Ethio-Telecom partners with Huawei to launch pilot 5G services in Ethiopia

By XINHUA

Map of Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s state-owned Ethio-Telecom on Monday evening launched a pre-commercial 5G services trial in the capital Addis Ababa in partnership with Chinese telecom giant Huawei.

Ethiopia’s first 5G services, which was launched across six mobile stations in Addis Ababa, is said to be part of the Ethiopian government’s digital transformation aspirations.

“We are pleased and honored to launch the world’s advanced fifth-generation network. We are committed to seeing a digital Ethiopia, which will uplift our people’s overall living conditions,” Frehiwot Tamiru, CEO of Ethio-Telecom, said during the launching event.

Tamiru said the 5G network service, characterized by the fastest speed and low latency and massive communication capability that offers service for up to 1 million connections within 1 square km, can unlock blazing fast speeds in more places, real-time responses and massive connectivity.

Tamiru noted that Ethio-Telecom will expand its pre-commercial trial service across the capital and regional cities, reaching up to 150 sites over the coming 12 months.

With high speeds, superior reliability and negligible latency, 5G will impact industries such as critical services requiring real-time decisions, manufacturing plants, remote healthcare, precision agriculture, as well as facilitate the Internet of Things (IoT), said Tamiru.

“This 5G service will provide our customers with best-in-class solutions, improve their experience and allow our enterprise customers to boost productivity, enhance operational efficiency, and introduce new solutions to their customers,” Tamiru said.

Ethio-Telecom, which is the sole telecom services provider in Ethiopia so far, said the pre-commercial trial of the 5G service was launched after a temporary 5G Spectrum approval by the Ethiopian Communication Authority while its strategic partner Huawei technologies deployed the 5G network.

Hou Wei, Vice President of Huawei Northern Africa, said as one of Ethio-Telecom’s strategic partners, Huawei will keep focusing on cooperating with Ethiopia’s state-owned telecom service provider through the provision of state-of-the-art solutions, reliable delivery, fast response and trustable maintenance.

“Huawei has been devoting (itself) to this market for more than 20 years, and we have observed the fast development and great evolution of the telecom industry in this country,” he said.

Ethio-Telecom said the full commercialization of the 5G service is dependent on the readiness and demand from the players in the ecosystem, which includes customers’ readiness to use the service as well as the availability of 5G-enabled devices and smartphones.

The company, which is recognized as one of Africa’s oldest telecom service providers, has more than 60.8 million subscribers, with about 25 million data and Internet users.

As part of its ambition to provide modern telecom service to its users, the company partners with Chinese tech companies, mainly Huawei and ZTE.

The company said it has already expanded 3G and 4G networks throughout the East African nation effectively, achieving 97 percent telecom services coverage while densifying the network and upgrading the earlier technologies to the latest ones.

Ruins of ancient temple for Zeus unearthed in Sinai

By AP

This undated photo provided by the Egyptian Tourism and Antiquities Ministry on Monday, April 25, 2022, shows archeologists working in the ruins of a temple for Zeus-Kasios, the ancient Greek god, at the Tell el-Farma archaeological site in the northwestern corner of the Sinai Peninsula. /AP

Egyptian archaeologists unearthed the ruins of a temple for the ancient Greek god Zeus in the Sinai Peninsula, antiquities authorities said Monday.

The Tourism and Antiquities Ministry said in a statement the temple ruins were found in the Tell el-Farma archaeological site in northwestern Sinai.

Tell el-Farma, also known by its ancient name Pelusium, dates back to the late Pharaonic period and was also used during Greco-Roman and Byzantine times. There are also remains dating to the Christian and early Islamic periods.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, said archaeologists excavated the temple ruins through its entrance gate, where two huge fallen granite columns were visible. The gate was destroyed in a powerful earthquake in ancient times, he said.

Waziri said the ruins were found between the Pelusium Fort and a memorial church at the site. Archaeologists found a set of granite blocks probably used to build a staircase for worshipers to reach the temple.

This undated photo provided by the Egyptian Tourism and Antiquities Ministry on Monday, April 25, 2022, shows archeologists working in the ruins of a temple for Zeus-Kasios, the ancient Greek god, at the Tell el-Farma archaeological site in the northwestern corner of the Sinai Peninsula. (Egyptian Tourism and Antiquities Ministry via AP)

Excavations in the area date back to the early 1900s when French Egyptologist Jean Clédat found ancient Greek inscriptions that showed the existence of the Zeus-Kasios temple but he didn’t unearth it, according to the ministry.

