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PLATINUM SPONSOR INTERVIEW: “Symbion and many other companies from the United States are ready to invest in Africa.”

Posted on 07 May 2013 by Africa Business

Exclusive interview with Paul Hinks, CEO of Symbion Power, platinum sponsors at the upcoming African Utility Week (

1) Why the recent decision to acquire the stake in the South African company EJP Power?
We wanted a foothold in South Africa and we wanted to strengthen the management of our organization on the Africa continent.  EJ Power has good, experienced management who live in Africa.  We can’t manage day to day business with a whole day of time difference and between 9,000 and 13,000 kms of distance, depending which of our current operations you measure it against.

2) Is this a vote of confidence in South Africa’s economy and future?
It’s a vote of confidence in Africa.  South Africa’s economy is mature compared to many of the emerging economies in Africa but it’s a hub for African business so a good location to have people.  But we don’t consider South Africa as the only hub in Africa these days.  There are others in West Africa and East Africa where the economies are thriving.

3) You already have a good track record in Tanzania.  Can you tell us how your project is progressing there?  How important has your relationship with the government been?
Tanzania is the first country in Africa that we have worked in. Until then we were heavily focused on Iraq and Afghanistan so it has been a pleasure to return to Africa.  We now own 3 power plants in Tanzania generating 217 Megawatts and we have recently signed an agreement with the utility there, TANESCO, to jointly develop a 400MW power plant and a 650km transmission line in the south at Mtwara.  This plant will have the potential to provide natural gas fired power to neighboring countries such as Mozambique and Malawi and eventually it can feed the Southern African Power Pool. It’s an important Public Private Partnership due to the large gas deposits that have been discovered, in addition to the existing gas field at Mnazi Bay.

4) How excited are you about entering the Nigerian market?
Very excited. Nigeria is the most vibrant market in the energy sector in Africa and it’s so very, very different than the Nigeria we used to hear about decades ago.  I tell everyone who is skeptical to just go there and see what’s happening and not rely on old information, or the words of people who haven’t been in recent years.   We will soon open a new office in Lagos that will become the headquarters of our African independent power business.  South Africa will be the headquarters for our construction and engineering business but we intend to pursue IPP opportunities in South Africa too.

5) What is your vision for Symbion in Africa?
I’d like to see Symbion become one of the leading independent power companies on the continent who can also build our own infrastructure at economic costs.  I’d also like us to leverage our origin in the United States to bring other US interests into our developments such as the various government agencies that provide debt funding and credit support as well as other US and African private sector companies.  The name Symbion comes from the word Symbiotic, which means a relationship of mutual benefit between two or more entities.  That’s what we strive to achieve. We have many different partnerships in Africa and elsewhere.

6)  What surprises you about this industry?
What most surprises me is that electricity, a commodity that people all over the world see as being essential for daily life and critical to growth, is so insufficient in Africa.  However, right now I see great efforts being made throughout the continent to change this although some places are still woefully behind the curve.

7)  What has been the secret of Symbion’s success so far?
Symbiotic partnerships with local companies.  Not being greedy and trusting and sharing with our local partners.  Symbion’s men and women are committed and they are courageous.  They aren’t intimidated by adverse news reports about security issues and we make our own judgments about the risks we will take.  Eight years of Iraq and Afghanistan built a very strong team who look out for each other.

8 )  What will be your message at African Utility Week?
My message to everyone at African Utility Week is that Symbion and many other companies from the United States are ready to invest in Africa.  These firms are ethical, they have integrity and they need partners in both the public and private sectors.  The US government wants to support both the US and the African private sector as this is the route to development on the continent.  President Obama’s strategy for Sub Saharan Africa was set out in June 2012 and I am sure that everyone will soon see that he is committed to it.

