Monday, August 1, 2016

Orange Drives Digital Transformation in the Middle East and Africa

Orange Drives Digital Transformation in the Middle East and Africa with New Innovations in Smart Metering, Solar Power, NFC and Customer Experience
The Middle East and Africa remains a key growth contributor for Orange
PARIS, France, July 28, 2016/ -- Speaking at its 4th annual strategy and activity update for press and analysts in London on 28 July, Ramon Fernandez, Deputy CEO and Chief Finance and Strategy Officer, Bruno Mettling, CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa (MEA) (, and Jean-Marc Vignolles, Chief Operating Officer for Orange MEA, outlined their vision and priorities, identifying a number of new sectors and activities in which Orange can play a key role in delivering digital transformation to this region.

Bruno Mettling, CEO, Orange MEA, commented: “The Middle East and Africa remains a key growth contributor for Orange. Today, we are present in 21 countries in the zone, with more than one in 10 Africans being Orange customers. We are investing for the long term and plan to continue playing a major role in the digital transformation of the region, from providing infrastructure and access to communications services through to developing new models that will help the region grow.”

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

EU Expands Mediterranean Mission Around Libya

EU foreign ministers said they would expand and extend by a year Operation Sophia, a naval mission to combat human smuggling across the Mediterranean from Libya. EU forces will train the Libyan coastguard and Navy (WSJ) and intercept arms smugglers in the Mediterranean (Libya Herald) they say are supplying the self-proclaimed Islamic State. The United Kingdom is also reportedly considering sending military personnel to Libya to train the coastguard (Middle East Eye). Operation Sophia currently comprises five ships and three helicopters (DW), which the EU says has saved sixteen thousand migrants from drowning and has arrested seventy-one suspected human smugglers.

Centurion Law Group and Sutter & Pearce sign strategic alliance agreement to share knowledge and cooperate in providing legal services

  • The partnership will create the largest Africa-based legal services provider in the Central African Republic, Congo and CR Congo region.
  • Parties will be able to leverage skills and expertise, expand capacity and increase client networks.
South Africa, June 22, 2016/ -- Centurion Law Group has entered a key strategic alliance with Republic of Congo-based law firm Sutter & Pearce. Together, the firms represent Central Africa’s leading Africa-based legal services provider. The agreement, signed May 25, will be a catalyst for both firms’ growth in Congo, DR Congo, Central African Republic (CAR) and other African markets.

Clients of both firms stand to gain from the new strategic alliance, with Centurion bringing its considerable pan-African resources and networks, particularly in the energy sector, and Sutter & Pearce providing extensive local knowledge in key petroleum markets, and over a decade of specialized experience in oil and gas law. The agreement is based on three key principles: sharing knowledge and resources; cooperating to offer legal services to Centurion’s clients in Congo, DR Congo and CAR; and expanding Sutter & Pearce’s practice through Centurion’s African network.

CEO of Centurion Law Group NJ Ayuk stated “Centurion stands for growth and partnership in Africa, and this new alliance with Sutter & Pearce promises mutual benefit for both parties, and greater capacity to serve clients from Bangui to Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire and Kinshasa.” He added “Just as we have done across Africa, we are committed to growing and developing our presence in key African markets for our clients. We are making a huge financial and technology investment into boosting capacities of African legal service providers. The CEMAC legal landscape is evolving and we will continue defying the odds and beating the doubters to write a new African chapter.” Richard Moulet, Managing Partner at Sutter & Pearce, said: “This is a momentous agreement and a win-win for both firms. Together, Sutter & Pearce and Centurion are building the most reputable and the leading legal services provider in this region.”

Friday, June 3, 2016

UN Lifts Final Sanctions on Liberia

The United Nations Security Council lifted the final sanctions on Liberia (VOA), which had been under some form of UN sanctions since 1992. The UN also ended an arms embargo on the country (Africa News).

Standard Chartered & USAID’s USD60 million partnership boosts Zambia’s power grid

LUSAKA, Zambia, May 30, 2016/ -- Standard Chartered ( continues to deliver on its commitment to bridge Africa’s power gap by facilitating, coordinating and arranging transactions which boost the capacity of national power grids and access to electricity across Africa.  In this latest milestone transaction, Standard Chartered has partnered with the U. S. Government, through USAID, to deliver a term loan worth USD 60 million to Zambia’s Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO), making this one of the largest facilities that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has delivered within President Obama’s ‘Power Africa’ partnership since the campaign’s launch in 2013.  The loan will finance capital expenditure tor ZESCO’s Lusaka Transmission and Distribution Rehabilitation Project (LTDRP) as well as provide bridge financing to facilitate new connections to the grid.

Part of ZESCO’s strategic plan is to improve the quality of electricity and enhance connections to the national grid,” commented ZESCO’s Managing Director, Victor Mundende. “USAID and Standard Chartered’s support has already delivered more than 15,000 new power connections.  Furthermore, some of the funds provided will be used for other scheduled power system upgrades, contributing to new and existing connections to homes and businesses across the country.  ZESCO remains committed to meeting its aspirations of electrifying 60% of Zambia by 2030.”

USAID/Zambia Mission Director, Michael Yates, added, “Power Africa is a broad partnership which aims to boost economic development, by providing access to electricity to homes and businesses across Africa.  This is one of our largest commitments in Africa to date, and will enable us to meet a critical need for a quarter of a million Zambians and the economy as a whole.

This facility is Standard Chartered Zambia’s longest tenor and largest facility provided to a Zambian parastatal entity to date.  Andrew Okai, CEO of Standard Chartered Zambia, commented, “By using our strengths in structuring financial solutions which promote economically enhancing partnerships and improve the lives of individuals, Standard Chartered can demonstrate our promise to be Here for good.  This is the Bank’s second Power Africa partnership to benefit Zambia, with the first being Standard Chartered’s Private Equity investment in Zambian Energy Corporation.”