Oct 082014
 

PARIS, France, October 8, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Uhuru Kenyatta’s presence at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on 8 October 2014, as ordered by the Trial Chamber Judges, must be seen as the opportunity to place victims’ right to truth and justice at the center of the ongoing debates on the fate of this case, our organizations said today. The Kenyan authorities must ensure full cooperation with the ICC and conduct genuine investigations and prosecutions at the national level so that the victims of the 2007/2008 post-election violence get justice and redress.

On 7 and 8 October 2014, the International Criminal Court (ICC) is holding two status conferences concerning the case against Kenya’s acting President Uhuru Kenyatta. These hearings will discuss the status of cooperation between the Prosecution and the Kenyan Government and are intended to enable the ICC Trial Chamber to decide on the future of the case.

The ICC Office of the Prosecutor claims that Kenyan authorities are not entirely complying with their obligation to cooperate by withholding requested material that would be necessary to establish Kenyatta’s culpability in crimes committed during the post-election violence as alleged in the case instituted against him.

“These conferences are not about the determination of the guilt or innocence of Uhuru Kenyatta, but about hearing all parties on specific issues relating to the extent of cooperation of Kenya with the ICC Office of the Prosecutor, which has a direct and considerable impact on the ICC proceedings” , stated our organizations. “While President Uhuru Kenyatta has thus far appeared to abide by his obligations to the Court, he has in parallel engaged in a series of diplomatic and judicial strategies aimed at questioning both the legitimacy and credibility of the Court’s process and which have had the effect of undermining the ultimate objective of justice for victims” , they added.

FIDH and KHRC further recall that “the intervention of the ICC is all the more crucial in light of the fact that victims of the crimes committed during the post-election violence in Kenya have not obtained adequate and holistic redress at the national level. The current developments in the proceedings before the ICC also demonstrate that no-one, not even a sitting Head of State, is above the law” .

Despite the start of a national judicial process, the 2007/2008 post elections crimes have to a large extent remained unpunished. There have been few prosecutions of mid-level perpetrators of the violence and most of them have ended in acquittals on account of poor investigations, which have failed to yield credible and sufficient evidence to sustain convictions.

Background information

Following a challenged electoral result, Kenya erupted into violence in December 2007. In the ensuing period, Kenya witnessed unprecedented violence that resulted in at least 1133 deaths, 900 cases of sexual and gender based violence, over 350,000 displaced persons, numerous victims of grievous harm and destruction of property.

In the past year, there have been almost no efforts by the government to establish a credible or effective process for investigating and prosecuting the crimes or for securing meaningful justice for victims. Due to the lack of credible local processes, the ICC has continued to receive notable support by Kenyans as the only accountability process that can effectively deliver justice for victims.

For further information, see in particular FIDH-KHRC report “Kenya: One Year in Office for Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto; Human Rights Record Marred by Abuses”, April 2014.

Oct 082014
 

ROME, Italy, October 8, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — FAO today launched a new programme to urgently assist 90 000 vulnerable households in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone whose food supplies and livelihoods are threatened by the disruptive effect the Ebola epidemic is having on rural economies, agricultural activities and markets.

Error! Filename not specified.The Regional Response Programme for West Africa will scale-up the work FAO is currently doing with governments, United Nations partners and local networks of agriculture, veterinary and forestry workers, to help stop the spread of the disease, meet immediate and long-term food and nutrition security needs and build resilience.

FAO is urgently calling for $30 million to support activities linked to the programme over the next 12 months. Programme activities are organized around four key objectives:

• contribute to saving lives by stopping the spread of the disease through social mobilization, training and awareness raising;

• boost incomes and agricultural production to safeguard livelihoods;

• build resilience of communities to disease threats; and

• strengthen coordination for improved response.

“Our comprehensive response is part of overall United Nations efforts to save lives and protect livelihoods,” said Vincent Martin, Head of FAO’s Dakar-based Subregional Resilience Hub, the office coordinating FAO’s response. “We’re following a twin-track approach to help our United Nations partners halt the tragic loss of life while at the same time protecting incomes, nutrition levels and food security.”

Activities include mobilizing communities to reduce their risk of infection through awareness campaigns; boosting food and cash crops, livestock and fisheries production, introducing microfinance strategies to safeguard rural incomes; and setting up early warning and response systems to reduce Ebola risks at the human-animal interface. The programme will also ensure countries are coordinated and resourced by filling gaps in expertise, increasing knowledge sharing on best-practices and building collaborative networks.

