Key Development and Finance Updates
West Africa gets career-neutral internet exchange
MDXI, MainOne’s Data Centre subsidiary, and Asteroid, a global IXP platform provider, have partnered to launch a carrier-neutral Internet Exchange Point (IXP) for West Africa. The West African Internet Exchange (WAF-IX) will be located in MDXI’s Tier III Data Centre in Lagos.
According to MDXI, WAF-IX will improve traffic exchange and localisation within West Africa, reduce latency, improve speed, and provide quality service to endusers. It would also foster the attainment of the digital economy across West Africa.
“West Africa’s digital economy is on the rise, but huge gaps still exist in in-country interconnection,” said Remco van Mook, Asteroid’s CEO. “We believe that the Internet sector across West Africa has incredible potential for growth and will be greatly enabled by the West African Internet Exchange.”
Recently, MDXI received the Gold Data Centre certification from Microsoft. This certification is the highest partnership level with Microsoft in Data Centre Competencies and Cloud Productivity in Microsoft’s Partner Network program.
Pan-African group calls for regulation of second-hand tyres
Part Worn Africa (PWA), a newlylaunched consumer and road safety advocacy group, has called on governments and regulatory bodies across Africa to enforce stronger regulations on the sale of part-worn and second-hand tyres.
According to the group, Africa has the highest rate of road traffic deaths in the world, with 26.6 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. The inability to enforce stringent safety and quality standards on the use of tyres leaves African road users vulnerable to unsafe and illicit part-worn tyres that have cost the lives of many.
“There is a need to protect road users by developing, enforcing and monitoring compliance with appropriate legislative and regulatory standards and specification for second-hand and partworn tyres, uniformly across Africa,” said Abdul Waheed Patel, Director of PWA.
The group said it will be working with governments, regulatory bodies and multisectoral interest groups across Africa to address the policy, legislative and regulatory deficits that expose unwitting consumers to this major hazards on Africa’s roads.
Shortage of funding hinders hotel expansion in Nigeria
The Managing Director of W Hospitality Group, Trevor Ward, has said Nigeria’s increasing economic sophistication is fuelling the rapid expansion in the number of hotel rooms in the country.
There are over 9,603 rooms across 57 hotels planned by leading hotel brands in the country. This is according to API Events, organiser of the West Africa Property Investment (WAPI) Summit.
“The reality is that only 4,000 of these hotel rooms are under construction,” said Ward. “There is no shortage of projects and developers, it is the finance that is in short supply. It is inconceivable that all the projects in the pipeline could be funded – if they were, and were built, there could be chronic oversupply.”
According to Ward, despite the potential offered by the economy and mid-scale markets, international brands are focused on the high-end market – the business and Meetings Incentives Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) sectors.
Life expectancy in Nigeria now 55 years, could rise to 74
The 2018 life expectancy data published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) shows that the average life expectancy at birth in Nigeria is 55.2 years, an improvement from the 47 years previously reported.
According to the data, a male child born in 2018 is expected to live up to 54.7 years, while a female child is expected to live approximately 55.7 years. With this, Nigeria ranks 178 out of 192 countries on the World Life Expectancy ranking.
Also, a recent study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), an independent global health research centre at the University of Washington, revealed that life expectancy in Nigeria can increase to 74.8 years by 2040.
The leading causes of death in Nigeria, according to the WHO data, include influenza and pneumonia, tuberculosis, diarrhoeal diseases, stroke, HIV/AIDS, coronary heart disease, liver disease, prostate cancer, diabetes mellitus, maternal conditions and malaria.
Clear policy, others needed for Africa to harness aerospace technologies
Airbus, a commercial aircraft manufacturer, has released a White Paper on the role of aerospace technologies and their impact on socio-economic development in Africa. The Paper is titled, “The Great Enabler: Aerospace in Africa.”
According to the report, aerospace technologies can increase access to healthcare, enhance food security through precision farming, connect people to markets and goods faster, and empower businesses with innovative products and solutions.
The report also stresses the need for clear government policies in human capital development, partnerships and financing to harness the power of aerospace technologies.
The research was based on 30 in-depth interview with a cross-section of stakeholders, including Nigeria’s National Space Research and Development Agency, African Airlines Association, International Air Transport Association, African Development Bank and the World Bank.