Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mobily Awards Motorola an SA435 Million Contract to Expand Its Network in Saudi Arabia

30 Mar 2009 08:00 Africa/Lagos

Mobily Awards Motorola an SA435 Million Contract to Expand Its Network in Saudi Arabia

Latest expansion will provide enhanced communications services for more Saudi residents

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, March 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Motorola, Inc. (NYSE:MOT) today announced a contract worth approximately SA435 million ($116 million) with Etihad Etisalat (Mobily). The contract marks the fifth major turnkey GSM network expansion that Mobily has undertaken with Motorola in the past four years. Saudi Arabia's Northwest and Southwest regions will benefit from enhanced GSM coverage and capacity and the contract underscores Motorola's commitment to Saudi Arabia and further reinforces the strong relationship with Mobily.

The turnkey expansion will enable Mobily to expand its network coverage to increase its subscriber base within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Motorola will deliver its GSM infrastructure solutions as well as comprehensive range of services.

"The demand for reliable communications services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is growing and the Mobily expansion project of our GSM network will help to meet the demands and expectations of new subscribers in the western north and southern north regions," said Khalid Al-Kaf, CEO of Mobily. "Our relationship with Motorola and other international companies began in 2004 and we have achieved tremendous success in making Mobily the most trusted mobile service provider in the Kingdom."

"Motorola is a global leader in GSM and our innovative technologies and solutions provide a reliable and scalable network for Mobily to meet growing customer demands," said Ali Amer, vice president sales, Middle East, Africa & Pakistan, Motorola Home & Networks Mobility. "This turnkey expansion will allow for maximized return on investment, rapid deployment for Mobily and enhanced services for Mobily customers."

A portion of revenue on this contract was recognized in the third and fourth quarters of 2008.

Motorola has won a number of significant GSM network expansion contracts over the past few years. Motorola's GSM is attractive for service providers in both new and mature markets. Some of the recent major contract wins include expansion contracts with VNPT Group in Vietnam, China Mobile in China, and Celtel Nigeria in Nigeria.

About Etihad Etisalat Company (Mobily)

Mobily, the official brand name of Etihad Etisalat, is considered the second mobile service provider in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It acquired its second license to run the mobile service network in KSA in summer 2004 in a SR 12.21 billion bid. Thus, it has become the first Saudi communications company to get an operation license for 3rd generation services and beyond.

In May 2005, Mobily launched its own network to begin with providing its business services. In 2006, the International Mobile Phone Organization described Mobily as the fastest growing company in MENA after it has built the fastest mobile communications network of its kind in the region within 6 months, besides acquiring the biggest number of 3rd generation services subscribers.

In September 2007, Mobily sealed a MOU to acquire the first data company BAYANAT against SA 1.5 billion, which is considered a step towards merging fixed and mobile communications lines.

Mobily had a market share of 40 per cent approximately by the end of Q1 2008.

About Motorola

Motorola is known around the world for innovation in communications and is focused on advancing the way the world connects. From broadband communications infrastructure, enterprise mobility and public safety solutions to high-definition video and mobile devices, Motorola is leading the next wave of innovations that enable people, enterprises and governments to be more connected and more mobile. Motorola (NYSE:MOT) had sales of US $30.1 billion in 2008. For more information, please visit www.motorola.com.

MOTOROLA and the stylized M Logo are registered in the US Patent & Trademark Office. All other product or service names are the property of their respective owners. (C) Motorola, Inc. 2009. All rights reserved.

Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20020415/MOTNOTAGLOGO
AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.or/
PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com
Source: Motorola, Inc.

CONTACT: Gemma Priscott of Motorola Home & Networks Mobility, +44 1256
790 384, gemma.priscott@motorola.com

Web Site: http://www.motorola.com/

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Paul Krugman Has Emerged as Obama's Toughest Liberal Critic

President Barack Obama thinks he is right, but according to the Newsweek Cover story, the famous economist and Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman thinks Obama is wrong.
What do you think?

Video: Obama defends budget and dollar
(02:06) Report
Mar. 24 - President Barack Obama defended his $3.6 trillion budget blueprint, which most Republicans and even some fellow Democrats have criticized for being too costly.

In his second prime-time White House news conference since he took office, Obama said the U.S. dollar is strong. He also said he is continuing to follow the ongoing violence in Mexico very carefully and is prepared to take additional steps to protect the U.S. border. Jon Decker reports.SOUNDBITE: U.S. President Barack Obama

In the April 6 issue of Newsweek (on newsstands March 30), "Obama is Wrong," Newsweek's Evan Thomas profiles Paul Krugman, who, as the debate over the rescue of the financial system unfolds, has emerged as Obama's toughest liberal critic. Plus: Michael Hirsh on how Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner appears to have settled into office; Dan Gross on financial linguistics; a profile of Peter Arnell; Newsweek's Business Roundtable; and the "diva-ization" of kids at a young age. (PRNewsFoto/Newsweek) NEW YORK, NY UNITED STATES 03/29/2009

29 Mar 2009 16:17 Africa/Lagos

NEWSWEEK Cover: Obama Is Wrong

Paul Krugman Has Emerged as Obama's Toughest Liberal Critic

What if Krugman's Criticism May be Right?

NEW YORK, March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- As the debate over the rescue of the financial system - which is crucial in stabilizing the economy and returning the country to prosperity - unfolds, Paul Krugman has emerged as President Barack Obama's toughest liberal critic, writes Newsweek Editor-at-Large Evan Thomas in his profile of Krugman in the current issue. Krugman, a columnist for The New York Times, a professor at Princeton and a Nobel Prize winner in economics, was a scourge of the Bush administration, but has been critical, if not hostile, to the Obama White House, skeptical of the bank bailout and pessimistic about the economy. As the debate continues, there are worries among the establishment that his "despair" over the administration's bailout plan might be right. "Krugman may be exaggerating the decay of the financial system or the devotion of Obama's team to preserving it. But what if he's right, or part right?," Thomas writes. "What if President Obama is squandering his only chance to step in and nationalize...the banks before they collapse altogether?," he writes in the April 6 Newsweek cover, "Obama Is Wrong" (on newsstands Monday, March 30).

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090329/91457 )

There is little doubt that Krugman has become the voice of the loyal opposition, taking on the president from the left. In his twice-a-week column and his blog, Conscience of a Liberal, Krugman criticizes the Obamaites for trying to prop up a flawed financial system and he portrays Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and other top officials as tools of Wall Street. The day Geithner announced the details of the administration's bank-rescue plan, Krugman described his "despair" that Obama "has apparently settled on a financial plan that, in essence, assumes that banks are fundamentally sound and that bankers know what they're doing." The administration, naturally does not share Krugman's view, but the Obama White House is also careful not to provoke his wrath any more than necessary.

"Ideologically, Krugman is a European Social Democrat," Thomas writes. "In his published opinions, and perhaps his very being, Paul Krugman is anti- establishment." He hungers for what he calls "a new New Deal," and prides himself on his status as an outsider. Krugman generally applauds Obama's efforts to tax the rich in his budget and try for massive health-care reform. However, on the all-important questions of the financial system, he says he has not given up on the White House's seeing the merits of his argument - that the government must guarantee the liabilities of all the nation's banks and nationalize the big "zombie" banks - and do it fast. "The public wants to trust Obama," Krugman says. "This is still Bush's crisis. But if they wait, Obama will be blamed for a fair share of the problem." The question remains as to whether Krugman is right, which we won't know for a while to come.

(Read cover at www.Newsweek.com)

Cover: http://www.newsweek.com/id/191393

Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090329/91457
AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org/
AP PhotoExpress Network: PRN1
PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com
Source: Newsweek

CONTACT: Katherine Barna, +1-212-445-4859, of Newsweek

Web site: http://www.newsweek.msnbc.com/


Saturday, March 28, 2009

17:29 Nasir El-Rufai Fights Political Persecution in Nigeria

26 Mar 2009 17:29 Africa/Lagos

Nasir El-Rufai Fights Political Persecution in Nigeria

International legal expert Robert Amsterdam joins Nigerian defense team to challenge accusations against el-Rufai

LONDON, March 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Nasir El-Rufai, a popular Nigerian reformer who has faced nearly two years of investigations from trumped-up, politically-motivated charges has announced the retention of the well-known international lawyer Robert Amsterdam, of Amsterdam & Peroff. Mr. Amsterdam has a broad mandate to mount a vigorous legal defense of El-Rufai's reputation, person and property both in Nigeria and abroad.