9)  Anything to add?
Yes,  as well as my duties as the Chief Executive Officer of Symbion Power I am also the Chairman of the Corporate Council on Africa which is the largest (not for profit) organization in the United States that promotes trade and investment between the United States and Africa.  Until this year it was exclusively American but now we have opened the doors to companies from Africa too.  I’d encourage private sector players who have interests in partnering with US companies to join the CCA because this is where you can get the introductions and the information you need to build new relationships with some of the major players in the US.  I’d also encourage public utilities to attend our CCA US Africa Summit in Chicago in October this year.  Details on membership and the Summit can be found on the website.


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Posted on 06 May 2013 by Africa Business

On Friday 3 May 2013, the official draw took place for this year’s tournament at a gala event in Lusaka, Zambia.

The tournament kicks off at Lusaka on the 6th of July at 14h30, with Namibia playing against Mauritius followed by Tanzania playing Seychelles.

The COSAFA CUP Zambia 2013 makes a welcome return to the global football calendar after a three-year absence with the 2013 edition to be staged in Zambia from July 6-21.

K MOTION PICTURES, a Johannesburg based media organisation, has been contracted by COSAFA as the official global broadcast rights distributor for the tournament.

The tournament sees Africa’s favourite beer, Castle Lager, renew its partnership with the regional showpiece after being headline sponsors of the event from 1997 to 2007.

“We are delighted to renew our partnership with COSAFA and further our shared aim of uplifting football in the Southern African region. We have long acknowledged the key role that the COSAFA CUP plays in the uplifting the game in Southern Africa,” says David Minja; SABMiller Africa Premium Brands Manager.

The 2013 tournament will be played at three venues in Lusaka, Ndola and Kabwe and features 14 competing nations with two guest countries from the Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) region in the field.

The Council of Southern African Football Association (COSAFA) countries which will take part in the COSAFA CUP Zambia 2013 are Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. They will be joined by Kenya and Tanzania from CECAFA in what is an exciting field for this prestigious event.

“We are delighted with the entrants for the return of the COSAFA CUP Zambia 2013 this July. The return of our showpiece regional competition is long overdue and we are excited at the prospect of once again seeing the best players from the Southern African region compete for the title,” says Cosafa President Suketu Patel.

The tournament format will be the same as in last event staged in Zimbabwe in 2009, with the eight lowest ranked teams according to the April 2013 FIFA World Rankings playing a round robin competition.

The eight sides will be split into two pools of four sides, with just the group winners advancing to the knockout stages. There they will be joined by the top six nations according to the CAF rankings, who receive a bye into the quarterfinals. That means the six nations who will automatically advance to the quarterfinals are Zambia (7), South Africa (11), Angola (25), Zimbabwe (28), Mozambique (30) and Malawi (32).

The tournament will then follow a traditional knockout format after that, with matches being decided by extra time and/or penalty shoot-out if no winner can be determined in normal time.

The COSAFA CASTLE CUP was first played in 1997 as a regional championship for Southern African sides. Zimbabwe heads the honours list with four titles, while Zambia, South Africa and Angola have three each. They are the only countries to have won the event.

This year’s tournament will also be used to promote COSAFA’s partnership with United Against Malaria (UAM).


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“The challenge in South Africa is ensuring that we have the technical skills to match the strong drive to invest in renewable energy.”

Posted on 22 April 2013 by Africa Business

Exclusive interview with Paul Nel, Technical Director: Renewable Energy at Aurecon – silver sponsors at Clean Power Africa. Aurecon will present several technical workshops on renewables and hydro on the exhibition floor.

1) What are you most excited about currently in terms of Aurecon’s involvement in the renewable energy industry locally?

Aurecon is currently playing a leading role in ensuring the successful realisation of six renewable energy projects which form part of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (SA REIPPPP). Construction on a number of these projects is progressing well and our involvement with these round one projects is immensely exciting. Aurecon understands the business case for sustainable energy, and we are excited about the role we are playing in shaping South Africa’s energy future.

