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Fi Istanbul’s Success Demonstrates Unlimited Market Opportunities in Turkey, the Middle East & North Africa

Posted on 18 May 2013 by Africa Business

Staggering 3,000 Visitors + 150 Exhibiting Brands and Record Re-Booking Volumes for the 2014 Event

Yes, we’ve got a lot to shout about and so we would like to start with a huge thank you to all of our exhibitors who helped to make Food ingredients Istanbul such a great success. As the only dedicated food ingredients event in the region, last week’s highly successful show demonstrates that this region is thriving and thirsty for the very latest ingredients, solutions, innovations and networking opportunities.

We are delighted to announce that Food ingredients Istanbul exceeded all forecasts and expectations with the impressive amount of 3,000 visitors and a 94% rebooking rate. As a launch event, Fi Istanbul welcomed attendees from over 80 different countries, filling all aisles and bustling exhibitor stands.

It is clear that the industry responded well to this launch event. Building on the high growth rates that the food industry is experiencing in this region, Fi Istanbul provided a strong platform for all food and beverage manufacturers to source from over 150 local, regional and international food ingredients suppliers.

The response from the exhibitors was overwhelming! Many claimed to have had one of the best shows ever, with a high quality of visitors, a steady flow of traffic during the 3 days and a good mix of visiting companies, including food manufacturers from dairy, ice cream, confectionary, meat, poultry and many more.

Turkey, for a global company, is a very important market for us to be close to our customers. Food ingredients Istanbul has been a great experience to meet new customers in 3 days and share projects, prototypes, concepts and innovations” Luis Fernandez , Vice-President Global Applications, Tate & Lyle

Natasha Berrow , UBM’s Brand Director, also commented, “Last week’s event really did surpass even our expectations! The positive response to this launch event, the new Fi branding and signage provided the innovative environment that such a growing region deserves.”

She continued “the record re-bookings are further indication that exhibitors see Fi Istanbul as the place to continue to meet their customers and to expand into this booming region. I’d like to express our appreciation for the tremendous and ongoing support of all our customers.”

“We are very impressed by the quality of visitors; quality is more important than quantity. We found a lot of good customers that we’ll probably start new business with” Stella Wu , International Sales Manager, JK Sucralose

Visitor feedback also surpassed all expectations. The great mix of local, regional and international food ingredients suppliers was complimented by many attendees looking to source new ingredients from companies they never heard of.

“I want to know new suppliers and I want to see some different varieties of products that I can use for my customers. This is the first year for this exhibition and it feels like it has being a successful opening and I’m sure it will get greater and bigger in the coming years.” Meleknur Tuzun, Sales Manager, Agrana

Fi Istanbul is a key part of the Food ingredients Global Portfolio strategy to extend the its brand into new regions, offering exhibiting clients a platform to engage with new customers and present their new business growth opportunities. With the key focus on business development, innovation and trade, in a region with one of the fastest economic growth rates in the world, Fi Istanbul proved to be one of the most cost-effective platforms to source new ingredients, grow market share and act as a stepping stone to this vastly and yet close to untouched food industry.

 

About Fi ingredients Global – the trusted route to market since 1986

Food ingredients first launched in Utrecht, The Netherlands in 1986 and its portfolio of live events, publications, extensive database, digital solutions and high-level conferences are now established across the globe to provide regional and a global meeting place for all stakeholders in the food ingredients industry. Over 500,000 people have attended our shows over the years, and billions of Euros of business have been created as a result. With over 25 years of excellence, our events, digital solutions and supporting products deliver a proven route to market with a truly global audience.

About UBM Istanbul

UBM Istanbul was established in April 2012 to connect people and create opportunities for companies wishing to build business between Europe and Asia, meet customers, launch new products, promote their brands and expand their markets. Premier brands such as Fi Europe, CPhI, IFSEC, Black Hat, Mother & Baby Show , Jewellery and many others and will become an integral part of the marketing plans of companies across more than 10 industry sectors.

About UBM

UBM plc is a global events-led marketing services and communications company. We help businesses do business, bringing the world’s buyers and sellers together at events and online, as well as producing and distributing specialist content and news. Our 5,500 staff in more than 30 countries are organised into specialist teams which serve commercial and professional communities, helping them to do business and their markets to work effectively and efficiently.