Mr. A. U. Mustapha, prominent Nigerian counsel for El-Rufai, stated that, "the increasingly libelous accusations against former Minister El-Rufai and the ferocity of the campaign against him which violate Nigeria's commitments under international law prompted us to look for jurisdictions outside of Nigeria for additional arena for redress."

While serving in government, El-Rufai was recognized as an integral member of a team of bold and innovative reformers who brought real progress, transparency and accountability to Nigeria. During his tenure as Minister of the FCT, El-Rufai's administration was recognized globally as a model of transparency and efficiency, implementing policies and recruiting personnel that enhanced the viability of the federal capital as part of a wider reform agenda.

"The accusations against El-Rufai are politically motivated and intended to destroy the reputation of a Nigerian reformer and a results-oriented technocrat, and hence destroy the very notion of reform," said Amsterdam. "Nigerians deserve better than this." He continued, "These baseless accusations are of grave concern to the international community, particularly those concerned with human rights, democracy and good governance in Africa."

The Bureau of Public Enterprises which El-Rufai headed between 1999 and 2003 provided the then newly-created Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) temporary offices, initial staff and other resources to begin its successful anti-corruption campaign in 2003. The tenacity and effectiveness of the EFCC has prompted political reprisals against El-Rufai and Nuhu Ribadu, who were seen as the driving force behind the Commission's successful prosecutions. Both El-Rufai and Ribadu are now outside of Nigeria for their own safety.

Robert Amsterdam is the founding partner of the Toronto- and London, U.K.-based law firm Amsterdam & Peroff. More information on this case can be found at www.robertamsterdam.com.

Source: Amsterdam & Peroff

CONTACT: James Kimerm, +1-917-355-0717, James.kimer@ksocialmedia.com

Web Site: http://www.robertamsterdam.com/

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Nigerian Women Association of Georgia Awards 29 Scholarships

NWAG HAS DONE IT AGAIN!!NWAG will be awarding 29 Scholarships to deserving women in Nigerian Universities from 28 States. It is our intention to cover all 36 states of the federation in 2009! Congratulations to the following 2008 recipients:Full Recipients List

About Nigerian Women Association of Georgia
The Nigerian Women Association of Georgia (NWAG) founded in April 2000, is a non-profit organization based in Atlanta Georgia.

Mission Statement
The mission of NWAG is to serve our local community as well as our country Nigeria, through empowerment, cultural enrichment, and education of women, youth and children, thereby fostering togetherness and excellence in our collective pursuits.

Our Goals and Objectives
To bring all Nigerian Women in Georgia under one National Association.
To create opportunities for networking and information sharing in helping our community.
To promote and integrate our rich and diversified culture among our Youth.
To create a positive awareness of our National heritage within Georgia and the USA.
To work in collaboration with women groups in Georgia and the USA.

NWAG Core Beliefs
We believe in...
The Empowerment of Women, Youth and Children
Selfless Service, Strong Commitment and Teamwork
Mutual Respect, Integrity, and Excellence in our Pursuits
Honest and Open Communication
That Trusting Environment Strengthens and Encourages Its Members
Promoting Nigerian Culture

Friday, March 27, 2009

Let Us Stop the Aliko Dangote Mafia Gang-Up against African Petroleum Plc

Let Us Stop the Aliko Dangote Mafia Gang-Up against African Petroleum Plc

Nigerians Report has decided to address the case of The Unethical Manipulation of AP Shares Leading To a Decline in Value by Nova Finance & Securities Limited and Alhaji Aliko Dangote published on pages 94-95 of The Guardian on Tuesday, March 24, 2009.

It is important that this grievous allegation by the management of African Petroleum Plc against the Nova Finance & Securities Limited and Alhaji Aiko Dangote should be well investigated and the findings should be well circulated for the public knowledge of Nigerians and citizens of other nations, because hundreds of thousands of them are shareholders of these public quoted companies in Nigeria. Any act of economic misconduct or sabotage in Nigeria should be dealt with by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC). The alarm raised by the management of African Petroleum Plc is in the interest of their nearly 200, 000 shareholders and the general public.
If Alhaji Aliko Dangote has personal scores to settle with his business archrival Chief Femi Otedola, he should do so privately and not on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Aliko Dangote should not use innocent shareholders as pawns in his desperation to checkmate the advancement of Femi Otedola in the business leadership of Nigeria.
He should not use the shares of AP Plc to learn how to play Chess on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The fact is, without the Yorubas of Femi Otedola’s tribe, Alhaji Aliko Dangote would not have become as rich as he is today, because the majority of his customers or the consumers of his products are Yorubas. His own people the Hausas do not buy as much cement as the Yorubas, because Hausas hardly build houses as the Yoruba landlords who have landed properties from the Western region to the Northern region of the Hausas. Yorubas are the ones who buy most of the products produced and distributed by Aliko Dangote and not the Hausas who hardly indulge in extravagant parties as the popular Yorubas “Owanbe” parties. If the Yorubas should boycott Dangote’s products, the Dangote Group will collapse within 12 months. Imagine what would happen to the conglomerate of Alhaji Aliko Dangote if I make a clarion call to all Southerners from the East and Western states of Nigeria to boycott Dangote’s products and services? The Dangote business empire will crash!

Alhaji Aliko Dangote and his gang of Nova Finance & Securities Limited should stop their mischievous and unethical economic sabotage of “crossing” and devaluation of the shares of African Petroleum Plc at the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Any Dangote Mafia gang-up against Chief Femi Otedola and associates will fail woefully.

The ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of Nigeria connived with Aliko Dangote to use the Nigerian economy to practice monopoly and Totopoly and he monopolized the importation of cement with the support of the corrupt political mafia of the PDP. But the time has come to stop the greediness of Aliko Dangote and demand for equity and probity in the economic development of Nigeria for the mutual benefit of all the citizens and other stakeholders.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Intelligent Medical Objects Announces ICD-10 Extensions to Terminology Products

25 Mar 2009 14:45 Africa/Lagos

Intelligent Medical Objects Announces ICD-10 Extensions to Terminology Products

Intelligent Medical Objects Adds ICD-10-WHO and ICD-10-CA Extensions to Their Clinical Interface Terminology Products

NORTHBROOK, Ill., March 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Intelligent Medical Objects (IMO(R)) announces the general availability of ICD-10-WHO(1) and ICD-10-CA(2) extensions to their market-leading line of Clinical Interface Terminology products including IMO's Problem (IT). IMO Problem (IT) is a clinical diagnosis and problem terminology that contains over 170,000 user-friendly terms for clinicians, coders, and patients and is used within Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems to document diagnoses, problems, and medical histories.

The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision (ICD-10, called ICD-10-WHO here) is maintained by the World Health Organization (WHO) for morbidity and mortality reporting in many countries. This is the coding classification on which other countries are building their own modifications, such as ICD-10-CA in Canada or ICD-10-CM in the United States. ICD-10-CA is developed and is maintained by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) for morbidity and mortality reporting. The extensions to ICD-10-WHO and ICD-10-CA from IMO's user-friendly clinical interface terminology provide a seamless solution for EHRs that require ICD-10-WHO or ICD-10-CA classifications. The maintenance of these classifications in EHR systems is managed by IMO each time ICD-10 is in turn updated by the WHO and CIHI respectively.

Dr. Amy Y. Wang, IMO Acting Chief Medical Officer, adds, "Integrating ICD-10-WHO and ICD-10-CA into our product suite represents an important step towards meeting the clinical terminology and administrative needs of our international customers. This has laid the foundation and is part of IMO's overall strategy for incorporating ICD-10-CM into IMO Problem (IT) in order to assist our U.S. customers through the upcoming transition to ICD-10-CM."

"As our valued vendor partners expand their reach to international markets, it became imperative to enhance our trusted content offering to match vendor partners new client needs," says Mr. Jose Maldonado, IMO Vocabulary Product Manager. "In addition, this effort has opened several international opportunities for IMO independently of our current EHR/EMR vendor partners."

IMO is also helping to accelerate the international adoption of SNOMED CT(R) by working with the Millennium Villages Project to provide SNOMED CT(R) and ICD-10-WHO maps using IMO Interface Terminology for their Millennium Global Village-Network (MGV-Net) in 10 African countries. "We are grateful for IMO's continued support and contribution. By using IMO's comprehensive Interface terminology in MGV-Net, we can focus on improving care in the villages while the Ministries of Health and MVP's monitoring and evaluation systems use the mapping to ICD-10 WHO and SNOMED CT(R)," said Dr. Paul Pronyk, Director of Monitoring and Evaluation Programs for the Millennium Villages Project.

