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Ethiopia Launches 5G Network

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Ethiopia joins Kenya in rolling out 5G network in eastern Africa / source: theeastafrican.com

Ethio Telecom, the state-owned telecom service provider in Ethiopia, on Monday launched 5G mobile phone service making Ethiopia among the leading few African countries, including Kenya in eastern Africa, to roll out the technology.

According to Ethio Telecom, the network will be available on hotspot areas in the capital Addis Ababa, including in the area around Ethio Telecom’s head office and at the premises of Bole International Airport, before being expanded to cover other parts of the country.

“The 5G service is launched in selected places in Addis Ababa,” Ethio Telecom CEO Frehiwot Tamru announced during a launch ceremony.

“In the coming 12 months, we will have 150 5G sites in Addis Ababa and in major cities outside the capital.”

5G commercial networks have been launched in key countries such as Botswana, South Africa, Seychelles, Mauritius and Zimbabwe, but the technology remains largely underdeveloped in larger parts of Africa.

The East African has learnt that Ethiopia has paid about $40 million to China’s Huawei company to deploy the network.

Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country, introduced third-generation (3G) and fourth-generation (4G) in 2007 and 2015, respectively.

At the East Africa Com event opened virtually on May 10, it was disclosed that 5G connectivity in Africa is on the rise but still lagging behind 3G and 4G networks.

Despite expected growth over the next five years, 5G subscriptions will not exceed 20 million in Africa by 2026, according to Omdia’s Senior ICT research analyst, Thecla Mbongue.

Omdia is a research and advisory group.

Ms Mbongue says 5G will represent less than10 per cent of the continent’s mobile usage by 2025.

During the virtual event, Kenechi Okeleke, director for social and regional research at the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA), said work has been done in Kenya to deploy the network.

Mobile network operator Safaricom launched its 5G network in March 2021, trialling the tech in four towns with plans to expand it to others.

“Perhaps next year we could see full commercial 5G services in Kenya,” the research director said.

Omdia forecasts that the number of 5G mobile subscriptions in Kenya will grow from 1.1 million at end-2022 to 12.8 million by 2026.

“The strong growth will be supported by demand for high-speed and low-latency broadband services across key sectors of the economy, including health, education, agriculture, manufacturing, mining, construction, smart city and transportation and tourism,” Omdia said.

Describing 5G growth in Africa as “a mixed bag”, Mr Okeleke suggested that the Covid pandemic had showed the need for enhanced connectivity and driven demand for connectivity.

“Actual network launches have been slow; we have not seen the number of deployments we wished we had seen,” he added.

At the event, experts noted that the east African economy would greatly benefit from the advances that 5G would bring to several sectors, including in agriculture, and called on governments to support 5G infrastructure projects.

5G network is currently the fastest and most robust technologies the world has ever seen.

The network offers data speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G.

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AU official calls out Germany over leopard jibe that left some offended

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A Leopard 2 tank is pictured during a demonstration event held for the media by the German Bundeswehr in Munster near Hannover, Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011. - Copyright © africanews Michael Sohn/AP2011

Germany apologized on Thursday (Jan. 26) for using a leopard emoji in a tweet refering to the Russian Foreign Minister’s visit to Africa. The post that was regarded as offensive by some users was called out by the spokeswoman for the African Union chairman Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat.

The German foreign ministry attempted to poke fun at Russia’s top diplomat during his tour of Africa when it tweeted that he wasn’t there looking for leopards, but using the trip to try and justify Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The tweet, and the leopard emoji the foreign ministry used on its official account, apparently sought to play off Germany’s decision to send some of its advanced Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine to back its military fight off Russian forces.

An African Union official questioned the use of emoji, pointing it could be interpreted as the continent being portrayed once again as only about wild animals.

Ebba Kalondo, the spokeswoman for AU Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat, tweeted back to the German government account questioning if Africa, its people and its wildlife was “just a joke to you?”

“Foreign policy is not a joke nor should it be used to score cheap geopolitical points by illustrating an entire Continent with colonial tropes,” Kalondo wrote in a follow-up tweet.

The German foreign ministry apologized and said that the tweet wasn’t meant to offend, but rather “to call out the lies that Russia uses to justify its imperialist war of aggression against Ukraine.”