For more information, go to http://www.ubm.com

SOURCE UBM Live

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Unreliable Power Supply Creates Huge Demand for Non-renewable Inverters, Finds Frost & Sullivan

Posted on 18 May 2013 by Africa Business

Cost competitiveness vital to expand in developing markets

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. /PRNewswire/ — The global non-renewable inverter market grew steadily on the back of rising demand for reliable power and the lack of stable power infrastructure in many regions of the world. Higher disposable incomes and greater affordability in developing regions such as Latin America, as well as parts of Africa and South Asia, encourage the adoption of power inverters, especially in residential markets.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan’s (http://www.powersupplies.frost.com) Analysis of the Global Non-renewable Inverter Market research finds the market earned revenue of approximately $1.94 billion in 2012 and estimates this to reach $2.34 billion in 2018.

For more information on this research, please email Britni Myers , Corporate Communications, at britni.myers@frost.com, with your full name, company name, job title, telephone number, company email address, company website, city, state and country.

“The need for power reliability stimulates demand for power inverter and inverter/chargers, as they are employed as part of a back-up power system involving a battery,” said Frost & Sullivan Energy and Environment Senior Industry Analyst Anu Elizabeth Cherian. “The manufacturing and commercial sectors’ increased awareness and proactive protective measures such as employing adequate back-up resources to manage business more efficiently gives a significant boost to the market’s prospects.”

The market will also gain from the escalating use of electronic equipment in boats, cars, trucks, ambulances and recreational vehicles. Power inverters and inverter chargers can meet business travelers’ or vacationers’ demand for connectivity on the go as well.

While power inverters are establishing a foothold in the power industry, the gradual pace of economic recovery and restrained spending environment are stymieing inverter manufacturers’ efforts to expand. Further, the slowdown in infrastructural build-outs in telecommunications and investments makes customers cautious about investing in inverters.

“Inverter manufacturers could attempt to offset the price issue by offering enhanced features for the premium products or lowering prices,” noted Cherian. “We know that without a solid solution, power quality issues will continue to persist.  This improved awareness of the need to be well prepared for power outages bolsters the power inverter market.”

Analysis of the Global Non-renewable Inverter Market is part of the Energy and Environment Growth Partnership Service program. Frost & Sullivan’s related research services include: Analysis of the Mexican Distributed Power Generation Market, Asia-Pacific Rental Power Market, Bangladesh Uninterruptible Power Supply Market, and Critical Energy Infrastructure Protection in Europe. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

Connect with Frost & Sullivan on social media, including Twitter, Facebook, SlideShare, and LinkedIn, for the latest news and updates.

About Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today’s market participants.

Our “Growth Partnership” supports clients by addressing these opportunities and incorporating two key elements driving visionary innovation: The Integrated Value Proposition and The Partnership Infrastructure.

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For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector and the investment community. Is your organization prepared for the next profound wave of industry convergence, disruptive technologies, increasing competitive intensity, Mega Trends, breakthrough best practices, changing customer dynamics and emerging economies?

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Analysis of the Global Non-renewable Inverter Market
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SOURCE Frost & Sullivan

 

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“World’s Best Service” Awarded To Crystal Cruises By Travel + Leisure

Posted on 18 May 2013 by Africa Business

Magazine Readers Vote Luxury Line #1 of All Large Ships

Waiters prepare the Crystal Dining Room for dinner. (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

LOS ANGELES /PRNewswire/ – Travel + Leisure magazine readers have voted Crystal Cruises as having the “World’s Best Service” of all large size cruise ships for 2013. With a #1 score of 95.41, this is the second year in a row the luxury cruise specialist has won the esteemed guest service award in its ship size category. A complete list of all hotel, resort, airline, and cruise line service winners is published in the periodical’s June issue.

Crystal has maintained exceptionally high service scores throughout its history, even after including gratuities as part of its all-inclusive enhancements a little over a year ago.

“We’re so pleased with the incredibly high-quality execution of our all-inclusive experience. Readers’ service scores mirror the ratings we’ve received from our own guest surveys,” says Crystal President Gregg Michel . “Our crew thrives on delivering the best Crystal Experience possible, down to the smallest detail, so it’s incredibly gratifying to see sophisticated travelers recognize that.”

