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African Development Fund: Governors support a successful ADF replenishment

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Africa Business

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, May 15, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ We, the African Development Fund’s Governors, Planning and Finance Ministers from Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Senegal and Sierra Leone attended the ADF-13 Presentation Workshop on the Fund’s Priorities and Operational Strategies, in Abidjan, May 14, 2013.

During this important meeting, many issues were raised concerning the impact the ADF is having in our countries and its role in the transformation of our economies. The Bank (http://www.afdb.org) for instance, has delivered rapid budget supports to maintain and restore core basic services to the people in the region, at a time when some countries needed it most.

We noted that the ADF is indeed a relevant channel of development financing. The Bank Group also plays an important role as the convener and voice of Africa. The ADF strategic orientation and operational priorities are aligned with the Continent’s development agenda and countries’ needs. Successive institutional reforms have strengthened the Bank Group’s Delivery capacity, Responsiveness and Results-focus.

The Bank’s work in the field of infrastructure is very important, given Africa’s huge infrastructure potential. We appreciate the establishment and augmenting of the ADF Regional Operations envelope, which is critical in supporting the Bank’s ambitious regional integration agenda. For many African countries, regional solutions to the provision of public services, such as regional power grids and transportation networks, are more cost effective and provide better services and complement national programs.

We support the building of capacity in the fields of public procurement, internal and external audits, managing revenues from natural resources, and enhancing domestic resource mobilization as they are important for resource rich countries in the region. We, therefore, are appreciative of the Bank’s work and interventions in these areas.

However, we do believe that the Bank Group could do more to support economic diversification and job creation, for the Youth especially, by helping to improve the productivity of private enterprises and micro, small and medium-sized agribusinesses as well as supporting economic and structural reforms with the highest impact on improving the business environment.

Finally, we recognize that there are major challenges for the Bank and the Fund to mobilize resources at a time when many donor countries are facing some economic constraints. Nevertheless, we think that we need to keep the momentum and focus on the big picture, which is to help the Bank’s Regional Member Countries transform their economies, create jobs, and reduce poverty. We hope the ADF-13′s replenishment will meet our needs.

Signed in Abidjan: 14 may, 2013

Monsieur Albert TOIKEUSSE MABRI

Gouverneur du Groupe de la BAD et Ministre du Plan et du Développement de la République de Côte d’Ivoire.

Mr. Mohammed M. SHEIRF

Chief economist, Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Liberia


HON. Seth TERKPER

Governor for the AfDB Group and Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of the Republic of Ghana

Mr. Ngouda Fall Kane

Secrétaire général du Ministère de l’Économie et des Finances, Représentant le Gouverneur Amadou Kane, Ministre de l’Economie et des Finances du Sénégal


Monsieur Kerfalla YANSANE

Gouverneur du Groupe de la BAD et Ministre d’Etat chargé de l’Economie et des Finances de la République de Guinée

Mr. Foday MANSARAY

Temporary Governor for the AfDB Group and Minister of State, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Republic of Sierra Leone


Distributed by the African Press Organization on behalf of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

SOURCE

African Development Bank (AfDB)

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RUSSIA SEEKS GAMBIA’S SUPPORT TO HOST WORLD EXPO 2020

Posted on 13 May 2013 by Amat JENG

A special envoy dispatched to Banjul by the Russian Federation has disclosed that he came to seek The Gambia’s support in his country’s bid to host the World EXPO 2020 in the city of Ekaterinburg, report the Daily Observer – government’s controlled newspaper.

DV. Shubman, director of the staff of the Deputy Prime Minister, of the Russian Federation, said the event would open up a unique opportunity for the world to rediscover this city, designated in 1723 by Peter the Great, as the industrial centre of Russia. “We are here to promote the Russian bid to host the World Expo 2020. We made a presentation of our project to the Gambia government and we are very hopeful of a positive response from The Gambia,” DV. Shubman told journalists at State House in an interview Thursday, shortly after having a brief meeting with The Gambia’s Presidential Affairs minister, Dr Njogu Bah.

