Oct 312014
 
WASHINGTON, October 31, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Press Statement

Jen Psaki

Department Spokesperson

Washington, DC

October 30, 2014


The United States is deeply concerned by the October 27 sentencing of Ethiopian journalist Temesgen Desalegn to three years in prison for “provocation and dissemination of inaccurate information.” Freedom of expression and freedom of the press are fundamental elements of a democratic society, and the promotion and protection of these rights and freedoms are basic responsibilities of democratic governments.

As President Obama stated during his meeting in September with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam, it is important that Ethiopia's progress and positive example on economic development and regional conflict resolution extends to civil society as well. We urge Ethiopia to make similar progress with regard to respect for press freedom and the free flow of ideas and reiterate our call for the Ethiopian government to release journalists imprisoned for exercising their right to freedom of expression.

Oct 312014
 

DAKAR, Sénégal, October 31, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA) is deeply concerned about the situation in Burkina Faso, where violent incidents have occurred between security forces and demonstrators demanding the withdrawal of a bill on the revision of Article 37 of the Constitution.

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, deplores the deterioration of the security situation in the capital Ouagadougou and in other cities across the country.

Mr. Ibn Chambas urges the national authorities to do their utmost to protect civilians and to favor dialogue. He calls on political and civil society actors to avoid resorting to violence.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General, who is scheduled to travel to Ouagadougou tomorrow, Friday 31 October, together with representatives of ECOWAS and the African Union, encourages all parties to work towards a pacific solution in the interest of the stability of Burkina Faso.

Oct 312014
 

OTTAWA, Canada, October 31, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement expressing strong concern over the recent developments in Burkina Faso:

“Canada is extremely concerned about the violence that has erupted today during demonstrations in various cities in Burkina Faso, particularly in the capital of Ouagadougou.

“Canada calls upon all sides to exercise restraint and avoid resorting to further violence. I strongly encourage all parties to respect the democratic process and let constitutional law and order prevail. All parties are called upon to immediately find a peaceful resolution.

“Canada extends its deepest sympathies to the loved ones of those who have been killed as a result of this violence.”

Canadians currently in Burkina Faso should immediately register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service and closely monitor travel advisories for Burkina Faso and local reports.

 Uncategorized
Oct 312014
 

KINSHASA, DRC, October 31, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The organizers of the Conference of Ministers of ECCAS (http://www.ceeac-eccas.org) on the Fund for the Green Economy in Central Africa and the structural transformation of the economy of natural resources announced today that the ministers from the region have adopted a text establishing the Fund for the Green Economy in Central Africa.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/CEEAC-1.jpg

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/141030ce.jpg

At the opening of the conference, the Vice Prime Minister of Defense and Veterans of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mr. Tambo Loaba, announced a $3 million contribution from his country to start the Fund for the Green Economy in Central Africa (FEVAC).

“Concerning the financing of FEVAC, the Democratic Republic of Congo supports its creation and commits $3 million for its establishment beginning in 2015,” said Mr. Loaba in his address.

This decision marks a first giant step toward the effective initiation of a global restructuring of the Central African economy, based on the natural resource economy and the timber industry in particular.

“Today, for the first time, Central Africa has placed the environment within the core economic structure of the countries in the region,” emphasized Dr. Honoré Tabuna, Biodiversity Valuation and Environmental Economics expert and the conference coordinator. “We are finally reaching the final stages and practical implementation of a process that began in Rio in 1992. We must now talk about the economy in order to establish a new balance of sustainable development based on a green economy in Central Africa,” he added.

Held from October 27–30 in Kinshasa, the conference brought together the Central African Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs, and Forestry as well as several experts in green economy and the timber industry.

It was hosted by the ECCAS as part of the Program for the Management of Vulnerable Ecosystems in Central Africa (under ECOFAC), the result of a joint effort with the European Union, which provides financial support within the framework of the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan.

“A Shift toward a Green Economy Represents a Positive Economic Turn”

Today, the timber industry serves as an example, showing the true decision makers in the countries of Central Africa that a shift toward a green economy represents a positive economic turn for the region’s economy as a whole.

The joint presence of the Ministers of Forestry and Finance of Central African countries provides a new opportunity to demonstrate that the green economy is not simply a concern for environmental experts, but also for the economists of each government.

It’s key to note that the move of major regional actors to create a new “motor” for the green economy provides support to countries combating illegal logging while also encouraging good forest governance. This important movement for the green economy, which depends on the progressive commitment of the Ministers of Finance, will bring regional changes and attract investments to help the countries working with the FLEGT and which have signed voluntary agreements with the EU.

The Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) are bilateral trade agreements between the EU and a timber-exporting country. The VPA is underpinned by the development and implementation of a timber licensing scheme by the partner country. All of the lumber exported to the EU must abide by the regulations of this scheme. Moreover, each EU country is responsible for keeping unauthorized lumber out of the market.

“The objective is to give a greater voice to the Ministers of the Environment who, thus far, have received only a small share of the budget, far less than the Ministers of Commerce or Energy who benefit from revenue generated by their activities. We must show that natural resources are much more lucrative,” said Aimé Nianogo, IUCN Regional Director for West Africa.

The Timber Industry and the Impact of Market Regulation Programs

Indeed, timber- and forestry-related issues lie naturally at the heart of the implementation of the Green Economy System in Central Africa: the timber industry, which has long represented a gateway to international markets, is currently benefiting from major advances provided by market regulation programs, such as the EU Timber Regulation, but also the Lacey Act in the United States and the Australian Illegal Logging Prohibition Act.

These regulations and agreements, like those of the FLEGT, open new, more reliable, and better-regulated markets, the revenues of which can be better distributed thanks to improved governance. Indeed, changing the economic system to allow for the development of the green economy requires fundamental governmental restructuring. “That is one of the major obstacles that still risks hindering the best intentions and positions of even the most sincere decision makers,” said Aimé Nianogo.

The Ministers of Forestry also had the opportunity to convince their own Ministers of Finance of the importance of paying attention to issues relating to the timber industry and its development. Clearly, these are not simply national but also regional concerns, as regional Ministers of Forestry met to discuss these issues with Ministers of Finance.

Transforming the Economic Model to Address Regional Issues

One of the major objectives for Central African countries is primarily to change an economic model that broadly relies on subsoil natural resources: minerals, oil, and gas.

These resources provide the region with significantly positive growth, at nearly 6%, but this growth does not benefit the entire population. Indeed, some regions are afflicted by a poverty rate of up to 70%.

“Our studies show that the timber industry could weigh 3% to 8% in the largest economies in the region and would generate a large number of jobs, which is a major concern for several countries in the region,” Nianogo said.

The conference provides the opportunity to vote on several projects meant to build a foundation for the green economy system to be financed by the new Fund for the Green Economy.

These projects fulfill regional objectives for the development of the natural resource economy in a framework that corresponds to the objectives and recommendations established over the past twenty years by the Rio and Rio+20 conferences. They allow for the development of local, national, regional, and international economic circuits that create job opportunities for populations that have been excluded up until now.

“The projects must be approved and distributed among the countries according to their interest in achieving the set objectives, not just according to their individual desires as a function of their capabilities and hopes of earning profits in the long term,” reminds Aimé Nianogo. “We’ll undoubtedly have to provide support for the less dynamic countries or those lacking the necessary expertise to establish solid projects so that they can also benefit from an evolution that must extend throughout the entire region.”

The text adopted at Kinshasa will be presented at the conference to be held in N’djamena, Chad, where the Heads of State will be able to express their commitment to the precise and concrete measures it contains.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).

Media contact:

Gildas Parfait DIAMONEKA

Communication ECOFAC V – CEEAC

Skype: gdiamoneka

Courriel: gildas_parfait@yahoo.fr

GABON Tel: (+241) 01 44 22 09

The Economic Community of Central African States (http://www.ceeac-eccas.org) is made up of ten member countries: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, and Chad

http://www.ceeac-eccas.org

Oct 312014
 

KINSHASA, DRC, October 31, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The organizers of the Conference of Ministers of ECCAS (http://www.ceeac-eccas.org) on the Fund for the Green Economy in Central Africa and the structural transformation of the economy of natural resources announced today that the ministers from the region have adopted a text establishing the Fund for the Green Economy in Central Africa.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/CEEAC-1.jpg

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/141030ce.jpg

At the opening of the conference, the Vice Prime Minister of Defense and Veterans of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mr. Tambo Loaba, announced a $3 million contribution from his country to start the Fund for the Green Economy in Central Africa (FEVAC).

“Concerning the financing of FEVAC, the Democratic Republic of Congo supports its creation and commits $3 million for its establishment beginning in 2015,” said Mr. Loaba in his address.

This decision marks a first giant step toward the effective initiation of a global restructuring of the Central African economy, based on the natural resource economy and the timber industry in particular.

