Category Archives: Technology

young East Africa entrepreneurs & scientist business fund support for startup

From: sebastian marondo

Dear all,

Kindly be informed that, BAIP group seeks to support young businesses and science projects in rapidly growing countries of East Africa and Southeast Asia by combining them with European information technology businesses, scientists and professionals, funding them and investing in their development.

Therefore, BAIP group is inviting East Africa young entrepreneurs and scientists to pitch us their ideas to be selected to participate in the Investment Summit which will take place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in September 2014.

During the Summit, Entrepreneurs with the best, the most promising ideas with the highest growth potential will be selected and connected with European IT businesses and professionals, business mentors and investors, their know-how, experience and funds in order to turn their ideas and businesses into profitable enterprises.

For more information about BAIP group and the application process, please see the presentation:

Kindly share this invitation with young entrepreneurs and scientists that could benefit from this program to check the presentation and pitch us their ideas.

Best regards

Kenya – Lake Turkana Wind Power: US $870m Financing Agreements Get Signed as Biggest Clean Power Energy Project in Africa

From: News Release – African Press Organization (APO)

US $870m Financing Agreements Get Signed as Biggest Clean Power Energy Project in Africa

Lake Turkana Wind Power – Africa’s biggest Wind Power Project reaches key milestone

JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, March 24, 2014/ — The Lake Turkana Wind Power Project ( meant to add an existing 300MW of reliable, low cost wind energy to the national grid of Kenya reached a critical milestone following the signing of the financial agreements in Nairobi, Kenya.


Photo: (Tshepo Mahloele, CEO of Harith General Partners)

The signing of the over US $870m financing agreements represents a major breakthrough to actualizing the biggest clean power energy project in Africa, spanning years of negotiations and fundraising, says Tshepo Mahloele, CEO of Harith General Partners (

The project will be financed with a mixture of equity, mezzanine debt and senior debt.

The Lake Turkana Wind Power project is the first of its kind in East Africa and will be the largest wind project on the continent to date, says Mahloele. The Project will benefit Kenya, and specifically the Turkana area where unemployment is high, with jobs, economic development and, most importantly, electricity which is a vital element in any economy.

LTWP has signed a 20 year Power Purchase Agreement with the government of Kenya through its electricity entity, Kenya Power.

The parties at the signing ceremony were represented by lead developer and independent power producer, Aldwych, which is majority owned by the Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund (PAIDF). LTWP is primarily responsible for the financing, construction and operation of the wind farm and comprise a grouping of investors and lenders with extensive financial and technical capabilities and experience on the African continent. They include FMO, Vestas, Finnfund, IFU and a strong local sponsor KP&P on the equity side. The syndicate of banks is led by the African Development Bank and comprises Standard Bank, Nedbank, EIB, DEG and Proparco.

The project will be located on one of the best sites for a wind farm in the world. Not only are the wind speeds exceptionally high but the wind is only from one direction, is not seasonal, and is low in turbulence. The project site is situated on the southeast border of Lake Turkana between two high ranging mountains in the Turkana Corridor where a low level jet stream originating in the Indian Ocean creates favourable wind conditions.

Mahloele says the LTWP will essentially assist diversify Kenya’s energy mix and reduce the country’s reliance on power production from oil and diesel power generators. The Kenya government will save millions per year on importing fuel. The LTWP tax contribution to Kenya alone will be approximately $27m annually and $548m over the life of the investment.

Mahloele says the combination of international financial and technical expertise has ensured that the project is structured in a bankable and sustainable form in accordance with international standards.

This project also forms part of Harith’s commitment to the United States backed Power Plan announced last year by the US President Barack Obama to bring more than 10 000 MW of electricity to sub Saharan Africa. Through Power Africa, Harith has committed $70m for wind energy in Kenya and $500m across the African power sector through a new fund.

Mahloele says the investment is the result of the forward thinking and planning on the part of the Kenyan leadership who had undertaken comprehensive power sector reforms over the past decade.

In Kenya, electricity is mainly generated from hydro, thermal and geothermal sources. Wind generation accounts for less than six megawatts of the installed capacity. Currently, hydro power comprises over 52 percent of the installed capacity in Kenya and is sourced from various stations managed by the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen).

It is our assertion that the Lake Turkana Wind Project will greatly reduce Kenya’s over reliance on hydropower which is playing a critical role in ensuring security of electricity supply but is however vulnerable to periodic draught seasons, says Mahloele.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Harith General Partners (Pty) Ltd.