Crystal is continually refining the guest experience and has made numerous enhancements to its Six-Star service over the past year. Gratuities, fine wines and premium spirits are now all included. Certified Master Sommeliers, Cheese Sommeliers, and Mixologists are always on hand to recommend perfect pairings. New Boutique Adventures and Private options have expanded onshore choices. New associations with Hollywood‘s Magic Castle and USC‘s School of Cinematic Arts offer additional learning and entertainment opportunities. New Fast Track Check-In has eased embarkation hassle. New VIP Airport Services simplify airline travel to and from ships. Maiden calls and new itineraries, including more local overnights and shorter voyages, have increased travelers’ cruise options. And, thanks to a five-year, $100 million investment in extreme makeovers of Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, guests always have a plethora of chic, yet comfortable, spaces in which to enjoy Crystal’s luxurious service.

Crystal’s passion for taking care of guests in an inviting environment of extraordinary space, quality and choices has earned the company more “World’s Best” awards than any other cruise line, resort, or hotel in history, including, over the past year, Travel + Leisure‘s World’s Best Large-Ship Cruise Line (17th consecutive year); Conde Nast Traveler‘s Best Mid-Sized Cruise Line (19th year) and Cruise Ships (#1 and 2); and eight Travel Weekly Magellan Awards.

The 922-guest Crystal Symphony and the 1,070-guest Crystal Serenity sail to all seven continents, with voyages of 5-108 days in the Mediterranean, Western Europe, British Isles, Scandinavia/Baltic & Russia, North Cape & Arctic Circle, Africa, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, South Pacific, South America, Antarctica, New England/Canada, Panama Canal, Caribbean, and a sumptuous annual World Cruise. Until June 28, all-inclusive, value-priced “Book Now” fares start at just $1,630/person.

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.

SOURCE Crystal Cruises

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Abengoa to develop 132 kilometer transmission line project in Kenya

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Africa Business

– The project, financed by the African Development Bank, is worth approximately €32 million.

About Abengoa

Abengoa (MCE: ABG.B) is a company that applies innovative technology solutions for sustainability in the energy and environment sectors, generating electricity from the sun, producing biofuels, desalinating sea water and recycling industrial waste. (www.abengoa.com)

SEVILLE, Spain /PRNewswire/ – Abengoa (MCE: ABG.B), the international company that applies innovative technology solutions for sustainability in the energy and environment sectors, has been chosen by the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) of the Kenyan Ministry of Energy for an electricity transmission project that includes construction of a 132 kilometer line and extension of an existing substation in Kenya, in a contract worth approximately €32 million.

The project, which is being financed by the African Development Bank, is part of the plan called “Interconnection of Electric Grids of Nile Equatorial Lakes Countries,” which is being developed in Africa and involves the construction of approximately 769 kilometers of transmission lines in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Burundi. Abengoa will not retain any interest in the constructed assets.

Abengoa will be responsible for the engineering, construction and commissioning, ensuring the highest levels of quality at every stage of the process. The 132 kilometer line will run from the substation in Lessos, Kenya, to the border with Uganda to connect with the Tororo, Uganda, substation. Abengoa will also extend the Lessos substation and be responsible for its design, construction and commissioning.

The project is scheduled to be completed within 18 months and handed over to Ketraco in November 2014.

This contract, together with projects previously carried out in Tanzania and Kenya, will strengthen Abengoa’s presence in the African market, reinforcing its position as a leading transmission and distribution contractor.

SOURCE Abengoa

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Canadian Solar’s Partner Romano Wins Eskom Rooftop Project in Johannesburg

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Africa Business

About Eskom

Eskom generates approximately 95% of the electricity used in South Africa and approximately 45% of the electricity used in Africa. Eskom generates, transmits and distributes electricity to industrial, mining, commercial, agricultural and residential customers and redistributors. Additional power stations and major power lines are being built to meet rising electricity demand in South Africa. Eskom will continue to focus on improving and strengthening its core business of electricity generation, transmission, trading and distribution.  For more information, please visit www.eskom.co.za.