“Today, for the first time, Central Africa has placed the environment within the core economic structure of the countries in the region,” emphasized Dr. Honoré Tabuna, Biodiversity Valuation and Environmental Economics expert and the conference coordinator. “We are finally reaching the final stages and practical implementation of a process that began in Rio in 1992. We must now talk about the economy in order to establish a new balance of sustainable development based on a green economy in Central Africa,” he added.

Held from October 27–30 in Kinshasa, the conference brought together the Central African Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs, and Forestry as well as several experts in green economy and the timber industry.

It was hosted by the ECCAS as part of the Program for the Management of Vulnerable Ecosystems in Central Africa (under ECOFAC), the result of a joint effort with the European Union, which provides financial support within the framework of the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan.

“A Shift toward a Green Economy Represents a Positive Economic Turn”

Today, the timber industry serves as an example, showing the true decision makers in the countries of Central Africa that a shift toward a green economy represents a positive economic turn for the region’s economy as a whole.

The joint presence of the Ministers of Forestry and Finance of Central African countries provides a new opportunity to demonstrate that the green economy is not simply a concern for environmental experts, but also for the economists of each government.

It’s key to note that the move of major regional actors to create a new “motor” for the green economy provides support to countries combating illegal logging while also encouraging good forest governance. This important movement for the green economy, which depends on the progressive commitment of the Ministers of Finance, will bring regional changes and attract investments to help the countries working with the FLEGT and which have signed voluntary agreements with the EU.

The Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) are bilateral trade agreements between the EU and a timber-exporting country. The VPA is underpinned by the development and implementation of a timber licensing scheme by the partner country. All of the lumber exported to the EU must abide by the regulations of this scheme. Moreover, each EU country is responsible for keeping unauthorized lumber out of the market.

“The objective is to give a greater voice to the Ministers of the Environment who, thus far, have received only a small share of the budget, far less than the Ministers of Commerce or Energy who benefit from revenue generated by their activities. We must show that natural resources are much more lucrative,” said Aimé Nianogo, IUCN Regional Director for West Africa.

The Timber Industry and the Impact of Market Regulation Programs

Indeed, timber- and forestry-related issues lie naturally at the heart of the implementation of the Green Economy System in Central Africa: the timber industry, which has long represented a gateway to international markets, is currently benefiting from major advances provided by market regulation programs, such as the EU Timber Regulation, but also the Lacey Act in the United States and the Australian Illegal Logging Prohibition Act.

These regulations and agreements, like those of the FLEGT, open new, more reliable, and better-regulated markets, the revenues of which can be better distributed thanks to improved governance. Indeed, changing the economic system to allow for the development of the green economy requires fundamental governmental restructuring. “That is one of the major obstacles that still risks hindering the best intentions and positions of even the most sincere decision makers,” said Aimé Nianogo.

The Ministers of Forestry also had the opportunity to convince their own Ministers of Finance of the importance of paying attention to issues relating to the timber industry and its development. Clearly, these are not simply national but also regional concerns, as regional Ministers of Forestry met to discuss these issues with Ministers of Finance.

Transforming the Economic Model to Address Regional Issues

One of the major objectives for Central African countries is primarily to change an economic model that broadly relies on subsoil natural resources: minerals, oil, and gas.

These resources provide the region with significantly positive growth, at nearly 6%, but this growth does not benefit the entire population. Indeed, some regions are afflicted by a poverty rate of up to 70%.

“Our studies show that the timber industry could weigh 3% to 8% in the largest economies in the region and would generate a large number of jobs, which is a major concern for several countries in the region,” Nianogo said.

The conference provides the opportunity to vote on several projects meant to build a foundation for the green economy system to be financed by the new Fund for the Green Economy.

These projects fulfill regional objectives for the development of the natural resource economy in a framework that corresponds to the objectives and recommendations established over the past twenty years by the Rio and Rio+20 conferences. They allow for the development of local, national, regional, and international economic circuits that create job opportunities for populations that have been excluded up until now.

“The projects must be approved and distributed among the countries according to their interest in achieving the set objectives, not just according to their individual desires as a function of their capabilities and hopes of earning profits in the long term,” reminds Aimé Nianogo. “We’ll undoubtedly have to provide support for the less dynamic countries or those lacking the necessary expertise to establish solid projects so that they can also benefit from an evolution that must extend throughout the entire region.”

