Bharti Airtel, India’s largest mobile telecoms operator and the Zain Group of Kuwait are expected to sign a $9 billion dollar deal for the sale of Zain's African assets Today  According to agency reports, the signing ceremony is expected to take place in Amsterdam, headquarters of Zain.


The Chairman of Zain, Asaad al-Banwan and Bharti Chairman Sunil Mittal are both expected to be present at the signing ceremony, after which they will work towards getting required approvals to cement the deal. Read More The Board of Zain Group had last Thursday confirmed that the Board of Directors of Zain met in Kuwait to  review developments and negotiations related to the acquisition of Zain African assets by Bharti. It had revealed that following the conclusion of due diligence processes, both parties were finalizing definitive agreements expected to be signed in a few days.


The speedy process leading to the signing, underscores the importance of the deal to both parties. Bharti which had for long desired a foothold into Africa had tried and failed to access Africa through the MTN group twice.
Bharti has already sourced USD 8.3 billion financing for the acquisition of the African assets which does not include Zain’s operation in Sudan or Morocco.


Today’s signing will facilaitate Zain’s acquisition by Bharti and will create the seventh largest telecoms firms in the world.
Zain had acquired Celtel International for $3.4 billion in 2005 to expand into 13 African countries, including Nigeria. In the past, Zain Nigeria has traded under various brands since 2001 due to a series of boardroom conflicts that had seen it metamorphorsize into Vee Networks, Vmobile, Celtel, Zain Nigeria and now possibly Bharti Airtel.


The acquisition, if succeesfully signed today will face opposition in the Nigerian and Gabonese side as the Gabonese government is said to disapprove of the deal and likely to take necessary measures against it. The government of Gabon was said to have said in a statement emphasised that the Zain Gabon had not complied with Gabonese telecommunications regulations with regard to the acquisition.

Also, the deal on the Nigerian side might likely face hiccups following the declaration of the Chief Executive Officer of Econet Strive Masiyiwa that Zain Nigeria is not for sale.   Masiyiwa’s position is based on the ownership dispute currently ongoing between Econet Wireless and Zain formerly Celtel. Masiyiwa reiterated immediately after talks between both parties began that Zain Nigeria will not be part of the acquisition by Bharti until the ownership dispute is resolved.
A member of the Presidential Advisory Committee, Maryam Uwais also called on leaders to entrench a free and fair election, intensify its war against corruption Bharti Airtel, India’s largest mobile telecoms operator and the Zain Group of Kuwait are expected to sign a $9 billion dollar deal for the sale of Zain's African assets Today  According to agency reports, the signing ceremony is expected to take place in Amsterdam, headquarters of Zain.


The Chairman of Zain, Asaad al-Banwan and Bharti Chairman Sunil Mittal are both expected to be present at the signing ceremony, after which they will work towards getting required approvals to cement the deal.
The Board of Zain Group had last Thursday confirmed that the Board of Directors of Zain met in Kuwait to  review developments and negotiations related to the acquisition of Zain African assets by Bharti. It had revealed that following the conclusion of due diligence processes, both parties were finalizing definitive agreements expected to be signed in a few days.


The speedy process leading to the signing, underscores the importance of the deal to both parties. Bharti which had for long desired a foothold into Africa had tried and failed to access Africa through the MTN group twice.
From: THISDAY Online

According to the ICT experts, Zambia and Tanzania have over the past 10 years experienced heavy investment in the telecom sector, but the two countries have not been able to generate national income from the ICT sector due to restrictive regulatory policies and lack of a clear implementation framework and strategy.

The regulatory regime and the lack of a legal framework for the national ICT sector has undermined major investments in telecom in Zambia, according to Computer Society of Zambia President Collins Chinyama. In Tanzania, the lack of an agency that protects the interest of consumers and e-commerce providers is costing the country national income from the telecom sector despite the country having many service providers, according to Mmasi Raphael, director of information and Documentation at the Commission for Science and Technology. Read More
Chinyama said Zambia was the second country in Africa to embrace ICT but now the nation is not even among the top 30 countries on the continent in terms of IT revenue, with countries like Mauritius, Kenya and Rwanda tapping ICT for national income generation.

