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Latest News April 21, 2017

April 21, 2017

news From All Africa

  • KZN-Based Sluu Fashion Brand keen to expand footprint to Zimbabwe

    KwaZulu-Natal fashion designer and owner of fashion brand Sluu, Ms Silungile Mokoena says that her primary objective for participating in this year’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) which is taking place in Bulawayo next week, is that it falls in line with her goals of expanding her brand’s footprint beyond South Africa.

    Mokoena, who will be forming part of a business delegation that will be led by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) to the 2017 ZITF, holds a National Diploma in fashion design and specialises in the manufacturing of high-end boutique wear, corporate uniforms and bridal wear. 

    “Zimbabwe makes for a favourable market for me to venture into because of its proximity to South Africa which makes it easy for me to move my goods. In addition, the cultural similarities between the two countries makes it an attractive market to venture into,” adds Mokoena.

    Mokoena further mentions that her bridal range has been receiving such positive demand in Bulawayo, so much so that she has been invited to showcase her designs at the Bulawayo Fashion Week which will be on Friday, 28 April 2017.

    “My long long-terms goals include me obtaining my accreditation from the National Department of Higher Education and establishing a boutique for bridal wear. I have also been receiving numerous requests from people interested in learning about fashion design. I would like to establish an academy locally to tap into that demand and establish also a satellite branch in Bulawayo going forward,” adds Mokoena.

    South Africa’s participation at the ZITF follows on the heels of a successful participation in 2016 where a reported total of 431 trade leads were secured by exhibitors, with a total of 21 Zimbabwean agents appointed and export sales totalling R10 million recorded through participation.

    The companies that are part of the delegation will be assisted by the dti through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme (EMIA) which aims to develop export markets for South African products and services and to recruit new foreign direct investment into the country.  

    Distributed by APO on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.

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    The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa
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  • IMF Media Advisory – Press Briefing: African Department

    This briefing will focus on recent economic developments in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), including the current macroeconomic situation in SSA, the near-term outlook, and the policies and reforms needed to ensure a stronger and durable recovery.

    When: Friday, April 21, 2017 at 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Washington, DC time
    Who: ABEBE AEMRO SELASSIE, Director, African Department, IMF Andrew Kanyegirire, Senior Communications Officer, IMF (Moderator) 
    Where: IMF HQ1-B-640

    Media contact: Andrew Kanyegirire AKanyegirire@IMF.org/ Press Center +1 (202) 623-7100.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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    International Monetary Fund (IMF)
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  • Minister for Africa meets members of the Somali Diaspora

    Africa Minister Tobias Ellwood met 25 members of the Somali Diaspora, invited by the Anti-Tribalism Movement (ATM), on 19 April to talk about the UK’s policy on Somalia which will be delivered through the London Somalia Conference.

    ATM’s guests were from different sectors including community leaders representing minorities, campaigners including for women’s rights such as anti-FGM, the media, lawyers, students, and NGOs including the umbrella group for over 80 British Somali groups called the Council of Somali Organisations.

    After briefing the community, the Minister consulted the group on their views, identifying shared priorities and opportunities to work together. Discussions were useful and wide ranging, including on the role of the Somali diaspora, the ongoing drought and environmental protection, Security Sector Reform, the African Union Mission to Somalia and accountability, migration and refugees.

    The London Somalia Conference, due to take place on 11 May 2017, aims to accelerate progress on security and agree the new international partnership needed to keep Somalia on track towards increased peace and prosperity by 2020. It will also take stock of the response to the humanitarian crisis affecting Somalia.

    With support from the international community, Somalia has made real progress since 2012. Al Shabaab has been driven from most cities. A federal structure is being built and an electoral process concluded on 8 February with a peaceful transition of power. But these gains are fragile and significant challenges remain, most urgently the threat of a third famine in 25 years.

    The time is therefore right for the international community to come together with the Federal Government of Somalia to agree how to make the most of the present opportunities and to tackle the significant challenges the country continues to face. The new four year term of the Federal Government of Somalia and the need for a replacement to the expired ‘New Deal’ mean this a watershed moment for all interested parties to come together to agree a long-term plan for achieving Somalia’s stability and prosperity.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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  • Alumni TIES Seminar on “Access to Energy for All”

    The U.S. Embassy, in collaboration with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and World Learning, are organizing an international exchange seminar on “Access to Energy for All,” which explores the expansion of energy access in Africa. This Alumni Thematic International Exchange Seminars (Alumni TIES) program will bring together 21 alumni of U.S.-government sponsored exchange programs representing 11 Sub-Saharan African countries. From April 24-28, 2017, participants will examine how expanding access to energy creates greater prospects at the community level to free up human capital. 

