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Living the FATCA life in Africa: New U.S. tax regulations add to burden of compliance on financial institutions across Africa

Posted on 21 May 2013 by Eugene Skrynnyk

Eugene Skrynnyk

Eugene Skrynnyk (CIPM, MILE, BComm) is a senior manager and specialist for the asset management industry in the Africa Sub-Area at Ernst & Young in Cape Town, South Africa.

Eugene Skrynnyk is the Ernst & Young Senior Manager and specialist for the asset management industry in the Africa Sub-Area.

Eugene holds a Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement (CIPM), Master of International Law and Economics (MILE) and Bachelor of Commerce and Finance (B.Comm.).

 

When the U.S. Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) and Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued final Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) regulations in January of this year, there was a sigh of relief that the financial services industry in Africa could begin to digest FATCA’s obligations. However, achieving FATCA compliance remains a challenge for banks operating across Africa.

FATCA is already law in the U.S. but negotiations are under way to enshrine it in national law of countries around the world via intergovernmental agreements (“IGAs”) with the U.S. While a variety of African jurisdictions will each face unique obstacles with FATCA compliance, many in the industry share a general unease with FATCA’s scope, as well as scepticism that FATCA’s rewards (an estimated US$1 billion in additional tax revenue annually) justify its expenses. Generally, FATCA attempts to combat U.S. tax evasion by requiring that non-U.S. financial institutions report the identities of U.S. shareholders or customers, or otherwise face a 30% withholding tax on their U.S. source income. Overwhelmingly, FATCA compliance obligations apply even where there is very little risk of U.S. tax evasion and it impacts all payers, including foreign payers of “withholdable payments” made to any foreign entities affecting deposit accounts, custody and investments.

General issues in Africa

Concerns about privacy abound. FATCA requires financial institutions to report to the IRS certain information about U.S. persons. For this reason, IGAs are being put in place so that institutions could instead report information to their local tax authority rather than the IRS. In some jurisdictions, investment funds and insurance companies are permitted to disclose information with client consent. In other jurisdictions, such disclosure is prohibited without further changes to domestic law. The process to make necessary changes locally involves time and effort.

Cultural differences in Africa need to be considered. In certain situations FATCA requires that financial institutions ask a customer who was born in the United States to submit documents explaining why the customer abandoned U.S. citizenship or did not obtain it at birth. African financial institutions never pose such a delicate and private question to their customers. Even apparently straight-forward requirements may pose challenges; for example, FATCA requires that customers make representations about their identities “under penalty of perjury” in certain situations. Few countries have a custom of making legal oaths, so it would not be surprising if African customers will be reluctant to give them.

FATCA contains partial exemptions (i.e., “deemed compliance”) and also exceptions for certain financial institutions and products that are less likely to be used by U.S. tax evaders. It still has to be seen to what extent these exemptions have utility for financial institutions in Africa. For example, the regulations include an exemption for retirement funds and also partially exempt “restricted funds” — funds that prohibit investment by U.S. persons. Although many non-U.S. funds have long restricted investment by U.S. persons because of the U.S. federal securities laws, this exemption could be less useful than it first appears. It should be pointed out that the exemption also requires that funds be sold exclusively to limited categories of FATCA-compliant or exempt institutions and distributors. These categories are themselves difficult for African institutions to qualify for. For example, a restricted fund may sell to certain distributors who agree not to sell to U.S. persons (“restricted distributors”). But restricted distributors must operate solely in the country of their incorporation, a true obstacle in smaller markets where many distributors must operate regionally to attain scale.

Other permitted distribution channels for restricted funds are “local banks,” which are not allowed to have any operations outside of their jurisdiction of incorporation and may not advertise the availability of U.S. dollar denominated investments.

Challenges and lessons learned – the African perspective

Financial institutions will have to consider what steps to take to prepare for FATCA compliance and take into account other FATCA obligations, such as account due diligence and withholding against non-compliant U.S. accountholders and/or financial institutions.

