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IMF Concludes 2013 Article IV and EFF Review Mission to Seychelles

Posted on 06 March 2013 by Africa Business

VICTORIA, Mahé, March 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Carol Baker visited Victoria from February 20 – March 5, 2013 to conduct the 2013 Article IV consultation discussions and assess performance at end-December for the seventh program review under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) Arrangement with Seychelles.1 The mission met with Finance Minister Pierre Laporte, Central Bank Governor Caroline Abel, other senior government officials and members of parliament, as well as representatives of the private sector.

At the conclusion of the mission, Ms. Baker issued the following statement:

“The Seychellois economy has shown resilience in the face of the difficult global economic environment. Economic growth has held up thanks to increasing tourist arrivals from non-traditional markets; fiscal policies have remained firmly on track toward the government’s target of bringing public debt down to 50 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2018; and debt restructuring is nearly complete. Monetary tightening has been successful in reversing the inflationary uptick experienced last year, and inflation pressures are expected to continue their recently observed downward path.

“The government has made sustained progress in implementing the IMF-supported program. All end-December 2012 quantitative targets under the program were met. The broader structural reform agenda is also moving ahead, with cabinet approval of the public sector investment program and passage of the Public Financial Management Act. The mission welcomes the introduction of the value-added tax (VAT), which will modernize and strengthen the tax system, and encourages the government to take all necessary steps to ensure that the VAT is applied efficiently.

“The government of Seychelles has made significant strides since the time of the 2008 debt crisis to stabilize the economy, improve financial discipline at the central government level and reduce public debt. However, challenges remain. Seychelles’ open economy remains highly vulnerable to external shocks. Moreover, like many small middle-income economies, Seychelles faces the medium-term challenge of achieving high-income status in the face of limited opportunities for rapid growth.

“Policies in the period ahead should aim to cement macroeconomic stability, and support growth and employment. Ensuring a buildup of buffers against shocks will be critical in the current global economic environment, and requires the continuation of prudent macroeconomic policies and the safeguarding of international reserves. Moreover, the mission urges the authorities to bring the same level of fiscal discipline observed at the central government level to the broader public sector, including through the gradual adjustment and rebalancing of domestic utility, food and transport prices. Throughout this price adjustment process, it is of utmost importance to take the necessary steps to protect the most vulnerable segments of Seychellois society, while increasing use of mean-tested benefits in social welfare to ensure that it does not act as a deterrent to labor force participation.

“In terms of growth and employment, the government should maintain momentum for their ample structural reform agenda which aims to foster an environment conducive to private sector participation in economic activity. Key measures include modernization of the legal framework—such as the Companies, Insolvency and Labor Acts—in line with international best practice; financial sector development aimed at reducing the cost and increasing access to credit, especially for small and medium enterprises; and building capacity of local labor to bring it in line with the needs of the private sector. In the case of housing and social protection, policies should seek to balance addressing market failures and protecting the vulnerable against overly generous benefits which deter labor market participation and private sector development.

“The mission appreciates the high quality of the discussions and wishes to thank the authorities for their warm hospitality, and the open and constructive dialogue.”

1 The Extended Fund Facility under the Extended Arrangement is an instrument of the IMF designed for countries facing serious medium-term balance of payments problems because of structural weaknesses that require time to address. Assistance under the extended facility features longer program engagement—to help countries implement medium-term structural reforms—and a longer repayment period. (See http://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/eff.htm). Details on Seychelles’ current arrangement are available at http://www.imf.org/seychelles

 

SOURCE

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

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DHL Express Triples its Network in Sub-Saharan Africa

Posted on 25 February 2013 by The African Press Organization

DHL Express has expanded its network of DHL Service Points in Sub-Saharan Africa from the initial 300 to over 1000, in just a few short months

CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, February 25, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/

•    Express company expands footprint from 300 to more than 1,000 DHL Service Points within six months

•    DHL expands its role of connecting Africa with over 220 countries worldwide

DHL Express (http://www.dhl.com), the world’s leading international express services provider, has expanded its network of DHL Service Points in Sub-Saharan Africa from the initial 300 to over 1000, in just a few short months. The move is an aggressive expansion into the market which is aimed to further cement the company’s leading position in Africa but also to offer local consumers and small businesses an efficient, convenient way of shipping overseas.

The logistics and express company, which is present in 52 Sub-Saharan Africa markets, has been looking to improve access for cash and account customers, creating enhanced accessibility for customers and increasing connectivity between African markets and the over 220 countries that DHL currently serves worldwide.

“In our recent 2012 Global Connectedness Index, which measures the state of globalization around the world, Sub-Saharan Africa remained the globe’s least connected continent,” comments Charles Brewer, Managing Director for DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa. “However, it did average the largest increase from 2010 to 2011 and boasted the top five ‘gainers’ – Mozambique, Togo, Ghana, Guinea and Zambia. This tells us that there is still major opportunity to improve connectivity across the continent, and access to logistics services and international markets are both key to this improvement.”

The logistics operator had also identified the need for increased convenience for small to medium enterprises (SMEs), as a recent study by global information and analytics company, IHS, showed that accessibility to international markets was a driver of small business success. “The SME is sector is growing at an amazing pace and this investment will help to connect African SME’s to the rest of the world,” notes Brewer.

