Tag Archives: Telecommunications

World Bank: African economy growing

Africa’s overall economy is without a doubt on the right track and may even come up with a quicker financial recovery from the recession when compared to the US. This is based on the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects report for 2011.

The report, released in mid-January, forecasted that sub-Saharan Africa would most likely improve its gross domestic product (GDP) from 4.7% in 2010 to 5.3% for this year. That number might possibly be bumped upwards to 5.5% in 2012.

The report in particular mentioned that price levels in metals, minerals and oil, along with more significant investment in manufacturing and telecommunications companies, have definitely contributed towards the growth.


As indicated by Phumelele Mbiyo, Standard Bank’s Senior Africa Strategist for Global Market Research, the numbers suggest that economic activity, particularly in relation to mining and construction, is without a doubt growing in the region.

“The reason behind this type of increase is simply because prices for commodities are fairly high and they have enticed investment, in particular from emerging markets such as China,” he said.

Mbiyo is convinced an average person would most likely reap the benefits of these types of optimistic forecasts, as companies have the desire to seek the services of locals.


“There has already been increased employment of locals within the mining and construction industries. There is certainly destined to be a considerable amount of employment in future, primarily by European and American based companies who have invested heavily in mining in Africa.”

High continental growth

Having said that, the report pointed out the fact that the best growth rates were not necessarily to emerge from South Africa, the region’s traditional economic hub. Rather, the greatest figures originated from countries such as Nigeria, Angola, Kenya, the Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, and Tanzania.

South Africa has been projected at 3.5% for 2011 in contrast to other countries from the other countries in the region were believed to grow at an average of 6.4% for the same year.


Mbiyo outlined that this is simply not for the reason that South Africa’s growth is slowing down, but instead for the reason that other countries are beginning completely new industries now not to mention coming from a low base whereas South Africa had already established exactly the same industrial sectors years ago.

“Angola is set to grow by 7% on average whereas Ghana will average 13% over the following two years. Simply because the latter is beginning to supply oil,” said Mbiyo.

He added that Africa should really at this time concentrate on sustaining growth mainly because the continent continue to lags behind other major developing and developed economies.

Source: mediaclubsouthafrica.com,

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Meeting and Convention Planners

Significant Points

* People with a variety of educational or work backgrounds can become meeting and convention planners.
* Planners often work long hours in the period prior to and during a meeting or convention, and extensive travel may be required.
* Employment is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations.
* Opportunities will be best for individuals with a bachelor’s degree and some experience as a meeting planner.

Nature of the Work

Meetings and conventions bring people together for a common purpose, and meeting and convention planners work to ensure that this purpose is achieved seamlessly. Planners  coordinate every detail of meetings and conventions, from the speakers and meeting location to arranging for printed materials and audio-visual equipment.


The first step in planning a meeting or convention is determining the purpose, message, or impression that the sponsoring organization wants to communicate. Planners increasingly focus on how meetings affect the goals of their organizations; for example, they may survey prospective attendees to find out what motivates them and how they learn best. A more recent option for planners is to decide whether the meeting or convention can achieve goals in a virtual format versus the traditional meeting format. Virtual conferences are offered over the Internet where attendees view speakers and exhibits online. After this decision is made, planners then choose speakers, entertainment, and content, and arrange the program to present the organization’s information in the most effective way.


Meeting and convention planners search for prospective meeting sites, primarily hotels and convention or conference centers. When choosing a site, the planner considers who the prospective attendees are and how they will get to the meeting. Being close to a major airport is important for organizations that have attendees traveling long distances who are pressed for time. The planner may also select a site based on its attractiveness to increase the number of attendees.


Once they have narrowed down possible locations for the meeting, planners issue requests for proposals to all possible meeting sites in which they are interested. These requests state the meeting dates and outline the planner’s needs for the meeting or convention, including meeting and exhibit space, lodging, food and beverages, telecommunications, audio-visual requirements, transportation, and any other necessities. The establishments respond with proposals describing what space and services they can supply, and at what price. Meeting and convention planners review these proposals and either make recommendations to the clients or management or choose the site themselves.


