Items filtered by date: Friday, 27 July 2018
The Competition Commission believes British American Tobacco's (BAT) plan to buy e-cigarette company Twisp would lead to higher vaping prices in South Africa.
BAT is already a global e-cigarette player and could've easily entered the South African market without buying a competitor, it said.
BAT in January signed an agreement to acquire Twisp. 
Cigarette giant British American Tobacco's (BAT) planned acquisition of big South African e-cigarette maker Twisp would lead to higher vaping prices in South Africa, the Competition Commission says.
 
BAT, South Africa’s largest cigarette distributor, signed an agreement to acquire Twisp in January. Twisp is believed to be the biggest distributor of vaping products in SA. 
 
The deal is subject to approval from the South African Competition Tribunal. 
 
“The merger is likely to result in unilateral effects which may manifest in the form of an increase in prices of e-cigarettes in future or a reduction in the rate of price reductions that could potentially occur with BAT’s entry,” the Competition Commission said in a statement about the proposal.
 
“[The merger can also lead to] a reduction in the quality or rate of innovation of e-cigarette products offered post-merger.” 
 
The commission, mandated to promote and maintain competition in South Africa, said BAT is prominent in the e-cigarette market internationally and could easily have entered the South African market – without buying a competitor.
 
“It would have been in a position to compete effectively against Twisp, the largest and dominant e-cigarette supplier in the country.” 
 
“The Commission recommends that the proposed transaction be prohibited.” 
 
When BAT first announced the deal, the multinational said Twisp would help ensure the sustainability of the company in South Africa. 
 
“We already have a large footprint elsewhere in the world. We are committed to the growth of our next generation products business and it was only natural that we extend our offering in SA with a range that is familiar to this market,” BAT South Africa CEO Soraya Benchikh said at the time. 
 
"We are excited about acquiring a leading vapour brand and the opportunities it presents.” 
 
 
Source: The Business Insider
Published in Business
President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe on Friday pledged to deliver a fair and transparent election, amid the UN concerns over the alleged violations of the political rights in the African country.
 
Mnangagwa made the pledge on Friday at the outreach dialogue session of the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.
 
Zimbabweans will elect their new president and members of parliament on July 30.
 
These are the first elections to take place after a three decade rule of former President Robert Mugabe.
 
In November, Mugabe, who also served as prime minister, was forced to step down. Mnangagwa, the former vice president, was sworn in as Mugabe’s successor.
 
“Let me assure you, Your Excellencies, that all measures have been taken and put in place, for peaceful, transparent, fair and credible elections,” Mnangagwa said.
 
On Monday, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) expressed concern about growing number of reports of “voter intimidation, threats of violence, harassment and coercion, including people being forced to attend political rallies.”
 
At the same time, the OHCHR welcomed the “widening of the democratic space” in Zimbabwe ahead of the elections, such as the presence of international human rights observers.
 
The presidential ballot includes a record 23 names.
 
However, the main contenders are 75-year-old Mnangagwa from the ruling Zanu-PF party and 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa from the opposition MDC Alliance.
 
 
 
Source: PMNEWSNIGERIA
Published in Country Profiles
Friday, 27 July 2018 15:12

Google launches station in Nigeria

Web search engine, Google, has unveiled Google Station aimed at providing free high-quality, high-speed Wi-Fi hotspots to millions of Nigerians.
 
The launching made Nigeria the fifth country to get Google Station, after India, Indonesia, Thailand and Mexico.
 
The Google Country Director, Mrs Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, who made the disclosure in Lagos on Friday, said the station would roll out in 200 locations in five cities across Nigeria by the end of 2019.
 
“Google for Nigeria on its second year made some big announcements aimed at helping more people in Nigeria, and across Africa to benefit from the opportunities the web has to offer.
 
“In a bid to make the internet more easily accessible to people in Nigeria, Google is launching Google Station for Nigeria – a programme to provide high quality, high-speed Wi-Fi hotspots.
 
“Google Station will be rolling out in 200 locations in five cities across Nigeria by the end of 2019, bringing Wi-Fi to millions of people.
 
“The sites include markets, transport hubs, shopping malls and universities,” she said.
 
The official said that Google launched the Google Station in partnership with 21st Century, one of the largest fibre network providers in Nigeria.
 
She said that Google was also making search better for the ordinary Africans, noting that job search it launched in March in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya, was rolling out in 29 new countries.
 
Ehimuan-Chiazor said that, in Nigeria, Google was launching a search experience that would allow users to explore their health conditions based on symptoms, adding that it was making a recipe search.
 
