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Tnm assures subscribers of world class digital experience following system upgrade

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TNM Plc has assured its subscribers it is ready to offer a world-class digital experience following its system upgrading.

The company invested K21.2 billion between 2015 and 2016 aimed at transforming its network into a modern network.

Following the upgrade, the company will be able to deliver world class connectivity, cloud and hosted services to its customers.

The investments included coverage and capacity expansion in Blantyre and Lilongwe for fixed and mobile broadband technology and various other technology upgrades.

TNM’s Chief Technical Officer, Eric Valentine said “The Launch of 4G LTE in June 2016 was the first step towards transforming our network followed by the rollout of 4.5G LTE and Huawei IP Multimedia System (IMS) platform as a continuation of this transition to position TNM Enterprise services as trailblazers and technology leaders”.

“Through these efforts, TNM has acquired a modern network that makes it possible for enterprise customers to experience world-class services,” said Valentine.

H added “Businesses are continually looking for operational efficiency at every level of their organizations to improve productivity and the bottom line. To achieve such level of efficiency, there is need for reliable and cost effective solutions. The stage is now set for businesses–big and small–to enjoy a better digital experience as we continue to innovate and upgrade.”

The Chief Technical Officer said TNM is determined to achieve the status of a fully integrated mobile network and ICT service provider, through technology convergence of telephone, video and data communication services within a single network platform.

“The current TNM network upgrades create a super-fast, agile, secure, more reliable network for our enterprise customers, enabling improved business connectivity services, media streaming, messaging services, downloads, and more. These improvements underpin TNM’s innovative new product and service offerings, with a portfolio which we will continue to expand,” he said.

Valentine said that TNM plans to guarantee universal access to data and broadband services by making the latest innovations in end-user devices, including smart phones, accessible to all.

“Our ambition is to deliver the fastest, most reliable internet and connectivity services to the Malawian people, with unrivalled customer service. We have worked tirelessly for the past three years and are confident that our network will be a game-changer for ICT in Malawi,” Valentine said.

“With our recent network investment and growing portfolio of services, we are perfectly positioned to support our customers as they embrace the changing digital landscape. Our 4G/LTE platform heralds the start of great things to come,” he said.

The Chief Technical Officer added that the upgrades in the TNM network also enabled other new business services like Broadband Connect, Virtual Private Network (VPN), Microsoft Licensing, Business Connect, Customer Care Centre (CCC) and TNM Mobile WAN.

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Government commends Journalist in the country

Minister of Information and Communication Technology Nickolas Dausi

Government has commended journalist in this country by describing them as extremely important on relaying government vision, ideals, aspirations and developmental programs.

Minister of information and communication Technology, Nicholas Dausi said journalists are the fourth arm of government and they must be patriotic by writing good things about the country Malawi.

Dausi said this during an interface meeting with members of Blantyre press club, in Blantyre.

Dausi urged journalists to listen to different media station so that they can be groomed on how well they can deliver news professionally and without bias.

“Members of the media are important in relaying various messages across to the mass. They hold the most important tool when it comes to communications. Blantyre press club has members that create and form foundation of freedom and press development,” said the Minister.

During the interface, Dausi briefed the media on the Communications Act, Cyber, Security and Electronic Act and Access to information. He also explained about the National Fiber Backbone project that will enhance speed on broadband connectivity.

Blantyre press club president, Blessings Kanache commended the Ministry for organizing this interface meeting which gives an opportunity for journalists to voice out their concerns and interact with the communications ministry.

Kanache asked government to consider making a deliberate policy where journalists in this country should be given a chance to study for both short time and longtime trainings.

“This has been one of the rare moments for the club. There has been a profitable exchange of ideas. We hope that such interactions will continue because government and the media work together as partners,” explained Kanache.

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Chief squashes national ids 666 rumours

nRB

Traditional Authority (TA) Khosolo in Mzimba District has advised people in his area not to believe in rumours that the National Identification registration exercise is a mark of the beast (666) as was said in the Bible.

Revelations Chapter 13 verses 16-17 speaks of the time to come when people shall not buy or sale their products without the mark of the beast on their right hand or the forehead.

“It has been learnt that people are spreading rumours that the national Identification exercise is actually the mark of the beast or the number 666″.

“This is false and misleading. And I want to urge you that you should register when this exercise comes in our district during the fifth phase because only those that will register will be issued with the identity cards,” Khosolo said.

