Friday, July 29, 2016

Levi Strauss & Co. Names Ten Entrepreneurs to Global Fellowship Program

Fellows represent next generation of sustainable apparel leaders focused on reducing water impact

SAN FRANCISCO - Thursday, July 28th 2016 [ME NewsWire]

(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.), the global leader in jeanswear, today announced ten socially and environmentally conscious entrepreneurs who were chosen to participate in the LS&Co. Collaboratory, an annual fellowship program aimed at creating a more sustainable apparel industry. More than 100 individuals from ten countries around the world applied for the program, representing a wide range of apparel businesses and ideas.

LS&Co.’s first group of Collaboratory fellows will participate in an exclusive workshop, designed in partnership with the Aspen Institute, where they will create solutions to reduce their water impact in order to advance sustainability in the apparel industry. Held this fall at LS&Co.’s Eureka Innovation Lab, fellows will work alongside LS&Co. leaders as well as experts in the field to accelerate their water sustainability ideas.

“We’re impressed by the caliber of applications we received from around the world and inspired by the bold thinking and shared commitment to creating a more sustainable apparel industry,” said Chip Bergh, President and CEO of LS&Co. “Our goal with the Collaboratory is to fuel the next generation of apparel makers and accelerate sustainability innovation, and we’re excited about what this group of fellows will accomplish.”

In addition to the Collaboratory workshop, fellows may receive up to $50,000 in funding to implement their water sustainability solutions.

Follow the LS&Co. company blog, Unzipped, for more stories about the LS&Co. fellows.

The 2016 LS&Co. Collaboratory Fellows

Miriam Dym
Founder of Dym | california textiles, a workshop focused on producing local, “slow” textiles.

Mo Elliott
Founder and CEO of Fayettechill Clothing Company, which creates inspired apparel for outdoor enthusiasts.

Jesus Ciriza Larraona
Founder and executive director of the Colours of Nature, a natural dye company specializing in indigo.

Kevin McCracken
Co-founder of Social Imprints, a full-service merchandising company that employs at-risk populations.

John Moore
Co-founder and creative director of Outerknown, a sustainable menswear brand that blends function and style starting at the supply chain.

Pauline Munga
Founder and creative director of Home Abroad, a startup featuring ethically made fashion that incorporates African textiles.

Wesley Owiti
CEO and co-founder of Cherehani Africa, a social enterprise focused on women’s empowerment and financial inclusion through sustainable fashion.

Kavita Parmar
Founder and creative director of the IOU Project, an experiment to rethink how goods are produced and sold in a way that empowers artisans and protects the environment.

Benita Singh
Co-founder and CEO of Le Souk, the first online global textiles marketplace.

Rebecca van Bergen
Founder and executive director of Nest, a nonprofit committed to the social and economic advancement of the fashion and home industry’s informal workforce.

About Levi Strauss & Co.

Levi Strauss & Co. is one of the world's largest brand-name apparel companies and a global leader in jeanswear. The company designs and markets jeans, casual wear and related accessories for men, women and children under the Levi's®, Dockers®, Signature by Levi Strauss & Co.™, and Denizen® brands. Its products are sold in more than 110 countries worldwide through a combination of chain retailers, department stores, online sites, and a global footprint of approximately 2,800 retail stores and shop-in-shops. Levi Strauss & Co.'s reported fiscal 2015 net revenues were $4.5 billion. For more information, go to

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:


Levi Strauss & Co.

Andrea Hicklin, 415-501-7777


Takeda Reports 1st Quarter 2016 Results with a Strong Start to the Year and Confidence in Management Guidance

 Underlying revenue growth +9.1%, Underlying Core EPS +54.2%

OSAKA, Japan - Friday, July 29th 2016 [ME NewsWire]

(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TOKYO:4502):

Strong first quarter results and confidence in Management Guidance


Underlying revenue grew +9.1%, driven by a +15.3% increase of Takeda's Growth Drivers (GI, Oncology, CNS and Emerging Markets). (Reported revenue declined -2.8% to 434.0 billion yen, due to divestments and currency impacts)


Underlying Core Earnings advanced +40.4% (reported operating profit was 152.9 billion yen, up from 49.6 billion yen in Q1, 2015)


Underlying Core Net Profit and EPS were up +54.2% (reported EPS increased to 127 yen, from 31 yen in Q1, 2015)

Takeda's Growth Drivers are accelerating


GI underlying revenue advanced +35.3%, driven by ENTYVIO(®) and TAKECAB(®)


Oncology underlying revenue grew +6.6% (+7.5% excluding VELCADE(®) royalties), driven by NINLARO(® )and ADCETRIS(®)


CNS underlying revenue of +31.5% was boosted by strong TRINTELLIX(®) performance


Emerging Markets underlying revenue growth was +3.9%
All regions are growing, driven by innovative products


Japan underlying revenue was up +9.7%, driven by TAKECAB(®), AZILVA(®) and LOTRIGA(®)


US underlying revenue growth of +14.9%, led by ENTYVIO(®), NINLARO(® )and TRINTELLIX(®)


Europe and Canada underlying revenue grew +6.2%, reflecting ENTYVIO(®) and ADCETRIS(®)


Emerging Markets underlying revenue was up +3.9%, reflecting growth in China (+12.6%), Russia (+9.5%) and Brazil (+1.0%)

Full-year forecast (reported base) has been maintained. R&D transformation does not affect our FY2016 guidance or dividend payment (see separate press release for more details)



Christophe Weber, President and Chief Executive Officer of Takeda, commented:
"Takeda had a strong start to FY2016, as we focus on executing our strategic roadmap. It is promising that our growth driver products are contributing strongly to each region's underlying revenue growth, especially ENTYVIO®, NINLARO®, ADCETRIS®, TRINTELLIX®, and TAKECAB®. Takeda will refocus research & development on targeted therapeutic areas - Oncology, Gastroenterology (GI) and Central Nervous System (CNS), plus Vaccines, and concentrate its R&D activities in Japan and the U.S. to build a world-leading R&D organization and pipeline. I am confident that these achievements and initiatives will result in Takeda's sustainable future growth as a leading, global innovative pharmaceutical company."

Reported Results for

1Q (April – June) of FY2016
Reported base           FY 2015           FY 2016           Growth
(billion yen)           Q1           Q1                       Underlying2
Revenue           446.3           434.0           -2.8%           +9.1%
Core Earnings1           83.7           77.1           -7.9%           +40.4%
Operating Profit           49.6           152.9           +208.6%           N/A
Net Profit3           24.6           99.5           +304.9%           N/A
EPS           31 yen           127 yen           +306.5%           N/A
Core EPS           65 yen           71 yen           +8.7%           +54.2%

          Core Earnings is calculated by taking reported gross profit and deducting SG&A expenses and R&D expenses.
            In addition, certain other items that are significant in value and non-recurring or non-core in nature may also be adjusted.

          "Underlying growth", comparing two periods of financial results under a common basis, shows the real performance of the business. Takeda adopts "Underlying Growth" of revenue, Core Earnings and Core EPS as its indicators for management guidance. It excludes the impact of foreign exchange and divestments.

          Attributable to the owners of the company

Takeda maintains full-year Management Guidance and reported base forecast for FY2016:


Management Guidance
      Underlying Revenue           Mid-single digit growth (%)
      Underlying Core Earnings           Low- to mid-teen growth (%)
      Underlying Core EPS           Low- to mid-teen growth (%)
      Annual Dividend per Share           180 yen


Base Forecast for FY2016


(billion yen1)
      Revenue                                   1,720.0                      
      R&D Expenses                                   325.0                      
      Operating Profit                                   135.0                      
      Net Profit 2                                   88.0                      
      EPS                                   112 yen                      

1 The exchange rate assumptions for FY2016: 1 US$=110 yen, 1 euro=125 yen
2 Attributable to the owners of the company

For more details on Takeda’s FY2016 Q1 results and other financial information please visit

About Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited is a global, research and development-driven pharmaceutical company committed to bringing better health and a brighter future to patients by translating science into life-changing medicines. Takeda focuses its R&D efforts on oncology, gastroenterology and central nervous system therapeutic areas plus vaccines. Takeda conducts R&D both internally and with partners to stay at the leading edge of innovation. New innovative products, especially in oncology and gastroenterology, as well as our presence in Emerging Markets, fuel the growth of Takeda. More than 30,000 Takeda employees are committed to improving quality of life for patients, working with our partners in health care in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit    


Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited

Investor Relations

Noriko Higuchi, +81-(0)3-3278-2306

Media Relations

Japanese media

Tsuyoshi Tada, +81 (0)3-3278-2417

Media outside Japan

Jocelyn Gerst, +1-224-554-5542


Thursday, July 28, 2016

‘Halal’-certified quality Indian products to push into the potential Gulf market, says expert

As ‘Halal’ mark set the world standard for food industry and the Gulf countries lead in implementing it, Indian industrialist Haji Shakeel Qureshi advocates for streamlining Indian export sector in line with the ‘Halal’ trend.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Tuesday, July 26th 2016 [ME NewsWire]

With the largest chunk of overseas Indian population living in the Gulf countries, the market potential for ‘Halal’-certified products from India in this region continues to grow, says Haji Shakeel Qureshi, a global promoter of ‘Halal’ certification and chairman of Indian exporting major Marya Day Group.

