Tizeti to tackle broadband underdevelopment in Cote d’Ívoire with Microsoft

ABIDJAN, Cote d’Ívoire, May 17, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Tizeti, a leading internet service provider in West Africa, announced an expanded collaboration with Microsoft to address the issue of broadband underdevelopment in Cote d’Ívoire and bring internet access to almost 5 million people.

The partnership aims to provide affordable and reliable high-speed internet access to underserved communities and people in the country, addressing the significant broadband gap that has hindered economic development and social progress in the region and empowering more Ivorians to participate in the digital economy.

Cote d’Ívoire is believed to have less than 40% internet penetration, with fixed internet around 2%. The fixed internet and broadband sectors remain underdeveloped in Cote dÍvoire, due to a legacy of poor international connectivity, which resulted in high wholesale prices, limited bandwidth, and a lack of access for alternative operators to international infrastructure. Operators such as MainOne, and Africa Coast to Europe have subsea infrastructure, with 2Africa expected to land in 2023. While the submarine cable vertical is more competitive, Cote d’Ívoire has limited last-mile providers who pull the internet capacity and distribute it to homes, offices, schools, hospitals, and other public institutions.

Tizeti will roll out high-speed internet infrastructure with Microsoft’s Airband Initiative, leveraging Tizeti’s low-cost wireless technologies. This will help make it easier and cheaper for people to access the internet and connect to the digital economy. These shared efforts are part of the Microsoft Airband Initiative’s commitment to bring internet access to 100 million Africans by the end of 2025, which aligns with Tizeti’s goal of connecting more people to the internet in a cost-efficient way.

“We are thrilled to partner with Microsoft to bring reliable and affordable high-speed internet access to underserved communities in Cote d’Ívoire,” said Kendall Ananyi, Chief Executive Officer of Tizeti. “Our mission at Tizeti is to bring affordable and reliable internet to more Africans outside the digital envelope, and this partnership is a significant step forward in achieving that goal. This work with Microsoft continues our joint efforts to deliver world-class internet connectivity to the people of Africa, starting with Nigeria and now Cote d’Ívoire.”

Microsoft’s Airband Initiative is focused on advancing digital equity—access to affordable internet, affordable devices, and digital skills—as a platform for empowerment and digital transformation across the world.

“Through our expanded partnership with Tizeti, we are committed to providing high-speed internet access to five million people in Cote d’Ivoire by the end of 2025,” said Vickie Robinson, General Manager of Microsoft’s Airband Initiative. “Partners such as Tizeti are vital to the Airband ecosystem, which relies on local expertise along with public and private organizations of every size to tailor regional solutions. The expansion to Cote d’Ivoire will help build sustainable infrastructure that strengthens local development and reduces barriers to connectivity.”

For many countries in Africa, there is still a huge digital divide. This boundary between connected and unconnected translates into clear consequences for employment, education, family and social life, and access to information. Collaborations such as this play a significant role in addressing the digital infrastructure deficits in emerging economies, leveraging innovative technology and capabilities, to improve development outcomes for millions of people.

About Tizeti

Tizeti is a fast-growing Wireless Internet service provider in Nigeria, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire delivering high-speed unlimited Wi-Fi Internet access to residential and business customers using wide-area Wi-Fi.

Contact: Temitope Osunrinde (press@tizeti.com)

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8840227

Sweegen’s Rebaudioside M receives full authorization for use in the United Kingdom

Bestevia Reb M expands sugar reduction solutions in the U.K.and is now available to food and beverage producers.

Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., May 17, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Global sweetness and flavor innovator, Sweegen has announced that its Bestevia® Rebaudioside M (Reb M) has been fully authorized for use in the United Kingdom (U.K.) This regulatory approval marks a significant milestone for Sweegen, as it becomes the first and only company to receive authorization for any steviol glycosides produced using alternative technologies in the U.K.

