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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Tizeti

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

Contact: Temitope Osunrinde (press@tizeti.com)

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8840227

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Sweegen

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

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

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

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

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


Ana Arakelian

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8841398

4 coastal areas chosen for 2D/3D mapping of Mahe Island in Seychelles

A two dimensional (2D) and three dimensional (3D) mapping project being undertaken on four coastal sites on Seychelles' main island, Mahe, seeks to provide up-to-date data that will help in the integration of ecological processes into the development and planning of coastal areas.

The high-resolution 2D/3D coastal mapping and monitoring of the island is being carried out by Geomer Consulting in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment, with part of the funding provided through Seychelles' Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT) Blue Grants Fund.

The project lead, and the director of Geomer, Jonathan Pinchart, told SNA recently that the last 2D images - similar to what can be seen on the website of Seychelles WebGIS - of coastal areas were captured by the government in 2011.

"We saw that there was a gap there as the government no longer carries out coastal erosion studies and hence we came forth with the project. We decided to use more developed and innovative technologies to do that. Monitoring, whether if you are doing compiling or a full mapping, takes quite a while and some very sophisticated pieces of equipment and a lot of manpower," said Pinchart.

He identified four coastal areas - Beau Vallon, North-East Point, Anse la Mouche, and Baie Lazare - as areas of focus that in 2019, the World Bank recommended that coastal erosion studies be carried out.

Through the project, which started in 2021 and will end in 2023, Geomer is undertaking 2D and 3D coastal mapping and monitoring using unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and structure-from-motion photogrammetry techniques.

"Throughout the two years, we carried out 2D mappings every four months and for each year we have four snapshots of the sites so that we can identify linear changes, the movement of the shoreline. These sites are prone to seasonal changes and the sands are being moved from one end of the beach to the other," said Pinchart.

He added that 3D mapping is a little more complicated but through it "we can calculate the total volume of the beach and through the seasons we can assess how this evolves. We can then identify where the sand is moving and how much sand is being moved, in cubic metres."

Pinchart said that in the long term, this will allow relevant authorities to understand if it is the seasonal movement of sand or if it is going out of the area that is being mapped, and this requires a longer period of time.

He shared that hopefully through climate change funding given to the government, monitoring of the sites can continue.

All the photos compiled in the project are being provided to the coastal unit and GIS unit within the ministry and the data is also expected to be placed in the public domain for anyone to access.

Source: Seychelles News Agency

Cable & Wireless Seychelles commemorates 130th anniversary with exhibition, concert, fun day

The Cable & Wireless Seychelles (CWS) telecommunication company launched a month-long exhibition on Wednesday as part of activities to mark its 130th anniversary in the island nation.

A group gathered at Kenwyn House in the capital Victoria for an exhibition to view artefacts that document the company's presence in Seychelles and the evolution of telecommunication technology.

Cable & Wireless was set up in 1893 linking Seychelles to Zanzibar when for the first time the island nation joined the world telecommunication network.

In his virtual address, the chief executive of CWS, Georges D'Offay, said that the venue was chosen because this is where the company's history in Seychelles started.

"Our founder Eastern and South African Telegraph Company bought this property in 1880. An interesting fact is that this historical establishment, which has been declared a national monument in Seychelles, was used by our engineering directors. This is when the first cable to connect Seychelles to Zanzibar was being installed, a remarkable event in our history," he said.

The first cable to connect Seychelles to Zanzibar was installed in 1893. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY

Other activities being organised to mark the company's anniversary include a grand lottery with a BMW lX3 as a star prize, a mega concert, and a family fun day.

Another activity to celebrate the 130th is the special session for CWS employees' children, who will be given a tour of the exhibition as part of a family fun day.

For the younger generation this exhibition is a chance to see a dial phone, the company's phone cards that were used on its payphones located all over the country a few years ago.

CWS is also displaying its quad-play services – where it is combining the triple-play service of broadband Internet access, television and telephone with wireless service provisions – through short videos at the exhibition.

Marc Denousse, who worked on the exhibition, explained that while his team has been able to gather "as many artefacts as possible, we were unable to get all of them since the company found some to be obsolete and did not need to keep them."

The secretary general of the Seychelles Institute of Culture, Heritage and the Arts (SICHA), David Andre, who is a former CWS employee, officially opened the exhibition.

