Posted by: africanpressorganization | 22 May 2015

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Burundi


 

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Burundi

 

NEW YORK, May 22, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Secretary-General is encouraged by the ongoing political dialogue in Bujumbura. This involves representatives of civil society, political parties, religious organizations and the Government with the facilitation of Special Envoy Said Djinnit and representatives of the African Union, the East African Community, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region.

 

The Secretary-General applauds the participants for the progress achieved so far in the discussions, especially on measures to reduce tensions and create propitious conditions for free, fair, inclusive and peaceful elections. He is concerned, however, about the ongoing humanitarian crisis involving refugees. He expresses appreciation to the neighbouring countries for their hospitality to the refugees and urges the Government of Burundi to create conditions for their return.

 

The Secretary-General encourages the stakeholders to pursue the ongoing dialogue with a view to reaching a comprehensive agreement on all the issues they have identified. He reiterates the availability of the United Nations to accompany the people of Burundi and the region during this process.

 

SOURCE 

United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson of the Secretary-General


 

La MINUSMA lance une enquête sur des violations graves des droits de l’Homme à Tin-Hamma

 

BAMAKO, Mali, 22 mai 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ La MINUSMA a reçu des rapports inquiétants faisant état de violations graves des droits de l’Homme et du Droit international humanitaire, dont l’exécution hier d’un certain nombre de civils parmi lesquels pourrait se trouver un travailleur d’une organisation non gouvernementale internationale , dans le village de Tin-Hamma, dans la région de Gao.

 

Ces exactions feraient suite aux affrontements qui ont opposé le 20 mai des membres de la Plateforme et de la Coordination des Mouvements de l’Azawad (CMA).

 

Conformément à son mandat, la MINUSMA déploie ce jour même une équipe d’enquête sur le terrain pour rapidement établir les faits.

En attendant les résultats de cette enquête, la MINUSMA souligne que si les informations rapportées sont avérées, ces actes constitueraient des crimes graves dont les responsables devront rendre compte devant la justice.

 

La MINUSMA exprime sa plus vive inquiétude devant l’escalade alarmante des confrontations armées dans plusieurs localités du nord du Mali et condamne une fois de plus les violations flagrantes et continues du cessez-le-feu qui mettent en péril le processus de paix et dont les premières victimes sont les populations civiles.

 

Ces confrontations ne cessent d’entraîner des déplacements significatifs de populations civiles qui aggravent la situation humanitaire au Mali.

La MINUSMA déplore également que ces violences réduisent grandement l’espace humanitaire, déjà limité, et affectent négativement l’accès et la distribution de l’aide humanitaire destinée aux populations vulnérables, notamment les femmes et les enfants, qui ont un besoin urgent d’assistance.

 

La MINUSMA, rappelle aux parties prenantes qu’en vertu de la Résolution 2164 du Conseil de Sécurité, elles doivent se conformer aux obligations que leur impose le droit international humanitaire: respecter et protéger le personnel, les installations et les secours humanitaires, faciliter le libre passage des acteurs humanitaires afin que l’aide puisse être apportée à tous ceux qui en ont besoin, tout en respectant les principes directeurs des Nations Unies concernant l’aide humanitaire et le droit international applicable.

 

SOURCE 

NATIONS UNIES


 

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 22 May 2015

Déplacement d’Annick Girardin à Bruxelles – 26 mai 2015


 

Déplacement d’Annick Girardin à Bruxelles – 26 mai 2015

 

PARIS, France, 22 mai 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ Communiqué technique

Mme Annick GIRARDIN, secrétaire d’État chargée du Développement et de la Francophonie, se rendra à Bruxelles mardi 26 mai à l’occasion de la Conférence Internationale sur la République Centrafricaine, et de la réunion du Conseil des Ministres des affaires étrangères européens sur le développement

 

La secrétaire d’Etat chargée du Développement et de la Francophonie, Mme Annick Girardin, se rend mardi 27 mai à Bruxelles pour participer à la Conférence Internationale sur la République Centrafricaine, en présence de Mme Catherine Samba-Panza, Présidente de Transition de la République centrafricaine, de Mme Federica Mogherini, Haut Représentant de l’Union pour les affaires étrangères et la politique de sécurité, de M. Neven Mimica, Commissaire européen chargé de la Coopération internationale et du développement, de M. Christos Stylianides, Commissaire européen responsable de l’aide Humanitaire et de la gestion des crises, et des ministres allemand et hollandais du développement.

 

Cette rencontre sera l’occasion de faire le point sur les avancées et les perspectives dans la reconstruction de la Centrafrique, notamment à travers l’apport de « Bêkou », un fonds européen inédit et innovant qui met en commun les efforts de solidarité des pays membres pour le développement de la République Centrafricaine. Cette conférence permettra également d’encourager la nécessaire mobilisation des pays membres pour aider la Centrafrique à clore son processus de transition et à pérenniser pour les centrafricains l’accès aux services sociaux et administratifs.

 

Mardi après-midi, Annick Girardin représentera la France au Conseil des ministres des affaires étrangères européens dédié au développement, qui portera sur le financement du développement, l’agenda post 2015, l’égalité homme-femme, les migrations ainsi que le lien entre sécurité et développement. La secrétaire d’Etat participera le soir à un diner avec le secrétaire Général des Nations Unies, M. Ban Ki Moon, pour préparer les rendez-vous majeurs de l’année 2015: le financement du développement, les objectifs de développement durable et la lutte contre le dérèglement du climat.

 

Programme :

 

9H00 : Ouverture de la Conférence Internationale sur la République Centrafricaine « De l’humanitaire à la résilience et l’apport du Fonds fiduciaire « Bêkou », Centre Borschette, Bruxelles

10H00 : Allocution d’Annick Girardin

12H00 : Echanges avec la presse

 

15H00 : Réunion du Conseil des ministres des affaires étrangères européens dédié au développement

19H30 : Dîner de travail présidé par M. Ban Ki-Moon

 

SOURCE 

France – Ministry of Foreign Affairs


 

Déclaration du ministre Nicholson à propos du traitement brutal que Boko Haram inflige aux femmes

 

OTTAWA, Canada, 22 mai 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ L’honorable Rob Nicholson, C.P., c.r., député fédéral de Niagara Falls et ministre des Affaires étrangères, a fait aujourd’hui la déclaration suivante :

« Le Canada exprime son indignation à la suite des reportages en provenance du Nigéria qui signalent la brutalité avec laquelle le groupe terroriste Boko Haram traite les femmes et les jeunes filles. Les enlèvements collectifs, les viols, l’esclavage sexuel et la fécondation forcée perpétrés à cette échelle sont des violations choquantes du droit international. Elles peuvent être considérées comme des crimes de guerre et des crimes contre l’humanité. Un grand nombre de ces femmes et de ces jeunes filles seraient devenues séropositives à la suite de ces traitements barbares.

« Nous demandons aux autorités nigérianes de veiller à la sécurité des femmes et des jeunes filles qui ont échappé à ces horreurs et de venir en aide à celles qui vivent encore la terreur de la captivité sous l’emprise de Boko Haram.

« Les Canadiens se joignent à moi pour exprimer leur soutien envers ces femmes et ces jeunes filles, et pour exhorter les forces nigérianes et celles des pays voisins à continuer de combattre pour rétablir la paix et la stabilité dans le nord-est du Nigéria. »

Le Canada a placé Boko Haram sur la liste des organisations terroristes en décembre 2013.

 

SOURCE 

Canada – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 22 May 2015

Statement by Minister Nicholson on Brutal Treatment of Women by Boko Haram


 

Statement by Minister Nicholson on Brutal Treatment of Women by Boko Haram

 

OTTAWA, Canada, May 22, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement:

“Canada is outraged at reports from Nigeria regarding the brutal treatment of women and girls by the terrorist group Boko Haram. Mass kidnapping, rape, sexual slavery and forced impregnation of this scale are shocking violations of international law. They can be considered war crimes and crimes against humanity. Many of these women and girls are HIV-positive, reportedly as a result of this barbaric treatment.