Zeus-Kasios is a conflation of Zeus, the God of the sky in ancient Greek mythology, and Mount Kasios in Syria, where Zeus once worshipped.

Hisham Hussein, the director of Sinai archaeological sites, said inscriptions found in the area show that Roman Emperor Hadrian (117-138) renovated the temple.

He said experts will study the unearthed blocks and do a photogrammetry survey to help determine the architectural design of the temple.

The temple ruins are the latest in a series of ancient discoveries Egypt has touted in the past couple of years in the hope of attracting more tourists.

Rwanda launches center for fourth industrial revolution

By XINHUA

Robots are on display for the launch of the center for the fourth industrial revolution (C4IR) in Kigali, Rwanda, March 31, 2022. /Xinhua

Rwanda on Thursday officially launched the center for the fourth industrial revolution (C4IR).

A partnership of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the center, which was set up in 2020, intends to advance the fourth industrial revolution which the panelists defined as the “convergence of physical, digital and biological world, changing our ways of life and shaping our future driven by innovation.”

“The way we live, work and interact with each other, will keep evolving as technology does. But data governance frameworks have not kept up with the fast pace of digital transformation. I, therefore, commend the center for supporting the development of Rwanda’s personal data protection and privacy law,” said President Paul Kagame at the launch of the center.

The center has Crystal Rugege as the first managing director.

At the launch, Borge Brende, the WEF president, said “this center for the fourth industrial revolution will play an important role to meet the vision of Rwanda becoming a middle-income country by 2035.”

African leaders commit to tackle cybercrime, enhance digital safety

By XINHUA

A two-day summit of African heads of state and government on cybersecurity ended on Thursday, with the adoption of a continental declaration to improve cybersecurity and more aggressively fight against cybercrime in Africa.

Togo president, Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe, told the summit about the need for “developing synergies to fight crime in the digital ecosystem, a revolution of our time that opens remarkable opportunities for humanity,” a UNECA statement quoted Gnassingbe as saying.

He urged other African countries to ratify the African Union (AU) Convention on Cybersecurity and Personal Data Protection adopted in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea in June 2014.

Gnassingbe noted that ratifying the Malabo Convention will enhance cooperation between African Union members on the protection of personal and state data.

Vera Songwe, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the ECA, on her part stressed that each African nation creates its own National Cybersecurity Program amid the worrying nature of cybersecurity, cybercrime, and the inadequacy of a regulatory framework on cybersecurity and data protection in Africa.

“Africa offers a wealth of economic opportunities in virtually every sector,” Songwe said. She emphasized that the digital economy represents a key asset to unlock these opportunities by accelerating development outcomes through Africa’s demographic dividend.

Songwe cited the International Finance Corporation and Google statistics, in which Africa’s internet economy is expected to contribute 180 billion U.S. dollars to the continent’s overall economy by 2025, rising to 712 billion U.S. dollars by 2050.

She, however, emphasized that only 28 of the 54 African countries have data protection legislation, and six are still in the process of drafting legislation.

During the official opening of the summit, the UNECA presented the African Champion for Cybersecurity award to Gnassingbe for his commitment to reforming Togo’s legal frameworks to boost security and trust in the digital sector, it was noted,

The high-level continental summit adopted the Lome Declaration on cybersecurity and the fight against cybercrime in Africa.

According to the UNECA, the Lome Declaration is a commitment by member states sign and ratify the “Malabo Convention” and strengthen African cooperation in cybersecurity and the fight against cybercrime.

Tanzania’s nuclear energy lab nears completion

By CGTN Africa

Tanzania’s ultra-modern nuclear energy laboratory, under construction since 2017, should be complete and open by September.

Professor Lazaro Busagara, the director-general of the Tanzania Atomic Energy Commission (TAEC) says the TSh13 billion(5.5. billion U.S. dollar) facility will be used for testing and maintenance of sophisticated radiology equipment and instruments and is one of the most modern laboratories of its kind in Africa.

“It would enable Tanzania to comply with internationally agreed legal and security requirements on nuclear energy equipment”, said Busagara.

