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Kenya to hand out 3,3m light bulbs

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Kenyan power utility Kenya Power will distribute 3,3m energy-efficient light bulbs to its customers at a cost of KSh1,3bn (US$15,2m).

The project is expected to reduce power consumption by the utility’s domestic customers by 130MW during peak hours and is expected to serve as a revenue source for Kenya Power because of the carbon credits it will earn.

The project is being funded by the Kenyan government and Agence Française de Développement. In addition to reducing demand for power, the move is expected to save consumers money. The project will replace incandescent lamps with compact fluorescents and will target low-income households.

South African power utility Eskom undertook a similar project earlier this year in an effort to reduce consumer demand on its strained grid.

Uganda to tax mobile money, calls
The more than 8,9m users of mobile money in Uganda will soon have to pay a 10% transaction fee on all transactions after a levy was introduced in the 2013/14 financial budget.

The new tax will affect customers using MTN’s Mobile Money, Uganda Telecom’s M-Sente, Airtel’s Airtel Money, Warid’s Warid Pesa and Orange’s Orange Money. The government says it expects to generate USh32bn ($12,3m) from the new levy.

It also intends introducing a levy on incoming international calls, which it expects to generate USh43bn ($16,6m) per year.

Critics argue that an increase in mobile money charges will discourage use of the services, which have proved popular, particularly with the unbanked, because of low transaction fees to date. Source: The Monitor

MTN Ghana invests $52m in network
MTN, Ghana’s largest mobile operator, plans to invest $52m this year to improve the quality of its network by replacing or upgrading obsolete equipment. The company has invested $1,2bn in network infrastructure since it first began operating in Ghana in 2007.

The company has been criticised for the quality of service it offers but has blamed power shortages and disruptions to its underground fibre network by road construction companies and estate developers. In May, MTN and rival Glo were hit with fines by Ghana’s National Communication Authority for poor network quality in some regions. Source: All Ghana News

DRC connects to cable
After numerous delays, the Democratic Republic of Congo has managed to connect its telecommunications infrastructure to the West Africa Cable System. The cable system links South Africa to the UK and connect eight African countries, the Canary Islands and Portugal en route. It is hoped the move will increase connectivity in the land-locked country and bring down the cost of Internet access in the process. Source: Telecompaper

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