Once the location is selected, meeting and convention planners arrange support services, coordinate with the facility, prepare the site staff for the meeting, and set up all forms of electronic communication needed for the meeting or convention, such as e-mail, voice mail, video, and online communication.

Meeting logistics, the management of the details of meetings and conventions, such as labor and materials, is another major component of the job. Planners register attendees and issue name badges, coordinate lodging reservations, and arrange transportation. They make sure that all necessary supplies are ordered and transported to the meeting site on time, that meeting rooms are equipped with sufficient seating and audio-visual equipment, that all exhibits and booths are set up properly, and that all materials are printed. They also make sure that the meeting adheres to fire and labor regulations and oversee food and beverage distribution.


There also is a financial management component of the work. Planners negotiate contracts with facilities and suppliers. These contracts, which have become increasingly complex, are often drawn up more than a year in advance of the meeting or convention. Contracts often include clauses requiring the planner to book a certain number of rooms for meetings in order to qualify for space discounts and imposing penalties if the rooms are not filled. Therefore, it is important that the planner closely estimates how many people will attend the meeting based on previous meeting attendance and current circumstances. Planners must also oversee the finances of meetings and conventions. They are given overall budgets by their organizations and must create a detailed budget, forecasting what each aspect of the event will cost. Additionally, some planners oversee meetings that contribute significantly to their organization’s operating budget and must ensure that the event meets income goals.


An important part of the work is measuring how well the meeting’s purpose was achieved. After determining what the objectives are, planners try to measure if objectives were met and if the meeting or conference was a success. The most common way to gauge their success is to have attendees fill out surveys about their experiences at the event. Planners can ask specific questions about what sessions were attended, how well organized the event appeared, how they felt about the overall experience, and ask for suggestions on how to improve the next event. If the purpose of a meeting or convention is publicity, a good measure of success would be how much press coverage the event received. A more precise measurement of meeting success, and one that is gaining importance, is return on investment. Planners compare the costs and benefits of an event and show whether it was worthwhile to the organization. For example, if a company holds a meeting to motivate its employees and improve company morale, the planner might track employee turnover before and after the meeting.


Some aspects of the work vary by the type of organization for which planners work. Those who work for associations must market their meetings to association members, convincing members that attending the meeting is worth their time and expense. Marketing is usually less important for corporate meeting planners because employees are generally required to attend company meetings. Corporate planners usually have shorter time frames in which to prepare their meetings. Planners who work in Federal, State, and local governments must learn how to operate within established government procedures, such as procedures and rules for procuring materials and booking lodging for government employees. Government meeting planners also need to be aware of any potential ethics violations.


Convention service managers, meeting professionals who work in hotels, convention centers, and similar establishments, act as liaisons between the meeting facility and planners who work for associations, businesses, or governments. They present food service options to outside planners, coordinate special requests, suggest hotel services based on the planner’s budget, and otherwise help outside planners present effective meetings and conventions in their facilities.

In large organizations or those that sponsor large meetings or conventions, meeting professionals are more likely to specialize in a particular aspect of meeting planning. Some specialties are conference coordinators, who handle most of the meeting logistics; registrars, who handle advance registration and payment, name badges, and the set-up of on-site registration; and education planners, who coordinate the meeting content, including speakers and topics. In organizations that hold very large or complex meetings, there may be several senior positions, such as manager of registration, education seminar coordinator, or conference services director, with the entire meeting planning department headed by a department director.

Work environment.

The work of meeting and convention planners may be considered either stressful or energizing, but there is no question that it is fast-paced and demanding. Planners oversee multiple operations at one time, face numerous deadlines, and orchestrate the activities of several different groups of people. Meeting and convention planners spend the majority of their time in offices, but during meetings, they work on-site at the hotel, convention center, or other meeting location. They travel regularly to attend meetings and to visit prospective meeting sites. The extent of travel depends upon the type of organization for which the planner works. Local and regional organizations require mostly regional travel, while national and international organizations require travel to more distant locales, including travel abroad.


