MTN’s Zambian operation is to build a fibre connection to Namibia, its neighbour to the south-west.
The connection will run from Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, to the border town of Sesheke, across the Zambezi from Namibia’s Caprivi Strip
Bart Hofker, CEO of MTN Zambia, said: “In our pursuit to create a digital global hub in Zambia, we are happy to announce the construction of fibre connectivity from Lusaka through Sesheke to Mongu which will make Zambia a major transit point to international destinations.”
He added, “This partnership will help us provide stability on our network and cheaper internet for our customers to connect with family, friends and colleagues.”
MTN also has a network in Namibia, but that unit has not yet made an announcement about its end of the link.
Chinese vendor ZTE said it has won the contract from MTN Zambia to build the backbone fibre to the border.
Dong Renjie, CEO of ZTE Zambia, said: “We will be committed to working with MTN Zambia to promote the upgrade of its networks and build the most advanced and leading digital communication network in Zambia.”
The system chosen will be able to provide bandwidth beyond 1Gbps, said ZTE. “This backbone network also features high scalability for future evolution,” said the company, which is based in Shenzhen in southern China.
Kenya Airways Postpones Resumption Of New York Flights
Kenya Airways has suspended its resumption of flights to New York City until November 29, a statement said on Saturday.
The airline announced that all flights have been postponed following increased cancellation of flight bookings to the United States’ city.
“We greatly appreciate the internet and support of our customers who had booked with us and have made alternative arrangements for their travel,” Kenya Airways Corporate Communications said.
“We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused.”
Kenya Airways management had announced plans to resume Nairobi-New York direct flights in October following resumption of international travel.
The national carrier Chairman Michael Joseph had said the airline will start with one flight a week with frequency increasing based on demand.
“I think we will go once a week and then we will start to build. If we see the demand is up, we will go two times or three times a week. I don’t know when we will go back to daily flights to the US because of the pandemic,” Joseph said.
Kenya Airways started direct flights to the US in October 2018, cutting the journey to 15 hours.
As of October last year, it had completed 594 flights to and from New York , flying at least 105,084 passengers.
The airline had deployed a Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet with a capacity of 234 seats for daily flight to New York.
WTO JOB: Nigeria Reaches Out To US, South Korea
Following the United States opposition to Nigeria’s former minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, heading the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Nigerian government has reached out to the US to persuade them to back the 66-year-old.
Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment, on Friday, said it had also reached out to South Korea.
Okonjo-Iweala and South Korean trade minister, Yoo Myung-hee, are the remaining candidates for the WTO top job. The United States has officially backed Myung-hee, the only nation out of the 164 members of the WTO to do so.
The United States’ stand came hours after a high-powered WTO panel had recommended Okonjo-Iweala to lead the global trade watchdog, teeing her up to become its first African and first woman head.
“Nigeria is currently reaching out to all members of the WTO including the United States and South Korea to overcome the impasse as well as persuade the United States to join the consensus,” the trade ministry said in a statement.
A person involved in the leadership race cast doubt on Nigeria’s plans to bring pressure to bear on Washington, however.
“They can push in the sense that they can get on the phone, try to mobilise support, but is that going to change the view in Washington? I think not,” the person, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter, told Reuters.
The ministry said the WTO’s 164 member states were expected to adopt Okonjo-Iweala as the organization’s director-general by consensus, but the United States was the sole country to oppose her, flouting the organisation’s rules.
The U.S. Trade Representative’s office has officially backed the only other remaining candidate, South Korean trade minister Yoo Myung-hee. In a statement, it called her a successful trade negotiator with the skills needed to lead the trade body at a “very difficult time”.
Next steps are uncertain, but a WTO spokesman said there was likely to be “frenzied activity” before a Nov. 9 meeting, less than a week after the U.S. presidential election, to secure the required consensus from all 164 member states for Okonjo-Iweala.
Court Grants Former Bosasa COO, Angelo Agrizzi, bail
Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi was denied bail in his corruption and bribery case
Former Bosasa chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi has been granted bail by the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Friday.
Agrizzi was denied bail earlier on October 14 by the Specialised Commercial Crime Court sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court. He appealed against Magistrate Phillip Venter’s ruling.
On Friday, Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng averred that the court in Palm Ridge misdirected itself both in fact and law.
Agrizzi has been detained for two weeks after the Palm Ridge Specialised Crimes Court denied him bail.
Agrizzi is facing fraud and corruption charges. He stands accused of bribing influential individuals, including Vincent Smith, the then chairperson of Parliament’s correctional services committee.
Earlier this month, Agrizzi was moved from the Johannesburg Prison to a private hospital over breathing issues. Agrizzi was hospitalised, allegedly on ventilators after going into cardiac arrest while in custody.
The National Prosecuting Authority’s Investigating Directorate accused Agrizzi of lying in his previous bail affidavit last year.
He told the court that he and his wife’s moveable assets were valued at R2.6 million when in fact they amount to over R30 million.
On Monday, Agrizzi’s lawyers declared his doctors were finding it difficult to treat him because he is chained to a bed and there were too many armed guards in his ward.
They demanded that he be released on bail because he is at high risk of contracting COVID-19 due to his pre-existing chronic medical condition.
His lawyers argued that his denial of bail was unfair because he had so far cooperated with investigations, the state capture commission, and has no prior convictions.
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