Oct 242014
 
NEW YORK, October 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- EMERGENCY RELIEF COORDINATOR VALERIE AMOS TO VISIT SOUTH AFRICA




WHO: Valerie Amos, Emergency Relief Coordinator and United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs

WHAT: Mission to South Africa

WHEN: 26-28 October 2014

WHERE: Johannesburg, Pretoria



Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, will visit South Africa from 26 to 28 October. Ms. Amos is scheduled to participate in the Eastern and Southern Africa regional consultation for the World Humanitarian Summit.


Community groups, national governments, regional organizations, humanitarian and development organizations, academics and businesses from the Eastern and Southern Africa region will come together to discuss the future of humanitarian action, especially humanitarian effectiveness; reducing vulnerability and managing risks; innovation; and serving the needs of people in conflict.


During her visit, Ms. Amos is also expected to meet Government officials, representatives of regional bodies and humanitarian partners to discuss ways of strengthening capacity to meet humanitarian challenges in Eastern and Southern Africa.

Oct 242014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, October 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The World Health Organization convened a meeting with high-ranking government representatives from Ebola-affected countries and development partners, civil society, regulatory agencies, vaccine manufacturers and funding agencies yesterday to discuss and agree on how to fast track testing and deployment of vaccines in sufficient numbers to impact the Ebola epidemic.

Key consensus commitments achieved during the meeting include:

• Results from phase 1 clinical trials of most advanced vaccines are expected to be available in December 2014 and efficacy trials in affected countries also will begin in this timeframe, with protocols adapted to take into consideration safety and immunogenicity results as they become available.

• Pharmaceutical companies developing the vaccines committed to ramp up production capacity for millions of doses to be available in 2015, with several hundred thousand ready before the end of the first half of the year. Regulatory authorities in countries where the vaccines are manufactured and in Africa committed to supporting this goal by working under extremely short deadlines.

• Community engagement is key and work should be scaled up urgently in partnership between local communities, national governments, NGOs and international organizations.

WHO was called upon by all parties to ensure coordination between the various actors.

Vaccines may have a major impact on further evolution of the epidemic. All parties are working together to finalize the most rapid approach for developing and distributing vaccines, including direct engagement with affected communities, so that effective treatments and prevention methods are embraced and shared far and wide by the most effective ambassadors, the communities themselves.

Trials of vaccines have already begun in the U.S., U.K., and Mali, and are beginning in Gabon, Germany, Kenya and Switzerland to determine safety, dosing and efficacy.

“As we accelerate in a matter of weeks a process that typically takes years, we are ensuring that safety remains the top priority, with production speed and capacity a close second,“ says Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO assistant director general of health systems and innovation.

As next steps, the WHO Director-General will be working with groups to advance vaccines’ trials and deployment in the most expeditious manner possible.

Meeting participants included high-ranking officials from the ministries for health and of foreign affairs from Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, Guinea, Italy, Japan, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sierra Leone, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America; representatives from SAGE, the African Development Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries, the European Investment Bank, the European Medicines Agency, the GAVI Alliance, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders, the Paul Erlich Institute, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Wellcome Trust, and the World Bank; and executives from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Johnson & Johnson, Merck Vaccines, and New Link Genetics.

Oct 242014
 

PARIS, France, October 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Quai d’Orsay – French official statements (Paris, October 24, 2014)

The French judicial delegation’s visit to Algeria took place under satisfactory conditions. We would like to than…

Oct 242014
 

LONDON, United-Kingdom, October 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has secured a €1 billion (£800 million) funding pledge at the European Council meetings in Brussels, following a call for European leaders to do more to fight the disease in West Africa.

As part of the commitment, the UK has boosted its own response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa by £80 million, bringing its total contribution to more than £200 million.

The Prime Minister wrote to the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, and fellow leaders last week to warn of the need to act fast to contain and defeat this deadly virus, stating that “if we do not significantly step up our collective response now, the loss of life and damage to the political, economic and social fabric of the region will be substantial and the threat posed to our citizens will also grow.” The Prime Minister set out that the immediate priority was to raise contributions from the EU and its member states to €1 billion in total, which has now been achieved.

