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Ethiopia awards telecom licence to Safaricom-led consortium

The consortium, which includes Vodafone and Vodacom, paid $850m for the licence, officials say.

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22 May 2021


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Ethiopia’s telecommunications regulator has awarded an operating licence to a consortium led by Kenya’s Safaricom and Japan’s Sumitomo, according to officials, a move that will end the state’s monopoly over its stunted telecoms sector.

The consortium, which includes Vodacom, Vodafone and British development finance agency CDC Group, paid $850m for the licence, Brook Taye, a senior adviser at the finance ministry, said on Saturday.


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South Africa’s MTN had also bid for a licence, but its bid of $600m was deemed too low.

The Safaricom-led consortium is set to create up to 1.5 million new jobs and bring $8.5bn in investment over 10 years, according to the government.


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“This will be the single largest FDI [Foreign Direct Investment] into Ethiopia to date,” Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said in a Twitter post. “Our desire to take Ethiopia fully digital is on track. I would like to thank all that have taken part in this and for pulling off a very transparent and effective process.”

Abiy’s government planned to award two new telecoms licences, but in late April it announced it had received only two bids after some firms that initially expressed interest – including France’s Orange and the UAE’s Etisalat – opted not to submit.


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Balcha Reba, director-general of the Ethiopian Communications Authority, said the second licence would soon be re-tendered.

The licences are expected to bring an infusion of cash, jobs and infrastructure investment.

The Safaricom-led consortium will provide 4G and 5G internet services, and by 2023 a low-orbit satellite will be put in place to provide nationwide 4G coverage, Brook said.

“A momentous day for Ethiopia!” he wrote on Twitter.

“Imagine the quality service and efficiency it will engender, the new opportunities, millions of jobs and the transformative effect to our economy!”

Ethiopia’s telecoms reforms also include a plan to sell a stake in Ethio Telecom, a move officials hope will make the firm more efficient.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES


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Africa Finance Corporation – Changing the Narrative on Africa

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Africa is on a major growth trajectory and the future belongs to Africa .


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New luxurious Vic Falls hotel close to opening

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from DANIEL JONES in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
VICTORIA FALLS, (CAJ News) – THE multimillion dollar hotel that is the latest such facility in the prime resort town is set to open its doors in the Victoria Falls in July.


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Spencers Creek is building the Palm River Hotel on the edge of the Zambezi River, at a cost of US$24,6 million.

The 71-room four-star hotel, built in partnership with Old Mutual Zimbabwe, targets high end travelers to Zimbabwe’s tourism capital.


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Spencers Creek already runs Ilala Lodge Hotel group, another luxurious facility, in the town.

Heather Kay, the Ilala Lodge general manager, said the new hotel would comprise 60 deluxe rooms, two deluxe suites, two honeymoon suites, two family suites, three executive suites, one presidential suite and one Palm River Villa inclusive of three bedrooms.


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It is also sensitive to disability as it includes two wheelchair accessible rooms.

“Construction of Block A (Acacia) and Block B (Baobab) made up of predominantly Deluxe rooms and a Presidential Suite, together with a refreshing 20-metre infinity pool are now complete and await the arrival of the first guests,” Kay said.


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She said Block C (Combretum) and the main area including the reception, dining hall, bar and fresco restaurant are currently receiving the last of their final touches in preparation for the opening.

Block D (Duiker-berry), Block E (Ebony) and Block F (Fig) are being constructed and expected to be finished this November.

Kay said the hotel is elegantly appointed with comfort and space in mind and the interior design of the rooms is focused on bringing the stylish use of natural tones, locally sourced materials and artwork reflective of the area together.

She said the tastefully modern style of the Queenslander is reflected in the inside as well as the outside, giving a new sense of luxury in the resort city providing guests with comfortable modern convenience.

A river deck on the edge of Zambezi and a large alfresco dining area under a canopy of trees offering an A’la carte service, an outdoor bar, conferencing and events facilities, a pool that transforms into a star wonder-lit completes the luxury.