Neither Zambia nor Tanzania have organizations such as trade groups to regulate and coordinate ICT professionals and ICT firms and to provide a legal and regulatory framework for the sector.  The inability of the Zambian government to optimize the use of its available resources for ICT, Chinyama said, has led to a number of government projects, such as a voting system, not being implemented.

In addition, the Zambian government has been focusing on telecommunication, leaving out the broader spectrum of ICT.

"Software skills that help in the creation of information, processing of information, storage of information, and analysis of the information and communication of information have not been addressed," Chinyama said in a presentation to the ministry of communications and Transport last week.

Chinyama said ICT skills required in industry for commerce, business innovations, business process outsourcing, e-Tourism, E-Health have also not been addressed.

The Computer Society of Zambia, Chinyama said, has not been able to flex its muscle in the telecom sector because it has not been given powers by the Zambian government, resulting in a poorly coordinated approach toward technical advisory services. The Zambian government is dragging its feet in establishing a bill to enforce and regulate codes of conduct and professional standards in the ICT sector in Zambia, he said.

The two countries launched their national ICT policies in 2003 and 2005, respectively, with a view of developing and generating national income. but policy has not been implemented due in part to a lack of professional bodies.

"Lack of national ICT coordinating body is a biggest challenge in the development of the sector because the proposed body is supposed to assume the regulatory role to create a level playing field in the fastest growing industry," Raphael said.

Meanwhile the Tanzanian Communication Regulatory Authority has licensed five more mobile service providers in addition to the already existing seven regional mobile operators including Vodacom, Tigo and Zain. The new licensed operators include ExcellentCom, Smile, Egotel and My Cell, and are expected to heighten competition in the country's mobile market. 

The licensing of the five operators brings to 12 the total number of operators in Tanzania. However, the Zambian government has refused to add new operators to the existing three mobile operators, claiming they want to strengthen the existing operators.
From: IDG

The third East Africa Submarine Cable System EASSy arrived at the Kenyan coast this Sunday says Information and Communications Minister Samuel Poghisio.

In December, the largest investor in EASSY, West Indian Ocean Cable Company had anticipated the landing of the 1.4 terabyte per second cable to be in June 2010. Mr Poghisio said the cable system was expected to raise the bandwidth capacity although activation and utilization of the first two cables (SEACOM and TEAMS) had not been fully implemented.

The Communications minister said Kenyans were yet to fully utilize the opportunities presented by the landing of the sea cables. Read More
“ The East African Marine system called TEAMS cable and another called SEACOM are now actively serving the East African region to access international network. We must use technology to keep up and aim to prove our professional standards,” he said.

He also said the new technology brought challenges to both the East African governments as well as to the media.

“Because with this technology we are playing catch up and the media must therefore be in the forefront of training their personnel to use these technologies so that we can also catch up with development. We do not sacrifice our own economic development at the altar of expediency in reporting and business,” he said.

He also challenged Africa to rapidly enhance their uptake of the incoming capacity of broadband which would fast track ICT as one of the key pillars of development.

“I must single out the government of Rwanda for taking up the challenge very seriously and is now a global leader which is represented very well here by His Excellency,” he said.

He further added that his ministry was in the process of completing the second phase of its terrestrial national optic fiber network to cover all Kenyan districts and that it had already set the network to cover all the provinces.

During the Pan African Media Conference, Ugandan Minister for Information and National Guidance Kabakumba Labwoni challenged the media and ICT sectors to look for quality content that would fill the information vacuum created by the new technological advancements. She said the media so far lacked adequate content that would fully utilize the opportunities presented by the technologies.

“It will be very important as we move into the digital transmission because we are going to have a lot of space and getting content to fill that space may be a challenge,” she said.

The Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy) is an initiative to connect Eastern African and landlocked countries with the rest of the world through high bandwidth fibre optic cable system. Although it is considered a milestone in the development of information infrastructure in the region connections to the Internet stand at 8 percent in Africa with only 3 percent of the population having access to broadband.

The 10,800 kilometers long cable system is scheduled to go live in June 2010 and will run from Mtunzini in South Africa to Port Sudan in Sudan, with landing points in nine countries. It will be connected to at least 10 landlocked countries including Botswana, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, DRC, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Lesotho. These countries will no longer have to rely on expensive satellite systems to carry voice and data services.

The project, partially funded by the World Bank, was initiated on January 2003, when a handful of companies investigated its feasibility.

Most of the nine landlocked countries have contributed to EASSy through the West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC) consortium, formed by 12 telecom operators from the continent to pool financial resources for EASSy’s implementation.

SEACOM and TEAM cables landed at the Kenyan coast last year.

Plentiful and readily available bandwidth will result in lower telecommunications costs and new opportunities across many sectors of the Kenyan economy including ICT industries, educational, clinical and scientific applications which rely on the real-time sharing of data around the world at lightning fast speed.

SEACOM’s enormous capacity also enables new technologies such as high definition TV, peer to peer networks, and surging Internet demand at prices significantly lower than currently possible.
From www.capitalfm.co.ke

Cisco has rolled out a new router that the technology behemoth says will "serve as the foundation of the next generation Internet."

This router was unveiled by cisco on tuesday, that it had said "will forever change the Internet."
The announcement centered on the growing demands of video traffic on the Web and the need for more robust networking gear.

"The role of the Internet is changing forever," Cisco Chief Executive John Chambers said in a Webcast. "It's going to be around multimedia experiences ... We think as you do this, you have to build an architecture that is very flexible."

Dubbed CRS-3 Carrier Routing System, Cisco said its new product has "more than 12 times the traffic capacity of the nearest competing system."

Cisco said AT&T Inc. has successfully tested the new product, in the "world's first field trial of 100-gigabit backbone network technology."

The company also said the new router "triples the capacity of its predecessor, the Cisco CRS-1" and "enables the entire printed collection of the Library of Congress to be downloaded in just over one second; every man, woman and child in China to make a video call, simultaneously; and every motion picture ever created to be streamed in less than four minutes."

Chambers also said the product rollout is geared to the major trend of cloud computing, in which companies access computing power through a network, instead of in-house data centers.

During the Cisco Webcast, Keith Cambron, AT&T Labs president and CEO said. "We are seeing routes where 40G is not enough. We are going to need 100G technology."

In fact, Cisco is not the only networker pushing 100 gigabyte routers. On Monday, Verizon announced that it successfully tested 100G technology developed by Cisco rival Juniper Networks and other vendors -- a reflection of intense competition that exists in the networking sector.

Reacting to Cisco's announcement, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement, "Fast networks will speed our digital economy. ... Ultra high-speed networks will ensure that the jobs and businesses of the future are created in America."

The government is seeking to develop a more vibrant Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, by coming up with new strategies, according to reports attributed to the Minister in charge of ICT.

ICT has been identified as a critical component in the development process all over the world, and it is through continuous innovation that sustainable economic development is achieved.

Rwanda has adopted ICT as a cornerstone in the national development strategy and is moving steadily towards an ICT-led economy.

A lot has been achieved in this regard.

It is important to actively involve the private sector for Rwanda's ICT vision to be more meaningful.

The private sector entrepreneurs are playing a key role in the health, education, banking and tourism sectors, placing them strategically, to supplement the government's efforts in programmes like e-Learning and e-Health.

Rwanda has emerged as a key destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), thanks to an enabling environment that has been put in place. A more engaged ICT sector can help to further boost FDI.

For this vision to be achieved, it calls for greater cooperation and participation of all stakeholders in the development of the country.

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