"I remember applying for a position in the company when I completed my studies in 1976, receiving an answer the next day informing me that I could start work immediately. It is during my short time with the company that I also learned Morse code," said Andre.

He congratulated the company for the work it has done in Seychelles and the services it has provided to the country in its 130 years here.

Since November 2019, the company has been entirely owned by a group of Seychellois entrepreneurs who purchased Cable and Wireless Seychelles under the group CWS Investment for a price of $130 million from Liberty Global, one of the world's largest television and broadband companies.

On September 26, Cable and Wireless Seychelles was listed on the MERJ Exchange based in the country, where 120,000 shares were made available for sale to increase its shareholder base and raise approximately $4.3 million.

Source: Seychelles News Agency

Tunisia, India sign three-year cultural agreement

A three-year bilateral cultural agreement (2023-2026) was signed Wednesday at the headquarters of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs between Tunisia and India. This agreement concerns the strengthening of bilateral partnership in various sectors, such as music, dance, performing arts, cinema, heritage and creative industries. Minister of Cultural Affairs, Hayet Guetat Guermazi, and the Under Secretary of the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Consular Affairs abroad, Ausaf Saeed, signed this three-year executive programme. It was agreed, in particular, to strengthen relations of cooperation and film exchange. The Minister stressed that this new agreement is a continuation of the bilateral agreement signed on June 24, 1996, in New Delhi. She mentioned the importance of the new programme which should strengthen the age-old ties between the two countries, recalling the establishment of diplomatic relations between Tunisia and India which date back to 1958. The representative of the Indian government said that this new cultural partnership agreement with Tunisia should cover various aspects of the cultural and artistic sector. Ausaf Saeed, expressed his admiration for Tunisia especially as it is his first visit to the country. The Indian party will work to attract film professionals to shoot in Tunisia, the diplomat said.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Number of tourist up 18.4% in Tozeur

The tourism sector in Tozeur governorate recorded a noteworthy improvement after posting a 18.4% rise in the number of tourists till May 10 compared to the same period last year, said Local Commissioner for Tourism Yasser Souf. The number of overnight stays also saw a 10% increase to 83,767 during the same period, he told TAP on Wednesday.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Mrabet, German delegation discuss food safety cooperation programme

Health Minister Ali Mrabet pointed on Tuesday to the utmost importance of the bilateral technical cooperation project between Tunisia and Germany in the food safety field in guaranteeing quality and safety. "This project, which aims to improve the food safety system, will have a direct impact on the protection of the consumers' health in addition to its contribution to the development of exports of Tunisian consumer products and tourism," he added during the 1st meeting of the project's steering committee. Ali Mrabet underlined the need to enhance planning to achieve the objectives of this strategic project as soon as possible, reaffirming the Health Ministry's commitment to coordinate with other structures in order to provide all the necessary means to ensure the safety of food products and protect the health of consumers, reads a Health Ministry press release. The German delegation welcomed the progress made in the implementation of this partnership project, despite the economic difficulties, notably the COVID-19 crisis and its repercussions, voicing willingness to continue cooperation with Tunisia to make a success of this programme. The meeting was attended by President of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment Andreas Hensel and President of the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety Friedel Cramer.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Nearly 420 exhibitors expected at 39th Gabes International Fair from May 25 to June 12

The 39th edition of the Gabes International Fair will be held from May 25 to June 12, with the participation of nearly 420 exhibitors from Algeria, Syria, Egypt and Tunisia. Considered the largest economic event in the southeastern region, the fair attracts more than 200,000 visitors each year, according to participants in a working session held Wednesday at the seat of the Gabes governorate to review preparations. The event is an ideal opportunity for exhibitors to present various products and creations in several sectors, including ready-to-wear clothing, furniture, perfumes, decorations and the food industry. It is also an opportunity that will benefit more than 50 artisans and artisans from the Gabes governorate and neighbouring regions to showcase handicrafts, in an effort to promote this sector, which is experiencing remarkable growth in the region.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Burkina: Prices of specialty drugs now regulated

The Burkinabè government decided on Wednesday to include specialty pharmaceutical drugs on the list of goods and services subject to price regulation.

"Given the recent news which has enabled us to note the general increase in the prices of specialty products in pharmaceutical pharmacies, this adopted report allows us to continue the procedure in this area to henceforth set ceiling margins on the prices of specialty products," said Minister Serge PODA.

Source: Burkina Information Agency