Reb M, a high-purity steviol glycoside derived from the stevia plant, is renowned for its clean and sugar-like taste profile. It offers a natural, zero-calorie sweetness solution, making it an ideal choice for food and beverage manufacturers seeking to reduce sugar content and provide healthier options to consumers. Sweegen’s nature-based sweeteners, including its Reb M, offer a scalable and cost-effective alternative to traditional sugar.

Brands in the U.K. have eagerly anticipated the authorization of Sweegen’s Bestevia Reb M during the initial formulation phase and tastings. They are actively collaborating with Sweegen’s food and beverage applications experts based at its EMEA U.K. Innovation Studio in Reading, England, to integrate this highly sought-after stevia ingredient, along with Sweegen’s outstanding taste modulation and unique sweeteners, into their formulations.

Damian Bellusci, Vice President of Sales EMEA/APAC at Sweegen, expressed his excitement about the authorization, stating, “We are extremely proud to be the pioneers in securing full authorization for Bestevia Reb M in the U.K. This milestone reaffirms Sweegen’s commitment to providing innovative, nature-based, and sustainable sweetening solutions to the industry. Reb M offers food and beverage manufacturers an exceptional tool to meet consumer demands for healthier products without compromising taste.”

The decision to authorize the bioconversion manufacturing method for steviol glycosides, including Reb M, was made by the Minister for Primary Care and Public Health in relation to England, the Welsh Ministers in relation to Wales, and the Minister for Public Health, Women’s Health and Sport in relation to Scotland. The authorization is per Article 10(1) of retained Regulation 1333/2008, fulfilling the requirements.

The authorized manufacturing method allows for using steviol glycosides, including Reb M, in the Great Britain (GB) market. The Regulations provide updated terms of authorization for using this method in GB, with the terms being similar to those in the European Union (EU) and Northern Ireland. For the latest information, referring to the relevant EU Regulations on the EUR-Lex website is recommended.

Casey McCormick, Vice President of Global Innovation at Sweegen, emphasized the significance of Reb M in driving product innovation. “The approval of Bestevia Reb M in the UK represents a very positive step forward for brands looking to improve the nutrition profile of their products. The clean, sweet taste of our Bestevia Reb M enables new approaches to reduce and eliminate sugar in a way that exceeds consumers’ expectations  and supports public health objectives to reduce sugar consumption.”

Hadi Omrani, Vice President of Technical and Regulatory Affairs at Sweegen, highlighted the rigorous safety and compliance standards behind Bestevia Reb M’s authorization. Omrani stated, “At Sweegen, we prioritize safety, quality, and regulatory compliance. Obtaining full authorization for Bestevia Reb M in the U.K. required thorough scientific evaluations and stringent assessments to ensure its safety for consumption. This achievement reflects our commitment to delivering superior products that meet the highest industry standards.”

Sweegen is dedicated to revolutionizing the sweetener market with innovative solutions that promote healthier choices without compromising taste. The full authorization of Bestevia Reb M in the U.K. reinforces Sweegen’s leadership in the nature-based sweetener space and positions the company as a trusted partner for food and beverage manufacturers worldwide.

Sweegen recently attained FEMA GRAS status for sweet proteins brazzein and thaumatin II, complementing steviol glycosides in food and beverage production. With the addition of brazzein and thaumatin II, Sweegen continues to expand its portfolio of safe and effective taste-modulating flavors that can help food and beverage manufacturers meet the demand for healthier and delicious products to align with consumers’ holistic approaches to wellness. Brazzein is the star ingredient in Sweegen’s newly launched Sweetensify flavors for taste modulation, an ideal flavors tool for brands seeking to create sugar-like tastes in food and beverages.