The drive to increase consumer access points has been as a result of a multi-pronged retail strategy which looks at retail offerings from a small spaza shop in South Africa to a telecommunications company in Angola or a post office in Mauritius.

“Africa is a complex market to operate in but we’ve proven that, with a bit of creativity, you can expand your footprint and provide a way to service the continent’s growth,” concludes Brewer. “Ensuring the people within Africa can access global markets, and transfer skills, goods and information, means we are able to support and spur on the continued African resurgence. Expanding our retail presence is just the first step.”

SOURCE

Deutsche Post DHL

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MTN customers usher in the 2013 in a big way

Posted on 21 February 2013 by Africa Business

About MTN Uganda

Launched in 1998, MTN Uganda is the leading telecommunications firm in country. Visit us at www.mtn.co.ug and www.facebook.com/mtnug.

 

About the MTN Group

Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a multinational telecommunications group, operating in 21 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code: “MTN.” As of 30 September 2012, MTN recorded 182.7 million subscribers across its operations in Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia. Visit us at www.mtn.co.ug; www.mtn.com and www.mtnfootball.com.

 

MTN Uganda’s seasonal traffic boosts figures. MTN customers usher in the 2013 in a big way.

As the year kicked off, MTN Uganda recorded high activity from its customers. This was seen through the increase in voice calls, SMS activity as well as data transaction volumes as compared to the same period last year.

 

Just a year ago, ‘person to person’ SMS figures were at 12 million which has seen an increase to 14 million for the same period this year. Figures were compared for the festive period, 24 December 24th to 1st January, showing a marked increase in SMS transactions year-on-year. With an almost 20% increase in transactions, Ugandans are definitely embracing the SMS culture as this increasingly becomes an alternative way for customers to stay in touch with their friends and loved ones.

 

Through its active social media platform with Facebook Fans in excess of 85,000; MTN Uganda launched a number of voice and SMS promotions during 2012 including “Fastest Fingers” that gave customers an opportunity to stay in touch using the SMS service. Such promotions have seen an increase in SMS transactions on the network.

 

MTN customers are also talking more. MTN recorded a 52% rise in voice calls during the festive season and conversations continue to increase as it provides more value to their customers each year.

 

In terms of its data portfolio, the operator recorded a whopping 89% increase in terms of data volumes during the festive period compared to 2011. MTN’s customers consumed more than 50 Terabytes worth of internet downloads and uploads during December 2012 alone.

 

“We are optimistic that 2013 will be a largely successful year evidenced by the increase in activity on voice, SMS and data transactions on the MTN Network during the festive season and into the New Year,” says Mike Blackburn, Chief Financial Officer at MTN Uganda.

 

MTN Uganda has made significant investments into its network over the last two years and these investments have started to reap dividends. The network handled the significant rise in traffic with ease because of the proactive investments made to boost its capacity for the festive season and beyond.

 

To further cement this exponential growth, a few weeks ago MTN announced its plans to deploy LTE in Uganda. This new technology will further provide capacity for high speed data for both mobile phones and data terminals. This is the new standard that will determine the level of technology development through provision of sustainably faster data speeds.

 

In 2013 alone, MTN Uganda plans to invest USD 70 million added to another USD 80 million that was spent in 2012. This investment focus has been on expanding the network infrastructure to support the mobile customer growth as well as the rollout of new innovative products and digital solutions.

 

In terms of Network Infrastructure, MTN continues to lead the way in terms of investment and its commitment to development of the ICT sector.

 

Mobile Money is another area that MTN continues to excel in. In terms of transactions alone, MTN Uganda recorded over 200 million transactions on its Mobile Money platform during the festive period which represents a 210% growth transactions and 110% growth in the amount of money sent during the festive period in 2011. Over 25 million transactions were carried out during December 2012.

 

“These figures show that our customers were able to communicate with their loved ones during the festive season as well as ably carry out their financial transactions on the MTN network at this important time of year. We are glad to be a reliable partner for this activity,” added Blackburn.

 

The MTN Mobile Money service is used to send money, pay bills, purchase airtime, and make Western Union money transfers as well as bulk payments.

MTN Uganda remains committed to provide its customers with a unique proposition through reliable network coverage, dedicated customer service and innovative products and services. It is with this commitment that the telecommunications company gets geared up for a positive year, 2013.

 

“Our focus as a business is to provide superior customer experience and relevant products and services that suit the needs of our customers. Going forward we will ensure that we continue to remain relevant to our growing customer base through innovation and dedicated customer service. MTN will work extensively with all existing and new licensed operating telecom providers to develop the ICT agenda of Uganda,” Blackburn concluded.

 

 

 

 

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Russian Railways Logistics to Become Olympic Games Consignee

Posted on 12 February 2013 by Africa Business

JSC Russian Railways Logistics was founded in 2010 for the purpose of development of logistics business within “Russian Railways” Holding. In cooperation with Russian Railways subsidiaries and leading global transportation companies RZD logistics offers high-quality delivery solutions for its customers all over the world.

In 2012 the company organized transportation of 3.3 mn tons of cargo against 1.5 mn tons in 2011. Net profit of the company of amounted to RUB97.2 mn in 2011.