The Russian city to host the 2020 World Expo

“We have a team of our exposition which is a global mind and we are planning to receive up to 150 delegates from all over the world. They will be able to promote their countries in Russia in 2020, especially if Russia wins the bidding competition, of which five countries are battling for a win as to which country will host the event in 2020. Brazil, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates have all officially bid to host the World Expo 2020. A decision will be made at the BIE General Assembly this year to determine the winner of the bids,” he explained.

Asked about the reaction of The Gambia government, Shubman said they are hopeful of a positive response. “We have not had any response yet from the Gambia government but we are hopeful of a positive one. We just came to make a presentation to the Gambian authorities about the bid which voting will take place in November this year in Paris. There is no response yet from the government but our presentation was received at the high level and we are hopeful that we will receive a positive one from The Gambia,” the Russian diplomat told reporters.

Dr Njogu Bah

According to him, his Banjul visit also accorded him and delegation to talk about Gambia-Russia relations. “We hope that we will be able to cooperate with The Gambia to support this project of Expo 2020 bid,” he added.

The Expo 2020 would be the larger of the two kinds of world fairs, analogous to the Summer Olympics. It is considered “sanctioned” by the BIE, held every five years. Germany hosted Expo 2000; Japan hosted Expo 2005 China hosted Expo 2010; and Italy is preparing to host Expo 2015.
DV. Shubman was accompanied to the Presidency by the Russian ambassador to Senegal and accredited to The Gambia, His Excellency Valery Nesterushkin Shubman.

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New IFC Vice President Jean Philippe Prosper Pledges Further IFC Financing in Senegalese Infrastructure Projects

Posted on 10 May 2013 by Africa Business

DAKAR, Senegal, May 10, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will further expand its investments in infrastructure in Senegal, as well as continue advising the government on public-private partnerships in infrastructure and other sectors, said Jean Philippe Prosper, IFC Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. On the occasion of his first trip since assuming his new position, Prosper highlighted the key role of the private sector in building infrastructure by working alongside national authorities.

 

During his visit to Dakar, Prosper met several senior government officials, including President Macky Sall, Prime Minister Abdoul Mbaye, and Minister of Finance Amadou Kane.

 

Prosper said: “IFC is committed to helping Senegal meet its needs for energy, roads and other critical infrastructure. IFC’s strategy is to increase private capital invested in core infrastructure projects and so we will work with the government on facilitating public-private partnerships and reforming the energy framework in Senegal.” Among the large projects IFC has already invested in are the Kounoune power station and the Dakar-Diamniadio Toll Road.

 

Last month, IFC organized with the Ministry of Finance a week-long seminar on PPP for government officials and IFC is working with the Ministry of Finance and other partners to identify priority PPP projects. Similarly, IFC, the World Bank and IMF are working with the government of Senegal to help reform the national electricity company of Senegal (SENELEC).

 

In fiscal year 2012, IFC funding for infrastructure and natural resources projects in Africa surpassed $1 billion for the first time. This figure is expected to rise in fiscal year 2013. In Senegal, IFC’s work focuses on power, with financing to a new power production project, on investment climate reforms, and on access to finance and capacity building for SMEs.

IFC’s portfolio in Senegal currently amounts to $91 million, including infrastructure development projects, and projects to facilitate trade and to promote food security.

 

SOURCE

International Finance Corporation (IFC) – The World Bank

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Connecting West Africa 11-12 June 2013 Radisson Blu Hotel, Dakar, Senegal

Posted on 27 April 2013 by Africa Business

Connecting West Africa
11-12 June 2013
Radisson Blu Hotel,
Dakar, Senegal
Visit the website: www.comworldseries.com/westafrica

Connecting West Africa is taking place at the Radisson Blu Hotel, in Dakar, Senegal on 11-12 of June 2013. The theme for 2013 is Meeting the Networks & Infrastructure needs of Digital West Africa”.

Connecting West Africa is the region’s leading digital event and attracts over 500+ telecommunications professionals to network and do business. Hear from top speakers who will deliver you the latest business knowledge and meet world class vendors showcasing the technology of tomorrow at the co-located exhibition.

