Posts tagged as: infrastructure

Local Energy Sector Players Move to Mobilise Resources

By Collins Mwai

Local players in the renewable energy sector are seeking partnerships with experienced players to enable them develop capacities to tap into available opportunities.

With about 100 private sector players in the local renewable energy sector, Rwanda has been able to achieve a 40.5 per cent energy access rate.

Under their umbrella body, Energy Private Developers, the players are seeking collaborations with international partners to make the most of the electrification targets.

According to the chairperson of the body, Dr Ivan Twagirashema, among the areas where they are seeking partnerships is financing and technical capacities.

Twagirashema said this will see them address long-standing challenges that have held them back from making the most of the opportunities within the sector.

He added that local firms would consider joint ventures as well as investment collaborations with international investors.

With ideal partnerships, the local firms can be in position to work toward boosting the Government’s target of 100 per cent coverage of electricity by 2024.

Currently, there are 30 companies, Rwandan and international, that are involved in hydro-power projects, which is the largest source of energy in the country.

These have seen about seven privately owned plants with a total capacity of 16 megawatts under different phases of construction with commercial operations dates planned for the near future.

About 32 projects with a total capacity of about 30 megawatts are at early stage development with feasibility studies for about 40 sites taking place.

In the solar sub-sector, there are three major operators, Mobisol, BBoxx and Ignite power, which have so far contributed about 11 per cent of all access.

Call for increased investment

Twagirashema said the Government had laid the ground for the partnership by putting in place incentives for investors.

“The opportunities are viable and the government has created a conducive business environment and put in place incentives for investors,” he said.

Experts say improved power generation capacity could play a huge role in economic development as the country is on a ramp up phase in industrialisation.

Private Sector Federation (PSF) maintains that increased investment in energy generation will see consumer demands met and prices go down.

Stephen Ruzibiza, the chief executive of PSF, yesterday told The New Times that going by a recent study by the federation across the EAC region, the cost of energy contributes between 15 per cent and 18 per cent of total production costs which he says is quite high.

“It is necessary to bring down the cost to facilitate the private sector to reduce cost of production,” he explained.

Current electricity tariffs have consumers with large industries pay Rwf83 per kilowatt, those with medium industries Rwf90 per kilowatt, while the small industries pay Rwf126 per kilowatt.

Rwanda Development Board chief executive Clare Akamanzi said the Ggovernment’s strategy of electrifying the entire country by 2024 shows the scale of opportunity for investments.

The new plan 7-5-2 aims at connecting all the households in next seven years, by 2024, connecting all the productive users by 2022, and ensuring that the entire capital is connected in the next two years by 2019.

The Minister for Infrastructure, James Musoni, said that, going forward, there is need to have innovative ways to generate power beyond hydro-electric means if the targets are to be achieved.

Musoni said increasing power generation is imperative as there is growing demand for energy in the country to match industrialisation and economic growth.

Gambia:China to Construct Basse to Koina Road, 2 Bridges

The People’s Republic of China has kick started the formal process for the construction of Basse-Fatoto – Koina Road and two bridges, namely Basse-Wulli bridge and Fatoto-Passamass bridge, a press release from the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure has said.

A team of technicians from China are currently in the country to carry out feasibility studies for the construction of the said road and bridges.

According to the statement, the Minister of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, Hon. Bai Lamin Jobe, received the team of technicians at his office on Monday. The team was led by the Chinese Ambassador to The Gambia, Mr. Zhang Jiming.

Ambassador Jiming said the timing and relevance of the project for the construction of the road and bridges “signals a renewed and sustained bilateral cooperation between The Gambia and China”.

This project comes at the heels of the International Conference Centre project which has already begun in earnest.

The ambassador said the team is here to conduct a comprehensive feasibility study for the construction of the Basse-Fatoto- Koina road and the two bridges.

He intimated that the outcome of the feasibility studies, including survey and design, will determine the type of road, its related cost and all the specifications for the construction of the projects.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), based on the outcome of the feasibility, will be generated and signed by the two governments for the implementation to proceed. The studies will cover at least four weeks to be jointly undertaken by the team of consultants from China and technicians from the National Roads Authority (NRA).