“These actions cannot wait,” said Bukar Tijani, Assistant Director-General/Regional Representative, Regional Office for Africa. “The outbreak is already reducing the purchasing power of vulnerable households, which means less food on their plates and increased nutritional risks for families already on subsistence diets. Fear and stigmatization also threaten to reduce agricultural activities, thereby placing food security at risk.”

Early results from rapid assessments point to a worrisome situation. In Sierra Leone, for example, 47 percent of the respondents said Ebola was considerably disrupting their farming activities. In Lofa county, the most affected rural county in Liberia, the prices of commodities, including food, increased from 30 to 75 percent just in August 2014.

If not addressed now, the current impact of the outbreak on livelihoods could lead to long-lasting impacts on farmers’ livelihoods and rural economies.

FAO mobilized its own funds to support United Nations’ and governments’ efforts. However, much more is needed and right away. FAO is calling for urgent support to enable the Organization to continue assisting vulnerable communities in affected and at-risk countries while also safeguarding their futures.

Oct 082014
 

CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, October 8, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Oracle Corporation (http://www.oracle.com) today announced an initiative designed to enrich and increase the skills capacity of IT practitioners in Africa. The four-pronged program was devised as a response to the rapid adoption of new technologies by governments and businesses in Africa, exacerbating the shortage of suitably skilled practitioners to use the systems to best advantage.

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Download infographic: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/141008o.png

According to Oracle, the dramatic advancement of technology over the past five years has resulted in a gap in IT competencies and skills availability. Organizations in Africa are adopting new technologies at a rate which is outstripping the availability of appropriately qualified staff.

“Today IT holds the promise to promote social inclusion, combat corruption, expand the digital economy and enable stronger links between citizens and governments, businesses and customers, NGOs and the communities they serve,” said Alfonso Di Ianni, Senior Vice President, Oracle East Central Europe, Middle East and Africa. “They can do this and at the same time dramatically reduce costs and improve efficiency. However for technology to support such transformation, organizations must have ready access to people capable of setting up and maintaining these systems.”

Consisting of four elements – employee readiness, ecosystem readiness, workforce readiness and youth readiness, Oracle is reaching out to governments, the private sector and non-profit organizations to implement a long term skills strategy that will help fulfill demand for relevant IT skills.

Supporting Quotes

• “Using the materials and manpower from Oracle University, Oracle Academy, Oracle Partner Enablement, Oracle Sales Consulting and the Public Sector Center of Excellence, Oracle will, in partnership with the organization or community, create programs addressing their skills need,” said Orfhlaith Ni Chorcora, Senior Director, Business Development at Oracle. “Two such partnerships are already underway with the Lagos State government in Nigeria and Equity Group Foundation in Kenya to jointly drive successful initiatives tailored to the local needs.

• “Building a competitive pool of IT-skilled youth in the state is a priority for Lagos State,” said Governor Babatunde Fashola(SAN). “To successfully achieve this goal, it takes multi-stakeholder support and long term collaboration with organizations such as Oracle who share our deepest commitment to building skills and creating exciting job opportunities for the youth of Lagos. We are off to a good start and look forward to increasing that impact in the coming months.”

• “In the emerging economic order, basic computer literacy means the ability not only to use software, but also to modify or create; in other words, to program,” said Dr. Helen Gichohi, Managing Director of Equity Group Foundation. “For them to compete internationally we must also raise their ICT competencies to global standards and keep them intellectually curious, creative and motivated to critically think about their surroundings.”

Supporting Resources

• Download Capacity-Building Program Infographic

• Video interview: Alphonso Di Ianni, Oracle Vice President, East Central Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Orfhlaith Ni Chorcora, Senior Director, Business Development, describe the components of the capacity-building programme and its importance for the Africa region.

• Oracle Academy: https://academy.oracle.com

• Oracle Workforce Development Program: https://workforce.oracle.com

• Oracle University: http://education.oracle.com

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

About Oracle OpenWorld

Oracle OpenWorld San Francisco is the most important business and technology conference of the year for Oracle customers, prospective customers, and partners. This educational conference is dedicated to helping businesses optimize existing systems and understand upcoming industry trends and breakthroughs driven by technology. Oracle OpenWorld offers more than 2,500 educational sessions, hundreds of demos and hands-on labs, and exhibitions from more than 400 partners and customers from around the world showcasing applications, middleware, database, server and storage systems, industries, management, cloud, and infrastructure solutions—all engineered for innovation. Oracle OpenWorld 2014 is being held September 28 through October 2 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. For more information; to register; or to watch Oracle OpenWorld keynotes, sessions, and more, please visit www.oracle.com/openworld. Join the Oracle OpenWorld discussion on Twitter (https://twitter.com/oracleopenworld), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/OracleOpenWorld?ref=br_tf), and the Oracle OpenWorld blog (https://blogs.oracle.com/oracleopenworld).