This is because, he says, consumers in the Gulf countries prefer ‘Halal’ food and the governments in these countries have created set of ‘Halal’ standards that cover everything from farm-to-fork. India is currently a fast growing economy in the world and increased awareness about ‘Halal’ quality standards in the trade and business sector can provide elevated opportunity to upcoming entrepreneurs from India to export their products to more foreign countries.

Mr. Qureshi leads a global drive to create awareness on ‘Halal’ trade and its hugely positive impact on the society, considering ‘Halal’ is still an under-appreciated concept especially in India. “Hundreds of Indian ‘Halal’-certified items ranging from food products to cosmetics and personal care products are being produced in line with the concept of ‘Halal’, which is being accepted globally as a sustainable and ethical way of living,” he said.

“In the Gulf countries, ‘Halal’ mark is mandatory for all import products and is now the new benchmark for quality standards. The recent developments in ‘Halal’ certification opens up opportunity to tap global food market of about two billion people in the Middle East, Asia Pacific, European Union, USA and the Central Asia. However, the awareness on ‘Halal’ is meagre in many exporting countries as this is currently being accepted as an international certification of standards and assurance of quality and purity in different parts of the world, especially in the Gulf region,” he added.

“‘Halal’ standards have become the backbone of international trade and export business, ensuring safety and quality of the products and services. The ‘Halal’ mark also facilitates international trade and improves the environment in which we live in. With export activities from India are growing remarkably, the Indian Government and industry bodies should make ‘Halal’ mark mandatory on all products so that the export of Indian FMCG products can easily cover more international markets,” Mr. Qureshi further said.

“‘Halal’ labelling prevents deception and helps consumers make welfare-maximizing choices. A consumer can get the most only if he/she has accurate information about the foods under consideration. Accordingly, the goal of label information is to help consumers identify the food products that best match their preferences, thus helping consumers spend wisely”.

According to Mr. Qureshi, ‘Halal’ was a misunderstood concept in India before. This scenario is changing gradually these days. “We all are quite familiar with word ‘Halal’ now, but our knowledge of this word is still shallow. Awareness on the real sense of this word is very low among the public and the major chunk of consumers. Most of the people relate the term ‘Halal’ to just ‘Halal meat’, which is just one small aspect of ‘Halal’.”

“‘Halal’ is about setting a direction for life in accordance with ethics and good practice. The real meaning of this term should be made understood to all consumer segments and people from all walks of life. Leading a moral life and following ‘Halal’ in our day-to-day life will not only help us become a good human being, but uplift the society as a whole,” he emphasized.

‘Halal’ is an Arabic word, which means permitted, lawful with respect to which no restriction exists. The word ‘Halal’ has a broader meaning, which actually denotes whatever one does should comply with ethical means. Whatever one earns, sells, consumes or trades should be done with honesty, clear thoughts in addition to abstaining from dishonesty and cheating.

About Haji Shakeel Qureshi

Mr. Haji Shakeel Qureshi is chairman of Marya Day Group. He founded Marya Frozen Agro Foods Pvt. Ltd in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, India helping Bareilly emerge on the global business map by exporting its products worldwide. In 2003, Mr. Qureshi established Marya Day Agro Foods Pvt. Ltd, which offers a huge variety of FMCG products. With its quality products Marya Day Group stands with plus 1,600 crore business today.

Mr. Qureshi is ranked among the most influential Indian business leaders and holds numerous honorary posts as below:

    Member of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Board of Control, Environment Committee, Bareilly Club.
    Deputy Chief Warden of Civil Defense
    Co-coordinator of Political Forum of Indian Muslims, New Delhi.
    Convener of All India Muslim Intellectuals Forum, New Delhi.

In recognition of his services, he has been conferred with several prestigious awards and accolades that includes:

    Pride of India award by the World Consulting and Research Corporation along with film personalities Dharmendra, Kareena Kapur and Kabir Khan.
    His company Marya Day Agro Foods Pvt Ltd has been awarded among the top 50 FMCG companies in India.
    Best Industrial Samay Udyami award by the State Government of Uttar Pradesh, India.
    Best industrialist award by the State Government of Uttarakhand.
    Shan-e Rohilkhand Award from Journalist Association
    Award from Police for Pariwar Paramarsh Kendra

Marya Day Group, under his flagship is supporting ‘Adhunik Vishkarma’ campaign under the Government of India’s ‘skill India’ initiative, which has trained about 1,500 masons till date under the guidance of IIT and government experts and targeting to train 5,000 more. 

During floods in Jammu & Kashmir, Mr. Qureshi came forward and donated to Indian Prime Minister’s national relief fund. He is serving the industry as well as society and is working for the empowerment of women and child education programs. Owing to his achievements Mr Haji Shakeel Qureshi has also featured in an international book titled “Inspiring stories of successful personalities in India”.


Rasheed Palliyalil / Vinay Sharma

Watermelon Communications / Radiance PR

Tel: 00971 4 2833655 / 0091 9219506887

Email: /


Azizi Developments Pre-Launches $80million Montrell Serviced Apartments

222 apartment units in Al Furjan area to serve New Dubai’s business district

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Thursday, July 28th 2016 [ME NewsWire]

Azizi Developments, a leading UAE-based real estate developer with a global reach into many growing international markets, has today announced the pre-launch of its 222-unit Montrell Serviced Apartments project.

When complete, the G+P2+7 furnished serviced apartment building will offer a total of 168 fully furnished luxury studios and 54 one-bedroom units. The total cost of the development is said to be in the region of USD 80 million dollars.

Farhad Azizi, CEO of Azizi Developments, said: “The Montrell Serviced Apartments project represents another key milestone in Azizi Development’s journey. We believe that every project is a portrait of the company and, therefore, the quality and excellence we uphold is driven by the principle that every single unit we deliver must be created as if each were our own home.”

Mr Azizi, continued by saying that the Montrell Serviced Apartments would be available to own or let well in time before Expo 2020 and so making them as one of the attractive investment proposition for the immediate future.

Strategically located in Al Furjan, in the heart of New Dubai, Montrell Serviced Apartments will be directly connected to the prestigious Expo 2020 pavilion and near to Dubai World Central International Airport.

The apartments also offer long-term value appreciation for investors, with Dubai hotel occupancy rates averaging 86 per cent and 20 million tourists, per annum, are expected to come to Dubai, by 2020.

The surrounding area will also offer advantages as one of Dubai’s newest integrated business hubs, serving the Southern areas of the city. Al Furjan is located behind Ibn Battuta Mall, near to the existing JLT and Greens Community residential areas.

In addition to the location and quality of the development, the services both short and long-term residents can take advantage of include: a 24/7 reception and concierge service; 24-hour valet parking; cafes and restaurants; a state-of-the-art gymnasium; an outdoor pool; a children’s play area; and a number of retail outlets.


SAHARA Communications

Maria F. Tayem, +9714-3298-996


Finalists Announced for BAI’s Global Banking Innovation Awards

The Sixth Annual Awards Program Brings Global Innovators Together at BAI Beacon in Chicago

CHICAGO - Thursday, July 28th 2016 [ME NewsWire]

(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Finalists for the 2016 BAI Global Banking Innovation Awards have been announced – showcasing this year’s top innovators within the financial services industry worldwide. The 15 finalists selected represent the most forward-thinking leaders transforming the industry. Finalists and winners will be celebrated at BAI’s new immersive conference, BAI Beacon, in Chicago, October 5-6, 2016.

BAI serves as a global hub for connecting forward-thinking organizations and leaders who are changing the face of the industry, and established the BAI Global Banking Innovation Awards to be a catalyst for innovation in the financial sector.

“BAI’s role within the financial services industry is to deliver actionable insights and new perspectives on innovation,” said Holly Hughes, Chief Marketing Officer for BAI. "This annual awards program brings the best and brightest innovative organizations to the forefront of our industry, so we can collectively – and globally – continue to build upon each other’s innovations and continuously evolve what financial organizations can deliver to customers.”