About Sweegen

Sweegen provides sweet-taste solutions for food and beverage manufacturers around the world.
We are on a mission to reduce sugar and artificial sweeteners in the global diet. Partnering with customers, we create delicious zero-sugar products that consumers love. With the best modern sweeteners in our portfolio, such as Bestevia® Rebs B, D, E, I, M, and N, and sweet proteins brazzein and thaumatin, along with our deep knowledge of flavor modulators and texturants, Sweegen delivers market-leading solutions that customers want, and consumers prefer. Well. Into the Future.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1996. Sweegen’s actual results may differ from the estimates, assumptions, and other illustrative material contained herein, and consequently, a reader should not rely on these forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. These forward-looking statements include, without limitation, illustrative information regarding Sweegen’s bottom-up assumed market potential, assumed hit rate, and the resulting revenue based on these model inputs. These forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially from the expected results.

Industry, Market, and Other Data
In this press release, we rely on and refer to information and statistics regarding market participants in the sectors in which Sweegen competes and other data. We obtained this information and statistics from our own internal estimates and third-party sources, including reports by market research firms and company filings. We do not expressly refer to these sources. All of this information involves a number of assumptions and limitations, and the sources of such information cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of such information. The industry in which Sweegen operates is subject to a high degree of uncertainty and risk due to a variety of important factors, any of which could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in the estimates made by Sweegen or third parties.

Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including, among other statements, statements regarding the future prospects for Reb M stevia leaf sweetener, brazzein, and thaumatin. These statements are based on current expectations but are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and beyond Sweegen’s control.

Relevant risks and uncertainties could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by the forward-looking statements and, therefore, should be carefully considered. Sweegen assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information or future events or developments.


Ana Arakelian

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8841398

Angolan government pledges to take health services to communities

Ministry of Health (MINSA) on Tuesday said it was committed to continue working on improvement of the people´s health and restore the primary health care units, including the health system.

The pledged was made by the State Secretary for Public Health, Carlos Alberto Pinto, while speaking at the activities to mark the 75th anniversary of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The official mentioned the results achieved last year by the Government in health field.

He referred to the construction and equipment of the new health units, the significant increase in the number of health professionals from different categories employed over the last few years, and the efforts to train and retain health professionals.

In his speech, the official said that the structuring investment made in the National Health Service was reflected on the improvement of the main indicators of the maternal and child health and nutrition programme.

He cited the increase in prenatal coverage, humanised childbirth, and the reduction of institutional maternal mortality.

As for the major endemics, he said that despite the increase in malaria, there was a reduction of death rate due to the improvement of the access and early diagnosis, as well as the proper treatment.

He said digital transformation allowed to boost the sanitary and epidemiologic information system and the development of health investigation.

This move, he said, enabled a timely decisions and improved management taking into account the extension of innovative platforms to control logistics, health indicators and for people´s nominal registration mainly in fight against Covid-19.

The official also stressed the support provided by WHO and from other partners, aimed to boost the primary health cares.

“We have the conviction that by strengthening partnerships, coordination, investments, integration and innovation in health, we can together face persistent challenges and ensure Health For All”, stressed the official.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Angola increases number of health units

The National Health System has recorded, over the last five years, an increase of 163 new modern health units, the minister of State for Social Affairs, Dalva Ringote Allen, disclosed the data.

The minister, who was speaking at the 75th anniversary of the World Health Organisation (WHO), said with the new structures equipped with modern technology, the health system now has 13,426 more beds.

Among the main hospital units built over the last five years are the Specialised Treatment Centre for Endemic Diseases and Pandemics, Cardinal Dom Alexandre do Nascimento Cardiopulmonary Disease Hospital Complex, the Dra. Victória do Espírito Santo Paediatric Haematological Institute, Azancot Menezes Maternal and Child Hospital and Bié General Hospital.

Ringote Allen said that the analysis of the actions undertaken by the government is positive, given the change in the distribution of spending in the social sector, including health, of around 45.1 percent between 2022 and 2023 and an increase in total spending from 4.8 percent to 6.7 percent.

The Human Resources sector, the minister said, has also seen an increase over the last five years, with the hiring of 33,093 professionals, making up 35 percent of the total workforce.

“The majority of health technicians are young people. The investment made shows the increase of staff at the health posts, which rose from 25 percent in 2017 to 70 percent in 2022,” Allen said.

