Daily Archives: May 7, 2018

SkyPower et le gouvernement ouzbèke annoncent la signature d’un contrat historique d’achat d’électricité solaire de 1 000 MW

C’est le premier projet d’énergie solaire et le plus grand investissement étranger direct dans l’histoire de l’Ouzbékistan

WASHINGTON et TORONTO, 7 mai 2018 /PRNewswire/ — SkyPower, leader mondial de la production d’énergie solaire durable et à échelle industrielle, a annoncé un investissement direct étranger estimé à 1,3 milliard de dollars en Ouzbékistan pour construire 1 000 MW de capacité de production d’énergie solaire dans tout le pays. Ce projet va drainer l’investissement étranger direct le plus important de l’histoire de l’Ouzbékistan. L’Ouzbékistan et SkyPower ont également signé le premier contrat d’achat d’électricité (CAE) de l’histoire du pays, en vertu duquel le gouvernement achètera de l’électricité générée par une entreprise internationale et privée. Le président ouzbèke, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, a signé un décret signifiant le soutien total du gouvernement au projet et les garanties souveraines que celui-ci apporte. SkyPower sera le premier producteur d’électricité indépendant de l’histoire de l’Ouzbékistan et il travaillera en étroite collaboration avec l’entreprise de services publics Uzbekenergo. Ce projet marque aussi le premier partenariat public-privé entre l’Ouzbékistan et une entreprise entièrement nord-américaine.

François-Philippe Champagne, ministre du Commerce international du gouvernement du Canada, a souligné : « Donner de l’élan au secteur des technologies propres et renouvelables du Canada et encourager l’exportation d’idées et de solutions élaborées localement qui profitent au monde entier sont une priorité pour notre gouvernement. Je suis heureux de voir des leaders de l’industrie comme SkyPower Global nous aider à atteindre cet objectif. Ce partenariat historique avec Uzbekenergo et le gouvernement ouzbèke stimulera la croissance dans la région et aidera à faire rayonner l’expertise canadienne dans ce secteur en plein essor. Je félicite l’équipe de SkyPower d’avoir vu les choses en grand ! »

Kerry Adler, président-directeur général de SkyPower, a déclaré : « À l’échelle mondiale, il y a encore plus d’un milliard de personnes qui n’ont pas accès aux services énergétiques. Nous nous sommes fixé comme mission d’apporter l’énergie solaire aux personnes qui en ont le plus besoin. Il s’agit d’un partenariat historique qui profitera à la fois au gouvernement ouzbèke et à SkyPower, et nous sommes heureux de construire la première installation d’énergie solaire en Ouzbékistan. La vision avant-gardiste du président Mirziyoyev pour l’Ouzbékistan, ainsi que l’engagement des vice-premiers ministres et le leadership du Bureau national de gestion des projets, ont véritablement contribué, de concert avec la direction d’Uzbekenergo, à faire avancer ce projet. L’Ouzbékistan est un pays qui offre de très grandes opportunités aux investisseurs étrangers dans le cadre de la vision du président Mirziyoyev en termes de croissance et d’expansion ».

Le président ouzbèke, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, a été félicité pour son approche progressiste à l’égard de la croissance de l’économie nationale, et le projet SkyPower sera le tout premier relatif à la production d’énergie solaire en Ouzbékistan. Le projet contribuera à hauteur d’environ 2,9 milliards de dollars au produit intérieur brut de l’Ouzbékistan et créera des milliers d’emplois. Cela portera l’Ouzbékistan à produire environ 10 % de sa capacité totale de production d’énergies renouvelables et aidera donc le pays à remplir ses engagements sur le climat de Paris à l’horizon 2030, tout en apportant de l’électricité à la population ouzbèke.

À propos de SkyPower Global
www.skypower.com

Ancrée dans le secteur depuis plus de 15 ans, l’équipe mondiale de SkyPower est très chevronnée et ses membres totalisent, à eux tous, plus d’un millier d’années d’expérience en termes d’énergie et de projets d’infrastructure à grande échelle.

Expérimentée et accomplie, l’équipe de SkyPower a construit, assemblé et acquis un vaste portefeuille représentant plus de 25 GW dans le monde entier. Certains de ces projets ont récemment fait l’objet d’annonces dans le cadre d’accords bilatéraux et de l’octroi d’autres contrats, et ils seront construits au Moyen-Orient, en Afrique et en Asie du Sud dans les cinq ans à venir.

