have the President of Liberia with us on the festive day of the Craft Masonry what joy and admiration will engulf the people of Monrovia to see the President perambulating with us on the streets of Monrovia, Our dreams must come true, our goal we must achieve, this will go a long way in mitigating the woe and increasing the happiness of every Liberian. The choice is ours, God Bless Liberia and Safe Craft Masonry.We thank you!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
CHATSWORTH – More than 100 union workers are striking Rexam Beverage Can North America Co.’s plant here as part of a national strike involving 900 employees in eight states. In a complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board, United Steelworkers claims Rexam illegally negotiated with individual workers instead of with the union. “We deny those charges,” said Greg Brooke, a spokesman for Rexam. “Even though we’re in this strike situation, we are hopeful to resume discussions and end the strike as soon as possible.” The Chatsworth plant employs 105 union workers and makes about 5.5 million cans in 24 hours. Clients include Budweiser and Coke. A contract covering the workers expired Feb. 24 but was extended twice. Talks for a five-year contract broke down April 9 over health insurance. Rexam wants workers to contribute more to their health plans, from $8 a week to $21.50 a week in the first year, and to $26.50 and $31.50 each year after, said Mike Warner, president of USW Local 8433 in Chatsworth. “Rexam is saying they are in line with the rest of the industry,” Warner said. “But they are not even in line with the rest of their plants.” The union rejected two Rexam proposals before striking. On Thursday, 15 workers picketed the plant’s entrance on Prairie Street, carrying signs that read, “USW on strike against unfair labor practices at Rexam Local 8433.” Richard Sandoval, a mechanic at Rexam for 31 years, said he trains more young workers now than in years past because many move on after finding better-paying jobs. “It’s going to be hard to get new kids” if benefits drop, said Sandoval, 49, of Simi Valley. Miguel Sanchez, 32, of Highland Park cleaned machines at Rexam for 15 months at $15.95 an hour. He said company leaders don’t understand that workers deal with chemicals and high noise levels on the job. “They claim to see it through our eyes, but they don’t,” Sanchez said. “Everybody tries to do their job as best as possible.” Besides California, workers are striking plants in Minnesota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Alabama, Arizona, Pennsylvania and two in North Carolina. The union represents mechanics, forklift drivers, machine operators and electricians, among others. The last time USW picketed the Chatsworth plant, which was then owned by Schlitz Brewery Container, was May 1977, Warner said. The strike lasted 30 days. Rexam has 17 plants in the U.S. and 32 worldwide. The company is the world’s “leading manufacturer of beverage cans,” making more than 50 billion each year, according to its Web site. The company brought in workers from other plants after the strike started, but Brooke, the spokesman, indicated the Chatsworth plant was not running at full capacity. “We’re making up the production wherever we can,” he said. firstname.lastname@example.org (818) 713-3735160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
0Shares0000Manchester United legend says he watched Mbappe and Jesus with a scout during his coaching time at the clubLONDON, United Kingdom, Dec 22- Ryan Giggs says he advised Manchester United to sign Gabriel Jesus and Kylian Mbappe before they became stars and believes the club are paying the price for an inconsistent transfer policy.The United legend joined the club’s backroom staff when his stellar playing career ended in 2014, serving as Louis van Gaal’s assistant after spending a year as player-coach under David Moyes. And Giggs, who watched Brazilian striker Jesus and France forward Mbappe with a scout during that time, believes the club’s recruitment “could have been better”.“I watched Gabriel Jesus play three years ago,” he told Britain’s Times newspaper. “I watched Mbappe for a year. I was watching them with the scout and it was a no-brainer. It was just like, ‘get them’.“It would have been £5 million or something — get them, loan them back — and that’s where the recruitment could have been better.”Jesus joined Manchester City for a reported £27 million in January while Mbappe swapped Monaco for Paris Saint-Germain this summer, initially on loan but with an option to make the move permanent next summer for a fee of around £166 million.United, who trail City by 11 points in the Premier League, have spent hundreds of millions of pounds in the transfer market since Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 but Giggs believes they do not have enough high-class players to compete with their neighbours.And the most decorated player in United’s history also thinks some of the players they let go should never have been allowed to leave the club.