For the Minister of State, the growth of public health interventions regarding children and adolescents has made it possible to reduce under-five year mortality, with access to comprehensive child care that rose from 25 percent in 2017 to 93 percent in 2022.

The official explained that the coverage of the cost of the 14 main vaccines for children has reached 64 percent for routine vaccination coverage, as well as an increase in antiretroviral drugs in HIV-positive pregnant women from 25 percent in 2017 to 73 percent in 2021, with a reduction of HIV/AIDS transmission from mother to child from 28 percent to 15 percent.

According to Dalva Ringote, the Born Free to Shine campaign has increased the access of pregnant women to HIV/AIDS diagnosis in prenatal consultations.

In turn, WHO representative in Angola, Djamila Cabral, said the organisation is convinced that by strengthening primary health care, including community health, it is possible to tackle persistent health challenges in a more integrated way, accelerate progress and significantly improve the health of the Angolan population.

“We reiterate our commitment to work with the Government and other partners to reposition primary health care and ensure that equity of access to health services, especially for the most vulnerable such as women, children and the elderly, is accelerated and the country can move swiftly towards achieving health for all,” Cabral said.

The opening ceremony of the WHO 75th anniversary celebrations, to run until April 7, 2024, was attended by members of the Government, representatives of United Nations agencies, diplomatic corps accredited in Angola, key health partners, among others.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

VAT revenue set at 3 billion kwanzas

Value Added Tax (VAT) revenues stood at 3 billion kwanzas, since its implementation in the country, said Wednesday in Luanda the administrator of the General Tax Administration (AGT), Tiago Saints.

These are revenues related to the payment of this tax, since the progressive introduction (in January 2019) in the Angolan taxation system, as part of a set of measures followed by the AGT.

Tiago Santos was speaking during the 1st International VAT Conference, stating that the implementation of this tax, in addition to being a strong instrument for raising revenue, worked as an important element in attracting or retaining national and foreign investment in the various sectors of economy.

“In these three and a half years, VAT has acted as the main tax instrument for collecting revenue from most sectors of the country, and with the said tax it was possible to collect 30 percent of non-oil revenues”, he noted.

Still in the context of the advantages of VAT, he highlighted the fact that it is a tax with a wide incidence, covering, in a general way, “onerous transactions of goods, onerous provision of services and imports, covering points of production, distribution and trade.

This tax is based on the subtractive method of assessment and deduction”.

Tiago Santos explained that the introduction of VAT in the tax system, replacing consumption tax, allowed the expansion of the tax base, the attraction of investments, the elimination of double taxation on consumption tax and the fight against tax evasion and fraud.

The official mentioned that the General Tax Administration designed a VAT model suited to local conditions, “as simple as possible and modern enough to deal with the globalised economy.

Value Added Tax has already been implemented in about one hundred and sixty (160) countries, of which fifty four (54) are African countries. In the SADC region, Angola was the last member country to join.

Of the African countries with VAT implemented, Tunisia, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, Cabo Verde, Tanzania, Senegal, South Africa, Zambia and others stand out.

All these countries have differentiated models and adapted to their economic reality, so to avoid constraints that may arise from its pure adoption, as occurs in developed countries.

Taxation is a system in which political, economic, financial, legal, administrative, psychological, community aspects are all interconnected.

This interdependence is even clearer in a reform process, being present from the outset in the definition of objectives with the implementation of VAT and in the intervention strategy that will define the tax system.

The 1st International VAT Conference took place within the framework of training activities by the General Tax Administration (AGT).

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Vice President of Republic returns to Luanda

Angola’s Vice President Esperança da Costa left Mbanza Kongo early Wednesday afternoon, after paying a 48-hour working visit to the northern Zaire province.

In Mbanza Kongo, Esperança da Costa chaired the 1st Ordinary Session of the National Multi-sector Commission for the Safeguarding of the World Cultural Heritage this year.

The event analyzed the current status of monuments and historic sites in Mbanza Kongo.