About Romano Group

The Romano Group is a multi-skilled provider of a broad range of sustainable solutions, to clients who are typically large commercial, industrial or retail property owners and tenants spread throughout Africa. Romano’s value-added offer includes the design, manufacture and installation of high-quality Solar PV, ECO-Lighting, Modular Construction and Signage & Print solutions, all of which are delivered on-time at a competitive price. The company celebrated its 60th birthday in 2012 and employs 150 people. For more information, please visit www.romano.co.za.

About Canadian Solar Inc.

Founded in 2001 in Canada, Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) is one of the world’s largest and foremost solar power companies. As a leading vertically integrated provider of solar modules, specialized solar products and solar power plants with operations in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Australia and Asia, Canadian Solar has delivered more than 4GW of premium quality solar modules to customers in over 50 countries. Canadian Solar is committed to improve the environment and dedicated to provide advanced solar energy products, solutions and services to enable sustainable development around the world. For more information, please visit www.canadiansolar.com

 

JOHANNESBURG, May 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) (the “Company” or “Canadian Solar”), one of the world’s largest solar companies, today announced the successful expansion of its partner Romano Sustainable Solutions in Africa. Romano, a pioneer company in the South African photovoltaic (PV) industry, was recently awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for a 360 kW PV solar system installation. The roof top installation will be on the Johannesburg headquarters of Eskom, the largest producer of electricity in Africa.

As one of the most experienced solar PV systems integrators in Africa, Romano designs, manufactures and installs solar PV systems to commercial clients spread throughout Africa. Most of Romano’s solar PV systems are grid-tied systems. When connected to the client side of the on-site electrical sub-station, the electricity generated is used on the site by the client. When connected to the utility side the electricity generated is exported to the national or municipal electricity grid.

“We are very proud to be involved with this prestigious project for Eskom, which we understand was awarded on the basis of our technical capability and track record, as well as the cost effectiveness of our offer,” said Alexi Romano , CEO of Romano.

“The solar energy market in Africa continues to develop and has considerable potential for growth. We are positioned to benefit through our relationships with experienced partners like Romano. We look forward to supporting their growth in this important market, including the high profile Eskom project,” said Dr. Shawn Qu , Chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar.”

 

SOURCE Canadian Solar

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Global Trade Partners in the 21st Century

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Africa Business

WASHINGTON, May 15, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Remarks

Robert D. Hormats

Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment

World Economic Forum

Pretoria, South Africa

May 14, 2013

 

 

As Prepared

 

Thank you Lyal for the kind introduction.

I am delighted to be in South Africa again. I visited last fall with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

What was most striking then, and continues to be the case today, is the extent to which the image of Africa has changed. According to the IMF, growth in sub-Saharan Africa will surge to 6.1% next year, well ahead of the global average of 4%.

Africa is booming in nearly every sector, ranging from massive energy developments in Mozambique, Tanzania, Ghana, and other countries; to the growth of Rwanda and Kenya’s information and communications technology sectors; to South Africa’s thriving auto industry. And, though far from declaring victory, Africa is reaching a turning point in its hard-fought battles against poverty and corruption.

Today’s Africa looks nothing like what, in 2000, The Economist referred to as the “Hopeless Continent.” It is critical that we concentrate the world’s eyes on the new image of Africa, that of progress and promise. Perspectives are evolving—in 2011, The Economist referred to Africa as the “Rising Continent” and, last March, as the “Hopeful Continent.”

Trade is at the heart of Africa’s economic resurgence. So, in this context, I will speak first about America’s vision for global trade in the 21st century and then, focus on implications and, indeed, opportunities for Africa. America’s global trade agenda in the 21st century is shaped by a foundation laid, in large part, in the mid-20th century. After World War II, American and European policymakers worked together to build a set of international institutions that embodied democratic and free market principles.

The GATT—which led to the WTO—World Bank, IMF, and the OECD were designed to foster international economic cooperation. These institutions were vital to the economic prosperity of the United States, and to the success of America’s foreign policy and national security for the next three generations.

As we move into the 21st century, a new multi-polar global economy has surfaced. The emergence of a new group of economic powerhouses—Brazil, Russia, India, and China, of course, but also countries in Africa—has created momentum (if not necessity) for greater inclusiveness in the global trading system.