The core of FATCA is the process of reviewing customer records to search for “U.S. indicia” — that is, evidence that a customer might be a U.S. taxpayer. Under certain circumstances, FATCA requires financial institutions to look through their customers and counterparties’ ownership to find “substantial U.S. owners” (generally, certain U.S. persons holding more than 10% of an entity). In many countries the existing anti-money laundering legislation generally requires that financial institutions look through entities only when there is a 20% or 25% owner, leaving a gap between information that may be needed for FATCA compliance and existing procedures. Even how to deal with non-FATCA compliant financial institutions and whether to completely disengage business ties with them, remains open.

The following is an outline of some of the lessons learned in approaching FATCA compliance and the considerations financial institutions should make:

Focus on reducing the problem

Reducing the problem through the analysis and filtering of legal entities, products, customer types, distribution channels and account values, which may be prudently de-scoped, can enable financial institutions to address their distinct challenges and to identify areas of significant impact across their businesses. This quickly scopes the problem areas and focuses the resource and budget effort to where it is most necessary.

Select the most optimal design solution

FATCA legislation is complex and comprehensive as it attempts to counter various potential approaches to evade taxes. Therefore, understanding the complexities of FATCA and distilling its key implications is crucial in formulating a well rounded, easily executable FATCA compliance programme in the limited time left.

Selecting an option for compliance is dependent on the nature of the business and the impact of FATCA on the financial institution. However, due to compliance time constraints and the number of changes required by financial institutions, the solution design may well require tactical solutions with minimal business impact and investment. This will allow financial institutions to achieve compliance by applying low cost ‘work arounds’ and process changes. Strategic and long-term solutions can be better planned and phased-in with less disruption to the financial institution thereafter.

Concentrate on critical activities for 2014

FATCA has phased timelines, which run from 2014 to 2017 and beyond. By focusing on the “must-do” activities, which require compliance as of 1 January 2014 – such as appointing a Responsible Officer, registering with the IRS, and addressing new client on-boarding processes and systems – financial institutions can dedicate the necessary resources more efficiently and effectively to meet immediate deadlines.

Clear ownership – both centrally and within local subsidiaries

FATCA is a strategic issue for the business, requiring significant and widespread change. Typically it starts as a ‘tax issue’ but execution has impacts across IT, AML/KYC, operations, sales, distribution and client relationship management. It is imperative to get the right stakeholders and support onboard to ensure that the operational changes are being coordinated, managed and implemented by the necessary multidisciplinary teams across the organization. These include business operations, IT, marketing, and legal and compliance, to name but a few. Early involvement and clear ownership is key from the start.

Understand your footprint in Africa

Many African financial institutions have operations in various African countries and even overseas, and have strategically chosen to make further investments throughout Africa. The degree to which these African countries have exposure to the FATCA regulations needs to be understood. It is best to quickly engage with appropriate stakeholders, understand how FATCA impacts these African countries and the financial institutions’ foreign subsidiaries, and find solutions that enable pragmatic compliance.

What next for financial institutions in Africa?

Negotiations with the U.S. are under way with over 60 countries to enshrine FATCA in national law of countries around the world via IGAs. Implementation of FATCA is approaching on 1 January 2014 and many local financial institutions have either not started or are just at the early stages of addressing the potential impact of FATCA. In South Africa, only few of the leading banks are completing impact assessments and already optimizing solutions. Other financial services groups and asset management institutions are in the process of tackling the impact assessment. Industry representative in Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria and Zimbabwe have started engaging relevant government and industry stakeholders, but the awareness is seemingly oblivious to date. In the rest of Africa, FATCA is mainly unheard of.

Financial institutions choosing to comply with FATCA will first need to appoint a responsible officer for FATCA and register with the IRS, ensure proper new client on-boarding procedures are in place, then identify and categorize all customers, and eventually report U.S. persons to the IRS (or local tax authorities in IGA jurisdictions). Institutions will also need to consider implementing a host of other time-consuming operational tasks, including revamping certain electronic systems to capture applicable accountholder information and/or to accommodate the new reporting and withholding requirements, enhancing customer on-boarding processes, and educating both customers and staff on the new regulations. Where possible, institutions should seek to achieve these tasks through enhancing existing initiations so as to minimise the cost and disruption to the business.