The awards categories, and finalists for each, are:

Product and Service Innovation

• CaixaBank S.A. - imaginBank

• DenizBank - Fast Loan for SMEs

• Wells Fargo - CEO Mobile® biometrics

• DenizBank - Quick Menu via O-BAI

Channel Innovation

• Mizuho Financial Group - Use of Humanoid Robots “Pepper”

• First National Bank - FNB Unified API Platform

• Westpac Bank - Westpac Live

• Emirates NBD - First-to-Market Digital Banking Services in the Region through its Mobile Banking App

Innovation in Societal and Community Impact

• BAC Credomatic - Yo Me Uno” (I am in)

• First National Bank - The WesBank Uber Driver Scheme – supported by FNB Vumela

• DenizBank - Logging In To E-Government Service Through Internet Banking

• Turk Ekonomi Bankasi - TEB Women Banking

Innovation in Payments

• CaixaBank S.A. - Risk Modelling Innovation through Data Analytics

• CBW Bank - Digital Banking Platform for Real-time, Contextual and Conditional Payments Across Multiple Channels

• America First Credit Union - Card Guard® from America First Credit Union

Innovation in Internal Process Improvement

• CaixaBank S.A. - Virtual Assistant in Foreign Trade WATSON

• Alior Bank S.A. - Smart Collect

• Citi Retail Services - Citi Retail Services’ Entity Linkage Framework (ELF)

• Türk Ekonomi Bankasi - HIPPO-Gamified Sales Platform

Honorable Mention – Most Innovative Non-Bank Financial Services Organization

• NerdWallet - NerdWallet’s Checking Account Tool

Disruptive Innovation in Banking

• Mizuho Financial Group, Inc. - Use of humanoid robots “Pepper”

• Alior Bank S.A. - Smart Collect

• CaixaBank S.A. - Virtual Assistant in Foreign Trade WATSON

• DenizBank - Logging In To E-Government Service Through Internet Banking

Most Innovative Community-Based Banking Organization

• WSFS Bank

• America First Credit Union

• CBW Bank

Most Innovative Bank of the Year

• First National Bank

• CaixaBank S.A.

• DenizBank

• Türk Ekonomi Bankası

Visit for more information about the Awards. To learn more about BAI Beacon, visit


Media Inquiries:

Jennifer Divelbiss

BAI, Chicago, USA

(312) 683-2346


UL Environment Publishes First Global Product Category Rule (PCR)

Consortium of manufacturers continue to advance the hand dryer industry by initiating the PCR Process with UL Environment, setting global industry standards for hand dryer environmental performance

MARIETTA, Ga. - Wednesday, July 27th 2016 [ME NewsWire]

(BUSINESS WIRE)-- UL Environment, a business division of UL (Underwriters Laboratories), announced today the publication of the first global Product Category Rule (PCR) for hand dryers. Publishing this new PCR is the first step in developing Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), which will allow product specifiers and purchasers to evaluate environmental impacts of hand dryers from an ‘apples-to-apples’ comparison that follows ISO International Standards. The consortium of manufacturers, which includes Excel Dryer, World Dryer and FASTDRY (Hokwang Industries), collaborated in the creation of the PCR to provide the industry with consistent and transparent product evaluation standards.

Product Category Rules help minimize confusion among various types of environmental reporting by establishing a clear, consistent evaluation method by which the environmental impact claims of all products in that industry are evaluated. Once a PCR is established, an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) can be created based on product evaluations. The resulting EPD allows for a more fair comparison of environmental impacts between similar products.

UL Environment is a global program operator for PCRs and has over a century of experience developing safety and environmental standards. UL is looked to globally for science-backed development of PCRs and EPDs. UL Environment had worked with industries to issue nine PCRs, with five more in development, and has certified nearly 600 EPDs for manufacturers.

“At UL, we continue to break new ground in our mission of creating a safer, more sustainable world,” said product manager of Environmental Product Declarations at UL Environment, Anna Nicholson, who also serves as the PCR project manager. “We are proud to produce the first-ever published global PCR and to create the first industry consensus standard for the hand dryer industry.”

“We applaud the hand dryer industry’s efforts to develop this PCR because it is a big first step in providing transparency for hand dryers,” continued Nicholson. “The project was initiated by Excel Dryer and supported by World Dryer and FASTDRY (Hokwang Industries), who were instrumental in obtaining the consensus that we needed to publish this first-of-its-kind global PCR.”

PCRs are the first step in the development of an EPD, which is an important transparency tool. To produce an EPD, companies must first develop a life cycle assessment (LCA) for their product that addresses product specific calculations and requirements specified in a PCR.

“Excel Dryer is pleased to be an integral part of the development of this first-ever global PCR,” said William Gagnon, vice president of marketing at Excel Dryer, who also serves as the chairman of the hand dryer PCR. “Excel Dryer led the initiative to create the PCR that standardizes hand dryer testing methods on a global scale, the first of any industry. Consumers and the specifying community now have the tool they need to make more informed decisions on what products to purchase or specify that will protect natural resources and enhance the built environment. Creating a PCR for our industry supports this new ‘age of transparency’ and the push toward sustainable design.”

“By participating in the development of the hand dryer PCR, FASTDRY (Hokwang Industries) would like to ensure advancement of the hand dryer industry and the protection of the environment and consumers. We have always valued the sustainability of natural resources. To raise the same awareness among all hand dryer manufacturers is our target,” said James Hsu, president of Hokwang Industries.

“We are honored to be part of the collaborative development of a publication that provides the industry with clear, consistent product evaluation methods,” said Dan Storto, president of World Dryer. “Having a resource that helps companies achieve their sustainability goals and find products they can trust aligns with World Dryer’s mission to ensure every hand dryer we design delivers a positive environmental impact.”

Additionally, an open comment period provided a platform for all hand dryer manufacturers and product performance testing organizations to participate. The new global PCR can be found at

About UL Environment

UL Environment works to advance global sustainability, environmental health, and safety by supporting the growth and development of environmentally preferable products, services, and organizations. We help companies achieve their sustainability goals—and help purchasers, specifiers, retailers, governments, and consumers find products they can trust. UL Environment offers environmental claim validations, multi-attribute product certifications, environmental product declarations, indoor air quality certification, product emissions testing, organizational sustainability certification, and consulting. For more information, visit, and connect with us via Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.

About UL

UL is a premier global independent safety science company that has championed progress for 120 years. Its more than 11,000 professionals are guided by the UL mission to promote safe working and living environments for all people. UL uses research and standards to continually advance and meet ever-evolving safety needs. We partner with businesses, manufacturers, trade associations and international regulatory authorities to bring solutions to a more complex global supply chain. For more information about our certification, testing, inspection, advisory and education services, visit    


UL Supply Chain and Sustainability

Sarah Partridge, 678-444-4083

Marketing Manager, Environment & Furniture

C: 404-277-9118


Guidewire Recognized by Gartner as the Sole Leader in Magic Quadrant Report for Property and Casualty Insurance Claims Management

Report marks third consecutive year Guidewire has been named a leader, and the first it has been named the sole leader

FOSTER CITY, Calif. - Wednesday, July 27th 2016 [ME NewsWire]

(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Guidewire Software, Inc. (NYSE:GWRE), a provider of software products to Property/Casualty (P/C) insurers, today announced that it has been positioned as the sole leader in Gartner, Inc.'s “Magic Quadrant for Property and Casualty Insurance Claims Management Modules1.” This is the third year in a row that Guidewire has appeared in the Leaders Quadrant and the first that Guidewire appears as the sole leader. The report can be viewed here.

The global report evaluated seven vendors that have qualified for inclusion in the claims management module market. Guidewire was positioned highest on the ability to execute axis and furthest on the completeness of vision axis in the report.

“Leaders offer the broadest range of product capabilities, LOB experience and operational capabilities,” wrote Jeff Haner, principal research analyst, Insurance, Gartner and author of the report. “They demonstrate unusual strength in terms of sales execution and consistent, best-in-class implementation results, while also maintaining a steady rate of new customer wins.”

“The Guidewire team is honored to be recognized as the sole leader by Gartner in the Claims Management Magic Quadrant,” said Brian Desmond, chief marketing officer, Guidewire Software. “We are very thankful for the insight provided by our engaged customer community, representing all regions of the world and all lines of business, which helps us to continually improve ClaimCenter. We also thank Gartner for this recognition which we believe is a validation of the success achieved through the collaborative effort of the Guidewire community and inspires us to continue to innovate and improve.”

