Dec 172014
 
WASHINGTON, December 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Kwa miaka 20 iliyopita EnergyNet imepanga mikutano ya wawekezaji na baadhi ya wakuzaji wa umeme wa kuaminika na mashuhuri wanaoendesha biashara barani Afrika. Symbion Power, GE, Siemens, Copperbelt, Goldwind, Azura Power, Aldwych, Karpowership, Globeleq, Schneider Electric, ESBi, Transcorp, Chint, China State Grid, Hanergy na makampuni mengine ambayo yametoa ahadi za muda mrefu katika sekta hii na kuwekeza katika ufumbuzi endelevu. Haya ni makampuni makubwa yenye mizania imara yanayotambuliwa na baadhi ya benki kubwa.


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


Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/141209en.png


Licha ya mvuto, ujuzi na tajiriba hii yote, mabiliano ya madola yametumiwa katika ukuzaji kwa miaka 20 iliyopita na miradi mingi haijafikisha kikomo cha kifedha. Kwa hivyo, swali moja muhimu kujiuliza ni ni njia gani ya sasa ya kufanya mambo ndiyo ya kudumu?


Wawekezaji wanaweza kuwajibikaje kwa mafanikio na kasi ya ukuzaji wa miradi ya muda mrefu inayoendelea? Hatimaye, serikali za Afrika na sekta ya umma ndio “mamlaka barani Afrika” na ni jukumu lao kujenga stesheni za umeme na kusambaza umeme kwa watu. Usambazaji wa umeme unaweza kuongeza manufaa kwa wote, lakini jambo la muhimu pia ni kwamba unaweza kuongeza ustawi ili kukuza uwekezaji wa sekta ya kibinafsi zaidi, kuongeza ajira zaidi na hata utajiri zaidi.


Jambo hili linaonekana likiwa rahisi…. Bila shaka linaonekana likiwa rahisi, lakini wakati mwekezaji mtarajiwa anashirikiana barani kote na wizara zisizo na miundombinu ya teknolojia na uzoefu wowote wa kimataifa katika idara zote, anaanza kuelewa changamoto ambazo serikali na wakuzaji wanakumbana nazo wakijaribu kukubailiana.


Mwaka uliopita tuliona mabadiliko katika mazungumzo na mabadiliko ya kuelekea upande mzuri unaolenga ujenzi wa uwezo na usaidizi wa miundombinu kwa mashirika ya sekta ya umma.


Symbion Power, Schneider, GE, Aggreko, na Norton Rose Fulbright na makampuni mengine yamekuwa yakiwekeza katika ujenzi wa uwezo wa muda mrefu ikiwa ni pamoja na kutoa mafunzo ya kiwango cha chini. Makampuni haya, pamoja na PwC na Deloitte yanashirikiana na mashirika ya sekta ya umma katika miradi zaidi ya ukuzaji ili kusaidia ujenzi wa uwezo. Hatua moja muhimu imekuwa kuzinduliwa kwa mpango wa “Umeme Afrika” wa Rais Obama ulioundwa kuongeza upatikanaji wa umeme katika Afrika yote Kusini mwa Sahara. Mpango wa Umeme Afrika unataka kuimarisha uwezo wa mashirika na watu unaohitajika kuvutia uwekezaji kwa misingi endelevu ya muda mrefu na kudhibiti sekta ya umeme inayokua kwa ufanisi.


Tangu kuzinduliwa kwake mwishoni mwa Juni 2013, mpango wa Umeme Afrika umesaidia kurahisisha uhusiano wa kifedha wa miamala ya sekta ya kibinafsi ambao unatarajiwa kuzalisha zaidi ya Megawati 3,100 (MW) za uwezo wa uzalishaji mpya. Zaidi ya hayo, mpango wa Umeme Afrika tayari umegawanya zaidi ya dola bilioni 20 kama ahadi kwa zaidi ya wabia 80 wa sekta ya kibinafsi. Mpango wa Umeme Afrika pia umeingia katika ubia wa kimkakati na Benki ya Dunia, Benki ya Ukuzaji ya Afrika na Serikali ya Uswidi, ambao kwa jumla wameahidi dola bilioni 9 zaidi.


Katika ‘Mkutano wa Umeme Afrika' (http://www.poweringafrica-summit.com): utakaofanyika Washington mwezi ujao nyingi ya changamoto na fursa zitajadiliwa, wengi wa wawekezaji walio katika mpango huo wakihudhuria ikiwa ni pamoja na wale kutoka AfDB, Benki ya Dunia, Serikali ya Marekani na wabia wa sekta ya kibinfasi.