    Seminar topics include:
    –    Exploring how energy independence is becoming a global trend and how the trend is developing on the African continent;
    –    Discussing possibilities for entrepreneurs and marginalized populations to access energy and advance stability, security, and economic progress;
    –    Examining the role of regulatory agencies and national and regional policies in fostering decentralization of energy;
    –    Engaging in intra-regional alumni networking and collaboration to develop action plans to improve access to energy in their own communities.

    You are invited to attend the welcome remarks and keynote address on:

    Date: Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 8:30 am 
    Venue:  Capital Hotel, Omo Hall    

    Please RSVP to Zelalem Befekadu (091-150-9522) or Ali Suleiman (0911-509-510).

    Distributed by APO on behalf of U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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    U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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  • Ghana Navy Officer awarded by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for Training Excellence

    On Wed 12 April 2017, SLt. George Acquah of the Ghana Navy was presented with the prestigious Admiralty Prize by His Royal Highness the Duke of York , Prince Andrew at the Lord High Admiral’s Divisions’ Parade, which was conducted at the Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth in the United Kingdom. SLt Acquah is the latest in a long line of Ghana Navy officers to have successfully completed their training with the Royal Navy. Only on this occasion, he was judged to also have been the best of all the International Officer Cadets to have completed initial officer training throughout the entire year.

    In the citation for his award, SLt. Acquah was described as ‘an officer who exudes a natural calmness, confidence and leadership style‘ and who was academically ‘outstanding’; he has provided ‘an example to all, and with a ‘natural affinity for life at sea’, he was considered to be ‘thoroughly deserving of this award’.

    With the UK having arranged for SLt. Acquah and his parents to travel from Ghana in order to attend the parade, he was presented with his award, which is a telescope personally gifted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in front of around 800 families, friends and distinguished guests of those on parade. On completion of the parade and award ceremony SLt. Acquah was able to enjoy a special lunch at the historic British Naval College, where he was sat next to the Duke of York throughout. Only last week, SLt. Acquah was also presented to Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal, Princess Anne during her visit to Ghana; the Princess was very interested to hear of SLt. Acquah’s award.

    Commenting on his award, the UK’s Defence Adviser to Ghana, Lt Col Simon Westlake of the Royal Marines said: “I am extremely pleased that we have been able to arrange for SLt Acquah and his parents to return to the UK to receive this award from the Duke of York. His is a significant achievement, as shown by the fact that the award is a gift from HM Queen Elizabeth II, and that it is was personally presented by the Duke of York at the Lord High Admiral’s Divisions – itself a very historic event. This all demonstrates the significance with which the Royal Navy views this particular award. I believe that Ghana and especially the Ghana Navy can be very proud of SLt Acquah and his achievements. In fact, his success has led to 2 Ghana Navy officers being offered places at the Britannia Naval College this year – I look forward to them achieving the same level of success and to seeing SLt Acquah pursue a very successful career in the Ghana Navy. It is experiences and occasions like these that bound our two Navies so closely together and long may this continue.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of British High Commission Accra.

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  • African developers celebrated at Facebook’s annual F8 conference

    Facebook (www.Facebook.com) celebrated the achievements and products of its growing African developer and partner ecosystem at its annual F8 developer conference (www.FBF8.com), held in San Jose, California, on 18 and 19 April. African developers shared the stage with Facebook and developers from around the world, showcasing innovative products and services they have created for their local communities and the global market.

    F8 hosts more than 4000 people in person and hundreds of thousands of people watching via Facebook Live for two days of new products, tools, interactive demos and speakers to help developers build, grow and monetise their apps.

    This year Facebook brought F8 to developers around the world through F8 Meetups hosted with tech hubs around the world. In Africa, it hosted F8 Meetups in Nairobi, Lagos, and Cape Town, where participants watched live streams of the sessions in San Francisco.

