Kerlink, a French-based specialist in solutions dedicated to the Internet of Things (IoT), has announced the success of a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) pilot program for reservoir monitoring in Uganda and Iraq, which incorporates Kerlink’s LoRaWAN gateway technology.

The effectiveness of the sensor-to-cloud monitoring programs in remote locations is resulting in near-term expansion to eight additional installations in Africa and Asia, and officials see a multitude of potential applications for IoT-based wireless sensor networks going forward.

The UNHCR, the UN’s refugee agency, is charged with providing water to millions of people worldwide, often with daunting logistics. The Ugandan Arua Field effort, where the pilot monitoring program was first implemented, provides daily water deliveries to as many as 470,000 refugees.

The LoRaWAN-enabled sensors installed at reservoirs starting in January 2019 enabled managers to monitor water levels in real time, providing unprecedented visibility into usage and resource management. They also provided a reliable new source of coordinated payment information for some 630 rental tanker trucks that were hauling up to 6,387 cubic meters (about 1.5 million gallons) of water daily when the emergency response began in 2015.

Data from the sensors designed by several companies travelled through an outdoor Kerlink Wirnet™ Station LoRaWAN gateway, which provided essential connectivity with cloud databases and applications. UNHCR managers integrated the data into a dashboard that provided new levels of visibility into operations of this global program.

UNHCR Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Officer Ryan Schweitzer noted that the IoT made it both easy and cost-effective to roll out a static water-level monitoring system. The agency hopes to use it globally as a “basis-of-payment‟ system for water-trucking operations, which in Uganda are as high as $15 million per month. “The LoRaWAN IoT technology is mature, extremely cost effective and scalable. The static reservoir-monitoring technology works extremely well,” he said.

Schweitzer added that the approach has broad potential for all sectors of humanitarian services, including monitoring of groundwater, water-supply systems, water quality, waste collection, and air quality. He described it as a “possible game-changer for monitoring in refugee settings,” noting that the ability to document delivery of safe, potable water to refugees at all times is a “holy grail”-type of technology for UNHCR water and hygiene efforts.

Next steps include replication of the pilot systems at other locations in Uganda and Iraq, as well as Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Bangladesh.

“This unique and vital use case underscores the humanitarian benefits that the IoT can support,” said Stéphane Dejean, Kerlink’s chief marketing officer. “Because the UNHCR sensor-to-gateway-to-platform system provides critical life support for large numbers of people, there’s a very high need for trustworthiness and reliability.”

“At the same time, the projects’ remote location and minimal staffing also demanded a true carrier-grade solution with quick, easy integration and deployment, and secure and straightforward administration,” he said. “We’re gratified by our Wirnet Station’s performance under harsh conditions, and honored to work with UNHCR – their work reflects our values and commitments towards society and the environment, and we look forward to continuing to provide expertise on the next round of projects.”

Since its introduction in 2014 as the first commercial LoRaWAN gateway, the Wirnet Station has been chosen for thousands of installations worldwide by public operators, cable operators, private businesses, and public authorities. It has set new standards for robust, reliable, high-performance operation; an upgraded successor, the Wirnet iStation, was introduced in 2019.

(Source: Kerlink)

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Ministry of Oil has announced final oil exports for January of 102,485,591 barrels, giving an average for the month of 3.306 million barrels per day (bpd), down from the 3.428 million bpd exported in December.

These exports from the oilfields in central and southern Iraq amounted to 101,062,366 barrels, while exports from Kirkuk amounted to 1,114,035 barrels. Exports to Jordan were 309,190 barrels.

Revenues for the month were $6.163 billion at an average price of $60.139 per barrel.

December export figures can be found here.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

By Joe Snell for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News

New solar park to ease Iraqi governorate’s power shortage

No one batted an eye when the power abruptly cut off in English teacher Miriam Zia’s 11th-grade classroom at the Sardam International School in Duhok.

The cuts occur at least twice a day and are now “part of the fabric of our society,” Zia told Al-Monitor.

To combat growing electricity concerns in the district, the Iraqi governorate of Duhok signed an agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) earlier this month to set up the district’s first solar energy park.

The project comes amid pressure on Iraq to diversify its energy sources and lessen its dependence on Iran.

Click here to read the full story.

 

By John Hannah, for Foreign Policy. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq Needs Regime Change Again

The United States faces an increasingly urgent set of first-order policy questions in Iraq.

Spoiler alert: The answer is not Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi, Iraq’s newly designated prime minister. A popular uprising might be.

Click here to read the full story.

From Middle East Monitor, under a Creative Commons licence. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq’s official anti-corruption agency stated in its latest annual report that it restored 2.84 trillion Iraqi dinars ($2.38 billion) to the Treasury in 2019.

The Federal Commission of Integrity added that it has utilised its relationships with other state watchdogs, and that it created a national strategy for fighting corruption in collaboration with the Federal Board of Supreme Audit.

According to the report, the commission examined and was involved in 26,163 notices and court cases in 2019, with 10,143 persons accused of corruption. Those included 50 officials who were government ministers or holding equivalent positions.

There were 931 court rulings in which 1,231 defendants were convicted of corruption. They included four ministers or officials at the same level.

(Source: Middle East Monitor)

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq is setting up quarantine areas aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus from across the border with Iran.

Neighbouring Iran has reported its sixth death from the disease.

There are fears that hundreds of thousands of Iranian visitors to holy sites in Iraq could spread the virus.

Al Jazeera‘s Rob Matheson reports from the Iraqi capital Baghdad:

GardaWorld, a global leader in comprehensive security and risk management, has made its weekly security report available to Iraq Business News readers.

Prepared by GardaWorld’s Risk Analysis Team in Iraq, this essential report includes short- and medium-term outlooks on the security situation, reports and commentary on recent significant events, and a detailed overview of developments across the country.

