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China’s Latest Hypersonic Missile System Shocks Military Experts

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The United States is worried about China’s latest hypersonic weapon capable of attacking enemy bases in an unprecedented form.

China Military technological leap forward revealed Monday allowed the nuclear-capable hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV), a maneuverable craft launched on a rocket, to fire a separate projectile midflight in the atmosphere over the South China Sea.

The purpose of the projectile, which was fired with no obvious target of its own before it plunged into the sea, was also unclear, the newspaper said.

Military experts were also divided over what exactly was fired, with some saying it was an air-to-air missile and others claiming it was likely a decoy designed to confound missile defenses.

U.S. officials had expressed concern that the advanced weapons platforms could be used to “target American ports or installations in the Indo-Pacific region.”

the Chinese appear to have demonstrated a new type of delivery system based on the so-called Fractional Orbital Bombardment System (FOBS) approach – developed and subsequently dropped by the Soviets in the 1960s – that also employs the new hypersonic glide vehicles.

“If the Chinese were to operationally deploy this system, it would be likely that they’d produce a significant number of them, and deploy them on a military missile, rather than a space-launch vehicle,” said Malcolm Davis, a senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

“That would give China a new way of striking at the US and its allies: rather than going over the North Pole, where US ground-based radars and defenses are orientated, they could deliver these HGVs via the South Pole, against the US or its allies. ”

Experts say that while this capability would undoubtedly complicate US missile defense plans, the more significant issue could be how the tests align with China’s breakout from its minimum nuclear deterrent posture – and concerns that it may be edging away from its stated “no-first use ”Nuclear policy.

Beijing is bolstering its strategic nuclear arsenal, and could have as many as 700 deliverable nuclear warheads by 2027 and 1,000 three years later.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, China currently has about 350 nuclear warheads.

This shift, coupled with its advances in delivery systems, could be intended “to support a new strategy of limited nuclear first use” and be used by Chinese leaders to attempt to prevent US and Japanese intervention in a conflict over Taiwan.

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Africa Data Centres Unveils New 10MW Data Centre In Nigeria

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Africa Data Centres the largest network of interconnected, carrier- and cloud-neutral data centre facilities on the continent, is pleased to announce that it has officially opened its new 10MW data centre facility in Lagos, Nigeria.

The new facility, the company says, will pave the way for Africa Data Centres hyperscale customers to deploy digitisation solutions to West Africa.

CEO of Africa Data Centres, Stephane Duproz, describes Nigeria as one of the company’s key markets as there is a rapidly-growing demand for data centres in the region, which is hungry for digitisation, as organisations of every type and size in Africa accelerate their digital transformation journeys.

He says as part of the recently launched Cassava Technologies group, Africa Data Centres plays a critical role when it comes to providing this very digital infrastructure that is needed to support the mass adoption of digital services for consumers and businesses in the region.

Duproz also announced that the new facility is the first of four faculties being earmarked for Nigeria, adding that the company has plans to also build an additional facility in Lagos at a separate location to ensure full disaster backup, whilst Abuja, and Port Harcourt will also get their own facilities.

With this in mind, Duproz describes the Lagos operations as a significant milestone for Africa Data Centres, as it shines the spotlight on the tremendous growth opportunity the company sees not only for its business in the region but for Africa as a whole.

“Africa Data Centre is witnessing an unprecedented demand for fintech services, apps, broadband, cloud technologies, and more, all of which are seeing data demand skyrocket.”

This latest announcement follows hard on the heels of Africa Data Centres recently announced, major data centre expansion plans that will see the company building hyperscale data centres throughout Africa.

“These plans are the greatest Africa has ever seen. They will see us build some ten interconnected, cloud- and carrier-neutral data centres across the length and breadth of the continent, in an unmatched $500m investment in Africa’ digital transformation, which will double our already significant investment in the continent,” adds Duproz.

The 10MW facility in Lagos is a key part of this expansion as Nigeria is a critical African market in terms of leading the charge for hyperscale customers to deploy digitisation solutions to West Africa.

The new facility in Lagos marks a significant step forward in Africa Data Centres’ ambitious long-term plans to close the digital divide in Africa and digitise the continent by bringing these services to businesses and citizens alike, he adds.