Plus de 30 contrats d’achat d’électricité (CAE) solaire à échelle industrielle de SkyPower et contrats à divers stades de développement, construction et exploitation de l’entreprise représentent des milliards de dollars de ventes d’énergie renouvelable à long terme aux principaux services publics et gouvernements du monde entier. Pour en savoir plus, rendez-vous sur notre site www.skypower.com.

Pour tout complément d’information : contacts pour SkyPower : Shamini Selvaratnam, shaminis@skypower.com, (202) 660-8499 ; Maria Vorobieva, mariav@skypower.com, (647) 965-7187 ; pour les demandes d’information en russe : Eva Kazanskaia, evaepicurean@icloud.com, (971) 50 580 0842

SOUTH AFRUCAN RULING PARTY WELCOMES 5.0 BLN RAND SETTLEMENT REACHED BY MINERS OVER LUNG DISEASES

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), in Eastern Cape Province has welcomed the 5.0 billion Rand (about 400 million US dollars) settlement of reached by law firms representing thousands of miners who contracted the fatal lung diseases, silicosis and tuberculosis.

The majority of the claimants and intended beneficiaries are from the Eastern Cape.

Since most of the beneficiaries are from deep rural towns of Eastern Cape where there is a lack of access to information, the ANC has appealed to all public representatives from the ward committees, ward councillors, and officers of the Government Communications Information Services to start awareness campaigns to inform the workers about this victory.

Primary health care clinics and hospitals must be ready to assist with medical check-ups for these miners, the ANC said here over the weekend.

The settlement reach last week came after three years of negotiations between the seven mining companies and lawyers for the miners.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

GERMANY SET TO HELP DEVELOP SMES IN EAST AFRICAN COUNTRIES

ARUSHA, Germany is set to invest five million Euros to assist the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and South Sudan under an arrangement being finalized between Germany and the East African Community (EAC).

We are in the process of finalising an agreement of Euro 5 million to support the Creating Perspectives: Business for Development in East Africa project to improve growth opportunities for small and medium- sized enterprises in East Africa,” EAC Secretary-General Liberat Mfumukeko said in this northern Tanzanian city Sunday when he welcomed German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who was visiting the EAC headquarters.

The project would be implemented in collaboration with Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and East African Business Council (EABC), he added.

He said that in the last 20 years, Germany had supported the EAC to the tune of 290 million Euros, including funding the construction of the sub-regional grouping’s headquarters in Arusha.

Maas said Germany was satisfied with the integration process and the efforts of the six EAC member countries to unite their people, adding that Germany would continue to support development projects in East Africa.

So far Germany’s total contribution to fight child mortality through immunizsation programmes in the EAC totalled 120 million Euros since 2013 with more than 60 million Euros spent on Rota Virus, Pneumococcal and Pentavalent vaccines in the EAC countries. Also, many children have been vaccinated against the biggest killers of children, namely diarrhoea and pneumonia.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

EU Migration Dispute Heats Up Again Before June Summit

BRUSSELS European Union states are wrestling over how to reform their broken migration and asylum system, pushing for a deal at a leaders’ summit in June over the highly-politicized issue that has defied resolution for nearly three years.

The dispute has divided the bloc between southerners on the Mediterranean shore where most refugees and migrants land from the Middle East and Africa against ex-communist states that refuse to host part of the arrivals.

Wealthy destination countries such as Germany are also pushing for a deal under which no one could bail out completely from hosting those coming.

The latest proposal would let capitals avoid taking in a quarter of their “fair share” of asylum-seekers who make it to Europe. Instead they could bring in a handpicked person from across the sea or offer 30,000 euros to an EU host for each individual they refuse.

But Poland and Hungary staunchly oppose any obligatory immigration quotas and a diplomat involved in the talks for one of the two said the idea was “absolutely not” acceptable.

A joint paper by five Mediterranean states including Italy also rejected it – but for the exact opposite reason. It said such option would not have enough “immediate positive impact” in easing the burden on the main countries of entry.

The dissonance shows that another half year that has passed since the EU leaders last failed to break the deadlock saw little real progress on the most contested parts of the reform.

