Nov 102014
 

DAKAR, Senegal, November 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — On 1 and 2 December, the first Francophonie Economic Forum (http://www.forum-economique-francophonie.com) will bring together political and economic decision-makers from the five continents at the Dakar International Conference Centre (DICC) in Senegal, following the 15th Francophonie Summit.

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During these two days, the decision-makers will discuss legal and economic measures, investment strategies and projects to transform the Francophonie into a generator of sustained economic growth.

This forum aims to create strong partnerships between international investors and investors from the Francophonie world, in priority production sectors, with an emphasis on projects that will create jobs and promote human development.

The objective is to raise the visibility of the Francophonie States by presenting the assets, potential and investment opportunities of this space, whose 57 member states generate total GDP of 7.2 billion dollars.

The participants will examine the countries’ new projects and economic programs, progress made in reforms and development programs, job-creating entrepreneurial initiatives, etc.

Senegal will share its own experience with its Emerging Senegal plan, which aims to raise the country’s growth rate to 7% by 2017 by diversifying its economy.

“I know I can count on the expertise of our executives, the commitment of our public employees, the contribution of our development partners and the responsiveness of our government,” explains S.E. Macky Sall, President of Senegal.

Richard Attias, the forum’s executive producer, adds, “Many economic markets have been created based on a regional approach in recent years, not always with much success, unfortunately. A common culture and language could bring a new dimension to solidarity and effective economic partnership. The aim of this first forum is to present the foundations of this concept. “

Among the speakers expected:

• Jacques Attali, President of PlaNet Finance

• Karim Baina, President of JET4YOU

• Nicolas Baverez, Partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

• Thierry Breton, CEO of ATOS, former French Minister for the Economy, Finance and Industry

• Nicolas Bussard, CEO and co-founder of SkilledAfricans.com

• Ibrahima Cheikh Diong, CEO of Africa Consulting and Trading

• Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region

• Jean-Louis Ekra, President of Afreximbank

• Amina Gerba, President of Afrique Expansion

• Moussa Seck Sow, PANAAC-Pan African Agribusiness and Agro-Industry Consortium

• Moustapha Sow, ICIEC Regional Manager, Africa at Islamic Development Bank

• Karim Sy, Founder of JokkoLabs

• Farid Toubal, Economist, advisor at CEPII, Professor at Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the 1er Forum économique de la Francophonie (FEF).

Media contact: media.fef@richardattiasassociates.com, tel.: +33 (0)1 42 68 83 94

For more information: www.forum-economique-francophonie.com

To contact investors: forumfrancophonie@apix.sn

Nov 102014
 

KIGALI, Rwanda, November 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Rwanda’s top musicians are promoting better nutrition and health through a catchy new music video that was released today (http://bit.ly/EatHealthyBeans).

Music video with English Subtitles: http://bit.ly/EatHealthyBeans

Music video with Kiswahili Subtitles at: http://www.swahiliwood.com/maharagwe

Rwanda Music Road Show photos: http://bit.ly/EatHealthyRwandaRoadshow

Iron Bean Photos: http://bit.ly/IronBeanPhotos

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

The song extols the nutritional benefits of new high-iron beans that are now available in Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda. Almost 40 percent of children in Rwanda do not get enough iron in their diets. In severe cases, this can lower their IQs and learning capacity, resistance to disease, and energy levels. Beans are a traditional staple food and eaten every day. These new iron beans contain 15 percent more iron than ordinary beans, and can provide women and children with almost half their daily iron needs. They also yield twice the harvest of ordinary beans, increasing incomes for farmers.

More than 700,000 Rwandan farmers are growing and eating these nutritious beans, first released by the Rwandan Government in 2011. “We’ve had tremendous success so far in getting these beans out, but we wanted to reach a much wider audience across the country,” said Lister Katsvairo, who heads the Rwanda Office of HarvestPlus (http://www.harvestplus.org), a global program to improve nutrition. “These iron beans are now making their way into urban markets, so we are launching a campaign to increase consumer awareness. We worked with Rwanda’s top musicians, who cater to all musical tastes including Afro-pop, rap and R&B. Who better to spread this message of how beans can improve nutrition and health?”.

The campaign has taken musicians King James, Miss Jojo, Riderman, Tom Close, and Urban Boyzon a series of roadshows across the country where they have performed live for more than 30,000 people. The road shows included exhibitions and sales of iron bean seeds.

“We are bringing good news for all Rwandans that will change their lives once they start listening to the song, because it raises their knowledge about the benefits of growing and eating these high-iron beans. We hope that will change the lives of a lot of people in Rwanda,” said King James, an R&B artist.

“This was a chance for us to teach people how to stay healthy by eating what is necessary for their bodies—we came together to make sure that we say goodbye to malnutrition,” said Rwandan rapper Riderman.