Hear from Industry Leading Speakers responsible for shaping the future of West Africa
CTIC Dakar * ECOWAS * Equateur Telecom *Expresso Telecom * Google * International Financial Corporation (World Bank Group) * Isocel Telecom * Mobile Money * Sierratel * Sonatel & Itmag.sn * SOS Consommateurs * Technocentre Africa, Orange Côte d’Ivoire * Telecom Italia Sparkle * Tigo Senegal * Viadeo and many more….

The conference will focus on the following areas:

- Connectivity needs in West Africa

- Cable & Satellite

- Enterprises & Governments

- Partnerships and Finance

- Cost-Efficiency

- Connecting Rural Areas

Download the agenda for more information: www.comworldseries.com/westafrica

Admission to the Conference

- Free for all regional Operators & Regulators (FREE Until 28th May)

- Regional Non Operators need to pay $999 (Early Bird Rate expires on 7th May)

- International Operators need to pay $999 (Early Bird Rate expires on 7th May)

- International Non Operators need to pay $1,999 (Early Bird Rate expires on 7th May)

Remember to quote your VIP Code: CWA13/MP when registering.

Join our Online Communities:
Twitter:  @AllAboutCom using #CWA2013
Linkedin:
Connecting West Africa Telecoms Group
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/comworldseries
Face book: www.facebook.com/AllAboutCom
Blog:  www.comworldseries.blogspot.com

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EUROCHANNEL PICKS EUTELSAT 16A TO EXTEND REACH IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Posted on 27 April 2013 by Amat JENG

The range of channels broadcasting across sub-Saharan Africa via the EUTELSAT 16A satellite further increased today with the launch of Eurochannel, the international TV channel dedicated to European films and series. Eurochannel’s selection of EUTELSAT 16A marks the latest step in its international expansion and comes three months after its launch into all Europe via Eutelsat. The channel has signed a new five-year contract for capacity and services with Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) (http://www.eutelsat.com).


Leveraging EUTELSAT 16A’s powerful Ku-band footprint that sweeps across Africa, from Senegal in the West to Madagascar in the East, Eurochannel has joined a digital platform uplinked by Eutelsat and comprising over 20 TV channels. Eurochannel is broadcasting programmes subtitled in English, French and Portuguese, with terrestrial headends its principal target.

Eurochannel Chairman and CEO, Gustavo Vainstein commented: “When we analysed our options for expansion across sub-Saharan Africa EUTELSAT 16A quickly emerged as the obvious choice for its high-power and strong reach of our target audience. Working with Eutelsat since our launch across all Europe last year has enabled us to develop a solid relationship which we look forward to taking to the next level with this new phase in our international development.”

Rodney Benn, Regional Vice-President Africa at Eutelsat, responded: “EUTELSAT 16A has quickly established itself as a valued platform for content delivery to network headends and for DTH reception in Africa. Its reach of over 25 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, combined with the services we are supplying from our Rambouillet teleport, enable us to satisfy a surge of new demand and we are delighted to welcome Eurochannel as the latest addition to the platform.”

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Main One provides forum to expand partnerships among West African telecom operators

Posted on 22 April 2013 by Africa Business

CEO of Main One reiterated the significance of reliable and affordable connectivity in the development of the sub-region

Main One (http://www.mainonecable.com) is a wholly African owned communications services company delivering international connectivity and world class broadband services to companies in West Africa. Backed by its open access, 1.92 Tbps fibre optic cable and a state-of-the-art IP NGN backbone network, Main One delivers communication services to Telecom Operators, Internet Service Providers, Governments and Large Enterprises in the region. Leveraging on a growing regional terrestrial network, world class data centre facilities, a partnership with Tier 1 upstream carriers and various Internet exchanges for Internet Connectivity, Main One ensures reliability and affordability of its services and has become the preferred communications service provider in West Africa.

 

LAGOS, Nigeria, April 22, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ Main One (http://www.mainonecable.com), West Africa’s leading communications services company last week joined Africa’s top telecoms carriers and executives to discuss the future of the West African wholesale telecoms market, and proffer solutions for enhanced and more effective broadband penetration across the continent.