2) What is on the calendar for Aurecon in 2013

Our focus is set on ensuring the successful delivery of our current projects, as well as on building relationships with other stakeholders considering investment into the renewable energy sphere. We look forward to being closely involved in several round two projects, as well as helping our clients with round three submissions in August.

With a footprint throughout South Africa and offices in several African countries, our focus is not only to provide great design solutions, but develop sustainable solutions which take into consideration local environment and processes. We view every singly project as an opportunity to develop a relationship with our clients with the view to unlocking long-term project success.

3) What opportunities do you see in Africa?

Africa has always been seen as a continent of untapped hydro energy potential. We recently expanded our hydro team, allowing us to deliver comprehensive services in hydro throughout Africa. Although many countries are reliant on hydro, they are also looking at other potential energy sources as hydro is rain dependent and changes in climate threaten to impact on energy delivery. Other opportunities include taking advantage of wind energy and solar, particularly in east Africa, Kenya, Malawi and Tanzania. Aurecon is currently assisting a number of role-players in key decisions around exploiting these resources.


4) What do you think makes Aurecon competitive in this market?

Locally, there is often a lack of local experience pertaining to renewable energy projects, and what’s more, they all involve technology new to the African market. The need for an experienced consultant to apply best-in-industry experience to overcome these challenges is key to achieving successful outcomes. Aurecon is one of the few local consultants with a strong wind, solar and hydro CV. Prior to emergence of the South African renewable energy market, we had been involved in renewable projects throughout Australia and New Zealand, affording us immense technical depth. Coupled to our local presence across Africa, this enables us to apply world-leading expertise to the projects we work on locally.

5) What do you think are the biggest challenges to the South African/African energy market?

The renewables market in South Africa is maturing fairly quickly, with a well-structured and managed IPP programme. This is also indicative of the easy terms of foreign investment and adequate access to infrastructure in local market. The challenge in South Africa is ensuring that we have the technical skills to match this strong drive to invest in renewable energy.

Africa needs to achieve high growth rates in terms of energy production, meaning the market needs to develop quickly. Within these markets, funding and access to funding is a concern, as well as the speed at which projects are realised. Encouragingly, there is big impetus to overcome these challenges, and within these markets, it is key to focus on and target smaller power production solutions which can be replicated.

6) What surprises you about this industry?

Within South Africa, the tenacity of international investors to remain ‘in it for the long-haul’ is greatly encouraging. Foreign investors are comfortable with the processes in place and remain committed despite sometimes seemingly drawn-out progress.

7) Why did you decide to sponsor at Clean Power Africa?

Aurecon would like to showcase our ability to successfully contribute to this critical energy market and to share our experiences with delegates at the conference. Clean Power Africa offers us the ability to network with and influence other renewable energy players so that, together, we can make an even greater difference.

8 ) What will be your main message for the event delegate and visitor?

Aurecon has a unique service to offer our clients. We are a global company with a strong local presence and we understand the international and RSA markets intimately. This, coupled with our strong relationships with the institutions and regulators involved in the renewables market, sees us add immense value to our clients’ projects.

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IMF Executive Board Completes Second Review Under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement for Malawi and Approves US$19.6 Million Disbursement

Posted on 08 April 2013 by Africa Business


The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today completed the second review of Malawi’s economic performance under a program supported by the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement. The Board’s decision enables the immediate disbursement of an amount equivalent to SDR 13.02 million (about US$19.6 million), bringing total disbursements under the arrangement to an amount equivalent to SDR39.06 million (about US$58.7 million).

The three-year ECF arrangement for Malawi in the total amount of SDR 104.1 million (about US$156.2 million) was approved on July 23, 2012.

Following the Board’s discussion, Mr. David Lipton, First Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, issued the following statement:

“Malawi’s performance under the Fund-supported program has been commendable despite a difficult environment. The policy reforms have begun to yield positive results, including increased availability of foreign exchange. The government also successfully rolled out its social protection programs.