The team is expected to leave for the sites on Wednesday, 18 October, 2017, and will be camped in Basse for the duration of the study.

In his welcoming remarks the Honourable Minister, Hon. Bai Lamin Jobe, extended profound appreciation to the government of the People’s Republic of China, on behalf of the government of The Gambia for yet another demonstration of friendship and bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

He mentioned that government of The Gambia attaches great importance and urgency to the construction of this road and the bridges as it will complete the south bank trunk road, which will address substantial socio-economic development of Upper River Region (URR). He promised the team the full support of the Ministry during their stay in the country.

Gambia

Soccer – Gambia National Women U-17 Team Return Home

The Gambia national women U-17 team on Tuesday 17 October 2017 returned home after beating their West African… Read more »

More of the Same, Please? 23 Months of ‘Magufulism’

columnBy Karl Lyimo

ON the 3rd of October this year, the President of the Fifth-Phase Government of the United Republic of Tanzania – ‘Tanzania’ for short – Dr John Pombe Joseph MAGUFULI, addressed participants of the 33rd Annual General Meeting of the Association of Local Authorities in Tanzania (ALAT).

In the event, the leader urged “leaders in Local Authorities to come up with workable strategies; strategies that’d enable our country to move from here on in various aspects… strategies that’d end malpractices in your areas (of ‘jurisdiction’) in order to fast-track economic development…”

After all, the President argued: “leaders are tasked with important roles to play for the development of Tanzania!” The three-day meeting attracted over 500 participants, including Executives and other Senior Officials from the Ministry of State in the President’s Office (Regional Administration & Local Government) and the Central Government, as well as representatives from various top-notch Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

How true… HOW TRUE, I said! Indeed, leaders are charged with the onerous but otherwise noble tasks of initiating, masterminding, spearheading, overseeing and otherwise pursuing to their logical conclusion the measures that need to be taken to catalyze and otherwise power the drive to socio-economic development that’s meaningful and sustainable on the ground in the long term! Correctly noting that “Tanzania has been blessed with assorted natural resources,” Magufuli lamented that “the resources haven’t benefited locals at all” – accusing the major “mining firms of cheating Tanzanians out of their fair share of the (God-given natural) mineral wealth “through tax-dodging and smuggling!” Citing as an example the rare ‘tanzanite’ gemstone that’s virtually unique to Tanzania, the President said the precious mineral “has largely benefited foreign countries rather than Tanzania.

Tanzania gets only 5 percent of the total income from tanzanite sales worldwide, while the remaining percentage (95 percent) goes to foreign countries which don’t have the rare gem; this is most surprising,” he lamented – or marveled, depending!

Oh… There’s much, much more of that juicy stuff, all of which was as interesting as it was appealing to the senses (feelings) and intellect (mental faculties)- each in their own way! President Magufuli is the holder of a Doctorate in Chemistry- a University degree in Laboratory-type Chemistry, NOT ‘Sangoma’ chemistry of the witchdoctor type!

A modern-day maverick who does not necessarily go along with the crowd, the President took the ‘ALAT opportunity’ to run through a ‘bazillion achievements’ that have marked his Regime, during the nearly-two years in which he’s been in power since he was formally sworn into the Highest Office in the Land on November 5, 2015. Claimed to number 25 in all, the ‘achievements’ reportedly range from what are ‘The Good’ to ‘The Ugly’ – with ‘The Bad’ in-between! [See ‘NIPASHE:’ October 4, 2017].

Some of the achievements are: – ‘Free Education’ for the first 11 years, from Primary School to Form-IV (Secondary School). – Infrastructure development (first-phase of the Standard Gauge Railway Project launched). – Rehabilitating ‘Iringa’ and ‘Ruvuma’ motor vessels that ply Lake Nyasa. – Trashing/scrapping 87 ‘nuisance taxes’ on Agriculture (80) and Fisheries (7). – ‘Energizing’ the War on Grand Graft… And, – ‘adjusting’ (?) the brakes on malfeasance and misfeasance… Other achievements are: – Funding ‘Roadway Flyovers’ construction in Dar es Salaam. – Shifting the Union Govt. to Dodoma. – Resurrecting the national air-carrier ‘ATCL.’

