In Sudan, Fridays are dedicated to the family when all children meet at the father’s house for breakfast. This writer had the privilege of being with such a family last Friday. This was the house of Abdallah Khalil the second Prime Minister of Sudan from 1956-58. Abdallah Khalil’s son Amir had visited their farm house in Omdurman that morning and brought plenty of dates and other fruits. Amir Abdallah Khalil showed me his father’s room which was no less than a museum with antique collections of typewriter, telephone, music recorder, trophies, rifles and swords. There were photos framed on the walls showing Abdallah Khalil with many heads of state. The one that caught this writer’s attention was the one with Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister. This photo was taken when Nehru visited Sudan.
Abdallah Khalil’s son Amir served the United Nations for 4 decades. He retired as Assistant Director General of Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome. After retirement he was assigned to UN headquarters at New York as Advisor to FAO for Security Council Affairs. Currently Amir is the Chairman of Omdurman Teaching Hospital.
Dhirajlal Tribhubandas Ramjidas Shah was born in Sudan in 1930. He was the senior most active member of the Indian Community in Sudan. He had narrated to me the day in 1956 when he had received Mr.Kidwai the first Head of Indian Mission in Sudan. Dhirubhai, as he was called, was agile and alert even at the age of 87. He attended all events, be it the National Day celebrations at the Embassy of India in Khartoum or celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday at the Indian School in Omdurman. I last met him on 7th June, at the Iftar jointly hosted by the Indian club and the Police Association of Omdurman .He was the cynosure of all eyes even on that evening. He breathed his last three days later. We pray for his soul to rest in eternal peace at his heavenly abode.
First Vice President and Prime Minister of the Republic of Sudan Lt.Gen. Bakri Hassan Saleh inaugurated the Industrial Fair at Burri on Thursday under the theme – Made in Sudan. He was accompanied by many Ministers and the Governor of Khartoum. 193 companies from the Food Industry, 48 Engineering industries and 8 Universities participated. The only Pharmaceuticals manufacturer Amipharma made their presence felt at the exhibition. As you can see in these pictures right from shoes to mangoes, made in Sudan, were showcased with enthusiasm. It was a pleasure meeting the suave and energetic State Minister of Industry Dr.Abdu Daoud. He affirmed that the industry is the driving force behind the economy and such exhibitions would go a long way to further consolidate on the Industrial growth. He added that 8 Universities were exhibiting their 80 Industrial Innovations. He is hopeful of increased production and productivity for industrial development.
Exchange of Cultural Programs is a symbol of strong bilateral relations between two countries. So is the case between India and Sudan. Embassy of India in Khartoum in partnership with Ministry of Culture Sudan brought Goa Kala Academy under the aegis of Indian Council of Cultural Relations in New Delhi.
Goa Kala Academy performed folk songs and dances of Goa at the National Theatre of Omdurman on Thursday 18 May. Goa is a picturesque state in the West Coast of India. Goa has its own rich tradition of folk lore and folk art tradition. A ten member troupe from Goa Kala Academy performed various folk songs and dances with colourful costumes and ‘props’. The dance forms ranged from winding and unwinding of braids with brisk footwork, lamp dance with gymnastic skills balancing the brass lamps on their heads, warrior dance with swords and horse heads on the waists and stilt dances.
Minister of State for Culture Dr.Hasabalrasoul Ahmed inaugurated the program along with the Ambassador of India Amrit Lugun. They were joined by the Commissioner of Omdurman Majdi Abdulaziz.
The audience comprised Ministers, Diplomats, Dignitaries and members from both Sudanese and Indian communities. The Cultural troupe will also perform in Madani.
It was only when I participated in the recently held 2nd Digital Marketing Summit 2017, I got to know that Sudan was awarded the First Prize at the ITU Telecom World Awards 2016 for the Most Promising Innovative Solutions with Social Impact. 23000 POS and Mobiles have been used for collection in highways used through a mobile and a printer with Bluetooth without internet connectivity. Eng. Mohamed Abd Elrahim Yassin General Manager of National Information Center and Elwaleed Bashir of Nile Center received trophies for their achievement from the Minister of Communication and Information Technology Tahani Abdallah Atia. This event was organized by Saif Lutfi of Lutfi Self Development Centre.
The 2nd Digital Marketing Summit held at Corinthia Hotel on 16-17 April had a galaxy of International Experts in Digital Marketing from Canada, Belgium, United Kingdom, Lebanon, South Africa, UAE, India and Kenya.