“We call upon the Nigerian authorities to ensure the safety of the women and girls who have escaped these horrors, and to provide assistance to the women and girls still facing the terror of captivity by Boko Haram.

“Canadians join me in expressing their support for these women and girls, and in urging Nigerian forces and those of neighbouring countries to continue their fight to restore peace and stability in northeastern Nigeria.”

Canada listed Boko Haram as a terrorist entity in December 2013.

 

SOURCE 

Canada – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 22 May 2015

FCO Minister visit to Tunisia


 

FCO Minister visit to Tunisia

 

LONDON, United-Kingdom, May 22, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — UK Minister for the Middle East and North Africa Tobias Ellwood visits Tunisia, welcoming progress and reiterating continued UK support placeholder Foreign Office Minister for the Middle East and North Africa said:

 

I was delighted to make my first visit to Tunisia.

 

In my discussions with Tunisian Ministers and political leaders I conveyed my warm congratulations on the completion of the democratic transition.

 

I welcomed the strength of the UK-Tunisia relationship and desire to deepen this. I reiterated the UK’s support during this crucial period. The UK is delivering practical support bilaterally and through international fora to support economic reform and the political transition. We have also deepened our security cooperation to support a stable and prosperous environment for the Tunisian people to enjoy greater freedoms.

 

I hope to return to Tunisia in the coming months.

 

SOURCE 

United Kingdom – Ministry of Foreign Affairs


 

South Sudan: Escalation of fighting worsening already intolerable suffering of civilians – Zeid

 

GENEVA, Switzerland, May 22, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Friday warned that the escalation of fighting in recent weeks between Government and opposition forces in South Sudan has resulted in alarming gross violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law and taken a terrible toll on civilians.

 

“For more than 17 months, women, men and children have been senselessly suffering through an entirely man-made catastrophe, living in the most inhumane conditions. More than two million people have been robbed of their homes, their livelihoods, their security, having lost family members to death and forced recruitment,” the High Commissioner said.

 

“And now, over the past few weeks, the opposing parties have actually managed to make a terrible situation much, much worse.”

 

“Up to 10,000 more people have joined an estimated 60,000 internally displaced people in the UN’s Protection of Civilian sites in Bentiu, in Unity State, in recent weeks, many trekking on foot over long distances in very treacherous conditions, with the constant threat of being waylaid and attacked by armed groups. Another 1,600 internally displaced people are seeking protection at the ill-equipped and vulnerable UN base in Melut in Upper Nile State. Seven were already killed when shells landed inside the compound.”

 

“These people have been living in terrible conditions and I shudder to imagine how much more the humanitarian situation can worsen with the onset of the rainy season. The unrelenting, indefensible conflict in South Sudan should enrage the conscience of each and every one of us in the international community,” Zeid said.

 

There have been alarming reports of gross violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law since the escalation of fighting on 29 April, including killings, rapes, abduction and the burning and destruction of towns and villages in various counties of Unity State. There has been heavy fighting around the town of Melut and the main oilfields of Paloch, and there are fears of a further, damaging escalation in the conflict.

 

Zeid said UN human rights monitors have been denied access by the SPLA to various sites in Unity State where they have sought to verify allegations of human rights violations and abuses. He urged the authorities to allow such access.

 

The High Commissioner noted that successive commitments to end the hostilities have failed to be implemented and there has been a “shameful lack of justice and accountability for victims of such gross violations in South Sudan.”

 

“Such persistent impunity has left many with unresolved grievances that are easily mobilised for renewed violence and revenge attacks,” the High Commissioner warned. “The fight against such impunity must be a priority if any peace in South Sudan is to hold.”

 

The High Commissioner warned the parties to the conflict that they must take all feasible measures to prevent harm to civilian lives and infrastructure, including the personnel and premises of the United Nations and humanitarian agencies.

 

SOURCE 

United Nations – Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)


 

République centrafricaine – Développement – Déplacement à Bruxelles de Mme Annick Girardin (26 mai 2015)

 

PARIS, France, 22 mai 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ Mme Annick Girardin, secrétaire d’État chargée du développement et de la Francophonie, participera le 26 mai à Bruxelles à une conférence internationale sur la République centrafricaine en présence de Mme Catherine Samba-Panza, présidente de la République centrafricaine.

 

Cette rencontre permettra de faire le point sur la reconstruction du pays et l’apport de “Bêkou”, fonds européen innovant qui met en commun les efforts des Etats membres. L’enjeu de cette réunion est de poursuivre la mobilisation pour aider la Centrafrique à mener à son terme sa transition et à faciliter l’accès de tous aux services sociaux et administratifs.

 

Mme Annick Girardin participera également au conseil des ministres européens chargés du développement, qui portera sur le financement du développement, l’agenda post-2015, l’égalité homme-femme, les migrations ainsi que le lien entre sécurité et développement. Elle participera à un dîner de travail avec le secrétaire général des Nations unies, M. Ban Ki-moon, pour préparer les rendez-vous de l’année 2015 : conférence internationale sur le financement du développement en juillet, sommet spécial sur le développement durable en septembre et conférence “Paris Climat 2015″ en fin d’année.

 

SOURCE 

France – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 22 May 2015

Over 20,000 Migrants and Refugees Arrive in Horn of Africa from Yemen


 

Over 20,000 Migrants and Refugees Arrive in Horn of Africa from Yemen

 

GENEVA, Switzerland, May 22, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Conflict and a complex humanitarian emergency has forced some 20,000 vulnerable people to flee from Yemen to the Horn of Africa over the past two months. They include refugees from Somalia, migrant workers from third countries and Yemeni civilians.

 

No commercial flight has landed in or departed from Yemen since 26 March 2015, stranding thousands of people. Internal movement in Yemen is also difficult due to fuel shortages and checkpoints, reducing the options open to most vulnerable people stranded in the country.

 

During the five-day humanitarian pause between 12-17 May 2015, there was a flurry of activity as humanitarian agencies re-supplied their operations by boat and air. At the same time hundreds of people left the country by boat crossing the Red Sea to Djibouti and the Gulf of Aden to Somalia.

 

Many headed for Djibouti, given its close geographical proximity and historical ties with Yemen. Djibouti’s government has maintained an open door policy and almost 13,000 people have arrived in the country since March, primarily through the remote port of Obock and the capital, Djibouti City.

 

Of these, 13 per cent are Djibouti nationals returning home, 42 per cent are Yemenis, and 45 per cent are third country nationals (TCNs) en route to their country of origin.

 

“Our main challenge in Djibouti is accommodation at the Migration Response Center and in Djibouti City. The transit accommodation capacity at the Center in Obock is overstretched and all the hotels are full,” says IOM Djibouti Migration Officer Rosalinda Cottone.

 

“We are working as quickly as we can to assist migrants from Ethiopia and other countries to return home in order to free up space for new arrivals from Yemen,” she adds.

 

“TCNs also face challenges of onward transportation, issuance of travel documents and transit accommodation, given the extremely limited supply. But IOM is doing everything it can to help,” she notes.

 

Options for Yemeni nationals arriving in Djibouti are even more limited. They are expected to stay in a newly established refugee camp in Obock while they wait for refugee status determination.

 

In Somalia, over 7,000 migrants and refugees have arrived from Yemen through various ports in Somaliland and Puntland. Over 5,000 arrived at the port of Bosasso and 2,000 at Berbera port. Of these, 90 per cent are Somali nationals. The others are TCNs, mainly from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Syria and the USA. IOM is working closely with the government, embassies and UN partners to respond to the influx.

 

“For many Ethiopians arriving in Somaliland, it can take up to one week or more for them to be issued with travel documents. During this time they n eed to be supported with food and accommodation. We are trying to speed up this process to help the Ethiopians, in particular,” says IOM Somaliland Operations Assistant Dayib Askar.

 

SOURCE 

International Office of Migration (IOM)

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 22 May 2015

Malawians Displaced by Floods Willing to Return Home


 

Malawians Displaced by Floods Willing to Return Home

 

GENEVA, Switzerland, May 22, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — This week the latest round of IOM’s Malawi Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) report showed 107,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in 131 open displacement sites across six districts.