Conclusion

Financial institutions in Africa face tight FATCA compliance timelines with limited budgets, resources, time, and expertise available. This is coupled with having to fulfil multiple other regulatory requirements. To add to the burden, FATCA has given stimulus to several countries in the European Union to start discussing a multilateral effort against tax evasion. The support of other countries in the IGA process indicates that some of these countries will follow with their own FATCA-equivalent legislation in an attempt to increase local tax revenues at a time when economies around the world are under unprecedented pressure. The best approach for African financial services industry groups is to engage their local governments in dialogue with the IRS and Treasury, while for African financial institutions to pro-actively assess their FATCA strategic and operational burdens as they inevitably prepare for compliance.

 

About Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 167,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.

The Ernst & Young Africa Sub-Area consists of practices in 28 countries across the African continent. We pride ourselves in our integrated operating model which enables us to serve our clients on a seamless basis across the continent, as well as across the world.

Ernst & Young South Africa has a Level two, AAA B-BBEE rating. As a recognised value adding enterprise, our clients are able to claim B-BBEE recognition of 156.25%.

Ernst & Young refers to the global organisation of member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. All Ernst & Young practices in the Africa Sub Area are members of Ernst & Young Africa Limited (NPC). Ernst & Young Africa Limited (NPC) in turn is a member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee. Neither Ernst & Young Global Limited nor Ernst & Young Limited (NPC) provides services to clients.

For more information about our organisation, please visit www.ey.com/za

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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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Ozwald Boateng Steps in as Guest Editor for a Leading Issue of New African

Posted on 18 May 2013 by Africa Business

Made In Africa Foundation

The Made In Africa Foundation is a charitable organisation, established to support strategic infrastructure projects and create sustainable solutions to some of Africa’s most pressing problems. It works to support technical feasibility studies, to kick start key infrastructure developments and to engage the African diaspora in innovative fund-raising activities. The Foundation was founded in 2011 by international designer Ozwald Boateng OBE, and Nigerian businessman Kola Aluko, and is supported by Atlantic Energy.

 

The leading pan-African current affairs magazine, New African, has just published its May edition, guest edited by the internationally renowned Ghanaian designer Ozwald Boateng , a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and founder of the Made in Africa Foundation.

This new issue looks at a Future Made in Africa and, in a 60 page supplement, celebrates the Organisation of African Unity’s (now the AU’s) golden jubilee. It has a strong focus on infrastructure, which reflects the work of the Made in Africa foundation – a $400m fund to finance feasibility studies to fast-track infrastructure investment throughout Africa.

Editorial contributors include Tony Blair , President Ellen Sirleaf-Johnson , Tony Elumelu, Mo Ibrahim , David Adjaye , Jay Naidoo , Omar Bongo Ondimba, Minna Salami, Swaady Martin-Leke, and Kandeh Yumkella and Babatunde Fashola .

In its “Trailblazers under 50″ feature, New African presents its selection of 50 Africans under the age of 50, who are breaking ground and raising hopes for Africa’s future.  The list includes Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Alex Wek , Didier Drogba, Hadeel Ibrahim , David Rudisha, Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, Juliana Totich, P-Square, Dambisa Moyo and its very own readers.

In his introductory article “Why our future should be made in Africa“. Boateng insists “If the world is to get beyond boom and bust, it requires African creators, farmers, workers, industrialists and leaders to be given the tools and opportunities to play their part for the good of all”.

Omar Ben Yedder , publisher of New African magazine, commented: “ Ozwald Boateng has done a fantastic job and this really is a collector’s item – one which we hope will be read and studied in schools and universities across Africa. It was a true learning experience working on this issue”.

The May 2013 issue is available on newsstands and local vendors now.

SOURCE Made in Africa Foundation

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TeleCommunication Systems Technology Experts to Discuss International Trade Issues at the Maryland/DC Celebration of International Trade 2013

Posted on 17 May 2013 by Africa Business

 

About TeleCommunication Systems, Inc.
TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. (TCS) (NASDAQ: TSYS) is a world leader in highly reliable and secure mobile communication technology. TCS infrastructure forms the foundation for market leading solutions in E9-1-1, text messaging, commercial location and deployable wireless communications. TCS is at the forefront of new mobile cloud computing services providing wireless applications for navigation, hyper-local search, asset tracking, social applications and telematics. Millions of consumers around the world use TCS wireless apps as a fundamental part of their daily lives. Government agencies utilize TCS’ cyber security expertise, professional services, and highly secure deployable satellite solutions for mission-critical communications. Headquartered in Annapolis, MD, TCS maintains technical, service and sales offices around the world.

