Friday, 28 February 2014


With an endeavor to maintain its rank as the leading mobile service provider, eminent telecommunication company, MTN Rwanda is all set to invest at least $20 million. As articulated by Ebenezer Asante, CEO, MTN has already invested above approximately $200 million in the last five years to enhance its network coverage in different corners of the country. He added, “The past year was the right time for MTN Rwanda to sell off its towers and focus on what we do best”. Worth mentioning, the pioneer sustained to rule the domestic market with more than 3 million subscribers with 5% growth in 2013 even at the time when telecommunication industry was in crisis. Further, the MTN Mobile Money users breaking all the records touched 1 million and the company is geared up to commence cross-borders money transfer service.

In 2013, MTN was crowned with the best taxpayer award by Rwanda Revenue Authority. Revealing their future plans, the company anticipates to enhance the number of service centers, of which at present there are only 17 including 24/7 service center in the country.

Thursday, 27 February 2014


NAIROBI: President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya has commended good relations existing between Malawi and his Eastern AFRICAN country. Malawi state radio, MBC News, says President Kenyatta has received Malawi High Commissioner to Kenya retired Brigadier-General Marcel Chirwa in the capital, NAIROBI. The Kenyan Leader says he welcomes the re-opening of the Malawian Mission, and Kenya will also set up an Embassy in the Malawian capital, Lilongwe, as soon as possible. Retired Brigadier-General Chirwa says President JOYCE BANDA realizes the importance of the relations between Malawi and Kenya. The Envoy says it is for this reason the Malawian Head of State ordered in March 2013 the re-opening of the Mission, after it had been closed way back in October 2005. The Malawi High Commissioner has expressed gratitude to the Government of Kenya for the support and cooperation during the time his Mission has been re-establishing itself in Nairobi.


ICS Financial Systems Ltd. – ICSFS , the global software and services provider for banks and financial institutions has won “Best Core Banking Systems Technology Provider” in Africa at the esteemed World Finance Technology Awards that was structured by World Finance magazine. It affords a comprehensive collection of banking business units with a rich sweep of functionality and features, addressing business needs and automating accounting processes, as needed, to improve a bank’s business performance. ICS Banks has always been a pioneer in utilizing the latest technology to serve financial institutions.
The World Finance Awards recognize industry leaders, individuals, teams and organizations that epitomize the yardstick of accomplishment in the business world. They identify the leading ground-breaking individuals and companies demonstrating best practices for skills worldwide. Informed by a voting system supported by the World Finance magazine’s readership, the World Finance Award Selection Panel has used a wide range of criteria to inform its decision over the 2013 awards, lending the critical eye of a collective 205 years of business journalism to the exhaustive information gathered by the research team.
Alexander Redcliffe, Editor at World Finance said “It gives me great pleasure to bestow upon ICS Financial Systems. The World Finance 2013 award for the ‘Best Core Banking Systems Technology Provider, Africa’. May the firm’s excellent work and devotion to their market continue, “
This award high spot ICSFS’ footprints in the African ICT Market, while conceiving the rapid expansion of ICSFS’ customer base in many African countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Congo (RDC), Côte D’Ivoire, Djibouti, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tunis, Egypt, Algeria, Libya and Sudan.
The Managing Director of ICSFS, Robert Hazboun commented, “We are delighted to be adding such an award to our industry accolades, as it is our fourth time being recognized as the Best Core Banking Systems Technology Provider in Africa. We are very proud to be awarded by World Finance magazine as a leading solution provider. ICSFS invests heavily in research and development to ensure the business requirements delivered to its customers is in line with their rapidly changing needs.”


Wipro Ltd., a global information technology, consulting and outsourcing organization with 145,000 employees serving over 900 clients in 61 countries is India's third largest IT services
organization. It has come up with a marvelous opportunity for South Africans, as recently it has declared to induct 150 graduates for internships in South Africa this year round, double from 70 last year. Last year, company enrolled two batches of 30 and 40 interns each in South Africa.
According to Saurabh Govil, senior VP, Human Resources, “The internship program is becoming a crucial enabler of Wipro’s growth in Africa. For us, the program is about nurturing talent for local leadership and ensuring that we have the right people on board – people who understand local culture, local markets and local customers across the African continent. We look for people that fit the entrepreneurial spirit of Wipro – those who have a willingness to learn and a creative and innovative bent of mind.”
The three-month internship will allow interns to have theoretical knowledge regarding projects and afterwards the interns are interviewed for an apprentice role on live projects, and once placed, they receive supervised on-the-job training and mentorship for another three months. At the end of this, their performance is reviewed and qualifying interns are absorbed into Wipro's operations in South Africa.
This internship program, in words of Saurabh Govil, can give a “very high chance” to get absorbed into the company. Also, the Bangalore-based company has completely absorbed 30 interns from the first batch of 2013 as fulltime employees.
On the other hand, Wipro also undertook several such initiatives in various markets in which it operates as it envisions to become 'truly global' like, an ‘India Gateway’ internship program for the UK, a program called 'Global 100', under which it would hire 100 best talents from various foreign colleges and universities every year, and groom them for senior leadership roles.