At the same time, these new players must assume responsibilities for the international economic system commensurate with the increasing benefits they derive from the global economy. In addition to the geography of international trade, the nature of trade and investment has evolved to include previously unimaginable issues such as e-commerce and sustainability.

So, part of our vision for trade in the 21st century is to build a system that is more inclusive, recognizes the new realities of economic interdependence, and matches increased participation in the global trading system with increased responsibility for the global trading system.

We are making progress with bringing new players into the global trading system as equal partners. Free Trade Agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama entered into force last year.

And, we are continuing negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership—or TPP as it is more widely known. With Japan’s anticipated entry into the negotiations, TPP will grow to include 12 countries of different size, background, and levels of development. The agreement, when finalized, will encompass nearly 40% of global GDP and one-third of global trade.

In addition to TPP, we are embarking on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union. TTIP—as it is being called—will strengthen economic ties between the United States and Europe, and enhance our ability to build stronger relationships with emerging economies in Asia, Africa, and other parts of the world.

TPP and TTIP are truly historic undertakings. Our objective is not only to strengthen economic ties with the Asia-Pacific and Europe, but also to pioneer approaches to trade and investment issues that have grown in importance in recent years.

These agreements will seek to break new ground by addressing a multitude of heretofore unaddressed non-tariff barriers, setting the stage for convergence on key standards and regulations, and establishing high quality norms and practices that can spread to other markets. TPP, for example, will raise standards on investment and electronic commerce, and afford protections for labor and the environment.

Our agenda also includes strengthening the multilateral trading system through the World Trade Organization. For example, the United States would like to see a multilateral Trade Facilitation Agreement, which would commit WTO Members to expedite the movement, release, and clearance of goods, and improve cooperation on customs matters. A Trade Facilitation Agreement would be a win-win for all parties—Africa especially.

Cross-border trade in Africa is hindered by what the World Bank calls “Thick Borders.” According to the latest Doing Business Report, it takes up to 35 days to clear exports and 44 days to clear imports in Africa. Clearing goods in OECD countries, in contrast, takes only 10 days on average and costs nearly half as much. Countries like Ghana and Rwanda have benefited tremendously from the introduction of trade facilitation tools and policies.

Ghana, for instance, introduced reforms in 2003 that decreased the cost and time of trading across borders by 60%, and increased customs revenue by 50%. A multilateral Trade Facilitation Agreement will create a glide path for increased trade with and within Africa.

Our views for 21st century global trade partnerships go beyond Europe and the Asia-Pacific, and efforts at the WTO. We are committed to supporting Africa’s integration into the global trading system. The cornerstone of our trade relationship with sub-Saharan Africa is the African Growth and Opportunity Act—known as AGOA. Of all of our trade preference programs, AGOA provides the most liberal trade access to the U.S. market.

Exports from Africa to the United States under the AGOA have grown to $34.9 billion in 2012. While oil and gas still represent a large portion of Africa’s exports, it is important to recognize that non-petroleum exports under AGOA have tripled to nearly $5 billion since 2001, when AGOA went into effect. And, compared to a decade ago, more than twice the number of eligible countries are exporting non-petroleum goods under AGOA.

South Africa, in particular, has made great strides in diversifying its exports to the United States. Thanks to AGOA, the United States is now South Africa’s main export market for passenger cars, representing more than 50% of exported value in 2012. Because AGOA is such an important mechanism for African countries to gain access to the U.S. market, the Administration is committed to working with Congress on an early, seamless renewal of AGOA. Our trade relationship with Africa goes beyond AGOA. For instance, AGOA represents only one-quarter of South African exports to the United States. The composition of South Africa’s exports to the United States, moreover, reflects complex interdependencies and industrial goods.

And, our trade relationship with Africa is not just about one-way trade. There is an immense opportunity for U.S. companies to do business on the continent.

We recently launched the “Doing Business in Africa Campaign” to help American businesses identify and seize upon trade and investment opportunities in Africa. The campaign was announced in Johannesburg, in part, because South Africa can play a prominent role in directing U.S. investment into other parts of the continent.