Palm River has made plans for a shuttle to transport clients between town and the lodge via some areas of interest such as the rainforest, Big Tree, Victoria Falls Bridge and Zambezi National Park.

The Palm hotel is one of a number of tourism developments in Victoria Falls.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa toured the site before construction last year in August.

Construction was delayed by challenges posed by COVID-19.

Recently built lodges in the area include Shearwater Village Explorer, Wild Horizon’s Old Drift and Mbano Manor Hotel and Mpala Jena Camp.

– CAJ News


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De-risking the World’s Future Growth Engine:

African Trade Insurance (ATI) joins The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business

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n our 27-year history as a Chamber of Business (www.CanadaAfrica.ca), the latest range of risk insurance instruments from the African Trade Insurance (ATI) Agency is a major leap forward for Canadian institutional investors and African countries – standing to unlock billions in investment capital.


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ATI facilitates inward investment in Africa by providing insurance against trade and investment risks. This month the organization joined The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business.

‘ATI is a game-changer. From discussions with private equity and pension fund representatives, ATI has the potential to ensure both the perceived and real risks on the continent are well-managed; ensuring investment committees can proceed on deals that until recently may have been deemed too risky,’ says Sebastian Spio-Garbrah, Chair of the Board, Chair of the Board at The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business.


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The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business invites interested parties to learn more.

Join us on Thursday 20 May 2021 at 10:00 ET/ 16:00 CAT / 17:00 EAT


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View the Full Virtual Program (https://bit.ly/3ooyuNB)

RSVP (https://bit.ly/3eSzlmu)


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ATI has a good market position in Africa, based on the scale of its underwriting penetration and benefits from significant local expertise and understanding in a number of African countries. It currently insures trade and investments worth over USD6 billion or an average of 1-2% of GDP annually in its African member countries. ATI’s partners and clients include African Governments, lenders, traders (both domestic & international) and project developers.

‘It has become increasingly clear that to achieve “the Africa we want” the role of private sector must become central in mobilizing the needed resources. Alliances like this one present excellent opportunities to address the development challenges facing our region.’ – Manuel Moses, Chief Executive Officer, ATI

‘During my career on Bay Street, it was clear solutions were needed to unlock the billions of investable capital in Canada. ATI has since developed a suite of products that in my view has dramatically changed the landscape in recent years’  – Deepak Dave, Chief Risk Officer, ATI

ATI’s African Member states contribute, along with international governments, multilaterals and private sector to the pool of capital underwriting investments, without holding any influence over ATI operations. The Nairobi-based multilateral has maintained an ‘A/Stable’ rating for Financial Strength and Counterparty Credit by Standard & Poor’s, and in 2019, ATI obtained an A3/Stable rating from Moody’s.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business.

For More Information:
Garreth Bloor
President
The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business
Tel: +1.647.667.1223
Email: garreth@canadaafrica.ca
Manulife Building RTO
55 Bloor Street West
PO Box 19553
Toronto
Ontario M4W 3T9

About The African Trade Insurance Agency:
ATI was founded in 2001 by African States to cover the trade and investment risks of companies doing business in Africa. ATI predominantly provides Political Risk, Credit Insurance and, Surety Insurance. In 2020, ATI closed the year with a gross exposure of US$6.3 billion and a net profit of US$39.4 million, owing to a strong demand for ATI’s insurance solutions from the international financial sector and from African governments. Since inception, ATI has supported US$66 billion worth of investments and trade into Africa. 
www.ATI-aca.org

About The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business:
The Chamber is committed to accelerating trade, business and investment between Canada and African markets, through world-class networking and information sharing opportunities.

Founded in 1994, the Chamber is based in Toronto and Ottawa, with members located throughout Canada and African markets.

The Chamber is an independent, not-for-profit organization with strong working links with both Canadian and African businesses and governments.
www.CanadaAfrica.ca


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