Tukiwa na ushirikiano kama huo wa nguvu kati ya wawekezaji wa kimataifa, tuna uhakika kwamba sio jambo la ‘kama' utaleta fursa, bali ni ‘wakati' fursa hizo zitaabadilisha maisha ya walio mashinani.


Ikiwa imelenga sekta ya umeme ya Afrika na uzalishaji wa umeme katika masoko yanayokua kwa miaka 20, EnergyNet imepata fursa ya kushuhudia juhudi na ahadi ya muda mrefu inayohitajika ‘kuwasha taa barani Afrika.' Leo kuna shauku kubwa na ‘matarajio' zaidi kuhusu uwezo wa soko la umeme la Afrika, na tunafurahia kushiriki katika jukumu dogo kama hilo katika sekta muhimu na ya kusisimua.


Kuanzia tarehe 28-30 Januari 2015, EnergyNet itakaribisha wajumbe wa Wizara na maofisa kutoka mashiriki ya huduma na udhibiti kutoka Afrika kwa mkutano na washikadau wa sekta ya kibinafsi na umma ya Marekani katika Mkutano wa Umeme wa Afrika: ambapo wataendelea na mazungumzo muhimu kuhusu jinsi ya kudumisha kasi ya kujenga sekta ya umeme Afrika.


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


Kwa maelezo zaidi kuhusu Mkutano wa Umeme Afrika:


Tarehe za mkutano: Tarehe 28-30 Januari 2015


Wapi: Hoteli ya St. Regis, Washington DC.


Anwani: Amy Offord, Meneja wa Uuzaji


Simu: +44 (0)20 7384 8068


Barua pepe: pa-s@energynet.co.uk


Tembelea: http://www.poweringafrica-summit.com


SOURCE

EnergyNet Ltd.




Dec 172014
 

TOKYO, Japan, December 17, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — 1. On December 16, the Government of Japan decided to extend emergency grant aid of approximately 640,000 U.S. dollars (approximately 76.4 million Japanese yen) through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in order to support the smooth implementation of the presidential by-election to be held on January 20, 2015 in the Republic of Zambia.

2. With the passing of H.E. Mr. Michael Chilufya Sata, former President of the Republic of Zambia on October 28 this year, the by-election is scheduled to take place. The Government of Zambia has requested emergency assistance from the international community for carrying out this election in a fair and democratic manner.

3. To support the by-election, the Government of Japan will finance the purchase of equipments relating to electorate education and voting. This assistance will contribute to “Consolidating Peace, Stability, Democracy and Good Governance”, one of the pillars of Japan’s diplomacy towards Africa, demonstrated at the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V).

4. The Government of Japan hopes that the by-election be conducted in a peaceful and transparent manner, thereby contributing to ensure the consolidation of democracy and good governance in Zambia and to the stability of the Southern African region as a whole.

Dec 172014
 

HARGEISA, Somaliland December 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — flydubai (http://www.flydubai.com) oo fadhigeedu yahay Dubai waxay shabakadeeda si ballaranayso ku dhawaqday duulimaad cusub. Duulimaadyada Hargeisa (Somaliland), Chennai (India), iyo Nejran (Saudi Arabia) waxay bilaawanaysa qaybteeda koowad 2015, taasi oo ay si ballarin doonta duulimaadyadeeda ilaa 89 goobood ku taala 46 waddan.

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

Photo 1: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1389

(Sudhir Sreedharan, Madax ku xigeenka sare Commercial (GCC, Subcontinent, Africa)

Photo 2: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/141210f3.jpg

Photo 3: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/141210f2.jpg

Laga bilaabo 05 Maarso 2015, flydubai waxay noqonaysa duulimaadka ugu horeeysa ka hawlgala Hargeisa, Somaliland iyado oo afar duulimaad asbuciiba ka socota Dubai. flydubai waxay sannadka 2014 ku ballarisay shabakadeeda Afrika ilaa 13 goobood oo u ka hawlgala 60 duulimaad asbuciiba.

Asago ka hadlaya ogaysiiska cusub, Ghaith Al Ghaith, Sarakiilka Ganacsiga Guud diyaaradda flydubai, ayuu yiri: “Sannadka 2014 waa sannadka ugu mashqulsan flydubai. Waxaan ku dhawaaqnay 26 duulimaad cusub laga bilaabo Jannaayo waxaan qadaanay siddeed diyaaradood oo cusub si loo taageero qorshahan aan caadiga ahayn. Waxaan aad ugu faraxsanahay fursadaha aan horay loga fa’iidaysanin suuqa Afrikada soo kacaya sida Hargeisa.”