"IMO's mission for our interface terminology offering is to capture and preserve the clinical intent and allow care providers using an EHR/EMR to focus on delivery of care rather than be bothered by coding compliance," says Dr. Frank Naeymi-Rad, IMO CEO. This is achieved by moving the complexities associated with terminology standards for EHR/EMR vendors' applications to mappings provided and maintained by IMO. "We firmly believe the compliance to standards like ICD-10, ICD-9-CM, SNOMED CT(R), etc. by EHR/EMR vendors should be a seamless process and should not impede the delivery of care," says Dr. Frank Naeymi-Rad, IMO CEO.


Intelligent Medical Objects (IMO) develops, manages, and licenses medical vocabularies and software applications using the medical vocabulary for health care organizations. IMO's Clinical Interface Terminology products, including IMO Problem (IT), provide seamless mapping of diagnostic terminologies to billing codes and medical concepts. IMO provides the tools necessary for health care organizations to authoritatively support uniform labeling of health profiles, services rendered, and outcomes across their enterprise. This intersection of clinical and financial data provides health care organizations with dependable quality information to deliver services, bear risk, and to enable efficient, cost-effective operation and accountability. IMO's products improve physician satisfaction, facilitate physician adoption, speed the coding process, reduce unnecessary physician-coder communication, and result in fewer rejected claims. More information is available here: www.e-imo.com.

ABOUT Millennium Villages

Millennium Villages offer a scalable model for fighting poverty at the village level and achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Initiatives are based on the findings of the UN Millennium Project and are implemented by the communities themselves. There are currently 79 Millennium Villages located in 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda. The project is led by the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Millennium Promise, and the United National Development Programme (UNDP). For more information, please see www.millenniumvillages.org.

1. http://who.int/classifications/icd/en/

2. http://secure.cihi.ca/cihiweb/dispPage.jsp?cw_page=codingclass_icd10_e

Source: Intelligent Medical Objects

CONTACT: John Ennis of Intelligent Medical Objects, +1-847-272-1242,
ext. 3612, jennis@e-imo.com

Web Site: http://www.e-imo.com/

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

AllianceBernstein Global High Income Fund Releases Monthly Portfolio Update

AllianceBernstein Global High Income Fund Releases Monthly Portfolio Update
NEW YORK, March 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- AllianceBernstein Global High Income Fund, Inc. (NYSE:AWF) (the "Fund") today released its monthly portfolio update as of February 28, 2009. AllianceBernstein Global High Income Fund, Inc.

Click here for the full details of the Top 10 Fixed-Income Holdings and the rating on Nigeria

New Amnesty International Report Cites United States Mirroring Global Progress Toward Death Penalty Abolition

24 Mar 2009 01:00 Africa/Lagos

New Amnesty International Report Cites United States Mirroring Global Progress Toward Death Penalty Abolition

WASHINGTON, March 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Amnesty International (AI) reported today that the global trend toward eliminating capital punishment continued in 2008 and that "[t]here is increasing evidence that the United States itself is slowly turning away from the death penalty."

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081014/AILOGO)

AI's new report, Death Sentences and Executions in 2008, which provides a global overview of the death penalty, found that only 25 out of the 59 countries that retain the death penalty executed in 2008. In the United States, only nine of the 36 states that retained the death penalty in 2008 actually carried out executions, and the vast majority of these executions took place in one region: the South. Texas accounted for, in essence, half (18 of 37) of the U.S. executions in 2008.

"Executions in the United States are increasingly a regionally isolated phenomenon. Elsewhere, concerns about cost, the possibility of executing the innocent and racial bias have led to a significant decline in support for capital punishment," said Sue Gunawardena-Vaughn, director of AIUSA's Death Penalty Abolition Campaign. On March 18, 2009, New Mexico became the 15th state to become death penalty-free as a result of these concerns. Currently Nebraska, New Hampshire, Colorado and Montana are considering a variety of abolition bills.

Amnesty International's report disclosed that executions are also a regional phenomenon at the international level, as the vast majority of executions in 2008 occurred in Asia and the Middle East. Europe and Central Asia are now virtually free of the death penalty -- with the exception of Belarus. The United States is the only country in the Americas that consistently executes. In December of 2008, St. Kitts and Nevis carried out the first execution in the Americas outside the United States since 2003. There were only two recorded executions in sub-Saharan Africa in 2008, though at least 362 people were sentenced to death.

The report found that between January and December 2008, at least 2,390 people were executed around the world with at least 8,864 sentenced to death in 52 countries. China remained the world's leading executioner by a wide margin, accounting for at least 1,718 executions -- near three-quarters of all executions -- although the figure is believed to be much higher as statistics on death sentences and executions remain state secrets. As in previous years, the United States was also one of the world's top executing nations, behind only China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Together, the five countries accounted for 93% of all documented executions worldwide.

"While it is rewarding to see the United States progressing toward death penalty abolition, the United States should be at the forefront of this movement, not bringing up the rear," said Gunawardena-Vaughn.

The report addresses the discriminatory manner with which the death penalty was often applied in 2008, with a disproportionate number of sentences handed down to the poor, and to members of racial, ethnic or religious minority communities in countries such as Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and the United States. It also discusses the continuing risk of executing the innocent, as highlighted by the four prisoners released from death rows in the United States on grounds of innocence. The four were Kennedy Brewer (Mississippi), Glen Edward Chapman (North Carolina), Levon "Bo" James (North Carolina) and Michael Blair (Texas).

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.2 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.


A copy of Amnesty International's report, Death Sentences and Executions
in 2008, will be available from March 24, 2009, 00:01 GMT on www.amnesty.org.

Also available are a number of case studies of people who were executed
during 2008 or who are currently on death row.

A copy of Amnesty International's report, Ending executions in Europe:
Towards abolition of the death penalty in Belarus, calling on the Belarusian
authorities to abolish the death penalty will also be available from March 24,
2009, 00:01 GMT on http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/EUR49/001/2009/en.
First Call Analyst:
FCMN Contact:

Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081014/AILOGO
AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org/
PRN Photo Desk photodesk@prnewswire.co
Source: Amnesty International

CONTACT: AIUSA media office, +1-202-544-0200 ext. 302, lspann@aiusa.org,
or Brian Evans, +1-202-544-0200 ext. 496, +1-646-853-9623 (cell),
bevans@aiusa.org, both of Amnesty International

Web Site: http://www.amnesty.org/

Indego Africa Opens Global Market to Rwandan Women, Provides Long-Term Skills

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is Re-Born Again!

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the former President of Nigeria

Rev. Chief. Olusegun Obasanjo, the former President and twice head of state of Nigeria has been reborn again on Sunday 22nd of March, 2009, at the eight anniversary of the Power Link Chapel of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in Lekki, Lagos.

Obasanjo who was accompanied by an elderly woman simply introduced as Mrs. Obasanjo told the congregation how he was born again whilst incarcerated by the late Gen. Sani Abacha, the sadistic head of the military junta that ruled Nigeria in the 1990s. He said the divine intervention of God saved his life, because Abacha actually plotted to kill him as he killed the former Chief of Staff, Maj-Gen. Musa Shehu Yar’ Adua and Chief M.K.O. Abiola, the winner of the annulled 1993 June 12 Presidential election who died in detention. Obasanjo recalled how he converted a fellow prisoner who was a notorious armed robber and murderer, popularly known as “Baba Ali”.
He also made a presentation of his obscure book "Guides to Effective Prayer" that was published in 1998 before he won the 1999 presidential election and became the President of Nigeria. He advised Nigerians on how to pray and trust God to answer their prayers.

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Voice and SMS Converge in Nigeria

Voice and SMS Converge in Nigeria

March 13, 2009

On February 16, Visafone, the leading mobile CDMA operator in Nigeria with 2.2m active subscribers at year-end 2008, complemented its mobile value-added services by launching a voice SMS service. The service allows subscribers to record a voice message and send it to another subscriber; the recipient is then notified by SMS. Sending a message is as easy as adding a star before the receiver’s phone number, while retrieving the message is done by dialing zero when reading the notification SMS.