Speaking at the inaugural West Africa Connect 2013 which was sponsored by the company and which held in Dakar Senegal from April 16 to 17, the CEO of Main One, Ms. Funke Opeke reiterated the significance of reliable and affordable connectivity in the development of the sub-region. Speaking at the keynote panel discussion on the theme: Evaluating Key Developments, Innovation and Growth Opportunities in The West African Wholesale Markets, Ms. Opeke championed the role of improved access to broadband on economic activities, improved educational delivery, government services and overall economic development.

During her presentation, she shed light on the growth opportunities that existed in the region for in wholesale broadband, identifying the increase in Internet penetration and content-rich broadband applications. “The development of fiber infrastructure by existing and new ISPs, the rise of wireless technologies and the emerging migration towards user-created content and social networking will continue to drive broadband penetration on the continent”.

Key discussions and debates on major issues such as investment to drive telecommunications growth in West Africa, and best practices in regulation were also centre-stage issues at the summit.

The conference was particularly useful to participants as it focused specifically on the challenges and opportunities unique to the West African wholesale market in a targeted and comprehensive format including a diverse selection of decision makers from West African and international wholesale markets.

As launch partner with Capacity Media as organizers, Main One is continuing to contribute to accelerating the growth of broadband across the West African region, thus aiding economic development.

Main One has launched West Africa into the global Internet arena in recent years with the launch of its private submarine cable in 2010. The company currently provides services directly and through partners in six countries in West Africa and is looking to further expand its reach across the region.

 

SOURCE

Main One Cable

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Eurochannel picks EUTELSAT 16A to extend reach in sub-Saharan Africa

Posted on 11 April 2013 by Africa Business

About Eutelsat Communications (http://www.eutelsat.com)

Eutelsat Communications is the holding company of Eutelsat S.A. With capacity commercialised on 30 satellites delivering reach of Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, significant parts of the Americas and the Asia-Pacific, Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL, ISIN code: FR0010221234) is one of the world’s leading satellite operators. As of 31 December 2012 Eutelsat’s satellites were broadcasting almost 4,500 television channels to over 200 million cable and satellite homes in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The Group’s satellites also provide a wide range of services for TV contribution, corporate networks and fixed and mobile broadband markets. Headquartered in Paris, Eutelsat and its subsidiaries employ over 780 commercial, technical and operational professionals from 30 countries.


About Eurochannel (http://www.eurochannel.com)

Eurochannel is a one-of-a-kind network. Its vast selection of modern entertainment from every corner of Europe takes viewers on a whirlwind tour of European culture. Eurochannel presents only top of the line European programming: From traditional films to the hottest new cinema; from sweeping, epic serials to heart-pounding mini-series; from specials on historical art to the very latest in modern rock, pop and easy listening music, Eurochannel has something for everybody. Eurochannel is more than just shows: it also shows its viewers the best, most secret parts of European culture with travel specials, and an all-access coverage of Europe’s most important film festivals. Eurochannel airs in Latin America, United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Africa, France, Serbia and Portugal. Eurochannel is also available as an On Demand service in Korea. For more information, please visit http://www.eurochannel.com, Facebook and Twitter.

 

PARIS, France, April 9, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ The range of channels broadcasting across sub-Saharan Africa via the EUTELSAT 16A satellite further increased today with the launch of Eurochannel, the international TV channel dedicated to European films and series. Eurochannel’s selection of EUTELSAT 16A marks the latest step in its international expansion and comes three months after its launch into all Europe via Eutelsat. The channel has signed a new five-year contract for capacity and services with Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) (http://www.eutelsat.com).

Leveraging EUTELSAT 16A’s powerful Ku-band footprint that sweeps across Africa, from Senegal in the West to Madagascar in the East, Eurochannel has joined a digital platform uplinked by Eutelsat and comprising over 20 TV channels. Eurochannel is broadcasting programmes subtitled in English, French and Portuguese, with terrestrial headends its principal target.

Eurochannel Chairman and CEO, Gustavo Vainstein commented: “When we analysed our options for expansion across sub-Saharan Africa EUTELSAT 16A quickly emerged as the obvious choice for its high-power and strong reach of our target audience. Working with Eutelsat since our launch across all Europe last year has enabled us to develop a solid relationship which we look forward to taking to the next level with this new phase in our international development.”