She said that Street View’s Discover Nigeria Gallery had been expanded to include more Nigerian wonders including the National Museum in Lagos, Olumo Rock in Abeokuta, Millennium Park in Abuja and Lekki Conservation Centre in Lagos.
 
She said that the Google for Nigeria had updated several products from its “Go” initiative launched in 2017, and
added new features to include Google Go, YouTube Go, Google Map Go and Android Go.
 
“The Go product suite was aimed at giving people with low bandwidth connections and low-RAM devices the best possible Google experience.
 
“Google Go reads web pages out loud and highlights each word so users can follow along.
 
“For YouTube Go, users will be able to browse downloaded YouTube Go videos saved as files right from the gallery to their phones.
 
“Google Maps Go will provide users with turn-by-turn directions, whether they are travelling by car, bus or walking on foot,’’ she said.
 
The official said that Android Go, Launched in Nigeria and 29 other African countries early this year, gave people coming online for the first time a reliable smartphone experience.
 
She said that Google had trained no fewer than over 2.5 million of the 10 million Africans, it promised to train by 2022 on digital skills.
 
She added that Google trained another 9,000 Africans in mobile app development.
 
According to her, the Google’s Launchpad Accelerator Africa initiative graduated 12 promising startups from the continent in June.
 
“The application process of the ongoing Google Impact Challenge, part of Google’s $20 million Google.org commitment to Africa over the next five years, closed with over 5,500 entries. The process of selecting the 36 finalists has begun.
 
“We are offering new solutions to improve and expand access in Nigeria and across Africa.
 
“These launches demonstrate our commitment to Africa through products built to help people in Africa to make the most of the Internet,” Ehimuan-Chiazor said
 
 
Source: PMNEWSNIGERIA
Published in Telecoms

The Naira on Thursday gained marginally against the dollar at the parallel market in Lagos, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

The Nigerian currency gained 50 kobo to close at N358, stronger than N358.5 traded on Thursday, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N480 and N418.5 respectively.

At the Bureau De Change (BDC) window, the naira closed at N360 to the dollar, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N480 and N418.5 respectively.

The naira, however, appreciated at the investors’ window, closing at N361.45, stronger than N361.68 traded on Thursday, while it was sold at N305.90 at the Central Bank of Nigeria official window.

Meanwhile, Mr Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor, said that Nigeria performed very well among emerging markets in Africa.

Emefiele in an interaction with newsmen at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja, added that the foreign exchange market had remained stable.

According to him, the apex bank had enough buffers to defend the naira.

 

Source: NAN

Published in Bank & Finance
Nigeria will on Friday night experience a spectacular total lunar eclipse, which will last for one hour, Prof. Augustine Ubachukwu, has said.
 
Ubachukwu, the leader of Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Group of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, disclosed this on Thursday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
 
“Nigeria is set to experience a very spectacular total lunar eclipse on Friday, July 27, weather permitting.
 
“It will be visible from 9:30.p.m. and last till 11: 220 p.m.
 
“This total lunar eclipse will be primarily visible from the world’s Eastern Hemisphere, which are Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
 
“Part of South America will be able to watch the final stages of the eclipse just after sunset on July 27.
 
“New Zealand will catch the beginning stages of the eclipse before sunrise on July 28.
 
“It will be the century’s longest total lunar eclipse with a whopping one hour and 43 minutes in totality.
 
“It starts with a partial eclipse at 7:24 p.m. The total eclipse begins at 8.30 p.m., and ends at 10.13 p.m. The peak of the eclipse will occur at 9.22 p.m. The partial eclipse ends at 11.19 p.m.,’’ he said.
 
Ubachukwu observed that a lunar eclipse could occur only on the night of a full moon.
 
The scientist said during a total lunar eclipse, the earth completely blocks direct sunlight from reaching the moon, while the only light reflected from the lunar surface would be refracted by earth’s atmosphere.
 
According to him, unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are safe to view without any eye protection or special precautions as they appear dimmer than the full moon.
 
The professor, however, said that the next total lunar eclipse that would be visible in Nigeria would occur on Jan. 21, 2019.
 
Prof. Rabiu Babatunde, the Director, Centre for Atmospheric Research in Kogi told NAN that people should not be perturbed at the occurrence.
 
Babatunde said that the event underscored the fact that planetary objects, including the earth were in a state of defined continuous motion.
 
He said that the occurrence necessitated the need for scientists to continue monitoring and exploring the dynamics of the motion and the phenomena associated with them.
 
“Keeping tab on the dynamics will enable scientists sensitise the global community of any hazard associated with such occurrences,’’ he said.
 
 
Source: NAN
Published in Opinion & Analysis
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