HARARE: The Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement in Zimbabwe has secured more than Seven-Million US dollars from donors. Lands and Rural Resettlement Minister Douglas Mombeshora says his ministry is now going to embark on a two-yearlong program of action. He says it will use the funds availed by the European Union, EU, and the United Nations Development Program, UNDP, to carry out the planned schemes. Dr. Mombeshora says part of the work that will be carried out by the ministry includes a preliminary land audit exercise; which aims to address land disputes and cases of multiple farm ownership. He says the job also involves accounting for land being used productively and investigating reports of some resettled families leasing out their farms to white former commercial farmers. Dr. Mombeshora says part of the funds will be channelled towards work being done by the Surveyor General’s Office of coming up with new base maps. The Zimbabwe Lands Minister disclosed the information during an interview with the state broadcaster, ZBC News.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014


NIGERIA: Observing the escalating bilateral relations between India and Nigeria over the recent years, Indian Government has demand to further intensify and enhance the existing multifaceted cooperation between India and other African countries, specifically Nigeria in the field of energy and maritime energy. While addressing at the Second India-Africa Strategic Dialogue organized by Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi, Ruchita Beri expressed that in the whole African continent, India look at Nigeria as her biggest trading partner. Shri Dinkar Khullar, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs while delivering the inaugural note articulated that the foundation stone of cordial relations between India and Africa was laid down in the history. He added, “India will always acknowledge Africa's role in inspiring our own struggle for national liberation. It was on African soil that Gandhiji's political philosophy came to fruition. And it was Africa where the Mahatma developed the concepts of nonviolence and peaceful resistance.”
He conveyed, “In the decades to come, it will be this strategic congruence between India and Africa that will further deepen and expand the multi-dimensional cooperation that already exists between India and Africa. And it will be within this context that both Africa and India will have to deal with common security challenges.” Navy Commander Abhijit Singh in a presentation suggested that India in its near future should plan to offer resources, assets and technology to African navies and coast guards that will assist them to perform the necessary constabulary functions. In addition, he said that in the long-term India can also support in the formation of an effective maritime system. He conveyed, “By collectively revolutionizing the African maritime sector, and by creating Indian stakes in Africa's maritime economy, India and Africa will have an opportunity to jointly forge a truly robust maritime partnership.”
Shebonti Ray Dawal putting light on the flourishing energy sector in India expressed that, “Indian companies have over the years gained expertise in the energy sector and can provide assistance to Africa in the same,” Mr. Manish Chand, Editor-in-Chief of India Writes revealed, “New Delhi is also planning to set up over 100 training institutes that seek to foster the rise of a middle class in Africa and provide the African youth opportunities for self-advancement.”


JOHANNESBURG: President JACOB Zuma of South Africa has acknowledged some people have used his name for political mileage and to advance their own business interests.

State radio, SABC News, says his comments come after some sections of the media accused the President of allowing the GUPTA family to land an aircraft full of wedding guests at the Waterkloof Airforce Base last year.

President Zuma has told SABC News in an exclusive interview the practice of name-dropping goes back to the First democratic government led by the late President Nelson Mandela. He says Tata Madiba left and then Thabo Mbeki came in and his name was abused; he is aware of it when it comes to him.

President Zuma says he also aware people are taking decisions and messing up the names of others. He has also criticized the media for reporting based on what he describes as unfounded allegations regarding his private home in the Nkandla area of Kwazulu-Natal Province.

The South African Head of State also says no one should interrupt the on-going investigation regarding Nkandla. Meanwhile, sentencing procedures in the murder trial of widow, Thandi Maqubela, have been expected to resume in the Western Cape High Court. State radio says she was found guilty of murdering her husband, acting Judge Patrick Maqubela, in JUNE 2009. Ms. Maqubela was in November last year found guilty of murdering her husband and forging his signature on a will.

Her co-accused and former business partner, Vela Mabena, was acquitted; and in December, the widow applied for bail, pending sentencing, but this was denied

The trial of the South African widow was postponed in November for the defence to get a clinical psychologist to testify in the sentencing procedures.