Rodney Benn, Regional Vice-President Africa at Eutelsat, responded: “EUTELSAT 16A has quickly established itself as a valued platform for content delivery to network headends and for DTH reception in Africa. Its reach of over 25 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, combined with the services we are supplying from our Rambouillet teleport, enable us to satisfy a surge of new demand and we are delighted to welcome Eurochannel as the latest addition to the platform.”

How to receive Eurochannel:

EUTELSAT 16A at 16° East

Downlink Frequency: 10 804 MHz

Polarisation: Horizontal

DVB-S2 8PSK FEC, 2/3 Symbol rate, 30 Mbaud

SOURCE

Eutelsat Communications S.A.

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Sustainable Energy for All: Sector Results Profile

Posted on 11 April 2013 by Africa Business

World Bank Group financing for power generation, transmission and distribution, and energy policy and regulatory reform has helped expand access to millions of households in over 60 countries. Bank Group financing, combined with advisory and analytical services, knowledge products, as well as policy support, has also helped launch and scale up renewable energy generation and energy efficiency at national, sub-national and municipal levels. During 2002-11, the Bank supported projects for the construction and rehabilitation of about 115,000 kilometers of transmission and distribution lines and about 19,000 megawatts of generation capacity to improve access to reliable energy.

Off-grid solar power is lighting up gers and herders' lives across the vast steppes of Mongolia. Seventy percent of Mongolia’s herders now have access to electricity.

Challenge

More than 1.2 billion people—about 17 percent of the world’s population—are without access to electricity, most of them concentrated in about a dozen countries in Africa and Asia. Another 2.8 billion rely on wood, charcoal, dung and coal for cooking and heating, which results in over four million premature deaths a year due to indoor air pollution. Shortages in power supplies, and their unreliable and poor quality, due to underinvestment, are also major challenges facing developing countries.

Electricity access must be reliable as well as environmentally and socially sustainable. Ensuring these depends on business models robust enough to mobilize financing, as well as policy and institutional frameworks that ensure that electricity access projects are both economically viable and sustainable from a climate perspective.

Solution

The Bank Group supports development of energy systems based on least-cost options with an emphasis on renewable sources, such as hydropower, wind, solar and geothermal, while also promoting energy efficiency. Projects support achievement of universal access to electricity and modern household fuels, as well as improved utility performance and sector governance. The Bank Group also provides financing and advice to countries on oil and natural gas extraction, production, processing, transmission and distribution.

Representative projects include support for grid expansion in India, rural electrification in Ethiopia, hydropower projects in Senegal and Cameroon, increased geothermal capacity in Kenya and Indonesia, off-grid solar home systems in Bangladesh and Mongolia, and support for off-grid lighting solutions in Africa through the Bank-International Finance Corporation (IFC) partnership, Lighting Africa.

Results

During 2002-11, the Bank supported projects for the construction and rehabilitation of about 115,000 kilometers of transmission and distribution lines and about 19,000 megawatts of generation capacity to improve access to reliable energy.

Some examples of results achieved with IBRD-financed projects include:

India: To extend power to India’s nearly 400 million people currently without electricity requires a massive expansion of transmission capacity. World Bank financing has helped India expand transmission across the country’s regions by 52 billion kilowatt-hours. It has also supported a five-year program from 2008-12, led by India’s Power Grid Corporation to increase its circuit by 40,000 km to reach 100,000 km, raising inter-regional electric power transfer capacity from 21 to 37 gigawatts. A $1.0 billion IBRD-financed project has supported expansion of five regional transmission systems, to enable transfer of power from energy-surplus regions to towns and villages in under-served regions. This expansion has helped to integrate the national grid, resulting in a more reliable system and reduced transmission losses.

Mexico: Mexico has achieved an energy efficiency milestone by distributing almost 23 million energy-saving light bulbs for free. The national program, partially financed by $185 million from the Global Environment Fund, established over 1,100 exchange points in 2011-12 at which customers replaced their incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).  In total, more than 5.5 million Mexican families now use energy-saving lamps that consume only 20 percent of the energy and last 10 times longer than a traditional light bulb. The first stage of the program, partially financed by the World Bank, resulted in savings of 1,400 gigawatt hours (Gwh). The program also enables families to save up to 18 percent of their electric bill.  When the second stage ends in 2014, it is estimated that the saving will be of 2,800 Gwh per year, preventing about 1.4 million tons of CO2 emissions.