The Chief said this Sunday during a public meeting organized by Action Aid with support from UNICEF aimed at sensitizing parents, teachers and learners on the importance of taking part to curb violence in schools and homes.

National Registration Bureau spokesperson, Norman Fulatira concurred with TA Khosolo in an interview that people should not be discouraged by the rumours.

“The issue of 666 says when that time comes people will be marked on the forehead and on the arm. That is obviously different from a national registration card which is a smart card”.

“All our neighbours have implemented their national ID system. Why is the issue of 666 only in Malawi? Luke chapter 2 verse 1 onwards talks of Joseph and Mary going for registration in their homeland. Was that 666 as well?” he said.

Mzimba District is in fifth phase of the national registration exercise which will begin in October, 2017.

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Fibre Optic BackBone project under way

Dausi

Huawei Technologies, a company implementing the Fiber Optic Backbone Project has started mounting fiber cables on Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi Limited’s (Escom) poles marking the official take off of the long awaited internet connectivity project.

So far, the cables have covered a distance of 45 kilometers connecting four districts of Blantyre, Chiradzulu, Zomba and Machinga.

Speaking after touring the cable lines and distribution points in Blantyre, Machinga and Zomba districts, Minister of Information and Communication Technologies, Nicholas Dausi, expressed satisfaction with how the work has started.

Dausi said within a period of two weeks, four districts have already been covered, a clear indication that by December this year, the whole country will be connected.

“Malawi has been lugging behind in terms of internet connectivity. This is because we never had fiber connections. Today, we are witnessing the rolling out of the much awaited project which will put our country at par with others in terms of internet connectivity,” said Dausi.

Once completed, the minister said Malawians will no longer have problems with the speed of the internet and that delivery of services in the country will greatly improve.

“There are a number of sectors that will benefit from this programme. Some of them include banks, the Immigration Department as well as mobile phone network providers,” said the minister.

Moreover, he said because the internet will be fast and easily accessible by many, students will also have the opportunity to learn and research on the internet and also participate in electronic learning (E-Learning) programmes.

Dausi added, “As a country, we will also take advantage of the connectivity to show to the world what our agriculture products are and through that way, we will be increasing our export and trade with other nations.”

The fiber connection is also expected to improve the area of health as doctors will be able to do operations in corroboration with other doctors from outside the country via the internet.

Furthermore, the project is set to strengthen the country’s Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) thus controlling the siphoning of government resources.

On his part, Wan Wei, Managing Director for Huawei Technologies said they expect to finish the project by December this year.

“We are working hard so that before rains start, we should be through. We will have teams in all the districts and we expect to employ 350 people out of which 300 will be Malawians while 50 will be from China,” said Wei.

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TNM maintains 25 percent discount on e-ticket prices for Blantyre Derby

Akosa Mphepo

Telekom Netwoks Malawi (TNM) has maintained e-ticket prices for the Blantyre Derby to be played at Bingu National Stadium on Sunday.

The league sponsors, TNM, have maintained their 25 percent discount on e-tickets bought through their mobile money service, Mpamba.

TNM’s Senior Manager (Public Relations) Akossa Hiwa said the introduction of e-ticketing through Mpamba aims at increasing access to games by fans and boost the quality of revenue for clubs and stadiums, which should go a long way to develop football in Malawi.

 

She said the discount offer remains intact and will also apply for fans that bought their tickets prior to the derby’s postponement following the death of Wanderers FC Chairman George Chamangwana.

“All e-tickets, including those bought before the postponement will be valid and enjoy the same level of discount of 25%,” she said.

Hiwa reaffirmed that Mpamba has slashed the tickets with 25 percent in all stands with open stands selling at K1, 500 on Mpamba instead of the regular K2, 000 match day purchases at the gate.

“So we look forward to an exciting derby on Sunday as we expect as many fans from both Wanderers and Bullets to pack the stadium,” she said.

Hiwa said TNM also expects fans from both sides to exercise high level of discipline, which will be in keeping with the solidarity seen at the weekend when both camps held hands together to mourn Wanderers chairman George Chamangwana who passed away on July 27 and was laid to rest on July 31.