 

ANNAPOLIS, Md., May 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. (TCS) (NASDAQ: TSYS), a world leader in highly reliable and secure mobile communication technology, today announced that TCS Fellow John Linwood Griffin and TCS Senior Customer Executive Victor Hernandez will be participating in panel discussions as part of the Maryland/DC Celebration of International Trade 2013 on Tuesday, May 21 at the Maritime Institute Conference Center in Linthicum, MD. Attendees will experience in-depth discussions with expert-level export executives, leaders, practitioners and government leaders.

  • “Threat Considerations and Risk Mitigation When Doing Business Internationally,” Tuesday, May 21, 8:30 a.m.10:00 a.m.

 

TCS Fellow Dr. John Linwood Griffin will discuss the risk associated with conducting business internationally from a technical security perspective. Risk itself often represents an opportunity – when you understand and interpret technical risks in the context of your business objectives, you are able to make more efficient and competitive decisions. The panelists will engage in a lively early-morning discussion on how to keep risk from always leading to the answer, “no.”

Dr. John Linwood Griffin leads research and engineering programs on computer and communications security at TCS. He has written and taught academic and industrial courses on computer storage, security and networking and has co-authored refereed conference, journal and workshop papers. Among the honors, grants and awards he has received include an invitation to participate in the U.S./Japan Experts’ Workshop on Critical Information Infrastructure Protection, an Intel Foundation Ph.D. Fellowship and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

  • “Selling into Emerging Markets – Africa, Middle East and Latin America Explored,” Tuesday, May 21, 10:00 a.m.11:30 a.m.

 

TCS Senior Customer Executive Victor Hernandez will explore the nuances of conducting business in the emerging market of Latin America through the lens of several case studies. In addition, the ability to leverage government resources that are available to ease entrance into new markets from the Departments of Commerce and State will also be addressed by other panelists.

Victor Hernandez is responsible for promoting TCS’ products and services portfolio in the Caribbean and Latin American regions. He has more than 23 years of experience in the Latin American wireless industry and has worked with some of the wireless industry’s biggest names, helping them bridge the business gap between the Caribbean, Latin America and North America.

To learn more about emerging and innovative wireless technologies, visit www.telecomsys.com.

 

SOURCE TeleCommunication Systems, Inc.

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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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Satellite ultra-broadband in Europe & Africa

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Africa Business

NEW YORK, May 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Reportlinker.com announces that a new market research report is available in its catalogue:

Satellite ultra-broadband in Europe & Africa

http://www.reportlinker.com/p01029508/Satellite-ultra-broadband-in-Europe–Africa.html#utm_source=prnewswire&utm_medium=pr&utm_campaign=Broadband

In this report, IDATE identifies the latest developments and major trends in the broadband and ultra-fast broadband markets. After a detailed analysis of the various terrestrial networks and their coverage, it examines satellite technology and the opportunities for positioning it as a complementary service to terrestrial networks to reduce the digital divides that currently exist in Europe and Africa.

Region: Europe: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Eastern Europe, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, TurkeyAfrica: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Rep., Chad, Congo, Dem. Rep., Congo, Rep., Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eriteria, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Contents • Part 1

Recalling the objectives of the Digital Agenda

• Part 2

Status of broadband market in Europe

• Part 3

Status of ultra-broadband market in Europe

• Part 4

Status of satellite broadband market in Europe

• Part 5

Satellite operator strategies

• Part 6

IDATE’s assessment and market forecasts up to 2017

• Part 7

Introduction to Africa

• Part 8

Status of broadband market in Africa

• Part 9

Satellite operator strategies

• Part 10

IDATE’s assessment and market forecasts up to 2017

• In this report, IDATE identifies the latest developments and major trends in the broadband and ultra-fast broadband markets.