About Oracle

Oracle engineers hardware and software to work together in the cloud and in your data center. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), visit http://www.oracle.com.

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Oct 082014
 

JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, October 8, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Gemalto (Euronext NL 0000400653 GTO) (http://www.gemalto.com), the world leader in digital security, announces that Nedbank Ltd, a leading commercial bank in South Africa, is deploying its Ezio eBanking solution to provide their wholesale customers with unmatched online transaction security and superior convenience. Gemalto also provides Nedbank with consulting services, device fulfilment to the end users, and operates remote management of the tokens on behalf of Nedbank Ltd.

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With this fully outsourced solution, Nedbank users simply connect a USB key, which launches a “safe zone” that permits to securely review, approve and digitally sign all types of transactions in a protected online environment

The Ezio Corporate eBanking PKI solution requires no software installation, eliminating costly technical support while guaranteeing high user satisfaction. The user simply connects the USB key to their PC or Mac and the device launches a “safe zone” that permits to securely review, approve and digitally sign all types and amounts of banking transactions within a protected online environment. Ezio also ensures session integrity even if the connection platform is vulnerable. The upgradable, multi-application platform can be remotely managed, enabling the bank to update certificates and deploy new services without the need for new hardware.

“We have implemented and operated Gemalto’s PKI solutions for over ten years, with a very high level of success in providing secure electronic banking solutions,” said Fred Swanepoel, Chief Information Officer of Nedbank Ltd. “In an effort to offer best-in-class Wholesale Banking solutions to our business customers, we have deployed Gemalto’s brand new PKI solution, launched as the Plug and Transact TokenTM, to differentiate ourselves from our competitors by offering secure solutions with enhanced client usability as well improved tracking and business information.”

“There has always been high demand from Nedbank to pioneer our eBanking solutions, with each trial resulting in a full-scale deployment,” added said Håkan Nordfjell, Senior Vice President e-Banking and e-Commerce at Gemalto. “By outsourcing its entire token management system, Nedbank benefits from significant cost reduction in terms of initial investment and running expenses compared to an in-house solution.”

Nedbank’s solution is built on Gemalto’s field-proven Ezio technology, which is already implemented by over 200 financial institutions worldwide and used by over 100 million banking customers worldwide.

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

Gemalto Media Contacts:

Kristel Teyras

Middle East & Africa

+33 1 55 01 57 89

kristel.teyras@gemalto.com

Contact Gemalto’s media relations in your region: http://www.gemalto.com/press/index.html

About Gemalto

Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 GTO) (http://www.gemalto.com) is the world leader in digital security (http://www.gemalto.com/companyinfo/digital_security.html) with 2013 annual revenues of €2.4 billion and more than 12,000 employees operating out of 85 offices and 25 research and software development centers, located in 44 countries.

We are at the heart of the rapidly evolving digital society. Billions of people worldwide increasingly want the freedom to communicate, travel, shop, bank, entertain and work – anytime, everywhere – in ways that are enjoyable and safe. Gemalto delivers on their expanding needs for personal mobile services, payment security, authenticated cloud access, identity and privacy protection, eHealthcare and eGovernment efficiency, convenient ticketing and dependable machine-to-machine (M2M) applications. We develop secure embedded software and secure products which we design and personalize. Our platforms and services manage these products, the confidential data they contain and the trusted end-user services made possible.

Our innovations enable our clients to offer trusted and convenient digital services to billions of individuals. Gemalto thrives with the growing number of people using its solutions to interact with the digital and wireless world.

For more information visit http://www.gemalto.com, http://www.justaskgemalto.com, http://blog.gemalto.com, or follow @gemalto on Twitter.

Oct 082014
 

NEW YORK, October 8, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the targeted attack against an United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) camp …

Oct 082014
 

KIGALI, Rwanda, October 8, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission, led by Mr. Paulo Drummond, visited Kigali during September 22 to October 7 to conduct the 2014 Article IV Consultation and the second review of the economic program supported by the Policy Support Instrument (PSI).1 Mr. Drummond, released the following statement at the end of the mission:

“Rwanda’s recent economic performance has been favorable. Growth in the first half of 2014 rebounded to 6.8 percent. Agriculture output also recovered due to favorable climate conditions. The pick-up in growth was broad-based, including construction, real estate, and services. Consumer price inflation remained low at below 1 percent at end-August, driven by low import and food prices.

