Aug 192014
 
Standard Bank report confirms strong growth in Africa's rising middle class – and even faster future growth

JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, August 19, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Africa has experienced substantial growth in its middle class over the past 14 years, according to a study by Standard Bank (http://www.standardbank.com).   Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/standardbank.png   Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1310 (Standard Bank senior political economist Simon Freemantle)   The report, entitled ‘Understanding Africa’s middle class,’ found there are […]

Aug 182014
 

LAGOS, Nigeria, August 18, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — MoboFree.com (http://www.mobofree.com), the leading African social marketplace, today announced that the total volume of items currently for sale in its marketplace is worth USD 526 million and is expected to reach USD 1.5 billion by 2015.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/mobofree.png

Screenshot: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1309

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1308 (MoboFree CEO and co-founder Neringa Kudarauskiene)

With 3.3 million registered users, including 2 million in Nigeria and a strong footprint in Zimbabwe, Uganda and Ghana, MoboFree.com is among the largest and most successful mobile social and trusted classifieds platforms in Africa.

MoboFree members upload thousands of new classifieds every day, generating an average of 60 million page impressions monthly.

The best-selling items on MoboFree.com are phones, tablets and mobile devices, followed by clothes, fashion and beauty and electronic devices.

The MoboFree technological platform makes buying and selling online easy for any African user with any device, not only for PCs and smartphones but also for old phones with small screens (so called “feature” phones).

“Africa is home to six of the ten fastest-growing economies in the world. Our strong performance once again confirms the success of our model and is indicative of the high level of activity in all markets in which we operate. We are now looking for new partners with which to share our exciting expansion plans as we see enormous opportunities arising in Africa,” said MoboFree CEO and co-founder Neringa Kudarauskiene.

MoboFree is a social marketplace with a unique user-centric approach rather than the traditional item-centric approach. MoboFree allows its buyers and sellers to obtain a large amount of personal information about one other – ranging from photos and mutual friends to ratings or other data that enables identification of whether or not a person is trustworthy.

Negotiation and communication during the buying/selling process is a very important part of African culture. MoboFree allows its members to communicate and negotiate conveniently without leaving the platform. They can do this via private messages or via chat. MoboFree members send over 8 million private messages per month.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of MoboFree.

For more information, please contact:

Lawrence Karka

Public relations manager

Email: lk@mobofree.com

Mobile: +370 656 59516

About MoboFree.com

MoboFree.com (http://www.mobofree.com) is a leading African social marketplace allowing people to buy, sell and swap products and services with other trusted people. MoboFree.com combines a social network and classifieds board into one integrated online platform and makes buying and selling online more fun, personal and safe.

Over 3.3 million users are registered on MoboFree and together they generate on average around 60 million page impressions monthly. More than 2 million registered users are from Nigeria.

MoboFree currently has more than 3.3 million registered users, with more than 2 million users in Nigeria and a leading position in several other African countries such as Uganda and Zimbabwe. MoboFree users generate on average around 60 million page impressions monthly and upload thousands of new classifieds daily. The project sees ~3000 new registered members added every day. http://www.mobofree.com

Aug 182014
 
Nigerians Are Selling Unused Items Worth USD 526 million on MoboFree.com

LAGOS, Nigeria, August 18, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — MoboFree.com (http://www.mobofree.com), the leading African social marketplace, today announced that the total volume of items currently for sale in its marketplace is worth USD 526 million and is expected to reach USD 1.5 billion by 2015. Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/mobofree.png Screenshot: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1309 Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1308 (MoboFree CEO and co-founder […]

Aug 182014
 

MAPUTO, Mozambique, August 18, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Movitel, a joint venture between Vietnam’s telecommunication Viettel Group and Mozambique’s SPI, has won the Mobile Innovations Awards for enterprises in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. This is the third consecutive year in a row that Movitel has been selected for the coveted award for its achievements and innovation in mobile technology.

This category presented to Movitel is not open for individual entries but considered by the Judges based on all the shortlisted entries in the awards. Movitel has outpaced many other strong telecom and electronic commerce companies to win the award thanks to its unique mobile operating solution in Mozambique initiating from the concept that telecom service is a kind of commodity that everyone needs. The solution is to popularize telecom services to every population, regardless of their locations or income conditions. This investment strategy has been successfully applied by Viettel in many telecommunications projects in different countries.