Please click here to download the latest report free of charge.

For more information on how GardaWorld’s services can support your business in Iraq, please contact Daniel Matthews, Senior Director Iraq, at daniel.matthews@garda.com

A group of organizations supporting start-ups in Iraq have joined forces to create the Iraqi Innovation Alliance (IIA).

The initiative, which includes Fikra Space, Kapita, The Station, 51Labs, Basra Science Camp, and Re:Coded, aims to empower and support technology and entrepreneurship communities around the country.

The process to create its brand identity was led by CrazyTown X Solo Creative Studio, which worked together with the alliance members to present an identity that interprets the values of the alliance and its core functions.

(Source: IIA)

Advertising Feature

Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 20th February 2020).

Please click here to download a table of listed companies and their associated ticker codes.

The RSISX index ended the week at IQD597 (+1.5%) / $637 (+1.9%) (weekly change) (-9.5% and -9.1% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 6.0 bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD4.4 bn ($3.6 mn).

ISX Company Announcements

  • Asiacell (TASC) reported revenue growth of 3% to QAR 4.6 bn (around $1.3 bn) in 2019, despite a flat customer base of 14.2 mn customers. The company maintained a healthy EBITDA margin of 45% in 2019 while EBITDA declined slightly from QAR 2.1 bn (around $575 mn) in 2018 to QAR 2.0 bn (around $548 mn) in 2019. Asiacell upgraded its entire network to support 3G, achieving the widest 3G coverage in the country in 2019. According to Ooredoo, Asiacell restored service to liberated regions and further expanded to the south of the country. (Ooredoo, Iraq Business News)
  • Mobile telecommunications company Zain has reported that its Iraqi revenue was stable at $1.1 bn in 2019, despite a competitive landscape and economic and political issues in Zain stronghold regions. Announcing its results for 2019, the company said: “Zain Iraq’s (TZNI) EBITDA grew strongly by 10% y/y amounting to $465 mn (43% EBITDA margin) based on the operational transformation program. Accordingly, the operation reported a net profit of $63 mn for 2019, up 28% y/y. Zain Iraq’s focus on customer experience, services expansion across the country and cost transformation combined with growth of data and digital revenue were key drivers of its performance.” It was mentioned that retention and customer loyalty initiatives also resulted in the company serving 15.7 mn customers. (Zain, Iraq Business News)
  • ISX suspend trading of Gulf Insurance and Reinsurance (NGIR) starting Feb. 18, 2020 due to the AGM that will be held on Feb. 23, 2020 to discuss and approve 2018 annual financial statements.
  • The CBI has approved for Al-Manafaa for Money Transfer (MTMA) to turn from a money transfer company into an (A) class exchange company. The company suspended from trading starting Feb. 17, 2020.
  • Credit Bank of Iraq (BROI) resumed trading on Feb. 17, 2020 after electing 9 original and 9 alternative board members.
  • Karbala Hotels (HKAR) resumed trading on Feb. 16, 2020 since the AGM has not been approved. The company has been requested to set a new AGM date.
  • International Islamic Bank (BINT) resumed trading on Feb. 16, 2020 after its GA held on Feb. 2, 2020. The company will be monitored in regards to the merge and the capital increase procedures.
  • Cross transaction: 2.8 bn shares of Trans Iraq Bank for Investment (BTRI) on Feb. 16, 2020, which represents 1.1% of BTRI’s capital.

By John Lee.

The Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) has reported that it has achieved a “robust growth” in revenues and in key financial areas during 2019, for another consecutive year with its consistent performance, preliminary report released by the bank for the financial year during 31/12/2019.

In a statement, the bank said it posted a net profit of USD 556 million in 2019, an increase of 68% from 2018, on revenues of USD 673 million, which grew by 12% over the previous year.

It continued:

Financial unaudited statements for the year ending 31st December 2019 reveal enhanced financial strength of TBI as a consequence of incessant improvements throughout the year in key sectors, including gross revenue and total assets.

“The total assets of TBI grew to USD 29 billion in 2019 thereby recording an increase of 27% As a preliminary comparison to 2018.

“Primary results the resilient earnings and improved asset base have earned TBI multiple awards at the recently held The Banker Awards 2019 in London.

“The bank granted loans during 2019 to the tune of USD 434 million, the 2019 bank’s efforts made to lift the Iraqi economy and social development during the year through loans aggregating USD 1.9 billion for various Iraqi governmental and public sector projects in energy, industrial, agricultural and commercial sectors, assisting them in achieving further growth of the Iraqi economy

“TBI is currently working on expanding its network domestically & Internationally to diversify the sources of revenue from retail banking in Iraq to international operations in order to achieve a 30% compounded annual growth rate envisaged in the bank’s business plan for 2020-23.

“The bank opened its first branch outside Iraq last year in Riyadh, KSA and plans to upgrade its representative office in Abu Dhabi Global Market to enable it to conduct investment management and advisory activities.

Faisal Al Haimus, Chairman & President of Trade Bank of Iraq, said:

Last year has been a good period for TBI and we have continued to support businesses and financial institutions to facilitate growth and expansion across many sectors.

“We have achieved this success through prudent risk management and our aggressive technology-supported expansion strategy.

“We will continue to thrust our technology-driven customer service initiatives in order to ensure more efficient and diverse services to our customers, reduce costs, and improve productivity.

“As part of our strategic plan, we are aiming for bigger retail and international business to achieve a growth rate of 30% of our total revenues, year on year basis, in the next three years through new technology-driven, need-based product offerings and international expansion.

“As TBI moves forward with its 2020-23 strategic plan that will take the bank higher, it will continue to play a pivotal and influential role in Iraq’s ongoing recovery.

(Source: TBI)