Lavrov has visited South Africa, Eswatini, Angola and Eritrea this week, where he has repeated his claims that the United States and its Western allies are using Ukraine as a tool in a “hybrid war” against Russia.

Many African nations hold historical ties with Moscow. South Africa was one of several to abstain from a U.N. vote last year condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Eritrea voted against the resolution alongside Russia, Belarus, North Korea and Syria.

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Bomb injures at least a dozen people near a market in north-eastern DR Congo

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Congolese Defense Forces soldiers inspect the scene of an attack near the town of Oicha, 30 kms (20 miles) from Beni, Democratic Republic of Congo, Friday July 23, 2021.

A bomb exploded at a market in eastern Congo on Wednesday (Jan. 25), injuring at least a dozen people, authorities said.

An unknown person detonated a bomb inside a bag in North Kivu’s Beni town, said Tharcisse Katembo, a local official.

“Damage was documented (and) at least 12 people were injured. They were injured in the lower limbs, others in their upper limbs and others were hit in the head,” he told reporters in Beni.

The victims were taken to the hospital and an investigation was underway, Katembo said.

No one claimed responsibility for the bomb. However, attacks by the Allied Democratic Forces, which is believed to be linked with the Islamic State extremist movement, have been increasing in North Kivu, according to the United Nations.

Deadly violence

Earlier this month, at least 14 people were killed and dozens injured in an attack on a church in Kasindi town, which was claimed by Islamic State. It said in its Aamaq news outlet that it planted an explosive device inside the church and detonated it while people were praying.

Since April, attacks by the Allied Democratic Forces have killed at least 370 civilians, and the group has abducted several hundred more, including a significant number of children, the U.N. says.

The explosion Wednesday (Jan. 25) occurred in a local market next to a cassava mill, witnesses said.

Danny Syaghuswa, 16, said he was sitting on his motorcycle when a man in a striped shirt put a small bag behind a door, saying he would come back for it, according to an interview with local reporters heard by The Associated Press. “Less than five minutes after he left the bomb exploded,” Syaghuswa said.

Images of the attack circulating on chat groups show people lying on the floor. One woman in blood-stained clothes was carrying a small child.

Violence has wracked eastern Congo for decades as more than 120 armed groups and self-defense militias fight for land and power. Nearly 6 million people are internally displaced, and hundreds of thousands are facing extreme food insecurity, according to the United Nations.

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Somalia: Al-Shabaab terrorists storm mayor’s office, killing six

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Al-Shabaab terrorists set off a bomb and stormed a government building in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu.  The Al-Qaeda-backed terror group has stepped up bombings in the country.

At least six people were killed on Sunday in an attack by Al Shabaab militants at the mayor’s office in central Mogadishu, police said.

A suicide bomber set off a huge blast that tore through building near the office complex with gunfire erupting afterwards, Somali police spokesman Sadik Dudishe said at the end of the four-hour siege.

“All the six attackers died. Five of them during the fire exchange with the security forces and one of them detonated himself,” Dudishe told reporters.

“Six civilians also died during the attack and the situation is back to normal.” All the staffers at the mayor’s office were rescued, the police added.

Al 0Shabaab, a militant group allied with Al Qaeda claimed, responsibility for the attack via its communication channels, saying its fighters “made their way inside the targeted building after killing the security guards.” Witnesses said the initial explosion damaged nearby buildings and gunfire could be heard in the vicinity of the mayor’s office.

The area was quickly cordoned off by security officers, a witness who runs a business near the offices said.

Another witness, Omar Nur, said he was inside a nearby mall when the explosion went off and “was lucky to have escaped safely.” The Al Shabaab militants have been waging a bloody insurgency against the frail internationally backed central government for 15 years, carrying out attacks both in Somalia and neighbouring countries.

The latest attack comes days after seven soldiers were killed on Friday at a military camp in Galcad, a town in central Somalia about 375 kilometres north of the capital Mogadishu. The US military said the attack — in the Somali town retaken by the army this week — involved more than 100 Al Shabaab jihadists.

“The combined actions by partner forces on the ground and the collective self-defence strike is estimated to have resulted in three destroyed vehicles and approximately thirty Al Shabaab terrorists killed” the US military command for Africa (AFRICOM) said in a statement.

Source: Dawn

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