During her stay in the World Heritage city, the Vice-President of the Republic received, in audience, some members of civil society, as well as visited various historical sites and monuments in the city.

She also learnt of the work on the new Zaire General Hospital and Mbanza Kongo airport, under construction in Nkiende commune, 32 kilometers from the provincial headquarters (Mbanza Kongo).

The delegation included the Ministers of Territorial Administration, Culture, Tourism, Education, Fisheries and Marine Resources, Transport, Public Works, Urbanism and Housing, as well as the Secretaries of State of some ministerial departments and heads of their office.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Oil tax revenue drops in first quarter this year

The oil tax revenue stood at 1.3 billion kwanzas in the first quarter of this year, Kz 800 billion less compared to the same period of 2022, during which the sector collected Kz 2.1 billion.

The value (Kz 1.3 billion) resulted from the sale of 96.84 million barrels of oil at an average price of USD 79.31, based on data available on the Ministry of Finance website, through the Special Taxation Directorate (DTE) .

As for the first quarter of 2022, in which the State collected 2.1 billion kwanzas, the country exported 103.144 million barrels, at an average price of USD 87.

The first quarter of this year (2023) loses with 2022, both in terms of the average price per barrel and in terms of the quantities of crude oil exported.

The revenue collected results from the payment of taxes on the transaction, sharing and production of crude oil.

Block 17 remains in the main position with the best performance, producing 32.5 million of the total barrels of crude oil exported, followed by Block 32, with 12.9 million, Block 0, with 12.8 million and Block 15 with 11.06 million barrels.

In 2022, oil tax revenues were around 9.108 billion kwanzas, in 2022, representing a growth of 51% compared to the same period (2021), which recorded revenues of Kz 6. 034 billion.

Revenue collected last year resulted from the sale of around 417 million barrels of oil, as well as the payment of taxes on the transaction, sharing and production of crude oil, according to the manager of the General Tax Administration (AGT), Tiago Santos, who was speaking at a press conference this Monday, in Luanda.

For this economic year of 2023, the Budget proposal has a reference price of USD 75 per barrel of oil, and an average daily oil production of 1.18 million barrels.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

On Wednesday, State Prosecutor Henry Muhongo called to the dock the deceased’s father.

High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg on Wednesday announced that sentencing in the Shannon Wasserfalll case, in which Azaan Madisia and Steven Mulundu were found guilty of the obstruction of justice, will be handed down on 13 June 2023.

During the sentencing mitigation in the Windhoek High Court on Wednesday, Liebenberg set the sentencing date for 13 June for Medisia and Mulundu who were charged with defeating or obstructing the course of justice. Madisia was found guilty on an additional charge of fraud.

The 22-year-old Wasserfall was reported missing in Walvis Bay on 10 April 2020 and her remains were found buried at the harbour town on 06 October 2020 after an anonymous text message was sent to the deceased’s father.

Madisia and Mulundu were subsequently arrested for Wasserfall’s murder, a charge they were acquitted of in a judgement handed down by Liebenberg on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, State Prosecutor Henry Muhongo called to the dock the deceased’s father, Tega Metheus, who described his daughter as a lovable and easy-going person.

He said that it is painful looking back and now knowing that during the six months the family spent searching for Wasserfall, Madisia was right by his side and lending a helping hand.

Source: NAMPA

According to the MD, several other measures were explored before reaching the conclusion.

NamPower’s Managing Director (MD), Kahenge Haulofu, yesterday said the media has been misusing the term ‘load-shedding’ in the recent coverage of the power utility’s debt collection plan that was re-introduced through a public notice last week.

Haulofu during a media briefing explained that the debt collection plan, which is a scheduled disconnection of electricity supply to defaulting customers, is a re-introduction of a debt collection plan and debt repayment incentive that was first introduced in 2021 and it is not load-shedding.

“There has been a lot of misinterpretation of terms by the media and the public in relation to the suspension of electricity supply to NamPower customers with overdue accounts.

The debt collection plan and repayment incentive are NamPower’s efforts in reaching an understanding between default customers in paying their outstanding accounts,” he clarified.