Britain’s own redoubled efforts to fight Ebola follow a visit to Sierra Leone by International Development Secretary Justine Greening to see the results of Britain’s first tranche of support and identify next steps in the UK’s international work.

The additional £80 million will increase the number of burial units and support the creation of up to 200 community care centres across the country. Together these measures will promote early diagnosis, isolation and treatment and so reduce the risk of the infection spreading.

David Cameron said:

“Ebola is one of the worst public health emergencies we have faced in a generation. I have been absolutely determined that Britain, with other countries, will lead the way in dealing with this.

“Not only should we feel a moral obligation as a wealthy country to help, but also because Ebola directly threatens both our national interests and people in the United Kingdom.

“That is why Britain has pledged over £205 million and has British troops and health workers going to West Africa.

“I said I wanted to come to this European Council and get other countries in the European Union to more than double the EU effort, to get a billion Euros committed.

“That is what we have achieved.”

Justine Greening said:

“Visiting Sierra Leone was a chance to see the results we are already achieving in our fight against Ebola. This includes the heroic efforts of British medics, soldiers and humanitarian workers, as well as Sierra Leoneans who are volunteering in their thousands to be trained as healthcare and burial workers.

“Being on the ground also gave me a clear sense of what is needed in the next phase of our work, and the steps we must take to ensure our efforts match the scale of the crisis the country is facing.

“Britain is determined to stand with the people of Sierra Leone as they battle Ebola.”

The additional support announced today includes the following:

£10 million to ensure safe burials

This funding will include support for the important work of the burial teams run by the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC). Ten teams are already fully operational and the IFRC have begun recruitment to increase their capacity. It will also support NGOs in their work to help the Sierra Leonean Ministry of Health in promoting behaviour change activities to ensure safe burial practices.

£50 million to diagnose and isolate Ebola cases

Early isolation of Ebola patients is essential to halting the spread of infection to others. This support will cover the staffing and running costs, as well medical supplies and protective equipment, for local diagnosis and care centres already being piloted across Sierra Leone – and enable the construction of up to 200 centres over the next three months. This will ensure thousands of patients across Sierra Leone receive a swift diagnosis and provide the isolation facilities needed to reduce the spread of the outbreak.

£20 million contribution to the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund

This will ensure the UN has the resources needed to significantly step up their contribution to the Ebola effort in Sierra Leone and gives us a strong platform to lobby other countries to contribute to the global effort.

Ms Greening’s recent visit was also an opportunity to thank the British heroes who have travelled to Sierra Leone to fight this disease, including humanitarian aid workers, medics, government officials and military personnel, all of whom are playing a crucial role in Britain’s response.

Notes to editors

• Current estimates suggest that the rate of infection stands at 1.7, meaning for every ten people who contract Ebola, 17 more will become infected. However, if infected people are isolated quickly after they contract the disease, they are much less likely to pass it on to their families and communities.

Oct 242014
 

KINSHASA, Dem. Rep. of Congo (DRC) October 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in the DRC, calls on “Congolese people to own the United Nations Charter in order to practice tolerance, to live in peace with one another, in a spirit of good neighborliness, and to join forces with the United Nations to maintain peace and international security.”

The United Nations Charter is a message of peace, “We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war…” and also a tool enabling Member States to fulfill their

obligations: peace, stability, development and freedom for all people and individuals. “You are the United Nations!” said the Head of MONUSCO. “This day is not about the work of an organization but about the shared will of people to live together; the United Nations Day is your day,” he stressed.

MONUSCO’s mandate is to ensure the protection of civilians. To fulfill this mandate, we work in close collaboration with the Congolese authorities. But there will be no peace, no stability, no prosperity without the support and engagement of the population, in Beni and elsewhere. “Together we are strong, and together that we shall succeed,” concluded Martin Kobler.