Rwanda was the first country in Africa to officially launch iron beans developed through conventional breeding. HarvestPlus works with many partners to deploy iron beans, including the Rwanda Agriculture Board with whom they co-produced this video. The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) is also partner in developing more varieties of beans even richer in iron. Iron beans are now also being distributed to several hundred thousand farmers in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.

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

Media Contacts:

Vidushi Sinha, HarvestPlus. Washington DC. v.s.vidushi@cgiar.org Tel: +1 2028624686

Laetitia Umulisa, HarvestPlus, Rwanda l.umulisa@cgiar.orgTel: +250 788 417 833

More about HarvestPlus

HarvestPlus (http://www.harvestplus.org) leads a global effort to improve nutrition and public health by developing and deploying staple food crops that are rich in vitamins and minerals. These are cassava, maize, and orange sweet potato that provide more vitamin A; beans and pearl millet that provide more iron; and rice and wheat that provide more zinc. We work with public and private sector partners in more than 40 countries. HarvestPlus is part of the CGIAR (http://www.cgiar.org) Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) (http://www.a4nh.cgiar.org). CGIAR is a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future. Its science is carried out by its 15 research centers in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations. The HarvestPlus program is coordinated by two of these centers – the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) (http://ciat.cgiar.org) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) (http://www.ifpri.org).

Nov 102014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, November 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — FIFA has announced the refereeing trios who will officiate at the forthcoming FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2014.

Referees from Australia, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Guatemala, Portugal and Tahiti will take charge of the matches, with Noumandiez Doué from Côte d’Ivoire the oldest at 44, and Walter Alexander López from Guatemala the youngest at 34.

The FIFA Club World Cup will take place in Marrakech and Rabat between 10 and 20 December.

Nov 102014
 

DAKAR, Senegal, November 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — APO (African Press Organization) (http://www.apo-opa.com), the sole press release newswire in Africa and the global leader in media relations relating to Africa, today announced its appointment by Brand South Africa (http://www.brandsouthafrica.com), the official marketing agency of South Africa, to provide media relations services across Africa and beyond.

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Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=782 (Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Founder and CEO of APO (African Press Organization)

Brand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness.

APO will offer exclusive media relations services to implement Brand South Africa’s strategy using its excellent understanding of the Pan-African media landscape.

The scope of work includes press release distribution services and media monitoring in Africa, social media analytics, op-ed publications, online press conferences (http://goo.gl/sZrqpY), and more.

“This contract reinforces the fact that APO is the media relations agency of reference for organisations with expanding footprints on the continent or operating across many regions. APO is well known for its standards of quality of services in a challenging, growing emerging market. We have the longstanding experience in understanding each African country’s requirements in managing media relations projects. The fact that our journalist subscribers continue to increase by double digits every year clearly indicates that African nations need to communicate more,” says Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Founder and CEO of APO (African Press Organization).

APO’s clients include some of the world’s top companies, PR agencies, institutions and organisations, from DHL, to Standard Bank, to Western Union, Etihad Airways, the African Development Bank, the Federal Ministry of Finance of Nigeria, Orange, Philips, Coca-Cola, and also The World Bank, to name a few.

It offers a complete range of services, including press release distribution and monitoring, online press conferences, interactive webcasts, media interactions, strategic advice, public diplomacy, government relations, TV production and distribution, media buying, Twitter Q&A sessions, social media analytics, surveys, and events promotion.

APO is the creator of Africa Wire® (http://goo.gl/RKc5KV), the newswire service for press release distribution and monitoring in Africa. This reaches over 50,000 media outlets, bloggers and social networks, and redistributes content to more than 50 African websites, as well as to Bloomberg Terminal, Thomson Reuters, Lexis Nexis, Dow Jones Factiva, 250 million mobile subscribers in 30 countries, and more.

APO Africa Wire® has a potential reach of 600 million and guarantees the most efficient media influence in Africa; in turn, this is how APO’s clients can directly target audiences in all corners of the continent and the world.

APO is the NASDAQ GlobeNewswire Authorized Agency for Africa offering unique access to 1.5 million financial and trade media outlets in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East (http://goo.gl/3WEgAm).

Download brochure: http://goo.gl/il44qU

More information about Africa Wire Competitive Advantages can be found here: http://goo.gl/KYKZ7d

More information about APO Media Reach can be found here: http://goo.gl/eEKlQh

More information about Africa Wire®, the service for newswire press release distribution in Africa, is available at http://www.apo-opa.com/services.php

Contact:

Aïssatou Diallo

bdm@apo-opa.org

+41 22 534 96 97

About APO

APO (African Press Organization) (http://www.apo-opa.com) is the sole press release newswire in Africa and is a global leader in media relations relating to Africa.

With offices in Senegal, Switzerland, Dubai, Hong Kong, India, and Seychelles, APO owns a media database of over 100,000 contacts and is the main online community for Africa-related news.