The text adopted at Kinshasa will be presented at the conference to be held in N’djamena, Chad, where the Heads of State will be able to express their commitment to the precise and concrete measures it contains.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).

Media contact:

Gildas Parfait DIAMONEKA

Communication ECOFAC V – CEEAC

Skype: gdiamoneka

Courriel: gildas_parfait@yahoo.fr

GABON Tel: (+241) 01 44 22 09

The Economic Community of Central African States (http://www.ceeac-eccas.org) is made up of ten member countries: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, and Chad

http://www.ceeac-eccas.org

Oct 312014
 

KINSHASA, DRC, October 31, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The organizers of the Conference of Ministers of ECCAS (http://www.ceeac-eccas.org) on the Fund for the Green Economy in Central Africa and the structural transformation of the economy of natural resources announced today that the ministers from the region have adopted a text establishing the Fund for the Green Economy in Central Africa.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/CEEAC-1.jpg

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/141030ce.jpg

At the opening of the conference, the Vice Prime Minister of Defense and Veterans of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mr. Tambo Loaba, announced a $3 million contribution from his country to start the Fund for the Green Economy in Central Africa (FEVAC).

“Concerning the financing of FEVAC, the Democratic Republic of Congo supports its creation and commits $3 million for its establishment beginning in 2015,” said Mr. Loaba in his address.

This decision marks a first giant step toward the effective initiation of a global restructuring of the Central African economy, based on the natural resource economy and the timber industry in particular.

“Today, for the first time, Central Africa has placed the environment within the core economic structure of the countries in the region,” emphasized Dr. Honoré Tabuna, Biodiversity Valuation and Environmental Economics expert and the conference coordinator. “We are finally reaching the final stages and practical implementation of a process that began in Rio in 1992. We must now talk about the economy in order to establish a new balance of sustainable development based on a green economy in Central Africa,” he added.

Held from October 27–30 in Kinshasa, the conference brought together the Central African Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs, and Forestry as well as several experts in green economy and the timber industry.

It was hosted by the ECCAS as part of the Program for the Management of Vulnerable Ecosystems in Central Africa (under ECOFAC), the result of a joint effort with the European Union, which provides financial support within the framework of the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan.

“A Shift toward a Green Economy Represents a Positive Economic Turn”

Today, the timber industry serves as an example, showing the true decision makers in the countries of Central Africa that a shift toward a green economy represents a positive economic turn for the region’s economy as a whole.

The joint presence of the Ministers of Forestry and Finance of Central African countries provides a new opportunity to demonstrate that the green economy is not simply a concern for environmental experts, but also for the economists of each government.

It’s key to note that the move of major regional actors to create a new “motor” for the green economy provides support to countries combating illegal logging while also encouraging good forest governance. This important movement for the green economy, which depends on the progressive commitment of the Ministers of Finance, will bring regional changes and attract investments to help the countries working with the FLEGT and which have signed voluntary agreements with the EU.

The Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) are bilateral trade agreements between the EU and a timber-exporting country. The VPA is underpinned by the development and implementation of a timber licensing scheme by the partner country. All of the lumber exported to the EU must abide by the regulations of this scheme. Moreover, each EU country is responsible for keeping unauthorized lumber out of the market.

“The objective is to give a greater voice to the Ministers of the Environment who, thus far, have received only a small share of the budget, far less than the Ministers of Commerce or Energy who benefit from revenue generated by their activities. We must show that natural resources are much more lucrative,” said Aimé Nianogo, IUCN Regional Director for West Africa.

The Timber Industry and the Impact of Market Regulation Programs

Indeed, timber- and forestry-related issues lie naturally at the heart of the implementation of the Green Economy System in Central Africa: the timber industry, which has long represented a gateway to international markets, is currently benefiting from major advances provided by market regulation programs, such as the EU Timber Regulation, but also the Lacey Act in the United States and the Australian Illegal Logging Prohibition Act.

These regulations and agreements, like those of the FLEGT, open new, more reliable, and better-regulated markets, the revenues of which can be better distributed thanks to improved governance. Indeed, changing the economic system to allow for the development of the green economy requires fundamental governmental restructuring. “That is one of the major obstacles that still risks hindering the best intentions and positions of even the most sincere decision makers,” said Aimé Nianogo.

The Ministers of Forestry also had the opportunity to convince their own Ministers of Finance of the importance of paying attention to issues relating to the timber industry and its development. Clearly, these are not simply national but also regional concerns, as regional Ministers of Forestry met to discuss these issues with Ministers of Finance.