My recent research on data service trends in Africa and the Middle East (AME), discussed in Leveraging SMS to Attract the Low End of the Income Scale, places voice SMS at the top of a new generation of SMS-based applications that target the large base of low-income subscribers in AME markets. While peer-to-peer SMS is already generating most of the data revenue in the region – about 59% in 2008 – these new SMS-based services can help operators stabilize their eroding voice revenues. SMS-based applications such as voice SMS, balance transfer and call-me can serve two major functions: Improve call completion and generate new traffic.

In Nigeria, for example, the voice SMS service is already on offer from Glo Mobile, a GSM operator, and from Starcomms, a CDMA operator. Visafone’s service, however, is more attractive, offering a longer message time (45 seconds per message, compared with only 30 seconds per message with the other operators). Unlike the other operators, Visafone also allows its subscribers to send voice SMS messages to subscribers on other networks, although for a higher rate (see Exhibit 1).

Voice SMS, SMS and voice tariffs for Visafone, Starcomms and Glo Mobile

Source: Pyramid Research, operators
Early results show substantial uptake in the markets where voice SMS has been rolled out. Etisalat, for example, said that its 6.4m subscribers in the UAE sent about half a million messages within five days of launch. I expect service adoption to be no less substantial in Nigeria, which might entice the rest of the major operators, notably MTN and Zain, to jump on the bandwagon and offer the service. The service is attractive because it is non-intrusive, cheaper than a call and easy to use. In Africa and the Middle East, there are still many people who cannot use SMS messages because they’re illiterate or unfamiliar with roman-lettered keypads. With the adult literacy rate at only 69% in Nigeria in 2005 according to UNICEF, that’s at least 30m people locked out of the P2P SMS service. I also expect adoption to be higher among Glo’s subscriber base than those of the CDMA operators, just because of the higher discount Glo offers on its voice call rates.

I don’t expect any major cannibalization of voice or peer-to-peer business. On the contrary, I believe that the service enhances the operator’s relationship with its subscribers, and that in addition to the revenue it generates directly, voice SMS will also generate voice revenue when users replay, forward and reply to their messages.

— Badii Kechiche, Analyst

Related content:

Leveraging SMS to Attract the Low End of the Income Scale
Telecom Insider published March 2009
Over the next four years, SMS-based services will be a powerful tool that operators in Africa and the Middle East can use to target their growing base of low-income subscribers and generate higher revenues from both data and voice, adding up to a minimum of US$6bn in new annual revenue by 2013. This report looks at how operators in AME can leverage the SMS platform to boost revenue from the largest, lowest-income subscriber segments. We first examine peer-to-peer SMS in the region, a service that accounted for about 60% of total mobile data revenue in AME in 2008. We also analyze some of the latest and most successful SMS-based services, examining in detail how operators have implemented four of these services in three key markets: South Africa, Egypt and the UAE.

Communications Markets in Nigeria
Country Intelligence Report published March 2009
Nigeria is one of the most attractive markets in Africa & the Middle East — the fourth largest in the region in terms of mobile revenue. Pyramid Research expects Nigeria's total telecom revenue to increase from an estimated US$8.42bn in 2008 to $11.14bn in 2013. Resolution to the Nitel/Mtel crisis and fixed infrastructure rollout will reignite the slow growth in the fixed segment, but the bulk of service revenue will continue to come from mobile. Given Nigeria’s large, young population and low penetration of households, at about 1.7% in 2008, we also expect a significant growth in pay-TV service over the next five years. This Country Intelligence Report analyzes Nigeria’s communications, media and technology industries, including key trends, regulatory pressures and the competitive landscape, making it an excellent complement to our Forecast products.

Africa & Middle East Mobile Demand Forecast, Q4 2008
Forecasts published December 2008
Updated on a quarterly basis, our Mobile Demand Forecast products provide complete pictures of demand trends for 59 geographical markets in Africa & Middle East. The Excel output includes five years of historical data and five years of market projections for metrics such as GDP, mobile penetration, subscriptions (by operator, type of package, technology), ARPS and total mobile service revenue (data and voice). The Forecasts are based on extensive field research and use a consistent methodology across all markets, aiming to capture the total spending, from an end-user perspective, on mobile communication services in each market

20 Mar 2009 15:58 Africa/Lagos

Light Reading Weekly's Picks of the Week

A look at Light Reading's collection of can't-miss stories from the past seven days

NEW YORK, March 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Following are our editor's picks for the top stories on TechWeb's Light Reading (www.lightreading.com) for the work week ending Friday, March 20, 2009, with commentary by Light Reading's Editor-in-Chief, Phil Harvey:

1) News Analysis: ZTE Ramps 2008 Revenues

ZTE Corp. defied the economic downturn in 2008 with a 27.4 percent increase in annual revenues.


2) News Analysis: Supercomm 2009 Delayed Until October
This is good for the industry, the new event director says.
And only about half of our readers agree:

3) News Analysis: Cisco's Latest Buy - Flippin' Sweet

Vendor can't seem to quench its desire to own the really crappy video market.


4) Light Reading Asia: Our top stories from the lands of Yen and Yangtze

* China to Top Capex Table

Mobile network expansion plans will push China to the top of the global telecom capex table in 2009.


* Towering Investments

US firm buys Indian mobile tower player XCEL, and Tata unveils 100 Mbit/s broadband in Mumbai.


* India Adds 13M Subs in February
Down from January, but still impressive.

* LR Appoints Asia Editor
Her name: Catherine Haslam. Her game: Death-defying journalism.

5) Heavy Reading: Review of Netbooks & Integrated 3G
Gabe Brown is not fooled by smaller PCs and larger phones.

6) Pyramid Points: Voice and SMS Converge in Nigeria
The distribution of tiny voicemails could help carrier revenues.

7) News Analysis: Charter Plan Could Pay Execs $24M

In the great tradition of American business, Charter sweetens exec pay before bankruptcy.


To subscribe to the Light Reading Weekly via email, visit:


About Light Reading

Founded in 2000, Light Reading (www.lightreading.com) is the leading online media, research, and focused event company serving the $3 trillion worldwide communications market. Lightreading.com is the ultimate source for technology and financial analysis of the communications industry, leading the media sector in terms of traffic, content, and reputation. Light Reading's research arms, Heavy Reading and Pyramid Research, provide the most comprehensive communications research, market data, and technology analysis in close to 100 markets around the world. Light Reading produces nearly 20 targeted communications events including TelcoTV, Ethernet Expo New York and Ethernet Expo London, The Tower Summit @ CTIA, and Optical Expo, as well as focused one-day events tailored for cable, mobile, and wireline executives. Light Reading was acquired by United Business Media in August 2005 and operates as a unit of TechWeb.

About TechWeb

TechWeb (techweb.com/aboutus), the global leader in business technology media, is an innovative business focused on serving the needs of technology decision-makers and marketers worldwide. TechWeb produces the most respected and consumed media brands in the business technology market. Today, more than 13.3 million* business technology professionals actively engage in our communities created around our global face-to-face events Interop, Web 2.0, Black Hat and VoiceCon; online resources such as the TechWeb Network, Light Reading, Intelligent Enterprise, InformationWeek.com, bMighty.com, and The Financial Technology Network; and the market leading, award-winning InformationWeek, TechNet Magazine, MSDN Magazine, Wall Street & Technology magazines. TechWeb also provides end-to-end services ranging from next-generation performance marketing, integrated media, research, and analyst services. TechWeb is a division of United Business Media, a global provider of news distribution and specialist information services with a market capitalization of more than $2.5 billion.

* 13.3 million business decision-makers: based on # of monthly connections

About United Business Media Limited

UBM (UBM.L) focuses on two principal activities: worldwide information distribution, targeting and monitoring; and, the development and monetisation of B2B communities and markets. UBM's businesses inform markets and serve professional commercial communities - from doctors to game developers, from journalists to jewelry traders, from farmers to pharmacists - with integrated events, online, print and business information products. Our 6,500 staff in more than 30 countries are organised into specialist teams that serve these communities, bringing buyers and sellers together, helping them to do business and their markets to work effectively and efficiently. For more information, go to http://www.unitedbusinessmedia.com/

Amy Averbook
Director of Corporate Marketing
Light Reading
212-925-0020 x112

Source: Light Reading

CONTACT: Amy Averbook, Director of Corporate Marketing, Light Reading,
+1-212-925-0020, ext. 112, averbook@lightreading.com

Web Site: http://www.lightreading.com/

Friday, March 20, 2009

Alder Consulting is Responsible for the Failure of the Nigeria: Heart of Africa Project

“We intend to source money from the public sector, which is government, private sector and the people of Nigeria. Re-Branding Nigeria is not a jamboree for spending money. We intend to account for all funds.”
~ Prof. Dora Akunyili

It is shocking that over N1 billion was wasted on the ill-fated Nigeria: Heart of Africa project. The honourable Minister of Information and Communication said, N750 million was appropriated for the “Heart of Africa” project in 2007, N308 million was allocated to the project in 2008 and N299 million has already been spent out of the N308 million. And N150 million has been appropriated for the Nigeria: Heart of Africa project in 2009. But believe it or not, the National Assembly is ignorant of any budget for the Nigeria: Heart of Africa project!