Oct 242014
 

HARARE, Zimbabwe, October 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Ms. Antoinette Monsio Sayeh, Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) African Department, visited Zimbabwe from October 21-24, 2014, to meet with the Zimbabwean authorities and other stakeholders and to present the Fall 2014 Regional Economic Outlook, on Sub-Saharan Africa (see Press Release No:14/475). At the conclusion of her visit she made the following statement:

“It has been a great pleasure for me to visit Zimbabwe. I have had the privilege of meeting Chief Secretary of the President’s Office and Cabinet Dr. Misheck Sibanda, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development Dr S. Udenge, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Dr. John Mangudya and members of parliament. I also had the opportunity to meet with representatives of the private sector, civil society and development partners.

“In my meetings with the Zimbabwean authorities, we exchanged views on the global economy, the regional economic outlook, and how to improve the growth prospects for Zimbabwe. In particular, we discussed how the IMF can further support the authorities’ economic reform agenda and their efforts toward normalizing relations with both multilateral and bilateral creditors.

“For most of sub-Saharan Africa, growth trends remain favorable. We expect the region’s economy to expand by 5 percent in 2014 and 5¾ percent in 2015, and sub-Saharan Africa is forecast to remain the second fastest-growing region in the world, just behind emerging and developing Asia. However, this positive picture co-exists with the dire situation in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, where the Ebola outbreak is exacting a heavy human and economic toll. Lower growth in emerging markets and the anticipated monetary tightening in advanced economies could also have a negative impact on the region. Sustaining high growth in the region remains the key policy consideration and will require striking the right balance between scaling up public investment to fill infrastructure gaps and maintaining debt sustainability.

“With regard to Zimbabwe, economic conditions remain difficult. During our meetings, I highlighted four issues that are key to helping fast-track the country’s policy reform agenda and to gathering support toward a strategy for clearing the outstanding arrears: balancing the primary fiscal budget; restoring confidence and stability in Zimbabwe’s financial sector; addressing the country’s debt challenge; and enhancing the business environment with a view to attracting investments. I know these issues are high on the authorities’ policy reform agenda, and they are going to be monitored with the help of IMF staff under a proposed new 15-month Staff Monitored Program (SMP) through to December 2015.1

“I welcome the authorities’ intent to re-engage with the international financial community in addressing the country’s economic challenges.

“I would also like to express my deep gratitude to the Zimbabwean government and people for their gracious hospitality.”

1 An SMP is an informal agreement between country authorities and Fund staff, whereby the latter agree to monitor the implementation of the authorities’ economic program. SMPs do not entail financial assistance or endorsement by the IMF Executive Board.

Oct 242014
 

LONDON, United-Kingdom, October 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has secured a €1 billion (£800 million) funding pledge at the European Council meetings in Brussels, following a call for European leaders to do more to fight the disease in West Africa.

As part of the commitment, the UK has boosted its own response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa by £80 million, bringing its total contribution to more than £200 million.

The Prime Minister wrote to the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, and fellow leaders last week to warn of the need to act fast to contain and defeat this deadly virus, stating that “if we do not significantly step up our collective response now, the loss of life and damage to the political, economic and social fabric of the region will be substantial and the threat posed to our citizens will also grow.” The Prime Minister set out that the immediate priority was to raise contributions from the EU and its member states to €1 billion in total, which has now been achieved.

Britain’s own redoubled efforts to fight Ebola follow a visit to Sierra Leone by International Development Secretary Justine Greening to see the results of Britain’s first tranche of support and identify next steps in the UK’s international work.

The additional £80 million will increase the number of burial units and support the creation of up to 200 community care centres across the country. Together these measures will promote early diagnosis, isolation and treatment and so reduce the risk of the infection spreading.

David Cameron said:

“Ebola not only represents a risk to the region but has the potential to become one of the biggest public health risks to the EU. That’s why it’s so important that we take action and why I made clear to my European counterparts that they needed to do much more. We have now secured €1 billion in commitments across Europe and Britain is leading the way with an additional £80m. We must not underestimate the scale of the challenge we face and the action that will be needed.”

Justine Greening said:

“Visiting Sierra Leone was a chance to see the results we are already achieving in our fight against Ebola. This includes the heroic efforts of British medics, soldiers and humanitarian workers, as well as Sierra Leoneans who are volunteering in their thousands to be trained as healthcare and burial workers.