Transforming the Economic Model to Address Regional Issues

One of the major objectives for Central African countries is primarily to change an economic model that broadly relies on subsoil natural resources: minerals, oil, and gas.

These resources provide the region with significantly positive growth, at nearly 6%, but this growth does not benefit the entire population. Indeed, some regions are afflicted by a poverty rate of up to 70%.

“Our studies show that the timber industry could weigh 3% to 8% in the largest economies in the region and would generate a large number of jobs, which is a major concern for several countries in the region,” Nianogo said.

The conference provides the opportunity to vote on several projects meant to build a foundation for the green economy system to be financed by the new Fund for the Green Economy.

These projects fulfill regional objectives for the development of the natural resource economy in a framework that corresponds to the objectives and recommendations established over the past twenty years by the Rio and Rio+20 conferences. They allow for the development of local, national, regional, and international economic circuits that create job opportunities for populations that have been excluded up until now.

“The projects must be approved and distributed among the countries according to their interest in achieving the set objectives, not just according to their individual desires as a function of their capabilities and hopes of earning profits in the long term,” reminds Aimé Nianogo. “We’ll undoubtedly have to provide support for the less dynamic countries or those lacking the necessary expertise to establish solid projects so that they can also benefit from an evolution that must extend throughout the entire region.”

The text adopted at Kinshasa will be presented at the conference to be held in N’djamena, Chad, where the Heads of State will be able to express their commitment to the precise and concrete measures it contains.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).

Media contact:

Gildas Parfait DIAMONEKA

Communication ECOFAC V – CEEAC

Skype: gdiamoneka

Courriel: gildas_parfait@yahoo.fr

GABON Tel: (+241) 01 44 22 09

The Economic Community of Central African States (http://www.ceeac-eccas.org) is made up of ten member countries: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, and Chad

http://www.ceeac-eccas.org

Oct 302014
 

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, October 30, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo, the Minister of Social Affairs and Public Health Maggie De Block and Ebola coordinator Dr. Erika Vlieghe met on Thursday 30 October with Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations.

Ambassador Samantha Power conducted the past few days a field visit to the three West African countries most affected by Ebola: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. She shared her experiences with the two Belgian ministers. Ambassador Power also praised and thanked Belgium for its efforts in providing humanitarian aid to the affected countries and for the preventive measures Belgium has taken to face the Ebola epidemic.

The meeting took place at the residence of the American ambassador in Brussels.

In recent months and recent weeks, our country has allocated over 35 million euros for the necessary humanitarian assistance. “The Ebola crisis is not only a sanitary but also a humanitarian crisis. The epidemic decimates entire communities in West Africa. The US ambassador to the United Nationsconfirmed this during our exchange. Infected people have little chance of survival, hospitals are no longer able to cope with the influx of patients,schools are closed and a food crisis looms. We cannot close our eyes to this humanitarian tragedy,” said the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo. He stated that “the Belgian development cooperation strongly supports aid organisations that can act directly on the ground, organisations which possess the expertise and experience needed in the affected countries. Last week, our country released additional funds, thus bringing our commitment to more than 35 million euros. This effort is also clearly appreciated at the international level.”

Coordinator

Belgium has taken in recent months a series of preventive measures, issued recommendations and established procedures among companies and services that may come in contact with people who have sojourned in the three affected countries. Since the spring of 2014, the Federal Public Service (FPS) Public Health has been providing information and has led consultations with all concerned sectors, among others the FPS Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence, the Scientific Institute of Public Health, the Communities and the Regions, the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain, SN Brussels Airlines, Brussels Airport, the Port of Antwerp, hospitals and doctors (general practitioners), etc.” The risk that an infected person enters our country is tenuous, but we must take all possible measures to ensure that our specialists and our specialised teams are able toprovide the correct and best care to patients, without this affecting the daily operations of hospitals and of the entire health sector,” indicated Maggie De Block, Minister of Social Affairs and Public Health.

On October 17, 2014, Maggie De Block appointed Dr. Erika Vlieghe, specialised in infectious diseases, as Ebola coordinator and Dr. Daniel Reynders as her deputy in order to support all initiatives in this area, to assess them, and adapt and complete them where necessary. Since October 20,Brussels Airport imposes temperature controls for passengers coming from the three countries at risk as an additional security measure to dispel the numerous fears from airport personnel. These controls are part of a much larger Ebola strategy, which contains ten measures in addition to the temperature controls carried out in the countries of origin.