For more information contact: Pule Molebeledi Investor Relations and Communications Executive, Harith General Partners +27 11 384 4002 or

About Harith General Partners

Harith General Partners ( is the leading Pan-African fund manager for infrastructure development across the continent. Based in South Africa, Harith manages Africa’s first and only 15-year infrastructure fund, the Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund (PAIDF) and also owns London based asset manager Frontier Markets Fund Manager Limited (FMFML). FMFML has USD1.1bn asset under management and manages two funds: The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF); and GuarantCo. The PAIDF US $630m fund is invested in a number of major projects in diversified sectors such as energy, transport and information, communication and telecommunications.

Harith General Partners (Pty) Ltd

Young people will invent their future

From: Yona Maro

Kelvin Doe found that batteries were too expensive for a project he was working on in 2009. He used acid, soda, and metal parts that he found in trash bins in his neighborhood to build his own battery. Doe, then a 13-year-old from Sierra Leone, constructed a generator to light his home and operate an FM radio station that he built. He now employs his friends at the radio station.

Doe’s inventions caught the attention of David Sengeh, a doctoral candidate at MIT Media Lab. Doe participated in a solutions challenge Sengeh launched in 2012 asking “students to invent solutions to problems that they saw in their daily lives.”

Sengeh, also a Sierra Leonean, wanted to enable youth in developing countries to find solutions to local problems. Sengeh arranged for Doe, one of three winners, to become a resident practitioner at the MIT Media Lab.

It is the very shift in values and access to technology that is empowering millions of youth like Doe and Sengeh to overcome present challenges. The idea of success is changing as youths work tirelessly for their collective future. Young people are bound to invent a brighter future!

Yona Fares Maro
Institut d’études de sécurité – SA

US: Press Releases – State Department Concludes Settlement of Alleged AECA and ITAR Violations by Esterline Technologies Corporation

From: U.S. Department of State
Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC

March 6, 2014


The U.S. Department of State concluded an administrative settlement with Esterline Technologies Corporation of Bellevue, Washington, to resolve alleged violations of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) (22 U.S.C. § 2778) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) (22 C.F.R. Parts 120-130). Esterline agreed to enter into a consent agreement with the Department pursuant to ITAR Section 128.11. The agreement was reached following an extensive compliance review by the Department’s Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance (DTCC) in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. This settlement addresses hundreds of alleged civil violations of the AECA and ITAR, and highlights the Department’s responsibility to protect U.S. defense articles, including technical data, and defense services from unauthorized use.

DTCC determined that Esterline demonstrated inadequate corporate oversight and failed to establish an adequate AECA and ITAR compliance program in its defense trade activity. Over the course of many years, Esterline and its operating divisions, subsidiaries, and business units disclosed to the Department hundreds of alleged AECA and ITAR violations consisting of unauthorized exports of defense articles, including technical data, and defense services; unauthorized temporary imports of defense articles; violations of terms and conditions of licenses or approvals granted; exports of defense articles in excess of quantity and value authorized; improper use of exemptions; and failure to file or filing of incorrect documentation with the Automated Export System.

DTCC’s compliance review concluded that many of these alleged violations occurred because Esterline did not properly establish jurisdiction over its defense articles and technical data, did not properly administer licenses and agreements, and had incomplete or poor recordkeeping. The alleged violations involved defense articles, technical data, and defense services that are or were controlled at the time of the alleged violations by the U.S. Munitions List under the following current or former categories: IV(h), VI(i), VI(f), VI(g), VII(g), VII(h), VIII(h), VIII(i), XI(a), XI(c), XI(d), XII(e), XII(f), XV(e), XV(f), XX(c), and XX(d).

Under the terms of a three year Consent Agreement with the Department, Esterline will pay a civil penalty of $20 million. The Department agreed to suspend $10 million of this amount on the condition the Department approves expenditures for self-initiated, pre-Consent Agreement remedial compliance measures and Consent Agreement-authorized remedial compliance costs. Additionally, Esterline will engage a Special Compliance Official to oversee the Consent Agreement, and Esterline will conduct two audits of its compliance program as well as implement additional compliance measures, such as improved policies and procedures, and additional training for employees and principals.

Esterline disclosed the alleged AECA and ITAR violations resolved under this settlement to the Department, acknowledged the serious nature of the alleged violations, cooperated with the Department, and implemented or has planned extensive remedial measures. For these reasons, the Department determined that an administrative debarment of Esterline was not appropriate at this time.

The Consent Agreement and related documents will be available for public inspection in the Public Reading Room of the U.S. Department of State and on the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls website at

For additional information, please contact the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs’ Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at

The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.
External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.


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Google Launches Global Forest Watch Website With Real-Time Deforestation Data

From: Yona Maro

“Google has come up with a new website to help keep a watch and also to track deforestation in real time and across the world. It is named as Global Forest Watch and is leveraged with the data of deforestation. It contains curated maps along with in-depth reporting of the current scenario of any region.”