The government of Bangladesh envisions a country with electricity for all. The World Bank has supported this vision of Bangladesh for 40 years.

Some highlights of results achieved in IDA-supported projects include:

Bangladesh: In 2002, only 7,000 Bangladeshi households were using solar panels. Today, more than 1.4 million low-income rural households in Bangladesh have electricity—delivered by solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. Installations of the panels under the IDA-supported Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Development Project have doubled since 2010 to 40,000 a month. A $130 million IDA credit in 2009 and another for $172 million in 2011 followed earlier IDA financing that launched the project in 2002.

Competitively priced solar PV panels and a well-designed financing scheme have combined to deliver life-changing—and zero-carbon—electricity to bottom-of-the-pyramid families on a scale that was inconceivable only a few years ago. Under the program, non-governmental (NGO) partner organizations install the systems in households following standards, with the households paying 10-15 percent down with the rest financed by a microcredit loan. Funds from IDA, among others, re-finance part of the microcredit extended to the households. In addition to IDA support, the solar home systems program in Bangladesh has received financing from the World Bank-managed Carbon Finance Unit, the Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid, and several other donors including the Asian Development Bank, and the German agencies KfW and GIZ.

The program aims to deliver off-grid solar power to 2.5 million households by 2014, while also promoting mini-grids for rural consumers. In addition to delivering power to un-served communities, it is helping to reduce carbon emissions from avoided use of kerosene and diesel for lighting. The solar electrification industry and its supply chain in Bangladesh has also helped create, directly and indirectly, about 50,000 jobs.

Ethiopia: In Ethiopia three IDA credits totaling $440 million helped expand electricity to community services in about 4,300 towns and villages, benefiting over 30 million people by powering streetlights, local flour mills, water pumping and irrigation installations, telecommunications, businesses, schools and clinics in five years.  The Electricity Network Reinforcement and Expansion Project, approved by the World Bank in May 2012, extends this work by upgrading and extending the grid in order to improve the overall service delivery of the Ethiopian electricity network. The last project is expected to benefit 385,000 people.

Mongolia: About 500,000 people in Mongolia have gained access to solar power through a program launched in 2006 by the Mongolian government with support from the World Bank and the Government of the Netherlands. Thanks to the National 100,000 Solar Ger (Yurt) Electrification Program, 70 percent of Mongolia’s herders now have access to modern electricity.

In most of the vast landscape of Mongolia, nomadic herders used to have no access to electricity. Take a look at how a project helped bring changes.

Bank Group Contribution

Since 2008, the Bank Group has provided $45.3 billion for energy projects, with $21.9 billion from IBRD, and $8.5 billion from IDA. Of the total Bank Group financing, $11.6 billion—25.7 percent—was for renewable energy projects and programs, reflecting the determination of many countries to seek lower-carbon energy solutions. Energy efficiency, and transmission and distribution accounted for nearly one-third of energy financing. About 25 percent of the portfolio since 2008 is devoted to fossil fuel projects.

Partners

The Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) is a global knowledge and technical assistance program administered by the World Bank. ESMAP provides analytical and advisory services to low- and middle-income countries to increase their know-how and institutional capacity to achieve environmentally sustainable energy solutions for poverty reduction and economic growth. ESMAP is funded by Australia, Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, as well as the World Bank.

The World Bank-led Global Gas Flaring Reduction (GGFR) initiative is a public-private partnership that brings together representatives from major oil-producing countries and companies. The GGFR aims to minimize the flaring of natural gas associated with oil production by fostering critical collaboration between governments and industry so together they can address policy challenges and specific project implementation.  These efforts are starting to pay off. Since 2005, flaring of gas has dropped worldwide by almost 20 percent, preventing over 270 million tons of CO2 emissions, equivalent roughly to taking some 52 million cars off the road.

