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.
The Police Association of Omdurman felicitated Dr. Anil Kumar Mithani at an Iftar hosted by the Indian club in Omdurman on the 12th day of Ramadan. Dr.Anil Kumar Mithani a Senior Consultant Urologist and President of the Omdurman Indian Community (truly the Indian diaspora, Sudanese nationals of Indian origin mainly from Rajkot) has excellent public relations. Senior Police Officers like Haytham Osman and others participated at the Iftar which presented a commendable group performance of songs and dance by children of the Police community. Ambassador of India who returned from Asmara the same evening attended the event. He conveyed Ramadan Greetings to all and praised the Police for the good job done since the law and order situation is very much under control in Sudan. He appreciated the joint cultural exchange between the Police Association and the Indian community and looked forward to more such events.
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/
I met Dr.Zaheer Yousef and Balasundaram Lavan at Madani. This was at the 5th Annual Scientific Conference of Sudan Heart Society during January 26-28, 2017. Dr.Zaheer Yousef is a Consultant Cardiologist at University Hospital of Wales and Cardiff University, U.K. He spent his childhood in Africa and thus wants to help cardiac patients in Africa and other developing countries who can’t afford to buy a new Pacemaker. He has joined hands with a charitable organization named Pace4Life (www pace4life.org). The gentleman on your right is Balasundaram Lavan who gave up his Investment Banking Career to start this organization. He collects used pacemakers when patient’s pass away with the consent of family members. With the cooperation from University of Massachusetts he gets the Pacemakers tested for battery life and gets them sterilized for re-use. This was there second visit to Sudan to implant recycled pacemakers for patients who can’t afford it. At the Cardiologists’ conference in Madani, Dr. Zaheer Yousef raised a few questions to the Sudanese Cardiologists: Do you think it’s safe to implant re-used pacemakers? Do you think re-used pacemakers should be implanted in Sudan? If one of your patients could not afford a pacemaker, would you be happy to offer them a re-used pacemaker? Would you still be happy to offer a re-used pacemaker, if the patient was a member of your family? I stand witness to this event where majority of the Cardiologists in Sudan responded positively in favour of using re-used pacemakers. Welcome pace4life again and again to Sudan.
There is too much sugar in Sudanese Culture, be it in the songs, poetry and diet. It is time to increase awareness about Diabetes especially in the cities where there is sedentary lifestyle and too much sugar in the diet. Let us change our lifestyle to prevent Diabetes said the Vice President H.E. Hassabo Mohamed Abdel Rahman. He inaugurated the Sudan International Diabetes Congress (SIDC) organized by Sudan Diabetes Federation (SDF) represented by the Sudan Diabetes Association, Sudan Childhood Diabetes Association, Diabetes Care Organization at Friendship Hall, Khartoum. This is the first international conference of diabetes in Sudan organized by SDF and International Diabetes Federation/MENA region following the success of national conferences held over the consecutive years.
In this conference from 16-19th December there will be 21 foreign speakers, 12 speakers from Sudanese Diaspora and many national speakers. The foreign speakers are authorities in Diabetes management from Egypt, Pakistan, Kuwait, Norway, UK, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Syria and Tanzania. The Scientific program encompasses lectures, oral presentations, poster presentations and workshops in the recent advances in the management of Diabetes. The Co-Chairman of the conference and the Chair, Diabetes Care Organization Prof. Mohamed Ali Eltom welcomed the foreign speakers to the conference. Prof.Eltom is also Chairman of Health Diplomacy Association and has served as Ambassador of Sudan to Nordic countries. The Conference President and Chair, SDF Prof. Abdelazim Kaballo said that we are facing big challenges to prevent and control diabetes in our societies. Today Diabetes is one of the most common non communicable diseases in the world. Diabetes is the fourth or fifth leading cause of death in most high income countries. It is a major economic burden at all levels from person through families and societies to countries and entire nations. With effective prevention and management programs, we can reduce the prevalence of diabetes and its burden. With joint efforts we can achieve better health for all. Federal Minister of Health H.E. Bahr Idriss Abu Garda congratulated the organisers of the conference and assured that the recommendations from the conference will be put to practice in Sudan. Prof.El Mahdi Mohamed Ali the eminent Endocrinologist of Sudan was felicitated by the honoured guests and the organizing committee. His trophy was received by his daughter in his absence. The Saudi Diabetic Association felicitated the Vice President and the Organisers of this conference with a trophy.