How can the elected lawmakers be ignorant of the budget of a national project that was conceptualized by Alder Consulting as a duly registered contractor of the Federal Government of Nigeria?

The Heart of Africa Project

In 2004, the Federal Ministry of Information & National Orientation was desirous of a cohesive image programme for Nigeria that would promote the country’s national brands while at the same time, address the negatives.

To accomplish this, Alder Consulting conceptualised what is known as the Heart of Africa Project (aka the Nigeria Image Project), a programme for Nigeria's image management and economic progression.

In developing the overall framework for the project, we conducted a Brand Asset Audit of Nigeria and evaluated the strengths & weaknesses of those assets. (This was done to identify strong and credible Nigerian brands to be marketed). We also executed extensive research to identify Nigeria's brand eroders and their effects.
Based on the results of the Audit and research, a detailed implementation plan was developed by Alder which was adopted by the Ministry. A logo (and other graphical elements) was designed for the Heart of Africa Project. The implementation plan was subsequently presented to various stakeholders using customised multimedia presentations and Cds.

Marketing materials were designed including internal/external marketing
communication materials (print adverts, billboards, marketing brochures and other publications) and a budget and comprehensive media plan were developed. During the course of the Project, we were called upon to script a series of CNN advertisements. An advance website for the Project was also developed by Alder.

The programme is currently being implemented under the auspices of The Federal Ministry of Information & National Orientation and Alder has been retained as consultants on the project. A Business Support Group has been constituted for the Project from the Private Sector.
~ Alder Consulting

The hundreds of millions of naira appropriated to the Nigeria: Heart of Africa project have been spent and Nigerians have the right to know how they were spent.

The millions of naira of public funds appropriated to the project must have been misappropriated?

Alder has questions to answer and the management of Alder and the previous ministers of the Ministry of Information and Communication must tell Nigerians how they spent over N1 billion on their White Elephant project.

Those who embezzled over N1 billion under the camouflage of the Nigeria: Heart of Africa Project are not invisible spirits and the new Minister of Information and Communication should probe the committee that was responsible for the failure of the last re-branding project and not sweeping it under the carpet. Nigerians should not be taking for a ride again.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Delta Makes Travel to Africa More Affordable with Special Fares to Kenya and Liberia

17 Mar 2009 19:41 Africa/Lagos

Delta Makes Travel to Africa More Affordable with Special Fares to Kenya and Liberia

ATLANTA, March 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) today announced limited-time special fares on its new routes to Kenya and Liberia*, making travel to Africa more affordable on the only airline with scheduled service between the U.S. and that continent.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090202/DELTALOGO )

Delta is offering a one-way introductory fare of $819** for travel between Atlanta and Nairobi, Kenya (via Dakar, Senegal), from June 2 to Aug. 30, 2009; and of $989** for travel between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Monrovia, Liberia* (also via Dakar), from June 8 to Aug. 30, 2009. A round-trip ticket purchase is required and travel must be booked by April 7, 2009. **Additional taxes/fees/restrictions/baggage charges may apply. Details are included below.

Delta's new flights to Kenya and Liberia are part of the airline's expanding service to Africa, which already includes service between New York-JFK to Accra, Ghana; Dakar; Cape Town, South Africa; and Abuja, Nigeria* (via Dakar*, beginning June 10, 2009). Delta also offers nonstop service between Atlanta and Dakar; and Lagos, Nigeria. Delta's existing one-stop service between Atlanta and Johannesburg, South Africa, via Dakar, will become a nonstop flight starting June 1, 2009.

Delta's schedule between Atlanta and Nairobi (via Dakar) starting June 2:

Flight Departs Arrives Aircraft Frequency

DL34 Atlanta 4:10 p.m. Nairobi 5:25 p.m. Boeing 4 times weekly
(next day) 767-300ER

DL35 Nairobi 8:10 p.m. Atlanta 8 a.m. Boeing 4 times weekly
(next day) 767-300ER

Delta's schedule between New York-JFK and Monrovia (via Dakar), starting June 8:

Flight Departs Arrives Aircraft Frequency

DL212 New York-JFK Monrovia 8:05 a.m. Boeing 1 time
4:15 p.m. (next day) 757-200 weekly
(with Business

DL213 Monrovia 10 a.m. New York-JFK 5:40 p.m. Boeing 1 time
757-200 weekly
(with Business

Delta Air Lines is the world's largest airline. From its hubs in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita, Delta, its Northwest subsidiary and Delta Connection carriers offer service to 378 destinations in 66 countries and serve more than 170 million passengers each year. Delta's marketing alliances allow customers to earn and redeem either SkyMiles or WorldPerks on more than 16,000 daily flights offered by SkyTeam and other partners. Delta's more than 70,000 employees worldwide are reshaping the aviation industry as the only U.S. airline to offer a full global network. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes, check bags and flight status at delta.com.

**Terms and Conditions:

Restrictions: Fares shown are available at delta.com. Tickets cost $20 more if purchased from Delta over the phone, $35 more at a Delta ticket counter or ticket office, and these amounts are nonrefundable. Tickets are non-transferable. Seats are limited. Tickets: Fares shown are round-trip. Tickets must be purchased within 72 hours after reservations are made and no later than April 7, 2009. Travel Period: Travel to Nairobi may begin June 2, 2009 through August 30, 2009. Travel to Monrovia may begin June 8, 2009 through August 30, 2009. Blackout Dates: None. Fare Validity: Fare is valid only in the Economy (Coach) cabin via nonstop flights operated by Delta Air Lines. Minimum Stay: For Monrovia 7 days; for Nairobi 5 days. Maximum Stay: 3 months Taxes/Fees: Federal Excise Tax of $3.60, Passenger Facility Charge(s) of up to $4.50, and the September 11th Security Fee of up to $2.50 for each flight segment are not included. Fares do not include U.S. International Air Transportation Tax of up to $32.20 and U.S. and foreign user, inspection, security or other similarly based charges, fees or taxes of up to $299, depending on itinerary. Taxes and fees must be paid when the ticket is purchased. Baggage Charges: For travel within the United States/PR/U.S. Virgin Islands, $15 for 1 checked bag and $25 for second checked bag. For all other travel, no fee for 2 checked bags and $200 fee for third checked bag. Allowances are subject to size/weight limits. Contact a Delta agent or visit delta.com for details. Cancellations/Refunds/Changes: Tickets are nonrefundable except in accordance with Delta's cancellation policy. Fees may apply for downgrades/reissues and itinerary changes. Contact a Delta agent or visit delta.com for details. Miscellaneous: Fares, taxes, fees, rules, and offers are subject to change without notice. Other restrictions may apply. (C)2009 Delta Air Lines, Inc.

*Subject to foreign government approval.

Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090202/DELTALOGO
AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org/
PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com
Source: Delta Air Lines

CONTACT: Corporate Communications, +1-404-715-2554

Web Site: Delta

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

VIDEO: Revolutionary GOCE Spacecraft Benefits From QinetiQ Precision

Revolutionary GOCE spacecraft benefits from QinetiQ precision
Ion thrusters provide cruise control for ESA gravity mission to be launched today

London, UK, Monday 16 March 2009 /PRNewswire/ — QinetiQ's (LSE: QQL) electric engines are playing a crucial role on a revolutionary spacecraft to be launched today (Monday) from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in Northern Russia.

The electric engines, known as T5 ion thrusters, are providing high-precision drag compensation for the dart-shaped GOCE spacecraft being launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) to map the Earth's gravitational field.

GOCE is the first spacecraft to be launched as part of ESA's living planet programme which is investigating the impact that human activity is having on the Earth. By measuring the Earth's gravity, GOCE will contribute significantly to our understanding of the Earth's structure, ocean circulation and climate change.

