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EVEN though Africa accounts for about 15% of the world’s human population, its air traffic handles only 2.85% of air passengers. It is also home to only two airports which feature in the top 150 worldwide airports for highest annual passengers handled: Johannesburg’s OR Tambo and Cairo International, at two opposite sides of the continent leaving a lot of empty space.

By any means, there is plenty of room for new developments, not merely for the expansion of old ones. Indeed, when looking closely at Africa’s air traffic future, there appears to be several new airport projects and a few new routes gaining strategic significance. Read more

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Ethiopia is set to complete expansion work on Addis Ababa Bole International Airport in 2018 and is planning to commission a new facility to meet rising demand.

According to Global Construction Review (GCR), less than a decade ago, Bole handled fewer than a million passengers a year, but that rose to 7 million in 2014. Passenger numbers are expected to continue increasing by 18 per cent a year.

China Communication Construction Company is currently working on the $300m expansion to the airport, which started in September 2014. This will raise capacity to an estimated 20 million.

Hailu Gebre-Mariam, Ethiopian Airports Enterprise project manager for the expansion, told Reuters: “We did not expect this growth to happen in eight years. That is why we are undertaking an expansion of the airport that will serve us for the next 15.” Read more

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Nairobi — The Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor Project status has moved a notch higher after admission as a Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative (PICI) project under the African Union (AU) Commission.

The project will now enjoy the attention of the Heads of State from seven African countries on New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC), required to account on progress and bottlenecks after every six months.

The Vision 2030 transport infrastructural project joins other 51 projects identified for development by 2040, touted to enable improved interconnection and integration while bridging the continent’s extensive infrastructure gap. Read more

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MTN Group today announced it would be the first African company to offer Amazon Web Services (AWS) Direct Connect to business customers across multiple countries on the continent.

The new service will leverage the extensive footprint of MTN’s Global MPLS network, to provide customers with connectivity between their data centres or businesses and the AWS EU Ireland region. This will give enterprises across Africa a dedicated link with which they can access the flexible, scalable and reliable AWS cloud.

“The relationship with Amazon Web Services is an important step in our plans to address the needs of enterprise customers in emerging markets, particularly Africa,” says MTN Group Chief Enterprise Officer, Mteto Nyati. Read more

hit the streets

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The Kantanka is a car that was conceived, designed and made in Ghana. This brand of cars is probably the most promising of all the cars made in Africa right now. The Kantanka Automobile Company has announced that its cars willhit the streets in January subject to the Ghana Standards Authority giving the green light.

The brains behind the car Apostle Dr Kwadwo Safo, the founder and  owner of the Kantanka Group of Companies. Dr Kwakwo  described as being naturally gifted,  a genius,  an inventor and a philanthropist.He has no formal or sophisticated technical background. He imagines, dreams and creates at will. He lives in his own world.

The Kantanka is the car of our choice and we will test drive it in 2015. Check it out. Read more

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The governments of Kenya and Ethiopia have signed an agreement that aims at creating opportunities for communities at the borders of the two countries, President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Wednesday adding that the agreement will create stability and security.

Speaking at a farewell ceremony for Ethiopia’s Ambassador to Kenya, Shemsedin Ahmed, President Kenyatta assured the outgoing envoy that his government is determined to implement the special status agreement signed between the two countries.

On the recent terror attacks that took place in Kenya, the president said that his country is committed to winning the war and that his government will continue working with and borrow best practices from Ethiopia, which also neighbors Somalia.

“A busy person will have no time thinking of taking a gun to commit crime, rather he would be so committed to their businesses which he/she knows will ensure they get their daily livelihoods,” the president said.

The Ethiopian envoy condoled with the president and the people of Kenya following the recent terror massacre in Mandera saying the Ethiopian government will work closely with Kenya to ensure they root out the Al-Shabaab menace in the region.

He assured the president that his government is committed to the implementation of the agreement saying it will ensure security and stability within the region. Read more

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Nigeria is no longer the preferred destination for oil exploration in Africa, the Managing Director\Chief Executive, Total Upstream Company in Nigeria, Elisabeth Proust, has said.

Proust attributed this to stiff competition from East Africa with large volumes of gas discovered in Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya and Angola.

According to her, these countries have rolled out attractive terms and incentives designed to encourage exploration.

She stressed the need for aggressive exploration activities to replace reserves and develop exploitation projects.

She stated: “I believe all stakeholders recognise the urgent need to replace production in Nigeria. The level of drilling activity in Nigeria and the reserve replacement ratio of drilling activity in Nigeria and the reserves replacement ratio of the country are extremely low right now.

“For Nigeria’s oil and gas reserves to grow and for companies to invest in exploration and development of assets, there must be a clear, fair and stable and regulatory regime that allows long term planning and investing”. Read more

Stuck in the waiting room

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A long-touted health-care revolution may at last be about to arrive

Oct 11th 2014 | ROME | From the print edition

THE idea of telemedicine—health care provided using telecommunications equipment—has a lengthy history. Radio News, an American magazine, devoted its cover to a patient at home consulting a doctor in his surgery via a television link as long ago as 1924. When NASA began monitoring astronauts in space in the 1960s, fantasy became reality. It has been touted as health care’s future ever since.

But even smartphones and tablets have failed to usher in the telemedicine revolution: most health care still happens face to face. Now, enthusiasts think the wait is nearly over. Governments have been slow to embrace an approach that could improve coverage and outcomes, as well as saving money. But they are under increasing pressure from ageing populations and a surge in chronic diseases, just as public budgets are being squeezed.

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Five men in dark business suits gathered before Maria Kiwanuka in a semicircle. They were international bankers and they had a pitch to make.

Ms. Kiwanuka, the finance minister of Uganda, was sitting up on a small riser, her bright pink and gold dress a sharp contrast to the men’s suits.

Bankers are jockeying for the next sovereign debt deal in Africa, a continent that foreign investors have long been wary of for its economic woes, rampant poverty and political instability. Now that narrative is changing, and one sub-Saharan nation after another is jumping into the debt market. Read more

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The financial services sector is forging new partnerships and adapting its product offerings to help investors expand their activities throughout Africa.

Mauritius is positioning itself to become an Africa-focused financial support centre, modelling itself on the role Singapore is playing in Southeast Asia.

Africa is the big opportunity over the next five to 10 years – everyone knows the macro story

The country is well established in the sector. It has a wide network of tax and investment protection treaties with African countries and it is a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). Read more