Duulimaadyada cusub oo lagu dhawaqay waxay muujinaysa go’aanka flydubai in ay UAE u xiriiriso suuqa aan horay lagu hawlgeli jirin. Duulimaadki waxay Dubai isku xirtay ilaa 56 goobood aan aad logu hawlgeli jirin intii ay hawlgalkeeda bilaatay sannadka 2009.

Sudhir Sreedharan, Madax ku xigeenka sare Commercial (GCC, Subcontinent, Africa) ee flydubai, ayuu yiri: “Waxaan naga go’aan in aan adeegyada flydubai oo laysku halayn karo oo tayo sare leh in aan u keeno suuqyada aan aad logu hawlgelin sida Hargeisa iyo in aan rakaabka siino fursadaha ay UAE ku imaan lahayeen iyo wixii ka baxsan ayago loo marinaya maranka duulimaadka Dubai. Wan hubaa in labada heer oo kala ah Economy Class iyo Business Class in ay ka sara maari doonta waxay rakaabka filanayan iyo in aan ku socono astaanta Dubai taasi oo aan ku hanwayn ahay in aan magaceena ku qadno.”

flydubai waxay leedahay 43 diyaaraadood nooca cusub loo yaqaan Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 waxayna ku hawlgasha in ka badan 1,200 duulimaad asbuuciba wadamadda Barigga Dhexe (Middle East), GCC, Afrika, Caucasus, Aasiya Dhexe (Central Asia), Yurub (Europe) iyo Bartamaha Indian.

Faahfaahinta Duulimaadka

Faahfaahinta Duulimaadka Hargeisa:

flydubai waxaay ku hawlgali doonta afar duulimaad asbuuciba u dhexeeya Hargeisa ilaa Dubai laga bilaabo 05 Maarso 2015.

Qiimaha tikidhadha

Qiimaha tikidhka heerka duulimaadka loo yaqaan Economy Class ka baxaysa Hargeisa waxaa lagu bilaawaya USD575 oo lagu ogoolyahay 20 kiilo alaab la huubiyay, meeshi ay qiimaha tikidhka heerka duulimaadka loo yaqaan Business Class waxaa lagu bilaawaya USD1,900 taas oo kujirta dhamman canshuuraha iyo alaab 40 kiilo ah oo lagu ogoolyahay.

flydubai waxaay bixinaysa tikidhada ugu horreysa ee heerka duulimaadka loo yaqaan Economy Class oo ah USD549 taasi oo dhaqan galaysa intii u dhexeeysa 10 Desembar 2015 ilaa 10 Jannaayo 2015.

Download the flight schedules: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/141210fs.png

Duulimaadyada waxaa lagu iibsan kara laga bilaawo maanta booga internetka diyaarada flydubai (flydubai.com), waxaad kala xiriiri karta (+971 600 54 44 45), xafiisyada duulimaadka flydubai ama xafiisyada kale duulimaadka aan xariir la leenahay. Macluumaad iyo faahfaahin dheerad ah ku sabsaan adeega caymiska duulimaadka iyo kiraynta baabuurta waxaa sido kale laga heeli kara flydubai.com.

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

Media contact:

Houda Al Kaissi

Senior Press Officer

t. +971 4 603 3073

m. +971 56 683 0336

Ku sabsaan flydubai:

flydubai (http://www.flydubai.com) oo fadhigeedu yahay Dubai waxay u dadaasha si ay carqadalaynta u ciribtiro xaga duulimaadka iyo inay booriso xiriirka udhexeeya dhaqamada kala duwan gudaha shabakadeeda oo marwalba ballaranayso. Intii u bilaawmay hawlgalkeeda sannadka 2009, flydubai waxay:

• Samaysatay shabakad oo 89 goobood, iyo 26 duulimaad cusub lagu dhawaqay sannadka 2014.

• Furtay 56 duulimaad cusub kuwaasi oo aan horay u haysan xiriir hawada oo tooska imaada Dubai ama aan laga hawlgelin duulimaad qaranka UAE ka timada Dubai.

• Iibsatay 43 diyaarad nooca cusub loo yaqaan Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 waxayna lahaan doonta ugu badnan 100 diyaarada nooca Boeing dhammadka sannadka 2023.