Lighting Africa is a joint IFC and World Bank program that works towards improving access to better lighting in areas not yet connected to the electricity grid. Lighting Africa catalyzes and accelerates the development of sustainable markets for affordable, modern off-grid lighting solutions for low-income households and micro-enterprises across the continent.

Moving Forward

The Bank Group’s strategic priorities in the energy sector are anchored around the goal of improving electricity access in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner. As energy security is essential for sustainable growth, the Bank will continue to work with other development partners to assist countries in achieving it, including through regional energy integration.

The Bank pursues a portfolio approach, including support for investments in power generation that are least cost and sustainable; strengthening and expanding transmission and distribution power networks; improving efficiency through technical assistance, and advisory services. The latter helps countries improve the performance of their electricity utilities, brings greater rigor to their governance, and offers guidance on policy and regulatory frameworks to attract and increase the impact of public and private sector investments. Some developing countries, especially those emerging from conflict, have weaknesses in capacity to implement projects. The Bank provides support to strengthen their capacity.

The World Bank is also sharing leadership with the UN of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, which has three global energy objectives to be achieved by 2030: universal access to electricity and clean cooking fuels doubling the share of the world’s energy supplied by renewable sources from 18 to 36 percent; and doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency from 1.2 to 2.4 percent annually.

To date, about 70 countries have opted in to Sustainable Energy for All, while many public, private and nongovernmental actors have made commitments to support its implementation. The Bank committed to doubling the leverage of its energy financing, providing technical assistance to several opt-in countries and supporting initiatives in partnership with the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP). These initiatives include the Global Geothermal Development Plan, Lighting Africa and Lighting Asia, the Global Alliance for Clean Cook Stoves, the Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership (Phase Four) and mapping of renewable energy resources.

Beneficiaries

One beneficiary of the Bangladesh rural electrification project is Mussarat Begum, who runs a small teahouse in Garjon Bunia Bazaar, a rural community. She bought a solar home system for $457, initially paying $57, and borrowing the rest. She repays the loan in weekly installments with money she earns by keeping her now-lighted chai-shop open after dark.  At the same time, her children are able to study at night.

“My business is booming and my family lives much more comfortably with our increased income,” she said. “But most importantly, I now have electricity at home and my children can study at night. They are doing much better at school.”

Source: World Bank

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Embraer Defense & Security signs sales contract for Super Tucanos with Senegal’s Air Force

Posted on 10 April 2013 by Africa Business

About Embraer Defense & Security

With over 40 years of experience in providing Armed Forces around the world with superior platforms and systems to aid in their defense and security, Embraer Defense & Security has a growing presence in the global market, and plays a strategic role in Brazil‘s defense system. Embraer Defense & Security’s product portfolio includes military airplanes, state-of-the-art radar technologies, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), and advanced information and communications systems, such as Command, Control, Communications, Computer, and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) applications. Embraer’s airplanes and military solutions are in service with more than 50 armed forces in 48 countries.

 

RIO DE JANEIRO, April 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Senegalese Air Force signed a contract, today, at LAAD Defence & Security, for the acquisition of three A-29 Super Tucano light attack, advanced training turboprops from Embraer Defense & Security. The event was attended by Brazilian Defense Minister Celso Amorim , Senegalese Defense Minister Augustin Tine , Brazilian Air Force Commander, Lieutenant-Brigadier Juniti Saito, and Senegalese Air Force Chief of Staff Ousmane Kane, among other authorities.

The order includes logistical support for the operation and the installation of a training system for pilots and mechanics (TOSS) in Senegal, bringing autonomy to that country’s Air Force in preparing qualified personnel. The aircraft will be deployed on border surveillance and internal security missions. With this order, Senegal becomes the fourth Super Tucano customer on the African continent. Financing will be handled by Brazil‘s National Economic and Social Development Bank (Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social – BNDES).

“With this contract, we are adding one more customer from the African continent, where the Super Tucano has stirred great interest,” said Luiz Carlos Aguiar , President of Embraer Defense & Security. “This is a versatile and robust aircraft, with proven combat experience and it will fulfill, with excellence, the missions for which it was chosen.”