Although progress has been made on diversifying exports beyond energy, there is much more to be done. African ingenuity and entrepreneurship must be unleashed to drive innovation and growth throughout the continent. This requires closer integration to share ideas, transfer knowledge, and partner on solutions. Through AGOA and the “Doing Business in Africa Campaign”, we are promoting a business climate in Africa that enables and encourages trade and investment. However, realizing these goals is goes beyond trade preferences and commercial linkages.

Africa is also featured in America’s vision for global trade in the 21st century.

For example, we recently launched the U.S.-East African Community Trade and Investment Partnership—the first of its kind—to expand two-way trade and investment. The Partnership is designed to build confidence among the private sector by building a more open and predictable business climate in East Africa. We are considering a variety of mechanisms to accomplish this, including a regional investment treaty and trade facilitation agreement. The Partnership highlights our desire to help Africa integrate and compete in today’s global economy.

I will conclude with one final point. I began by saying that trade is at the heart of Africa’s economic resurgence. Trade is also at the heart of America’s economic recovery. We have a common interest and a common goal.

When it comes to enhanced trade, what is good for Africa is good for America. And what is good for America is good for Africa.

Thank you.


SOURCE

US Department of State

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MTN UGANDA FOUNDATION ENDORSES ALL SAINTS COMMUNITY INITIATIVES

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Africa Business

All Saints Cathedral Cheque Hand Over

MTN Uganda Foundation has joined All Saints Cathedral in a drive to raise money to support the cathedral’s community initiatives as well as build the new church building.

Speaking during a courtesy call on the New Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, the MTN Uganda CEO Mazen Mroué said that MTN is heartened by the noble community activities the church is involved in, saying they resonate with the telecommunication giant’s philosophies on Corporate Social Responsibility

All Saints Cathedral is one of the oldest churches in Uganda, and is involved in community activities such as Compassion and Hospitality for street kids, orphans and the destitute, counseling and health/healing (HIV/AIDS initiatives), education, Stewardship, Leadership development and a host of other youth programs.

“We are motivated by what All Saints Cathedral stands for because it’s in line with what our MTN foundation believes in. There are many people out there that need a compassionate hand. At MTN, we are not involved in such activities directly, but we are very glad to lend a helping hand to such institutions that drive such noble causes,” said Mazen Mroué’ CEO MTN Uganda.

During the same visit, MTN Uganda contributed shs10 million towards the construction of the new cathedral building, which is intended to create more room for the barging Christian community that throng the church all week. The new building will also create more capacity for it to do more community activities.

The current church was build many years ago with a plan to accommodate 600 people, but this has become very small. The new building is planned to take up to 4500 people.

Mazen called upon every individual and institution to make a contribution towards such causes, whether financially or physically.

“AT MTN, we know the importance of giving back to the communities in which we operate. By this contribution, we hope that we have re-ignited the drive for more people to come and be a part of this support great initiative,” Mroué said.

The Archbishop of the church of Uganda, Stanley Ntagali said that MTN’s support is very timely as the activities of the church are financially demanding and yet there is always need for more.

“The church depends on contributions of its members as well as well-intentioned companies like MTN Uganda. We would like to encourage more people to borrow a leaf from MTN and come in to support the church,” he said.

The MTN Uganda Foundation is a not-for-profit legal entity that was inaugurated in July 2007 as a vehicle through which MTN Uganda implements its’ Corporate Social Investments (CSI). The Foundation strives to improve the quality of life in communities where MTN Uganda operates in a sustainable way. Over the past five years since its launch, the MTN Foundation has supported a number of initiatives in the areas of Education, Health, Arts and Culture, Environment, Community Development and Low cost housing.

The MTN Uganda Foundation partners with both public and non-profit credible organizations to execute sustainable projects in each of the chosen focus areas. The Foundation is committed to ensuring that the selection and approval of its projects are conducted in a manner that is transparent, systematic, efficient, and effective while promoting its mission.

In 2013 and onwards, the MTN Foundation will focus on three key areas so as to leverage scale to achieve significant development impact. The three sectors will be Education, Health and National Priority Areas.