Russian Railways Logistics offers rail, road and sea-freight, intermodal transportation, storage and terminal handling, customs and insurance services, supply chain management.

Russian Railways Logistics, the subsidiary of Russian Railways Holding, becomes an Olympic consignee ahead of the 2014 World Winter Olympic Games to be held next year in Sochi, Russia.

In cooperation with the North Caucasian direction of Terminal Warehousing Complex RZDL introduces joint integrated solutions on receiving and handling cargo at the Olympic terminal yard “Sochinskiy” at the Veseloe station of the North Caucasian railway.

In the framework of the above-mentioned services RZD Logistics acts as a consignee and will also provide freight forwarding and other services including truck forwarding from the warehouse directly to construction sites.

The main role of the freight yard “Sochinskiy” is unloading single-packaged, heavy, long cargo, containers and cement for further shipment to the 2012 Olympic Winter Games sites.

The “Sochinskiy” terminal yard includes fields for unloading of long and heavy cargo and containers as well as the shed for single-packaged cargo and the automated warehouse for cement, and all these allow to process 170 wagons per day or 3.41 mn tons per year.

Main facilities of freight yard are the warehouse for processing single-packaged cargo of over 3,000 sq. m., the loading and unloading and the dead end track of 4.5 km, the concrete passages and the fields of over 100,000 sq. m., the automated railroad cement storage of the total capacity of 3,600 tons, the crane runways for at 5 gantries. The “Sochinskiy” cargo yard occupies the territory of about 22 hectares.

For further information please go to www.rzdlog.ru

 

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MTN Uganda HotSpot now available to MTN and non-MTN customers. Experience World-class internet.

Posted on 25 January 2013 by Africa Business

As MTN Uganda continues to cement its position as the number one internet service provider offering world-class Internet it has launched a new Wi-Fi service with a number of MTN HotSpots around the country.

MTN HotSpots will be available to MTN and non-MTN customers. Customers with Wi-Fi capable devices will have access to this service in areas where there is MTN WIFI coverage.

To use MTN Hotspots customers will be required to register.

 

MTN’s Wendy Angu’deyo welcoming the press to the MTN WIFI media launch at Faze 2

MTN customers will need to have an internet bundle of airtime on their number while non-MTN customers will have to load MTN airtime onto their accounts on the portal. To buy an internet bundle, MTN customers just need to dial *150# and make a selection of a preferred bundle.

Some of the devices the customer can use include smartphones, tablets and laptops. These devices must be WIFI compatible in order for them to access the network.

MTN Chief Marketing Officer, Ernst Fonternel said, “MTN Hotspots will provide both MTN and non-MTN customers with a secure internet access in a number of locations across the country. Customers have a choice from a number of tailor made bundles to suit their internet usage needs”.

Over the last two years, MTN has made major investments to its data infrastructure in Uganda. MTN Uganda launched the first mobile money service in Uganda with tremendous success, introduced 3G+, expanded the mobile distribution foot print, and greatly enhanced the mobile core, radio capacity and infrastructure technology.  Furthermore, it extended the fibre network backbone and built regional switching centres in the East, West, North and Central regions.

Fonternel added, “Last year we further improved and widened our 3G+ network coverage to deliver the newly improved speed to our close to 1 million data customers supported with the widest network coverage, a wide range of devices and affordable tariffs”.

 

In terms of infrastructure, last year MTN Uganda rolled out an additional 600KM of fibre infrastructure closing the year with 2,800km of fibre to provide the capacity for high speed data connectivity and wider National coverage of 3G mobile data services that extend internet access to the rural areas of Uganda. This was achieved through expansion of our national fibre network with additional rings to protect customer services and provide direct fibre connection to MTN Rwanda and will provide the capacity for high speed data connectivity and wider National coverage of 3G mobile data services that extend internet access to the rural areas of Uganda.

MTN Uganda has over the last 6 months rolled out 81 new Base Transmission Sites to new coverage areas while commissioning another batch of capacity sites to enhance the quality of network services. MTN has a total of 1100 sites at the end of 2012.

 

Over the past couple of years MTN has also made backhaul links enhancements to the Mombasa submarine cables (EASSY and TEAMS). This has enabled connectivity with the rest of the world while providing better connectivity for voice and data.

 

In October last year MTN Uganda launched its multi-million dollar Data and Switching Center here at Mutundwe as well as our new MTN Business Unit which will be a world class provider of converged communications solutions aimed at providing MTN business customers with superior, directly managed services, fully backed by consistent service levels.

 

MTN’s CMO Ernst Fonternel addressing the press remotely using Google hangouts

Mutundwe Switch currently serves 50% of the western region and will be grown to serve 50% of the entire network and population. Currently the equipment in Mutundwe parents 60 Base Transceiver Stations (BTSs) and will be grown to serve 543 out of a total of 1085 BTSs. In 2013, there are plans to install and commission an earth station at Mutundwe providing additional resilience for international traffic.

 

“This investment is aimed at providing our customers with the best possible user experience across the Country. We are happy that we shall now be able to provide our customers with this world-class internet that promises speed, convenience, coverage and affordability,” concluded Fonternel.

 

About MTN Uganda

Launched in 1998, MTN Uganda is the leading telecommunications firm in country. Visit us at www.mtn.co.ug and www.facebook.com/mtnug.