There are different business models applied by telecom companies. For instance, Vodacom follows a traditional operation method by building up the basic network infrastructure, then holding marketing and sale activities focusing in potential areas of customers. Another example is Airtel, which pursues an infrastructure sharing model for its telecom projects in many countries. As being late entrant to the Mozambican telecom market, Movitel has chosen to invest on a strong network infrastructure and distribution channel throughout the country to provide services nationwide.

While urban market with 40% total population witnesses a fierce competition among operators, the rural areas seems to be neglected. Therefore, Movitel has endorsed an initiative focused on offering full telecom services in rural and underserved areas in Mozambique, including mobile, fixed phone and Internet. The company has built up a great network infrastructure of 2,800 towers – accounting for 50% nationwide, 25,000km fiber optic cable – accounting for 70% nationwide. It has a widespread supplying chain to every village with 153 shops, 12,600 agents and points of sales and nearly 4,000 direct sales staffs. Especially, in order to take care of customers in the case of scattered and low-density population like in Mozambique, Movitel applies a door-to-door model. With Movitel, local people can be served and cared at their house instead of walking far away to reach the shop or agent. This unique way not only helps Movitel spread out its services quickly but also gaining strong support from the local people thanks to the jobs and services Movitel brings to them. As a result of this, it is currently dominating the rural areas with more than 80% of market share.

Besides, the low and flexibly tailored tariff plan for different customers also makes it easier for the people to access telecom services. Furthermore, with an aim for sustainable development before earning profit, Movitel has organized many social programs including free Internet broadband to schools, subsidizing handset cost for rural users, offering special packages designed to support low-income users such as farmers or students.

By deploying a mobile network infrastructure in rural and remote areas; providing free Internet to 2,500 schools; and generating nearly 20,000 jobs in rural areas; Movitel has considerably contributed to uplifting the telecommunication status of the country and creating the field for e-commerce in Mozambique. After 2 years, Movitel’s initiative has helped increase the telecommunications coverage in Mozambique from 60% to 85% nationwide and from 35% to 70% population. Mozambique is now among the top three nations in terms of fiber optical cabling infrastructure in Sub-Sahara Africa.

Consequently, Movitel has set the right platform, which is mutual beneficial for customer and itself. Movitel’s initiative is leading in increasing their subscriber base thus raising their market share. Customers are benefitting from a strong and reliable network available countrywide, majority of who will be loyal to Movitel’s brand due to their strategy and effort to reach them. For these reasons, the switching rate from Movitel’s competitors to become its customers can be expected. This can be proved by the number of 5 million subscribers (making up 32% of market share) it has achieved since its inception in May 15, 2012 and it is poised to take the lead in the market in the coming time. Total revenue in 2013 is US$154.5 million, bringing the company US$8.8 million profit.

The significant success of Movitel has proved the unique but effective investment strategy of Viettel. Affiliates of the group in Cambodia and Laos, respectively Metfone and Unitel are leading the market in terms of subscriber and revenue. Others including Natcom in Haiti and Telemor in Timor-Leste are taking the second positions in the markets and promisingly opting the first position within this year.

*Author: Quang Phuong – Reporter of People’s Army Newspaper (Vietnam). He was granted many national press awards.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of People’s Army Newspaper (Vietnam).

Aug 182014
 

MAPUTO, Mozambique, August 18, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Movitel, a joint venture between Vietnam’s telecommunication Viettel Group and Mozambique’s SPI, has won the Mobile Innovations Awards for enterprises in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. This is the third consecutive year in a row that Movitel has been selected for the coveted […]

Aug 142014
 

LONDON, United-Kingdom, August 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The latest report from Think Security Africa (TSA) (http://www.thinksecurityafrica.org): National Security Profile on the Republic of Kenya, raises concerns about the pace of reform in Kenya, and the need to ensure that existing security challenges do not negatively interact with changes in Kenya’s new political and budgetary arrangements – intended to improve long-term security in Kenya.

Download the report at: http://thinksecurityafrica.org/research/national-security-in-kenya

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1306

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/think-security-africa.png

The importance of security in Kenya for regional development makes security in Kenya a regional concern. Kenya plays a key role for sub-regional trade and logistics, and this role is set to expand with the inception of Lamu Port and Southern Sudan – Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET).

Key findings from the report:

National and regional economic development

Current infrastructure development plans provide a unique historical opportunity to align the interests of domestic and regional constituencies and may be instrumentalised to improve (a) motivation within the security forces, and (b) relations between security forces and communities in key security and development zones.

