Asteroid and NAPAfrica have announced that they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen the friendship and cooperation between the two organisations, and to collaborate on developing African Internet interconnection.
The cooperation focuses on promoting peering and local interconnection, with an emphasis on Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) as an essential part of the Internet ecosystem.
NAPAfrica and Asteroid are both veterans in the IXP industry, and both bring a wealth of experience in interconnection, peering, and IXP operations to the table. Asteroid was founded by IXP experts, and aims to build lean, efficient IXPs, wherever there is a need in the world. NAPAfrica is a successful IXP in Africa with more than 500 networks connected, exchanging local and international Internet traffic in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, South Africa.
“We are proud to be teaming up with NAPAfrica to combine our competence and experience in IXPs and peering”, said Nurani Nimpuno, CCO at Asteroid. “We believe that Africa holds great potential for Internet growth, but there are still real challenges to solve in terms of in-country interconnection. IXPs can play a key role in boosting that, and at Asteroid we want to work play a positive role in that development. NAPAfrica with their amazing reputation and experience is an obvious partner for us to work with.”
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission welcomes the joint statement issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr. Raila Odinga
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, March 12, 2018/ -- The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, welcomes the joint statement issued today (March 9, 2018) by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr. Raila Odinga, pledging to put their political differences aside and work together to address the challenges confronting their country
European Parliament (EP) totally committed to supporting Sierra Leone along its democratic path, says EP Election Observation Delegation Head
BRUSSELS, Belgium, March 12, 2018/ --
Following the EU Election Observation Mission to the elections in Sierra Leone, on 7 March 2018, Ms Neena Gill CBE, Head of the European Parliament election observation delegation, stated:
"As Chair of the European Parliament's delegation, I have the honour of speaking on behalf of myself and my five fellow MEPs. We are members of the only directly elected body of the EU, representing 500 million European citizens. Our Parliament has been involved in election observation for over 30 years and has deployed more than 170 short term election observation delegations. These delegations – like those of other observer teams - play a significant role in promoting the legitimacy of and public confidence in the electoral process across the world.
Since our arrival in Sierra Leone we have met candidates and other representatives of many of the political parties, with the National Election Commission, the media, and with civil society, including domestic and international observers. I also had the honour of meeting the President, H.E. Ernest Bai Koroma. And, of course, we observed Election Day from start to finish.
The European Parliament delegation fully supports the preliminary findings and conclusions of the EU Election Observation Mission. I would also like to express my appreciation of the excellent work carried out by my colleague, Ms Jean Lambert, the EOM Chief Observer, and her team.
Individual dies after reportedly tortured while in National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) custody in West Kordofan
The eight individuals were arrested from the Neeim Higairat market on 20 February and detained at the NISS office in Neem Higairat in West Kordofan state
KHARTOUM, Sudan, March 12, 2018/ -- Sudanese authorities should urgently investigate the reported torture and custodial death of Mr. Ajack Hamid and reported torture of seven other individuals whilst being detained by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) in Neem Higairat in West Kordofan state, on suspicion of committing a robbery around Heglig town. The eight individuals were arrested from the Neeim Higairat market on 20 February and detained at the NISS office in Neem Higairat in West Kordofan state. Reliable information indicates that the detainees were subjected to torture including beatings as well as being forced to sit on a hot plate and pouring of hot oil down their backs and on their private parts.
The African Centre of Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) is seriously concerned for the safety of persons in NISS custody given reports about the torture and ill-treatment. In January 2018, ACJPS documented a custodial death of a pharmacist and reported torture of five others whilst under NISS custody in Giraida in South Darfur. The National Security Act 2010 providing that persons in NISS custody are to be treated in a dignified manner and not to be subjected to physical or moral hurt.
On 20 February 2018 at 12 PM, a joint force of the National Security and Intelligence Services (NISS) and Central Reserves Police of Neem Higairat in West Kordofan arrested eight men, suspected of taking part in the robbery, from the Neem Higairat market and detained them at the NISS office in Neem Higiarat.
The expert, who visited the country at the invitation of the Government of Liberia, met with Government authorities, including the President
MONROVIA, Liberia, March 12, 2018/ -- Liberia needs to lock in and expand the gains made in the years since the civil war, in particular in the areas of freedom of expression, media independence and government transparency, a UN expert said after visiting the country.
At the end of a week-long visit, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, said the new administration’s commitment to freedom of expression deserves the strong support and encouragement of all sectors of Liberian society and the international community.
“Liberia has come a long way since the civil war, and the space for open and indeed vibrant debate in the country is remarkable,” Kaye said.
“After two democratic elections marked by increasingly active media and free expression on the campaign trail,” the Special Rapporteur said, “Liberia enjoys a particular moment to savour its early post-conflict successes.”
“It is a fraught moment, however, given the deep economic problems the country faces and the legitimate demands of the Liberian people for an improvement in the economy and basic institutions of governance. In such a moment, strengthening guarantees in law would signal globally that Liberia is indeed, in President Weah’s phrase, ‘open for business’.