The strength of the Earth's gravitational field diminishes with altitude, so GOCE's orbit skirts the outer reaches of the atmosphere at just 200-300 kms (125-185 miles) above the Earth. As a result the spacecraft experiences small but significant disturbances in its motion from atmospheric drag. QinetiQ's electric engines act as cruise control for the spacecraft, continuously compensating for this atmospheric drag and quite literally preventing the spacecraft from falling out of the sky.

"In order to achieve its very challenging mission objectives, the GOCE spacecraft is based on cutting-edge technology, making it a jewel of innovations," commented Volker Liebig, Director of Earth Observation Programmes at ESA. "It has been designed to fly at an extremely low orbital altitude, just 250km (155 miles) above Earth. For this reason it has an eye-catching aerodynamic shape and will actively compensate for the air drag by using the finely controlled thrust of QinetiQ's ion engine."

QinetiQ's T5 ion thrusters are around ten times more efficient than rocket thrusters that have traditionally been used to propel spacecraft, requiring only 40kgs of propellant for the whole 30-month GOCE mission. The thrusters use the inert gas xenon as their propellant ensuring they are also more environmentally friendly than conventional thrusters that use volatile chemical propellant.

"This important space mission would not be possible without the precision provided by the QinetiQ's electric engines," commented Mary Carver, Managing Director of QinetiQ's Integrated Systems business. "Our space engineers have overcome a challenge that has been likened to compensating for the impact of an insect landing on the windscreen of a car travelling at 100mph."

Mary Carver added: "In the next few years electric propulsion could make previously impossible missions into deep space a reality and extend the operational life of commercial communications satellites, reducing costs."

QinetiQ is currently working with partners to qualify its T6 thruster, an even more advanced electric propulsion system that has been designed for use on the ESA BepiColombo mission to Mercury.

About the GOCE mission
The GOCE (Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer) mission is dedicated to measuring the Earth's gravity field and modelling the planet's geoid, essentially a gravitational contour map, with extremely high accuracy and spatial resolution. It is the first Earth Explorer Core mission to be developed as part of ESA's Living Planet Programme and is scheduled for launch from Plesetsk, Russia in March 2009.

A precise model of the Earth's geoid is crucial for deriving accurate measurements of ocean circulation, sea-level change and terrestrial ice dynamics – all of which are affected by climate change. The geoid is also used as a reference surface from which to map all topographical features on the planet.

An improved knowledge of gravity anomalies will contribute to a better understanding of the Earth's interior, such as the physics and dynamics associated with volcanism and earthquakes and also further our knowledge of land uplift due to post-glacial rebound.

The prime contractor for the mission is Thales Alenia Space Italy, with Astrium Friedrichshafen responsible for the spacecraft.

About the Ion Propulsion Assembly
The electric propulsion system is responsible for controlling and maintaining the spacecraft's orbit and as such is a vital GOCE subsystem. Uniquely it also ensures the drag free attitude control in the flight direction essential to allow the scientific objectives of the mission to be achieved.

At the heart of the system is QinetiQ's T5 ion thruster, mounted on an adjustable alignment bracket to direct the thrust vector through the spacecraft centre of mass. The thruster is extremely efficient requiring dramatically less propellant than conventional rocket thrusters, allowing the 30-month mission to be achieved using only 40 kg of propellant. For redundancy, two ion thrusters are mounted externally on the rear panel of the satellite.

The propellant is the inert xenon gas which is continuously fed into the 10 cm diameter cylindrical discharge chamber. The xenon is then ionised by electrons emitted by an internal cathode which both ignites and subsequently sustains the plasma inside the thruster chamber. A weak variable magnetic field is also applied which enhances the ionisation efficiency and also allows the number of ions created, and therefore the thrust produced, to be rapidly varied to precisely match the drag level.

In addition to providing the T5 thrusters, QinetiQ has produced control software and algorithms for the GOCE propulsion system. QinetiQ has also supported the testing of the Ion Propulsion Assembly.

Press Contact:
David Bishop
Head of External Communications
01252 394573
07920 108675

FTS Selected as the Interconnect Billing Provider by Starcomms

17 Mar 2009 09:00 Africa/Lagos

FTS Selected as the Interconnect Billing Provider by Starcomms

Nigeria's Largest 3G CDMA Mobile Network Upgrades to FTS' Leap Interconnect

HERZLIYA, Israel, March 17/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- FTS (LSE: FTS), a global provider of Billing, CRM and Business Control solutions for communications and content service providers, today announced that Starcomms Ltd., Nigeria's largest 3G CDMA mobile network, has again selected FTS as its interconnect billing provider. Starcomms deployed FTS' Leap(TM) Interconnect to support its rapidly growing subscriber base, and to ensure accounting accuracy of its growing interconnect revenues.

The new implementation offers Starcomms a range of interconnect services, including retrieval of mediation records from the operator's mobile switch, rating of these records as well as generating and printing bills for Starcomms' interconnect partners. Leap Interconnect also provides Starcomms with innovative reporting and settlements capabilities as a result of its ability to flexibly integrate with other Starcomms applications.

"Our focus on innovative solutions was the reason for selecting FTS' interconnect billing solution a few years ago," said Hashem Sallam, Starcomms' Billing Manager. "As we expand the reach of our network and services, and our subscriber base continues to grow, our interconnect services have become a major revenue stream. Leap Interconnect provides us with all of the billing capabilities that we need as we continue to expand, and we are pleased to be working with a trusted vendor like FTS to ensure the accuracy of our interconnect accounting."

"This upgrade to Leap Interconnect is testimony to the strength of our relationship with Starcomms," said Shamir Efrony, Africa Sales Director, FTS. "In addition to expanding our relationship with Starcomms, it also illustrates our ongoing commitment to the Nigerian market in particular and the African continent in general. FTS' strategic focus on Africa means that we spare no effort in continuing to support our African customers with world class solutions."

About Starcomms Ltd.

Starcomms Ltd., Nigeria's largest CDMA 3G mobile network, is a provider of one-stop telecommunication solutions for mobile and fixed market segments. Providing mobile, fixed, customized and value-added services to the Nigerian individual and corporate market, Starcomms has a subscriber base of over 1,000,000 and still growing. Starcomms is the first operator to launch 3G EVDO mobile broadband in Nigeria and West Africa. Starcomms is the first CDMA operator to introduce the use of RUIM cards, and the first operator to launch instant messenger on mobiles in Nigeria. Starcomms.

About FTS

FTS (LSE: FTS) is a leading provider of Billing, CRM and Business Control solutions for communications, content and service providers. By analyzing events from a business standpoint rather than just billing them, FTS allows providers to better understand their customer base and leverage business value from every event and interaction. FTS deploys its full range of end-to-end, stand-alone and add-on solutions to customers in over 40 countries and has implemented solutions in wireless, wireline, cable, content and broadband markets including multiple cross-network installations. Serving the evolving needs of both traditional and next generation service providers, the company's operations comprise four international R&D locations and strategically-located sales support offices worldwide. For more information please visit http://www.fts-soft.com/.

For further information please contact:
Sonus PR: Martin Smith, Tel. +44-20-7851-4821, martin.smith@sonuspr.com
FTS: Moshe Peterfreund, Tel. +972-9-952-6500, press@fts-soft.com

Source: FTS

For further information please contact: Sonus PR: Martin Smith, Tel. +44-20-7851-4821, martin.smith@sonuspr.com; FTS: Moshe Peterfreund, Tel. +972-9-952-6500, press@fts-soft.com

Monday, March 16, 2009

China-Africa Development Fund Opens First Office in Africa

16 Mar 2009 11:15 Africa/Lagos

China-Africa Development Fund Opens First Office in Africa

JOHANNESBURG, March 16/PRNewswire/ --

- Major Step for Sino-African Cooperation

The China-Africa Development Fund (CADFund) opened the first representative office in Johannesburg, South Africa today. The Fund will boost economic development in Africa by encouraging investment by Chinese enterprises. Its creation stems from President Hu Jintao's pledge at the China-Africa Cooperation summit in 2006.

According to Chen Yuan, Chairman of the Board of the China Development Bank, the Fund is the first of its kind. It will encourage Chinese companies to invest in multiple industries, leading to an improved quality of life for residents throughout Africa.

The China-Africa Development Fund is a 5 billion US Dollar fund. The China Development Bank invested $1 billion, which is the fund's first phase of capital. Since its establishment in June 2007, the CADFund has facilitated over 20 investments in Africa, amounting to nearly 400 million US Dollars.