The energetic and dynamic African youth is full of creative ideas which is ready to emerge in Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative – a new attempt through which the company will vigorously engross in Africa’s economic development to expand its global competitiveness. The Microsoft 4Afrika advisory council is an external board of advisers tasked with directorial strategic investments commenced by the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative. Microsoft’s 4Afrika initiative was launched a year ago and intended to help Africa improve its global competitiveness and facilitate Microsoft’s active rendezvous in Africa’s economic development.

Microsoft's 4Afrika initiative has carefully chosen four youth members to be the reps of Africa’s youth demographic for its advisory council. Rwanda’s Akaliza Keza Gara, Chude Jideonwo from Nigeria, Tayeb Sbihi from Morocco and Cameroon’s Olivia Mukam were selected from standing African youth leadership groups such as US President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative and the African Leadership Network. According to the officials, the new members symbolize the issues facing Africa’s youth across rural and urban populations in areas such as unemployment, education and entrance to technology. The new members bring with them skills from multiple sectors counting non-profit, technology, design and more, the technology company stated.

According to the Chairman Microsoft 4Afrika Advisory Council, Benjamin Mkapa "The information and communications technology (ICT) field is not only redefining how we conduct our major businesses on the continent, it is increasingly improving the efficiency of critical support services, such as education, health, and disaster mitigation and management. The young demographic is playing a big role in integrating new solutions to these services, and this has helped create new industries and employment opportunities.”

"We are excited about the induction of the new 4Afrika advisory council youth members because it helps the initiative stay true to the spirit of youth, enterprise and innovation," he added. Further Mteto Nyati, Vice Chair of the Microsoft 4Afrika advisory council added, "Africa has a relatively young population. This can be either a curse or a blessing. The aim of our 4Afrika Initiative is to unleash the potential of Africa’s youth. Our Ambassadors will guide us as we strive to achieve this goal."

New Energy Strategy To Enhance Energy Exports

ETHIOPIA: After the introduction of Power Africa initiative, discussions amongst eminent Ethiopian and foreign experts are taking place to formulate a new power strategy with an earnest endeavor to enhance electricity production as an element of Ethiopia’s plans to emerge as a regional energy exporter. Also, the discussion examined the various ways in regard to the successful execution of Addis Ababa’s 25-year power master plan.
As per Ethiopian Electric and Power Corporation (EEPCo), the new power policy will empower Ethiopia to produce 37,000mw of energy by 2037 and the new policy in due course will be able to export over 4,000mw of hydro-power to nearly nine countries in the East Africa region which could be further extended to northern and southern African nations.
The 25-year energy strategy expected to cost Ethiopia US$100 billon will be sourced from both local and international funds. Over the next 10 years, the plan aspires to build around 16,000 km of high voltage transmission lines. The present power production of 2,300mw and exports of 60mw electricity to Djibouti and 100mw to Sudan awards the country with a considerable economic growth. As stated by EEPCo, Ethiopia possesses the potential to produce nearly 45,000mw of electricity from hydropower itself.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Financial aid to Nigeria Football Federation

Confirming to Bolaji Abdullahi, Nigeria’s Sports Minster, the Nigerian government assures Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) adequate financial assistance to the country’s team for the World Cup scheduled to be held in June. He articulated that the fund will be accessible for the team in good time. Further he expressed, “The Nigeria football Federation has submitted their financial plan to the National Sports Commission and we have finished work on it and sent it to the appropriate quarters and we believe that it would receive priority attention.
I have no doubt in my mind that the plan for the World Cup would go very well. We would give all the support that is necessary to the Nigerian football Federation to succeed because if they succeed, everyone is happy.” Nigeria will face Mexico on March 5 for a warm-up game and some other matched are also lined up for the team. Also, they plan to set up a training camp in Houston, USA from 25th May.