“Continued tight monetary policy and fiscal restraint are needed to contain aggregate demand, stabilize the exchange rate and prices, and boost international reserves. The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) is committed to maintaining a tight monetary stance until inflation pressures recede. The fiscal authorities are also committed to implementing prudent policies in the run up to the 2014 general elections. In particular, the FY2013/14 budget will include measures to offset the impact of recent wage increases on the budget. The authorities are also pursuing reforms to broaden the tax base, improve revenue administration, and exercise greater control over expenditures.

“It will be important to safeguard the stability of the financial system. The RBM is strengthening its oversight of banks and is assessing the true financial condition of all banks with a view to enforcing prudential regulations. It has also enhanced its monitoring of banks that have continued to have difficulty meeting liquidity requirements.

“The authorities are making progress in implementing structural reforms to enhance the country’s competitiveness and exports. They are committed to removing regulatory hurdles to doing business in Malawi.”

Source: IMF

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Regional Seminar on the Implementation and Promotion of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Discrimination in the context of the Right to Food in Southern Africa

Posted on 29 March 2013 by Africa Business

LILONGWE, Malawi /African Press Organization (APO)/ Around 60 experts from governments, civil society, national human rights institutions, as well as the agricultural sector will meet from 3 to 4 April 2013 in Lilongwe, Malawi, to discuss concrete measures to respect, protect and fulfil the right to food in the sub-region. Experts from Belgium, Norway, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and other UN agencies will also attend.


The Regional Office for Southern Africa of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is convening the meeting in close cooperation with the Government of Malawi, the United Nations Country Team in Malawi, and the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, with the financial support of the Flemish Government (Belgium) and the Royal Norwegian Embassy.


The objective of the seminar is to facilitate an exchange of experiences and lessons learned related to the implementation of the right to food, and to increase awareness of the right to food and of existing implementation tools in the sub-region. The seminar is in follow-up to the recommendations made at a sub-regional expert seminar on economic, social and cultural rights held in Maputo, Mozambique, in December 2011, and takes into account the findings of the expert consultations on the right to food convened by the Special Rapporteur on the right to food in Nairobi, Kenya, in April 2012.


The regional seminar seeks to pool experiences and build knowledge on the implementation of the right to food and human rights-based approaches to tackling hunger and food and nutrition insecurity in Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.


In recent years, several countries in Southern Africa have been adopting constitutional provisions as well as national framework laws, strategies, policies and programmes to strengthen the protection of the right to food, and are leading the way at the global level. These institutional developments are vital and serve to clarify that “fighting hunger and malnutrition is not merely a charitable cause but rather a matter of empowering people to claim their rights and to hold Governments accountable”, as mentioned by the Special Rapporteur on the right to food.




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AfDB Grants Malawi US $3.04 Million for Kholombidzo Power Feasibility Studies

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Africa Business

LILONGWE, Malawi, March 26, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group ( approved, on March 25, 2013, a grant amounting to US $3.04 million to finance the Kholombidzo Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP) Feasibility Studies in Malawi. The Government of Malawi will contribute US $0.23 million (7%) of the total study cost of US $3.27 million.

The grant aims to produce a full bankable feasibility study for the future development of a power generation project to contribute to the expansion of electricity generating capacity in Malawi, which would ultimately help to address electricity shortages and enable the delivery of reliable energy and electricity access expansion in Malawi.

The study is consistent with the objectives of the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy II (MGDS II) which emphasizes the importance of putting in place a foundation for long-term economic growth through improved infrastructure and investment climate. By supporting the study, the African Development Fund will be contributing to facilitating investment in the provision of electricity needed for supporting economic growth and poverty reduction. The initiative also presents an opportunity for knowledge sharing from previous experiences in other member countries.