She has a unique title – Chief Knowledge Officer, at Scroll UK. Rahel Anne Bailie is one of the top Content Strategists in the world. I express my gratitude to Lutfi Self Development Centre for bringing Rahel to us in Khartoum for a one day workshop as part of the series of Digital Marketing program. She told us about Content Marketing. She showed us how one can get better brand engagement through Digital Channels. Without Content there is no strategy and without a content strategy there is no Digital Strategy. We need to know how to acquire, manage, configure and publish the content so as to reach the right person at the right time during the customer journey. Content Marketing must educate, inform, find the niche, clarify, differentiate, solve problems, answer questions, provide data, entertain, tell a story, show the future and give to the customer. We knew what a Product Life-cycle and Customer Life-cycle was but we now need to understand Content Life-cycle. Business has gone omnichannel. A TV advert leads to a tablet site. A tablet site prompts profile creation with promo. Profile leads to store with coupon on mobile. Store leads to product purchase. Product package leads to social sharing and registration. Registration leads to emails and SMS with more promos. Loyalty is shared via social and personalized appeals. All these sum up to Customer Experience. When I visited the channels of Content Marketing Institute I learnt that the story of Content is the rise of the New Marketing. Thanks to Rahel for sharing her knowledge on Content Marketing.
It is heartening to know that Sudan’s next generation is thinking and acting in terms of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Startups. Innovation and Entrepreneurship Community has organized the Global Entrepreneurship Week 14-20 November to ‘Unleash the Potential’ of the youth in various professional fields. The sessions have covered a range of sectors from the future of Agro challenge to Medical Innovation. They have also given interesting names to the sessions like ‘Get in the Ring- Sudan’; ‘Startup Weekend Khartoum’; ‘Startup Grind Khartoum’ and ‘Women Entrepreneurship Day’. I attended the Medical Innovation Day on 16th November. I was astounded to see the excellent auditorium of the Ministry of Higher Education, the venue for this symposium. I was even more pleased to meet the young members of the Sudanese Medical Innovation Community with Dr.Anman Homeida and Dr.Enas Saifeldin AlWali as the organizers.
Dr. Amjad Mohammed Idries, an experienced public health professional, said that 40% of the people in Sudan do not have access to primary healthcare. There are opportunities to reach this segment through mobiles and technology to educate them how to get personal and primary healthcare. People in Sudan like to talk, love to help and volunteer. Medicos can be innovative and entrepreneurial to reach out to this segment. Dr.Mazin M.Khalil Founder & CEO of SubaMed said that Innovation is simply reducing time and cost and increasing efficiency. He added that Medical Innovation would need the support of the Government, better infrastructure, connectivity and awareness. He added that there is scope for being innovative to create mega data systems of patients in particular and public in general. He said that there is a lot of scope for patient education on healthcare and gave the example of posters and videos for patients waiting in the clinic. Mohamed Hamza gave his valuable inputs as an entrepreneur in the field of Market Research and Consultancy in Consulsat the company he founded. Dr.Anwar Dafa-Alla who is a PhD in Computer Science from South Korea and who has organized many youth forums for unleashing their intellectual potential, spoke in simple terms how IT can innovate medical education, diagnosis and treatment. The Doctors who have initiated ‘Telemedicine’ in Sudan were introduced to the audience.
Dr.Torki Farahat, Founder of SAY Academy, conducted an interactive session about what is healthcare and analysed the benefits of different healthcare systems and commended on a system which the Ministry of Health also had the responsibility of Medical Education. There was another panel in which we had Dr.Anwar Dafa Alla, Dr.Abderrahman Mohamed who is a health insurance professional and Dr. Mohammed Ezeldin Abdelrahman, Dean, Faculty of Computer Science& Information Technology at UMST University.
This panel discussion ignited the young minds in the audience with simple ideas of medical innovation and entrepreneurship. They spoke of various avenues for IT support in the medical field such as Apps in smart phones or plug-ins for the laptop. The take home message was that medical innovation should start with empowering the patient with awareness and information for better healthcare.