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Lopatka: “Africa wants closer cooperation with Austria” / State Secretary sets initiatives for economic cooperation and educational projects

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Africa Business

VIENNA, Austria, May 14, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ Opportunities for deepening political and economic ties to the African continent were the focus in a meeting of Austrian State Secretary Reinhold Lopatka with 25 ambassadors from African states. The Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the Austrian Development Bank and the Austrian Ministry of Finance (soft loans) are the partners in the Africa initiative, which the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs has started with the support of the Federal Economic Chamber (WKÖ) and the City of Vienna. The African ambassadors showed great interest in stronger economic cooperation with Austria, including tourism projects and accessing Austrian know-how.

Good prospects exist for strengthening economic cooperation. “We are focussing on the interface between business and development. Africa offers opportunities above all for Austrian exports and we must put these to good use. The prerequisites are favourable: Austria does not have to struggle with the negative effect of a colonial past in Africa. The trust exists for intensifying trade contacts”, the State Secretary said. The priorities for Africa are to be established in coordination between the Foreign Ministry and the Federal Economic Chamber Austria.

“Our Africa initiative comprises three focal areas: The first priority for us is “more trade than aid”, secondly we are offering our support in education and training, as for example in tourism and training for diplomats and thirdly we have set our sights on a closer partnership and cooperation with African partners within the scope of multilateral organisations”, Lopatka continued.

“Austria is training engineers in the erection of solar thermal facilities in South Africa for example, and supporting coffee growers in Tanzania in the production and marketing of top quality coffee. The engineering company Waagner-Biro is building bridges in Mozambique with the help of soft loans and the Schloss Klessheim tourism school offers grants for training places”, the State Secretary said.

“We are also calling for the membership of African states in the International Anti-Corruption Academy and for a further development of cooperation in energy projects. Vienna has been able to develop a strong profile over the past few years as a location of international significance in this field. The new office for the implementation of the UN initiative “Sustainable Energy for All” in Vienna has been added to the many existing facilities of our energy cluster and it is of very high relevance for the African states in particular”, Lopatka said. The African states would be able to represent their interests at the Vienna location even better by establishing an African Union (AU) bureau in Vienna. “We are ready to support the creation of an AU representation office in Vienna with a start-up package and we hope there will soon be a green light for this project from the AU”, the State Secretary concluded.

 

SOURCE

Austria – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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IMF Mission Concludes the 2013 Article IV Mission to the Republic of Congo

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Africa Business

BRAZZAVILLE, Republic of the Congo, May 14, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Mr. Mbuyamu Matungulu visited Brazzaville during April 29–May 13, 2013, to conduct discussions for the 2013 Article IV consultations. The mission met with the Honorable Obami Itou, President of the Senate; the Honorable Koumba, Speaker of Parliament; State and Finance Minister Ondongo, Special Presidential Advisor Gokana, National Director of the BEAC Ondaye Ebauh, and other senior officials. It held discussions with development partners and representatives of the private sector, including members of the banking profession.

At the end of the mission, Mr. Matungulu issued the following statement:

“In 2012, real GDP growth rebounded to about 4 percent despite a marked decline in oil production. Activity in the non-oil sectors was robust, driven by a surge in public spending in response to the ammunitions depot explosion of March 2012. The brisk increase in spending put pressures on prices, bringing end-year inflation to 7.5 percent as domestic supply response was limited. Reflecting the high import content of increased government outlays, the external current account turned negative in 2012. Credit growth remained robust. The basic non-oil primary budget deficit increased considerably, stemming from the expansion of government spending. However, the deficit was smaller than projected, with domestically-funded investment outlays somewhat lower than anticipated.

“Real GDP growth is expected to strengthen to 5.8 percent in 2013 despite a further decline of oil production, underpinned by continuing strong activity in construction and public works, telecommunications, as well as a timid start of iron ore production. Inflation eased to a monthly average of -0.1 percent in January-February 2013, and is projected to remain subdued during the remainder of the year as pressures from the 2012 ammunitions explosions fallout gradually recede. While the current account is expected to improve, the country remains vulnerable to adverse changes in external conditions, particularly on terms of trade. Compared to the initial budget, the mission’s current fiscal projections for 2013 reflect a shortfall in oil revenue equivalent to 4.8 percent of non-oil GDP, a reduction in government spending, as well as much higher-than-anticipated payments on arrears to social sectors. While the basic non-oil primary budget deficit should be contained below the projected level, the build-up of government deposits with the central bank would likely be much lower than targeted under the 2013 budget. The mission urged stronger treasury management and discussed quarterly fiscal targets for the remainder of the year to minimize slippages.