Climbing of the Mount-Cameroon

This year, the race of hope took place on 15 February, 600 national athletes, including 32 women and many foreigners, Africans, Europeans and Americans took part in it.
The ascent is to go to the city of Buea, 2400 metres above sea level, at the top of the mountain and return. Total distance of the round trip is 38 kms. At the top of the mountain, there is a large crater because Mount Cameroon is an active volcano, which last erupted in 2001.
2014 edition of Climbing of the Mount Cameroon was won among men, by Eric Mbatcha, athlete from North West Cameroon and among women by Miss Lisette Galiam, female athlete of the North - West Cameroon.
It must be said that in Cameroon, a great rivalry exists among athletes in the ascent of Mount Cameroon, which is located in the southwest region. And the south-western people who call themselves guardians of the chariot of God, another name given to the mount Cameroon, legitimately believe that victory in his ascension must return them. Other athletes do not agree with this fact. Foreigners also want to win, but the race is very difficult. Till today, only the Père Stifter, priest of British origin has won the ascent of Mount-Cameroon twice later in the 70s.
On this occasion of Mount Cameroon, many local cultural events have attracted a large audience in Buea. The ascent of Mount has its Queen, Madam Nyengou Sarah Etonge, who is more than 50 years, and still is in competition this time. But she did not appear at the podium. She has won this competition 7 times. This is also the ascent of Mount Cameroon, the race of hope.

South African actress named as Master of Ceremony 2014 Seychelles Carnival

South Africa KwaZulu Natal is this year a co-host for the April Carnival of Carnivals that is staged annually in the Seychelles, and as such will be playing a key part in all the main events of that unique event that continues to attract international press to these mid-ocean islands to cover the event that they have themselves dubbed the one and only Carnival of carnivals.
Last week Seychelles named Michelle Marengo, singer and artist in her own right as the MC for the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 edition of the carnival who will be addressing in the island's Creole Language. The announcement was made as the Seychelles is seeing final touches put together for the official opening ceremony of the carnival that takes place in Victoria, the Capital of the Seychelles on the 25th April.
It was also confirmed that for this 2014 edition of the Carnival International de Victoria, the three main co-hosts (Seychelles, La Reunion and South Africa KwaZulu Natal) will all have an MC on stage who will also ensure that the island's three official languages (Creole, English and French) are used simultaneously for the official opening ceremony. South Africa have now named the famous Angelique Gerber as their MC who will be addressing the official opening ceremony in the English language. Angelique Gerber is a well-known South African actress and presenter on South-African television and she is also a known Film Star. The Vanilla Island of La Reunion will be proposing someone from their island who will be addressing the opening ceremony in the French language. Angelique Gerber is currently successfully completing the production of ‘Isidingo’ a South African soap opera which will be aired in February.
"Angelique Gerber has kindly accept the invitation to be a Master of Ceremony at the upcoming Carnival of Carnivals to be held in Seychelles from 25th – 27th April. Ms. Gerber will also be part of the carnival float on Saturday 26th promoting sports tourism – fitness & nutrition both on the national & international level. Sport Tourism is one of the niche market that the Seychelles Tourism Board South African Office is tapping into this year, as I believe that Seychelles presents an excellent opportunity to place a proper and long term wellness and sports tourism sustainable development program on the national platform for the benefit of Seychelles tourism growth and development which will attract not only the South Africans but the rest of the discerning travellers around the globe" says Marsha Parcou, the Seychelles Tourism Board Regional Manager for Africa. Seychelles will also be privileged during their 2014 carnival week to welcome Mr. Jacques Fagan, the well–reputed athlete from South Africa and ambassador for Ultimate Sports Nutrition (USN), the leading nutrition brand in South Africa. Mr. Fagan who won Mr. Tourism in 2011 will be part of the carnival float together with Insane Fitness & Training team. Insane Fitness & Nutrition have said that they are happy to showcase their athletes to the carnival of carnivals in Seychelles.
Mr. Fagan would be doing a live talk show on Jacaranda FM of South Africa promoting the coming carnival that South Africa KwaZulu Natal is co-hosting with Seychelles and the other Vanilla Islands of La Reunion, Madagascar and Mayotte. "This will give the event & tourism in the region of the Indian Ocean maximum exposure across South Africa" said Marsha Parcou of the Seychelles Tourism Board South Africa.
It has also been confirmed from South Africa that after the carnival Mr. Naidoo, the Life Coaching consultant from Insane Fitness & Training of South Africa will be hosting a workshop in partnership with the Seychelles National Sports Council (NSC) educating the Training Instructors, Body Builders, Athletes & Sportsman on the importance on proper nutrition and training technique. Both Ms. Gerber & Mr. Fagan will be motivational speakers during the workshop. Mr. Naidoo ‘says that he is delighted through the carnival time in Seychelles to have the opportunity to share his experience and knowledge towards holistic living and effective training method.

What’s up with Facebook?

Stockholders and specialists from Wall Street to Silicon Valley were shocked after Facebook said it was giving a total of $16 billion in joint cash and stock for WhatsApp, an Internet-based mobile texting app that circumvents the SMS messaging services functioned by the telcos and has more than 450 million users around the world.