“I know what a Manchester United player looks like,” he said.“There have been a lot who have come through that haven’t been United players and also players who were United and shouldn’t have left.“I’m talking about Rafael (Da Silva), (Danny) Welbeck, Jonny Evans — players who are United through and through.“It was hard because Louis had his own ideas and you had to respect that but, yes, we had a few arguments about a couple of them.”Giggs told the Times he felt he was in with a chance of succeeding Van Gaal as United’s manager but understood the decision to go for Jose Mourinho even though he feels he could have given the club continuity.“They had fallen down the pecking order, so do they go for someone who — and it winds me up saying this — hasn’t got experience as a manager or do they go for a winner?” said Giggs.“They went for a winner, in Jose, a win-at-all-costs type of manager. Is Jose a typical Manchester United manager? Probably not, but United were in a situation of ‘how quickly can we get back to the top?’”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Football Competitons:Div 1 boys/girls (semi finals to be played) Div 2 boys blitz final (Kilmacrennan/Creevy/Whitecastle)Div 2 girls blitz final (Glenswilly/St. McCartons/Scoil Eoin, Moville) Div 3 boys/girls (semi finals to be played)Div 4 boys/girls (semi finals to be played)Div 5 boys blitz final (Cois Feabhail/Pettigo/Ranafast/East winners)Div 5 girls blitz final (same as above)Div 6 boys blitz final (Loughanure/Inver/Belcruit/St Mary’s, Ardara)Div 6 girls blitz final (Loughanure/Brackey/Leitir/Crannóg Buí)Return of trophies/shields:Schools who won silverware in 2012 are kindly asked to return them to either Daithi Roberts (086-2524012) or leave in Donegal Sports in Letterkenny for collection. Rounders:Congratulations to Belcruit NS on winning Roinn 3 of the rounders played last week. Results were: Gold (Belcruit); Silver (Rathdonnell); Bronze (Scoil Cóimín)The Roinn 1 and 2 finals will take place in Convoy on Wed. 22nd May with the following times:Roinn 2 ( Scoil Bhríde, Convoy v Scoil Naomh Bríd, Na Dúnaibh) @ 11am Roinn 1 (Scoil Aodh Rua & Nuala v Scoil Iosagain, Buncrana) @ 12.30pmAthletics:The athletics for 1-4 teacher schools will take place on the Aura Track, Letterkenny on Fri. 14th June @ 10.30am with admission free. Emails have been sent to each school with events and application forms.Section A: 1-2 teachersSection B: 3-4 teachersGAA NEWS – SCHOOL NOTES was last modified: May 20th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE – An aerospace engineer at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center has been named the recipient of the National Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists’ top award for 2005. Robert Navarro, currently project manager for flight experiments on the Altair unmanned aircraft system at NASA Dryden, was honored with the MAES Medalla de Oro (Gold Medallion) award for outstanding technical contributions and educational outreach to the Latino community. Navarro was one of three Latino engineers who received the honor in November at the black-tie La Medalla do Oro banquet held in connection with the organization’s 31st annual symposium in San Jose. The event is intended to honor professional members of MAES, industry supporters and representatives of academia for outstanding achievement, technical contribution and service to the Mexican American community. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals In addition to the award, a $4,000 scholarship was presented in Navarro’s name to Maria Hernandez, an engineering student at the University of New Mexico. The MAES Padrino/Ahijada (godfather/godchild) scholarship pairs a professional with a student member to provide guidance and serve as a role model. Navarro has been a member of MAES since he was an engineering student at California State University, Fullerton. He has presented technical papers at their conferences and has also conducted motivational workshops, as well as serving as a keynote speaker at various activities of regional MAES chapters. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1989, Navarro joined NASA at the Glenn Research Center in Ohio as a gas and fluids engineer. He worked on a variety of projects, including serving as principal engineer on three thermal and fluids experiments flown on space shuttle missions. After transferring to NASA Dryden in 1995, Navarro was involved in a number of engineering roles. He served as principal investigator for a series of experiments on the F/A-18 systems research aircraft and as chief engineer for that aircraft and the Helios solar-electric flying wing. More recently, he served as project manager for a short series of research flights by the Pathfinder-Plus solar aircraft earlier this year that acquired data to improve aeroelastic analytical tools for flexible-structure aircraft. In his present position, Navarro is responsible for management of earth science missions using General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ Altair unmanned aircraft system (UAS).160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Who would want to take on this fit-looking bunch from Letterkenny?Pictures of the Ryan family posing for Ireland’s Fittest Family have been published for the first time.And dad Danny, as well as sons Keane, Jordan and daughter Alanna, are looking mean and ready for action. The Ryans are the first Donegal family to feature on the hit RTE show.They make their debut at 6.30pm on November 6th next.Let’s get behind them Donegal!Look who’s looking fit for TV debut! was last modified: October 25th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
Burnley 1 Chelsea 3 Cesc Fabregas created three goals and fellow debutant Diego Costa was among the scorers as Chelsea came from behind to earn a stylish win.Andre Schurrle and Branislav Ivanovic were also on target at Turf Moor, where the impressive Blues lived up to their billing as title favourites.Keeper Thibaut Courtois – who got the nod in goal ahead of Petr Cech – had no chance with Scott Arfield’s measured strike after an inevitable all-action Burnley opening.But Chelsea looked sharp and dangerous from the off and were level when good work by Eden Hazard, Fabregas and Ivanovic led to Costa crashing the ball home.A sumptuous first-time Fabregas pass which teed up an equally exquisite Schurrle finish soon made it 2-1.And with Chelsea completely dominant in the latter stages of the first half, Ivanovic added a third when he volleyed the ball in from a Fabregas corner.Striker Costa netted on his competitive debut for the BluesThe second half saw little in the way of decent chances, but Chelsea never looked like surrendering the lead they secured in a blistering first half full of pace, power and guile.Jose Mourinho’s new-look side showed the perfect combination of quality and physical strength he felt was too often lacking away from home last season.Schurrle’s deflected shot went agonisingly close early on but Arfield showed great composure to put the hosts ahead with a rasping strike on 14 minutes.Chelsea refused to be flustered and equalised when a delightful Fabregas back-heel saw Ivanovic cross from the right and, after the cross was deflected on to the post, £32m summer signing Costa netted from 10 yards.It was 2-1 when a flowing team move ended with Fabregas teeing up Schurrle, who sidefooted the ball in from the right-hand side.With the Blues completely on top, Costa was then inexplicably booked after being brought down as he rounded goalkeeper Tom Heaton after a poor backpass by Ben Mee.But it soon was 3-1, when the classy Fabregas, who was given an advanced role with Oscar often dropping deep, found Ivanovic from a corner and the defender volleyed inCourtois had the chance to show manager Mourinho’s decision to drop Cech was justified after the break and made a fabulous sprawling save to deny Arfield a second goal.But there was little more in the way of goalmouth incident as Chelsea eased to victory.Didier Drogba did make a late substitute appearance, much to the delight of the noisy away support, and the returning hero almost scored with a late shot that he dragged just wide. Chelsea: Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Fabregas, Matic; Schurrle (Willian 78), Oscar (Mikel 82), Hazard (Drogba 84); Costa. Subs not used: Cech, Zouma, Luis, Torres. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
12 August 2016The South African rand has regained its position as Africa’s top currency,leapfrogging the Nigerian naira this week.This comes after four major events in recent months: the Brexit vote, theSouth African municipal election results, the rand gaining more than 16% againstthe dollar since the start of 2016, and the naira losing more than a third of its valueafter Nigeria’s central bank removed a currency peg in June.South Africa’s economy was at $301-billion (R4-trillion), while Nigeria’s grossdomestic product (GDP) was $296-billion (R3.9-trillion), Bloomberg reported. Thesefigures are based on GDP at the end of 2015, published by the InternationalMonetary Fund.The momentum that took the naira above the rand two years ago was now longgone, according to the Bloomberg article.Business Day Live reported that at 9.05am on 12 