• After a detailed analysis of the various terrestrial networks and their coverage, it examines satellite technology and the opportunities for positioning it as a complementary service to terrestrial networks to reduce the digital divides that currently exist in Europe and Africa.

Recalling the objectives of the Digital Agenda 9• Digital Agenda objectives are being met for basic broadband 10• Objectives of national plans diverging from Digital Agenda for ultra-broadband 112. Status of broadband market in Europe 12• DSL network coverage is improving 13• Rural coverage still needs to progress 14• As a consequence of the DAE, bitrates are improving fast 15• Competition from mobile networks gathers pace 163. Status of ultra-broadband market in Europe 17• Migration to ultra-fast broadband continues on the fixed market… 18• Adoption among households remains low 19• LTE is now launched in most European countries 20• Mobile operators are now tackling the residential fixed market 21• Towards the era of the Gbps 224. Status of satellite broadband market in Europe 23• Some

Figures

on satellite broadband consumers 24• Satellite access solutions are highly competitive 25• Satellite access solutions are tailored to tackle under-served terrestrial markets 26• Full satellite triple-play packages can be proposed 27• 5. Satellite operator strategies in Europe 28• Eutelsat 29• SES 31• Avanti 33• 6. IDATE’s assessment and market forecasts for Europe 34• 7. Introduction to Africa 36• A market with several barriers to entry 37• The fast deployment of submarine cables is a game changer 38• On land, fibre backbone networks are also being deployed 39• Impact of fibre deployment on satellite bandwidth princing 40• 8. Status of broadband market in Africa 41• Africa has less than 5% of world users 42• Fixed broadband prices are unsustainable 43• Mobile telephony is becoming the entry point for Internet access 44• Mobile broadband is progressing rapidly 45• Mobile broadband pricing is decreasing 46• 9. Satellite operator strategies in Africa 47• YahSat 48• SES and Eutelsat 49• 10. IDATE’s assessement and market forecasts for Africa 50• IDATE’s assessement and market forecats up to 2017 51• Who are we? 52

