23 March, 2012

Lauryn Hill Confirmed For Sold Out Capetown Jazz Festival

Multi Grammy Award winner Ms. Lauryn Hill has been confirmed to perform at this year’s Cape Town International Jazz Festival. Her performance will take place on Saturday 31 March 2012 at the famous Kippies stage.

“We are extremely excited about the addition of Ms. Lauryn Hill. She is an exceptional artist and festival goers can expect a sensational show. She completes a line-up of world class acts that audiences have come expect from the festival,” says Rashid Lombard, espAfrika CEO.

“”Both public tickets and corporate hospitality tickets are completely sold out.
Non -ticket holders are urged not to try their luck at the festival gates as there will be no tickets available,” says Lombard.

Hill established her reputation as a member of the sensational Fugees. In 1998 she launched her solo career with the release of the commercially successful and critically acclaimed album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. The recording earned Hill 5 Grammy Awards including Album of the Year and Best New Artist.

After several years out of the spotlight, Ms. Hill returned to live music in 2011. She has toured extensively since, including performances at Coachella Valley Music Festival, New Orleans Jazz Fest, and Rock The Bells. In February 2012 Hill performed a new song, titled Fearless Vampire Killer, during a sold out performance at the Warner Theatre in Washington DC.

20 March, 2012

UN-led Meeting Agrees on Priority Actions for Managing E-Waste in Africa

Pan-African Forum on E-Waste Underlines Green Economy Opportunities in E-Waste Sector

Nairobi, 16 March 2012 – Priority actions for reducing the environmental and health impacts of growing levels of electrical and electronic waste (e-waste), alongside promoting the sector’s potential for green jobs and economic development, were today agreed by representatives from 18 African states, the United Nations, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and academia.

The actions were agreed on the final day of the Pan-African Forum on E-Waste, which was held at the Nairobi headquarters of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Organized by the Secretariat of the Basel Convention and UNEP, with support from the Government of Kenya, and private sector companies including Dell, HP, Nokia and Philips, the forum was the first event of its kind on the continent. It focused on long-term solutions to the rising levels of obsolete mobile phones, refrigerators, televisions and other e-products in Africa.

Increasing domestic consumption of electronic products, coupled with the ongoing import of waste electronics into Africa from other regions, means that the continent is set to generate a higher volume of e-waste than Europe by 2017.

The Pan-African Forum on E-Waste in Nairobi adopted a ‘Call to Action’, which outlines 8 priority areas to improve the environmentally-sound management of e-waste in Africa.

These include:

  • Implementation and enforcement by African states of the Basel Convention on  the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal  and the Bamako Convention, which bans the import of hazardous wastes into Africa
  • Development of national systems to improve the collection, recycling, transport, storage and disposal of e-waste
  • National institutions to co-operate with multiple stakeholders (UN, NGOs, private sector and others) in producing e-waste assessments
  • Recognition that the safe and sustainable recycling of e-waste provides an opportunity for green jobs and poverty reduction
  • Awareness raising activities on environmental and health hazards linked to the unsound management of e-waste

Managing e-waste, and other kinds of waste, is essential for the transition to a low-carbon, resource-efficient Green Economy”, said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

“Sustainable management of e-waste can combat poverty and generate green jobs through recycling, collection and processing of e-waste - and safeguard the environment and human health from the hazards posed by rising levels of waste electronics. With just over three months until the Rio+20 conference in Brazil, this event has underlined how smart public policies, creative financial incentives and technology transfer can turn e-waste from a challenge into an important resource for sustainable development,” added Mr. Steiner.

He highlighted that global recycling rates of some e-waste metals—known as rare earth metals—can be as low as one per cent despite these metals being crucial for components in hybrid electric car batteries to the magnets in wind turbines.

“The future of the clean tech, high-tech products and the transition to a Green Economy may in part depend on boosting the recycling of e-waste in order to assure a steady and streamlined supply of these specialty metals for these 21st century industries,” added Mr Steiner.