“Being on the ground also gave me a clear sense of what is needed in the next phase of our work, and the steps we must take to ensure our efforts match the scale of the crisis the country is facing.

“Britain is determined to stand with the people of Sierra Leone as they battle Ebola.”

The additional support announced today includes the following:

£10 million to ensure safe burials

This funding will include support for the important work of the burial teams run by the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC). Ten teams are already fully operational and the IFRC have begun recruitment to increase their capacity. It will also support NGOs in their work to help the Sierra Leonean Ministry of Health in promoting behaviour change activities to ensure safe burial practices.

£50 million to diagnose and isolate Ebola cases

Early isolation of Ebola patients is essential to halting the spread of infection to others. This support will cover the staffing and running costs, as well medical supplies and protective equipment, for local diagnosis and care centres already being piloted across Sierra Leone – and enable the construction of up to 200 centres over the next three months. This will ensure thousands of patients across Sierra Leone receive a swift diagnosis and provide the isolation facilities needed to reduce the spread of the outbreak.

£20 million contribution to the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund

This will ensure the UN has the resources needed to significantly step up their contribution to the Ebola effort in Sierra Leone and gives us a strong platform to lobby other countries to contribute to the global effort.

Ms Greening’s recent visit was also an opportunity to thank the British heroes who have travelled to Sierra Leone to fight this disease, including humanitarian aid workers, medics, government officials and military personnel, all of whom are playing a crucial role in Britain’s response.

Notes to editors

• Current estimates suggest that the rate of infection stands at 1.7, meaning for every ten people who contract Ebola, 17 more will become infected. However, if infected people are isolated quickly after they contract the disease, they are much less likely to pass it on to their families and communities.

Oct 242014
 

ACCRA, Ghana, October 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — 22nd October 2014

Residence of France, Accra

The Oil & Gas Workshop “Update on the Transversal Business Opportunities in the Oil & Gas Sector” organized by the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Ghana (CCFG) with the collaboration and support of H.E. Frédéric Clavier, Ambassador of France to Ghana, took place on Wednesday 22nd October 2014 at the Residence of France.

For its first workshop the CCFG counted on Dr.TheophilusAhwireng, Ag. Chief Executive Officer of Petroleum Commission; Mr. Gauthier Pourcelle, Managing Director of Technip Ghana; Mr. KwabenaAforo-Addo, Director of Ghana Oil Club and Sales Director of General Electric Oil & Gas and Mr. Olivier Van Parys, Managing Director of Total Petroleum Ghana as expert panellists.

The workshop, opened by Mr. Patrick Prado, President of the CCFG, had the objective of deepening the knowledge in the whole energy value chain and discovering the diverse business opportunities offered by this sector. Besides, the workshop was followed by a networking cocktail where the 73 participants had the opportunity to exchange and discuss.

Since the launch on the 27th May 2014, the CCFG has provided varied services to different companies and currently has a large number of members belonging to diverse sectors of the economy. Among them French Companies, Ghanaian companies as well as International companies. At this regard, Mr. Patrick Prado, stressed that “from SMEs to transnational corporations in addition to individuals can join the CCFG. Everybody who wants to boost its business has a place in the Chamber”.

The aim of the CCFG is to promote and support Ghanaian investments in France, French investments in Ghana benefiting both countries and to assist the already existing companies. For achieving that, the CCFG offers a platform for exchange and business networking and provide a wide range of services (such as prospecting missions, market studies or publicity services) and activities (such as cocktails or workshops). The results will not only be translated into economic growth or raise of employment but also into the building of long-term bridges between Ghana and France.

Oct 242014
 

JUBA, South Sudan, October 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — As part of our celebrations of United Nations Day this year, UNMISS peacekeepers will help residents of the Central Equatorial State community of Kapuri with their on-going cons…

Oct 242014
 

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, October 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The fifth Annual Retreat of Special Envoys, Representatives and Mediators on the promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa, held in Arusha, concluded with renewed commitment by participants to ‘silence the guns’ on the continent by 2020. During the Retreat, participants reflected on various experiences, drawing lessons in order to strengthen the Continent’s efforts towards this goal.