 

About the MTN Group

Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a multinational telecommunications group, operating in 21 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code: “MTN.” As of 30 September 2012, MTN recorded 183 million subscribers across its operations in Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia. Visit us at www.mtn.co.ug; www.mtn.com and www.mtnfootball.com.

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Paste technology offers an environmental friendly way to dispose of tailings from mining industry

Posted on 21 December 2012 by Africa Business

Paste technology offers an environmental friendly way to dispose of tailings from mining industry

 

Outotec is one of the few companies in the world that can offer paste thickening solutions to the mineral industries in one package. Paste technology means that instead of pumping untreated tailings from the concentrator into tailing ponds, the sand is dewatered to a point when it does not segregate as deposit.

Outotec’s expertise regarding paste technology springs from the company’s long experience of minerals and metals processing technology.

“Paste technology is now widely acknowledged and at the moment Outotec has ongoing paste projects all over the world”, says Anders Nyström, Technology Sales Manager of Paste and Backfill Solutions at Outotec. “Using paste technology the tailings form a conical pile and do not need big ponds to be stored in. This means that the disposal area is much smaller compared to conventional tailing ponds and the danger of leakage is minimal”, he explains.

Anders Nyström got in touch with paste technology when he was leading a project aiming at minimizing the area needed for tailings disposal at a mine in Canada in 2002.

“The mine was not allowed to extend the tailing ponds but could use the existing tailing pond by placing the paste tailings on top of the existing tailings. This was possible only by using paste technology.”

Especially for dry areas

Anders Nyström says that the mining industry faces growing challenges globally on how to use water efficiently, how to recover and recirculate water and how to reduce the areas needed for tailings storage.

“That’s why the market for new sustainable solutions for tailings treatment is growing” he says. “Since the water from the tailings is efficiently recovered using paste technology, the water can be used over and over again. This makes the technology attractive especially in dry regions.”

He also points out that paste technology makes it much easier to restore the landscape in a safe way after a mine is closed.

“We are now investigating the possibility with adding fertilizers and seed to the tailings through the paste plant some time before the mine will be closed down. This way the restoration process needs very little extra work. By using this method the closure process can be started in good time, saving time and money and in an environmental way improving the closure process.”

Stabilizing mined out areas

With the recent acquisition of the Australian company Backfill Specialists, Outotec can now offer even more comprehensive tailings treatment solutions to mining industry worldwide.

“Paste backfill is mainly used to stabilize underground excavations, says Mathew Revell, a leading international expert regarding backfill solutions and head of Outotec’s Paste and Backfill Solutions business. “It means that a mix of paste and cement is pumped into previously mined stopes to form a rock solid material.”

The paste backfill supports for example the walls of adjacent adits as mining progresses.

“This way the mine can be utilized to a maximum since it makes it possible to mine all of the ore deposit,” Mathew Revell explains. “The paste backfill can also serve as a working platform in a mine. In short, by using paste backfill the mines can be utilized more efficiently and above all, safely.”

Since the cost of the binding material is essential for the competitiveness of paste backfilling, Outotec’s expertise in optimizing the consistence of the paste can be crucial.

“The mix variables must always be optimized to provide a backfill material that exactly meets the demands of the individual project”, Mathew Revell says. “With this knowledge accessible it is possible for us to develop more efficient and more cost effective backfilling solutions than ever before.”

Paste technology is a modern way to handle and store tailings from mine operations in an environmentally sound way.

In addition to surface paste disposal the paste can also be mixed with binders and used to stabilize mines.

 

Outotec in brief:

Outotec provides leading technologies and services for the sustainable use of Earth’s natural resources. As the global leader in minerals and metals processing technology, Outotec has developed over decades many breakthrough technologies. The company also provides innovative solutions for industrial water treatment, the utilization of alternative energy sources and the chemical industry. With a global network of sales and service centers, research facilities and nearly 3,900 experts, Outotec generated annual sales of EUR 1.4 billion in 2011. Outotec shares are listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki.

For more information, please contact:

Mathew Revell

Tel.: +61 419 237 668

email: mathew.revell(at)outotec.com

http://www.outotec.com

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The MTN Kampala Marathon 2012 successfully raised over UShs. 300 million to provide clean and safe water to Bududa

Posted on 28 November 2012 by Africa Business

The 9th successfully completed MTN Kampala Marathon 2012 which took place on Sunday, 25th November brought together participants from both Uganda and a number of neighbouring countries. This year’s marathon was special in that it saw more winners of the top prizes from Uganda.

 

The MTN Kampala Marathon continues to be a significant platform for Ugandan athletes as it provides them with a great training opportunity to propel them to international sporting status. Some of the noteworthy elite runners that have participated in the MTN Kampala Marathon over the years include Dorcas Inzikuru, winner of the 2006 Commonwealth Games inaugural World title in women’s 3000 metres steeplechase race. She was also part of Uganda’s London Olympics 2012 team. Moses Kipsiro, another ardent MTN Kampala Marathon participant has won a number of regional and international athletic awards and also represented Uganda in this year’s Olympics. This year’s Olympic gold medalist in the marathon category, Stephen Kiprotich, has also previously participated in the MTN Kampala Marathon.