African Development Bank (AfDB)

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SATH initiative to focus on minimizing groundnut aflatoxin contamination

Posted on 16 March 2013 by Wallace Mawire

by Wallace Mawire




The Southern Africa Trade Hub (SATH) is planning to partner with organizations in need of technical assistance along the groundnut value chain to minimize risk of aflatoxin contamination, according to a SATH spokesperson.
According to SATH, groundnuts are one of Southern Africa’s most important crops, but contamination by the carcinogenic fungus aflatoxin has become a public health issue and a significant barrier to trade. Risks associated with the fungus include liver cancer, impaired growth for children under five and suppression of the immune system.

“Shipments of groundnuts with aflatoxin levels over 4 parts per billion cannot be sold. Consignments are tested for aflatoxin levels prior to export and are rejected if they fail, damaging exports, undermining food security and lowering farmer profits. The trade losses attributed to aflatoxin contamination overall are US$1.2 billion globally and US$450 million per annum across Africa,” SATH says.

In response, the Southern Africa Trade Hub reports that it has devised a system of interventions applicable at critical points along the groundnut value chain to decrease the risk of aflatoxin contamination. The Hub says it is partnering with organizations in need of technical assistance to put these methods into widespread practice.

Post-Harvest Interventions:

·        Infield drying/ curing

·        On farm storage

·        Stripping

·        Pre-sheller grading

·        Buying incentives

·        Transport and warehouses

·        Mechanical shelling

·        Sorting

·        Blanching

·        Oil Extraction and filtering

·        Detoxification of peanut meal

·        Packaging, transport and storage

·        Aflatoxin testing

In November 2012  the Trade Hub reports that it rolled out an “Aflatoxin Roadshow” to educate traders, processors and farmers’ unions on effective methods to reduce contamination.
In collaboration with Twin, a UK-based NGO, the Hub educated value chain actors on improved post-harvest handling practices to prevent the growth of aflatoxin and protect the market value of this important crop.

The roadshow is reported to have  made stops in Lilongwe, Malawi; Napula, Mozambique; and Lusaka, Zambia.
It was attended by 94 participants, including groundnut exporters and importers, farmer associations, NGOs, research institutions, government officials and processors.
“Via these attendees, the information has the potential to reach four exporters in the region, 520 affiliate associations, 130,000 farmers and to impact 20,000MT of groundnut production valued at US$16 million in Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi,” SATH says.

The roadshow is said to have presented the results from last year’s joint study between the Trade Hub and Twin on aflatoxin mitigation measures and focused on critical control points such as field drying, shelling and bagging for storage.

Through the roadshow and other measures, the Trade Hub is acting as a catalyst to encourage cooperation among all the players of the groundnut value chain, which will help transform the industry and increase smallholder farm earnings.
“With collaboration, the industry can obtain the support it needs for significant growth: including financing, a certified laboratory for testing and central collection points for mechanical shelling,” SATH says.

The roadshow was co-sponsored by USAID’s Feed the Future programs Profit+ in Zambia, AgriFuturo in Mozambique and INVC in Malawi.
The workshops will be followed up with a strategy to accelerate adoption of aflatoxin-reduction strategies by producer organizations in order to help Zambia, Mozambique, and Malawi become trusted sources of peanuts, increasing demand and encouraging exports to regional and international markets.

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AfDB Approves US $73 Million for Irrigation and Road Projects in Malawi

Posted on 14 March 2013 by Africa Business

LILONGWE, Malawi, March 14, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group ( approved, on March 13, 2013, grants and loans amounting to US $73 million to finance irrigation and road rehabilitation projects in Malawi.

The grants, amounting to US $39.98 million from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) and the African Development Fund (ADF), will be used to finance the Smallholder Irrigation and Value Addition Project (SIVAP). A total of US $39.6 million will come from the GAFSP Multi-Donor Trust Fund, while the ADF will provide a grant of US $0.38 million.

The project aims is to contribute to food security, increased income levels and poverty reduction and the specific objectives are to increase agricultural production and productivity through intensification of irrigation, crop diversification, value addition and capacity building. SIVAP will benefit 11,400 farm families of which more than 50 per cent are headed by women.