August‚ the rand was at R13.4267 to the dollar from R13.4065 at the previous close. It was at R14.9591 against the euro from R14.9303 previously‚ and at R17.3839 against the pound from R17.3670 previously.Despite the positive news on the rand, Bloomberg said its reign as top currencymay not last long as the naira may bounce back.The rand got a major push following Britain’s vote on 23 June to exit theEuropean Union, which made investors turn to emerging markets. But the SouthAfrican local elections on 3 August, particularly its dramatic results, haveencouraged investors even further.Local electionsThe local government elections – whereby the African National Congress lost afew major metros to the opposition Democratic Alliance because of a substantial dipin support, and the Economic Freedom Fighters grew its support – benefitted therand, stated the Financial Times. Investors are encouraged by the notion that pressure will be put on the ruling party to introduce economic reforms that will boost growth and cut unemployment.The election results were seen as a positive by investors because it meantPresident Jacob Zuma’s power was dwindling, Luis Costa, CitiGroup’s strategist, told Financial Times. Events such as the axing of former finance minister Nhlanhla Nenewere less likely to be repeated. “The implications of this week’s election outcomeare market-friendly.”In another interview with Bloomberg, Costa said: “It will keep Zuma in a verysecondary stance when it comes to making economic policy decisions at least overthe next quarter.”Investors had been encouraged by significantly lower energy prices over thelast three months and steadiness in iron ore, platinum and gold, Costa added. “Thatin general produces a very nice dynamic in terms of trade for South African assets.”Investors treading cautiouslyDespite the good news, Reuters reported early on the morning of 11 Augustthat the rand’s rally against the dollar had paused, with investors treadingcautiously after Statistics South Africa released data on local mining andmanufacturing.According to Stats SA, mining production decreased by 2,5% in June 2016compared to the same period in the previous year, with the most negativeperformers being manganese ore, diamonds, nickel, copper and other non-metallicminerals. Coal, however, remained on a high.In May 2016, mineral sales rose 17,4% compared to the same period in 2015.In the meantime, use of production capacity by large manufacturers was 81,6%in May 2016 compared with 80,3% in May 2015, an increase of 1,3%.Sources: Bloomberg, Statistics South Africa, Reuters and SouthAfrica.info reporter.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website?See Using SouthAfrica.info material
Some companies try to slow sales when they have operational challenges. Others simply take their foot off the gas because things are going well, and they are more concerned with executing for their clients than they are in opportunity creation. Still, others lose momentum because they become apathetic about prospecting and the creation of new opportunities.Newton’s First Law of Motion states that a body in motion stays in motion and a body at rest stays at rest. Regardless of the reason, letting up is an enormous mistake and one that is difficult to correct. It also takes more time and energy than one might believe to restart motion.If for whatever reason you have a long sales cycle, the work you do to create opportunities in the first quarter is going to determine what your result is like in some future quarter or quarters. Even though you may work very hard to compress the time it takes, it is highly unlikely that you can make up for months without prospecting in the weeks leading up to the end of your quarter. You are not going to find enough prospects with enough of a compelling reason to change to be able to move them now.When a whole sales organization starts to shift from opportunity creation to opportunity capture, meaning they spend much more of their time working on their existing clients, they become exposed to the risk of going backward when they lose a large client, or when there is an event that strips them of their current revenue. If it’s been years since the sales force was really focused on acquiring new clients, it is going to take a very long time to rebuild that core competency. In some cases, it requires a new sales force.You never want to be in a position where it is necessary to restart your pipeline. It is easier and more effective to make prospecting and opportunity creation the foundation of what salespeople do because truth be told, it is. The more consistently and effectively you create opportunities, the more consistently you will produce new clients—and new revenue. Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now