By Cody Chan, The Algamest, February 23rd, 2014


Yona Fares Maro

Institut d’études de sécurité – SA

Tony O. Elumelu – Heirs Holdings invest in US start-up Planet Labs’ innovative satellite manufacturing technology

From: News Release – African Press Organization (APO)
APO content is copyright free and can be republished at will.

Heirs Holdings invests in Planet Labs revolutionary satellite technology

The pan-African proprietary investment company has announced its investment in US start-up Planet Labs’ innovative satellite manufacturing technology

LAGOS, Nigeria, January 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Heirs Holdings (, the pan-African proprietary investment company founded by Tony O. Elumelu, CON, has announced its investment in US start-up Planet Labs’ innovative satellite manufacturing technology. Heirs Holdings is the only African investor in the project, which is based in San Francisco.


Planet Labs aims to transform the way imaging of the Earth is carried out, through the introduction of ultra-small satellites called “doves.” These “doves” circle the planet in low orbit and are significantly cheaper to produce and deploy than existing technology. Moreover, as they orbit closer to the Earth, they are able to take higher-resolution images than traditional satellites.

Elumelu, who is Chairman of Heirs Holdings, commented, “As the only African investor in Planet Labs’ project, we are incredibly proud to have supported such an innovative and dynamic company, which has already achieved significant success. As part of our business philosophy of Africapitalism, we are committed to supporting entrepreneurs and start-ups to enable them to bring scale to their projects and we look forward to following Planet Labs’ achievements over the coming years.”

Planet Labs has already achieved some significant milestones. In 2013 alone, the company launched four satellites on three rockets, and delivered their first fleet of 28 satellites, which are expected to head into space shortly.

Planet Labs’ co-founder, Robbie Schingler, said, “We are very excited to welcome Heirs Holdings to our team of investors and thank them for their support. The funding that they and other partners provide is vital for our development as a company and we are particularly pleased to be working with an African company, as our technology has the potential to support Africa’s development by monitoring and mapping the continent’s natural resources and agriculture.”

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

For more information:
Telephone: +234-1-277-4641

About Heirs Holdings

Heirs Holdings ( is a pan-African proprietary investment company driving Africa’s development. We are active long-term investors who specialise in building businesses and corporate turnaround. We aim to transform the companies in which we invest and grow them into businesses that last. We invest in Africa to create value for our shareholders and partners, and to create economic prosperity and social wealth for the continent. Our investments in power, financial services, oil and gas, real estate and hospitality, agri-business and healthcare are helping to build economies, create jobs, drive prosperity and ultimately transform the lives of ordinary Africans in Africa.

About Planet Labs Inc.

Planet Labs Inc. ( is a purpose-driven space and information company based in San Francisco, California, Earth. The company operates Earth imaging satellites to image the entire planet at an unprecedented frequency –collecting data and insight to encourage global action. Planet Labs aims to provide universal access to information about the changing planet to enable both commercial and humanitarian applications.

Heirs Holdings

What about deterrence in an era of cyberwar?

From: Yona Maro

Deterrence really is about the ability to alter an adversary’s actions by changing its cost-benefit calculations. It reflects subjective, psychological assessments, a “state of mind,” as the US Department of Defense says, “brought about by the existence of a credible threat of unacceptable counteraction.” In addition to massive retaliation, the adversary’s decisions can also be affected by defenses, in what has been called “deterrence by denial.” If you can’t get what you want by attacking, then you won’t attack in the first place.

The effect of this on real-world politics is driven by the fact that the question of “who” in cyberspace is far more difficult than ever could have been imagined by the original thinkers on deterrence theory back in the 1950s. Tanks and missile launches are hard to disguise, while networks of compromised machines or tools like Tor make anonymity easy. The threat of counterstrike requires knowing who launched the initial attack, a difficult thing to prove in cyberspace, especially in a fast-moving crisis. Computer code does not have a return address, and sophisticated attackers have grown adept at hiding their tracks. So painstaking forensic research is required, and, as we saw, it’s rarely definitive.

Moreover, for the purposes of deterrence, it’s not enough to trace an attack back to a computer or find out who was operating a specific computer. Strategically, we must know what political actor was responsible, in order to change their calculations.

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‘No Such Agency’ funds support for development of Quantum Computing, with eyes upon decryption prospects

from: pwbmspac

Computers have previously, and will continue, to substantially transform many levels of activities in our society. Personally I can say that as of mid 1980’s to date such equipment greatly facilitated my ability to convey my written thoughts promptly, in easy to read form, to other individuals and audiences. For me, this been a sizable gain from personal computing.

Privacy, though, is becoming scarcer, as one of the less desirable other associated effects. That is so on personal, business-commercial, governmental, and foreign relations levels.