The Lagos facility will be the de facto hub for Africa Data Centres in West African, says Duproz. “We built this facility in response to the massive demand from hyperscalers, key cloud operators and multi-national enterprises that already use our facilities and have expressed interest in being a part of bringing digitisation at scale to West Africa. As the unquestioned leaders in data centre operations in Africa, we were the clear choice as partners in their expansion strategies.”

Duproz said the Nigerian data centers were part of a Continental network of data centers being rolled out in all the key cities of Africa.

However, Duproz stresses that there will be no question of sacrificing the environment to carry out the company’s ambitious digitisation plans. “This is a trade-off Africa Data Centres is simply not even prepared to entertain. Our strategy is all about empowering and uplifting Africa’s citizens, protecting the environment, and uplifting the economy.”

In closing, Duproz says this latest Nigerian facility will boost the economy through job creation, as digitisation is known to create job opportunities across a slew of industries.

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Kenya’s First Electric Motorcycle Rocks

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Made from well-shaped Jua Kali mabati and painted black with a sleek dashboard and one lithium battery, Kenya’s first locally made electric motorcycle is rocking.

The manufacturers, Embakasi-based Opibus Limited, displayed the motorcycle at the just-ended devolution conference in Wote town, Makueni.

At least 100 units have already been sold around Nairobi, western Kenya and in Ghana to select companies, but will be available to the general public from January.

“We have a target to sell about 2,000 units next year. Each will cost about U$ 1155 (Sh130,000),”said Dennis Wakaba, the project coordinator.

Wakaba said the lithium battery needs about three units of electricity to fully charge. “Our tests show a fully charged battery can take about 100 kilometres before it is fully drained,” he said.

In contrast, a petrol-powered motorbike would require minimum of five litres of fuel – about U$ 5.73 (Sh645) –to drive for 100 kilometres.

Wakaba said the motorbike currently comes with one battery. But it will be modified to carry two batteries when sold to the public next year.

The batteries can be removed from the bike for charging on a normal wall socket using what looks like a huge mobile phone charger.

 

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KCB To Buy Out Minority Shareholders In Rwanda Unit

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Minority shareholders in Rwanda’s KCB unit are scheduled to be bought out by its parent bank.

According to details, KCB plans to acquire the 24% stake owned by minority investors in its Rwandan subsidiary Banque Populaire du Rwanda Plc (BPR) next year.

The Kenyan banking multinational recently bought a 62% stake from London-based Atlas Mara Limited and another 14% from private equity firm Arise, bringing its ownership in BPR to 76%.

“Our ambition is to acquire the remaining 24% in the next year. We are still keen to acquire 100% of BPR,” KCB’s chief executive Joshua Oigara told Business Daily.

“The offer is still running. We gave them the offer after Atlas Mara. We are still waiting.”

A full buyout of BPR will cost KCB an estimated Sh6.4 billion, if the minority investors are offered the same terms as Atlas Mara which was paid $33 million for its 62% stake.

Atlas Mara will get an additional $2.8 million which has been deferred.

KCB is also waiting to buy BancABC Tanzania from Atlas Mara.

“In Tanzania we are waiting for final feedback. It has delayed a lot,” Mr Oigara said.

“It has taken us a year since we announced in November last year. We should be able to have a view on Tanzania by the end of this year.”

Atlas Mara is selling its African banks to KCB and other lenders to raise funds to pay its creditors, some of whom had launched liquidation proceedings against the multinational that was the brainchild of former Barclays Plc’s chief executive Bob Diamond.

Besides the acquisitions in Rwanda and Tanzania, KCB is also interested in acquiring a bank in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where foreign exchange trades are a major source of revenue for lenders.

KCB says the acquisitions reflect its strategy of expanding its operations in the regional market.

Big banks led by Equity, KCB, I&M and DTB have been deepening and expanding their presence in the region in pursuit of growth and diversification.

Uptake of financial services in the neighbouring countries are lower than Kenya, signalling future growth opportunities.

The ability to offer seamless services to clients across multiple markets is also seen as advantage in attracting and retaining multinationals.

The international subsidiaries contributed 10.8% of KCB’s Sh25.1 billion net income in the nine months ended September.

KCB plans to merge BPR and BancABC Tanzania with the subsidiaries it has been running in those markets, building scale and enhancing efficiencies.

Businessdailyafrica

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