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Construction of New Mzuzu International Airport To Start november

Principal Secretary for Transport Public Works Francis Chinsinga briefs President Mutharika on the new Mzuzu International Airport Pic by Andrew Mkonda -Mana

Construction works for the new Mzuzu International Airport is scheduled to start in November this year to the tune of U$20 million (approximately K14.6 billion) funded by the Exim Bank of China.

Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Public Works, Francis Chinsinga disclosed this when President Arthur Peter Mutharika visited the site at Lusangazi.

The site is 10.5 kilometres from Mzuzu Central Business District (CBD) and about three kilometres from Lusangazi Roadblock to the west.

Chinsinga told the President that the total size of the land earmarked for the airport is 230 hectares; but for a start, about 90 hectares of land will be used.

“This piece of land (90 hectares) is enough for two runway lines of about two kilometres long and with associated structures such as the terminal and some buildings comprising the VIP departure and arriving lounge,” he said.

Chinsinga said after using the 90 hectares of the land, the remaining part will be used for the extension of the airport in the near future so that it also accommodates big aircrafts.

Mutharika appreciates the new designs

He said once completed the Mzuzu International Airport will boost the tourism industry in the northern region, especially, Nyika National Park and Likoma Island.

“If all is done and well managed, the construction works will take 18 months to complete”.

“We are looking at an airport slightly smaller than Chileka Airport in terms of structures, but this airport will be able to accommodate aircrafts of 70 passengers on board,” he said.

Speaking in a separate interview, Inkosi Mpherembe of Mzimba thanked government for the project saying it will open up Mzuzu City in terms of development.

Mpherembe said as Mzuzu is growing very fast, there is need for the city to have a reliable modern international airport which will not only beautify the city but also attract tourists in the region.

“We are so thankful to the government, this is what we call development, and what we were looking for,” he said.

Government wants to construct the new airport since the current one is situated parallel to the Mzuzu-Karonga M1 Road and close to a residential area.

Some investors in the city have been failing to construct multi-storey buildings in the city because of the airport which is close to the central business district.

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National id forms available online

Norman Fulatira

The National Registration Bureau (NRB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have improved access to registration forms by including website downloading as a liberalised mode of distribution.

NRB public relations officer Norman Fulatira told on Saturday said that they have adopted this approach to further strengthen control over the NR1 (Registration Form).

“This move is meant to ensure achievement of the principle of universal coverage that guides the citizen registration processes,” Fulatira said.

The availability of the forms at registration centers has been subject to public queries in the past week, with mainstream and social media reports indicating that some people were failing to start the registration process due to unavailability of forms in some centres.

But in an interview with MANA, UNDP chief technical advisor Tariq Malik said there are currently enough forms for all eligible Malawians and that distribution is dependent on how many people the registration officers can process in day.

“They give out forms to the number of people that they can register per day. They do not want to waste people’s time queuing by handing out too many forms,” Malik said.

He reminded the nation that the forms are for free and can also be downloaded from the websites of NRB and UNDP.

 “Anyone who tries to sell the forms is unfortunately taking the undue advantage of the demand for registration”, he said adding that some arrests have been made of persons trying to charge registrants who want to access the forms.

Tariq Malik reiterated the absolute commitment not to leave anybody behind in the National Registration Project.

“The leading principle is universal coverage, the work will continue until every eligible Malawian has had the opportunity to register”.

“Our first testimony is the results in the districts of the first phase of the project where 95 per cent of the population was registered,” he said.

To ensure that no one is left behind even after the registration phase has ended in other parts of the country, some biometric registration kits have been left behind in the districts of Phase one, according to Malik.

“We want to allow those who missed out earlier to go and register. This strategy will be implemented in all the five phases of the project,” he said.

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Malawi to have drone regulations

Drone

The Department of Civil aviation has revealed that they are in the process of drafting regulating guidelines for drone users.

This follows the introduction of a humanitarian drone testing corridor last month, by the government.

Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles that are either controlled by pilots from the ground or autonomously, following a pre-programmed mission.

The Deputy Director for the Department of Civil Aviation, James Chakwera, said his department is currently drafting regulating guidelines with funding from United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF).

Chakwera said the regulation will help ensure that the drones are used only by trained pilots and registered users, explaining that the use of drones poses a threat to life and may damage property if not properly handled.

He also pointed out that the devices can potentially be used to infringe upon people’s right to privacy.

Hastings Jailosi, who is the Chief Flight Inspector at the Malawi Department of Civil Aviation, the commercial use of drones is currently not allowed in the country.