As well as serving as a valuable source of secondary raw materials, the recovery and recycling of e-waste can reduce pressure on scarce natural resources and contribute to emissions reductions.

“One tonne of obsolete mobile phones contains more gold than one tonne of ore and the picture is similar for other precious substances”, said Katharina Kummer-Peiry, Executive Secretary of the Basel Convention.

“If you consider the value of these materials, then this represents an important economic opportunity. There are recyclers and other industrial sectors who are interested in taking advantage of such opportunities, which can in turn create green jobs and support sustainable development.“

Delegates at the Pan-African E-waste Forum underlined the importance of improved access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Africa towards achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

But the disposal of obsolete electronic equipment can pose significant environmental and health risks. E-waste can contain hazardous substances, including heavy metals such as mercury and lead, and endocrine disrupting substances such as brominated flame retardants.

Much of the recycling of e-waste that takes place in Africa today occurs on an informal basis – often on uncontrolled dumpsites or landfills. Hazardous substances can be released during these dismantling and disposal operations. Open burning of cables, for example, is a major source of dioxin emissions; a persistent organic pollutant that travels over long-distances and can end up in food chain.

Participants at the Pan-African E-Waste Forum underlined the fact that recycling and recovery activities need to move from the unregulated, informal sector, where health and environmental risks are high, to a more regulated system using international recycling standards.

“Africa’s environmental challenges are growing by the day. This includes the exponential growth of electronic waste,” said Ali D. Mohamed, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources of Kenya.

“It is now the time for Africa to take action on addressing health and environmental problems as a result of current recycling practices, while creating jobs and business opportunities and alleviating poverty. We want to achieve this through an enforceable legislative framework,” added Mr. Mohamed.

According to Dr Ayub Macharia, Director General of NEMA Kenya, “Participants of the Pan-African Forum on E-waste envision an African continent free of poorly managed e-waste. NEMA will contribute to this vision through coordination, research, facilitation and enforcement, while encouraging responsible individual, corporate and collective participation towards sustainable development.”

As part of the ‘Call to Action’, manufacturers, importers, re-sellers and other handlers of electrical and electronic products should be required to organize the collection, recycling and recovery of e-waste. The forum agreed that Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) should be a key component of the environmentally sound management of e-waste.

16 March, 2012

Launch of Nokia Asha Range Phones In Kenya

Nokia yesterday officially launched its "Nokia Asha " range of phones in the Kenyan market at the Loft Lounge Westlands.The launch featured many celebrities, tech gurus,graffiti artiste bloggers and media personalities.The launch was definitely fun filled with a lot of trivia,rap contest,street dancing ,goody bags and fanfare befit of the brand name that Nokia is especially in relation to easy to use ,and quality smart phones that Nokia is , in the region.The  twitter hash tag for the event was #LetsQWERTY 

According to the press release the three phones immediately available in the market include:

Nokia Asha 201
The single SIM version of the Nokia Asha 200, the Nokia Asha 201 is ideal for young consumers who wish to stay socially connected, are price conscious and like listening to music. The Nokia Asha 201 has great music features including a high performing loudspeaker, enhanced stereo FM radio and ringtone tuning. It supports up to 32 GB memory cards and provides a battery for 52 hours of music playback time. The Nokia Asha 201 also supports push email as well as the popular messaging app WhatsApp. The estimated retail price for the Nokia Asha 201 is KES 7,300.

Nokia Asha 302
The Nokia Asha 302 is Nokia’s first Series 40 phone to support Mail for Exchange, giving people access to their emails, contacts and calendar on an exchange server. That and a stylish QWERTY keyboard make it ideal for young entrepreneurs and professionals seeking a beautifully designed phone. Additionally, the Nokia Asha 302 connects to popular social networks and enables chatting through Whatsapp and other IM services. The Nokia Asha 302 is powered by a 1-GHz processor and supports 3.5G data speeds. Great multimedia capabilities including a 3.2 MP camera, enhanced stereo FM radio, a music player as well as up to 32 GB memory card support. The estimated retail price for the Nokia Asha 302 is KShs 10,000.
Nokia Asha 303
The Nokia Asha 303 is designed with sophisticated materials and metallic finishes, combining a large 2.6” capacitive touch screen with a high quality QWERTY keypad. The device uses a powerful 1 GHz processor, 3G and WLAN to deliver a fast Internet experience. Social networks, email and instant messaging are at the centre of the experience, easily accessible from the home screen. Entertainment and applications are also a core part of the Nokia Asha 303 offering. Angry Birds Lite comes preinstalled on the phone. The estimated retail price of the Nokia Asha 303 is KShs 13,730.