 

The MTN Kampala Marathon 2012 attracted 18,285 runners that came together in the biggest sporting and social Uganda event of the year. It’s arguably one of the biggest Marathon races on the continent. The runners included 150 corporate teams that entered the Corporate Challenge in a quest to be the best.

 

“We have collected a total of over UShs. 300 million and together with our partner, the Uganda Red Cross, we will ensure the monies reach the most deserving people of Bududa. This year’s theme, “Run with your heart” was certainly befitting as the proceeds will be used to take clean and safe water to the people of Bududa,” said Ernst Fonternel the MTN Uganda Chief Marketing Officer.

 

“Over the last 3 weeks, MTN Uganda Social Media fans also assisted us in filling their “MTN Fan’s marathon Bag” as a donation to the people of Bududa. In line with “Every mile brings a smile”, MTN ran a campaign on social media, including Facebook and Twitter, tagged ‘Every like brings a smile’. For every fan that liked our Facebook page and everyone who joined our Twitter page, we contributed UShs. 100 into the “Fan’s marathon Bag”. At the end of Sunday, 25th November, 2012 we had a total of 71,200 Facebook fans and 5,405 Twitter fans giving us a total of 76,605 fans. The “Fan’s marathon Bag” raised a whopping UShs. 7,660,500 for the people of Bududa. Thank you all for supporting the good cause of taking Water to Bududa,” added Fonternel.

 

Over the last two years Bududa has experienced two devastating landslides that have resulted in the loss of many lives. As a result, the survivors of this natural disaster continue to be resettled in areas around the country such as Kiryandongo District.

 

“We would like to thank our sponsors – the Vision Group, Huawei and Rwenzori as well as our other partners Red Cross, Pinnacle Security, Uganda Athletics Federation and the Uganda Police for their support in making this year’s MTN Kampala Marathon a great success. I also commend all the corporate companies and individual runners that answered the call to participate in this noble cause,” said the MTN Uganda CEO, Mazen Mroué.

 

Mroué reiterated that MTN Uganda is committed to partnerships with both the public and private sector to continue driving the national development of Uganda.

 

This year’s collections of over UShs. 300 million show a marked increase from last year’s Marathon that raised UShs. 230 million. Last year’s proceeds assisted in the provision of clean and safe water for over 10,000 people in Amuria. The Amuria water project was recently commissioned in Willa Sub County in Amuria District, part of the Teso Sub Region. As part of the commissioning MTN handed over a number of water facilities to the community that included 6 boreholes, 24 rain water jars, 5 ferro cement tanks and 509 Bio sand filters.

MTN Chief Executive Officer – Mazen Mroué said that MTN Uganda is committed to changing the lives of Ugandans in the less privileged and marginalised communities through its various corporate social responsibility initiatives and commended everyone who participated in the MTN Kampala Marathon 2012.

 

The MTN Kampala Marathon, an annual event in its 9th year of existence has attracted over 120,000 entrants to date from local and international spheres. Since inception, the MTN Kampala Marathon has raised almost Ushs. 1 billion to help people in less privileged parts of the country.

 

About MTN Uganda

Launched in 1998, MTN Uganda is the leading telecommunications firm in country. Visit us at www.mtn.co.ug and www.facebook.com/mtnug.

 

About the MTN Group

Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a multinational telecommunications group, operating in 21 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code: “MTN.” As of 30 September 2012, MTN recorded 183 million subscribers across its operations in Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia. Visit us at www.mtn.co.ug; www.mtn.com and www.mtnfootball.com.

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MITSUMI IT Distribution Africa concluded its GITEX 2012 debut on a high note

Posted on 20 November 2012 by Africa Business

MITSUMI IT Distribution has concluded its GITEX debut successfully which run from October 14 – 18, 2012 at Dubai World Trade Centre.  GITEX is the ICT business gateway to the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region.

This year, for the very first time, MITSUMI has exhibited its world-class product portfolio from renowned global vendor partners HP, Dell, Acer, Toshiba, Lenovo, Samsung, Microsoft, Western Digital, BenQ and Tripplite at the prestigious event.

With GITEX having an “Africa in Focus” theme this year, our stand attracted serious business visitors from all over the region. Numerous delegations from Algeria, Kenya, Libya, Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tunisia have visited MITSUMI stand and have shown interest. MITSUMI’s participation at GITEX 2012 was to ensure the company’s commitment to showcasing the rich opportunities available in Africa and to cement and further grow its reseller and vendor partner base.

 

The African branding and the product display attracted lot of visitors. Media coverage of the MITSUMI Stand added to the overall exposure and excitement about MITSUMI.

At MITSUMI’s stand, we had a good exposure for all the vendor’s products. Many of our current customers from the channel and retail segment were able to see and study the entire range on display.

MITSUMI IT Distribution has an early-mover advantage in Africa since the company was the first to establish a chain of in-country presence in these markets ranging from facilities like warehousing, stocking points and support service centres in 1996. MITSUMI has Sales offices in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Benin, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Mozambique, Zambia, Namibia, Mauritius and Madagascar which adds up to 15 Warehouses and 8 Service Centres, thereby, making it the only truly ‘Africa Centric IT Distributor’ guaranteeing maximum reach to all global IT vendors.