Figures

• Figure 1: Fixed broadband penetration in Europe 10• Figure 2: Digital agenda objectives 11• Figure 3: Total DSL network coverage in Europe, end-2011 (% of population) 13• Figure 4: Rural DSL network coverage in Europe, end-2011 (% of population) 14• Figure 5: Fixed broadband lines by speed, 2008-2012 15• Figure 6: Fixed broadband lines by speed, January 2012 15• Figure 7: Total HSPA coverage in Europe, end of 2011 16• Figure 8: Rural HSPA coverage in Europe, end of 2011 16• Figure 9: FTTx network coverage, end-2011 18• Figure 10: FTTH/B adoption, YE 2012 19• Figure 11: Other FTTx technologies adoption, YE 2012 19• Figure 12: Timetable for LTE spectrum in Western Europe 20• Figure 13: Evolution of LTE coverage in Portugal following use of the 800 MHz band 20• Figure 14: HomeFusion service offered by Verizon Wireless 21• Figure 15: LTE service for homes offered by TeliaSonera 21• Figure 16: Evolution of fixed broadband technologies up to 2030 22• Figure 17: LTE-Advanced performance 22• Figure 18: Bandwidth consumption, per subscriber 24• Figure 19: Bandwidth consumption, by application 24• Figure 20: Evolution of satellite broadband offering for basic package 25• Figure 21 : Price change of a broadband satellite reception terminal 25• Figure 22: Positioning of some satellite broadband offerings in France(as of February 2013) 26• Figure 23: In the USA, ViaSat and Hughes tackle 26• Figure 24: Dishnet satellite triple-play packages being offered by Dish (based on HughesNet Gen4 service) in the USA 27• Figure 25: Satellite broadband terminal proposed by Eutelsat with TV reception capability 27• Figure 26: Ka-Sat coverage 29• Figure 27: Selected packages based on Ka-Sat 29• Figure 28: Evolution of Tooway subscriber base 30• Figure 29: Evolution of Tooway download speeds 30• Figure 30: Hybrid vision of SES 31• Figure 31: Broadband for communities (launched in 2011) 31• Figure 32: Evolution of ASTRA2Connect subscribers 32• Figure 33: Evolution of ASTRA2Connect download speeds 32• Figure 34: Avanti coverage in Europe (Hylas-1 satellite) 33• Figure 35: Satellite broadband packages distributed by irish distributor, Qsat (downlink speeds from 4 to 10 Mbps) 33• Figure 36: Forecast of residential subscriptions to a two-way ultrabroadband satellite solution in Europe, 2013-2017 35• Figure 37: Literacy rates in Africa 37• Figure 38: PC penetration in Africa 37• Figure 39: Evolution of submarine cable deployments in Africa 38• Figure 40: Map of terrestrial fibre backbones in Africa, YE 2012 39• Figure 41: E1 pricing for a selection of African countries, 2012 39• Figure 42: Excerpt from Seacom commercial brochure 40• Figure 43: Average evolution of bandwidth prices over 2009-2012 40• Figure 44: Fixed broadband access penetration in Africa, end 2012 42• Figure 45: Fixed broadband penetration compared with literacy rate 42• Figure 46: Price of fixed broadband subscriptions based on per capita GDP 43• Figure 47: African mobile penetration, as of YE 2012 44• Figure 48: Top 5 African mobile markets, at YE 2012 44• Figure 49: Status of 3G, as of February 2013 45• Figure 50: Top 5 African 3G markets, at YE 2012 45• Figure 51: Monthly broadband basket, YE 2011 46• Figure 52: YahClick coverage 48• Figure 53: Eutelsat IP Easy coverage 49• Figure 54: Satellite broadband packages being offered as of year-end 2012 by Get2Net (SES ASTRA2Connect) 49• Figure 55: Forecast of residential subscriptions to a two-way ultrabroadband satellite solution in Africa, 2013-2017 51• Table 1: Basic coverage national objectives, in selected countries 10• Table 2: Objectives of national broadband plans, in selected countries 11• Table 3: Electrification rates in Africa 37• Table 4: Selection of mobile broadband basket (prepaid handsetbased), YE 2011 46• Table 5: Array of speeds offered by Vox Telecom in South Africa and Coolink in Nigeria (as of February 2013) 488

To order this report:Broadband Industry: Satellite ultra-broadband in Europe & Africa

Contact Clare: clare@reportlinker.com
US:(339) 368 6001
Intl:+1 339 368 6001

 

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Soutien des Gouverneurs pour une reconstitution réussie du Fonds africain de développement (FAD) – FAD-13

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Africa Business

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, 15 mai 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ Nous, gouverneurs du Fonds africain de développement (FAD) et ministres du Plan et des Finances de Côte d’Ivoire, du Ghana, de Guinée, du Liberia, du Sénégal et de Sierra Leone, avons participé à l’atelier de présentation des priorités opérationnelles et stratégiques du FAD-13, le 14 mai 2013 à Abidjan.

Au cours de cette importante réunion, plusieurs questions ont été abordées quant à l’impact du FAD sur nos pays, et son rôle dans la transformation de nos économies. La Banque (http://www.afdb.org) a, par exemple, rapidement octroyé un appui budgétaire, afin que les pays bénéficiaires puissent maintenir et réhabiliter les services de base offerts à leurs populations, à un moment où tous deux en avaient grand besoin.

Selon nous, le FAD constitue, assurément, un canal pertinent de financement du développement. Le Groupe de la Banque est également l’un des relais de la voix du continent. Les priorités opérationnelles et l’orientation stratégique du FAD sont en phase, tant avec l’agenda de développement de l’Afrique, qu’avec les besoins des différents pays. Les réformes institutionnelles engagées successivement ont renforcé la capacité de mise en œuvre du Groupe de la Banque, sa réactivité, ainsi que sa quête de résultats efficients.

Ce qu’accomplit la Banque dans le secteur des infrastructures en Afrique, est d’autant plus crucial que le potentiel en la matière est immense.

Aussi saluons-nous la création et l’augmentation de l’enveloppe du FAD relative aux opérations régionales, préalable nécessaire à l’ambitieux agenda de la Banque en ce domaine. Pour de nombreux pays africains, les solutions régionales mises en œuvre dans les services publics, tels que les réseaux électriques et de transports, s’avèrent moins onéreuses et plus efficaces, ainsi que de bien meilleures qualités, en complément aux programmes nationaux.

Nous savons l’intérêt qu’il y a à renforcer les capacités dans les domaines de la passation de marchés, des audits internes et externes, de la gestion des revenus issus de l’exploitation des ressources naturelles, et à accroitre la mobilisation de ressources internes, surtout s’agissant des pays richement dotés, de la région. Nous saluons le travail et l’implication de la Banque sur ces questions.

Cependant, nous estimons que le Groupe de la Banque pourrait faire plus encore dans le soutien à la diversification économique et la création d’emplois, notamment des jeunes, en s’impliquant davantage dans l’amélioration de la productivité, tant des entreprises privées que des industries agricoles de tous niveaux – micro, petites et moyennes entreprises. La BAD pourrait également jouer un plus grand rôle, s’agissant de réformes économiques et structurelles qui aient un impact significatif et vertueux sur le climat des affaires.

Enfin, nous avons conscience des défis auxquels la Banque et le Fonds sont confrontés dans le cadre de la mobilisation de ressources, en cette période où plusieurs donateurs doivent faire face à de fortes contraintes économiques.

Toutefois, nous jugeons qu’il faut maintenir l’élan actuel et qu’il nous faut rester concentrés sur l’objectif principal, qui est d’aider les pays membres régionaux de la Banque à transformer leurs économies, à créer des emplois et à réduire la pauvreté. Nous espérons que le cycle de négociations du FAD-13 saura y répondre en ce sens.

Signé à Abidjan, le 14 mai 2013

M. Albert Abdallah Toikeusse Mabri

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

M. Mohammed M.Sherif

Economiste en chef, Ministère des Finances de la République du Liberia

M. Seth Terkper

Gouverneur du Groupe de la BAD et ministre des Finances et de la Planification économique de la République du Ghana

M. 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

M. Kerfalla Yansane

Gouverneur du Groupe de la BAD et ministre d’État chargé de l’Économie et des Finances de la République de Guinée

M. Foday Mansaray

Gouverneur temporaire du Groupe de la BAD, ministre d’Etat et ministre des Finances et du Développement économique de la République de la Sierra Leone


Distribué par l’Organisation de la Presse Africaine pour la Banque Africaine de Développement (BAfD).

SOURCE

African Development Bank (AfDB)

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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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SA tooling and Manufacturing tackle revival challenge

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Africa Business

South Africa’s tooling and manufacturing sectors are aggressively tackling skills challenges, and modernising and growing their operations, with a view to taking on global manufacturing giants.

AfriMold, is the 4th annual manufacturing trade fair and conference for the design, precision engineering & machining, automotive component, tooling, tool making, production and application development sectors, and is taking place 4 – 6 June at the NASREC Expo Centre in Johannesburg.


Speaking ahead of this year’s AfriMold manufacturing trade fair from 4 – 6 June at the NASREC Expo Centre in Johannesburg, key industry players said South Africa’s manufacturing sector is experiencing a new spirit of revival, on the back of an aggressively modernising and growing tooling sector.

Dirk van Dyk, CEO of the National Tooling Initiative Programme, and representative of the Tooling Association of South Africa (TASA), noted that statistics released by ISTMA (International Specialized Tooling and Machining Association at the recent World Tooling Conference in Toronto, Canada, indicate that up to 50% of any manufactured component’s cost competiveness is governed by Tooling. However, the local TDM sector only provides approximately 20% of the local manufacturing sector’s tooling requirements. “The opportunity is there for the local TDM sector to increase this percentage significantly,” he said.

“There are more than 500 local Tool, Die and Mould manufacturing companies involved in local support of the manufacturing value chain ranging from 1st to 4th tier suppliers. The local tooling sector is gearing up for growth, presenting a positive outlook for manufacturing, and with it – job creation.”

Skills development is a key component of the tooling and manufacturing industry’s growth plans, says industry heads.

Van Dyk said the TDM Powered Pilot project, which started in 2010 as part of the turnaround strategy for the distressed tooling industry, has entered its 4th year of piloting with 408 students on Level II and Level III of the Apprenticeship Programme at 12 FET institutions in the country.

The National Skills Fund has allocated funding to Instimbi through the dti to fund another apprenticeship programme with 650 students at 12 FET institutions in the country.  It is envisaged that these students should be placed by May 2013.

In addition, enterprise development is reaching companies country wide through benchmarking exercises (based on international best practice and comparison to peers) to guide local Tool, Die and Mould manufacturing companies towards increased competiveness. Intervention projects are launched to aid companies on this journey.  A new round of benchmarking will start with 30 companies in April 2013.

Coenraad Bezuidenhout, Executive Director of Manufacturing Circle, says the Manufacturing Circle is launching two important initiatives to support government’s local procurement initiative and set an important example to the private sector, and to broaden its membership. The organisation plans to rapidly increase the approximately 200 000 manufacturing jobs that the Circle membership gives direct representation to today, and to include many more smaller and medium-sized manufacturers in the Manufacturing Circle. On 16 May, the Manufacturing Circle will launch its 2013 Q1 Manufacturing Circle Quarterly Survey on manufacturing business conditions, with a new component that will provide an indicator of the measure to which manufacturers procure locally, as well as the degree to which government’s local procurement impacts on manufacturers.

Meanwhile, the automotive sector, seen as a potentially promising growth area for local manufacturing, is seeking greater engagement with local organisations.

Roger Pitot, Executive Director of the National Association of Automotive Components and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM) says: “We must double vehicle production volumes to over a million, and we must significantly increase local content from the present dismal 35%.”

Pitot says NAACAM members employ almost 50,000 people with a turnover last year of R57 billion. The total automotive sector, including vehicle assemblers, employs over 100,000 in manufacturing and 200,000 in sales and service operations.

“Unfortunately, the automotive trade deficit has been growing and reached an all-time high of R49 billion in 2012, mainly due to a record 72% of all cars sold in South Africa being imported. Exports in 2012 at R87 billion almost recovered to the record achieved in 2008, but the outlook for the future depends largely on the global economic situation, particularly in Europe, our biggest market.  The local auto industry has to compete globally, therefore our focus is on improving our competitiveness through efficiencies and cost reductions.”

Pitot adds: “Areas of uncompetitiveness include certain materials such as steel, wages, logistics and, increasingly, electricity. So opportunities lie in improving our efficiencies and our technological capabilities. These include manufacture of higher-level tooling, more local R&D and developing capabilities to produce the lighter and greener components that will form part of vehicles in future.”

The challenges and potential growth areas for design, precision engineering & machining, automotive component, tooling, tool making, production and application development sectors will come under the spotlight at the 4th annual AfriMold conference and trade fair. The event, a partner of the highly successful EuroMold trade fair, is endorsed by major industry bodies, as well as by the Department of Trade and Industry.

Ron MacLarty, Managing Director of AfriMold, says: “AfriMold 2013 will continue to innovate and push boundaries for the manufacturing industries’ continued growth and improved competitiveness as we strive for collaboration and cohesion on the home front.”

Bob Bond, Chairman of the Plastics Institute of South Africa (PISA) Northern Branch and AfriMold Conference Convenor, says the event’s theme, ‘Enabling For Tomorrow with a focus on precision engineering and tooling as a key enabler for the South African manufacturing sector, was chosen in light of the renewed drive for competitiveness.

Among the issues to be addressed at the conference are:

· What the SA Automotive sector expects from the local tooling industry

· Industrial Design: The Competitive Edge for Tooling and Manufacture

· Solutions for super profitable tool rooms

· How to fund equipment with IDC money

· Initiatives to boost Toolmaking Enterprises Development.

The AfriMold Trade Fair and Conference will also include the PISA/ AfriMold Student Design Presentations and PISA Member Awards.

For more information about AfriMold, visit www.afrimold.co.za or contact Terri Bernstein at Tel: +27 83 635 3539 or terri@afrimold.co.za

 

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