Impact of political reforms on existing security concerns

Devolution from 8 provinces to 47 counties is intended to bring governance closer to the people. However, it also makes it more feasible for the current spate of terrorist attacks (and radicalization within Kenya) to evolve into an insurgency – as there are now almost eight times as many governmental targets to attack. There is a need to take pre-emptive counter-insurgency actions in the eight counties currently impacted by terrorist-related violence, and potentially others such as Kitui.

Devolving the national budget and large scale investment

Enclaves of relative affluence within otherwise impoverished communities (in places such as Dadaab) have enabled the spread of harmful ideas and actors into Kenya from neighbouring countries. It is important to learn the lessons from this in plans to devolve a significant portion of the national budget or make large investments in counties, which have been historically marginalized and conflict prone. Strong national oversight is required to prevent these investments and budgetary allocations from fuelling conflict and other forms of insecurity.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Think Security Africa (TSA).

Media contact: Joel Tavon

Email: info@thinksecurityafrica.org

Tel: +44 207 287 0008

Think Security Africa (TSA) (http://www.thinksecurityafrica.org) is an independent think tank specializing in security in Africa. Since its establishment in 2009, TSA has become a leader in forecasting security-related trends in Africa – with a view to preserving lives and development ecosystems.

TSA’s resources are used by governments, inter-governmental organizations, journalists and business to assist with their Africa-focused missions.

Aug 142014
 
Africa: New report raises concerns about the pace of reform and possible implications for security in Kenya

LONDON, United-Kingdom, August 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The latest report from Think Security Africa (TSA) (http://www.thinksecurityafrica.org): National Security Profile on the Republic of Kenya, raises concerns about the pace of reform in Kenya, and the need to ensure that existing security challenges do not negatively interact with changes in Kenya’s new political and […]

Aug 142014
 

CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, August 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — CEOs around the world are increasingly recognising the untapped potential of sub-Saharan Africa. This is driven by Africa’s unparalleled demographic edge or demographic dividend. By 2040, Africa is expected to have the biggest labour force in the world and experiencing faster economic growth than any other region, according to a report issued by PwC (http://www.pwc.com).

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/pwc.png

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1302 (Stanley Subramoney, Strategy leader of PwC’s South Market Region)

The projections are contained in the latest PwC ‘Global Economy Watch’, which puts the spotlight on the largest cities in sub-Saharan Africa.

Most major corporations are already active in at least one of the four largest cities in sub-Saharan Africa – Lagos, Kinshasa, Nairobi and Johannesburg.

But PwC economists believe it’s the ‘Next 10′ biggest cities in sub-Saharan Africa that should also be exciting foreign investors. The population of these cities is projected to almost double by 2030, growing by around 32 million people. In fact, latest UN projections show that by 2030 two of the ‘Next 10′ – Dar es Salaam and Luanda – could have bigger populations than London has now.

Cities are the typical entry points for businesses trying to expand into new overseas markets, because they enable closer interaction with customers in a relatively small geographic space, which in turn helps contain distribution costs.

Stanley Subramoney, Strategy leader of PwC’s South Market Region, says: “The report projects that economic activity in the ‘Next 10′ cities could grow around $140 billion by 2030. This is roughly equivalent to the current annual output of Hungary.”

This is a conservative estimate as no premise has been made for real exchange rate appreciation despite relatively strong projected growth in these economies.

“In addition to the trends with regard to high rates of GDP growth, rapid urbanisation and the so-called demographic edge that sub-Saharan Africa possesses, a number of other economic phenomena in the region are starting to appeal to the global investment community,” says Dr Roelof Botha, economic advisor to PwC.

These include the following:

• Significant new discoveries of mining and energy resources, in particular gold and gas;

• Substantial investment in infrastructure and capital formation by the private sector, which has witnessed an increase in the ratio of total fixed investment to GDP from 17.7% in 2000 to an estimated 23% in 2013;

• Sustained growth in per capital incomes, which has led to demand shifts that are benefiting household consumption expenditure on durables, semi-durables and services;

• The ability of a growing number of countries to raise financing for infrastructure projects on the international capital market, in particular Kenya and Rwanda. Both of these countries have recently managed to sell government bonds globally at single-digit yields, which obviate the need for excessive debt servicing costs.