Several high-level Chinese and South African government officials and business leaders attended the office opening ceremony, including African National Congress president Jacob Zuma, China Development Bank Chairman Chen Yuan, CADFund CEO Chi Jianxin, and Zhong Jianhua, China's Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa. In total, over 300 guests were present at the event.

The creation of the China-Africa Development Fund's Representative Office in South Africa is a further step to help facilitate CADFund's investments in Africa. The CADFund aims to establish Representative Offices throughout Africa in the future to further promote economic cooperation between China and Africa and to bring about mutual benefits.

About the China-Africa Development Fund:

The China-Africa Development Fund (CADFund) is a US$5 billion equity investment fund in China focusing on investments in Africa. Established on June 26, 2007, with initial funding of US$1 billion from the China Development Bank, CADFund operates independently and assumes sole responsibility for its profits and losses. Among the investments concluded by CADFund: cotton planting and processing facility in Malawi, 560,000kW scalable power station in Ghana, glass factory in Ethiopia, Egyptian Suez Trade Park, and Nigerian Lachish Trade Zone.

For more information, please contact:

Maria Guimaraes
Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide Beijing
Email: Maria.guimaraes@ogilvy.com
Tel: +86-10-8520-3094

Mikko Lan
Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide Beijing
Email: Mikko.lan@ogilvy.com
Tel: +86-10-8520-6560

Source: The China-Africa Development Fund

Maria Guimaraes of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide Beijing, Maria.guimaraes@ogilvy.com, or +86-10-8520-3094; or Mikko Lan of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide Beijing, Mikko.lan@ogilvy.com, or +86-10-8520-6560

12 Mar 2009
IPC The Hospitalist Company Presents IPC Hospitalist of the Year Award to Tim Osonma, M.D.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Invest in America--Before it's Too Late

In the March 23 issue of Newsweek (on newsstands Monday, March 16): "I Want You to Start Spending!" Daniel Gross writes about how we, as consumers, need to start taking risks again in the economy and start spending to help the recovery. Plus: Mexican drug cartel violence spreads north of the U.S. border; investigating Americans' Swiss bank accounts; the decline of Iraq's Kurdistan; how to choose the right procedure for an ailing heart and Prince's big online bet. (PRNewsFoto/Newsweek) NEW YORK, NY UNITED STATES 03/15/2009

15 Mar 2009 16:56 Africa/Lagos

NEWSWEEK Cover: I Want You to Start Spending!

Invest in America--Before it's Too Late

We've All Lost The Taste For Risk; For Our Economy To Recover and Thrive, 'Hoarders must open our wallets and become consumers, and businesses must once again be willing to roll the dice,' writes Daniel Gross

'We've gone from age of entitlement to age of thrift,' says PIMCO CEO

NEW YORK, March 15 /PRNewswire/ -- With the economy in its 16th month of recession and the markets cut in half, it seems we've all lost the taste for risk, writes Newsweek Senior Editor Daniel Gross in the current issue. "In the grip of a bubble mentality, we -- as investors, consumers and businesses -- blithely assumed risk and convinced ourselves it was perfectly safe to do so," he writes. But now, "the zeitgeist has spun 180 degrees. Squeeze your nickels, slash debt, stop gambling," Gross writes in the March 23 Newsweek cover, "I Want You to Start Spending!" (on newsstands Monday, March 16). "For our $14 trillion economy to recover and thrive, hoarders must open their wallets and become consumers, and businesses must once again be willing to roll the dice."

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090315/NYSU004 )

In his essay, Gross explains how not spending anything now could mean bigger problems in the future. The rush to hoard cash and pinch pennies is understandable, given that some $13 trillion in net worth evaporated between mid-2007 and the end of 2008, Gross writes. "But while it makes complete microeconomic sense for families and individual businesses, the spending freeze and collective shunning of nonguaranteed investments is macroeconomically troubling. Especially if it persists once the credit crisis passes."

"The precautionary behavior of every entity in the global economy has gone up," Mohamed El-Arian, CEO of the giant bond-investment fund PIMCO, tells Newsweek. "We've gone from an age of entitlement to an age of thrift."

Gross writes that nobody is advocating a return to the debt-fueled days of "4,000-square-foot second homes, $1,000 handbags and $6 specialty coffees. But in our economy, in which 70 percent of activity is derived from consumers, we do need our neighbors to spend. Otherwise we fall into what economist John Maynard Keynes called the 'paradox of thrift.' If everyone saves during a slack period, economic activity will decrease, thus making everyone poorer. We also need to start investing again not necessarily in the stocks of Citigroup or in condos in Miami. But rather to build skills, to create skills, to create the new companies that are so vital to growth, and to fund the discovery and development of new technologies."

Economists warn that if we don't manage to jolt the economy back into life soon, we run the risk of repeating Japan's so-called "lost decade" of the 1990s, Gross writes. Would that be so bad? After all, while Japan endured a prolonged period of slow growth, nobody starved, there was no social unrest in the aging country, and its biggest companies continued to innovate. But America is different. Thanks to our continually rising population, we need significant growth just to maintain our standards of living -- and the health of our democracy. "When people experience progress in their material living standards and they have some degree of optimism that it will continue, they're inclined to support public policies that reflect tolerance, opening of opportunity and commitments to democracy," says Benjamin Friedman, a Harvard economist and author of "The Moral Consequences of Growth."

A second moral imperative demands that America get back on the growth track, Gross writes. "The U.S. remains the single largest source of demand. Until America emerges from its bunker, the global economy -- facing its first year of contraction since World War II -- is likely to remain moribund."

(Read cover at www.Newsweek.com)


Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090315/NYSU004
AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org/
PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com
Source: Newsweek

CONTACT: Jan Angilella of Newsweek, +1-212-445-5638

Web Site: http://www.newsweek.com/

Madoff Securities Fraud Case
U.S. Ad Spending Fell 2.6% in 2008, Nielsen Reports
St. Patrick's Day
Fortune Magazine's Most Admired Companies

MELTDOWN: "There is no better book to read on the present crisis."

Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse (Hardcover)

"There is no better book to read on the present crisis."

Many Americans are looking to the new administration to solve our economic problems. Unfortunately, that is probably a vain hope. Although we were promised "change," we are only getting a continuation of the same superficial economic fixes that have damaged so many economies in the past, and that will only delay the return of prosperity.

These fixes are based on the false belief that the free-market economy has failed. But it is not the market that has failed. It is intervention into the market that has failed. The Federal Reserve and its manipulation of money and interest rates have failed. None of this can be blamed on the free market.

That's why Meltdown, a New York Times bestseller, is so important. This book actually gets things right. It correctly identifies our problems, their causes, and what we should do about them. It treats the architects of this debacle not with the undeserved reverence they receive in Washington and on television, but with the critical eye that is so conspicuously missing from our supposedly independent thinkers in academia and the media.

In a short span, Tom introduces the layman to a range of subjects that have been excluded from our national discussion for much too long. Among many other things, Tom explains Austrian business cycle theory, which he correctly identifies as the single most important piece of economic knowledge for Americans to have right now. In so doing, Tom provides Americans with the most persuasive and rational account of how we got here. Only if we correctly assess the causes of the debacle can we hope to propose a path to recovery that might actually work and not simply prolong the agony.

Our years of living beyond our means, of buying everything on credit and on money printed out of thin air, are over. Sure, our government will carry on with its nonsensical policy of curing indebtedness with more indebtedness, inflation with more inflation, but the game is up. It's not going to work. The resources aren't there. The more we intervene and the more we prop up economic zombies, the worse off we'll be. But the sooner we understand what has happened, assess our economic situation honestly, and rebuild our economy on a sound foundation, the sooner our fortunes will be restored.

Ideas still matter, and sound economic education has rarely been as urgently necessary as it is today. There is no better book to read on the present crisis than this one, and that is why I am delighted to endorse it.


Rep. Ron Paul

Click below to buy Meltdown and save 30% or more off bookstore prices!

Nigerians Report Soccer News

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lying In The Name of God: When Ndi Okereke-Oyiuke Lied

Mrs. Ndi Okereke-Oyiuke

Lying In The Name of God: When Ndi Okereke-Oyiuke Lied

“We thank God that our market did not meltdown as much as many of the advanced stock markets. We thank God that the whirlwind did not blow too hard on our side at a time when several global giants closed shop.”
~ Mrs. Ndi Okereke-Oyiuke, Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, (NSE) on Monday January 12, 2009.