Kaveer Behare from South Africa who had also visited in the 1st Summit last year, presented his study of Global Perspective on Sudan. The global perspective about Sudan is positive but more resources must be spent in drawing a line between South Sudan and Sudan. People should talk more about Trade and Tourism in Sudan to get the world excited.
Internet penetration in Sudan is 27% as compared to 29% in Africa, 33% in South Africa and 80-90% in Europe & USA. Mobile penetration is higher at 72% and 35% of the population in Sudan have mobiles. 7-8% use social media in mobiles. 3 out of 7 billion people in this world use smart phones. This data was shared by Suren Govender Former MD of Accenture.
Eng. Christian Farioli who is an Italian working out of Dubai showed us in his presentation that in the last 83 seconds there have been 960646 mobile views of You Tube; 91263 photos uploaded in Instagram; 9606482 ‘Likes’ in Facebook; $11263 revenue from You Tube; $394765 made from sales of iPhones; 57638889 messages on Facebook and WhatsApp and 24016 profiles viewed on LinkedIn. Digital Marketing is the process of building and maintaining customer relationship through online activities to facilitate the exchange of ideas, products and services that satisfy the goals of both parties.
Farioli’s definition of Digital Marketing is ‘Getting Customers using only Computer and Internet’ and predicts the rise of Chief Digital Officer – soon CDO will become part of the board. CEO sets the direction, CFO provides capital and realizes benefits, CMO is the voice of the customer, HR leads the cultural change and COO embeds the changes. According to Farioli the First successful social media example is of Barrack Obama in 2008 which raised $650 million and got elected President of United States of America. Thanks to massive digital marketing campaign.
Tom Vassos, Author of the book titled ‘Destination Innovation’ came from Toronto, Canada to share that we are in the middle of a global mobile social media revolution. Successful entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs are leveraging mobile social media marketing strategies to achieve business results. Mobile social media strategies are transforming marketing, commerce and entire business models.
Darine Sabbagh from Lebanon presented the tools to analyze and measure the Return on Effort (ROE) and Return on Investment (ROI) on social media. She also presented how to create content and build a Social Media calendar. Apart from the designation Chief Digital Officer, she gave us another title for the same job description which is Community Manager.
Tarik Shalaby a young professional from Egypt who is Online Monetization & Marketing Lead at MSN Arabia Market based at Dubai, helped us to analyze websites, improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which is the art of making your website 1st in search. He also presented the last session of the two day event about ‘How to Attribute an Online Campaign to Offline (POS) Transaction’. The take home jargons were O2O which is Online to Offline and ROPO which is Research Online Purchase Offline.
Having spent more than two decades in Pharmaceutical industry in India, it is shameful that I was ignorant about Mycetoma. Although the prevalence is high in India, is it because Mycetoma is the Neglected Tropical Disease the reason why I did not hear about it? My last fourteen years of Pharmaceutical experience in Sudan has taught me many things, Mycetoma is one of them. Thanks to Prof. Ahmed Fahal.
Prof.Ahmed Fahal, a surgeon, is the Founding Director of Mycetoma Research Centre (MRC) at the Soba University Hospital under the University of Khartoum. MRC established in 1991 is a WHO Collaborative Centre that is recognized globally as a world leader and an authoritative advisor in Mycetoma management and research. It is one of its kind worldwide as a specialized centre to deal with the Mycetoma patients. Prof.Fahal et al has more than 90 published clinical studies in Mycetoma.
Monday is the day when hundreds of patients visit the centre. There are more than 6700 patients suffering from Mycetoma registered at the centre. Mycetoma commonly affects poor patients in rural areas of Sudan, mainly Mycetoma endemic areas in Sinnar. Gezira and White Nile States. At the centre, there are seven patients’ consultation rooms, minor theatre and patients’ waiting area. There are two well maintained and equipped laboratories: molecular & microbiology. The Clinical services are offered by a group of well- trained clinicians, pathologists, microbiologists, radiologists, nurses and social workers.
Mycetoma is a chronic, progressively destructive morbid inflammatory disease usually of the foot but any part of the body can be affected. Infection is most probably acquired by traumatic inoculation of certain fungi or bacteria into the subcutaneous tissue. Many patients come for treatment at an advanced stage where amputation of the affected part is the only possible treatment.
Public awareness and patient education about Mycetoma is extremely essential for early diagnosis and treatment. The Vision of MRC is dedicated to continuous discovery and development of scientific knowledge and clinical skills applied to the care of Mycetoma patients. The Mission is to eradicate Mycetoma, which is a life-mutilating disease, through the advancement of medical care, research, education and disease prevention. Visit http://www.mycetoma.edu.sd/