In 2013, events transpired so that a large majority among members of the USA public have now heard about this country’s NSA. That is, the National Security Agency. Mr Snowden’s disclosures about NSA massive monitoring made a big splash within news reports. (Previously it was jokingly called the “No Such Agency” by some of those persons who looked for and read published articles about its situation in earlier years.) NSA is charged with monitoring telecommunications covertly as part of this nation’s security intelligence community.

Governments, businesses, individual people, seek assurances that at least some portion of their electronically transmitted messages, would be kept from being readable, clearly understandable, by 3rd parties not authorized by the messages senders. Example questions at issue may include things such as: Who is doing which financial transition, for which purpose, with which monetary amount, and when; banking transactions. These are among the most obvious matters in which the direct participants want confidentiality against disclosure to outside parties. Hence computer software features to encrypt some communications are in-demand and are routinely (automatically) employed.

Currently, data privacy is usually founded upon mathematical methods of data encoding, then keys to decoding later involve specifying numbers containing many digits. Such individual numeric keys formed by specifying a selection of a string of prime numbers, which when multiplied together yield the decoding key number.

The inverse process, faced by outsiders who intercept encrypted messages, who want to learn the content, is difficult. Their computers will currently need to work for impractically long periods of time seeking to discover what had been the particular set of prime numbers needed to factor the code key number, in order to decode the message again into readable form, without being told what it is by the message sender.

Quantum computing is a newly emerging methodology in computers technology. It is being explored due to offering vast increases in data computation speed and data storage densities. Hence, motives why the NSA would want to make it available to support their mission is obvious. Therefore, read below an article in New Scientist magazine (online version) which addresses this topic.

signed -pbs-

– – – – – – – – – –

Entangled spies: Why the NSA wants a quantum computer
18:10 03 January 2014 by Jacob Aron
For similar stories, visit the Computer crime and US national issues Topic Guides

The US National Security Agency wants a quantum computer – and has dedicated $79.7 million to the technology, according to the latest top secret government documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden to the Washington Post.

. . .

Quantum computers promise to vastly outperform even the best ordinary computers at specific tasks by exploiting the weird properties of quantum mechanics. While a regular PC computes with bits that are either 0s or 1s, quantum machines use quantum bits, or qubits, which can be both simultaneously, and offer a computational speed-up.

Cracking the internet
One area quantum computers should excel in is factoring numbers into their prime building blocks. That could make them capable of breaking the internet’s most commonly used encryption methods, which depend on the fact that ordinary computers can’t find prime factors quickly. So in principle, the NSA could use a quantum computer to read secret data – without the need to collude with tech firms, which they have done in the past.

[ . . . ]

read or d/l cited article at this link:

Hackers Used Infected USBs to Make ATMs Spit Out Cash

From: Yona Msuya

Hackers reportedly used USB sticks to install malware on ATMs in Europe, eventually controlling them to dispense cash.

According to the BBC, German researchers revealed during the Chaos Computing Congress on Dec. 28 in Hamburg, Germany, that criminals used USB drives during a ATM robbing spree last summer. Although ATMs have been the target of attacks for decades, they often run older software, making it easier for criminals to hack the systems.

SEE ALSO: Use This Tool to Check if Your Snapchat Account Was Compromised

The ATMs were running Windows XP. The bank discovered hackers were installing malware and then patching up the security holes as an attempt to go unnoticed. This allowed several machines to be hacked the same way several times.

To dispense money, the hackers used a 12-digit code that revealed how much money — and the denomination of each bill — was housed inside the machine. The interface then displayed menu options to dispense the notes they wanted, most likely those of the highest value. To prevent hackers from going solo, the interface prompted a second login code; the answer would require the hacker to call another person involved in the ring.

If the code wasn’t entered in three minutes, the machine would return to its previous normal screen. This step indicates there may have been some mistrust among the group, the researchers said.

It was not revealed which banks or countries were affected by the attacks.

Guidelines on Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data in Horizon 2020

From: Yona Maro

Modern research builds on extensive scientific dialogue and advances by improving earlier work. Moreover, the Europe 2020 strategy for a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy underlines the central role of knowledge and innovation in generating growth. Fuller and wider access to scientific publications and data therefore help to:

• build on previous research results (improved quality of results);
• foster collaboration and avoid duplication of effort (greater efficiency);
• accelerate innovation (faster to market = faster growth);
• involve citizens and society (improved transparency of the scientific process).

For these reasons, the European Union (EU) strives to improve access to scientific information and to boost the benefits of public investment in the research funded under the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 (2014-2020).


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USA: Unmanned Systems Integrated Roadmap

From: Yona Maro

Executive Summary

Unmanned systems continue to deliver new and enhanced battlefield capabilities to the warfighter. While the demand for unmanned systems continues unabated today, a number of factors will influence unmanned program development in the future. Three primary forces are driving the Department of Defense’s (DoD) approach in planning for and developing unmanned systems.