Work hours can be long and irregular, with planners working more than 40 hours per week in the time leading up to a meeting and fewer hours after finishing a meeting. During meetings or conventions, planners may work very long days, starting as early as 5:00 a.m. and working until midnight. They are sometimes required to work on weekends.

Some physical activity is required, including long hours of standing and walking and some lifting and carrying of boxes of materials, exhibits, or supplies. Planners work with the public and with workers from diverse backgrounds. They may get to travel to luxurious hotels and interesting places and meet speakers and meeting attendees from around the world, while enjoying a high level of autonomy.

Source: bls.gov, visitlongbeach.com, masacc.org, visittraversecity.com, westmemphis.org,

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Telecommunications Industry

Significant Points

* Telecommunications includes voice, video, and Internet communications services.
* Despite increasing demand for telecommunications services, employment will decline as productivity increases rapidly.
* With rapid technological changes in telecommunications, those with up-to-date technical skills will have the best job opportunities.
* Average earnings in telecommunications greatly exceed average earnings throughout private industry.

Nature of the Industry

Goods and services:

The telecommunications industry delivers telephone, television, Internet, and other services to customers throughout the world. Providing the primary means of communication to virtually all businesses, households, and individuals, telecommunications firms supply an essential service to the U.S. economy. In addition to offering traditional services such as wired phone and cable TV, telecommunications companies also offer services such as cellular phone, broadband and mobile Internet, and satellite TV, among others.

Industry organization:

The telecommunications industry is divided into four main sectors: wired, wireless, satellite, and other telecommunications establishments. The largest sector of the telecommunications industry continues to be made up of wired telecommunications carriers. Establishments in this sector mainly provide telecommunications services such as such as wired (landline) telephone, digital subscriber line (DSL) Internet, and cable TV and Internet services. These organizations route TV, voice, Internet, data, and other content over a network of wires and cables, and control access to this content. They may own and maintain networks, share networks with other organizations, or lease network capacity from other companies.

Establishments in the telecommunications industry, however, do not create the content that is transmitted over their networks, such as TV programs. (Establishments that create television programming are described in the Career Guide sections on the broadcasting and motion picture and video industries). Wired telecommunications also includes direct-to-home satellite television distributors and a variety of other businesses.

Wireless telecommunications carriers provide telephone, Internet, data, and other services to customers through the transmission of signals over networks of radio towers. The signals are transmitted through an antenna directly to customers, who use devices, such as cell phones and mobile computers, to receive, interpret, and send information. A large component of this industry segment consists of companies that provide cellular phone service, which has grown rapidly over the past decade. Another component includes establishments that deliver mobile Internet services to individuals with Internet-enabled cellular phones and computers.

Satellite telecommunications establishments are made up mostly of government and private organizations that transmit a variety of data through satellites, including photos of the earth, messages to and from public safety officials, and a variety of other information. Direct-to-home satellite TV providers, however, are classified with wired telecommunications.

Other sectors in the telecommunications industry include telecommunications resellers, as well as operators of other communication services ranging from radar stations to radio networks used by taxicab companies.

Recent developments:

Telecommunications carriers are expanding their data transmission capabilities, known as “bandwidth,” by replacing copper wires with fiber optic cables. Fiber optic cable, which transmits light signals along glass strands, permits faster, higher capacity transmissions than traditional copper wire. In some areas, carriers are extending fiber optic cable to residential customers, enabling them to offer cable television, video-on-demand, faster high-speed Internet, and conventional telephone communications over a single line.

Wireless telecommunications carriers are deploying several new technologies to allow faster data transmission and better Internet access in an effort to make them more competitive in a market that includes wired Internet carriers. With faster connection speeds, wireless carriers can transmit music, videos, applications, and other content that can be downloaded and played on cellular phones, giving users mobile access to large amounts of data. In addition, as use of this mobile technology increases, wireless companies continue to develop the next generation of technologies that will allow even faster data transmission.

Source: bls.gov, telecomsale.info, chairmanking.com, technexxus.com, boeing.com

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