South Africa: Section 232 Investigation by the United States of America on Steel and Aluminium Products
South Africa’s exports to the US on steel amounted to US$950 million in 2017 and accounted for 1.4% of U.S.’s global imports
PRETORIA, South Africa, March 12, 2018/ -- The South African Government has noted the announcement of the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump on 8 March 2018 that he has signed proclamations to impose a 10 percent ad valorem tariff on aluminnium articles and a 25 percent ad valorem tariff on steel articles.
It was further announced that the United States (US) will consider specific requests from affected domestic parties, to exclude from any adopted import restrictions those steel articles for which the Secretary of Commerce determines there is a lack of sufficient US production capacity of comparable products, or to exclude steel articles from such restrictions for specific national security-based considerations.
The proclamations make a provision for any country with which the US has a security relationship to discuss with the US alternative ways to address the threatened impairment of the national security caused by imports from that country. Should the US and that country arrive at a satisfactory alternative means to address the threat to the national security, the US President may remove or modify the restriction on steel articles imports from that country and, if necessary, make any corresponding adjustments to the tariff as it applies to other countries as the national security interests require.
So far, researchers have seen around 100 victims of Slingshot and its related modules, located in Kenya, Yemen, Afghanistan, Libya, Congo, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia and Tanzania
LAGOS, Nigeria, March 12, 2018/ -- Kaspersky Lab (www.Kaspersky.co.za) researchers have uncovered a sophisticated threat used for cyber-espionage in the Middle East and Africa from at least 2012 until February 2018. The malware, which researchers have called ‘Slingshot’, attacks and infects victims through compromised routers and can run in kernel mode, giving it complete control over victim devices. According to researchers, many of the techniques used by this threat actor are unique and it is extremely effective at stealthy information gathering, hiding its traffic in marked data packets that it can intercept without trace from everyday communications.
The Slingshot operation was discovered after researchers found a suspicious keylogger program and created a behavioural detection signature to see if that code appeared anywhere else. This triggered a detection that turned out to be an infected computer with a suspicious file inside the system folder named scesrv.dll. The researchers decided to investigate this further. Analysis of the file showed that despite appearing legitimate, the scesrv.dll module had malicious code embedded into it. Since this library is loaded by ‘services.exe’, a process that has system privileges, the poisoned library gained the same rights. The researchers realised that a highly advanced intruder had found its way into the very core of the computer.
BMCE Bank of Africa launches its 4th edition of the African Entrepreneurship Award (AEA) supporting innovative entrepreneurs in Africa
The African Entrepreneurship Award will fund $1 million USD to African entrepreneurs with scalable and sustainable businesses in 2 new categories: Sports and Innovation
CASABLANCA, Morocco, March 12, 2018/ -- BMCE Bank of Africa is proud to announce the March 1st opening of the 4th edition of the African Entrepreneurship Award (www.African-Award.com).
The Award was announced by President Othman Benjelloun in 2014 at the Marrakech Global Entrepreneurship Summit and illustrates BMCE Bank of Africa's ambition to encourage entrepreneurship across borders in Africa by rewarding talent and technology.
This initiative aims to support talented entrepreneurs from Africa or Africans in the diaspora whose ideas create jobs and improve lives on the continent. The competition remains open for entries until April 30th.
During the past 3 years the Award was dedicated to projects in Education, Environment, and Uncharted categories. Over 12,000 entrepreneurs applied from 132 countries. Mentors selected 112 Finalists and the Presidential Jury selected 33 winners to receive funding to launch or scale their business.
Ghana’s leading Telecommunications Company and the first mobile operator to launch 4G services, MTN, has launched an all new exciting Valentine Promo for its Pulse App Users dubbed “Download and Win”. MTN Pulse is a youth value initiative that provides subscribers with exciting offers on both data and voice calls at affordable prices.
Throughout the month of February, MTN Pulse app users stand the chance of winning amazing prizes ranging from sleek headsets and handsets, movie tickets, shopping vouchers, Portable Speakers, Power Banks, Jumia Discounted Vouchers, 4G Modems MTN airtime among other amazing prizes and values.
The promo is targeted to exclusively reward customers of the MTN Pulse App. Subscribers who will download and register on the app will receive free instant 50MB of data. The promotion mechanics take the form of a point system where subscribers earn accumulated points which will put them in the running for prizes at stake. Subscribers will be rewarded based on the points accumulated. Subscribers build up points when they perform the following activities:
This action will save NGOs approximately $2,500 compared to last year
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, January 29, 2018/ -- This week, the Government of South Sudan waived registration fees for nongovernmental organizations. This action will save NGOs approximately $2,500 compared to last year. This includes NGOs that, along with UN agencies, provide life-saving assistance to 3 million people per month. However, work permit fees – often ranging between $2,000 to $4,000 per international staff member – remain a much greater financial burden. To date, the South Sudanese government has failed to implement a 2012 bilateral agreement between the United States and South Sudan which exempts implementing partners from fees and taxes on programs implemented with USAID funding.