Yet others are the ‘Mining (Makinikia) Bombshell,’ and freezing public salaries, wages… Hmmm… Not a bad job, all-in-all! But then: have the ‘Flyovers” effectively alleviated the road traffic congestion they’re intended to do? Second: was the already-paid-for brand-new ‘Bombardier Q400 NextGen’ delivered to ATCL last June as scheduled? [We’re told the aircraft was ‘confiscated’ abroad following litigation involving a long-overdue US$38.7m debt Tanzania owed to Canada-based Sterling Civil Engineering! The foregoing projects cost Tanzania billions in local and foreign currency at a time when the country’s in seemingly-endless dire financial straits!

Third: freezing public pay rises is rubbing workers the wrong way, thus antagonizing them no end! [Incidentally, Tanzanians are anxiously looking to the day when their Government will rip a leaf out of the US ‘Book on Taxation’ – and see our Presidents paying taxes on their relatively fat pay.

After all, Magufuli’s Tsh9m/ month untaxed salary equals a minimum statutory pay for more than 30,000 financially-strapped Tanzanian sloggers! But, that’s another story… ] Oh, I don’t know… But, that’s ‘Magufulism’ for you! And, if that’s any indication worth its weight in gold tailings (‘Makinikia’), then Tanzanians should ask – and hope – for more of the same in the remaining 3-plus years of Dr Magufuli’s 5-year Presidential term. That’s to say nothing (yet) of another 5-year possibility at State House, as the Union Constitution so considerately ‘allows…’ Cheers!

South Africa:TB Hospital a Pillar of Hope to Besieged Matatiele

By Bandile Njonga

Matatiele — MATATIELE in the Eastern Cape is synonymous with demarcation deadlocks of the past decade and recent service delivery protests but will soon be mentioned in the same breath with a multimillion Rand, world-class facility to treat rampant tuberculosis. Valued at more than R436 million, the Khotsong TB Hospital has become a pillar of hope for communities residing in and around the municipality with a population of over 12 million. Furthermore, the project has set aside over R94 million in construction work for local small micro medium enterprises (SMMEs). Currently some 14 local SMME contractors have been awarded contracts worth a combined value of R8,1 million as of the second quarter of this year. Once finished, expectantly in 2018, the TB hospital will result in a world-class modern day hospital with over 120 beds together with staff accommodation covering an area of over 9 000m2 Already, more than 300 locals from Matatiele are benefiting from the construction upgrade. Since the start of the project, some 96 local people have received Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA) accreditation. As one of the social and economic objectives of the project, candidate technical professionals with formal tertiary qualifications are employed as interns by the main contractor in order to acquire practical workplace experience on the site. Currently eight interns are employed on the project all coming from the local community. Fourteen interns will eventually benefit as the project progresses.

“Most of the training specialised in technical work, brick laying, plumbing, electrical cabling, painting, carpentry and pipe laying,” said Simlindele Manqina, Communications Officer at the Coega Development Corporation (CDC). CDC is implementing the project on behalf of the Department of Health (DoH) in the Eastern Cape. Salim Mohamed, Director Infrastructure Programme Delivery Health Facilities Development and Maintenance at the Eastern Cape DoH, said efforts behind providing training and development are meant to boost the skills level of the local community so that, people were equipped with skills that will sustain them post the construction life span of the project.

“This internship programme has already yielded success as one of the contractors has offered fulltime employment to one of the interns as their Health and Safety officer,” Mohamed disclosed. Matatiele shot to the national spotlight in 2005, the municipality was moved from KwaZulu-Natal to the Eastern Cape, as part of the 12th Amendment of the Constitution. The majority of residents objected to the move, leading to the formation of the African Independent Congress (AIC). The Constitutional Court in 2006 ruled that the part of the 12th amendment was invalid due to insufficient consultation with stakeholders. AIC and the ruling African National Congress have agreed to ensure Matatiele is incorporated back into KZN, hopefully by the end of November. At the end of September, a violent protest by the Route 56 Matatiele Forum, erupted over demands that rural roads from Matatiele to the border area of Lesotho tarred. About 15 people arrested and charged with public violence are out on warning. “Our demands still stand. However, the construction of the TB hospital is a step in the right direction towards delivery of services,” said Zolani Maqakelane, an activist with the forum. – CAJ News

South Africa

Zuma Fires Critical Communist Leader From Cabinet

President Jacob Zuma has fired his tertiary education minister, South African Communist Party (SACP) leader Blade… Read more »

Building Energy Celebrates the Beginning of Production At Its Photovoltaic Power Plant in Uganda

press release

Tororo, Uganda — The Tororo 10 MWp plant, with 16 GWh of renewable energy generated annually, will cater for the energy requirements of 35,838 people and help reduce CO2 emissions by 7,200 tons.