It offers a complete range of services, including press release distribution and monitoring, online press conferences, interactive webcasts, media interactions, strategic advice, public diplomacy, government relations and events promotion. To find out more, please visit http://www.apo-opa.com.

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Nov 102014
 

KHARTOUM, Sudan, November 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Mr. Ahmed Mohammed Adam, Commissioner, Humanitarian Aid Commission, Government of Sudan, H.E. MayenDutWol, Ambassador to Sudan, Government of South Sudan, and Mr. Ali Za’tari, Res…

Nov 102014
 

NAIROBI, Kenya, November 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — A draft peace agreement to end the military and political crisis in northern Mali does not adequately address the need for justice for serious international crimes during the conflict, Human Rights Watch said today. The next round of negotiations between the Malian government and armed groups involved in the conflict is scheduled to begin on November 20, 2014, in Algiers.

All parties to the 2012-2013 armed conflict in northern Mali committed serious violations of the laws of war that included possible war crimes. Agreements that ended previous civil armed conflicts in Mali from 1962 through 2008 failed to address rampant impunity and weak rule of law, and some included provisions providing immunity from prosecution.

“Mali’s peace talks need to succeed where previous deals have failed by bringing those responsible for atrocities to justice,” said Corinne Dufka, senior West Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The final agreement should include provisions to support the prosecution of war crimes, strengthen the truth-telling commission, and ensure the vetting of security force personnel.”

Security has been deteriorating in northern Mali. While control of the north by the Malian government was largely restored in 2013 following a French-led military intervention, the groups negotiating with the government and others linked to Al-Qaeda are occupying territory and committing abuses against civilians and peacekeepers.

Following the conclusion of the third round of peace talks in late October 2014, Algeria’s foreign minister, Ramtane Lamamra, said that the international mediation team had produced a “draft agreement for comprehensive peace,” which would form the basis for discussion when talks resume.

Human Rights Watch research in Mali and elsewhere suggests that a failure to prosecute individuals responsible for serious wartime abuses enables and may even encourage future abuses. Providing immunity to those who committed war crimes denies the victims and their families a measure of justice for their suffering.

Human Rights Watch and other organizations documented hundreds of alleged war crimes and other serious abuses during the 2012-2013 armed conflict. These include the summary executions of up to 153 Malian soldiers in Aguelhok by opposition armed groups; widespread looting, pillage, and sexual violence by the ethnic Tuareg National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA); and the recruitment and use of child combatants, unlawful amputations, and destruction of shrines by Islamist armed groups. Malian soldiers were also implicated in serious abuses, including extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, and torture or ill-treatment of suspected rebels.

The government has made little progress in holding to account those responsible for war crimes and other abuses. The provisional release of scores of men detained in relation to the conflict, including several commanders from northern armed groups credibly implicated in abuses, has raised concern of a de facto amnesty for these crimes.

International law encourages countries to provide a broad amnesty or pardon for captured combatants and others detained for their participation in a conflict, so long as they are not responsible for war crimes or other serious abuses.

However, the releases that began in late 2013 under the June 18, 2013 Ouagadougou Accord and characterized by the government as “confidence building measures” in advance of negotiations, have been carried out without sufficient review to determine whether any of those freed are implicated in serious international crimes. Amnesties for those responsible for serious international crimes are not recognized under international law.

“It is time to break the decades-long cycle of conflict, abuse, and impunity. Any deal which turns a blind eye to the need for justice will not only disregard the rights of victims and their families, but also encourage further abuses and sabotage a truly durable peace,” Dufka said. “Ensuring that the talks incorporate measures to address long-standing impunity is all the more urgent given the deteriorating security situation, and increasing attacks, lawlessness, and banditry by armed groups in the north.”

Nov 102014
 

LONDON, United-Kingdom, November 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Foreign Secretary comments on recent reports of a mass rape in Northern Darfur, and the subsequent denial of access to the United Nations African Union Peacekeeping Mission to the area

The Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said:

“I am deeply concerned by the emerging reports from Northern Darfur. These are serious allegations that must be investigated immediately. The Government of Sudan must grant the United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) full and immediate access to the affected areas and reported victims.”

Nov 072014
 

NIAMEY, Niger, November 7, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — A staff team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) led by Mr. Cheikh Anta Gueye visited Niamey from October 21to November 3, 2014, for discussions on the 2014 Article IV consultation and the fourth and fifth reviews of the program supported by the Extended Credit Facility arrangement (ECF). The discussions covered the implementation of the program as well as economic and financial developments in 2014, the medium-term outlook and the policies needed to consolidate macroeconomic stability and foster inclusive growth.

