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

‘Let’s unite for victory,’ Ashie Moore tells NDC members

Mr Emmanuel Nii Ashie Moore, Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the Opposition National Democratic c Congress (NDC)has asked members of the party to unite for overwhelming victory in Ghana’s next general election in 2024. ‘Ghanaians will not forgive us, if we fail to unite for the party to win the 2024 elections,’ the Regional Chairman said. Nii Ashie Moore, speaking to journalists in Accra after last Saturday’s presidential and parliamentary primaries, congratulated party members for giving the nod to former President John Dramani Mahama, to lead the party in next year’s presidential election. ‘I and my regional executives will continue to express our sincerest gratitude to all our delegates within the Greater Accra Region for such an amazing show at the just-ended presidential and parliamentary primaries,’ the Regional Chairman said. Nii Ashie Moore, also the Regional Campaign Manager for John Mahama, expressed joy at the large turnout of the over 50,000 delegates to secure a resounding victory in the region for the former President. The Greater Accra Region had the highest number of delegates and delivered 99.59% of the votes for former President Mahama. He was optimistic that former President John Mahama would cruise to victory in the 2024 presidential election considering his wide acceptability across the country during the NDC primaries. He congratulated the zonal teams, constituency executives and delegates among others, in the region, for ensuring that former President Mahama won the presidential primaries with the highest percentage out of the 16 regions. He said: ‘The hope of Ghanaians is John Mahama and the NDC,’ adding that, ‘we must show them we are serious.’ He therefore urged all and sundry in the region to work hard as the task ahead was enormous and the ultimate was to win the 2024 elections. ‘So, let us unite, disband all campaign factions, close our ranks and files and work together so that we can rescue the country. ‘We must put our house together so that we can regain the mandate of Ghanaians to rescue this country,’ Nii Ashie Moore added.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Accra Inter-City Homowo Marathon to launch short code for registration

Organisers of the annual Accra Inter-City Homowo Marathon will on Tuesday, May 23, launch a special Short Code for participants to register for the race. The short code is to afford athletes and participants a convenient and efficient platform to register as well as receive instant feedback after registration. A statement from the organizers said, the event would be held at the newly constructed Zimansky Hotel, Roman Ridge, Accra at 11am. Unlike the previous year, participants would register through a special short code developed by TXT Ghana, one of the partners of the event. The user-friendly short code also gives opportunity to participants to select their race and make appropriate payment after registration. In attendance would be official of Medivents Consult, Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Ghana Athletics, Ghana Traditional Council, sponsors, and the media. The Accra Inter-City Homowo Marathon is fixed for Saturday, July 29, 2023, from the Accra Sports Stadium to Mantse Agbona, James Town. Over 1000 participants are expected to compete for honours in 21-Kilometers, 10-Kilometers and 5-Kilometers. There would be other races such as wheelchair, deaf race and skating. The race is headlined by Serene Insurance Ghana Limited, with HD Plus, Allied Consortiums, Parin Africa, mybet.Africa.com, Aqua Blue Mineral Water, RekFoli Herbals, G4S and Zimansky Hotel as sponsors. Global Media Alliance, www.sportsnetghana.con, the Inquisitor are the media partners. The Accra Inter-City Homowo Marathon is part of activities making the annual Homowo festival and the 125th Anniversary of the AMA.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Lobby for investments and development – Bono Minister encourages Queen Mothers

Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister has encouraged queen mothers to use their lobbying skills to attract investments and development to their traditional areas. She observed economic development tended to benefit women more and therefore hoped the queen mothers would lead in ensuring that women benefited from investments in the respective traditional areas to improve socio-economic lives of the people. Mad. Owusu-Banahene made the call at the opening of the third annual conferenceand workshop for queen mothers at Abesim, near Sunyani. Organised by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), a German political foundation in partnership with the National Queen Mothers’ Platformand the Bono Regional Queen Mothers’ Association, the two-day event aimed to explore the complex relations between traditional leaders and the modern legal and political systems in Africa on the theme ‘Traditional Leaders in Contemporary African Governance: The Clash of Laws, Authorities and Responsibilities’. It also provided a forum for discussion and debate on other related important issues and ‘to explore ways in which traditional leaders can be integrated into modern governance systems while still maintaining their cultural identities and authorities’. The participants comprised paramount queen mothers from the Bono and Bono East Regions and two accredited representatives each from the remaining regions nationwide. Mad. Owusu-Banahene noted the role of queen mothers in the country’s socio-political and cultural development could not be over-emphasised, saying in the past few years queen mothers had broken the frontiers in education, commerce and other socio-political arenas and become more connected. She said queen mothers had begun reclaiming their traditional roles and modernising them, saying ‘your place within the traditional setup is a powerful tool for women’s empowerment and for bringing social and economic changes in your communities and the country at large”. Mad. Owusu-Banahene said the government on its part recognised the key roles queen mothers played in democratic governance and would therefore continue to engage them on several fronts to ensure that they had their rightful place. She asserted the laws of Ghana restricted traditional leaders from engaging in active partisan politics, but chiefs and queen mothers had continued to play key roles in the governance architecture. Mad. Owusu-Banahene entreated queen mothers notwithstanding the limitation, to take up the role of advocacy in women’s empowerment, involvement as well as participation in democratic governance while using their influence to garner support for women already in democratic and institutional governance and encouraged more women’s participation to spearhead the interests of women, children and the vulnerable in the society. Professor Dr. Crista Rautenbach, Prof. of Law, North West University, South Africa, who a spoke on the topic ‘The Role of Female Traditional Leaders in Emerging Democracy’ said traditional leadership was still a male-dominated field in post-apartheid South Africa. She stated there was a growing recognition of the importance of female traditional leaders in promoting gender equality and women empowerment, but, Prof Rautenbach added there was still much work to be done to ensure that women were fully included in governance structures at all levels in the society.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Passengers in Krachi East yet to enjoy 10 per cent reduction in transport fares