Education, Science and Technology Minister Adolf Mkenda was crucial for national development called for enhanced public sensitisation on nuclear energy.

He said the technology was not much known to the public despite its importance in food preservation, medical treatment, power generation and other sectors.

Cape Town mayor praises discovery of Ernest Shackleton’s lost ship in Antarctic

By XINHUA

In this photo issued by Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust, a view of the stern of the wreck of Endurance, polar explorer Ernest Shackleton’s ship. /Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust/National Geographic via AP

Cape Town, South Africa mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis has congratulated the crew on locating the wreck of Endurance, the renowned explorer Ernest Shackleton’s ship which sank off the Antarctic continent in 1915.

An expedition team, Endurance22 Expedition, departed from Cape Town last month on a South African polar research and logistics vessel to locate, survey and film the wreck of Endurance. It announced Wednesday that it had found the ship at a depth of 3,048 meters in the Weddell Sea in Antarctica.

The discovery will contribute to historical and scientific research of the Antarctic region, the mayor said in a statement issued later Wednesday, adding that he expected to receive the crew at the Cape Town harbor on their return from the Antarctic.

The wreck is protected as a Historic Site and Monument under the Antarctic Treaty.

Mummy of Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep I digitally unwrapped

By XINHUA

Royal mummy of Amenhotep I, the second pharaoh of the 18th dynasty at Cairo Museum, Egypt. (Photo /Getty Images)

Egyptian researchers have “digitally unwrapped” the mummy of King Amenhotep I for the first time, revealing many secrets about the pharaoh who ruled Egypt from 1525 to 1504 BC, a renowned Egyptologist said on Tuesday.

Researchers used advanced x-ray technology, computed tomography (CT) scanning and advanced computer software programs to digitally remove the wrappings on the mummy of King Amenhotep I in a safe, non-invasive method without touching the mummy, Zahi Hawass, also the former Egyptian minister of state for antiquities affairs, said in a statement.

The research team, which included Sahar Saleem, professor of radiology at Faculty of Medicine of Cairo University and experts in antiquities radiology, revealed for the first time “the face of King Amenhotep I, his age, health condition, as well as many secrets about the mummy’s unique mummification and reburial,” Hawass said.

Digital analysis showed Amenhotep I’s face resembles his father Ahmose I. The king was believed to be in good health when he died at the age of 35 since no disease or injury to the mummy appeared to indicate the cause of his death.

Unlike most of the rulers of the modern kingdoms, such as Tutankhamun and Ramses II whose brains were removed and embalming materials and resins were deposited inside the skull, the brain of King Amenhotep I was not removed during the mummification process, the statement added.

The mummy of Amenhotep I was found in 1881 in the Royal cache at Deir-el Bahri in Luxor, where the priests of the 21st dynasty reburied and hid the mummies of many previous kings and queens to protect them from the recurrent tomb theft.

It is the only royal mummy that has not been unwrapped in the modern era in order to preserve the unique beauty of it, which was covered with a funerary mask and garlands of colorful flowers.

King Amenhotep I was the son of King Ahmose I, who was conqueror of the Hyksos and founder of the New Kingdom of Ancient Egyptian Civilization.

Two 2,500-year-old tombs uncovered in upper Egypt

By XINHUA

An undated photo shows scarabs unearthed from an ancient tomb in Minya Governorate, Egypt. (Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities/Handout via Xinhua)

A Spanish archaeological mission discovered two adjacent tombs in Upper Egypt’s Minya Governorate dating back to the Saite Dynasty (664-525 BC), the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced on Sunday.

The mission from the University of Barcelona in Spain found the remains of two unknown persons with gold tongues in one of the tombs, Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities said in a statement.

Inside the tomb, he said, a coffin made of limestone with a cover in the form of a woman was found, adding that the remains of an unknown person were also found next to the coffin.

Preliminary studies on the tomb revealed that it was previously opened in ancient times, Waziri pointed out.

Meanwhile, the second tomb was completely closed and the mission opened it for the first time during the excavations.

Director of excavations of the mission, Hassan Amer, said the mission found at the second tomb a limestone coffin with a human face in a good condition of preservation, in addition to two coffins containing canopic pots.

“One of the pots contained 402 Ushabti figurines made of faience, a set of small amulets and green beads,” he added.