Building Energy, multinational company operating as a Globally Integrated IPP in the Renewable Energy Industry, announces the Inauguration of the Tororo Solar Plant, its first photovoltaic system in Uganda. With a capacity of 10 MWp, this plant is among the largest in Eastern Africa. Building Energy was also responsible for the development of the project, arranging the financing, as well as the construction and commissioning of the plant. The beginning of operations has been celebrated on the occasion of the ribbon cutting ceremony in Tororo, in the presence of Matteo Brambilla, MD Africa and Middle East at Building Energy, and Attilio Pacifici, EU Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation to Uganda.

The Tororo solar plant will generate around 16 GWh of energy annually, catering to the energy needs of more than 35,838 people. In addition, the plant will foster clean industrial development in the town of Tororo and at the same time save atmospheric emissions of more than 7,200 tonnes of CO2 per year. Community Development initiatives are also underway.

The Solar Park was developed under the Global Energy Transfer Feed in Tariff (“GET FiT”), a dedicated support scheme for renewable energy projects managed by Germany’s KfW Development Bank in partnership with Uganda’s Electricity Regulatory Agency (ERA) and funded by the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund, the governments of Norway, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

The EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund has provided funds through the GET FiT Solar Facility in the form of a top-up payment per kWh of delivered electricity over 20 years. This financing fills the gap between the generation costs and the feed-in tariff set by Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

The overall $19.6 million construction investment at Tororo was financed by FMO, the Dutch development bank which, as Mandated Lead Arranger, coordinated the provision of a $14.7 million term loan facility. Fifty percent of the funding was syndicated to the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), while the overall equity contribution of the shareholders was $4.9 million.

Contacts:

Building Energy

Maria Grazia Tiballi

+39-02-49527730

m.tiballi@buildingenergy.it

buildingenergy.it

Uganda

Govt ‘Concerned’ About Uganda Hosting Dissidents

There have been reports that Rwanda is concerned about Uganda allowing Rwandan dissidents to live and conduct business… Read more »

Rwanda:RFTC Warned Over Drivers’ Grievances

By Janvier Nshimyumukiza and Jean De Dieu Nsabimana

The Ministry of Infrastructure (MININFRA) has cautioned Rwanda Federation of Transport Cooperative (RFTC) against what it described as ‘unacceptable’ treatment of its drivers.

The State Minister in charge of Transport at MININFRA, Jean de Dieu Uwihanganye, said they received complaints from unidentified drivers accusing RFTC of unfair treatment.

Drivers said some don’t have contracts while others have contracts which they have no access to since signing them, according to Uwihanganye.

“They said their contracts were confiscated by the employer and that if one cannot get 800 passengers per day his salary is cut,” he said.

“Even when it comes to food allowances, they say the cooperative gives them Rwf3,500 or Rwf4,000 each instead of Rwf5,000 as stipulated in their contracts, this is also unfair,” he added.

Uwihanganye was on Thursday speaking at a consultative meeting on curbing road carnage attended by different government bodies and transport cooperatives and companies, at Police Headquarters in Kigali.

He emphasised that he was saddened by the indecent treatment of RFTC drivers, adding that there is no way one can be denied their work contracts after they had signed them.

Regarding deducting of drivers’ salaries following failure to get a minimum of 800 passengers a day, Uwihanganye said it is unacceptable as it puts a driver under a lot of pressure.

Drivers have been delaying on bus stops until they get required number of passengers, raising questions about the whole transport system since people have to queue up for so long waiting for buses.

The minister also said that “some other drivers resort to jamming speed governors to be able to cover more routes and carry as many passengers as possible in a day, encouraging over-speeding, which endangers passengers’ lives” .