Transport fares have not been reduced by 10 per cent in Krachi East Municipality after Road Transport Operators announced a cutback in the prices of petroleum products. The reduction in fares is commensurate with prevailing fuel prices on the market and it follows engagements between transport operators and the Ministry of Transport. Mr Moro Sanda, Chairman of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) in Krachi East, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that, directives have not been received yet and would act as soon as they received. Checks conducted by GNA on taxis and other vehicle drivers, who commute within the Municipality were yet to implement the new fares. The drivers claimed that they had not received the new pricing list from their leadership as of Wednesday, hence their inability to implement the new fares. Mr Isaac Gyagri, a taxi driver and some others were, however, hopeful that the GPRTU would offer them the new price list to guide the implementation of the new fares. In Dambai, the price of petrol per litre at Goil, the market leader of the oil marketing companies (OMCs) is now GHC12.30 from the previous price of GHC12.64 recorded on Tuesday, May 16, while diesel is selling at GHC 12.30 per litre from the previous price of GHC 12.64. Alinco oil is also now selling a litre of petrol at GHC 11.50 from the old price of GHC 11.70, while diesel is selling at GHC 11.50 from the previous price of GHC 11.70. GNA visit to Star Oil sighted a reduction of petrol per litre at GHC 11. 59 from the old price of GHC 11.99, while diesel is selling at GHC 11.59 as compared to the old price of GHC 11.99. It is believed the 10 per cent would cut back on prices of the commodity and go to affect prices of goods and services.

Source: Ghana News Agency

South Tongu NDC parliamentary candidate assures of massive development

Mr Maxwell Kwame Lukutor, the newly elected National Democratic Congress (NDC) South Tongu parliamentary candidate, has assured the constituents of massive developmental projects when voted into Parliament in the 2024 general election. He said it had always been his desire to represent the people in Parliament in order to accelerate the development of the area and turn the economic conditions around for the better. Mr Lukutor gave the assurance in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Sogakope in the Volta Region and said he would lobby for the construction of more feeder roads and the upgrading of dilapidated town roads to open the municipality for investment and tourism. He won the primary after three failed attempts, securing 597 votes to beat incumbent Member of Parliament, Mr Kobena Mensah Woyome, who polled 562 votes. Mr Lukutor, a surveyor, said he would champion the extension of electricity and potable water to communities that lacked them and create job opportunities for the teaming unemployed youth and women in the area. He expressed gratitude to all delegates and party faithful for the honour electing him as their candidate and appealed to all constituents to vote massively for him in the general election ‘so that together we can build a better South Tongu.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

Guinea Bissau’s President confers National Order honours on Ayorkor Botchwey

Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has been conferred with the National Order of Merit, Cooperation and Development Medal by President Umaro Sissoco Embaló of Guinea Bissau. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency said the short ceremony took place in Bissau during the State Visit of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to Guinea Bissau from 14th to 16th May. Speaking after the conferment, Madam Ayorkor Botchwey, expressed gratitude to President Embaló, the Government and the People of Guinea Bissau for the honour done her. She added the award was an honour to herself, the President, and the People of Ghana. She thanked President Akufo-Addo and indicated that she owed the honour to him, considering that he gave her the opportunity to serve in his Government as a Foreign Minister and for the confidence he continually reposes in her. She highlighted the strong bonds of friendship and cooperation that exist between Ghana and Guinea Bissau and added that the award was evidence of the strength of the relationship. She expressed her commitment to work to strengthen the ties of cooperation between Ghana and Guinea Bissau.

Source: Ghana News Agency