Monday 16 April 2018 BUSINESS DAY A7
A8 NEWS New technologies key to driving Africa’s growth MIKE OCHONMA BUSINESS DAY C002D5556 Chun-Yuan Gu, president, ABB, Asia, Middle East region, says Africa has an historic opportunity to accelerate growth and development by tapping into the potential that new technologies holds in the continent. Delivering a speech at the ABB Customer World Africa 2018 conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, Chun-Yuan Gu noted that the digital revolution had already transformed the lives of millions of people through mobile phone and Internet access, saying these technologies had allowed Africans to leap over fixed-line telephone usage and use financial services without “setting foot in a bank.” “Now, those technologies are transforming industry, and Africa is the place that stands to benefit most, by leapfrogging older technologies on to a sustainable path to growth and development,” he said. Underlining Africa’s opportunities and ABB’s key role in unlocking value for its customers through automation is the 40% rise in the group’s 2017 orders across all its divisions, subregions and channels, Gu said. “Africa has the world’s most youthful population. This, combined with improving economic fundamentals, makes the continent ideally positioned to take advantage of new technologies. Training and preparing the next generation of engineers is pivotal.” He pointed out that Africa had the tools and the means to compete in global markets, adding that by taking advantage of ABB’s digital offering, ABB Ability, Africa would be capable of building robust industries that can compete with rivals in other parts of the globe. ABB Ability, which was launched last year, works by gathering and analysing data from customers’ operations and applying to that data, knowledge and expertise gained from ABB’s vast global installed base of 70-million connected devices and 70 000 control systems. “It helps customers in utilities, industry, transport and infrastructure develop new processes and advance existing ones by providing insights and optimising planning and controls for real-time operations,” Gu said. Nigeria tops countries with highest death sentences in SSA KELVIN UMWENI Though no execution was recorded in Nigeria, the total number of death penalty recorded at the end of 2017 stood at 621, the second highest in the world after China, while 2,285 people were known to be under death sentence. This is according to a report released April 12, by Amnesty International, a global movement for the protection of human rights. The report noted that in Nigeria, 68 persons were commuted, 17 pardons were granted while 28 persons under death sentence were exonerated in 2017, the highest in the world. Global death sentences decreased by 17 percent to over 2,591 in 2017 from 3,117 recorded in the previous year with over 21,919 people under death sentence as of yearend 2017. In the same vein, the total number of executions carried out by countries around the world (excluding China) in 2017 was down for the second consecutive time by 4 percent to 993 compared with 1,032 executions recorded in 2016. The Middle East countries of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan accounted for 84 percent of all recorded executions globally in 2017; Iran alone accounted for 51 percent of this figure. China, with over 1,000 recorded executions, remains the country with the highest number of executions worldwide, though the Chinese government still classifies figures as “a state secret,” thus making it difficult to obtain complete official statistics. The report noted that the United States of America (USA) was the only country to carry out executions in Monday 16 April 2018 the Americas, while Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and the USA were the only country in the region that imposed death sentences. Eleven countries of USA, China, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Japan, North Korea, Afghanistan and Malaysia, excluding Syria and Libya, were fingered by Amnesty International to have persistently executed in the last five years (2013 – 2017).
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