A total of about 450,000 people will indirectly benefit from project activities through enhanced crop production, diversification and developing high value-chains.

The project will ensure ownership by the beneficiaries through participation in supervision, monitoring, evaluation, afforestation activities, matching grant arrangement for equipment, and training. The emphasis on expanding irrigation capacity will support Government efforts in achieving the objective of enabling farmers to plant at two crops per year.

The AfDB also provided a concessional loan of US $33.2 million to finance the rehabilitation of the road between Mzuzu and Nkhata Bay. The Mzuzu-Nkhata Bay road is one of the major trunk roads prioritized in the government’s Road Sector Programme, as it is part of the road network that links the northern region of the country to the central and southern regions.

The road, once rehabilitated, will support economic growth sectors in the northern region and is expected to benefit an estimated 342,211 people living in the two districts, by improving access to markets, schools, and health centres and other social-economic centres.

In addition to the above, the road is located on the Mtwara Development Corridor and therefore serves international freight traffic from Zambia and Tanzania. It is an important road link, not only for domestic connectivity, but also for regional trade and integration.

The AfDB is committed to supporting the Malawi Government in its efforts to achieve inclusive economic growth and reducing poverty. The AfDB is confident that these resources will support Government’s efforts towards the achievement of goals and targets of the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS II), consistent with the Bank’s Country Strategy covering 2013-2017.



African Development Bank (AfDB)

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Airtel déploie les services téléphoniques Haute-définition en Afrique

Posted on 06 March 2013 by Africa Business

Bharti Airtel Limited ( est l’une des plus grandes sociétés de télécommunications dans le monde avec des opérations dans 20 pays en Afrique et en Asie. Basée à New Delhi, en Inde, la société fait partie des quatre plus grands opérateurs de téléphonie mobile au monde en termes du nombre d’abonnés. En Inde, elle offre des services variés, notamment des services mobiles 2G et 3G, des offres lignes fixes et du haut débit ADSL, l’IPTV et le DTH, des solutions pour entreprises et services nationaux et internationaux de longue distance aux opérateurs de téléphonie. Sur les autres marchés, elle fournit des services mobiles 2G et 3G. Bharti Airtel comptait plus de 262 millions d’abonnés sur l’ensemble de ses marchés à la fin du mois de Janvier 2012. 


L’innovation offre une qualité audio limpide et permettra d’améliorer l’expérience utilisateur sur les réseaux mobiles d’Airtel

NAIROBI, Kenya, mars 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/

•     Des services vocaux de qualité supérieure sont disponibles pour les clients situés au Kenya, au Rwanda, au Malawi et au Nigeria

•    La téléphonie mobile haute-définition vient s’ajouter à la gamme de services de qualité que propose la société et propulsera l’expérience utilisateur au niveau suivant

Bharti Airtel («Airtel»), un fournisseur de services de télécommunications de premier plan avec des opérations dans 20 pays à travers l’Asie et l’Afrique, a annoncé le lancement de la téléphonie mobile haute-définition (HD) pour ses abonnés au Kenya, au Nigeria, au Malawi et au Rwanda. Cette annonce est juste la pointe visible de l’iceberg, étant donné que la société Airtel a pour l’ambition de rendre la téléphonie mobile HD disponible dans toutes ses opérations à travers le continent.

La téléphonie mobile HD est la plus importante amélioration dans les communications vocales au cours des deux dernières décennies. L’innovation offre une qualité audio limpide et permettra d’améliorer l’expérience utilisateur sur les réseaux mobiles d’Airtel. «Les sondages confirment que les clients accordent une grande importance à la téléphonie mobile HD», explique André Beyers, le directeur du marketing d’Airtel Afrique. «Ce nouveau service permettra d’enrichir l’expérience utilisateur pour les abonnés d’Airtel».