Guidewire ClaimCenter® is an end-to-end claims management system, built from the ground up to meet the specific needs of today’s P/C insurers. ClaimCenter’s flexible business rules enable claims organizations to define, enforce and continually refine their preferred claim handling practices in order to optimize and monitor their claim processes. ClaimCenter is in use by insurers of all sizes across all product lines to improve speed and accuracy, reduce loss adjustment expense, and enable proactive management of claims. ClaimCenter is available as a standalone system or as part of Guidewire InsuranceSuite™, and can be integrated to an insurer’s legacy systems or third party applications.

The latest version of ClaimCenter was recently announced as part of our Guidewire Insurance Platform™ release.

About the Magic Quadrant

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

1 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Property and Casualty Insurance Claims Management Modules, Jeff Haner, July 21, 2016

About Guidewire Software

Guidewire delivers the software that Property/Casualty (P/C) insurers need to adapt and succeed in a time of rapid industry change. We combine three elements – core operations, data and analytics, and digital engagement – into a technology platform that enhances insurers’ ability to engage and empower their customers and employees. More than 200 P/C insurers around the world have selected Guidewire. For more information, please visit Follow us on twitter: @Guidewire_PandC.

NOTE: Guidewire, Guidewire Software, Guidewire ClaimCenter, Guidewire PolicyCenter, and Guidewire BillingCenter are registered trademarks of Guidewire Software, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries.


Guidewire Software, Inc.

Diana Stott, +1 650-356-4941

Director, Communications


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

GSMA Announces Launch of Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund

GSMA Calls for Applications for Mobile-Based Products or Services from African and Asian Start-Ups

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania - Wednesday, July 27th 2016 [ME NewsWire]

(BUSINESS WIRE)-- At Mobile 360 – Africa, the GSMA today announced the launch of the GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund, which will support innovative start-ups in emerging markets and is open to start-ups from and operating in Africa and selected countries in Asia. The Fund is backed by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and supported by the GSMA and its members.

“Through our Mobile for Development team, the GSMA has a proven track record in delivering life-enhancing mobile solutions at scale in critical areas such as mobile money, health and nutrition, agriculture, utilities and many others,” said Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA. “The launch of the Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund is an exciting opportunity for the mobile industry to work with entrepreneurs in developing markets to create services that will deliver important socio-economic benefits to their communities. I anticipate that we will see some incredible applications and I look forward to seeing the first selected start-up businesses flourish.”

The Fund will help identify innovations with the greatest potential for growth and provide best practices for stakeholders within the ecosystem on the ways in which they can use mobile to drive positive socio-economic impact. The Fund will provide funding and mobile-focused mentoring and technical assistance to selected start-ups, and establish partnerships between operators and start-ups to increase the reach of innovative mobile services.

The Fund will run several rounds between 2016 and 2020, with each round having specific areas of focus. During the first funding round, which will disburse approximately £2 million, applicants must be aligned with one or both of the following focus areas in order to be eligible:

    Sharing Economy - defined as any mobile-based platform, product or service which enables low-income citizens in emerging markets to generate income from ‘under-utilised assets’, such as free personal time or vehicle use, by sharing those assets with their peers.
    Services for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) - defined as any mobile-based solution, product or service designed for micro and SMEs in emerging markets that unlock improved productivity and growth.

For the first round, applications will be assessed through a two-stage application process. In the “pitch stage”, applicants are required to complete an online questionnaire providing an overview of their product or service; the deadline for submitting pitches is the 18th September 2016. In the “proposal stage”, eligible applicants with pitches that meet the objectives of the Fund will be invited to develop a detailed proposal setting out the full business case for the project, with the GSMA’s support. A maximum of 30 pitches will be selected to advance to the proposal stage; an independent panel of experts will then appraise the proposals and make awards totaling £2 million to approximately 10 to 15 start-ups in January 2017.

For more information and to apply, visit:

Notes to Editors

The Ecosystem Accelerator Programme is a GSMA Mobile for Development programme that is funded both by the GSMA and donors.

About the GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with almost 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai and the Mobile 360 Series conferences.

For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.


For the GSMA

Charlie Meredith-Hardy

+44 7917 298428

David Ntwampe Maila

+ 27 72 015 4702


GSMA Press Office


Toshiba Starts World’s First Sample Shipment of 64-Layer 3D Flash Memory

-- New generation Toshiba BiCS FLASH™ adds layers, boosts capacity --

TOKYO - Wednesday, July 27th 2016 [ME NewsWire]

(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) today unveiled the latest generation of its BiCS FLASH™ three-dimensional (3D) flash memory with a stacked cell structure*1, a 64-layer device that will be first*2 in the world to start sample shipments today. The new device incorporates 3-bit-per-cell (triple-level cell, TLC) technology and achieves a 256-gigabit (32-gigabytes) capacity, an advance that underscores the potential of Toshiba’s proprietary architecture. Toshiba continues to refine BiCS FLASH™, and the next milestone on the development roadmap is a 512-gigabit (64-gigabytes) device, also with 64 layers.

The new device succeeds the 48-layer BiCS FLASH™, and its leading-edge 64-layer stacking process realizes a 40% larger capacity per unit chip size than 48-layer stacking process, reduces the cost per bit, and increases the manufacturability of memory capacity per one silicon wafer. 64-layer BiCS FLASH™ can meet demanding performance specs, and the new device will be used in applications that include enterprise and consumer SSD, smartphones, tablets and memory cards.

Since announcing the world’s first*3 prototype 3D flash memory technology in June 2007, Toshiba has continued to advance development. The company is actively promoting BiCS FLASH™ to meet demand for larger capacity with smaller size.

Toshiba will produce the new 64-layer BiCS FLASH™ in the New Fab 2 at Yokkaichi Operations, which was officially opened earlier this month, and mass production of 64-layer BiCS FLASH™ is scheduled to start in the first half of 2017.

*1: A structure stacking Flash memory cells vertically on a silicon substrate to realize significant density improvements over planar NAND Flash memory, where cells are formed on the silicon substrate.
*2: As of July 27, 2016. Toshiba survey.
*3: Toshiba presentation, June 12, 2007.
* BiCS FLASH is a trademark of Toshiba Corporation.

About Toshiba

Toshiba Corporation, a Fortune Global 500 company, channels world-class capabilities in advanced electronic and electrical product and systems into three focus business fields: Energy that sustains everyday life, that is cleaner and safer; Infrastructure that sustains quality of life; and Storage that sustains the advanced information society. Guided by the principles of The Basic Commitment of the Toshiba Group, “Committed to People, Committed to the Future”, Toshiba promotes global operations and is contributing to the realization of a world where generations to come can live better lives.

Founded in Tokyo in 1875, today’s Toshiba is at the heart of a global network of 550 consolidated companies employing 188,000 people worldwide, with annual sales surpassing 5.6 trillion yen (US$50 billion). (As of March 31, 2016.)
To find out more about Toshiba, visit

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:


Toshiba Corporation

Storage & Electronic Devices Solutions Company

Koichi Tanaka / Kota Yamaji

Communications & IR Group

Business Planning Division

Phone: +81-3-3457-3576


Kenyan Diaspora Sends One Million Money Transfers With WorldRemit

Kenyans lead way in adoption of Mobile Money remittances

NAIROBI, Kenya - Wednesday, July 27th 2016 [ME NewsWire]

(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Kenyans living abroad have now sent one million money transfers with WorldRemit.

With the WorldRemit app or website, the diaspora can send safe, instant transfers to Kenya at the touch of a button.

Mobile Money has played a key role in the popularity of WorldRemit money transfers to Kenya, as Kenyans discover the speed and convenience of sending remittances direct to mobile phones.

WorldRemit now sends more than 50,000 transfers to Kenya every month, with over 90% going to Mobile Money accounts such as M-Pesa and Airtel Money.

Customers can also send transfers direct to bank account, for cash pick up from KCB Bank Kenya and Upesi Money Transfer branches, or as mobile airtime top up.

Around three million Kenyans live abroad with large communities in countries such as the United Kingdom, United States and Canada.

The contribution of the diaspora - including remittances - is recognised as a critical component in the growth of the Kenyan economy and achieving Vision 2030[1]. Inward remittances reached a record value of $146.76m in May 2016, according to the Central Bank of Kenya, making it one of Kenya’s top earners.

Alix Murphy, Senior Mobile Analyst at WorldRemit, comments: “Kenya is renowned for leading the world in Mobile Money and we’re now seeing Kenyans at the forefront of adoption of Mobile Money remittances. The vast majority of our Kenyan customers choose to receive remittances on their M-Pesa or Airtel Money accounts instead of collecting cash. It’s convenient, secure and means no more travelling to money transfer agents.