    “We’re partnering with many African developers to launch products that not only meet the needs of their local markets, but which are also ready for the world stage,” says Emeka Afigbo, Facebook’s Head of Platform Partnerships for the Middle East and Africa. “Events like F8 are a perfect opportunity for us to talk about how we will work with partners to do more with our platforms. As importantly, they are a forum for us to get feedback from our ecosystem and to showcase our partners’ work to the world.”

    African developers who featured in F8 sessions include the following:

    • Asoriba (http://Asoriba.com): A Ghanaian start-up that has built software that enables churches to better manage member engagement, donations, and attendance. The company was featured in the Keynote for its work using Facebook Analytics.
    • Rancard (www.Rancard.com), a mobile solutions company based in Ghana. Its Rendezvous (http://APO.af/J4GoJg), social recommendation system was featured in two sessions at F8.
    • Pass.NG (http://Pass.ng) is an education start-up from Nigeria that helps students practice for their university entrance exams.
    • Truppr (http://Truppr.com) is a social fitness start-up from Nigeria.
    • Afrinolly (http://Afrinolly.com) is an app that allows users to catch up with Nollywood content on their mobile phones. It is one of the first Nigerian companies to build the Facebook Surround 360 camera.
    • Quiz.ng (http://Quiz.ng), an online quiz platform based out of Nigeria.
    • Kudi.ai (https://Kudi.ai): Messenger Bot to send money for free to any bank, buy airtime and pay bills; first African bot to be featured on Messenger Blog http://APO.af/C3GyWz.
    • Kangpe (http://Kangpe.com): A health service from Nigeria that lets users ask real doctors their health questions.
    • Eneza Education: An educational app from Kenya.
    • Refunite (https://Refunite.org): A service from Kenya that helps refugees to reunite with their families and loved ones.

    African students and developers showcase their talent

    In attendance were two representatives each from the winners of Internet.org’s (http://APO.af/9rOHBY) Innovation Challenge in Africa awards. These awards from Facebook’s Internet[dot]org recognised leading examples of ideas, apps, websites and/or online services that provide real value in the categories of education and economic empowerment.

    • Economic Empowerment Innovation Challenge Award Winner: Ghana’s Esoko (www.Esoko.com) makes it easier for businesses, governments, NGOs and others to connect with farmers through its web and mobile apps.
    • Economic Empowerment Impact Award Winner: mPedigree Goldkeys (http://mPedigree.net) from Ghana is an anti-counterfeiting, tracking and tracing solution that uses consumers’ mobile phones as a verification tool.
    • Economic Empowerment Impact Award Winner: Nigeria’s SaferMom (https://SaferMom.com) provides pregnant and new mothers with simple tools to help make informed health decisions via sms, voice services and its mobile app.
    • Education Innovation Challenge Award Winner: Founded in South Africa, Hyperion Development (https://HyperionDev.com) is a social enterprise that has built the first online course platform for computer science education.
    • Education Impact Award Winner: Launched in Ghana, Mutti by mPharma (www.mPharma.com) is a drug affordability service that enables patients to access high quality medicine at lower prices with flexible payment terms through micro-payments.
    • Education Impact Award Winner: Nigeria’s Tuteria (www.Tuteria.com) connects people seeking to learn with people around them who can teach.

    Facebook also invited four graduate students from Carnegie Melon University Africa in Rwanda to attend after they won the CMU-Africa Messenger Bot Hackathon.

    The university’s Aimable Rwema and Lenah Chacha developed BiasharaBot, which provides an innovative platform for merchants and buyers to connect. “The Hackathon showed me the importance of building a business or idea on a social media platform. Facebook is used by over a billion people worldwide, offering developers a huge market,” says Rwema.

    Their fellow students, Joshua Ocero and Davy Uwizera created a farmbot that connects farmers (or cooperatives) with produce buyers. “Attending F8 is a great opportunity to mingle with Facebook developers from around the world. It is an opportunity to visit Silicon Valley, where people’s dreams become reality,” says Ocero.

    Launch of Developer Circles

    At F8, Facebook also announced a new program for developers all over the world to connect, learn, and collaborate with other local developers. Developer Circles is a community-driven program that's free to join and open to any developer.

    Each Developer Circle is led by members of the local community who act as leads for the circle, organising events offline and managing a local online Facebook community. Developer Circles are forums to share knowledge, collaborate, build new ideas and learn about the latest technologies from Facebook and other industry leaders. Lagos, Nigeria was the first place that Facebook piloted this global program and Innocent Amadi, one of the community leads for the Lagos Circle was featured at the Keynote.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Facebook.