La téléphonie mobile HD permet des appels vocaux de haute qualité car le service réduit le bruit de fond souvent entendu lors d’un appel normal. Les clients d’Airtel sur les réseaux 3G connaîtront une amélioration significative de leurs communications vocales étant donné que le nouveau service leur permettra de mieux entendre même lorsqu’ils sont dans des endroits bruyants.

Pour profiter au maximum des avantages de cette nouvelle technologie, l’appelant et l’appelé doivent avoir un téléphone portable compatible avec la téléphonie mobile HD. Cependant, si l’un des utilisateurs n’a pas un téléphone compatible avec la téléphonie HD, l’amélioration de la qualité des appels est toutefois perçue.

La téléphonie mobile HD basée sur le G.722.2 exploite neuf débits binaires différents et offre des appels vocaux de haute qualité. Par rapport au codec vocal à bande étroite, l’algorithme de compression du G.722.2 double la bande passante de la voix et produit de meilleurs résultats.

Après des années d’essais, la téléphonie mobile HD a été lancée en 2009 et elle est maintenant disponible dans 35 pays à travers le monde. Selon les résultats d’une enquête récente, 96% des clients sont satisfaits des appels vocaux HD, d’où la rapide commercialisation de ce service à travers le monde.

Airtel est l’un des premiers opérateurs à lancer la téléphonie mobile HD en Afrique. La société de télécommunications a pour objectif de faire de ce service une réalité sur le continent. D’autres lancements auront lieu en 2013.


Bharti Airtel Limited

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Airtel rolls out mobile HD voice service in Africa

Posted on 06 March 2013 by Africa Business

Bharti Airtel Limited ( is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa. Headquartered in New Delhi, India, the company ranks amongst the top 4 mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers. In India, the company’s product offerings include 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services, mobile commerce, fixed line services, high speed DSL broadband, IPTV, DTH, enterprise services including national & international long distance services to carriers. In the rest of the geographies, it offers 2G, 3G wireless services and mobile commerce. Bharti Airtel had over 262 million customers across its operations at the end of January 2013.


Mobile HD voice offers crystal clear audio quality and will enhance user experience on Airtel mobile networks

NAIROBI, Kenya, March, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/

•    High quality voice services to be available to consumers in Kenya, Rwanda, Malawi and Nigeria

•    Will complement the company’s state-of-the-art high speed data networks and take user experience to the next level

Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”), a leading telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, has announced the launch of the mobile HD voice service for its subscribers in Africa. The development comes as the first step in Airtel’s ambition to make mobile HD voice accessible in all its operations across the continent.

HD voice is the most significant improvement in voice communications in the past two decades. Mobile HD voice offers crystal clear audio quality and will enhance user experience on Airtel mobile networks. “Surveys confirm that customers place a high value on HD Voice”, explains Andre Beyers, the Chief Marketing Officer, Airtel Africa. “The new service will enrich end-user experience for Airtel subscribers”.

Mobile HD Voice enables high-quality voice calls because it reduces background noise often heard on a regular call. Airtel customers on 3G networks will experience a significant improvement in their voice communications as the new service will enable them to hear better in noisy environments.

To enjoy the maximum benefits of this new technology, both the calling and the called party need an HD-Voice compatible mobile phone. However, improvements in call quality are also perceived when using an HD voice-enabled phone to call a non-HD Voice phone.

Mobile HD Voice based on AMR (Adaptive Multi Rate) Wideband technology (W-AMR) operates with nine different bit rates, providing high-quality voice calls. Compared to the current narrowband speech codec, the W-AMR speech-compression algorithm doubles voice bandwidth and produces better results.

After years of trials, HD Voice services were launched in 2009 and they are now available in 35 countries around the world. According to the results of a recent survey, 96% of customers are satisfied with HD Voice calls, hence the rapid pace of commercialization of the services across the globe.

Airtel becomes the third operator to launch a mobile HD voice service in Africa. The telecommunications company aims to make HD voice a reality on the continent. Further launches will be scheduled in 2013.



Bharti Airtel Limited

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