 

The site assessments were performed in Nsanje, Chikwawa, Zomba, Phalombe, Mulanje and Blantyre – the districts worst affected by the flooding which occurred in January.

 

Published on May 20, in collaboration with the Malawian Department of Disaster Management Affairs, the report indicates that despite the difficulties facing IDPs, 71 per cent of them intend to return to their places of origin to rebuild their lives.

 

One of the main factors preventing IDPs from returning is the lack of shelter, since their homes were damaged by the floods. They also lost their livelihoods.

 

“We are working to provide emergency housing and non-food relief items to displaced persons, but broader return, relocation and reconstruction needs must be addressed in a comprehensive and inclusive manner,” said Stephane Trocher, IOM Malawi Chief of Mission.

 

“The focus on recovery and transition is the best way to address the ongoing displacement in these six districts,” he added.

 

Following the flooding, the emergency response was initially hampered by a lack of coordinated information on displacement. In response, IOM stepped in to provide the DTM, an information tool designed to help humanitarian agencies to identify and respond to the needs of the displaced.

 

“DTM has not only been helpful to the humanitarian actors in addressing the emergency and protection needs of affected populations, but it has also helped the most vulnerable beneficiaries receive assistance at various displacement sites,” said IOM project officer Brenda Chimenya.

 

IOM is carrying out DTM assessments in partnership with Save the Children, Sustainable Rural Community Development and All Hands Volunteers. The DTM is funded by the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), the One UN Fund and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).

 

SOURCE 

International Office of Migration (IOM)

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 22 May 2015

Nigeria Adopts National Migration Policy


 

Nigeria Adopts National Migration Policy

 

GENEVA, Switzerland, May 22, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Government of Nigeria has formally adopted a National Policy on Migration and its Implementation Plan, with support from IOM and the European Union (EU).

 

Within the framework of the National 10th European Development Fund project: “Promoting Better Management of Migration in Nigeria,” IOM has supported Nigeria’s Technical Working Group (TWG) on Migration and Development throughout the development of the policy and been a strong advocate for its adoption.

 

The TWG is made up of ministries, departments and agencies, non-state actors, social partners, academia and development partners working on issues related to migration. It is chaired by the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI).

 

The policy and its implementation plan provide an appropriate legal framework for monitoring and regulating internal and international migration, and proper collection and dissemination of migration data.

 

The policy also addresses issues related to diaspora mobilization, border management, decent treatment of migrants, internally displaced persons, asylum seekers and the role of civil society in migration management, in order to ensure a more efficient management of migration in Nigeria.

 

“As a technical partner for the elaboration and adoption of the migration policy, IOM congratulates the Government of Nigeria on this important achievement. We also take this opportunity to also thank the European Union for it generous support to the process. IOM encourages the government to establish sound mechanisms to ensure that there is smooth implementation of the policy. We remain committed to providing technical assistance towards its implementation,” said IOM Nigeria Chief of Mission Enira Krdzalic.

 

In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the strong links between migration and national development, as migration can be beneficial to both sending and receiving countries. For Nigeria, a major country of origin, transit and destination in terms of global migration, the potential development benefits could be immense.

 

SOURCE 

International Office of Migration (IOM)


 

Foreign Minister Steinmeier on Germany’s continued participation in the EU mission Atalanta

 

BERLIN, Germany, May 22, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement in Berlin on 21 May on the decision that German armed forces are to continue to be involved in the EU mission Atalanta in the Horn of Africa:

I am delighted that the German Bundestag has voted by a large majority to continue Germany’s participation in Operation Atalanta.

 

Atalanta is a success story. Thanks to this European mission, no more ships have fallen into the hands of pirates in the Horn of Africa in the last three years.

 

Also in Somalia, there are finally first signs that the situation is stabilising, even though the country still has a long and difficult path ahead and the dangers posed by Islamist terror have not yet passed. Germany and the international community are doing their utmost to support work to rebuild fundamental political structures and achieve social reconciliation and economic development in the country.

 

The international involvement in Somalia demonstrates what can be achieved when we work together and closely coordinate our efforts.

Background information:

On 21 May, the German Bundestag approved a decision by the Cabinet that German armed forces will continue to participate in the EU mission Atalanta in the Horn of Africa. The mission was launched in 2008 and aims to protect international commercial shipping in the Horn of Africa and fight piracy. Some 179 ships of the World Food Programme (WFP) carrying deliveries of humanitarian aid for the Somali population have been safely guided to Mogadishu since the mission began.

 

SOURCE 

Germany – Ministry of Foreign Affairs


 

AGGRAVATION DU CONFLIT AU SOUDAN DU SUD : LA SITUATION HUMANITAIRE EST ALARMANTE

 

GENEVE, Suisse, 22 mai 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ La recrudescence des combats au Soudan du Sud expose les civils à une violence généralisée et restreint sévèrement le fonctionnement de l’aide humanitaire dont la population a pourtant désespérément besoin, déclare aujourd’hui l’organisation médicale humanitaire Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). L’augmentation des violences dans les Etats d’Unité, du Jonglei et du Haut Nile a entrainé la suspension et la destruction de services et de structures de santé ainsi que l’évacuation de personnels médicaux dans les zones affectées.

« L’aggravation de la situation dans les zones de conflit expose les populations aux violences et leur empêche d’avoir accès aux soins médicaux et à l’assistance humanitaire dont ils ont besoin » déclare Paul Critchley, chef de mission pour MSF au Soudan du Sud. « Toutes les parties au conflit doivent respecter les civils et les structures de santé afin d’éviter davantage de souffrance inutiles ».

Dans l’Etat du Haut Nile, MSF fournit une assistance médicale vitale aux personnes blessées par les combats à Melut, alors que le fret aérien et les équipes médicales ne peuvent plus être envoyés sur place. L’insécurité actuelle empêche les avions de se poser et a forcé, au cours des derniers jours, des centaines de personnes à trouver refuge dans le site de « protection des civils » des Nations Unies. A moins que la sécurité du personnel et du matériel médical soit garantie pendant leur transport, MSF risque de ne plus pouvoir fournir des soins à ceux qui en ont désespérément besoin.

A Malakal, MSF prend en charge des personnes qui ont été blessées par les récents combats. La semaine dernière, les affrontements dans la zone ont cependant empêché d’apporter de soins médicaux aux 30 000 personnes vivant dans le site de « protection des civils » des Nations Unies, alors même qu’il enregistrait un afflux important de nouvelles arrivées. La situation extrêmement volatile empêche toujours les équipes MSF d’entrer dans la ville elle-même, où la plupart des combats ont eu lieu.

Dans l’Etat du Jonglei, la ville de Phom El-Zeraf (New Fangak) était sur la ligne de front ces derniers mois. Mardi 19 mai, au cours d’une visite dans la zone, une équipe MSF a pu constater que la ville avait été détruite, les arbres et les maisons brulés, les écoles démolies. L’hôpital de la ville, l’une des structures de santé principales dans le nord de l’Etat du Jonglei, a été complètement détruit. Cette destruction impacte grandement la population de la zone, qui n’a que peu d’alternative pour bénéficier de soins de santé.

Dans l’Etat d’Unité, MSF a été forcé d’évacuer son hôpital dans la ville de Leer le 9 mai 2015 alors que la ligne de front se rapprochait, privant environ 200 000 personnes d’accès aux soins de santé. MSF a pu entrer en contact avec l’un de ses employés sud-soudanais qui a expliqué qu’il s’était réfugié avec d’autres sur une île dans un marécage pour se mettre à l’abri des échanges de tir.

« Une grenade propulsée a atterrie dans l’eau près de lui, mais heureusement elle n’a pas explosé. Il est resté neuf heures dans l’eau. Lorsqu’il a enfin pu sortir de l’eau, il a rapporté les corps de deux jeunes enfants à leurs parents. Il dit qu’une femme a été enlevée et que ce sont les autres personnes du groupe qui s’occupent de son bébé », raconte Paul Critchley.