“Drivers said they don’t get their full monthly pay even when they haven’t done anything wrong, that is intolerable,” Uwihanganye added, addressing RFTC deputy chairman.

RFTC denies allegations

While the state minister said he believes drivers’ claims were accurate, RFTC’s deputy chairman Alphonse Gahongayire denied the allegations, terming them as baseless.

“They all have signed the contracts and we pay them their full salaries, except when one has issued a traffic ticket by the police, in that case we pay the fines and deduct the amount from his salary,” he said.

However, the state minister seemed not convinced with the explanations, saying he personally talked to 10 drivers and they all confirmed what is in an unsigned letter that he received.

“I know some drivers are complicated and can even lie, but those complaints were confirmed by 10 drivers I spoke to,” he said.

“They said they didn’t know about the letter, but when I told them about its content they all said it’s true, and they have been living that life for years,” he said.

Uwihanganye said he sent the letter to RURA (Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority) in order for it to take action for the betterment of the transport sector.

According to statistics shared at the meeting by the police, 180 people died in road accidents from January to September 2017, motorcycles dominating with 117 (60%).

Commissioner for Traffic and Road Safety, George Rumanzi, attributed fatal accidents to “total collapse of motorcycle cooperative leadership” and “lack of background check and supervision for drivers.” He also cited drivers’ fatigue, among other causes.

IGP Emmanuel Gasana said Police and City of Kigali are working on a joint mechanism to find a place where confiscated vehicles will be kept, and owners will have to pay companies that will keep them.

This initiative came after owners failed to pick their vehicles.

Meanwhile, CP Rumanzi said speed governors reduced road accidents by 65% since their introduction despite the fact that some drivers manipulate them.

Regarding motorcycle accidents, some of recommendations by police are “reorganising motorcycle cooperatives” and “installing GPS technology” in speed governors so that every motorcycle is traceable, where it is located and what it is doing.

Officials said that will be implemented within a 2 month period.

Nigeria: 21st Century Technologies, Vmware Join Hands On Smart Digital Platform

By Bankole Orija

21ST Century Technologies Limited, Nigeria’s ICT powerhouse has announced her entry into the VMware Cloud Provider programme, with its SMART Digital Platform.The service illustrates to the customers that the company’s public cloud service is validated and compatible for use with VMware vSphere, the leading virtualisation platform for building cloud infrastructures and is secure, managed, agile, resilient and transformative for tomorrow’s digital business- all which will be enabled by SMART.

A member of the VMware Cloud Provider Programme, 21st Century Technologies provides its VMware IaaS powered service as a set of cloud computing services across a common platform, using proven VMware technology that organisations already use in the existing data centres.

The VMware cloud provider programme provides global cloud services and is the preferred choice of VMware cloud provider programme service partners in more than 100 countries globally.

“Digital innovation and engagement models are crucial in the fourth industrial revolution. I am positioning 21st Century Technologies Limited to use digital channels to engage with customers and provide innovative solutions that addresses their specific needs and requirements” said, Wale Ajisebutu, CEO, 21st Century Technologies.

“Technology is fast becoming the most crucial element for businesses of all sizes going forward. Our solutions will provide customers with opportunities for unlimited growth, cost reduction, and increased profitability.” Ajisebutu added.

“VMware has a clear and unique position around Hybrid cloud and enabling cross cloud functionality to help out over 600,000-plus customers to manage an increasingly complex multi-cloud, multi-device IT environment, with a software-defined approach,” said David Funnell, manger, Cloud Provide Programme at VMware West Africa.

“VMware IaaS powered services delivered by service providers within the VMware Cloud Provider Programme can provide the efficiency, agility and reliability inherent in cloud computing. We look forward to supporting 21st Century Technologies as a strategic partner for VMware in West Africa as it empowers organisations with a simple and flexible path to the cloud”

According to 21st Century Technologies, the company opted to partner with VMware and ensure it attained IaaS Powered validation because the company is today the infrastructure platform of choice of 100 per cent of the Fortune 500 and has saved customers tens of billions of dollars in their road to the cloud.

Furthermore, VMware has a vast partner ecosystem with access to more than 75, 000 solutions providers worldwide who as a result can take advantage of open interfaces, more solutions and broad software support.