As a result, a return was made last year to sound growth in foreign direct investment inflows (FDI)) into a number of key African economies, says Dr Botha.

However, there are three problems that could slow the pace at which the ‘Next 10′ biggest cities in sub-Saharan Africa grow, according to the report. These are issues that sub-Saharan countries have been trying to tackle for many decades with limited success:

• Low quality of ‘hard’ infrastructure like roads and railways

• Inadequate ‘soft’ infrastructure like schools and universities, and

• Growing pains arising from political, legal and regulatory institutions struggling to deal with a bigger and more complicated economy.

“The challenges that policy makers face is to convert Africa’s demographic dividend into economic reality by overcoming these hurdles. History suggests this will not be a quick or easy process. Infrastructure development is a key driver for progress across Africa and a critical enabler for sustainable and socially inclusive growth. However, investors should form their own plans to mitigate these problems by supporting infrastructure skills and development programmes,” concludes Subramoney.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC).

Contacts

Stanley Subramoney: Strategy leader of PwC’s South Market Region

Office: +27 11 797 4380

Email: stanley.subramoney@za.pwc.com

OR

Lindiwe Magana: Media Relations Manager, PwC

Office: + 27 11 797 5042

Email: lindiwe.magana@za.pwc.com

About PwC

PwC (http://www.pwc.com) firms help organisations and individuals create the value they’re looking for. We’re a network of firms in 157 countries with more than 184,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services. Tell us what matters to you and find out more by visiting us at http://www.pwc.com.

Aug 142014
 
Africa: Growth is on the horizon but where should you look?

CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, August 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — CEOs around the world are increasingly recognising the untapped potential of sub-Saharan Africa. This is driven by Africa’s unparalleled demographic edge or demographic dividend. By 2040, Africa is expected to have the biggest labour force in the world and experiencing faster economic growth than any other […]

Aug 142014
 

YAOUNDE, Cameroon, August 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Louis Berger (http://www.louisberger.com), a $1 billion global professional services corporation, has recently signed a five-year project management contract financed by local funds for the construction of the first segment of the Yaoundé-Douala highway in Cameroon. The total construction value of the project is almost €7million.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/louisberger.png

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1305 (Jean-Pierre Dupacq, head of Louis Berger’s operations in Africa)

The road segment will connect Cameroon’s government and diplomatic hub in Yaoundé to the country’s economic center and deep water port in Douala. The current road between these cities is extremely congested and is one of the deadliest roads in the Central African region, characterized by its many curves, changes in road grade, poor maintenance and heavy truck traffic, including logging semi-tractor trailers. The improvements will result into a straighter 2-lane road motorway, safer and of better quality.

“The new 236-kilometer highway will lead to reduced travel time and will hopefully have a positive impact on the international transportation because Cameroon is a key transit country for the landlocked countries of Central Africa” said Jean-Pierre Dupacq, head of Louis Berger’s operations in Africa.

Louis Berger has more than 50 years of experience in Africa and more than 20 years of experience working in Cameroon. The company’s work in the country includes 10 ongoing projects and more than 20 projects completed in the last twenty years. These projects have included a broad range of services from institutional strengthening, capacity building and training of the central public authorities, feasibility studies, urban transport planning, regional transportation strategies and project management and construction supervision.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Louis Berger.

Contact:

Madalina Randasu

mrandasu@louisberger.com

Louis Berger

Louis Berger (http://www.louisberger.com) is a $1 billion global professional services corporation that helps infrastructure and development clients solve their most complex challenges. We are a trusted partner to national, state and local government agencies; multilateral institutions; and commercial industry clients worldwide. By focusing on client needs to deliver quality, safe, financially-successful projects with integrity, we are committed to deliver on our promise to provide Solutions for a better world.

Aug 142014
 
Louis Berger to Oversee Yaoundé-Douala Highway Segment Construction in Cameroon

YAOUNDE, Cameroon, August 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Louis Berger (http://www.louisberger.com), a $1 billion global professional services corporation, has recently signed a five-year project management contract financed by local funds for the construction of the first segment of the Yaoundé-Douala highway in Cameroon. The total construction value of the project is almost €7million. Logo: […]

Aug 142014
 

JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, August 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The trade relationship between the United States and Africa, as well as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) – which provides exporters duty-free access to the lucrative US market, was recently put under the microscope at the 2014 US – Sub Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum (known as the AGOA Forum), which coincided with President Barack Obama’s US-Africa Leaders Summit, both held in Washington last week.