A Bentiu et dans les zones environnantes, les combats et l’insécurité de ces dernières semaines ont forcé MSF à suspendre plusieurs cliniques mobiles. Dans l’une de ces zones, à Nhialdiu, MSF dispensait des soins de santé gratuits à plusieurs centaines de personnes chaque jour. MSF continue de faire fonctionner un hôpital à l’intérieur du site de « protection des civils » de Bentiu qui a vu dernièrement plus de 11 000 nouvelles arrivées, principalement des femmes et des enfants. Beaucoup ont rapporté aux équipes MSF le témoignage horrible des violences auxquelles ils ont échappées : des villages entiers brulés, des familles séparées, des attaques, des gens tués ou obligés de laisser derrière eux les blessés pour fuir, des violences sexuelles a l’égard de femmes et des enfants. MSF a pris en charge une femme enceinte avec une blessure grave à la jambe due à un éclat d’obus. Pendant neuf jours, elle n’avait pu obtenir une quelconque assistance médicale.

Ceux qui ont réussi à rejoindre l’un des sites de « protection des civils » ne sont pas épargnés par les violences. A plusieurs reprises, des personnes abritées à l’intérieur de ces sites ont été blessées par des obus ou des balles perdues à cause des bombardements et des échanges de tirs réguliers à proximité. En mars, MSF a pris en charge un garçon de neuf ans qui avait été blessé pendant son sommeil par une balle perdue tirée depuis l’extérieur du site. Les tensions intercommunautaires sont aussi en augmentation. L’hôpital de MSF à Bentiu a traité trois fois plus de cas de blessures liées aux violences : près de 150 patients pris en charge en avril contre 50 par mois environ l’année dernière. L’arrivée de la saison des pluies et les conditions de surpeuplement exacerbées par l’afflux de nouveaux arrivés dans plusieurs de ces sites est aussi une cause de préoccupation.

MSF est l’un des plus importants acteurs humanitaire et médical au Soudan du Sud avec plus de 3 500 employés dans le pays, et mène des projets en Ethiopie et en Ouganda pour venir en aide aux réfugiés. A l’heure actuelle, MSF gère des projets dans six des dix Etats du Soudan du Sud, notamment dans les Etats d’Unité, du Jonglei et du Haut Nile où le conflit a un impact particulièrement dévastateur sur la population. MSF gère également des activités dans la région administrative d’Abyei. Les équipes MSF répondent à différents besoins en matière de santé, allant de la chirurgie à la vaccination en passant par les soins obstétriques, la lutte contre le paludisme, le traitement du Kala-Azar ou de la malnutrition.

MSF appelle toutes les parties prenantes au conflit à respecter les installations médicales, et a permettre aux organisations humanitaires d’accéder aux communautés touchées et de permettre aux patients de recevoir un traitement médical quelque soit leur origine ou leur appartenance ethnique.

Cette année, MSF a effectué :

•    167 207 consultations ambulatoires, dont 62 269 pour des enfants de moins de 5 ans

•    10 367 patients ont été hospitalisés, dont 5 123 enfants de moins de 5 ans

•    5 096 actes chirurgicaux

•    3 587 accouchements

•    1 102 patients sont sous traitement contre le Kala-Azar

•    6 243 enfants malnutris ont été pris en charge, dont 1 102 en hospitalisation

 

SOURCE 

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)


SimbaPay launches free UK to Nigeria money transfers

Nigerians living in the UK can send money to any bank account or mobile phone in Nigeria instantly

ABUJA, Nigeria, May 22, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ SimbaPay (http://www.simbapay.com) – a leading digital money transfer provider – today announced the launch of its money transfer service to Nigeria. Using the SimbaPay app or website, Nigerians living in the UK can send money to any bank account or mobile phone in Nigeria instantly. SimbaPay charges zero fees for money transfers to Nigeria.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/simbapay.png

“We’re excited by the launch into Africa’s largest economy” said Nyasinga Onyancha, CEO for SimbaPay. “It’s awesome to be eliminitating high money transfer fees for Nigerians in the UK who are sending money to their loved ones”.

Nigerians living in the UK with a bank account, debit card or credit card will be able to use the SimbaPay app from any mobile phone, tablet or computer. Transfers made using SimbaPay are credited within seconds to recipients’ bank accounts or mobile money wallets eliminating the inconvenience of queues and old school paperwork. The service will gradually be rolled out to Nigerians living in other EU countries.

SimbaPay provides daily locked-in exchange rates for the Nigeria Naira (NGN). The SimbaPay app can be downloaded for free from the Apple or Android app stores.

Visit www.simbapay.com/default_ng for more information.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of SimbaPay.

To learn more about this announcement, please contact:

SimbaPay:

Alex Maganga

Email: alex@SimbaPay.com

info@SimbaPay.com

Tel: +44 (0)20 3137 8517

Address: Google Campus , 4-5 Bonhill Street, London, EC2A 4BX

About SimbaPay

SimbaPay (http://www.simbapay.com) is a mobile app transforming the international remittance space. With a focus on speed and convenience users are able to send money to loved ones in Africa, from wherever they are at any time of day or night.

The  company is headquartered in London and can be found online at www.SimbaPay.com .

Additional Media

http://www.simbapay.com/images/SimbaPay_logo4_press.png

http://www.simbapay.com/images/SimbaPay_logo4_press.pdf

SOURCE

SimbaPay


Young Nigerian Business Owners Meet to Promote Entrepreneurship and Innovations

The Young Nigerians CEO’s Conference and Exhibition 2015 will be held in Abuja on the 3rd – 4th of August

ABUJA, Nigeria, May 22, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ Over 1000 carefully selected entrepreneurs made up of young business owners residing in Nigeria and in the Diaspora will be meeting at the NAF Conference Centre in Abuja on the 3rd  – 4th  of August for the debut of the highly anticipated Young Nigerians CEO’s Conference and Exhibition 2015.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/nypf.png

The conference with the theme, “Promoting Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Building Economic Leaders for Tomorrow” will among other things, afford young entrepreneurs in Nigeria the opportunity to exchange ideas with their peers from other parts of the world, challenge and empower entrepreneurship mentality amongst its participants, and thus enable them create an economic revolution in Nigeria, or any part of Africa where their businesses are located.

The meeting which is organized by the Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF) (http://www.nypforum.org) is a platform for young business owners to discuss challenges they encounter in their operations and develop strategies to tackle them, with focus on small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and its impact on the Nigerian and global economy.

According to the Convener, Mr. Moses Siloko Siasia, Chairman of Mosilo Group and Chairman/Founder of the Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF), the conference will provide an opportunity for the young business owners to look at the prospects of SME’s and its impact on the Nigerian economy and is also expected to provide entrepreneurs with the opportunity to reflect on economic progress and prospects for strengthening business-to-business linkages across Africa.

Siasia noted that the conference which will focus on key sectors ranging from Agriculture, Oil and Gas, Information & Communication Technology (ICT), Blue Sea Economy (Marine), Manufacturing / Processing, Creative Industry and it will set the plan of action to allow a more integrated participation across Nigeria, by renewing commitment for a tighter bilateral and multilateral cooperation across Associations representing Young Nigerians entrepreneurs For his business acumen and leadership role, the Choiseul Institute for International Politics and Geo- economics in their 2014 ranking of business leaders of tomorrow described Mr. Siasia as a young African leader who is shaping the continent’s economic scene.

According to Choiseul Institute men like Siasia “embody the vigor and renewal of an entire continent and carry the hopes of an entire generation.” NYPF is a Non- Governmental Organization composed of young Professionals from different fields of human endeavours, coming together under a unified platform to achieve three (3) major objectives, namely;

•        Creating sustainable livelihood for young people

•        Engender purposeful leadership and social democratic inclusion

•        Encourage young people’s participation in governance and the

         economic process

For all who are interested to Participate or Sponsor this event should reach the NYPF Executive Secretary Dr. Nuhu Atta on +234-9-2914846 or +234 809-9441075 email: info@nyforum.org
www.nypforum.org

Signed:

Dr. Nuhu Atta

Executive Secretary

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF).