13 March, 2012

Bharti Airtel makes progress towards building a ‘Green Network’ in Africa

Company underlines commitment to environment by reducing number of telecom sites  running 24x7 on diesel by over 50%; Plans to completely eradicate constant use of diesel across all its sites by 2013

  • 60% of company’s telecom sites now use the innovative Hybrid Battery Bank model that reduces daily use of diesel by up to 14 hours
  • Hybrid Battery Bank model to cover 70% of all telecom sites of Bharti Airtel in Africa by 2013
  • Company also exploring use of renewable energy such as solar and wind power
Nairobi, March 13, 2012: Bharti Airtel today announced significant milestones in its endeavor to build a ‘green’ environment friendly mobile network and reduce its carbon footprint in Africa. As part of its commitment to the environment the company has undertaken a series of initiatives that are starting to deliver tangible results. The Company said that over last one year, it has reduced the number of telecom sites running solely on diesel by more than 50% by overcoming the challenge of lack of grid connectivity through use of innovative models such as Hybrid Battery Bank. By 2013, the Company aims to completely eradicate the constant use of diesel to power its network. This means no telecom site of the company will rely solely on diesel power 24 hours a day.

Hybrid Battery Banks collect the excess energy produced by the diesel powered generator in a battery that powers the site once the generator in switched off. This has helped reduce the use of diesel by up to 14 hours a day. Close to 60% of Bharti Airtel’s telecom sites in Africa are now powered using the Hybrid model resulting in major reduction in emissions and also operating costs for the company. The Company is targeting over 70% of all its sites to be powered by the Hybrid model by end of 2013. It added that is also working on the use of solar and wind power to power its telecom sites.    

08 March, 2012

Little Known Facts About The Largest Cruise Ships Ever Built


If you are like me you probably operate under the mistaken belief that the Titanic was and is still the largest passenger ship ever built.You are mistaken-there are two new kids on the block -The Oasis and The Allure of The Seas  which when compared to the Titanic both in matters of size,performance and comfort  basically pale it out!

If you are a cruise enthusiast and interested in cruises like i am then the link provided:Cruises may benefit you a lot  when it comes to cruise deals. However without digressing let me list the Dimensions of the three ships for your comparison:
  •   Titanic :  269.06 meters in length by 28.19 meters width/beam by 32 metres height, she measured 46,328 register tonnes
  • Oasis of The Sea: 360 meters in length by 47 metres width/beam waterline extreme 60.5 metres and height 72 meters , Tonnage 225,282.
  • Allure of The Seas: 360 metres in length by  47 metres width/beam waterline extreme 60.5 metres and height 72 metres, Tonnage  225, 282

  Allure of the Seas is like a miniature city offering the best service and entertainment at sea, with the ship travelling at a comfortable speed of 22 knots leaving you with one of the most enjoyable and memorable cruises you have ever had.  

The ship which travels from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale to Florida, then to marquee destinations through Caribbean, offers a captivating adventure like the first ever Starbucks outlet at sea- not present in the Oasis of the Seas. The Allure of the Seas allows you to enjoy your cruise experience with the Mexican-fare favourites at Rita’s Cantina, prime cuts straight from the skewer and the best margaritas.  

The Allure of the Seas offers its guest with a unique experience along the Coast of Hispaniola and the Royal Caribbean’s pristine beaches. With amazing accommodation of different categories the guest are able to relax and enjoy as their kids are savoured to a unique, creative, educational and totally fun programs. 


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