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Photo Charles Brewer: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/charles-brewer-1.jpg (Charles Brewer, Managing Director for DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa)

Charles Brewer, Managing Director of DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa (http://www.dpdhl.com), says that the company has seen significant volume growth in the Sub Saharan Africa region, in terms of trade with the US since the introduction of AGOA in 2000 and that they, along with many world leaders, support the call for the renewal of AGOA when it expires next year.

“Trade lanes in Africa have increased significantly as a result of relieved trade barriers, which have had a positive impact on many local businesses. A key driver of this growth has been the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which has stimulated trade and investment between Africa and the United States.”

DHL has seen a significant growth in trade between Sub Saharan Africa and the US, with strong positive growth in the last year.

He points to figures by AGOA(1), which reveal that the US imported $8.468 million worth of goods from the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region in 2000 and $19.869 million in 2012. Figures released by the U.S. Department of Commerce – International Trade Administration2, report that in 2013, US imports from Sub Saharan, under AGOA, totalled $39.3 billion. The top three trade lanes to the US from the Sub Saharan Africa region originated from Nigeria, Angola and South Africa, who accounted for $11.72, $8.74 and $8.48 billion respectively.

Brewer explains that the Act offers tangible incentives to approximately 40 Sub Saharan African beneficiary countries, such as duty and quota free access to the US market for certain product lines. “AGOA has facilitated trade between Sub Saharan Africa and the US by enabling the trade process, as well as successfully promoting the integration of Sub Saharan Africa into the global economy. These favourable trade conditions have also allowed the region to maximize the opportunities available and increase exports.” says Brewer.

Brewer says that since the introduction of AGOA, DHL Africa has seen an increase in primary trading sectors like manufacturing, apparel and footwear – all directly supported by AGOA. In addition, they have also witnessed an increase in secondary sectors that are dependent on agriculture, petroleum and natural gases.

Due to expire in 2015, it is the decision of the US Congress on whether to extend or amend the AGOA agreement. Brewer says that Sub Saharan Africa’s growth is still dependent on trade facilitation and enhancing both intra-regional trade and global trade. “While trade between the US and Sub Saharan Africa has increased significantly in the last few years, there is still much room for growth. In 2013, US imports from Sub Saharan Africa represented only 1.7%(2) of total US imports from the world. This highlights the remaining untapped growth potential for the region.”

Brewer views were echoed at the AGOA Forum where World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim(3), remarked that trade preferences schemes, such as AGOA, can play an important role in helping Africa realize their opportunities to expand trade activity and that the Act assists African countries diversify their exports, and move away from dependence on minerals and commodities to reach more diversified and inclusive sources of export growth. US President Barack Obama(4) also announced his commitment to support the continuation and enhancement of the AGOA.

“Africa is the ‘last frontier’, the more we collectively focus on connecting it with the world, the more sustainable its economies will be and the more jobs we will create – creating a virtuous cycle of success,” concludes Brewer.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Deutsche Post DHL.

Note to editor:

1 Agoa.info, Regional Info: SADC

2 U.S. Department of Commerce – International Trade Administration: U.S. Trade with sub-Saharan Africa, January-December 2013

3 Speech: World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim’s Remarks at AGOA Forum

4 The White House blog (http://1.usa.gov/1kmCbQn): President Obama Speaks at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum

Media Contact:

Megan Collinicos. Head: Advertising & Public Relations, Sub-Saharan Africa

DHL Express

Tel +27 21 409 3613 Mobile +27 76 411 8570

megan.collinicos@dhl.com

DHL – The logistics company for the world

DHL (http://www.dpdhl.com) is the global market leader in the logistics and CEP industry and “The logistics company for the world”. DHL commits its expertise in international express, national and international parcel delivery, air and ocean freight, road and rail transportation as well as contract and e-commerce related solutions along the entire supply chain. A global network composed of more than 220 countries and territories and around 315,000 employees worldwide offers customers superior service quality and local knowledge to satisfy their supply chain requirements. DHL accepts its social responsibility by supporting environmental protection, disaster management and education.

DHL is part of Deutsche Post DHL. The Group generated revenues of more than 55 billion euros in 2013.

For more information: http://www.dpdhl.com

Stock images available: http://www.dpdhl.com/en/media_relations/media_library.html