 

MITSUMI has achieved the benchmarks set out before the event after signing a contract and releasing the joint Press Release with Dubai World Trade Centre for MITSUMI’s first time ever participation in GITEX Technology Week 2012. MITSUMI has donated DELL Inspiron high end notebook for the passport trial prize draw to the Dubai World Trade Centre as well.

MITSUMI consolidated revenue for 2010 – 11 was $171 million which was featured for the first time in Reseller Middle East Magazine Power List 2012.

MITSUMI’s regional geographical coverage and extensive customer base has made the Company the largest and fastest growing distributor in Africa. We will remain invested and create new business avenues to enhance life styles in Africa. We have established a reputation as one of the most dependable and customer centric distributor in Africa. We have a Pan Africa distribution strategy/vision, strong in-country presence and targeted marketing campaigns which will take MITSUMI IT distribution to the next level.

Mitesh Shah – Managing Director at MITSUMI IT Distribution said “MITSUMI‘s stand saw a large crowd during the 32nd edition of GITEX Technology Week held between October 14 and 18, 2012. I would like to thank all the visitors from Middle East and Africa region including official delegations and Vendors in appreciation of their high confidence and continuous support year after year. This year’s exhibition was a very successful show for us. Successful participation in GITEX 2012 is a good sign for our future business as well.

Mitesh Shah emphasised that there are challenges, but we need to start having a different conversation about Africa where we always focus on the positive stories. For MITSUMI, the story of Africa is a story of progress, opportunities, growth and a story of political and economic vibrancy.”

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About MITSUMI Distribution:

www.mitsumidistribution.com

MITSUMI Computer Garage Ltd was formed in Nairobi, Kenya in the year 1996 with the aim of introducing appropriate and affordable technologies to Africa and now 16 years on, we are a Pan Africa Distributor.

We are authorized distributors for leading global IT hardware & software brands. Our growing brand portfolio includes HP, Dell, Acer, Lenovo, Toshiba, Samsung, Western Digital, Tripplite, BenQ and Microsoft.

As one of the Africa’s largest IT distributors, MITSUMI is the conduit through which the power of technology flows to 19 Countries in Africa. MITSUMI has 15 warehouses and 8 service centers in Africa.

MITSUMI is a leading and fast growing technology distributor in Africa because of its Pan Africa distribution strategy/vision, aggressive expansion, regional geographical coverage and extensive customer base. MITSUMI has its head office in Kenya and presence in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Benin, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Mozambique, Zambia, Namibia, Mauritius and Madagascar including strategic mother hub in Jebel Ali (U.A.E).

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Results Profile: Rwanda

Posted on 24 September 2012 by Africa Business

 

Rwanda: Achieving Food Security, Reducing Poverty, Moving up the Value Chain
Overview

Agriculture is the backbone of the Rwandan economy – between 2006 and 2010 it accounted for 35 percent of GDP; 45 percent of export earnings and, according to the latest household survey of 2010/11, for 73 percent of employment. Constraints caused by population density, hilly terrain and erosion make it a critical determinant of rural poverty. Since 2001 Rwanda has worked closely with IDA to achieve food security and increase agricultural productivity – food security was attained in 2010 and between 2000/01 and 2010/11 poverty was reduced by about 14 percent.

 

Challenge

Rwanda has made remarkable progress since the civil war and genocide that started in October 1990 and ended in July 1994. It has moved from an estimated poverty rate of 77.8 percent and GDP per capita of US$ 232 in 1995 to a reported poverty rate of 44.9 percent and a GDP per capita of US$540 in 2012 . Rwanda has averaged per capita growth of around 8 percent for the last decade but, given the rate of population increase of 2.7 percent this growth rate would need to be accelerated further to achieve sustained poverty reduction and in order to meet Rwanda’s ambitions to achieve lower middle-income status by the end of the decade. Currently, growth remains driven by agriculture and public investments (about 40 percent of Government expenditures are financed by donor grants) with diversification of the economy and growth of the private sector being constrained by: (i) low energy access rates (still at around 10 percent in 2012) and highest cost (still at around $.22 per kwh in 2012) in the region; and (ii) high transportation costs compared to regional averages – costs from the main ports of Mombasa and Dar es Salaam are estimated to be at least 70 percent higher than that in the rest of the EAC region and account for about 40 percent of the cost of imported goods and 50 percent of exported goods .
Preliminary poverty data based on findings reported by the: National Institute of Statistics: The Third Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey (EICV3) – Main Indicator Report (2012).
World Bank: Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (2005).