SOURCE

Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF)


 

Außenminister Steinmeier zur Fortsetzung der deutschen Beteiligung an der EU-Mission ATALANTA

 

BERLIN, Germany, May 22, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Zur Entscheidung, dass sich deutsche Streitkräfte weiterhin an der EU-Mission ATALANTA am Horn von Afrika beteiligen werden, erklärte Außenminister Steinmeier heute (21.05.) in Berlin:

 

“Ich freue mich, dass der Bundestag mit großer Mehrheit der deutschen Beteiligung an ATALANTA zugestimmt hat.

 

ATALANTA ist eine Erfolgsgeschichte. Seit drei Jahren sind am Horn von Afrika dank dieser europäischen Mission keine Schiffe mehr in die Gewalt von Piraten geraten.

 

Auch in Somalia gibt es endlich erste Anzeichen einer Stabilisierung, auch wenn dem Land noch ein langer und schwieriger Weg bevorsteht und die Gefahren durch islamistischen Terrorismus nicht gebannt sind. Beim Wiederaufbau tragender politischer Strukturen, gesellschaftlicher Aussöhnung und wirtschaftlicher Entwicklung unterstützen Deutschland und die internationale Gemeinschaft das Land nach Kräften.

 

Das internationale Engagement in Somalia zeigt, was sich erreichen lässt, wenn wir zusammenarbeiten und uns eng miteinander abstimmen.”

 

Hintergrund:

Der Bundestag hat heute einem Beschluss des Kabinetts vom 29.04.2015 zugestimmt, nach dem sich deutsche Streitkräfte weiterhin an der EU-Mission ATALANTA am Horn von Afrika beteiligen werden. Die Mission wurde 2008 ins Leben gerufen und hat zum Ziel, die internationale Handelsschifffahrt am Horn von Afrika zu schützen und Piraterie zu bekämpfen. 179 Schiffe des Welternährungsprogramms (WFP) mit Hilfslieferungen für die somalische Bevölkerung konnten seit Beginn der Mission sicher nach Mogadischu geleitet werden.

 

SOURCE 

Germany – Ministry of Foreign Affairs


 

Remarks by President Obama and President Essebsi of Tunisia after Bilateral Meeting

 

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Oval Office

 

11:40 A.M. EDT

 

PRESIDENT OBAMA: It is a great pleasure to welcome back President Caid Essebsi to the Oval Office. We had the opportunity to meet early in the aftermath of the political transition that had begun in Tunisia. And it was very gratifying to hear about the excellent progress that’s been made in Tunisia’s transformation into an inclusive and functioning democracy.

 

It is important to recognize that the place where the Arab Spring began is a place where we have seen the most extraordinary progress in allowing all parties and all parts of the population, including women and minorities, participate fully in the civic and political life of the nation. And it bodes well for Tunisia’s future and for the future of its children. And I emphasized to the President that the United States is fully committed to working with Tunisia so that it can continue to build on this success.

 

The friendship between the United States and Tunisia dates back centuries. But at this critical time in world history, we think it’s very important for us to continue to expand the economic assistance that we’re providing so that ordinary Tunisians can feel the concrete benefits of a change to a more open and competitive economy; committed to continuing to work to expand the education scholarship and exchange programs that have already been established between our two countries, so that young Tunisians can continue to access the skills they need to get good jobs and compete in the international economy.

 

We discussed the importance of security and the recognition that given the instability in the region, it is important for us to continue to partner effectively in counterterrorism efforts, but also in our efforts to stabilize Libya and bring the parties together so that we don’t have a failed state and a power vacuum that ends up infecting the situation in Tunisia, as well.

 

And in recognition of the importance that we place on the security and diplomatic relationship with Tunisia, I indicated to the President my intention to designate Tunisia as a major non-NATO ally of the United States. And I committed that as Tunisia continues to embark on important structural reforms to the economy that we will not only provide short-term aid, but also try to provide the kind of bridge and support that’s necessary to complete those reforms and make sure that they’re effective and benefitting the people of Tunisia.

 

So, overall, this was an excellent discussion, but it was reflective of what had been ongoing consultations and a lot of work by our diplomatic and military and economic and intelligence teams during the course of this incredible transformation of Tunisia. And I want the President and the people of Tunisia to know that the United States believes in Tunisia, is invested in its success, and will work as a steady partner for years to come.

 

PRESIDENT ESSEBSI: (As interpreted.) I have taken to heart what Mr. President have kindly said. In this meeting, we have discussed all issues related to Tunisia-U.S. cooperation, in all fields. And I felt that there is the opportunity to continue this foothold to ensure the success of the democratic choice that Tunisia has opted for.

 

However important the milestone that Tunisia has reached in the democratic process, we are still in midway. We have a long way ahead of us. To reach the conclusion of the democratic system and the final consolidation of the system, there’s still a lot to be done.

 

The democratic process is always fragile and threatened by chaos, by parties that do not believe in democracy, that do not follow democratic policies and discourse, but also by our regional environment, which could represent a threat to the democratic process.

 

Fortunately, the Tunisian people are very much aware about the importance of the gains it has acquired and about protecting these gains and continuing to work with the U.S.

 

We have a process of performance that is underway. We have achieved a milestone in these reforms. We are almost midway. We are committed to these reforms and within this year we are going to finalize all reforms that we need to implement. The objective is to reform the economy, but also to send an important message to the world, to investors, and to tell them that Tunisia is a favorable site for investment and for growth.

 

Mr. President Obama has underscored during our discussion his faith in Tunisia, his belief in Tunisia’s chances for success. We, too, in Tunisia have faith in the friendship of the U.S., and with the longstanding history and the friendship between our two countries. We are integrating a new phase, a new chapter in our bilateral relations, and we need the support of the U.S., and maybe the U.S. needs Tunisia, too, now.

 

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you.

 

SOURCE 

The White House

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 22 May 2015

FACT SHEET: Enduring U.S.-Tunisian Relations


 

FACT SHEET: Enduring U.S.-Tunisian Relations

 

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The United States and Tunisia have enjoyed a strong diplomatic relationship for more than 200 years. In 1799, the United States concluded its first agreement of friendship and trade with Tunisia, establishing the first American consulate in Tunis in 1800. Since that time, Tunisia and the United States have continued to foster growing ties of cooperation.

 

The United States remains committed to supporting Tunisia’s democratic path, one that strengthens civil society, empowers women and youth, advances economic reforms, solidifies the foundations of citizen participation in government, and bolsters security. This year, President Obama is working with Congress to provide at least $100 million in assistance to Tunisia, which would bring our total support since the 2011 revolution to nearly $700 million. This reflects the importance placed by the United States on supporting Tunisia’s democracy as it promotes prosperity and security for all Tunisians.

 

On May 20, representatives of the United States of America and Tunisia signed a Memorandum of Understanding reaffirming the common bonds and shared values of long-standing friendship between Tunisia and the United States and recognizing Tunisia’s historic democratic transition. The document noted a range of cooperative activities between the two countries. Below is a selection of key milestones and programs across multiple sectors that demonstrate the expansiveness of our important bilateral relationship.

 

Expanding Inclusive Economic Growth: The United States is committed to helping Tunisia promote strong, sustainable and inclusive economic growth by strengthening its business climate, creating job opportunities, and promoting bilateral trade. The Administration is working with Congress to double the level of economic assistance to Tunisia this year to promote competitiveness, provide seed money and financing to small and medium enterprises, and improve the business regulatory environment through important reforms.

 

If Tunisia and the United States determine that additional financing is needed to support growth and reform, the United States is prepared to consider a loan guarantee of up to $500 million to advance the Government of Tunisia’s ongoing reform program. The United States has provided two sovereign loan guarantees previously, which helped the Tunisian government access affordable financing to borrow $485 million in 2012 and $500 million in 2014, which helped expand Tunisia’s access to international capital markets.