“The main objectives of the 2014/15 budget remain within reach: greater revenue mobilization, targeting an increase of 1 percentage point in the tax revenue ratio to 16 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP); containing current spending while protecting priority spending; and limiting domestic financing to avoid crowding out the private sector. Aid flows have increased, but donor disbursements are expected to be about 1 percent of GDP lower relative to the 2014/15 budget. The mission welcomes the decision by the authorities to respond and keep the overall budget in line with available resources.

“Policy performance under the IMF-supported program remains satisfactory. All quantitative indicators for end-June 2014 were met. The fiscal position through end-June 2014 was broadly in line with PSI objectives, except for slightly less than anticipated revenue collection; the monetary program was on target; and structural reforms advanced broadly as planned.

“Looking ahead, economic growth is projected at 6 percent in 2014, and end-year inflation is expected to be 3.2 percent. International reserves are targeted to remain at about 4 months of imports.

“The authorities and the mission discussed economic policies and reforms to maintain economic stability and manage a successful transition from a public sector-led, aid-dependent economy to a more private sector-led economy in the medium term. Key to sustaining high growth will be the implementation of the authorities’ strategy to further reduce the cost of doing business and remove impediments to private sector development. In this regard, the mission welcomes the government’s intention to improve project implementation, including through increased oversight, and prepare a targeted public investment plan for infrastructure projects in priority areas, such as water, energy, and transport. The mission also welcomes the authorities’ plan to explore all concessional financing options, private sector participation, including through public private partnership (PPP), before considering non-concessional resources.

“The mission met with Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Amb. Claver Gatete, Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda Hon. John Rwangombwa, as well as with other senior government officials, development partners, and representatives of the business community and civil society.

“Subject to management approval, the IMF’s Executive Board is expected to consider the second PSI review and the Article IV Consultation in December 2014.”

1 The PSI is an instrument of the IMF designed for countries that do not need balance of payments financial support. The PSI helps countries design effective economic programs that, once approved by the IMF’s Executive Board, signal to donors, multilateral development banks, and markets the Fund’s endorsement of a member’s policies (see http://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/psi.htm). Details on Rwanda’s current PSI are available at www.imf.org/rwanda.

Oct 072014
 

NEW YORK, October 7, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Simon Munzu of Cameroon as his Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI).

He will succeed Arnauld Akodjènou of Benin, who now serves as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). The Secretary-General is grateful to Mr. Akodjènou for his outstanding performance in Côte d’Ivoire.

Mr. Munzu brings to this position a wealth of political, human rights, legal, academic, and management experience from a career spanning more than thirty years. He joined the United Nations as a United Nations Volunteer in 1995, and served the Organization until 2012 in various capacities in Rwanda, New York, Côte d’Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Mr. Munzu has served as Acting Head of the United Nations Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda; Senior Policy Adviser with the United Nations Development Programme; Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Côte d’Ivoire and Chief of UNOCI’s Human Rights Division and Director of Political Affairs in the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO). Prior to joining the United Nations, Mr. Munzu spent more than thirteen years in academia as a senior lecturer in law in Cameroon, and is currently an advocate and member of the Cameroon Bar Association.

Mr. Munzu holds a degree in law from the University of London, as well as a doctorate degree in law from the University of Cambridge, and has been a Member of the Bar in England since 1973.

Born in 1949, Mr. Munzu is married and has four children.

Oct 072014
 

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, October 7, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Sweden today allocated an additional SEK 105 million in humanitarian support to efforts aimed at stopping the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Following a decision by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the funds will primarily be given to UN bodies (UNICEF, WHO and WFP) in their joint efforts to fight the epidemic. This means that Sweden’s total contribution to fight the epidemic amounts to some SEK 145 million.

“The UN is now focusing on stopping the spread of the virus and ensuring that those affected receive medical care. Success depends upon the world working together in a forceful and coordinated manner,” says Minister for International Development Cooperation Isabella Lövin.

Part of Sida’s contribution will go to supporting healthcare staff at Ebola clinics. The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) will receive SEK 25 million to arrange housing and medical care for up to 200 healthcare workers on-site in Liberia’s capital, Monrovia.

“Helping people and stopping the spread of the virus depends on ensuring that healthcare staff can work in an efficient manner,” says Ms Lövin. “Safe working conditions and the opportunity to themselves receive medical care are vital for doctors and nurses from other countries to be willing to volunteer,” Ms Lövin emphasises.

The Government is currently considering what other measures Sweden can take to help in the fight against the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa.