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Archive for March 12th, 2014

AU Launches Internet Exchange Point in Namibia: “Keeping intra-country internet traffic within the country”

Posted by African Press International on March 12, 2014

WINDHOEK, Namibia, March 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ 7th March, 2014: The African Union Commission (AUC), through the Infrastructure and Energy Department, in collaboration with the Ministry of Information Communication Technology of Namibia today launched the Internet Exchange Point in Namibia.

The Internet Exchange Point in Namibia will contribute to bringing efficiency in the routing of intra-country internet traffic and hence faster exchange of intra-country internet traffic.

Through the African Internet Exchange System (AXIS) project, the African Union Commission has so far extended capacity building support to facilitate the establishment of internet exchange points in 22 Member States including Namibia. The AU has also donated equipment and services with the value of USD20,000 to the Internet Exchange Point in Namibia.

“With this development, the ICT Sector in Namibia has every reason to celebrate for a new era of localized, cost effective and secure internet traffic, has dawned. That notwithstanding, we are called upon to safeguard this infrastructure for the betterment of the livelihood of the users. I however hasten to state that today’s historic event would not have been possible without the invaluable support provided by the African Union Commission.” Said Hon. Stanley Simataa, Deputy Minister of ICT

The Internet in Africa has been growing steadily over the past several years and is beginning to play a significant role in Africa’s development, creating employment, providing opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as acting as an enabler in the digital delivery of government services, education, and healthcare among others.

“All of us will agree that living in a modern society without ICT is difficult if not impossible. Think about how many times and how often we are using the internet, mobile phones and computers. ICT has been integrated in every aspect of our business activities and daily lives.

Looking to the future, ICT for development is not about computers, mobile phones, and the internet, but about using them to empower communities for communication, learning, and accessing services. This will lead to improved well-being, increased work productivity, support for innovation, and impetus for inclusive growth.” Said H.E. Dr. Elham Ibrahim, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy.”

The launch was officiated by Hon. Stanley Simataa, Deputy Minister of ICT of Namibia and H.E. Dr. Elham Ibrahim, African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy and attended by Senior Government Officials, Leaders of the Industry and the Internet Society.

For more information on the African Internet Exchange System Project of the African Union, visit http://www.au.int/axis

SOURCE

African Union Commission (AUC)

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Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) Hosts Inaugural Summit to Address the Scale of Africa’s Infrastructure Requirements and Investment Deficit

Posted by African Press International on March 12, 2014

The Summit takes place on 25 March 2014 at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos, Nigeria

LAGOS, Nigeria, March 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) (http://www.africafc.org), an African-led multilateral development financial institution whose mission is to improve African economies by proactively developing and financing infrastructure assets announces details of its inaugural Summit.

The Summit, titled: ‘AFC Live: Bridging the Infrastructure Divide’ responds to the need to open a dialogue to address the scale of Africa’s infrastructure requirements and its investment deficit, which is conservatively estimated at over US$40 billion per annum over the next ten years (1). The Summit takes place on 25 March 2014 at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos, Nigeria.

The Summit will bring together African politicians, business leaders and academics for a series of lively panel discussions. Confirmed speakers include: Jim O’Neill, the economist and former Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, best known for coining the ‘BRIC’ and ‘MINT’ acronyms, as well as:

•          Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Coordinating Minister of Finance and Economy, Nigeria;

•          Prof. Chinedu Nebo, Minister of Power, Nigeria;

•          Hon. Patrick Achi, Minister of Economic Infrastructure, Côte d’Ivoire;

•          Hon. Cristina Duarte, Minister of Finance, Cape Verde;

•          Mr Jim Yong Cai, Executive Vice President and CEO, International Finance Corporation;

•          Mr Tony Elumelu, Chairman Heirs Holdings;

•          Ms. Diana Layfield, CEO Africa, Standard Chartered Bank

•          Dr. Nkosana Moyo, Mandela Institute for Development Studies; and

•          Ms. Funke Opeke, CEO Main One

The Summit is the must attend event for audiences interested in Africa’s infrastructure challenges. It will discuss issues such as Africa’s need to take the lead in bridging the investment divide whilst also accessing international capital as part of a joined up and holistic approach.

Commenting on the upcoming Summit, Bayo Ogunlesi, Chairman of AFC, said:

“The summit is a key opportunity to for a broad range of stakeholders, from national governments to the indigenous and international private sector and donor partners, to contribute to the development of constructive solutions to the deficit in infrastructure investment in Africa which continues to hold back economic growth on the continent.”

“The Africa Finance Corporation is committed to serving as a catalyst for growth in infrastructure development in Africa, by focusing on investments in the sectors that are critical to economic growth on the continent and attracting new investment partners and country members.”

Commenting on the Summit, economist Jim O’Neill, said:

“I am delighted to be participating in the AFC’s inaugural summit which promises to address an important agenda. If Africa is to reach its potential as the home to some of the fastest-growing economies in the world, then infrastructure will play a vital role in making that happen. This conference provides an excellent opportunity to gather some of the most important figures in the region in order to discuss how this can be achieved. The AFC plays not just a vital role in brokering these discussions but also in financing and advising some of most transformative infrastructure projects on the continent.”

Key sessions at the Summit will include:

•          ‘Building the New Africa – action plan for the next decade’

•          Panel 1: power sector

•          Panel 2: transport sector

•          Panel 3: natural resources

(1) The World Bank estimates Africa’s infrastructure deficit at US$38 billion of investment per year, with a further US$37 billion per year required in operations and maintenance. This represents c.12% of Africa’s current GDP.

About the AFC:

•          AFC (http://www.africafc.org) is an African-led multilateral development financial institution, established in 2007, whose mission is to improve African economies by proactively developing and financing infrastructure, industrial and financial assets.

•          AFC is involved as an investor, developer and financier of various infrastructure projects, and is gaining recognition as the benchmark institution for financing the development of infrastructure projects in Africa.

•          AFC’s current authorized share capital is USD2.0 billion with shareholders’ funds of USD1.24 billion and a 2013 funding programme of USD700 million.

•          AFC is the second highest investment grade-rated multilateral financial institution on the African continent, with an A3 (long term) /P2 (short term) foreign currency debt rating by Moody’s Investors Service.

AFC’s projects:

•          AFC is the lead investor in the award winning Cabeolica project, a USD90 million, 26MW landmark renewable energy wind power project in Cape Verde.

•          AFC is the Technical Adviser to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the CBN’s USD2.0 billion Power and Aviation Intervention Fund (PAIF).

•          AFC is a partner with Vigeo Holdings Limited and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited for the acquisition of power distribution assets, and a lead financier in the acquisitions of the Kainji and Ughelli power generation plants in the current Nigerian Government power sector privatisation round.

•          Additionally in Nigeria, AFC made investments to support marginal field operators in the up and mid-stream oil and gas sector companies such as Neconde, FHN and Seven Energy.

•          AFC is also the lead investor in Cenpower Generation Company Limited (Cenpower), which is implementing the Kpone IPP project – a 340 megawatt combined cycle gas turbine power plant in Tema, Ghana.

•          AFC is the lead investor in the Main One fibre optic cable project, enhancing West Africa’s connection to Europe and the rest of the world through faster and more technologically advanced broadband capacity.

•          AFC provided a USD50 million convertible debt investment in ARM Cement Limited (ARM), the second largest cement operator in Kenya to support expansion initiatives across Eastern and Southern Africa including; development and construction of a lime plant in Tanzania and expansion of ARM’s cement capacity in Kenya. The transaction marked AFC’s first bilateral investment in Kenya.

•          AFC provided financing for Ethiopian airlines fleet expansion in the acquisition of Africa’s first Boeing 777 airline.

•          AFC also invested in the Bakwena toll road project in South Africa, and in the EURO 270 million Konan Bedie Toll Bridge in Côte d’Ivoire; the signature Transport PPP project in Francophone Africa, underscoring its interest in investing in PPPs/PFIs in its focal sectors across the African continent.

•          AFC launched a landmark USD15 million project development facility with the Dutch Development Bank FMO in January 2013, to fund early-stage equity investments in projects under development pre-financial close, in the infrastructure sector across sub-Saharan Africa.

•          The AFC has established partnerships with national, regional and international organizations and with sponsors that are active in the infrastructure space in Africa.

SOURCE

Africa Finance Corporation (AFC)

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

 
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