The drone corridor which is in Malawi’s central region of Kasungu will be used as a test site for aerial scouting in crisis situations, delivering supplies and using drones to boost internet connectivity.

Universities and other partners will also have access to the site.

The project will run until 2018.

Rwanda also launched a commercial drone delivery service last year to deliver medical supplies.

The project, in partnership with US Company Zipline, has cut delivery of medical supplies to minutes instead of hours.-Mana

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National Fiber Backbone project rolls out July 16-ESCOM

The Electricity Supply Commission of Malawi (ESCOM) has announced it will start rolling out its National Fiber Backbone project.

The multi million kwacha project starts on Sunday, July 16 and aims at connecting the Capital Hill to all districts in the country.

ESCOM says the project is of national important as it is crucial in the development, advance of Information Communication and Technology.

Chester Kabinda Mbewe, ESCOM Head of Optic Fiber, said the new fiber connection will among other things reduce corruption and theft within the government machinery.

Mbewe said the Fibre Backbone ease connection between Capital Hill and all districts in all systems such as IFMIS, the national payroll, and processes such as issuing of passports will all be done online.

He added that the project will also help in the commercial sector in improving internet connection and point to point connection as most people are using wireless internet whose bandwidth is very limited compared to fiber connection.

“ESCOM’s existing fiber connection has been in use for the past five years and serves 80 percent of internet in Malawi. The fiber runs mainly in the major cities and now we will connect all the districts from these points,” said Mbewe.

“It is required that we bring down voltage from 240 AC to 48 DC as such we will be switching off electricity during work but people need not worry because we’ve put measures in place to reduce any inconveniences. For instance in industrial areas we will be switching off electricity during off peak hours and in residential areas we will do the same,” he said.

The project is expected to run for 18 months as earlier announced. During the period of carrying out the connections, the Electricity body will therefore be turning off power.

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Mercy James Centre opens

Mercy James

President Peter Mutharika officially opened the Mercy James Centre of Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care Unit at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre on Tuesday.

Madonna and her daughter Mercy James who is named after the institution were in attendance.

Mutharika pledged to invest in children as they make up most of the population of the country. “It’s a must that we should invest in children because of 50% of Malawi are children” said Mutharika.

The president further said children deserve the best and with the opening of Mercy James Center they can be given the best and advance research in Malaria. The Centre was inspired by MercyJames ill ness which Madonna heart felt motherly love could not endure.

Mutharika officially opening the Mercy James Centre

He categorically said the institute is the pride of the nation.

The president then told Madonna that she has been adopted as Malawi’s own daughter after her adoption of 4 children from the country.

“This center is our national pride. In our culture, a child is raised by a community. To Madonna, you started by adopting 4 children from Malawi and now we adopt you as a daughter of Malawi”.

Mercy James took to the podium to express how honoured she was to open the Centre named after her and thanked her mom (Madonna) for the dedication in saving lives of children in Malawi “Thank you mum, you’re the bomb”.

Minister of Health Dr. Peter Kumpalume said the Centre is now property of the Ministry and pleaded with the people to keep it clean.

Kumpalume said “I’m proud of this facility. We’ve 247 people on referral abroad out of this 76 are children and 68 of these children have heart problem”.

“Children are most precious gift of our society. We’re here because of Miss Madonna’s love for humanity. We’re here because we value children”. He said reiterating Mutharikas words that the centre gives the country national pride”.

In her speech Madonna said she was inspired by as documentary on the country’s children. “I am because you are” a documentary about Malawian children changed my life when I visited Malawi” said Madonna.

“I want to celebrate my unique & beautiful children who are here today inspire me & keep me on my toes and all of you”.

“I never imagined I would build a pediatric clinic that I would have six children, four of them Malawians. If children are the future then they need to be protected. I grew up without a mother & all my life I have longed to be good mother”.

She narrated that she met Mercy when she met her son David however both were living in different orphanages. “Mercy was suffering from Malaria and David from pneumonia.

“When I held them in my arms I whispered in their ears that I look after them and make sure they grow into responsible adults” she said.

Regarding her legal issues which were documented in the media on her adoption Madonna said “I am someone who never takes no for an answer if you can’t give me a logical reason. I fought for Mercy and I won”.

The Centre has 56 beds, 46 wards and a high dependency unit.

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