National envoys will discuss it in Brussels in mid-May, hand on to interior ministers meeting early next month and then to the leaders’ summit on June 28-29.

The bitter discussion started in the summer of 2015 as southern arrivals in the EU spiked, overwhelming EU governments and feeding support for anti-immigration parties. The wound has since festered, undermining trust between EU states.

A senior EU diplomat said on Monday the “very delicate and difficult negotiations” could still bear fruit.

Another diplomat from an EU country where refugees and migrants often want to go said the latest draft was a good basis for compromise since “everybody is almost equally unhappy with it”, but added Warsaw and Budapest were “still only against.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Monday the main task of his new government was to preserve Hungary’s security and Christian culture, rhetoric he has used in denying access to people from the mainly-Muslim Middle East and North Africa.

Not ready for another crisis

Those pushing for a deal are also looking at outvoting the two staunch critics if they could have on board their eastern peers Slovakia and the Czech Republic, seen as less ideological on the matter, said a different diplomat from a rich EU state.

The political limbo in Italy is also a problem since a strong government in Rome is needed to sign off on any deal.

“You win or lose elections on that,” said another diplomat, referring to former Italian Prime Minister Mateo Renzi who was voted out partly because voters felt Rome was not controlling migration enough, and Orban who claimed victory in Hungary on a tough anti-immigration platform.

Many in the EU warn the bloc is not ready for another mass influx of people. While overall arrival numbers have since dropped sharply, they point to data from Germany where many still arrive without proper registration on entering the EU, most notably through the overburdened Greek islands.

Germany, France and several other states introduced emergency border checks in what is normally Europe’s zone of free travel to control the situation better. They are now in place until October and many see them extended beyond that.

Highlighting how the matter is crucial to the bloc, the executive European Commission earmarked 35 billion euros ($41.7 bln) for protecting the EU’s external borders and managing migration in 2021-27, a nearly-threefold increase from the previous joint budget. But a deal still seems elusive.

“I don’t see consensus emerging,” said one of the diplomats.

Source: Voice of America

Egypt Approves Law to Govern Popular Ride-Hailing Apps

CAIRO Egypt’s parliament has approved a law to govern popular ride-hailing apps Uber and Careem, which had faced legal challenges stemming from regulations designed for traditional taxis.

The new law, as described Monday by state news agency MENA, establishes operating licenses and fees. It requires licensed companies to store user data for 180 days and provide it to Egyptian security authorities upon request.

Uber and Careem welcomed the move.

“This is a major step forward for the ride-sharing industry as Egypt becomes one of the first countries in the Middle East to pass progressive regulations,” Uber spokeswoman Shaden Abdellatif said. “We will continue working with the Prime Minister and the Cabinet in the coming months as the law is finalized, and look forward to continuing to serve the millions of Egyptian riders and drivers that rely on Uber.”

Careem called the passage “a remarkable step for Egypt, Careem and our region.” It said it marked the first time in any of its markets “that a regulatory framework for ride-hailing has emerged from a consultative legislative and parliamentary process.”

Both companies provide smartphone apps that connect passengers with drivers who work as independent contractors. An administrative court in Cairo ruled in March that it is illegal to use private vehicles as taxis, but another court overruled it on appeal, and both companies have continued operating.

Data privacy is a major concern for Uber in its dealings with the Egyptian government. A strict new European law called the General Data Protection Regulation comes into effect May 25 and would affect its operations worldwide.

Uber was founded in 2010 in San Francisco, and operates in more than 600 cities across the world. Careem was founded in 2012 in Dubai, and operates in 90 cities in the Middle East and North Africa, Turkey and Pakistan.

The applications took off in Cairo, a city of 20 million people with near-constant traffic and little parking. The services have recently started offering rides on scooters and tuk-tuks, three-wheeled motorized vehicles that can sometimes squeeze through the gridlock.

The apps are especially popular among women, who face rampant sexual harassment in Egypt, including from some taxi drivers. Cairo’s taxi drivers are also notorious for tampering with their meters or pretending the meters are broken in order to charge higher rates.

In 2016, taxi drivers protested the ride-hailing apps. They have complained that Uber and Careem drivers have an unfair advantage because they do not have to pay the same taxes or fees, or follow the same licensing procedures.

Source: Voice of America