The company is consistently recognised by analysts; Gartner, Forrester and IDC as a market leader.

“We look forward to an enduring partnership with 21st Century Technologies as we empower organisations in West Africa to leverage VMware’s leadership with private cloud in and outside of privately owned data centres. This will enable them to manage cost, achieve greater time-to-market, enhance productivity, gain market share and capture new market, all very timely outcomes for enterprises and small businesses alike, as we motivate for local innovation” added Funnell.

As a VMware Cloud Provider Programme Service Provider, 21st Century Technologies can now provide users with enhanced responsiveness and agility, and enable reduced IT costs through greater performance, availability and scalability.

The service debuts today and is set to revolutionise the innovative capacity of West African businesses.

Nigeria: Data Centre Services Boom As Internet Servers Head Home

By Chike Onwuegbuchi

The business of hosting of internet servers is witnessing a boost as organizations in the country have in recent times started relocating their servers from abroad.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek investigations revealed that relocation of website servers by private organizations to Nigeria data centres has recorded some 15 percent increase over the past one year citing better understanding of connectivity, presence of international content players in Nigeria among others.

Reacting to the development, Muhammed Rudman, managing director, Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN), said the movement can be seen with the increase of business activities of Data centre operators as well as the springing up of new commercial Data centre operators who encourage their customers to host with them by charging on local currency.

“Big Data centre operators’ charges are based on dollars which means you are expected to pay the equivalent in naira, but, these new Data centre operators charge in naira without clause of reviewing with change in foreign exchange rate,” he added.

Rudman also attributed the increase in website server relocation as well as domiciling it locally to understanding of connectivity by organization. “This means that if an organization’s server is located in the country it allows for faster service.”

He commended the efforts of office of local content under National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), which have resulted in relocation of Federal government ministries and agencies to Galaxy Backbone. This, he said helps to keep local traffic local.

Ike Nnamani, managing director, Medallion Communications, a Data Centre operator, agreed that their business has experienced an upsurge in the past one year, which according to him could be attributed to increase hosting activities in Nigeria by international internet content providers.

“Google has increased its hosting business in the country and another big international content provider will go live next month. Organizations doing business with them will have no option than to peer with them here,” he said.

He however lamented the concentration of hosting services in Lagos and urged for spreading of the service to other geographical locations of the country.

“The closer the content is to the user, the better the user experience and more efficient service delivery. It is against this back drop that we at Medallion is extending this infrastructure to other geo-political locations of the country to offer organizations in those areas better user experience,” he added.

Engr. Sam Adeleke, chief executive officer of Steineng Nigeria Ltd urged Data centre operators to consider multiplicity of location of server.

“Multiplicity of location of server is where most of the hosting companies abroad provider multiple location in case there is disaster in one location they will move to another location without their customers suffering downtime.

He added that continuity of business in Nigeria is not certain because of harsh business environment.

” Suggesting Galaxy backbone as the only alternative is risky because in as much as it is owned by government there is no guarantee that it will not collapse one day, as government is not good business man,” he said.

Nigeria:Data Centre Services Boom As Internet Servers Head Home

By Chike Onwuegbuchi

The business of hosting of internet servers is witnessing a boost as organizations in the country have in recent times started relocating their servers from abroad.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek investigations revealed that relocation of website servers by private organizations to Nigeria data centres has recorded some 15 percent increase over the past one year citing better understanding of connectivity, presence of international content players in Nigeria among others.

Reacting to the development, Muhammed Rudman, managing director, Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN), said the movement can be seen with the increase of business activities of Data centre operators as well as the springing up of new commercial Data centre operators who encourage their customers to host with them by charging on local currency.

“Big Data centre operators’ charges are based on dollars which means you are expected to pay the equivalent in naira, but, these new Data centre operators charge in naira without clause of reviewing with change in foreign exchange rate,” he added.

Rudman also attributed the increase in website server relocation as well as domiciling it locally to understanding of connectivity by organization. “This means that if an organization’s server is located in the country it allows for faster service.”

He commended the efforts of office of local content under National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), which have resulted in relocation of Federal government ministries and agencies to Galaxy Backbone. This, he said helps to keep local traffic local.