“With over 400 million registered accounts worldwide, Mobile Money is transforming lives by allowing people to access financial services for the first time. As is being showcased in Kenya, Mobile Money will become the method of choice for receiving remittances in many countries across the world.”

WorldRemit is the leading sender of remittances to Mobile Money, with connections to 32 services in 24 countries.

WorldRemit began offering remittances to Kenya in March 2011.

[1] Kenya Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Kenya Diaspora Policy

Note to editors

    Images for press here

About WorldRemit

WorldRemit is changing the way people send money.

It’s easy – just open the app or visit the website – no more agents.

    Transfers to most countries are instant – send money like an instant message.
    More ways to receive (Mobile Money, bank transfer, cash pickup, and mobile airtime top-up).
    Available in over 50 countries and 125+ destinations.
    Backed by Accel Partners and TCV – investors in Facebook, Spotify, Netflix and Slack.
    WorldRemit is the UK’s fastest-growing technology company (Deloitte Technology Fast 50 2015)

WorldRemit’s global headquarters are in London, UK with regional offices in the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Read more: About us



Ben Leong

+44(0)7576 831 130


US Cable Operators Conducting First Ultra HD Trials with SES

4K/HEVC set top box shipments underway and subscribers set for first UHD trials

LUXEMBOURG - Wednesday, July 27th 2016 [ME NewsWire]

(BUSINESS WIRE)-- SES S.A. (Euronext Paris:SESG) (LuxX:SESG) announced today that multiple US cable operators are testing Ultra HD (or 4K) content across its fully-managed Ultra HD platform and receiving HEVC 4K IP set top boxes in preparation for Ultra HD subscriber trials into US households later this year.

SES has signed Ultra HD trial agreements with Cable America in Missouri, Golden West Telecommunications in South Dakota, MTC Cable in New York, Sjoberg’s Cable TV in Minnesota and ATMC in North Carolina. As part of the programme aimed at accelerating 4K delivery to homes across America, SES is shipping 4K/HEVC set top boxes to cable operators participating in the first-ever Ultra HD trials.

After purchasing more than four million Ultra HD TVs last year and a projected 10 million in 2016 in the US alone, consumers are increasingly demanding 4K content from their cable operators. Using the multicasting capability of the DOCSIS 3.0 transmission standard and traditional digital TV to deliver a wide range of 4K programming to subscriber homes, SES is enabling even the smallest cable operators to be among the first in North America to provide linear and live Ultra HD. Unlike current internet-delivered 4K offerings, SES’s managed solution, delivered over dedicated bandwidth, provides a much higher quality viewer experience, free of buffering and network congestion.

SES is currently carrying four Ultra HD channels on satellites serving every cable system and nearly 100 million homes across North America, including Fashion One 4K, NASA TV UHD, and High 4K TV. The fourth choice on SES’s regional 4K dial is SES’s own UHD1 channel, which has quickly become a popular venue for up-and-coming 4K content producers creating great Ultra HD material with an eye toward ultimately launching their own Ultra HD channels. Cable operators of all sizes across North America can easily downlink 4K content from SES’s growing Ultra HD satellite platform to test the mix of 4K movies, TV shows, news, and sports events across their networks.

“As millions of cable subscribers increasingly press for 4K content on their new Ultra HD TVs, some of the smallest cable operators in the US are now leading the way to bringing Ultra HD to homes across the country,” noted Steve Corda, Vice President of Business Development in North America at SES. “SES’s breakthrough, fully-managed Ultra HD platform is enabling us to conduct the first-ever trials, which are bound to play a key role in the national and global rollout of Ultra HD.”

“Ultra HD has arrived in Minnesota, as we prepare to deliver 4K content to subscriber homes this year,” said Richard Sjoberg, President and CEO at Sjoberg, a cable television innovator serving 33 towns in Northwest Minnesota. “Along with high-speed broadband, we’re seeing an increasing demand for Ultra HD across our subscriber base, and together with SES we’re on the leading edge of technology, with a simplified solution that will make the transition to Ultra HD far faster and more efficient. We’re looking forward to being among the first in the country to deliver game-changing television to our customers.”

“We are excited to be participating in this trial focused on offering Ultra HD content to our customers,” said Glen Faulkner, General Manager at MTC Cable in upstate New York. “The SES solution provides an economical platform for the delivery of Ultra HD content, which is now more frequently requested by our customers. The cable television industry, with high-capacity DOCSIS 3 networks widely deployed, is well-positioned to be at the forefront in delivery of this high resolution content.”

Follow us on:





SES Pictures are available under

SES White papers are available under

About SES

SES (Euronext Paris:SESG) (LuxX:SESG) is the world-leading satellite operator with a fleet of more than 50 geostationary satellites. Focusing on value-added, end-to-end solutions in four key market verticals (video, enterprise, mobility and government), SES provides satellite communications services to broadcasters, content and internet service providers, and mobile and fixed network operators, as well as business and governmental organisations worldwide. SES stands for long-lasting business relationships, high-quality service and excellence in the satellite industry. The culturally diverse regional teams of SES are located around the globe and work closely with customers to meet their specific satellite bandwidth and service requirements.

SES’s newest subsidiary, MX1, is one of the leading media service providers and offers a full suite of innovative digital video and media services. Augmented by SES’s stake in O3b Networks, a next generation satellite network combining the reach of satellite with the speed of fibre, SES significantly enhances and scales up existing video and data capabilities.

Further information available at:



Markus Payer

Corporate Communications

Tel. +352 710 725 500


Schlumberger Announces Third-Quarter 2016 Results Conference Call

HOUSTON - Wednesday, July 27th 2016 [ME NewsWire]

(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Schlumberger Limited (NYSE:SLB) will hold a conference call on October 21, 2016 to discuss the results for the third quarter ending September 30, 2016.

The conference call is scheduled to begin at 7:00 am (US Central time), 8:00 am (US Eastern time) and 1:00 pm (London time). A press release regarding the Company’s results will be issued on October 20, 2016 after close of market.

To access the conference call, listeners should contact the Conference Call Operator at +1 (800) 288-8967 within North America or +1 (612) 333-4911 outside of North America approximately 10 minutes prior to the start of the call, and ask for the “Schlumberger Earnings Conference Call.”

A webcast of the conference call will be broadcast simultaneously at on a listen-only basis. Listeners should log in 15 minutes prior to the start of the call to test their browsers and register for the webcast. Following the end of the conference call, a replay will be available at until November 21, 2016, and can be accessed by dialing +1 (800) 475-6701 within North America or +1 (320) 365-3844 outside of North America, and giving the access code 399092.

About Schlumberger

Schlumberger is the world's leading provider of technology for reservoir characterization, drilling, production, and processing to the oil and gas industry. Working in more than 85 countries and employing approximately 100,000 people who represent over 140 nationalities, Schlumberger supplies the industry's most comprehensive range of products and services, from exploration through production, and integrated pore-to-pipeline solutions that optimize hydrocarbon recovery to deliver reservoir performance.

Schlumberger Limited has principal offices in Paris, Houston, London and The Hague, and reported revenues of $35.47 billion in 2015. For more information, visit


Schlumberger Limited

Simon Farrant – Schlumberger Limited, Vice President of Investor Relations

Joy V. Domingo – Schlumberger Limited, Manager of Investor Relations

Office + 1 (713) 375-3535


SK techx Launches Android Version of 'VOLO', a Travel Blogging App

- VOLO enables travelers to easily record their travel moments with features such as notes, photos, locations, and routes, even in places where Internet is not accessible.

SEOUL, South Korea - Wednesday, July 27th 2016 [ME NewsWire]

- With its “Write-Together” feature, up to ten people can write one journal together, creating a unique experience for its users.

(BUSINESS WIRE)-- SK techx (President: Young-chul Kim) ( announced today the launch of the Android version of ‘VOLO – Your Travel Journal, online & offline,’ following its success of the iOS version of the application.

With its travel-focused features, such as photos, locations, and routes, ‘VOLO’ helps travelers to record their valuable experiences without difficulty. Also, its feature for searching different regions and various travel themes lets users to conveniently search other journals for more information.

The most notable advantage of VOLO is that it enables its users to create journals even in regions where the Internet is not available. Users can record their travel memories offline, which are synchronized once they connect to the network. VOLO also provides users a platform for a unique journal to be written together by up to 10 users at once. People can enjoy richer travel stories and share their own as well.

Having attracted attention for its sensible design and simple features since its launch in December 2015, the iOS version of VOLO was listed in April this year as an Honoree at the 20th Annual Webby Awards, a renowned award for excellence on the Internet. VOLO has gained positive response from users around the world, with heavy contents registered from various countries. The number of quality travel journals registered in VOLO increased 8 times in just 6 months and is continuing to increase rapidly.