Intaas waxaa dheer, awood kar iyo dabacsanaanta flydubai oo ah tahay diyaarad yar waxay boorisay horumarinta dhaqalaha Dubai, oo la siimaan aragtidada Dawlada Dubai, abuuraya ganacsi iyo dalxiiska suuqyada aan horay loga hawlgeeli jirin.

Wixii macluumaad dheerad ah ku sabsaan adeegyada flydubai, fadlan booqo flydubai.com.

Dec 162014
 

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, December 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — In 2003, the UN imposed sanctions on Ivory Coast, forbidding the country to trade diamonds. Now that political calm has returned, Belgium’s FPS Foreign Affairs and the Antwerp World Diamond Centre are helping the Ivorian government set up a monitoring system so that they will be able to adhere to the strict conditions of the Kimberley Process, and resume their diamond trade.

The Antwerp World Diamond Centre has trained three Ivorian senior officials to become diamond experts. The 8-week training was funded by the FPS Foreign Affairs and aimed to provide the Ivorians with the necessary knowledge to estimate the value of a diamond. It also taught them everything about the stringent regulations of the Kimberley Process, and how that knowledge can be applied to everyday practice.

“In 2003, the UN imposed sanctions on Ivory Coast, forcing the country to stop trading diamonds. The sanctions were put in place because the risk of conflict diamonds entering the regular circuit would have been too great otherwise,” says Margaux Donckier, spokeswoman for the AWDC.

Now that the Ivory Coast’s political situation has stabilized and its economy is recovering, diamond production is back in the picture. But in order to actually start trading again, Ivory Coast must meet the stringent requirements of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, and the Ivorian government must establish a control panel.

“As Belgium has been one of the driving forces behind the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme since the very beginning, Ivory Coast has appealed to us to help them set up a supervisory body,” says Margaux Donckier. The FPS Foreign Affairs and the Antwerp World Diamond Centre are glad to help Ivory Coast by providing knowledge and expertise. The FPS Foreign Affairs believes that the development of Ivory Coast, Belgium’s position as a major diamond trading hub and the diamond trade in general will all benefit from a fair diamond trade.

Experts believe Ivory Coast has the potential to produce 150 to 200,000 carats of rough diamonds annually in the years ahead, representing a value of $25 million. Ivory Coast will launch its new control panel on 1 January. The UN will follow developments closely and will publish an assessment report every six months. In addition, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme’s own control panel will be visiting Ivory Coast to see if all conditions are being met, and to formulate recommendations if necessary.

Dec 162014
 

COTONOU, Benin, December 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Board of Directors of the West African Development Bank (BOAD) (http://www.boad.org/) held its 95th ordinary meeting on 15 December 2014 in Cotonou, under the chairmanship of Mr. Christian Adovelande, President, Chairman of the Board of Directors.

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Following the adoption of the minutes of its 94th Board meeting held on 24 September 2014 in Lomé, the Board considered and approved the 2014-2018 financial outlook update as well as the 2015-2017 programme-budgeting.

The financial outlook update sets out the volume of activities per sector, estimates the financial resources required to cover commitments, and defines the intervention conditions of the Bank.

Over the 2015-2018 period, BOAD intends to approve long or medium-term loans in an amount of XOF1,100 billion, excluding the Energy Development Fund (FDE), established by the WAEMU and managed by BOAD.

The business volume projected during this five-year period includes XOF217 billion for short-term credit facilities, XOF48.9 billion for equity investments and XOF20 billion for guarantees. A special focus will be placed on the search for co-funding, financing arrangements and promotion of public-private partnerships.

Resource mobilization will be one of the key priorities in order for the institution to better support member countries in their development drive.

By 2018, the Bank should mobilize borrowings and own resources involving at least XOF1,500 billion. In this connection, BOAD plans to resort to the regional capital market to raise about XOF725 billion over the next four years, as well as a borrowing involving XOF250 billion in the international capital market.

The preparation of this financial outlook update took place in a context marked by the adoption in last September of a new strategic plan for 2015-2019, with the objective of making BOAD “a solid development bank for economic integration and transformation in West Africa”. This vision is outlined in four major directions :

-Accelerating regional integration through continued infrastructure financing;

-Supporting inclusive growth, food security and sustainable development;

-Supporting businesses and governments and developing financial engineering and services;

-Deepening the resource mobilization process.

The 2015-2017 programme-budgeting adopted by the Board was prepared in line with the guidelines set forth in the strategic plan and the financial outlook update.

Besides, the Board approved four loan proposals involving a total amount of XOF44 billion:

-Development of 8,000 ha of land at Kandara in the Djenné area (Mali). This project is part of the irrigation scheme implemented in the Bani Basin area and at Sélingué. Amount: XOF10 billion.

-Sewage treatment and drainage of storm waters in the township of Fatick (Senegal). Amount: XOF9 billion.

-Planning and asphalting of the Adzopé-Yakassé Attobrou road (Côte d’Ivoire). Amount: XOF10 billion.

-Street paving and sanitation in the townships of Bembéréké, Bonou, Bopa, Dogbo, Ifangni, Kalalé, Karimama, Tanguiéta, Zakpota and Zè (Benin). Amount: XOF15 billion.

These new loans brought the aggregate amount of loans granted by BOAD to XOF3,181.12 billion, excluding short-term credit facilities and equity investments, equating to 726 projects.

The Board also approved proposals in connection with the following items:

-Equity investment by BOAD in the capital increase of ORABANK Côte d’Ivoire. Involving XOF10.395 billion, this operation brought the Bank’s interests in the share capital to XOF16.995 billion, representing 45.32% of the capital of the Ivorian bank;

-Granting of a second line of credit to BOAD by China Development Bank (CDB). In a total amount of €100 million, this facility will be split into two tranches.

Thereafter, the Board of Directors delivered a favourable opinion on the situational report and prospects for the reorganization of BRS Group and the statement of recovery of BOAD loans as at 30 November 2014. Furthermore, it took cognizance of the following items: the minutes of the 19th meeting of BOAD Audit Committee; the progress report on the implementation of BOAD’s IT blueprint; the summary note on ex-post performance evaluations; the implementation of the Council of Ministers’ decision on providing resources to BOAD as part of the initial appropriation to the Energy Development Fund (FDE); the summary of lessons drawn and recommendations of the qualitative socio-economic impact assessment of seven irrigation schemes; the minutes of the ordinary meeting of the WAMU Council of Ministers held on 24-25 September 2014 in Lomé.

In closing the meeting, Chairman Christian Adovelande thanked, on behalf of the Board, the Beninese authorities for the warm and fraternal welcome extended to Directors and the material and organizational arrangements that facilitated the organization of this meeting under congenial conditions.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the West African Development Bank (BOAD).

For further information, please contact:

Saidou Ouedraogo

Director, Communication, Marketing & Public Relations.

Tel : 228 22 23 27 09

Fax : 228 22 23 24 38

Email : boadsiege@boad.org

Dec 162014
 

KHARTOUM, Sudan, December 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — To help address growing humanitarian needs in Sudan, the Government of Ireland has contributed an additional US $ 1,891,551 to the Sudan Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF), following its contribution earlier this year of US $1,362,200.

“The funding which Ireland is providing will help the UN and its partners to respond effectively to the immense humanitarian needs in Sudan, including by improving nutrition, ensuring greater access to clean water and to healthcare, and addressing other critical humanitarian gaps,” said Seán Sherlock, Ireland’s Minister for Development, Trade Promotion, and North-South Co-operation.

In particular, funds will be utilized by national and international non-governmental organizations, as they constitute 50 per cent of CHF recipients. In addition, funds will ensure that live-saving projects continue to provide assistance to those in need.

“Timely CHF allocations, such as Ireland’s, constitute a key source of support for the numerous activities in Sudan, in addition to what is provided by the relevant local and international partners working in the field,” said Ali Al-Za’tari, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator

Since the inception of the Sudan CHFin 2006 Ireland has been a committed donor, to date committing over US $30 million dollars.

Dec 162014
 

LONDON, United-Kingdom, December 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The British Embassy in Cairo resumed public services today, after the embassy and the Egyptian government agreed on a number of measures to improve the physical security of the embassy building.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said:

“I am pleased that the British Embassy in Cairo has today resumed public services in full. I am very grateful for the close co-operation from the Egyptian Government which has made this re-opening possible.

“Britain and Egypt have strong bonds between our people, essential commercial links, and cooperate closely in a number of areas. This same cooperation also sees thousands of British holiday-makers heading off for the Egyptian sun every Christmas and New Year”.

British Ambassador to Egypt John Casson said:

“It is great news that, thanks to the vital cooperation of the Egyptian government, we have today restarted full public services at the British Embassy in Cairo.

“Britain is fully open for business in Egypt. In the days ahead we will be investing in Egyptian education through the new £20m Newton-Mosharafa fund, welcoming thousands of tourists for the Christmas break, and preparing for a trade mission in January to create Egyptian jobs with British investment.

Britain’s commitment to Egypt’s success is as deep and strong as ever.”

Dec 162014
 

WASHINGTON, December 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Op-Ed

John Kerry

Secretary of State

Susan E. Rice, National Security Adviser

The Washington Post

December 15, 2014

In 2011, the world’s newest nation was born amid joyous celebrations. The international community welcomed South Sudan not just with cheers but also with promises of help. The hope and promise of that day are now at grave risk of being squandered if the nation’s leaders don’t at long last provide leadership.

Violence that erupted in the capital city of Juba last December spread quickly, claiming the lives of thousands of men, women, and children and reopening bitter ethnic divisions. In the time since, almost 2 million people have been displaced from their homes, while residents in some parts of the country face the risk of famine. In a country that has so much potential and that has endured decades of conflict, the suffering and violence have had a devastating effect.

The tragedy is especially hard to accept because the violence was not imposed on South Sudan by outside forces; instead it was unleashed by a political dispute among the country’s leaders. Now, the responsibility is on their shoulders to halt the bloodshed and bring their country together. After months of delay and false pledges, both sides must return to negotiations, make necessary compromises and finally end this conflict without further delay. Barren vows and rosy words are not enough; too many people have died while too many promises have been broken. It is past time for South Sudan’s leaders to take responsibility and end the fighting.

To move forward, a transitional government with a mandate to create security agencies that protect all of South Sudan’s people — regardless of ethnicity or political alignment — is imperative. That government must develop a transparent system for managing the country’s resources and agree on an inclusive constitutional drafting process that focuses on improved governance. Given the level of past violence, a reconciliation plan must also be established, accompanied by efforts to investigate atrocities and ensure that those involved are held accountable for their crimes.

The South Sudanese people have many friends throughout the world, and none is more committed to their future than the United States. But the full value of those friendships cannot be realized unless and until the country’s leaders put the interests of their people above their own grievances. The United States and our international partners have organized a massive humanitarian aid effort, supported a U.N. peacekeeping force whose members have risked their lives to save civilians and made repeated efforts to encourage reconciliation and a return to peace. We have worked with local and regional partners to document human rights abuses and support religious leaders as they work for reconciliation. All this is helpful, but none of it will be enough in the absence of effective leadership.

Working in close cooperation with our regional and international partners, we will continue to increase pressure on the parties until the violence ends. But we must also be clear that those who choose the path of continued conflict and destruction will face greater consequences.

We do not have the luxury of time. In South Sudan, hunger is often a threat, but when the cycle of planting and harvesting is disrupted, when grazing lands are turned into battlegrounds and when humanitarian convoys are subject to attack, the threat becomes a crisis and the lives of millions hang in the balance. With each passing day, the ranks of the hungry and malnourished grow. This suffering will end only when the guns fall silent.

On this sad anniversary, we salute the men and women of South Sudan who still strive each day on behalf of peace. Our thoughts are with the leaders of the faith communities and civil society groups who have rejected hatred and embraced compassion and with the neighbors who have sheltered and safeguarded one another. South Sudan’s leaders would be wise to follow their people’s example.

The two of us have traveled to South Sudan many times. We know the country’s promise and have seen firsthand the dedication, courage and incredible resilience of its people. We have witnessed the costs of conflict and shared in the exhilaration when it appeared that the years of fighting had given way to a new era of freedom and peace. We remember the long lines of voters standing and waiting with patient exuberance to vote in their country’s referendum and joined with the crowds on independence day to celebrate the realization of peaceful self-determination.

Now, the whole world is watching to see what the leaders of South Sudan will do. Will they continue on the path of conflict and condemn their country to another year of suffering? Or will they make the hard choices, work together and restore to their country the hope that its citizens so richly deserve? For the sake of all the people of South Sudan, the choice must be for peace.

Dec 162014
 

DAKAR, Sénégal, December 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today completed the eighth review of Senegal’s economic performance under the program supported by the Policy Support Instrument (PSI) and also concluded the 2014 Article IV consultation1.

The PSI was approved by the Executive Board on December 3, 2010 (see Press Release No. 10/469). The IMF’s framework for PSIs is designed for low-income countries that may not need, or want, IMF financial assistance, but still seek IMF advice, monitoring and endorsement of their policies. PSIs are voluntary and demand driven (see Public Information Notice No. 05/145). In completing the review, the Board approved a waiver for nonobservance of the assessment criterion on non-concessional borrowing.

Following the Board discussion, Mr. Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, made the following statement:

“The authorities should be commended for successfully maintaining macroeconomic stability, advancing with fiscal consolidation and completing the PSI. However, slow implementation of structural reforms has resulted in below par and sluggish growth. This has hampered poverty reduction. In 2014, exogenous shocks, including the spillovers from the Ebola epidemic, have also weighed down growth.

“To exit the trap of low growth and high poverty, the government has developed an ambitious program “Plan Sénégal Emergent” (PSE). The PSE presents a unique opportunity to unlock a broad-based and inclusive growth that will make Senegal an emerging economy. The goal of a 7 to 8 percent annual growth is feasible in the medium term but would require a broadening, deepening and acceleration of structural reforms. Public consumption should be constrained to create fiscal space for implementation of PSE-related social spending and projects. Substantial improvements are required in the regulatory framework and governance, as well as in the quality and efficiency of public investment.

“The 2015 budget targets a further reduction in the deficit to 4.7 percent of GDP, less ambitious than the 4.0 percent of GDP projected earlier. However, the authorities are taking action to improve the quality of public spending by holding back appropriations for new public investment projects until feasibility studies are ready. This may mean that in practice the deficit is closer to the initial projections. Ebola-related shocks could add 0.3 percent of GDP to the deficit in 2015. The authorities remain committed to bringing the fiscal deficit in line with the WAEMU target of 3 percent of GDP in the medium term.”

The Executive Board also completed the 2014 Article IV Consultation with Senegal.

Senegal’s macroeconomic situation is stable. Inflation remains low. The fiscal outlook has improved owing to stronger revenue performance and expenditure control measures and overall deficit is expected to fall to 5.2 percent of GDP in 2014 from 5.5 percent of GDP in 2013. The current account deficit is expected to decline but would stay at about 10 percent of GDP because of depressed exports.

Slow implementation of structural reforms and exogenous shocks continued to weigh down growth. While progress has been made, particularly in the area of governance and business climate, some delays have accrued in the introduction of the single treasury account, expenditure rationalization, investment expenditure execution, and energy sector reforms, with distortive energy subsidies weighing heavily on the budget. For 2014, growth is expected to reach 4.5 percent (from 3.5 percent in 2013), 0.4 percentage points below earlier estimates, reflecting an expected softening in the tourism sector because of the Ebola epidemic compounded by the late start of the rainy season.

The outlook for the Senegalese economy is positive. The authorities’ new development strategy, Plan Sénégal Emergent (PSE), presents a unique opportunity to unlock a broad-based and inclusive growth that will make Senegal an emerging economy. Risks are mainly domestic and regional, and relate to continued slow implementation of structural reforms, including in the energy sector, and the impact of the regional Ebola epidemic. External risks include possible increases in the cost of public borrowing, global effects of the unwinding of unconventional monetary policies, and potential spillovers from a protracted period of slower growth in partner countries and falling oil prices, which may affect fiscal revenue.

Executive Board Assessment2

Executive Directors agreed with the thrust of the staff appraisal. They noted that satisfactory program implementation has helped Senegal preserve macroeconomic stability. However, due to internal and external factors, the economy has continued to underperform and unemployment and poverty remain high. The large current account deficit and increasing exposure of the external position to shifting market sentiment pose additional risks to the outlook. Directors stressed that prudent policies and ambitious structural reforms are critical to boosting growth and reducing poverty. In this regard, they welcomed the authorities’ new development strategy as outlined in “Plan Sénégal Emergent” (PSE) and looked forward to its steadfast and timely implementation.

Directors emphasized that accelerating the pace of structural reforms will be key to achieving the PSE objectives. They agreed that reform efforts should be aimed at improving governance and the business climate in order to promote private sector development and to attract foreign direct investment. Priority should also be given to making delivery of public services more efficient, improving the impact of public spending through PFM reforms, containing public consumption to generate the fiscal space for investment in human capital and public infrastructure, and strengthening social safety nets. A comprehensive restructuring of the energy sector and increasing export competitiveness will also be important. Directors welcomed the authorities’ plans to engage with a few comparator countries to develop an active peer learning effort to roll out the required reforms.