 

The United States and Tunisia will establish a new Joint Economic Council (JEC) in concert with the Strategic Dialogue to support Tunisia’s economic reform priorities and encourage private sector ties. We expect to launch the JEC in the fall of this year.

 

During President Caid Essebsi’s visit, U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Pritzker co-hosted a Business Roundtable with prominent U.S. business leaders to highlight the importance of economic and commercial reforms to improving trade and investment in Tunisia and the growing business ties between our countries. The Department of Commerce also convened a Tourism Roundtable to share lessons learned while establishing the U.S. National Tourism Strategy. This platform will enable discussions between U.S. and Tunisian officials and the private sector on ways to bolster and promote the Tunisian tourism industry.

 

Through the U.S.-Tunisia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), the United States and Tunisia work to promote bilateral trade and investment, facilitate partnerships between U.S. and Tunisian companies, increase regulatory transparency, strengthen the rule of law and protection for intellectual property, identify capacity building opportunities, and resolve specific trade concerns. The next TIFA council meeting is expected to take place before the end of the year.

 

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Technical Assistance (OTA) is working to re-engage with the Central Bank of Tunisia to strengthen its capacity to monitor and maintain the stability of Tunisia’s financial system and find ways to provide critical advice to the Government of Tunisia as it advances key economic reforms.

 

The United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), intends to expand upon ongoing multi-year technical assistance programming to implement tax and customs reform and other economic and commercial reforms undertaken by the Tunisian government.

 

The United States, through USAID, will work closely with the Tunisian government to create a shared vision and framework for development programming through a transitional Country Development Cooperation Strategy.

 

The USAID Business Reform and Competitiveness Project (BRCP) is providing technical assistance to Tunisian enterprises to improve access to capital, develop new market opportunities, and strengthen business associations. In partnership with other U.S. programs, BRCP provides job-sector driven training to young Tunisians, increases the capacity of institutions to support Tunisia’s private sector, and supports information and communications technology (ICT)-related reform to promote greater economic growth.

 

The Tunisian-American Enterprise Fund (TAEF), seeded with $60 million in U.S. assistance, is continuing to promote the development of the Tunisian private sector by investing in small and medium enterprises that will contribute to inclusive economic growth and employment.

 

The March 2015 U.S.–Maghreb Investment and Entrepreneurship Conference offered U.S. and Tunisian businesses a platform to connect and discuss business opportunities. The conference, which Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and other senior U.S. officials attended, was organized through Partners for a New Beginning-North African Partnership for Economic Opportunity and highlighted the importance of economic and commercial reform and private sector engagement in Tunisia’s economic development.

 

Promoting Democracy, Civil Society, and Consensus Building: The United States actively supports the Tunisian government’s efforts to promote inclusive governance, security, prosperity, and human rights for all Tunisians, as well as to enhance ties with its regional partners.

 

Since the 2011 revolution, the United States has provided more than $80 million to support initiatives that promote good governance and fiscal transparency, build the organizational management capacity of civil society organizations, and increase the civic participation and political leadership of youth.

 

The United States has provided significant support for Tunisian elections, including approximately $15 million in 2014. This funding included assistance to U.S. and Tunisian NGOs throughout the 2014 legislative and presidential elections, during which the United States supported multiple international election observation missions.

 

The Department of State, through the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) plans to provide at least an additional $10 million this year to promote democratic processes and increase the capacity of Tunisia’s growing civil society sector. Since 2011, MEPI grants have helped Tunisians increase their role in the political process and expand economic opportunities, particularly for youth and women.

 

The Department of State, through MEPI, also supports a program with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that helped Tunisia become the second Arab country to join the Open Government Partnership (OGP), which aims to advance open governance and transparency. Through technical assistance, the United States helped Tunisia participate in the OGP by supporting implementation of Tunisia’s 2011 freedom of information legislation. Moving forward, the USG will continue to support the implementation of Tunisia’s strong OGP Action Plan.

 

Fostering Cultural and Educational Ties: The United States and Tunisia are working to preserve and promote Tunisia’s rich cultural heritage as well as expand educational, cultural, and professional exchanges and linkages.

 

The Smithsonian Institution and the Tunisian Ministry of Antiquities will partner to digitize the antiquities collection housed in the National Bardo Museum and to expand opportunities for Tunisia’s tourism industry.

 

Under the Thomas Jefferson Scholarship Program, almost 400 Tunisians have qualified to study at universities and community colleges in the United States for one year. In concert with President Caid Essebsi’s focus on expanding educational opportunities for Tunisian youth, the United States plans to significantly increase the number of Thomas Jefferson scholarships this year.

 

The United States launched the $5 million Fulbright Tunisia Tech+ Scholars program in August 2014 to enable more than 40 Tunisians to obtain U.S. master’s degrees in five fields (science, technology, engineering, math, and business) and equip graduates with advanced skills and professional networks.

 

The United States has committed almost $1 million to establish three new university linkages between U.S. and Tunisian educational institutions in the fields of technological innovation and business development. The programs will create employment opportunities for Tunisian graduates and help support greater economic development and profitable commercialization of technology.

 

In August 2014, the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education and U.S. Department of State signed an Agreement on Science and Technology Cooperation to strengthen bilateral scientific, technological and educational cooperation. The Agreement provides a framework to facilitate and expand science and technology cooperation between our two countries. It also provides a mechanism for critical research and development efforts that facilitate the exchange of scientific data and results, protect intellectual property rights, and establish partnerships between official U.S. technical agencies and their counterpart institutions internationally, as well as U.S. educational and research institutions.

 

Enhancing Security Capabilities: Tunisia is a key partner in regional counterterrorism efforts. The United States has committed more than $225 million in security assistance since 2011 to bolster Tunisia’s capacity to counter internal and regional threats and terrorism.

 

The Administration intends to designate Tunisia as a major non-NATO ally in recognition of our shared values, Tunisia’s democratic gains, and our growing security and counterterrorism cooperation.

 

More than $100 million in security assistance allocated since 2011 goes toward building the capacity of Tunisia’s Ministry of Defense and to counter terrorism. The United States has provided training and equipment to the Tunisian military to improve capabilities in surveillance, mobility, and border security.

 

The Administration is seeking to provide an additional $30 million in Foreign Military Financing this year, a 50 percent increase over last year. This support will help Tunisia strengthen counter-terrorism, border security, and joint security cooperation.

 

The United States’ security assistance since 2011 includes more than $50 million in programs in partnership with the Tunisian Ministries of Interior and Justice helping to build their operational capabilities while fostering more transparent and responsive security forces through training and provision of equipment. Future work will help the Ministry of Interior modernize and professionalize its core functions – including management and oversight of its human, material and financial resources – so that it can serve Tunisian citizens with greater transparency and accountability.

 

Tunisia is also a founding partner in the Security Governance Initiative (SGI), announced at the 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. The SGI works to enhance partner countries’ institutional capacity to confront security challenges and address threats effectively and accountably.

 

The Administration is working with Congress to increase support to the Tunisian Justice and Interior Ministries, including $7 million in International Narcotics and Law Enforcement programming to provide reform in police, corrections and judicial sectors.

 

U.S. support has also helped the Tunisian government establish an inter-ministerial Counterterrorism Fusion Center. Other programs cover capacity building to enhance border security, law enforcement, intelligence, and effective counterterrorism practices in the criminal justice sector.

 

In addition to U.S. assistance, the Foreign Military Sales program facilitated the purchase of eight UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters by Tunisia to build its capacity to deter regional threats, strengthen defensive capabilities, as well as to support counterterrorism operations.