“We started VOLO after realizing how contradicting the Internet community is- as people leave more and more information on the Internet, the treasured memories are, in turn, forgotten,” says Dongwook Lee, team leader for VOLO at SK techx. “We hope to make a mobile service for people to easily record their memories anywhere, anytime. VOLO will work to amplify positive user experience by being a bridge to bring these priceless moments together.”

Further information about VOLO can be found at Follow VOLO on Facebook at

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:


SK techx

Annie Kim, +82-10-9770-9424


IBKR Announces the Latest Advances to Its Trader Workstation Trading Platform

GREENWICH, Conn. - Wednesday, July 27th 2016 [ME NewsWire]

(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:IBKR) has released its July IB Communiqué to inform clients worldwide about the latest enhancements to their trading platform, products and services.

Trader Workstation (TWS) Updates

Personalize Your Trading Platform - Recent TWS enhancements give you even more ways to customize your platform and save time creating and submitting orders. Recognizing that some clients trade only a handful of the many products offered through TWS, clients may now use a Contract Selector to filter out products, regions and exchanges they do not use. The result is faster access to the products investors want to trade. TWS users may now add our traditional trading tools as tabs to display alongside Classic and Mosaic pages offering more efficient access to data and investing strategies.

Adaptive Algo Supports Futures - The newest member of our IB Algo family, the Adaptive Algo, strives to achieve the fastest fill at the best all-in price by adapting to market conditions as it works. This flexible and popular algo can now also be used to trade futures, in addition to stock and options. This algo order type is especially useful when the spread is wide, while it also breaks down large orders into smaller chunks to avoid overwhelming the market.

IB RIA Compliance Center – IB has launched its own Compliance Center offering tools to help advisors navigate the complex world of compliance obligations and various SEC registration and filings. The RIA Compliance Center aims to help advisors identify and meet compliance rules and obligations as well as help start-up and breakaway advisors. As part of this initiative, IB provides advisors with a list of Preferred Providers that offer Compliance-related services, many of whom have agreed to give discounts to advisors who trade through IB. Learn more about this service here.

IB’s Block Trading Desk – Investors with large orders can outsource their trading needs with IB’s Block Trading Desk. For orders in excess of 10,000 shares and 100 option contracts our live broker desk offers no phone queue time or hold time. Working with the Block Trading Desk also offers the potential advantage of price improvement on options trades, including SPX and VIX contracts. Clients may also get pre-trade quotes ahead of time for any strategy. Learn more here.

Read the entire July IB Communiqué here.

About Interactive Brokers Group, Inc.

Interactive Brokers Group, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, is an automated global electronic broker that specializes in catering to financial professionals by offering state-of-the-art trading technology, superior execution capabilities, worldwide electronic access, and sophisticated risk management tools at exceptionally low costs. The brokerage trading platform utilizes the same innovative technology as the Company's market making business, which specializes in routing orders and executing and processing trades in securities, futures, foreign exchange instruments, bonds and funds on more than 100 electronic exchanges and trading venues around the world. As a market maker, we provide liquidity at these marketplaces and, as a broker, we provide professional traders and investors with electronic access to stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and mutual funds from a single IB Universal Account™. Employing proprietary software on a global communications network, Interactive Brokers is continuously integrating its software with a growing number of exchanges and trading venues into one automatically functioning, computerized platform that requires minimal human intervention.    


Interactive Brokers Group, Inc.

For Investors:

Nancy Stuebe, 203-618-4070


For Media:

Caitlin Duffy, 203-913-1369    


ISACA’s First Africa CACS Conference Features Technology Entrepreneur Mark Kaigwa

Kaigwa will examine cybersecurity and “The Right Kind of African IT Arms Race”

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. - Tuesday, July 26th 2016 [ME NewsWire]

(BUSINESS WIRE)-- As a global leader in mobile money, Kenya has more than 17 million using its mobile-money system, M-PESA. As the African continent grows in connectivity and emerging technologies like mobile banking continues to spread, professionals responsible for the safety and innovation of the digital world face increasing challenges and opportunities. The future is one that needs multiple lenses and perspectives, according to African entrepreneur Mark Kaigwa.

Kaigwa will open the first Africa Computer Audit, Control and Security (Africa CACS) Conference, taking place 8-9 August 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya. Hosted by global IT association ISACA, the conference will gather IT audit, assurance, risk, cybersecurity and governance professionals from around the world to discuss solutions and strategies, including how professionals can advance their careers and impact their enterprises.

“Although a thread of cybersecurity exists in Africa, we need to zoom out and cut across the one billion-strong continent and the emergent connected class,” said Kaigwa. “This conference demonstrates ISACA’s commitment to serve, recruit and support professionals who work in this area and have a direct impact on the strength and security of their enterprises. I am proud to participate in this effort.”

Kaigwa is the founder of Nendo, a Nairobi-based consultancy delivering solutions in research, training and strategy across Sub-Saharan Africa. He is also the publisher and co-author of the digital trends and insights annual, The Nendo Social Media Trend Report. Kaigwa was feted among Forbes Africa’s inaugural 30 under 30 Best Young Entrepreneurs in Africa in 2013.

His keynote will explore why African governments and public and private sector organizations need to step up their cybersecurity discussions. He will discuss how to reframe Africa’s narrative on technology, connectivity and the impact on the continent’s youth population.

The conference will also provide a global perspective. Closing keynote Herman Konings, trend analyst and consumer psychologist, will discuss the trends and future expectations facing today’s professionals throughout the world. ISACA CEO Matt Loeb and ISACA Board Director Tichaona Zororo will share their insights and moderate a global panel in a discussion on “The State of Corporate Governance of IT in Africa.”

ISACA, a global association serving more than 140,000 members and certification holders in 180 countries, will offer more than 30 sessions in four tracks at Africa CACS, addressing IS audit, security/cybersecurity, governance, risk, compliance/privacy.

Pre-conference workshops will offer hands-on training for COBIT 5, including an opportunity to take the exam to earn the COBIT 5 Foundation Certificate; and for cybersecurity to help attendees prepare for the CSX Cybersecurity Fundamentals Certificate exam.

Attendees can earn up to 30 CPE hours for attending the conference. Additional details, registration and venue information can be found at


ISACA® ( helps professionals around the globe realize the positive potential of technology in an evolving digital world. By offering industry-leading knowledge, standards, credentialing and education, ISACA enables professionals to apply technology in ways that instill confidence, address threats, drive innovation and create positive momentum for their organizations. Established in 1969, ISACA is a global association with more than 140,000 members and certification holders in 187 countries. ISACA is the creator of the COBIT framework, which helps organizations effectively govern and manage their information and technology. Through its Cybersecurity Nexus (CSX), ISACA helps organizations develop skilled cyber workforces and enables individuals to grow and advance their cyber careers.


LinkedIn: ISACA (Official),




Joanne Duffer, +1.847.660.5564


OT Partners with Axis Bank to Offer India’s First RuPay EMV Contactless Smart Card

COLOMBES, France - Tuesday, July 26th 2016 [ME NewsWire]

(BUSINESS WIRE)-- OT (Oberthur Technologies), a leading global provider of embedded security software products and services, today announced its partnership with Axis Bank, India’s third largest private bank to offer the first open loop EMV contactless smart cards to be used in public transportation in Bengaluru, the third most populous city of India.

Axis Bank is the first bank to launch open loop smart cards in India to be used in public transportation, allowing end-users to use them to tap and pay instead of buying a ticket each time they use transportation in Bengaluru. A new chapter of digital payment is being written with EMV contactless smart cards based on RuPay, the Indian domestic card scheme conceived and launched by the National Payments Corporation of India.

In this framework, OT provides the contactless EMV smart cards. The cards have multiple service compartments to accommodate many retail/transit/toll/parking chains enabling user convenience to have one single card for various payment needs. In addition, they are interoperable across different transport systems in the country.

“We are delighted to partner with Axis Bank who took the lead to launch the first RuPay open loop EMV contactless smart card. Thanks to our collaboration with Axis Bank, this new payment platform will enable millions of end-users to enjoy convenience of payment in public transportation. It could change the future of payments in the country and OT is thrilled to be part of this technological success” said Eric Duforest, Managing Director of the Financial Services Institutions at OT.

“We believe that the Axis Bank BMTC Smart card program in Bengaluru will lead the way towards implementation of many more open loop EMV contactless payment initiatives in India. This model offers unparalleled convenience of one card for multiple payment needs making this the most preferred option. We are happy to further deepen our relationship with OT by partnering with them for this pilot in Bengaluru. OT’s expertise and leadership in the payment card industry as well as their experience in digital security is a very valuable capability for the partnership” said Mr. Sangram Singh, Head – Cards & Merchant Acquiring Business, Axis Bank.