Egypt has witnessed several large-scale archaeological discoveries in recent years in different parts of the country, including pharaonic tombs, statues, coffins and mummies.

NASA launches spacecraft to kick an asteroid off course

By AFP

NASA is preparing to launch a mission to deliberately smash a spacecraft into an asteroid. The test will help determine whether NASA is capable of deflecting an asteroid should humanity ever need to stop a giant space rock from wiping out life on Earth.

It may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but the DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) is a real proof-of-concept experiment, blasting off at 10:21 pm Pacific Time Tuesday (0621 GMT Wednesday) aboard a SpaceX rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

Its target object: Dimorphos, a “moonlet” around 525 feet (160 meters, or two Statues of Liberty) wide, circling a much larger asteroid called Didymos (2,500 feet or 780 meters in diameter), which together orbit the Sun.

Impact should take place in the fall of 2022 when the pair of rocks are 6.8 million miles (11 million kilometers) from Earth, the nearest point they ever get.

“What we’re trying to learn is how to deflect a threat,” said NASA’s top scientist Thomas Zuburchen in a press call, of the 330 million U.S. dollar project, the first of its kind.

NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office is most interested in those larger than 460 feet (140 meters) in size, which have the potential to level entire cities or regions with many times the energy of average nuclear bombs.

There are 10,000 known near-Earth asteroids 460 feet in size or greater, but none has a significant chance to hit in the next 100 years. One major caveat: only about 40 percent of those asteroids have been found to date.

Planetary scientists can create miniature impacts in labs and use the results to create sophisticated models about how to divert an asteroid but models rely on imperfect assumptions, which is why they want to carry out a real-world test.

The DART probe, which is a box the size of a large fridge with limousine-sized solar panels on either side, will slam into Dimorphos at just over 15,000 miles an hour (24,000 kilometers per hour), causing a small change in the asteroid’s motion.

Scientists say the pair are an “ideal natural laboratory” for the test, because Earth-based telescopes can easily measure the brightness variation of the Didymos-Dimorphos system and judge the time it takes Dimorphos to orbit its big brother.

Their orbit never intersects our planet, providing a safe way to measure the effect of the impact, scheduled to occur between September 26 and October 1, 2022.

Andy Rivkin, DART investigation team lead, said that the current orbital period is 11 hours and 55 minutes, and the team expects the kick will shave around 10 minutes off Dimorphos’ orbit.

There is some uncertainty about how much energy will be transferred by the impact because the moonlet’s internal composition and porosity isn’t known.

The more debris that’s generated, the more push will be imparted on Dimorphos.

“Every time we show up at an asteroid, we find stuff we don’t expect,” said Rivkin.

The DART spacecraft also contains sophisticated instruments for navigation and imaging, including the Italian Space Agency’s Light Italian CubeSat for Imaging of Asteroids (LICIACube) to watch the crash and its after-effects.

The trajectory of Didymos could also be slightly affected, but it would not significantly alter its course or unintentionally imperil Earth, scientists say.

Archaeologists search for cradle of humanity in Botswana

By XINHUA

A team of French archaeologists and academics is in Botswana for a joint excavation mission with their Botswana counterparts at the Qchwihaba, Koanaka, and Aha caves in Okavango Delta region in the northwest of the country.

The excavation mission, headed by Laurent Bruxelles, a geo-archaeologist and researcher at the France National Center for Scientific Research, aims to find evidence of the new cradle of humanity in the southern African country.

“Dr Bruxelles has always expressed a great interest in the fascinating archaeological sites in Botswana and I extend many thanks to the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism and the Botswana Museum,” said French Ambassador to Botswana, Laurence Beau when welcoming the researchers recently.

Beau said Bruxelles has brought an interdisciplinary team of geologists, paleontologists, and archaeologists to explore the caves, adding that the mission will be an opportunity for a very promising scientific collaboration.

She also said there is no doubt that the scientific collaboration will have a significant worldwide impact by producing enough evidence in Tsodilo Hills and Okavango Delta.

“The French embassy in Botswana is honored to contribute to putting Botswana’s rich natural heritage and cultural sites in the spotlight,” she said.

Bruxelles expressed excitement about the scientific bilateral cooperation, adding that the research, which will be televised by two France television stations, will give the world the opportunity to know about the caves, thereby boosting Botswana’s tourism.

He said they will be in Botswana for three weeks to explore the caves.