Approach

The Bank’s analytic work, that also helped inform the development of Rwanda’s medium term 2008-2013 Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS), concluded clearly that increasing agricultural productivity and commercializing production would be critical to achieving Rwanda’s vision for structural transformation from subsistence agriculture to a middle income economy . The Bank accordingly embarked on a program of investment lending support first using a three phased Adaptable Program Loan, the Rural Sector Support Project (RSSP) that since 2001 has focused on intensifying production in the marshlands followed by the Land Husbandry, Water Harvesting and Hillside Irrigation (LWH) Project that started in 2010 and focuses on developing horticulture production on the hillsides. This 10 year long program has enabled the Government to make significant progress on its agricultural intensification program through investments in infrastructure for irrigation and erosion control and the provision of quality inputs and capacity building to all the stakeholders in various agricultural value chains. These programs have also incorporated a number of innovations such as the farmer based extension model that has led to increased rice productivity and a comprehensive land husbandry package that has enabled effective erosion control and soil fertility restoration at the landscape level. Finally, starting in 2008 an annual development policy operation, (the Poverty Reduction Support Financing) has underpinned critical policy reforms in the agriculture sector including: (i) improving planning and predictability of funding for the agricultural sector to allow for more effective spending on input distribution, irrigation, water and soil management; (ii) promoting the emergence of a private sector procurement and distribution system for agricultural inputs, especially fertilizer; and (iii) capacity building of private sector agro-dealers.
World Bank: Country Economic Memorandum (2007): Towards Sustained Growth and Competitiveness (Vol 1 and 2) Report No. 37860-RW

Results

Since the beginning of RSSP1 in 2001:
Over 6,000 hectares of marshlands have been rehabilitated or developed;
Nearly 10,000 hectares of hillsides have been sustainably developed;
Average crop yields on the developed marshlands and hillsides have increased by over 100 percent relative to the baseline at the beginning of RSSP1 i.e. maize yields have improved from 1.6 tons/ha to nearly 5 tons/ha; rice yields have improved from 3 tons/ha to 6.30 tons/ha; and potato yields have improved from 17 tons/ha to nearly 20 tons/ha;
Crop derived incomes have increased from a baseline of RWF 73,000 to over RWF 156,000 per farm household;
Over 51,000 people, of which 42 percent are female have benefited from the RSSP 1 and 2 while 6,748 people, of which about 54 percent are female have benefited from the LWH so far;
Preliminary results presented by the Government of Rwanda on the most recent household survey indicate that the reported poverty reduction of 11.8 percent between 2005/06 and 2010/11 is likely to be attributed in part to improved agriculture production, increased number of agro businesses and increased farm wage employment;
Between 2008 and 2011 agricultural exports (other than coffee and tea) increased on average by 46 percent annually; and
Since 2010, Rwanda has maintained a positive food balance sheet and only imports those products that are not produced locally or that are consumed by the higher end of the market.

Bank Contribution

As of March 16 2012, the IDA lending portfolio in Rwanda consists of 9 active projects with total commitments of US$292.3 million in the key sectors of agriculture, energy, transport, skills development, demobilization and reintegration and private sector development. In addition, Rwanda is benefiting from two large Trust Funds, to the tune of US$88 million, which are directly linked to active IDA operations in transport and agriculture . Rwanda also participates in five regional projects totaling some US$69 million in the areas of trade and transport facilitation, regional communications infrastructure, public health laboratories, Lake Victoria environment management and financial sector development and regionalization. Annually, IDA disburses about US$100 million as general budget in support of Rwanda’s poverty reduction strategy. The Bank also undertakes a number of analytic pieces and just-in-time policy notes in each year. Current IDA investments in agriculture include RSSP 2 (US$ 35 million), RSSP 3 (US$80 million) and LWH (US$34 million).
Africa Catalytic Growth Fund and Global Agriculture and Food Security Program

Partners

The Government has established a number of formal aid coordination mechanisms including sixteen Sector Working Groups (SWGs). Each mechanism is chaired by the Government and co-chaired by a Development Partner. The Bank currently co-chairs the energy, public financial management and agriculture SWGs. SWGs provide a forum for dialogue, ownership and accountability of the development agenda by all stakeholders at the sector level. They build synergies in policy formulation, implementation and undertake biannual joint sector reviews. The agriculture SWG is particularly effective with the active and engaged participation from key development partners such as the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the World Food Program. The private sector, civil society and farmers’ organizations are also very engaged. A particular strategy that the Bank has adopted in Rwanda is to leverage IDA funding to crowd in funding from other sources. In agriculture this has involved leveraging both public and private sector financing. In the public sector an IDA Credit of only US$ 34 million to the LWH Program has leveraged financing from GAFSP of US$ 50 million; from USAID of US$ 14 million and from CIDA of CAD 8 million bringing donor contribution to the program to over US$ 106 million. The World Bank was also instrumental in putting a Common Framework of Engagement (CFE) for LWH financiers into place. The CFE facilitates engagement with potential new financiers for the LWH program. On the private sector front, the World Bank Group supported a high-level agriculture investor forum in November 2010 focusing on the horticulture (fruits and vegetables) and tea sub-sectors. The forum attracted over 100 international investors and the task force (joint Government and WBG) formed to follow up on potential deals continues to work on the 23 potential deals that were an outcome of the forum.

Toward the Future

In the short to medium term agriculture remains the best possibility of: continuing to reduce poverty; weathering the impact of the global economic crisis; maintaining macro-economic stability; reducing job unemployment; and increasing export earnings. As such the Bank will continue to support the sector to address some of the key impediments to increased agricultural productivity including: a poor feeder roads network; lack of information on investment potential; prohibitive air freight costs; inadequately developed frameworks for quality certification; and a lack of post harvest handling and storage facilities.