He added that with NamPower’s Power Supply Agreements, the company has the right to totally disconnect the electricity supply to defaulting customers, hence the resolution to introduce the debt collection plan.

According to the MD, several other measures were explored before reaching the conclusion of introducing the debt collection plan that will be implemented on 05 June and will affect customers who fail to pay their overdue accounts by 31 May.

The disconnection of electricity supply to defaulting customers will be divided into stages starting with stage one and escalating to stage nine.

Meanwhile, Haulofu emphasised that NamPower has received no pressure from their bilateral partner, Eskom and that the load-shedding in South Africa (SA) has to date not posed a need for Namibia to panic.

He concluded by saying that Namibia only receives 100 megawatts of electricity from SA while its largest supplier is Zambia with 180 megawatts of electricity.

Source: NAMPA

Otjiwarongo municipality hikes tariffs

Residents of Otjiwarongo should expect to pay more for their monthly municipal bills, effective, 01 July 2023.

The municipality’s rates and taxes will increase by three per cent, solid waste by seven per cent, water tariff by eight per cent, sewage services by six per cent and two per cent for cemetery services.

This was announced at a special council meeting held on Wednesday afternoon by the chairperson of the management committee Godhard Hoko, when he tabled the municipality’s N.dollars 183.1 million capital and expenditure budget for the 2023/2024 financial year.

“These average tariff adjustments have been proposed on water, property rates and taxes, refuse removal services, cemetery and sewer services,” he said.

At the same meeting, the Otjiwarongo deputy mayor, Julienda Kampungu said she was in full support of the budget as it solely focus on the needs of the inhabitants as the municipality ensures that its solid economic base is created.

Kampungu said out of N.dollars 183.1million tabled N. dollars 37,3 million if for capital projects while N.dollars 145,8 million is for operations and expenditures including the maintenance of existing infrastructure.

“Council will continue to subsidise pensioners and recipients of government social grants on their monthly bills for water, sewage and sanitation services provided by the municipality,” Kampungu said.

On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of the municipality, Moses Matyayi in an interview with Nampa shortly after the budget tabling, defended the decisions made, saying the increases on the monthly rates and taxes as well as on water bills were based on the costs of service delivery to the residents.

Matyayi said the municipality’s approximately 9 000 households are still the major sources of revenue for the municipality through their monthly rates and taxes contributions, sales of land and water to the residents.

The budget will be forwarded to the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Erastus Uutoni for final approval before it is implemented, he said.

Source: NAMPA

The minister said that these cases were recorded from six regions.

Health minister, Kalumbi Shangula, announced an increase of 37.9 per cent in COVID-19 cases during the period of 01 to 07 May, when 40 positive cases were recorded.

According to an update issued yesterday, the minister said the number of positive COVID-19 cases increased from 28.8 per cent in the week prior to the reported period.

He added that the number of COVID-19 tests increased by 94 per cent compared to the previous week, where only 152 tests were conducted.

The minister said that these cases were recorded from six regions, from which the Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Oshana and Hardap regions had not recorded any cases the previous week.

Shangula added that out of the 40 positive cases, seven received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, 14 were fully vaccinated, four received booster doses, two were not eligible for the vaccine while 17 cases were not vaccinated.

Source: NAMPA

According to the minister, patients who are clinically

The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) yesterday launched the self-service smart lockers known as the Pele Box Smart Lockers, designed to provide access to pre-packed chronic medication, at the Katutura State Hospital.

In his keynote address at the launch, health and social services minister, Dr Kalumbi Shangula, said there are currently 19 Pele Boxes installed countrywide and more will be installed in the future.

He also explained that the Pele Boxes will be operational every day for 24 hours, making it convenient for patients.

According to the minister, patients who are clinically stable and on chronic medication will be eligible to use this dispensary machine.

These patients include those using ARV medication, anti-epileptic medication, anti-hypertensive medication, and other cardiovascular disease treatments.

Source: NAMPA