Thirteen customers, worldwide, have chosen the A-29 Super Tucano. The model is operating with nine air forces in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, and has surpassed 180,000 flight hours and 28,000 hours of combat. The Super Tucano has over 210 orders and more than 170 units in operation, and it is capable of carrying out a broad range of missions, including light attack, surveillance, aerial interception, and counter-insurgency. The aircraft operates with over 130 weapons configurations and is equipped with advanced electronic, electro-optical, infra-red, and laser systems, as well as secure radio systems with data link technology and an unparalleled weapons capacity, which makes it highly reliable and gives it an excellent cost-benefit ratio for a large number of military missions, even on unpaved runways and in hostile environments.

The Super Tucano is the outcome of a project developed in accordance with the rigorous demands of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), and it is totally compatible with combat operations in complex scenarios, where data exchange and information processing capabilities are required. Besides its reinforced airframe for operating on unpaved airfields, the airplane has advanced navigation and weapons guidance systems, which ensures high precision and reliability, when using both conventional and smart weaponry under extreme conditions. The airplane requires minimum logistical support for continuous operations.

 

SOURCE Embraer S.A.

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IMF Concludes Fifth PSI Review Mission to Senegal

Posted on 10 April 2013 by Africa Business

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Hervé Joly visited Senegal during March 27-April 10, 2013 to conduct the fifth review under the three-year Policy Support Instrument (PSI) approved in December 2010. The members of the mission met with the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the ministers of economy and finance, and energy; representatives of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO); other senior government officials; and representatives of the private sector, civil society, and the development partners.

At the conclusion of the visit, M. Joly issued the following statement:

“Recent macroeconomic developments were broadly in line with the projections made in fall 2012. Growth reached 3.5 percent in 2012 (from 2.1 percent in 2011), fueled by strong performance in the agricultural sector. Inflation has been moderate, with a 1.4 percent consumer price increase in 2012. External trade was marked by a deterioration in the current account deficit which exceeded 10 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012, driven largely by increases in imports of petroleum and food products. Credit to the economy increased by about 10 percent, while growth of the money supply was contained.

“Notwithstanding the sluggish international environment, GDP growth is expected to tick up to 4 percent in 2013. Inflation should remain below 2 percent. The current account deficit is expected to improve.

“Program implementation was satisfactory overall. All quantitative assessment criteria and indicative targets for the program at end-2012 were met, except for the indicative target on single tendering owing to emergency procurement associated with the floods and preparation for the 2012/2013 crop year. For the first time in the last few years, the annual fiscal deficit target was met despite significant revenue shortfalls (deficit of 5.9 percent of GDP). Progress was made with the implementation of structural reforms, notably with the entry into force of the new general tax code on January 1, 2013.

“The discussions between the authorities and the mission focused on efforts to reduce the fiscal deficit, which remains a priority objective for the authorities in order to maintain debt sustainability and rebuild fiscal space. Since the last review, the fiscal outlook has been affected by tax-revenue shortfalls and new spending pressures, largely reflecting the situation in the energy sector. These developments should be matched by additional efforts to increase fiscal revenues and savings on certain expenditures. Overall, however, deficit reduction will be slightly lower than expected in 2013, to allow for nonrecurrent expenditures associated with the security situation in Mali and the Sahel, and the launching of the program in response to the major flooding of 2012. Nevertheless, the authorities reaffirmed their objective to reduce the deficit to less than 4 percent of GDP by 2015.

“The mission expressed its concern regarding the situation in the energy sector. Energy price subsidies (electricity and petroleum products) cost Senegalese taxpayers more than CFAF 160 billion in 2012 and would remain high in 2013. The mission believes that this burden is difficult to bear for public finances and to justify, given that only a small share of these subsidies benefit the poor. Consequently, the mission encouraged the authorities to phase out these subsidies and replace them with better-targeted social protections. A long-term reduction in electricity subsidies will require bringing online power stations that use more efficient and less expensive technologies, as well as substantial efficiency improvements at SENELEC. Accordingly, the mission encouraged the authorities to accelerate the implementation of their energy sector reform strategy.

The IMF’s Executive Board is expected to take up the fifth program review in June 2013.”

Source: IMF

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