 

SOURCE 

The White House


World Bank, IMF, UNDP and Diplomatic Reps Tour Sicomines Project to Observe Progress of the DRC’s First Infrastructure-For-Minerals Partnership Mines

Facilities scheduled to start production in the fall of 2015; seen as model for future foreign investment and development projects

KINSHASA, Dem. Rep. of Congo (DRC) May 21, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ From May 16-17, members of the World Bank, United Nations Development Program, the U.S Embassy and other foreign diplomats toured facilities and assessed the progress of the new Sicomines joint venture, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) first “infrastructure for minerals” partnership. Sicomines Sarl, a joint venture between Congolese mining company Gecamines SA, China’s Sinohydro and the China Railway Group Limited, oversees the project, which includes the construction and operation of two copper plants in Katanga province.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/drccoo.png

Led by Mr. Moïse Ekanga Lushyma , executive secretary of the Bureau de Coordination et du Suivi du Programme Sino-Congolais (BCDPSC), the tour included a walk through the Sicomines plants, which are expected to start production in the fall of 2015 with an initial copper output of 50,000 tons annually, gradually rising to an expected 400,000 tons over the next two decades.

The Sicomines plants represent a critical development and capacity-building endeavor for the DRC, employing 3,000 workers, 70% of whom will be Congolese as reported by Associated Press. In addition, the Sino-Congolese joint venture will disburse approximately $3 billion for the construction of roads, dams, hospitals and schools, including infrastructure projects such as the Busanga hydroelectric project.

“The progress made by the Sicomines partnership reinforces the DRC’s commitment to strengthening and professionalizing its mining sector, and to help increase accountability in the industry,” said Mr. Ekanga. “We are looking forward to initializing production in just a few months, and this project will have positive effects for both the Congolese people and the DRC’s mining and business sectors. This mutually beneficial cooperation with our Chinese partners is a strong example for others interested in investment opportunities in the DRC. When Sicomines builds a plant in the DRC, it sources equipment globally and is a job creator in China, the U.S., France; it creates tax revenues for the DRC, employs local labor and the shared experience facilitates the knowledge transfer we need. It’s a win win for all. Sicomines is the real proof of concept for us that we have sought under the leadership of President Kabila and will continue to replicate with other investors. In partnership with the World Bank and the IMF, the DRC has implemented liberalizing reforms designed to increase business activities and create jobs across the country, including reforms in key industrial and commercial sectors. Our nation’s infrastructure is being rebuilt at an unprecedented rate, with new roads, schools, and hospitals under construction. Tangible investments like Sicomines from international partners will help solidify these gains and foster broader regional stabilization and growth”.

Among those touring the site were Eric Madison, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa; Ahmadou Moustapha Ndiaye, the World Bank’s Country Director for the DRC; Prija Gajraj, Country Director for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); as well as diplomats from France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

In an interview with Top Congo FM during the tour, Mr. Madison said, “I was very much impressed by the progress they have made in the past few years. I hope it will attract other investors.”

“This kind of project is in line with the objectives of the World Bank, which is that of the fight against poverty,” Mr. Moustapha Ndiaye told Top Congo FM.

Ms. Gajraj added, “We welcome this important initiative that demonstrates the potential of the mining sector in DRC and continue to promote efforts in terms of development—capacity building, infrastructure, support for the local population—because that profits everyone.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the Bureau de Coordination et du Suivi du Programme Sino-Congolais (BCDPSC).

For more information, please contact:

inquiries@drcnotes.com

SOURCE

Bureau de Coordination et du Suivi du Programme Sino-Congolais (BCDPSC)


Ingenico Group earns Award for ‘Financial Inclusion Platform of the Year’

Ingenico Group also received the Awards for ‘Best Mobile Money/Card Combination’ and ‘Best Data Monitoring Solution’

PARIS, France, May 21, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ At the 5th edition of the annual Mobile Money Expo in Lagos, Nigeria, Ingenico Group (Euronext: FR0000125346 – ING) (http://www.ingenico.com), the global leader in seamless payment, won the very coveted ‘Financial Inclusion Platform of the Year’ Award. In recognition of its Financial Inclusion initiatives across Africa, Ingenico Group also received the Awards for ‘Best Mobile Money/Card Combination’ and ‘Best Data Monitoring Solution’.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/ingenico.jpg

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=2016

The Kalahari awards are dedicated to acknowledging creativity, commitment and excellence in the mobile financial services across Africa. Each award is given based on a number of criteria, including geographic market penetration, on-going of commercial campaigns, regulatory compliance, cross-sector partnerships, active deployments and future potentials for further growth.

“We are very proud to be the ‘Financial Inclusion Platform of the Year’ Award winner, and very honored to be rewarded with 3 Kalahari awards”, commented Rachid Oulad Akdim, Africa Managing Director, Ingenico Group. “Ingenico Group leverages both its in-depth market knowledge and technology to enable its customers to have a long-lasting, positive impact on developing communities, while still growing their business and contributing to positive economic growth. These awards confirm our strategy as we are committed to pursue our vision to deepen financial inclusion and offer the African market evermore empowering services and solutions.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Ingenico Group.

Contacts / Ingenico Group

IR & Communication

Catherine Blanchet

VP IR & Corporate Communication

catherine.blanchet@ingenico.com

T. / +33 1 58 01 85 68

Communication

Coba Taillefer

External Communication Manager

coba.taillefer@ingenico.com

T. / +33 1 58 01 85 68

Europe & Africa

Pierre Delaunay

Head of Marketing & Communication

pierre.delaunay@ingenico.com

T. / +33 1 58 01 87 31

About Ingenico Group

Ingenico Group (Euronext: FR0000125346 – ING) (http://www.ingenico.com) is the global leader in seamless payment, providing smart, trusted and secure solutions to empower commerce across all channels, in-store, online and mobile. With the world’s largest payment acceptance network, we deliver secure payment solutions with a local, national and international scope. We are the trusted world-class partner for financial institutions and retailers, from small merchants to several of the world’s best known global brands. Our solutions enable merchants to simplify payment and deliver their brand promise.

www.ingenico.com

twitter.com/ingenico

SOURCE

Ingenico Group


African organisations under pressure to sharpen skills retention and employee engagement – Sage

There’s a real hunger for skills in Africa, which means that businesses are demanding that HR departments step up to the plate

JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, May 21, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ Businesses across major African economies such as Kenya and Nigeria are coming under increasing pressure to align their strategies for retaining talent, compensating employees and engaging with their workforces with good international practices.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/sagehr.png

Photo 1: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=2015
(Gerhard Hartman, Head of Department for Sage HR & Payroll’s International Division)

Photo 2: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=2014
(Gerhard Hartman, Head of Department for Sage HR & Payroll’s International Division)

Download biography of Gerhard Hartman: http://www.apo-mail.org/150521.doc

That’s according to Gerhard Hartman, Head of Department for Sage Payroll & HR’s International Division (http://www.sage.com), who says that African companies are facing stiffer competition for skills as economies grow, governments pump money into building infrastructure, and professionals are lured into the diaspora by the promise of big salaries paid in hard currencies.

One recent study conducted by EY (http://www.apo.af/DJv9Xd) found that 70% of African firms are recruiting–yet many report that they are taking longer to fill vacancies and experiencing higher staff turnover. The skills that are in short demand include engineering, technical and commercial skills, partly because of massive infrastructure products occurring across Africa, says Hartman.

“There’s a real hunger for skills in Africa, which means that businesses are demanding that HR departments step up to the plate,” he adds. “They have to craft strategies that help them to attract and retain the best talent, as well as develop human resources in a manner that delivers a high return on investment to the business. That means they need to really focus on sharpening their capabilities.”

According to a KPMG survey (http://www.apo.af/pBojFI), staff costs make up more than 25% of the total income in 34% of surveyed organisations in Nigeria. This stat seems to be broadly in line with the rest of Africa, says Hartman. There is a growing realisation that employees can be a strategic asset rather than a massive expensive if they are well managed, he adds.

Hartman says that African organisations should focus on the following areas to boost HR performance:

1.         Building the employer brand

According to an EY 2014 survey (http://www.apo.af/DJv9Xd) of talent trends and practices in sub Saharan Africa, the strength of the employer brand is the most important factor in attracting talent. Companies that have a reputation as innovative, interesting and caring places to work are the best placed to attract high calibre talent. Companies must focus on creating a positive culture, a quality workplace and a good employee experience since employees value this as much as they do money.