Directors encouraged the authorities to anchor fiscal policy on long-term debt sustainability within a medium-term budget framework and reach the WAEMU convergence criteria on the fiscal deficit of 3 percent of GDP by 2019. They noted that attaining this goal will require further strengthening of tax and expenditure policy measures. While supporting the PSE priorities, Directors emphasized that all related investment should be consistent with the authorities’ earlier fiscal consolidation plans and Senegal’s absorptive capacity. In addition, decisions to contract nonconcessional financing should be carefully weighed.

Directors welcomed the initiative to improve the quality of public investment by establishing a precautionary reserve envelope from which funding would only be released for projects with proper feasibility studies. Directors encouraged the authorities to extend this in the 2016 budget.

Directors stressed that continued efforts will be needed to improve public financial management, budget institutions, and economic governance. They underscored that reforms should focus on key areas such as macro-fiscal policy design, development of a medium-term expenditure framework and improved fiscal discipline in budget execution.

Directors highlighted the importance of addressing financial sector vulnerabilities, especially the quality of bank assets. They encouraged continued vigilance of the high level of non-performing loans in close cooperation with the BCEAO and WAEMU Banking Commission. Directors supported the strategy to improve access to financial services.

1 Under Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement, the IMF holds bilateral discussions with members, usually every year. A staff team visits the country, collects economic and financial information, and discusses with officials the country’s economic developments and policies. On return to headquarters, the staff prepares a report, which forms the basis for discussion by the Executive Board.

2 At the conclusion of the discussion, the Managing Director, as Chairman of the Board, summarizes the views of Executive Directors, and this summary is transmitted to the country’s authorities. An explanation of any qualifiers used in summings up can be found here: http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/misc/qualifiers.htm.

Dec 162014
 

DUBAI, UAE, December 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries are placing more attention on new markets in east, west and southern Africa as their trade flows with the continent expand, according to a rep…

Dec 162014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, December 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The new United Nations Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, Bahame Tom Mukirya Nyanduga, urged the Somali authorities and the international community to reinforce the country’s governance and safeguard its full transition to peace, stability and democracy.

“The Federal Government of Somalia together with the international community need to allocate adequate resources to strengthen the rule of law institutions and ensure that the interim regional administrations benefit from the New Deal Compact,” Mr. Bahame Nyanduga said at the end of his first mission to the Federal Republic of Somalia, which took him to Mogadishu, Kismayo, Garowe and Hargeisa.

The Independent Expert noted that, despite severe capacity and resource constraints, the Government has made some achievements in the human rights sphere. These include the adoption of the National Action Plan to combat sexual violence, holding of stakeholders’ consultations on the implementation of the human rights road map.

He also commended the Somali Federal authorities for “the gradual improvement in the political and security situation, the ongoing Federal and State formation process, and the peace and stabilisation measures in the newly recovered territories, all of which are critical in the attainment of the vision 2016.”

However, Mr. Bahame Nyanduga noted concern at the capacity and resource constraints affecting the working of the judiciary, and slow progress in establishing the judicial institutions which has contributed to the pervasive role of military courts trying civilians. “Such a state of affairs would undermine efforts to build peace, justice and accountability,” he warned.

“The Federal Government must undertake urgent reforms in the justice sector by establishing an efficient, impartial and independent judiciary as a critical pillar in the administration of justice,” he stressed.

The human rights expert warned about the continued deterioration in the enjoyment of the right to freedom of expression. “A vibrant free media is being stifled through harassment, arrest and imprisonment of journalists and media workers,” he said. “This has been compounded by targeted assassination of journalists by Al Shabab.”

“I call on the Federal Government to ensure that the private media in Somalia and journalists enjoy the right to practice their profession and enjoy their right to freedom of expression as well as ensure the safety of journalists,” Mr. Bahame Nyanduga said. “I also call on the media to exercise professionalism and responsible media reporting.”

During his mission the Independent Expert held discussions with the FGS Minister for Women Affairs and Human Rights Development, Attorney General and other senior officials from the Federal Government of Somalia; the Second Deputy Leader, Suldan Abdulkadir Ahmed (‘Lugadhere’) and Ministers of the Interim Juba Administration; the President of Puntland, ministers and senior officials of both Puntland and Somaliland.

The expert also held meetings with the Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia, UN Somalia Country Team officials in Nairobi and Mogadishu, and also met representatives of international and national NGOs operating in Somalia and the media.

Mr. Bahame Nyanduga expects to undertake a second visit to Somalia before he submits his report with recommendations to the Human Rights Council in September 2015 aimed at assisting government to fulfil its human rights obligations