OT is a world leader in embedded digital security that protects you when you connect, authenticate or pay.

OT is strategically positioned in high growth markets and offers embedded security software solutions for “end-point” devices as well as associated remote management solutions to a huge portfolio of international clients, including banks and financial institutions, mobile operators, authorities and governments, as well as manufacturers of connected objects and equipment.

OT employs over 6 500 employees worldwide, including almost 700 R&D people. With a global footprint of 4 regional secure manufacturing hubs and 39 secure service centers, OT’s international network serves clients in 169 countries. For more information:

Download The M World,
All you need to know about the latest trends of the Mobility world, available on AppStore and Google Play




Oberthur Technologies

Audrey Besnardeau, Tél. : +33 1 78 14 76 75


Chloé Tisseuil / Elise Cognacq, Tél. : +33 1 86 21 50 54 / +33 1 86 21 50 67 /


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Number of Unique Mobile Subscribers in Africa Surpasses Half a Billion, Finds New GSMA Study

Mobile Ecosystem Adds More Than $150 Billion in Economic Value to African Economy

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania - Tuesday, July 26th 2016 [ME NewsWire]

(BUSINESS WIRE)-- More than half a billion people across Africa are now subscribed to mobile services as the continent continues to migrate rapidly to mobile broadband networks, reveals a new GSMA study. ‘The Mobile Economy: Africa 2016’ was published today at the GSMA Mobile 360 – Africa event being held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 26 – 28 July. The report also highlights the increasing contribution of Africa’s mobile industry to the regional economy, including employment and public funding, and mobile’s role as a platform for digital and financial inclusion.

“More than half a billion people across Africa are now subscribed to a mobile network, providing them not just with connectivity but a gateway to a range of other essential services in areas such as digital identity, healthcare and financial services,” said Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA. “The rapid move to mobile broadband networks is also unlocking new opportunities for consumers, businesses and governments, growing an ecosystem that last year added more than $150 billion in value to Africa’s economy.”

Network Investments and Smartphones Driving Mobile Broadband Adoption

The report finds that there were 557 million unique mobile subscribers1 across Africa at the end of 2015, equivalent to 46 per cent of the continent’s population, making Africa the second-largest – but least penetrated – mobile market in the world. Africa’s three largest markets – Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa – together accounted for around a third of the total subscriber base. The number of unique mobile subscribers is forecast to reach 725 million by 2020, accounting for 54 per cent of the expected population by this point.

African mobile subscribers are rapidly migrating to mobile broadband networks and services, a result of ongoing network rollouts and the increasing availability of affordable mobile broadband devices and tariffs. Mobile broadband (3G/4G) accounted for just over a quarter of total connections2 at the end of 2015, but is expected to account for almost two-thirds by 2020. By mid-2016, there were 72 live 4G networks in 32 countries across Africa, half of which have launched in the last two years. Meanwhile, the number of smartphone connections3 in Africa is forecast to more than triple over the next five years, rising from 226 million in 2015 to 720 million by 2020.

Mobile’s Contribution to African GDP, Jobs and Public Funding to Increase

The use of mobile technologies and services across Africa generated $153 billion in economic value last year, equivalent to 6.7 per cent of the region’s GDP4. This contribution is expected to increase to $214 billion by 2020 (7.6 per cent of expected GDP) as countries in Africa continue to benefit from the improvements in productivity and efficiency brought about by increased take-up of mobile services. Africa’s mobile ecosystem also supported 3.8 million jobs in 2015 and made a $17 billion contribution to the public sector via general taxation. The number of jobs supported is forecast to rise to 4.5 million by 2020, while the tax contribution is expected to increase to $20.5 billion.

The report also explains how mobile is powering innovation and entrepreneurship across Africa. It notes that there are now approximately 310 active tech hubs across the region, including 180 accelerators or incubators. Mobile operators are supporting this ecosystem by opening up APIs to third-party developers in areas such as messaging, billing, location and mobile money, which has allowed start-ups to scale quickly.

Mobile technology is also playing a central role in addressing many of the social challenges in Africa, including the ability to provide citizens with official identities, tackling the ‘digital divide’ by enabling access to the mobile internet, and delivering financial inclusion via mobile money services. The number of mobile subscribers in Africa that access the mobile internet has tripled in the last five years, reaching 300 million by 2015, equivalent to a quarter of the African population. An additional 250 million subscribers are expected to become mobile internet users by 2020, bringing the total to 550 million (41 per cent of expected population).

“The positive transformational impact of mobile is being felt more profoundly in Africa than anywhere else in the world; Africa’s mobile industry is at the forefront of helping to deliver the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals5,” added Granryd. “We are focused on creating a better future for citizens and businesses across Africa, providing access to essential information and services, improved employment and economic opportunities, and greater productivity and competitiveness.”

The new report ‘The Mobile Economy: Africa 2016’ is authored by GSMA Intelligence, the research arm of the GSMA. To access the full report and related infographics, please visit:

About the GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with almost 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai and the Mobile 360 Series conferences.

For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.

1 A unique mobile subscriber represents an individual that can account for multiple mobile connections (SIM cards)

2 A mobile connection refers to an active SIM card registered with a mobile network, including M2M connections. The total number of mobile connections in Africa reached 965 million in 2015 and is forecast to rise to 1.3 billion by 2020

3 A smartphone connection is defined as a SIM card registered and used in a smartphone device at the end of the period. It does not represent the number of smartphone devices sold or shipped.

4 GDP total includes contribution from mobile operators (1.7%); related industries such as devices and infrastructure players (0.4%); indirect impact (0.6%); and productivity impact (4.1%)

5 In September 2015, the UN introduced a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 17-point plan aims to end poverty, combat climate change and fight injustice and inequality. The GSMA is supporting the SDGs as part of its #betterfuture campaign.



Charlie Meredith-Hardy

+44 7917 298428

David Ntwampe Maila

+ 27 72 015 4702


GSMA Press Office


Two Million People Benefiting from GSMA M4D Utilities Projects

Mobile Powering Increasing Number of Energy, Water and Sanitation Projects

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania - Tuesday, July 26th 2016 [ME NewsWire]

(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The GSMA Mobile for Development Utilities programme (M4D Utilities) released a new report outlining progress in using mobile technology to deliver energy, water and sanitation services to underserved communities. The latest M4D Utilities annual report, ‘Unlocking access to utility services: The transformational value of mobile’, was published today at the GSMA Mobile 360 – Africa event being held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 26 – 28 July.

“Billions of people in emerging markets still lack access to essential utility services such as energy, clean drinking water and basic sanitation,” said Mats Granryd, GSMA Director General. “A new wave of innovative mobile technology can improve and increase access to these basic utility services, while at the same time stimulating markets, empowering small businesses and even saving lives. The mobile industry is dedicated to creating commercially sustainable partnerships that can harness these emerging technologies.”

Mobile technology can unlock new service models, such as mobile money for affordable and remote bill payments, mobile services to communicate with customers, and machine-to-machine connectivity to remotely monitor distributed services. These innovations in service delivery make essential utility services accessible, affordable and reliable for underserved communities.

The GSMA M4D Utilities programme, launched in 2013 with the support of the UK Department for International Development (DFID), has awarded grants to 34 organisations that offer mobile-enabled utility services, which have directly benefited almost 2 million people. The innovative trials funded to date have resulted in grantees raising an additional £40.5 million in private-sector investments, underlining the commercial viability of the projects. The programme has funded projects and studies in 24 global markets in total, the majority (15) in Africa. This work makes strong contributions to GSMA and the mobile industry’s support for the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals1, addressing Goal #6 (ensuring access to water and sanitation) and Goal #7 (ensuring affordable energy).

The new report examines the mobile-enabled utility sector in depth and identifies the following trends:

Mobile is unlocking rapid growth of PAYG utility services

Approximately 650,000 mobile-connected pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar home systems have been delivered worldwide, with over 30 companies operating in at least 32 countries. Mobile channels are enabling this and other prepaid/PAYG models to flourish, attracting significant investments in the energy sector and enabling business models to emerge in the water sector.

The Internet of Things is transforming utility models

The Internet of Things is already key to some off-grid energy models and connected infrastructure is set to change the landscape for centralised and decentralised utility systems, with several pilots already underway.

Challenges remain in powering telecom towers as an anchor business for community power

Off-grid energy companies, particularly micro-grid providers, may seek to anchor their businesses to powering telecom towers—a viable way to power surrounding businesses and communities. “Community Power from Mobile” models are seeing traction in some markets, but aligning the incentives of all parties remains a challenge.