    Media contact:
    Idea Engineers
    PR agency for Facebook, Africa
    Facebook@IdeaEngineers.co.za 

  • President Zuma to Launch The Maluti-A-Phofung Special Economic Zone

    President Jacob Zuma will on Tuesday, 25 April 2017, launch the Maluti-A-Phofung Special Economic Zone in Harrismith, in the Free State province. 

    The Maluti-A-Phofung Economic Zone is 1038-hectares land envisaged to accelerate economic growth and development in the region, as part of the Government’s programme of radical socio-economic change. 

    The Industrial Policy Action driven by the Department of Trade and Industry has identified strategic special economic zones across the country to enhance industrialisation, attract foreign direct investment as well as create employment. 

    The details of the launch are as follows:
    Date: 25 April 2017
    Time: 10:00
    Venue: Maluti-A-Phofung Special Economic Zone, Tshiame, Harrismith, along the N3 Highway, Free State Province.

    Members of the media should please send their names and ID/passport numbers to Khutjo Sebata on Khutjo@presidency.gov.za or Pulane Tsupane on nthabiseng.diphoko@fspremier.gov.za preferably not later than tomorrow on Friday, 21 April 2017. Members of the media are also requested to present their valid press cards at the point of entry to access the venue.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Presidency.

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    Republic of South Africa: The Presidency
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  • New support of the European Union to civil society in the area of electoral governance
    In the context of the support programme on electoral reform, the European Union donates a new car to the Citizens Engagement Platform Seychelles (CEPS). The handing-over ceremony was held in the presence of the French Ambassador Lionel MAJESTE-LARROUY currently assuming the Presidency of the European Union in Seychelles.  
    On this occasion, Marjaana SALL, Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Seychelles declared: “I am particularly pleased that through this programme, the European Union is associated with the ongoing reforms in the electoral process. The Seychelles-European Union partnership is based on the shared principles of Democracy, Rule of Law and Respect of Human Rights. We are keen to actively cooperate in these areas. The acquisition of this new car today will facilitate outreach activities to districts and communities conducted by Citizens Engagement Platform Seychelles (CEPS), who is implementing the project. The acquisition of a car will allow CEPS to carry out the activities under the project 'Building capacity for citizens' participation in the democratic process and good governance in Seychelles', including the training of trainers programme”. 
    Background  
    In July 2016, the European Union signed a grant contract with CEPS for a total amount of EUR 99 000 (approximately 1 500 000 Seychelles Rupees), whose objective is to assist in increasing fairness, transparency and civic participation in the democratic elections process in Seychelles. This is being achieved by focusing firstly on building civic awareness and capacity in order to ensure citizens' participation in the elections, and secondly on increasing fairness, ethics and transparency in the electoral process via civic education and training.
    The project activities consist of:
    • developing a training of trainers programme, followed by on-the-ground civic education awareness sessions in communities on the three main islands;
    • producing and publicising educational spots, articles and programmes on the national radio, television and newspapers; providing refresher training courses to 50 local election observers; followed by training of  50 other local election observers; and
    • training of political parties on their rights and obligations. 
    A total duration of the project which is financed by the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights Budget Line is 12 months.  
    The European Union is a strong believer in the active role that Non-State Actors can and should play to accompany governments in the implementation of their development agenda.  

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Mauritius, Union of Comoros and Republic of Seychelles.

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    Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Mauritius, Union of Comoros and Republic of Seychelles
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  • Intracom Telecom’s WiBAS™-Connect Selected by EOLO SpA for Wireless Ultra-Broadband Residential Network across Italy

    Intracom Telecom (www.Intracom-Telecom.com), a global telecommunication systems and solutions vendor, announced today that EOLO SpA (www.EOLO.it), an Italian telecommunications operator focusing on ultra-broadband in sub-urban and rural areas, selected its WiBAS™-Connect for the implementation of an ultra-broadband wireless residential network across rural Italy. EOLO intends to complete the rollout of its new network within a period of 5 years, being the first to offer 5G speeds to homes and businesses.