How can Ndi Okereke-Oyiuke say the Nigerian Capital Market did not do badly in 2008, when the Nigerian capital market crashed woefully?

The erroneous and ambiguous rating of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), World Bank and Standard & Poor as the 11th out of the 106 exchanges in the world is not an endorsement of the Nigerian capital market and does not mean that the Director-General of the NSE did not lie.

According to the report of Mr. A.G. Olisaemeka, the meltdown of the Nigerian capital market led to the crash of the market capitalization from a record high of N13.5 trillion in early 2008 to less than N4.5 trillion in early 2009.

Both Mr. Chukwuma C. Soludo, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Mrs. Ndi Okereke-Oyiuke have erred and lied about the state of Nigerian banks and the Nigerian capital market, because their statements have been proved to be false by the facts of the prevailing realities of the Nigerian economy.

Corruption is the bane of Nigerian banks and the anathema of anyone who is a true patriotic citizen of Nigeria. It is within the ambit of the Governor of the apex bank and the DG of the NSE to direct the course of the Nigerian economy by being honest and transparent, but they have become either shareholders or apologists of the corrupt leaders and investors who are the cankerworms of corruption in Nigeria. Their erroneous analysis of the financial crisis is the wrong diagnosis of the Nigerian economy. Their comparative analysis of the global financial crisis is wrong.

The meltdown of the Nigerian capital market is as bad as the ones Mrs. Okereke-Onyiuke called “global giants”, because the meltdown caused the massive withdrawal of foreign investors from the Nigerian capital market. But while the governments of the so called “global giants” have already implemented practical bailout plans, the Nigerian government is lagging behind in the implementation of an effective economic stimulus plan. In fact, presently, the Nigerian government is confused.

I have already passed a Vote of No Confidence on the corruption-ridden banks in Nigeria, except for the bank I can vouch for, Guaranty Trust bank (GTB). I do not need any pink account where the colour is tainted with the bad blood of blood money from illegal oil bunkering, misappropriation of public funds meant for Nigerian General Hospitals, Teaching Hospitals and Health Centres, and the embezzlement of the public funds meant for the construction of safe roads and regular power supply. The same criminals and enemies of the state who embezzled these public funds are the major shareholders and investors in Nigerian banks and other listed companies. These same criminals love using the name of God at their Annual General Meetings (AGMs) while smiling and still lying through their teeth in their annual reports.

There is time for everything, and the clock is ticking for D-Day, when we shall know for whom the bell tolls, for their judgment shall be according to their violation of the commandment: "You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name”. Except they are fools. But as fools lie, so fools die.

Anarchy In The Economy:No Dollar To Buy

Which way Nigeria in 2009:Economy in shambles
Vanguard Online Edition - Saturday, 14 March 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

Communications Markets in Nigeria

Sony Ericsson W995 Walkman™

10 Mar 2009 14:19 Africa/Lagos

Nigeria is Now Africa's Biggest Mobile Telecom Market, Pyramid Research Reports

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- With more than 61 million subscribers, Nigeria has now surpassed South Africa as the largest mobile telecom market in Africa, and continued growth over the next five years is expected to trigger more intense competition among a growing number of network operators, according to a new report from Pyramid Research (www.pyr.com), the telecom research arm of the Light Reading Communications Network (www.lightreading.com).

"Communications Markets in Nigeria" offers a complete analysis of the country's converged telecommunications, media, and technology sectors based on exclusive and proprietary data from Pyramid's research in the Nigerian market. The 28-page report provides detailed competitive analysis of both the fixed and mobile sectors, tracks the market shares of technologies and services, and monitors the introduction and spread of new technologies such as WiMax, IPTV, and VoIP. The study offers a detailed forecast of the Nigerian communications market by analyzing key trends, evaluating near-term opportunities, and assessing upcoming risks factors.

Download an excerpt of this report here:

The Nigerian telecom market grew by 23 percent (in US dollar value) in 2008, generated $8.4 billion in overall telecom service revenues, notes Yejide Onabule, analyst at Pyramid Research and author of the report. "With mobile subscriber penetration at just 42 percent, Nigeria's total telecom revenue is expected to increase at a CAGR of 5.7 percent from US$8.42 billion in 2008 to $11.14 billion in 2013," Onabule says.

Since liberalization of the market in 2003, Nigeria's telecom industry has experienced exceptional growth rates, which is attracting new operators. "The bulk of service revenue will continue to come from mobile, which will generate 83 percent of total service revenue over the next five years," Onabule adds.

"Suppliers of mobile network technologies are likely to benefit from more aggressive rollouts of mobile voice and data services, and demand for CDMA and GSM base stations is expected to remain strong over the next several years."

"Communications Markets in Nigeria" is part of Pyramid Research's Africa and Middle East Country Intelligence Report Series. Pyramid Research's premium Country Intelligence Reports are the industry's best available analysis on market trends, regulatory environments, and competitive dynamics for 60 countries worldwide.

Download an excerpt of this new report here:

"Communications Markets in Nigeria" is priced at $990 and can be purchased online here

http://www.pyramidresearch.com/store/CIRNIGERIA.htm?sc=PRCIR031009_NIG or through Dave Williams via email at dave.williams@pyr.com or telephone at +1 858-485-8870.

For more information about Pyramid Research's products and services, please visit www.pyr.com or contact us at info@pyr.com.

About Pyramid Research

Pyramid Research (http://www.pyr.com/) offers practical solutions to the complex demands our clients face in the telecommunications, media, and technology industries. Our analysis is uniquely positioned at the intersection of emerging markets, emerging technologies, and emerging business models, powered by the bottom-up methodology of our market forecasts for over 100 countries - a distinction that has remained unmatched for over 25 years. As the telecom research arm of the Light Reading Communications Network, Pyramid Research works with Heavy Reading, providing the communications industry's most comprehensive market data, trusted research, and insightful technology analysis.

About Light Reading

Founded in 2000, Light Reading (http://www.lightreading.com/) is the leading online media, research, and focused event company serving the $3 trillion worldwide communications market. Lightreading.com is the ultimate source for technology and financial analysis of the communications industry, leading the media sector in terms of traffic, content, and reputation. Light Reading's research arms, Heavy Reading and Pyramid Research, provide the most comprehensive communications research, market data, and technology analysis in close to 100 markets around the world. Light Reading produces nearly 20 targeted communications events including TelcoTV, Ethernet Expo New York and Ethernet Expo London, The Tower Summit @ CTIA, and Optical Expo, as well as focused one-day events tailored for cable, mobile, and wireline executives. Light Reading was acquired by United Business Media in August 2005 and operates as a unit of TechWeb.

About TechWeb

TechWeb (http://techweb.com/aboutus), the global leader in business technology media, is an innovative business focused on serving the needs of technology decision-makers and marketers worldwide. TechWeb produces the most respected and consumed media brands in the business technology market. Today, more than 13.3 million* business technology professionals actively engage in our communities created around our global face-to-face events, Interop, Web 2.0, Black Hat, and VoiceCon; online resources such as the TechWeb Network, Light Reading, Intelligent Enterprise, InformationWeek.com, bMighty.com, and The Financial Technology Network; and the market leading, award-winning InformationWeek, TechNet Magazine, MSDN Magazine, and Wall Street & Technology magazines. TechWeb also provides end-to-end services including next-generation performance marketing, integrated media, research, and analyst services. TechWeb is a division of United Business Media, a global provider of news distribution and specialist information services with a market capitalization of more than $2.5 billion.

*13.3 million business decision-makers: based on number of monthly connections About United

About United Business Media Limited (http://www.unitedbusinessmedia.com/)

United Business Media Limited (UBM) is a global media and marketing services company that informs markets and brings the world's buyers and sellers together at events, online, in print, and with the information they need to do business successfully. UBM serves professional and commercial communities, from IT professionals to doctors, from journalists to jewelry dealers, from farmers to pharmacists around the world. UBM employs more than 6,500 people in more than 30 countries. UBM's businesses operating in the US include CMPMedica, Commonwealth Business Media, Everything Channel, PR Newswire, RISI, TechInsights, TechWeb and Think Services. UBM is listed on the London Stock Exchange (UBM.L) and has a market capitalization of $2.5 billion.

Press Contact:
Jennifer Baker
+1 617 871-1910

Source: Pyramid Research

CONTACT: Jennifer Baker, +1-617-871-1910, jbaker@pyr.com

Web Site: http://www.pyr.com/

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