At the conclusion of the mission, Mr. Gueye issued the following statement:

“Niger’s overall macroeconomic performance has been generally satisfactory. Economic growth slowed to 4.1 percent in 2013 largely due to the adverse climatic conditions on agricultural production and the regional security situation, despite a significant increase in oil production. Inflation was contained to 2.3 percent in 2013 as food prices fell thanks to the government’s food security program supported by development partners, and improved food markets. However, limited government resources and project implementation capacity continued to weigh on public investment.

“Program performance was mixed, with the budget experiencing repeated shocks. All performance criteria were met at end-December 2013 and end-June 2014, except the criterion on domestic financing of the government, which was missed on account of unexpected security and food expenditures and a shortfall in external financing. For the same period, fiscal targets were met, except for those on the basic fiscal balance and total revenues at end-June 2014, which were missed when adverse security shocks required additional expenditures against the background of shortfalls in customs revenues. Also, the floor on poverty reduction spending was missed at end-2013 and June 2014.

“The medium-term outlook remains favorable. Growth is expected to rebound to 6.5 percent in 2014 and be sustained over the medium term as two large natural resource projects — crude oil export and uranium production — are scheduled to begin in 2017 and 2019, respectively. Risks to the outlook stem from both internal and external sources. The main near-term risk is a further deterioration in the regional security situation, which could severely impact FDI inflows, private sector activity, and the budget. The country also remains vulnerable to climate shocks, commodity price volatility and limited predictability in donor support.

“The Article IV discussions focused on enhancing food security, leveraging regional trade to increase growth, and promoting the middle class and financial inclusion. Preparations of the 2015 budget are well advanced, and the authorities’ focus on strengthening investments in infrastructure, health and education while maintaining a sustainable fiscal stance seems appropriate. The mission stressed the need to ensure efficiency of spending through structural reforms. The mission and the authorities also agreed on a revised structural reforms calendar.

“The mission met with H.E. Senior Minister Bazoum, Acting Prime Minister, members of the government, senior administrative officials, and representatives of civil society and the private sector.

“The mission thanks the Nigerien authorities for the fruitful discussions and their warm hospitality.

“The IMF Executive Board is expected to complete the 2014 Article IV consultation and consider the ECF review in December 2014.”

Nov 072014
 

NIAMEY, Niger, November 7, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — A staff team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) led by Mr. Cheikh Anta Gueye visited Niamey from October 21to November 3, 2014, for discussions on the 2014 Article IV consultation and the fourth and fifth reviews of the program supported by the Extended Credit Facility arrangement (ECF). The discussions covered the implementation of the program as well as economic and financial developments in 2014, the medium-term outlook and the policies needed to consolidate macroeconomic stability and foster inclusive growth.

At the conclusion of the mission, Mr. Gueye issued the following statement:

“Niger’s overall macroeconomic performance has been generally satisfactory. Economic growth slowed to 4.1 percent in 2013 largely due to the adverse climatic conditions on agricultural production and the regional security situation, despite a significant increase in oil production. Inflation was contained to 2.3 percent in 2013 as food prices fell thanks to the government’s food security program supported by development partners, and improved food markets. However, limited government resources and project implementation capacity continued to weigh on public investment.

“Program performance was mixed, with the budget experiencing repeated shocks. All performance criteria were met at end-December 2013 and end-June 2014, except the criterion on domestic financing of the government, which was missed on account of unexpected security and food expenditures and a shortfall in external financing. For the same period, fiscal targets were met, except for those on the basic fiscal balance and total revenues at end-June 2014, which were missed when adverse security shocks required additional expenditures against the background of shortfalls in customs revenues. Also, the floor on poverty reduction spending was missed at end-2013 and June 2014.

“The medium-term outlook remains favorable. Growth is expected to rebound to 6.5 percent in 2014 and be sustained over the medium term as two large natural resource projects — crude oil export and uranium production — are scheduled to begin in 2017 and 2019, respectively. Risks to the outlook stem from both internal and external sources. The main near-term risk is a further deterioration in the regional security situation, which could severely impact FDI inflows, private sector activity, and the budget. The country also remains vulnerable to climate shocks, commodity price volatility and limited predictability in donor support.

“The Article IV discussions focused on enhancing food security, leveraging regional trade to increase growth, and promoting the middle class and financial inclusion. Preparations of the 2015 budget are well advanced, and the authorities’ focus on strengthening investments in infrastructure, health and education while maintaining a sustainable fiscal stance seems appropriate. The mission stressed the need to ensure efficiency of spending through structural reforms. The mission and the authorities also agreed on a revised structural reforms calendar.

“The mission met with H.E. Senior Minister Bazoum, Acting Prime Minister, members of the government, senior administrative officials, and representatives of civil society and the private sector.

“The mission thanks the Nigerien authorities for the fruitful discussions and their warm hospitality.

“The IMF Executive Board is expected to complete the 2014 Article IV consultation and consider the ECF review in December 2014.”