Mobile-enabled water services are advancing while sanitation models are still nascent

Water and sanitation businesses have grown less rapidly than those in the energy sector, but there are signs that information about service delivery and new payment mechanisms are driving new business models and government partnerships.

Partnerships with MNOs are growing

Many service providers have partnered to leverage MNO assets such as mobile payment platforms or sales outlets to enhance their efficiency, extend their reach and offer new services. Via these partnerships, MNOs benefit from increasing uptake of mobile services and improved brand perception. Furthermore, with the growing appreciation of the opportunity, some MNOs are taking the lead in utility services.

Investment in PAYG energy is accelerating

The market opportunity for energy, especially PAYG energy, has attracted the attention of investors with nearly $295 million awarded to PAYG energy companies so far, mainly in Africa. However, levels of private capital into the water and sanitation sectors have been weaker, highlighting the continued critical role of grants in funding innovative business models, where the risk of investing in early stage enterprises remains high.

The GSMA M4D Utilities programme’s annual report, ‘Unlocking access to utility services: The transformational value of mobile’, is available to download at:

About the GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with almost 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai and the Mobile 360 Series conferences.

For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.

1 In September 2015, the UN introduced a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 17-point plan aims to end poverty, combat climate change and fight injustice and inequality. The GSMA is supporting the SDGs as part of its #betterfuture campaign.



Charlie Meredith-Hardy

+44 7917 298428

David Ntwampe Maila

+ 27 72 015 4702


GSMA Press Office


GSMA Announces Additional Commitments from Nine Operators to Reduce Mobile Gender Gap by 2020

Orange Mali, Smart Burundi, Smart Tanzania, Smart Uganda, Tigo Chad, Tigo Ghana, Tigo Senegal, Tigo Tanzania and Zantel Sign Up to Connected Women Commitment Initiative

DAR ES SAALAM, Tanzania - Tuesday, July 26th 2016 [ME NewsWire]

(BUSINESS WIRE)-- At Mobile 360 – Africa, the GSMA today announced a further nine signatories to the Connected Women Commitment Initiative, which focuses on reducing the gender gap in mobile internet and mobile money services. Orange Mali, Smart Burundi, Smart Tanzania, Smart Uganda, Tigo Chad, Tigo Ghana, Tigo Senegal, Tigo Tanzania and Zantel join with other GSMA operator members in committing to connect millions more women in low- and middle-income countries by 2020. Collectively, these operators represent more than 85 million mobile internet and mobile money customers.

These commitments build on the 15 million women already benefiting from female-focused services offered by GSMA Connected Women operator partners. Through the Connected Women Commitment Initiative, operators are working to increase the proportion of their female customers, supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

“Tackling the gender gap in mobile phone ownership is a critical topic that business leaders and governments should be encouraged to address said Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA. “GSMA research1 estimates there are 200 million fewer women than men who own a mobile phone in low- and middle-income countries, therefore missing out on key socio-economic opportunities. Ensuring digital and financial inclusion for women is essential, because when women thrive, societies and economies thrive.”

Existing and potential commitments amongst the mobile operators include, for example: increasing the number of female agents; improving the data top-up process to be safer and more appealing to women; and improving digital literacy among women through educational programmes and interactive content. Closing the gender gap in mobile phone ownership and usage in the developing world could unlock an estimated US$170 billion market opportunity for the mobile industry in the period 2015-2020.

The Connected Women Commitment Initiative was launched in February 2016, with initial commitments from operators including Dialog Axiata PLC in Sri Lanka, Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd (Digi) in Malaysia, Indosat Ooredoo in Indonesia, Ooredoo Maldives, Ooredoo Myanmar, Robi Axiata Limited in Bangladesh, Tigo Rwanda and Turkcell in Turkey. Find out more about the Connected Women Commitment Initiative at

Notes to Editors


About the GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with almost 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai and the Mobile 360 Series conferences.

For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.


For the GSMA

Charlie Meredith-Hardy

+44 7917 298428

David Ntwampe Maila

+ 27 72 015 4702


GSMA Press Office


EnergyNet Student Engagement Initiative at The Africa Energy Forum 2016

LONDON - Tuesday, July 26th 2016 [ME NewsWire]

(BUSINESS WIRE)-- This year, EnergyNet welcomed 9 students from Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Cameroon and Mozambique to the Africa Energy Forum and on to the Student Engagement Initiative. EnergyNet to date has supported 68 students, of which 38 of these students have been placed in full time employment. We look to extend the number of students we will support this year from Zambia, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, Swaziland and Lesotho.

This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here:

EnergyNet are committed to supporting students of Engineering, Law and Finance to further their ambitions of working in Africa’s burgeoning energy sector. EnergyNet work closely with their partners, Aggreko and Norton Rose Fulbright as well as their Associate Sponsors from Ministries across Africa to place students in internship opportunities and eventual full time employment dependent on performance. Each year, selected students are flown from their home country to attend the Africa Energy Forum, to participate in workshops and engage with industry leaders and Ministers at the forum.

Each year, EnergyNet awards a student from the previous year with the ‘Student of the Year Award’. To win the award, a student needs to have demonstrated an ability to challenge the sector through written reports, supporting fellow students and connecting and engaging with our sponsors and speakers and building long lasting relationships. EnergyNet are delighted to have awarded this to Kevin Gaitho. Kevin was our ESEI student in 2015 and attended the 17th Annual Africa Energy Forum in Dubai. Kevin has a real passion and desire to support the change in Kenya’s energy sector in Kenya and delivering access to electricity for all. Kevin recently set up his own business, Equatorial Energies Limited, installing solar panels in hotels and rural parts of the country.

This year, the students got to speak to Ministers of Energy who attended the Africa Energy Forum. The Ministers thoroughly enjoyed networking and speaking to the students and they outlined key tips to making it to the top and what is required to be a ‘leader for tomorrow’.

Veronica Bolton-Smith, Regional Director, EnergyNet commented on the importance of the programme ‘ESEI for us is more than just an initiative, we hope to shape the next generation of leaders in Africa, we recognise that Africa has a rapidly growing adolescent population and securing job creation will be fundamental for them in years to come’


EnergyNet Student Engagement Initiative

Veronica Bolton-Smith


GSMA Announces Tanzania Rural Connectivity Project

GSMA, Airtel, Millicom, and Vodacom Work Together to Expand Mobile Broadband Network Coverage

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania - Tuesday, July 26th 2016 [ME NewsWire]

(BUSINESS WIRE)-- At Mobile 360 – Africa, the GSMA today announced the launch of the first active infrastructure sharing initiative in East Africa between mobile network operators (MNOs) Airtel, Millicom and Vodacom. The MNOs have committed to launch six 3G pilot sites across the country to test the sustainable provision of mobile broadband services to 13 million underserved people across rural areas of Tanzania.

“This cooperation between the Tanzanian MNOs demonstrates that the industry is committed to connecting the unconnected – particularly the millions living in rural areas – and enabling them to gain access to essential internet services,” said Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA. “Digital inclusion has become a strategic priority for operators and the government alike. Building on the 17 million citizens who currently access the internet, this initiative will focus on the remaining 13 million citizens in Tanzania yet to be connected to the internet.”

The mobile telephony market in Tanzania has grown significantly and, as of the end of 2015, there were over 17 million individual mobile subscribers, accounting for 34 million connections across the country. While mobile growth in Tanzania has been substantial, large sections of society are still left out of the digital realm. Tanzania’s population of 49 million people is widely dispersed, with 69 per cent of the population living in rural regions. As population density in rural wards varies significantly, operators have so far been able to deploy their 2G networks to up to 85 per cent of the population, while 3G network deployment is mostly limited to urban areas, resulting in only 35 per cent of the population being covered and able to access the mobile internet.

The agreement is the result of a year-long collaboration between the GSMA Connected Society programme, the three local operators and the government of Tanzania. The pilots are structured around a replicable methodology to roll out mobile broadband networks, providing critical access to the unconnected, and the GSMA expects to launch similar projects in other markets over the next three years.

Granryd concluded, “To connect the unconnected, governments with large rural communities need to promote the acceleration of national broadband coverage by releasing low-frequency spectrum, incentivising commercial sharing arrangements to facilitate infrastructure roll-out in rural areas, and creating an enabling taxation environment in order to deliver the mobile internet, even in the most challenging of places.”

About the GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with almost 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai and the Mobile 360 Series conferences.

For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.



Charlie Meredith-Hardy, +44 7917 298428

David Ntwampe Maila, + 27 72 015 4702


GSMA Press Office