1. Combat operations in Southwest Asia have demonstrated the military utility of unmanned systems on today’s battlefields and have resulted in the expeditious integration of unmanned technologies into the joint force structure. However, the systems and technologies currently fielded to fulfill today’s urgent operational needs must be further expanded (as described in this Roadmap) and appropriately integrated into Military Department programs of record (POR) to achieve the levels of effectiveness, efficiency, affordability, commonality, interoperability, integration, and other key parameters needed to meet future operational requirements.

2. Downward economic forces will continue to constrain Military Department budgets for the foreseeable future. Achieving affordable and cost-effective technical solutions is imperative in this fiscally constrained environment.

3. The changing national security environment poses unique challenges. A strategic shift in national security to the Asia-Pacific Theater presents different operational considerations based on environment and potential adversary capabilities that may require unmanned systems to operate in anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) areas where freedom to operate is contested. Similarly, any reallocation of unmanned assets to support other combatant commanders (CCDRs) entails its own set of unique challenges, which will likely require unmanned systems to operate in more complex environments involving weather, terrain, distance, and airspace while necessitating extensive coordination with allies and host nations.

The combination of these primary forces requires further innovative technical solutions that are effective yet affordable for program development.

The purpose of this Roadmap is to articulate a vision and strategy for the continued development, production, test, training, operation, and sustainment of unmanned systems technology across DoD. This “Unmanned Systems Integrated Roadmap” establishes a technological vision for the next 25 years and outlines actions and technologies for DoD and industry to pursue to intelligently and affordably align with this vision. The Roadmap articulates this vision and strategy in eight chapters

Unmanned Systems Integrated Roadmap FY2013-2038

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Tanzania: Creating Drought-Tolerant Maize

From: Yona Maro

In Morogoro, a drought-prone area in Tanzania, farmers are using certified maize seed and urging other farmers to grow a new drought tolerant variety, TAN250, which they say is like “an insurance against hunger and total crop failure, even under hot, dry conditions like those of recent years.”


USA: Creating Jobs by Investing in Ohio’s Clean Energy Economy

From: Senator Sherrod Brown

We are a nation of builders and innovators. Harnessing that creative energy, manufacturing created a middle class that strengthened our communities and provided opportunity for countless Americans. Manufacturing helped make the middle class. In fact, manufacturing jobs have a larger multiplier effect than any other industry. For every $1.00 spent in manufacturing, another $1.48 is added to the economy.

Across Ohio, I meet with manufacturers who understand the opportunities that are being created in Ohio’s clean energy economy. Ohio has the fifth-highest number of clean energy jobs in the nation, with more than 29,000 of them in manufacturing.

Ohio’s clean energy economy is also adding jobs at a much faster rate than the state’s overall economy: the Ohio’s clean energy economy increased by 8.5 percent from 2007 to 2010, while Ohio’s economy as a whole lost nearly 350,000 jobs over the same period, a decrease of roughly 6.1 percent.

A recent report revealed that we can create jobs and revitalize our manufacturing base by investing in the clean energy economy and strengthening valuable energy programs, such as renewable energy standards and federal tax credits for wind and solar power. Energy we produce, or save, is energy that we do not have to buy from foreign sources. And our global competitors understand this.

That’s why other nations – including China – are taking big steps in advanced and renewable energy. In fact, China now has the world’s largest renewable energy capacity. Yet with this increased capacity, we are witnessing Chinese efforts to play by their own rules and give their businesses an unfair advantage. We all know that trade with China poses big challenges and opportunities for U.S. producers.

I’ve worked on a bipartisan basis to urge the Obama Administration to take stronger trade enforcement measures, to respond to the challenges of Chinese subsidies. But trade enforcement alone is not enough.

That’s why Senator Blunt and I introduced the bipartisan Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2013. It would create a Network for Manufacturing Innovation – to position the U.S. as the world’s leader in advanced manufacturing.

We do better when we work together – and a Network for Manufacturing Innovation would establish a public-private partnership giving small businesses, industry leaders, and research institutions the tools they need to compete on a global scale.

These regional, industry-led hubs will leverage local expertise and will hopefully create thousands of high-paying, high-tech manufacturing jobs for next-generation workers.

In August, the first-ever National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII), now called America Makes, opened in Youngstown, Ohio. This hub is becoming a national model for tying together manufacturing supply chains with product development – something that will benefit all manufacturing sectors.

Our workers have the drive, the creative thinking, and the determination to out-innovate the rest of the world. We just need to make sure they have the tools and resources to do so – and investing in clean energy manufacturing is a step in the right direction.