    Within the framework of this multimillion contract, Intracom Telecom will supply its Point–to-Multipoint (PtMP) systems to EOLO enabling the operator to deploy a wireless network to connect homes and businesses across Italy that cannot be reached by fiber and ADSL/VDSL. This first ever PtMP deployment will enable EOLO to improve its coverage (13 regions, 70 provinces) of Italy and offer internet speeds up to 100Mbps to its subscribers. The total agreed scope is for a PtMP network for several hundred thousand subscribers, consisting of base stations and CPEs operating in the 28GHz frequency band, recently awarded by the Italian government to EOLO.

    The installation of WiBAS™-Connect is part of EOLO’s current extensive investment in its fast expanding network in the whole of Italy, aiming at becoming the first provider of ultra-broadband services to residential and SME subscribers in the country’s suburban and rural areas. The selection of Intracom Telecom’s Multipoint technology came following rigorous testing by EOLO experts. The WiBAS™-Connect was proven to be the optimal solution presently available in the market satisfying the long list of technical criteria.

    Commenting on the project award, Mr. Luca Spada, President of the Board & CEO of EOLO, said: “As EOLO expands its coverage and introduces new value-added services for its subscribers, it was important to form a strategic partnership with a company like Intracom Telecom that can assist us achieve our goals to deliver 5G ready services in more regions in Italy, so to enrich subscriber experience.” Moreover, Mr. Spada added: “Starting from the second semester of 2017, a “5G ready” network, able to supply a real connectivity of 100Mbps in download and 50Mbps in upload, will support our country to achieve a leading position in 5G, with an important focus on those peripheral areas where fiber networks will not be deployed in the next years. 

    Mr. Mohamed Ahmed, President of the Board & CEO of Intracom Telecom, said: “We are delighted to partner with EOLO and support them accomplish their vision to be the first provider in Italy for Ultra-Broadband Internet connectivity to rural residential subscribers. We worked diligently with EOLO during the past years to provide our state-of-the-art technology to meet their high-end demanding requirements. We are determined to be part of their success.”

    Intracom Telecom has been accumulating expertise for the past 40 years in providing innovative wireless access solutions, having successfully developed and deployed its Point-to-Multipoint systems with numerous operators in Europe, Southeast Asia and Africa, meeting the constantly growing demand for broadband access services.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Intracom Telecom.

    Information for news editors:
    Alexandros Tarnaris
    Marketing Communications Director
    Intracom Telecom
    tel. +30-210-667-7027
    e-mail: ATarnar@Intracom-Telecom.com

    About EOLO SpA Italy:
    EOLO SpA (www.EOLO.it), founded in 1999, is a telecommunications operator market leader in internet connectivity services, VoIP telephony and added value services. EOLO is in a leading position in the wireless broadband business, thanks to the wholly owned EOLO network. In the last fiscal year EOLO’s revenue reached 76 Million Euro with a 33% growth over the previous year.  EOLO is the hi-speed independent wireless network that delivers internet access also in rural areas where traditional technology is not available. EOLO relies on a wholly owned infrastructure which is totally independent from other Italian telco companies. The infrastructure uses wireless radio repeaters which transmit the signal in 13 Italian regions. The services provided through EOLO are aimed at both consumer and corporate markets and the broadband speeds reach up to 1 Gb/s. EOLO’s HQ is located in Busto Arsizio (close to Malpensa International Airport), in a 13,000 sqm campus where over 300 employees work. EOLO is a privately owned company entirely based on Italian investments. For further information visit www.EOLO.it.

    About Intracom Telecom:
    Intracom Telecom (www.Intracom-Telecom.com) is a global telecommunication systems and solutions vendor operating for 40 years in the market. Intracom Telecom innovates in the areas of small-cell backhaul, wireless transmission and broadband wireless access and has successfully deployed its industry leading point-to-point and point-to-multipoint packet radio systems worldwide. Moreover, the company offers a competitive portfolio of revenue-generating telco software solutions and a complete range of ICT services, focusing on big data analytics, converged networking and cloud computing for operators and private, public and government clouds. The company invests significantly in R&D developing cutting-edge products and integrated solutions that ensure customer satisfaction. Over 100 customers in more than 70 countries choose Intracom Telecom for its state-of-the-art technology. The company operates subsidiaries in Europe, Russia and the CIS, the Middle East and Africa, Asia and North America. For more information, visit www.Intracom-Telecom.com.

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    Intracom Telecom
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