Ike Nnamani, managing director, Medallion Communications, a Data Centre operator, agreed that their business has experienced an upsurge in the past one year, which according to him could be attributed to increase hosting activities in Nigeria by international internet content providers.

“Google has increased its hosting business in the country and another big international content provider will go live next month. Organizations doing business with them will have no option than to peer with them here,” he said.

He however lamented the concentration of hosting services in Lagos and urged for spreading of the service to other geographical locations of the country.

“The closer the content is to the user, the better the user experience and more efficient service delivery. It is against this back drop that we at Medallion is extending this infrastructure to other geo-political locations of the country to offer organizations in those areas better user experience,” he added.

Engr. Sam Adeleke, chief executive officer of Steineng Nigeria Ltd urged Data centre operators to consider multiplicity of location of server.

“Multiplicity of location of server is where most of the hosting companies abroad provider multiple location in case there is disaster in one location they will move to another location without their customers suffering downtime.

He added that continuity of business in Nigeria is not certain because of harsh business environment.

” Suggesting Galaxy backbone as the only alternative is risky because in as much as it is owned by government there is no guarantee that it will not collapse one day, as government is not good business man,” he said.

Nigeria

45 Boko Haram Members Convicted in Mass Trial

The individuals have received prison sentences, but the government has refused to divulge other details, such as the… Read more »

South Africa: Swaziland Rail Link Project to Create Jobs

More than 9 000 direct jobs are set to be created in South Africa and Swaziland during the construction of the Swaziland Rail Link project.

“Approximately 3000 and 6500 jobs will be created in South Africa and Swaziland individually during the construction of the Swaziland Railway line,” said Transnet Rail Freight Chief Executive Officer Ravi Nair.

The Swaziland Rail Link entails the construction of a 150 kilometre new railway line from Lothair in South Africa to Sidvokodvo in Swaziland and the revamping of two existing lines in both countries.

“This line has been designed to carry 150 general freight wagons at a time and will be operated as a seamless service without stopping at any of the boarders either into Swaziland or out of Swaziland,” Nair said.

He was providing an update on the project during a media briefing which was held on Thursday in Kempton Park.

“The feasibility phase has been completed and it is now ready to be packaged to take to the market to look at public-private partnerships,” Nair said.

The initial estimates from the study indicate that about R20 billion will be needed for the project. The bulk of the funds will go towards infrastructure and construction.

He said progress has been made in that the purchasing of the 506 hectares of land required on the South African side for this project has been approved.

Negotiations with the land owners are being finalised in order to purchase the impacted land.

“Furthermore, approval to exhume and relocate over 120 affected graves has also been obtained on the South African side.

“The affected families have been identified and engaged in this progress. The process of exhuming grave and relocating them elsewhere is being done with the outmost dignity and respect for the communities and the families involved,” Nair said.

The feasibility studies of the Greenfield are complete and authorities in South Africa and Swaziland have granted both teams with the necessary environmental permits.

Additionally, authorities in South Africa and Swaziland have granted the water use licenses, while the feasibility studies of the existing lines that need to be upgraded are in progress.

The lines are Ermelo to Lothair as well as Golela to Nsese. The plans to resettle the affected households are also in progress.

Nair said the Swaziland Rail Link project will have positive spin offs such as improving people’s lives, support regional integration in SADC and accentuate the promotion of intra-Africa trade and economic sustainability throughout the infrastructure investment.

Transnet said the project’s primary objective is to reduce rail and road traffic congestion based on a realistic and achievable system capacity.

Swaziland Railway Chief Executive Stephenson Ngubane said the joint project is going to bring a lot of benefits to Swaziland and South Africa.

“For many years we did not have a direct link and yet Swaziland trades… in Mpumalanga and Gauteng, most of the flow of trade in import and export come from [those provinces].

“With this project the cost of transport will be reduced for as it is more direct through Swaziland and more direct to the Ports of Richards Bay also including Mozambique at a later stage,” Ngubane said.

Swaziland has been able to relocate about 500 graves and reburied. A total of 235 households will be resettled in Swaziland.

“This project is gaining momentum and we believe that as we prepare the presentation for funding it will be supported. We believe that the standard of the rail that we are going to be constructing is going to bring a lot of efficiency and capacity,” Ngubane said.

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