Beneficiaries

“In the past, I cultivated and harvested very little, I could not even save for the market. But after constructing terraces, I had a good harvest and a surplus for the market. I had an uncompleted house but now, I have been able to buy cement from the sales of my potato harvest and we are about to complete the house” Colette Nyiraneza – a farmer. “The production of Irish potatoes has increased from 10.5 tons in 7 hectares to 42 tons in 13 hectares. Cooperative members attribute this boost in production to RSSPs support….When we look back at the traditional farming methods we used, we consider this as a great success” Zigama Francois, farmer and President COAVIDEP Cooperative. “My family is happy now that I am a successful famer. I can easily feed them and send my children to school.” Edward Rwego, member COAVIDEP Cooperative.

Source: WorldBank.org

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CW Group Global Outlook for 2012 Reaffirmed, 2013 Expected to Reach 3.991 Billion Tons

Posted on 11 September 2012 by Africa Business

 

Las Vegas, NV, September, 2012 –(PR.com)– In its mid-2012 update of global cement volumes, the CW Group lowers its global outlook to 5.3 percent and 5.8 percent for 2012 and 2013, respectively. The mix of regional growth patterns changes with material upgrades and downgrades.

“In what has rapidly become an industry benchmark, our latest mid-2012 forecast shows an increased bifurcation in growths across regions. We see prolonged challenges in the developed world, led by more dramatic than anticipated declines in Western Europe. We also lower our view on the Eastern Europe-CIS, Middle East, Latin America and China regions, partially on spill-over effects. This said, we see hope in Africa and, encouragingly, in North America. No doubt we are setting the stage for what we expect to be a global shift in strategic dynamics and emerging corporate champions,” said Robert Madeira, CW Group Managing Director and Head of Research.

The latest benchmark Global Cement Volume Forecast Report (GCVFR) by the CW Group—the leading global cement industry advisory and analytics firm—shows global cement consumption, ex-China, expanding at 3.7 percent in 2012 to reach 1.561 billion tons. The increase is a decline from the four percent consumption volume growth in 2011 when worldwide cement demand ex-China reached 1.494 billion tons.

“The CW Analytics team derives the latest forecast using a combination of country-level, bottom-up statistical, qualitative and external perspectives. We feel this provides a great balance of quantitative rigor combined with practitioners’ perspectives that we gather through what we believe to be the global cement sector’s most comprehensive, global and extensive information platform, CemWeek,” explained Claudia Stefanoiu, CW Group Senior Analyst and lead on the GCVFR initiative.

Stefanoiu added, “In our mid-year 2012 update, we have also further refined our data baseline models to provide better views on capacity and historical data as well as provide a review of recent market dynamics for the key forecast countries. Many of the data sources that are widely used by the industry were simply of insufficient quality or too erroneous to be relied on. As such, we will continuously maintain and work to refine our in-house data views so that our clients can expect to continue receiving improved baselines as we refine our models and inputs.”

Overall, although they expect slow growth to continue at a global level, the outlook is cloudier than ever, leaving room for a higher degree of uncertainty than usual in their forecast. Competing macroeconomic forces, led by a persistent drag from Europe alongside robust (albeit fraying at the margins) growth in emerging markets, create a tug-of-war between cement market fundamentals and global economic linkages. The CW Group recognizes the challenges ahead, and we advise our clients to more than usual keep revisiting market assumptions and outlook based on changing conditions. With the current market, the biggest error is not in revising forecasts but rather in relying on static models.

About the GCVFR
The benchmark forecast second-half 2012 update to the benchmark Global Cement Volume Forecast Report (GCVFR) by the CW Group, the leading global cement industry advisory and analytics group, provides a unique bottom-up approach to provide a global, regional and country-level 3-year forecast of cement consumption, capacity and utilization rates for 58 individual countries. The authoritative GCVFR is available in subscription hardcopy format for US$1,750 per year for a single user license (plus shipping and handling) including two updates annually (in February and September), providing detailed information on cement consumption, production, utilization and manufacturing capacity.

The report is available directly from the CW Group by contacting sales@cwgrp.com or by visiting our website at: http://www.cwgrp.com/research/20-global-monitor-reports/306032-global-cement-volume-forecast-report-gcvfr.html

About CW Group
The CW Group is the leading provider of management consulting, investment advisory, research and business insight to the global cement and heavy materials industry. The CW Group includes the CW Advisors, CW Analytics and various information and data platforms like CemWeek.com.

The Group works in all segments of the industry providing clients with value-added business solutions, including:
· Strategy Development
· Market Research and Business Development
· Leadership and Talent Development
· Project and Process Improvement
· Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Consulting
· Business Analysis and Enterprise Innovation

Founded by Robert Madeira, Managing Director and Group Head of Research, the CW Group utilizes an extensive network of team members from across the U.S. and Europe, with partners in Brazil, India and the Philippines. The CW Group delivers innovative, customized solutions to cement companies, construction materials producers, manufacturers and suppliers of building materials and equipment, investors, and construction trade associations. For more information, visit www.cwgrp.com.

If you would like more information about CW Group or schedule a call with an analyst about this report, please contact Judy Foust at 702-430-1748 or e-mail her at jf@cwgrp.com.

Contact Information
CW Group / CemWeek
Judy Foust
+1 702 430 1748
Contact
www.cwgrp.com

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