“The authorities’ medium-term development agenda seeks to foster private sector development, facilitate economic diversification, and secure growth inclusiveness. It appropriately emphasizes preservation of macroeconomic stability, improvements in governance and transparency and in business conditions, as well as a scaling up of investment to begin closing large infrastructure and skills gaps, while seeking further gains in budget consolidation. The mission encouraged the authorities to expedite reforms to improve the quality of spending; and welcomed World Bank involvement in the efforts to improve the management of the public investment program and enhance the productivity of the development budget. It underscored accelerated implementation of World Bank-supported reforms to improve the business environment, including in financial sector; and to roll out envisaged social protection systems. Regarding the management of oil resources, the mission reiterated calls for early adoption by Parliament of the draft law on budget transparency and accountability, following the achievement last February of compliant status under the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). As Congo moves ahead with the establishment of Special Economic Zones, the staff team urged caution. In particular, the mission encouraged the authorities to refrain from extending special fiscal incentives, and to focus instead on revamping infrastructure, including the inadequate electricity network, and advancing administrative facilitation. The staff team favored implementation of economy-wide reforms that improve the business environment for all so as to prevent abuses. It confirmed Congo’s low risk of debt distress but noted the need for continuing prudent borrowing policies to maintain long-term debt sustainability in the post-HIPC era.

“The mission discussed a medium- and long-term fiscal framework aimed at protecting spending from oil revenue volatility and ensuring budget and debt sustainability while supporting growth and guarding against the risks in the face of declining oil reserves. The framework makes provisions for scaled up investment and a buildup of net wealth that would sustain expenditures when oil resources are depleted. Under the agreed framework, nearly 65 percent of projected total oil revenue for 2013–2019 would be spent (two thirds of which on capital goods), and 35 percent saved; and the basic non-oil primary budget deficit would be limited to 36.1 percent of non-oil GDP by 2015.

“The authorities concurred with the need to improve coordination of economic policy management through development of appropriate reform-monitoring mechanisms. In this context, staff welcomed the government’s support to the ongoing review of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central African States (CEMAC)’s reserves pooling framework. Finally, the mission reminded the authorities of Congo’s legal obligations under Article VIII, Section 5, including the obligation to provide data to Fund staff on official holdings of foreign exchange.

“The mission wishes to express gratitude to the authorities for their hospitality. Upon its return to Washington D.C., the team will prepare a staff report to be discussed by the IMF’s Executive Board.”

 

SOURCE

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

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African energy company to expand operations in the continent

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Wallace Mawire

Cennergi, a recently-formed African energy company which is committed to providing energy solutions to Africans, is reported to be gearing up to acquire sizeable operational energy assets in generation on the African continent, according to  Liz Hart, Siyenza Management.

According to Hart, Cennergi (Pty) Ltd, is a 50:50 joint venture between South African-based diversified resources company Exxaro Resources Limited (Exxaro) and The Tata Power Company Limited (Tata Power), of India, through its subsidiary Khopoli Investments Limited.

Cennergi is based in South Africa and will focus on the, development, ownership, operation, maintenance, acquisition and management of electricity generation assets in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. The initial project pipeline focuses on renewable energy projects in South Africa and Cennergi’ s strategy is to create a balanced portfolio of diverse generation assets.

Liz says the company having spent the past year developing its business model and putting together a dynamic management team,  is now looking for African partners who can broaden its horizons.

“The company is seeking established and credible partners across Africa who own profitable, high quality operational energy generating assets, not limited to renewables, to boost its asset portfolio on the continent,” Hart said.

Cennergi is reported to have launched its operations in the South African renewable energy sector in 2012 and were awarded the bids for two wind farm projects in the Eastern Cape by participating in the Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer’s Programme (REIPPP).

“Whilst the company is proud of this early achievement, and although it aims to focus on using cleaner energy technologies, it has a much broader vision for its African operations. The Cennergi team will focus on building a diversified portfolio of energy assets which includes coal, gas, hydro, wind and solar,” Hart said.

 

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