It also highlighted Facebook’s true dedication to win the market for messaging. The acquisition presenting a combination of text messaging and social networking will provide a quick way for smartphone users to trade everything ranging from short texts to flirtatious pictures and YouTube clips avoiding the need to pay wireless carriers for messaging services. Facebook stated in January that it had 945 million monthly mobile users, who use the app mainly to check out News Feed and message each other; WhatsApp presently privileges with over 450 million monthly vigorous users, who chat with each other, set statuses, set up group chats, send pictures and videos, and share voice notes.

Mark Zuckerberg, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Facebook revealed that WhatsApp is adding nearly a million users per day. He further posted on his Facebook page, “WhatsApp will complement our existing chat and messaging services to provide new tools for our community. Since WhatsApp and (Facebook) Messenger serve such different and important users, we will continue investing in both." Worth mentioning, smartphone based messaging apps are getting widespread across North America, Asia and Europe. Jonathan Teo, an early investor in Snapchat, another renowned messaging company expressed, “Communication is the one thing that you have to use daily, and it has a strong network effect. Facebook is more about content and has not yet fully figured out communication.” Jan Koum, Co-founder and CEO will join Facebook’s board and the social network will award an additional $3 billion worth of restricted stock units to WhatsApp’s founders as a part of deal.

Namibia continues with policies

WINDHOEK: Trade and Industry Minister Calle Schlettwein of Namibia says the government continues to implement policies aimed to encourage investment, industrialization and economic growth. He says the authorities in the Southern African country will also introduce measures to support domestic small and mediumscale enterprises to become more profitable and effective participants in the economy.
Minister Schlettwein says the measures are to ensure the small businesses access tenders for the provision of services and implementation of governmentfunded development projects. He says public tenders to provide services and implement government projects are accessible through the SME Bank and the Development Bank of Namibia. Minister Schlettwein says business people should remember Namibia is still a de facto colonial economy. He says the country consumes finished goods and intermediaries imported from abroad; and it produces raw minerals, fish and agricultural products which it exports. Minister Schlettwein says Namibia must become industrialized and continue drawing up strategies to defend and sustain domestic and upcoming manufacturers. The Cabinet member was addressing a breakfast meeting hosted by the OSHAKATI Town Council in Northern Namibia, where he toured the Ongwediva fresh produce Hub and the Ondangwa Tannery.

First in the country to cross 200 million subscribers!!

There is something new about this New Year for Airtel. A new beginning and a new milestone. Airtel has rolled out 4G service to mobile phone users in Bangalore. Not only this, it has also picked up Loop mobile for Rs. 700 Crore. Under the new arrangement, Loop Mobile’s 3 million subscribers in Mumbai will join Airtel’s over 4 million subscribers fetching Airtel’s total subscriber base in Mumbai to 7 million.

Now comes the big news. Airtel has broadcasted that it has crossed the 200 million mobile subscriber mark in India. It is also the first one to cross the 200 million mobile user mark. Airtel is the largest telecom operator in India, both in terms of customers and revenues. This operator has added 100 million users in less than 5 years. Erstwhile to this, it had spanned the 100 million mark in 2009.

Gopal Vittal, Joint MD & CEO (India), Bharti Airtel said in a statement, “We are delighted to have reached this major milestone. It is gratifying to see the trust our customers have reposed in our brand and it will be our endeavor to continue delighting them with innovative and world-class services. We will also continue to invest towards building a robust data network of the future and be at the forefront of India’s mobile broadband revolution”.

The leading world-wide telecommunications company further brought out that its distribution channel is spread across 1.5 million outlets, with network attendance in 5,121 census and 460,655 non-census towns and villages in India crossing roughly 86.7 percent of the country’s population. Airtel has the major rural mobile customer base in India with over 88 million mobile customers (from rural markets).

Airtel is aimed by the idea of furnishing reasonable and pioneering mobile services to all. Airtel has African operations in Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

According to statistics from the Cellular Operators Association of India, a lobby group, with about 29% market share, Airtel was ahead of Vodafone which had 162.18 million mobile subscribers (23% share) and Idea Cellular that had 130.2 million subscribers (18.5% share), at the end of January.

Airtel has India’s broadest 3G footprint, presenting customers high-speed internet access and a horde of inventive amenities like Mobile TV, video calls, livestreaming videos and gaming. Airtel is the single mobile operator in India to extend 4G services with TD-LTE equipment, rendering customers the quickest wireless facilities with buffer-less HD video streaming and multi-tasking proficiencies.

The company got its first permits for mobile telephony in November 1994 and started services in 1995.