2.         Remuneration and rewards

Of course, the importance of a competitive benefits and compensation package cannot be overestimated. High quality employees know their value and expect employers to provide packages that compare favourably to standards in the profession or industry. As such, employers should benchmark their rewards against the rest of the market.The basic salary or wage is important, but savvy employees also want to know about benefits such as medical cover and retirement planning as well as perks such as flexible hours, on-site facilities such as canteens and gyms, and their 13th cheque or performance bonus. It’s important to have a documented reward philosophy to ensure consistency.

3.         Learning and development opportunities

Employees place a high value on learning and development opportunities, especially the ambitious high performers who want to improve themselves and move up the ladder. It is important to have a formal learning and training strategy – perhaps mapped to career paths – so employees feel they have structured opportunities for self-improvement. Those that want to study independently should also be supported and encouraged. Of course, it’s also important to create an environment where there is support from mentors to help younger employees learn on the job.

4.         Performance management

A fair and transparent performance management process can help organisations boost employee satisfaction while optimising performance. Formal performance management enables organisations to align the individual’s career goals with the strategy of the business.

5.         Employee engagement

Employee engagement is about the techniques, tools and strategies organisations use to get employees motivated about their work and engaged in the business’s strategy, values and culture. HR departments can use instruments such as employee satisfaction surveys, exit interviews and informal feedback to discover how engaged employees feel so that they can find opportunities for improvement.

6.         Leveraging IT tools and HR data

Many of the above strategies can be boosted or enabled through the use of IT. For example, organisatons could use cloud-based solutions to automate manual processes. They could further benefit from better access to information they can use to make better HR decisions. Employee self-service can also give better service to employees—for example, by letting apply for leave or retrieve payslips online—thereby improving employee engagement.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Sage HR & Payroll – International Division.

Idea Engineers (PR agency for Sage HR & Payroll International Division)

Clive Moagi

Tel: +27 (0)11 803 0030

Mobile: +27 (0)73 4116 023

Clive@ideaengineers.co.za

Del-Mari Roberts

Tel: +27 (0)11 803 0030

Mobile: +27 (0)72 5958 053

delmari@ideaengineers.co.za

About Sage HR & Payroll – International Division

Sage HR & Payroll (previously Sage HR Africa) is a leading supplier of payroll and human resource management solutions for businesses of all sizes in Africa and the Middle East. We offer easy-to-use, efficient and secure payroll and HR software solutions under the Sage One, Sage VIP and Sage Pastel Payroll & HR brands.

Our solutions – for organisations ranging from start-ups, small to medium-sized companies and large multinational corporations – ensure that businesses are kept up-to-date and fully compliant with ever changing legislative requirements. From the intuitive design of our software to the expertise of our people, we focus on giving businesses the confidence and control they need to achieve their business ambition.

We have an African footprint of 36 countries that includes an extensive network of Strategic and Business Partners that assists with installation, training and any on-site support businesses require.

About The Sage Group plc

We provide small and medium sized organisations, and mid-market companies with a range of easy-to-use, secure and efficient business management software and services – from accounting, HR and payroll, to payments, enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management. Our customers receive continuous advice and support through our global network of local experts to help them solve their business problems, giving them the confidence to achieve their business ambitions.  Formed in 1981, Sage was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989 and entered the FTSE 100 in 1999. Sage has millions of customers and circa 13,000 employees in 23 countries covering the UK & Ireland, mainland Europe, North America, South Africa, Australia, Asia and Brazil. For further information please visit www.sage.com

SOURCE

Sage HR & Payroll – International Division

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 21 May 2015

EU steps up engagement in support of Somali culture


 

EU steps up engagement in support of Somali culture

 

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, May 21, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — On the occasion of the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, the EU Delegation to Somalia wants to reiterate its commitment to strengthen Somali efforts to rebuild cultural heritage.

 

Indeed, moving out of conflict is not just about rebuilding infrastructure & security which is important.

It’s a broader process whereby communities reflect on how their identity and heritage brings them together and how it can help them to thrive as a society.

It enables communities to heal the scars of war and to create spaces for dialogue, exchanges and tolerance.

 

The EU has been a steadfast supporter of Somali culture by publishing with Unesco a “Scoping Study on the Somali Culture Sector” and by supporting cultural centres in Hargeisa and Mogadishu.

Moreover, on May 7th, the EU Delegation has gathered the “Friends of Somali Culture”, a wide range of Somali culture actors who will now reflect on how the international community can contribute to the revival of the Somali culture. On the World day for Cultural Diversity, culture brings the Somali people together.

 

SOURCE 

European Union

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 21 May 2015

Media advisory: Launch of the African Economic Outlook 2015


 

Media advisory: Launch of the African Economic Outlook 2015

 

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, May 21, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Launch of the African Economic Outlook 2015

 

9 a.m. GMT/Abidjan (5 a.m., New York; 11 a.m., Paris) on Monday, 25 May 2015.

AfDB Annual Meetings, Sofitel Hotel Ivoire, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

 

The African Development Bank (AfDB), the OECD Development Centre and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will publish their joint African Economic Outlook 2015, a yearly report containing projections, analyses and 54 country notes on macroeconomic, finance, trade and human development trends in Africa.The report will be launched on the first day of the 50th AfDB Annual Meetings , which will take place from May 25-29, 2015 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

 

This 2015 Outlook’s thematic chapter will focus on regional development and spatial inclusion. It takes an analytical perspective at how the continent’s demographic pressures combined to the growth of cities pose important challenges and opportunities, while bringing forward innovative approaches to better tap the assets of African regions and secure the continent’s transformation by 2050.

 

 

The report will be launched by:

•    Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa, Acting Chief Economist and Vice-President, AfDB Group

•    Mario Pezzini, Director, OECD Development Centre

•    Ayodele Odusola, Chief Economist, UNDP Africa

 

Media contacts for interview and information requests:

 

•    African Development Bank: Olivia Ndong Obiang, o.ndong-obiang@afdb.org; T. +225 01 56 05 05 (Abidjan) or Joyce Mulama, j.mulama@afdb.org, T. +225 46 10 24 49 (Abidjan)

•    OECD Development Centre: Bochra Kriout, Bochra.Kriout@oecd.org T: +33 (0) 6 26 74 04 03 (Paris/Abidjan)

•    UNDP Nicolas Douillet, Nicolas.Douillet@undp.org, T: +1 (212) 906-5937 (New York); Youssouf Diarra youssouf.diarra@undp.org T : +225 08 92 48 51 (Abidjan)

The African Economic Outlook 2015 and 54 country notes will be available in English and French from 9 a.m. GMT (Abidjan time) and 11 a.m., Paris time for immediate release on the African Economic Outlook website http://www.africaneconomicoutlook.org/en/.

 

The presentation will be webcast live (www.afdb.org/am) – Join the debate #AEO2015 and #AfDBAM2015.

 

Journalists requesting an electronic version in advance of the release time and agree to respect OECD embargo conditions.

 

Please note: The OECD’s embargo rules prohibit any broadcast, news wire service or Internet transmission of text or information about this report before the stated release time. They also prohibit any communication of the contents of the report or any comment on its forecasts or conclusions to any outside party whatsoever before the stated release time. News organisations receiving OECD material under embargo have been informed that if they breach the OECD’s embargo rules they will automatically be excluded in the future from receiving embargoed information.

 

SOURCE 

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)


 

Afrique – Présidence de la CEDEAO – Élection de M. Macky Sall (20 mai 2015)

 

PARIS, France, 21 mai 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ Quai d’Orsay – Déclarations du porte-parole – 21 mai 2015

 

La France salue l’élection du président sénégalais Macky Sall à la présidence de la communauté économique des États de l’Afrique de l’Ouest.

 

Nous lui adressons nos voeux de réussite dans la haute mission qui vient de lui être confiée.

 

La France remercie à cette occasion son prédécesseur, le président ghanéen John Dramani Mahama, pour son action remarquable dans l’accompagnement de la transition au Burkina Faso et des différentes échéances électorales qui ont eu lieu dans région ces derniers mois.

 

SOURCE 

France – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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