Sherrod Brown
U.S. Senator

Washington, D.C.
713 Hart Senate Building
Washington, DC 20510
p (202) 224-2315
f (202) 228-6321

200 N High St.
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Columbus, OH 43215
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Africa Forum – 100 innovations for sustainable development: Schneider Electric’s BipBop access to energy program doubly recognized

From: News Release – African Press Organization (APO)

Africa Forum – 100 innovations for sustainable development: Schneider Electric’s BipBop access to energy program doubly recognized

Two projects developed by Schneider Electric in the context of BipBop, its access to energy program, were selected from the 100 projects presented

PARIS, France, December 5, 2013/ — Schneider Electric ( announces that two projects in its BipBop (1) access to energy program have been chosen to participate in the “Africa Forum – 100 innovations for sustainable development” taking place in Paris on 4 and 5 December 2013. This forum was initiated by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, prompted by the Deputy Minister responsible for Development, Pascal Canfin, in partnership with the French Development Agency (AFD).


Photo: (Mohammed Saad, President Africa, Schneider Electric)

The “Africa Forum – 100 innovations for sustainable development” aims to highlight innovative concrete examples and practical solutions on a national or local scale, in such varied fields as health, the environment, agriculture and food safety, education and new technology. In addition to the entrepreneurial nature and economic viability of these innovations, their contributions to sustainable development and their social and environmental dimensions will be recognized. The event follows on from the Development and international solidarity forums, closed on March 1st 2012 by the French President. It is evidence of France’s support, via the AFD Group, for the promotion of innovative sustainable development in Africa.

Two projects developed by Schneider Electric in the context of BipBop, its access to energy program, were selected from the 100 projects presented:

– “Energy and Microfinance” project in Cameroon – Sponsored by the PAMIGA (Participatory Microfinance Group for Africa) association, in collaboration with Schneider Electric and the MIFED in Cameroon, this project consists of offering micro-credit solutions in rural and urban areas to finance the purchase of solar solutions. Such schemes can boost the economic development of individual tradesmen and small businesses. Schneider Electric provides solutions which meet the needs identified by microfinance institutions (MFIs) and uses its local partners (distributors, integrators, installers) to assure the customers of these MFIs of the availability of these affordable solutions, combined with a quality service. The customers of these MFIs are offered two types of credit: “light” credits which offer low-energy solar lighting systems; and “energy” credits, designed to provide solar solutions suitable for the needs of an income-generating activity. This project has also been initiated in Tanzania and Ethiopia.

– The decentralized rural electrification project at Abu Monkar in Egypt – This Schneider Electric project paved the way for development of the first solar power plant built in the Egyptian province of New Valley. The solar power plant at Abu Monkar, built more than 75 miles from the nearest grid, delivers 108 kWh/day, enough to meet all the village’s basic needs (school, mosque, homes, etc.). Schneider Electric also trains the residents of Abu Monkar to ensure optimal operation and maintenance of the power plant.

“The strength of the BipBop program relies on the combination between the R&D capabilities of Schneider Electric and the engagement of our local employees who all know perfectly their own countries’ problematic and ecosystems. Answering the rural energy challenge is key both for the continent’s economical development and for the people who directly benefit from light, from a better agriculture, education or healthcare. It is an exciting challenge and I think all our employees who made these two BipBop projects happen can be very honored and proud to see their efforts recognized by the French government”, states Mohammed Saad, President of Schneider Electric in Africa.

In the context of the Forum, René Pierrot Ekoé, Sustainable Development Engineer at Schneider Electric Cameroon and sponsor of the “Energy and Microfinance” project, was selected with 20 other project sponsors to speak on 5 December 2013 and share the Group’s ideas on best practice.

(1) Acronym for Business and Innovation for the People at the Base Of the Pyramid

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Schneider Electric SA.

Media Contact:
APO (African Press Organization)
+41 22 534 96 97

About Schneider Electric

As a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric ( offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in Utilities and Infrastructure, Industries and Machine Manufacturers, Non-residential Building, Data Centers & Networks and in Residential. Focused on making energy safe, reliable, efficient, productive and green, the Group’s 140,000 plus employees achieved sales of 24 billion euros in 2012, through an active commitment to help individuals and organizations make the most of their energy.


Schneider Electric SA

World Energy Outlook 2013

From: Yona Maro

Technology and high prices are opening up new oil resources, but this does not mean the world is on the verge of an era of oil abundance, according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) 2013 edition of the World Energy Outlook (WEO-2013). Although rising oil output from North America and Brazil reduces the role of OPEC countries in quenching the world’s thirst for oil over the next decade, the Middle East – the only large source of low-cost oil – takes back its role as a key source of oil supply growth from the mid-2020s.