In their Declaration at the end of the Retreat, participants vowed to tackle increasing threats posed by emerging transnational crimes such as terrorism and violent extremism, drug trafficking, piracy, illicit arms proliferation, human trafficking and smuggling as well as money laundering.

The retreat, which was opened by H.E. Dr. Mohamed Gharib Bilal, Vice President of the Republic of Tanzania and Amb. Smaïl Chergui, AU Peace and Security Commissioner brought together more than one hundred and thirty participants, including former African leaders, representatives of the AU Commission, as well as its Special Envoys and Representatives. It also included the Chair of the Peace and Security Council for the Month of October, Ethiopia; members of the Panel of the Wise, as well as Friends of the Panel of the wise, representatives of the Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs) for conflict prevention, management and resolution, the United Nations, League of Arab States as well as several scholars and international partners.

Making his closing remarks, at the culmination of the three days of deliberation, Amb. Smaïl Chergui stated, “The frank and open discussions over the last three days, will no doubt go a long way towards elaborating a concrete roadmap towards silencing the guns by 2020.”Amb. Chergui, thanked H.E. President Jakaya Kikwete and the Government of Tanzania for its warm hospitality and for hosting the fifth edition of the Annual Retreat, adding that this was testimony to Tanzania’s continued commitment to shaping the continent’s peace, prosperity and integration agenda, a clear extension of its contribution during the early years of Africa’s liberation struggle.

Building on the momentum of the Durban Retreat of April 2014 and the Abidjan Retreat of October 2013, the Arusha retreat succeeded in framing practical aspects of the implementation of Agenda 2063, Africa’s roadmap for the next 50 years, in particular critical aspects relating to the promotion of peace, security and stability on the Continent.

The meeting reviewed a wide range of issues including the state of Africa in 2014, and the causes of conflicts and instability, the triggers and facilitators of violence and the impact of global developments on Africa among the climate change.

The Retreat was preceded by a meeting of AU Special Envoys, Representatives and Heads of AU Missions and Liaison Offices on Monday 20 October, 2014. The meeting took place on the cusp of the outbreak and spread of the Ebola Virus Disease as well as the AUC Chairperson’s visit to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the three West African countries hardest hit by the outbreak. As such, participants welcomed the concerted contributions by Member States in true African solidarity as well as the response measures undertaken by the Executive Council and the PSC to tackle Ebola.

The Retreat also paid homage to Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, former Secretary-General of the OAU, and to Mr. Hashim Mbita, former Chairperson of the Liberation Committee, for their estimable contribution to Pan-Africanism and the liberation of the Continent from colonialism and conflict. The inaugural ‘Son of Africa’ award, which was presented to them by Amb. Chergui on behalf of the AUC Chairperson, H.E Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma during a gala dinner hosted in their honour, will continue to be presented on a regular basis to eminent Africans who have served the Continent with great distinction.

Oct 242014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, October 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM and Tunisia’s National Observatory for Youth (ONJ) will today (24/10) open a new Swiss-funded Migration Information Center for young people in Tunis.

The centre, which is backed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), will provide information and promote safe and legal migration options among Tunisian youth.

Two counsellors trained as part of an IOM project: Solidarity with the Children of Maghreb and Mashreq (SALEMM), will advise young people on opportunities abroad including study, internships, volunteering and employment.

The centre will use information materials and counselling to promote legal migration and deter vulnerable young people from considering irregular migration options and fraudulent jobs offered by human smugglers and traffickers.

ONJ counsellors will hold weekly information sessions on Friday afternoons. The first session, scheduled today (24/10) will address: “Travelling and legal migration opportunities to Switzerland” and will be supported by Swiss consular staff.

The centre will complement the work of three Migration Resource Centres established in the cities of Tunis, Kef and Sfax in 2013. The IOM-funded centres were set up in partnership with Tunisia’s National Agency for Employment and Independent Work (ANETI) and the Office for Tunisians Abroad (OTE).