The annual report, released recently in London, presents a central scenario in which global energy demand rises by one-third in the period to 2035. The shift in global energy demand to Asia gathers speed, but China moves towards a back seat in the 2020s as India and countries in Southeast Asia take the lead in driving consumption higher. The Middle East also moves to centre stage as an energy consumer, becoming the world’s second-largest gas consumer by 2020 and third-largest oil consumer by 2030, redefining its role in global energy markets. Brazil, a special focus in WEO-2013, maintains one of the least carbon-intensive energy sectors in the world, despite experiencing an 80% increase in energy use to 2035 and moving into the top ranks of global oil producers. Energy demand in OECD countries barely rises and by 2035 is less than half that of non-OECD countries. Low-carbon energy sources meet around 40% of the growth in global energy demand. In some regions, rapid expansion of wind and solar PV raises fundamental questions about the design of power markets and their ability to ensure adequate investment and long-term reliability.

“Major changes are emerging in the energy world in response to shifts in economic growth, efforts at decarbonisation and technological breakthroughs,” said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven. “We have the tools to deal with such profound market change. Those that anticipate global energy developments successfully can derive an advantage, while those that do not risk taking poor policy and investment decisions.”


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Kenya will be pilot country for a technology producing electricity, drinking water and heat simultaneously

From: News Release – African Press Organization (APO)

Africa: Schneider Electric inaugurate a technology for producing electricity, drinking water and heat simultaneously

– MiCROSOL simultaneously produces 50 MWh/year of electricity, 1,000 m3/year of drinking water, and around 800 MWh/year of thermal energy

– Kenya will be pilot country for the industrialization and commercialization

NAIROBI, Kenya, November 25, 2013/ — Schneider Electric (, the market leader in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, inaugurated the MiCROSOL project aims to develop a single, modular standard technology for producing electricity, drinking water and heat simultaneously, primarily to benefit micro-industries located in rural areas of countries with high levels of sunshine, especially in Africa.


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MiCROSOL is based on the principle of cogeneration of electricity and heat, applying a new approach to a technology that is already widespread – solar thermodynamics. The solution focuses its constraints on the design of thermal storage that only uses environmentally-friendly products.

Its purpose is to simultaneously meet three basic needs regularly expressed by these people: Access to electricity that is reliable, efficient and inexpensive; Clean drinking water that is produced economically and consistently; and Heat generation that is continuous and environmentally sound.

Microsol can help micro-producers in the food, textile and paper industries with processing their raw materials by automating some of their processes (e.g. drying, washing, pasteurization, etc.). In the tertiary sector, Microsol can help the tourist industry by providing the energy needed for many premium services: electricity for HVAC, refrigeration or security; heat for hot water, laundry or heating; water for drinking or cooking.

Located in a rural village, Microsol can also meet some or all of the production needs of local residents: water supply, electrification of communal areas, and so forth.

A Microsol solution produces 50 MWh/year of electricit, 1,000 m3/year of drinking water, and around 800 MWh/year of thermal energy. The solution has an expected life of at least 20 years.

“That technology can help Africa’s poorest countries”, said Pradeep Monga, Director of the Energy & Climate Change Branch of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), while attending the inauguration of Microsol solution.

For the environment, Microsol is a green solution that guarantees zero greenhouse gas emissions, reduced deforestation and health problems owing to the clean production of heat and electricity. Also, Microsol use easily recyclable steel and aluminum components.

Gilles Vermot Desroches, Senior Vice-President, Sustainability, Schneider Electric, announced: “All countries with high levels of sunshine are potential targets for marketing Microsol. However, because of its infrastructure needs, geographical location and economic models, Schneider Electric and its partners decided to focus their efforts on Africa”.

After market research, the consortium led by Schneider Electric chose Kenya as pilot country for the industrialization and commercialization of Microsol. Kenya meets a set of favorable conditions for the establishment and development of this solution.

The consortium plans to start the commercialisation phase in 2015.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Schneider Electric SA.

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About Schneider Electric

As a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric ( offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in Utilities & Infrastructure, Industries & Machines Manufacturers, Non-residential Building, Data Centers & Networks and in Residential. Focused on making energy safe, reliable, efficient, productive and green, the Group’s 140,000 plus employees achieved revenues of 24 billion euros in 2012, through an active commitment to help individuals and organizations make the most of their energy.
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Energy finds in Africa highlight shifts in sector – DHL report

From: News Release – African Press Organization (APO)

Africa is the region with highest increase in oil consumption globally – 5% in 2012 versus only a 1% increase globally

CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, November 25, 2013/ — The recent oil and gas finds in Africa will continue to have a positive impact on local economies, if local African suppliers, service providers and other businesses are geared up to service this growth.

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Photo: (Charles Brewer, Managing Director for DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa)

This is according to Steve Harley, President of the Energy Sector, for DHL Customer Solutions & Innovations ( Harley says that these energy finds provide many possibilities for local businesses, to echo the express operator’s own marked increase in the transportation of energy-related material in the region.

Harley says that forecasts expect African oil supply growth to continue over the next 25 years, with predicted ranges of growth over the period of between 0.5 million and 2.0 million barrels per day. “Africa will need to adapt in order to keep up with the demand, as well as evolving trends in this highly competitive sector.”

He says that globally, the steady and reliable supply of energy is critical to economic activity, and due to Africa’s availability of the resource, it is expected that the continent will see continued and steady economic growth.

“We have also witnessed an increased demand for the resource on the continent, and currently Africa is the region with highest increase in oil consumption globally – 5% in 2012 versus only a 1% increase globally. This is likely to continue as many of the fastest growing economies are situated on the continent.”

Harley does warn though that, as the easily obtainable oil reserves have been has depleted, that most of the new developments are either very remote or technically challenging, which brings issues of infrastructure, transportation and expertise to the fore.

“Forecasts predict that conventional oil production will decline by five percent per year. Extraction from unconventional sources is more complex and relatively more expensive from a supply chain perspective. As such, customers will need complementary expertise from integrated logistics suppliers to meet the challenges of these new geographies and technologies.”

Harley points to DHL’s recent global white paper on Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) supply chain management for energy companies (, which shows the oil and gas businesses will require integrated suppliers that are able to support them with end-to-end supply chain solutions. According to the white paper, logistics suppliers need to provide a global footprint in combination with local market expertise. As a trustworthy partner, they also need to drive cost and process optimization and maintain safety and compliance both on and off-site.”

“This is particularly true in Africa,” notes Charles Brewer, Managing Director for DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa. “While the continent is showing promise, issues around infrastructure, regulatory hurdles, and lack of an integrated supply chain in most markets, can be a major hindrance for energy businesses. Couple that with the need to optimise production and improve supply chain management to enhance service and reduce cost, and you understand the need for integrated suppliers to introduce more robust metrics, optimize the inventory and find cost-effective transport solutions.”

Brewer concludes, “This highlights the need to partner with an experienced provider who has extensive knowledge on the region. DHL has an unrivalled global presence and experience to ensure partners are offered integrated solutions that address today’s energy industry challenges.”

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

Media Contact:

Lee Nelson. Senior Manager – Marketing & Communications, Sub-Saharan Africa

DHL Express
Tel +27 21 409 3613 Mobile +27 72 361 0178
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DHL ( is the global market leader in the logistics industry and “The Logistics Company for the world”. DHL commits its expertise in international express, air and ocean freight, road and rail transportation, contract logistics and international mail services to its customers. A global network composed of more than 220 countries and territories and about 285,000 employees worldwide offers customers superior service quality and local knowledge to satisfy their supply chain requirements. DHL accepts its social responsibility by supporting environmental protection, disaster management and education.
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Known-Knowns and Unknowns about the Internet: Measuring the Economic, Social, and Governance Impact of the Web

From: Yona Maro

Policymakers and netizens alike make broad claims about the effects of the internet upon economic growth, business, democracy, governance, and human rights. In recent years, economists have made significant progress in estimating the impact of the internet on areas such as economic growth, trade, fiscal policy, and education. But the progress made by economists has not been matched by scholars, activists, executives, and policymakers who seek to understand the internet’s effects on governance, cyber security, and on human rights. We don’t know if the Internet has stimulated development or whether the internet has led to measurable governance improvements. Moreover, scholars and activists don’t yet know how to effectively measure Internet openness. We will also weigh the evidence that the Internet is splintering.


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Measuring the Information Society 2013

From: Yona Maro

Over 250 million people came online over the last year, and almost 40 per cent of the world’s population will be using the Internet by end 2013. Mobile technology and services continue to be the key driver of the information society, and the number of mobilebroadband subscriptions is close to 2 billion. Mobile-broadband networks are allowing more people to connect to highspeed networks and benefit from a growing number of applications and services. While both fixed- and mobile-broadband speeds continue to increase, the price of services is falling and ICTs are becoming more affordable: in the space of four years, fixed-broadband prices have dropped by an impressive 82 per cent.

At the same time, the report also shows that ICT uptake remains limited in many developing countries, and particularly in the world’s least connected countries (LCCs) – a group of 39 countries (home to 2.4 billion people) with particularly low levels of ICT development. In this group of countries, ICTs can become key enablers for achieving international and national development goals and have the greatest development impact, and more policy attention needs to be directed towards them.

Young people all over the world are the most active users of ICTs. For the first time, a model has been developed to estimate the number of digital natives – the young people with solid ICT experience who are drivers of the information society. While 30 per cent of the youth population are digital natives today, the report shows that within the next five years, the digital native population in the developing world is expected to double.


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