United Nations/Kenya Conference on Space Technology and Applications for Wildlife Management and Protecting Biodiversity

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More than 250 participants will gather in Nairobi next week for the United Nations/Kenya Conference on Space Technology and Applications for Wildlife Management and Protecting Biodiversity. This conference is an initiative of the Vienna-based United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), which has organized it in conjunction with the Government of the Republic of Kenya.

Pressures from climate change, ecosystem loss and wildlife crime are threatening biodiversity and wildlife around the globe. In response to this a wide range of applications, initiatives and projects have been developed that use space-based technologies – such as imagery collected by Earth Observation satellites and satellite-derived geospatial data, satellite-communications and global navigation satellite systems – to monitor, assess and manage biodiversity and ecosystems in support of sustainable environmental development. Many of these applications or initiatives are not fully known to users, but can be better promoted through dedicated awareness-raising efforts such as this conference.

This event will therefore bring together actors from around the world involved in biodiversity and wildlife management, including representatives of space industry, governmental and non-governmental organizations, technology experts, national park authorities and rangers, and wildlife managers, to share their experiences and requirements, build cooperation and develop recommendations.

The programme consists of keynote and expert talks, panel discussions and poster presentations. The results of this conference will feed into UNOOSA’s preparatory process for UNISPACE+50, a special segment of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in 2018 to mark the 50th anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

The conference is co-hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and co-sponsored by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the European Space Agency (ESA).

Speakers from:

· Airbus

· European Space Agency (ESA)

· Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS)

· Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora Secretariat (CITES)

· DigitalGlobe

· Group on Earth Observations (GEO)

· INTERPOL

· Japan National Institute for Environmental Studies

· Kenya Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources

· Kenya Wildlife Services

· Lusaka Agreement Task Force

· Max Planck Institute for Ornithology

· Remote Sensing Technology Center of Japan

· TRAFFIC (Wildlife trade monitoring network)

· United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)

· United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP)

· United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

· World Wildlife Fund

Story suggestions for interested media:

We have identified a number of interesting stories about space technology, including the role it can play in managing wildlife and protecting biodiversity. If any of the following stories interest you and you would like to arrange interviews with experts who can speak about these topics, please contact the UNEP press officer below.

1. In 2015 world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The role that space can play as tool for achieving these SDGs is broad and diverse – and perhaps even surprising.

http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/benefits-of-space/sustainable-development.html

2. Icarus Initiative: Small sensors (one to five gram in weight) attached to animals, such as birds and possibly even large insects, will allow scientists to track the animals and reveal more about the spread of disease, help predict natural disasters and give a greater understanding of the impact of climate change on animals. The insect-size sensors are still in development. Next year, hardware will be installed on the International Space Station that will pick up the signals from the animal tracking transmitters.

http://icarusinitiative.org/about-icarus

http://www.audubon.org/magazine/may-june-2014/tracking-wildlife-space

3. Technological advancements in animal sensors can tell when an elephant is about to be poached by detecting when the animal behaves unusually, giving law enforcement time to act. This can also improve understanding of animal behaviour in general.

http://www.argos-system.org/web/en/355-wildlife-monitoring.php

4. High resolution radar satellites can help to combat wildlife crime by helping to detect vehicles and other equipment as they move under forest cover, or during the night. This can also help detect unusual human presence in national parks and could allow anti-poaching units to identify, locate and ultimately arrest possible poachers. High resolution radar satellites can also collect images over cloud covered regions, unlike other optical Earth Observation satellites – another major advantage in monitoring and tracking.

http://www.intelligence-airbusds.com/terrasar-x/

5. Hyperspectral satellites can provide data that can be used to look at crop health in remote locations. Monitoring crops for potential diseases can have various advantages, and such hyperspectral satellites could also be used to identify crop types and crop growth stages, the extent of logging and deforestation, and the availability of water,. They can also be used to accurately monitor biodiversity in general.

http://www.planetaryresources.com/earth-observation/#eo-the-data-types

Download logo

Source:: United Nations/Kenya Conference on Space Technology and Applications for Wildlife Management and Protecting Biodiversity

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United Nations/Kenya Conference on Space Technology and Applications for Wildlife Management and Protecting Biodiversity

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More than 250 participants will gather in Nairobi next week for the United Nations/Kenya Conference on Space Technology and Applications for Wildlife Management and Protecting Biodiversity. This conference is an initiative of the Vienna-based United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), which has organized it in conjunction with the Government of the Republic of Kenya.

Pressures from climate change, ecosystem loss and wildlife crime are threatening biodiversity and wildlife around the globe. In response to this a wide range of applications, initiatives and projects have been developed that use space-based technologies – such as imagery collected by Earth Observation satellites and satellite-derived geospatial data, satellite-communications and global navigation satellite systems – to monitor, assess and manage biodiversity and ecosystems in support of sustainable environmental development. Many of these applications or initiatives are not fully known to users, but can be better promoted through dedicated awareness-raising efforts such as this conference.

This event will therefore bring together actors from around the world involved in biodiversity and wildlife management, including representatives of space industry, governmental and non-governmental organizations, technology experts, national park authorities and rangers, and wildlife managers, to share their experiences and requirements, build cooperation and develop recommendations.

The programme consists of keynote and expert talks, panel discussions and poster presentations. The results of this conference will feed into UNOOSA’s preparatory process for UNISPACE+50, a special segment of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in 2018 to mark the 50th anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

The conference is co-hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and co-sponsored by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the European Space Agency (ESA).

Speakers from:

· Airbus

· European Space Agency (ESA)

· Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS)

· Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora Secretariat (CITES)

· DigitalGlobe

· Group on Earth Observations (GEO)

· INTERPOL

· Japan National Institute for Environmental Studies

· Kenya Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources

· Kenya Wildlife Services

· Lusaka Agreement Task Force

· Max Planck Institute for Ornithology

· Remote Sensing Technology Center of Japan

· TRAFFIC (Wildlife trade monitoring network)

· United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)

· United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP)

· United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

· World Wildlife Fund

Story suggestions for interested media:

We have identified a number of interesting stories about space technology, including the role it can play in managing wildlife and protecting biodiversity. If any of the following stories interest you and you would like to arrange interviews with experts who can speak about these topics, please contact the UNEP press officer below.

1. In 2015 world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The role that space can play as tool for achieving these SDGs is broad and diverse – and perhaps even surprising.

http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/benefits-of-space/sustainable-development.html

2. Icarus Initiative: Small sensors (one to five gram in weight) attached to animals, such as birds and possibly even large insects, will allow scientists to track the animals and reveal more about the spread of disease, help predict natural disasters and give a greater understanding of the impact of climate change on animals. The insect-size sensors are still in development. Next year, hardware will be installed on the International Space Station that will pick up the signals from the animal tracking transmitters.

http://icarusinitiative.org/about-icarus

http://www.audubon.org/magazine/may-june-2014/tracking-wildlife-space

3. Technological advancements in animal sensors can tell when an elephant is about to be poached by detecting when the animal behaves unusually, giving law enforcement time to act. This can also improve understanding of animal behaviour in general.

http://www.argos-system.org/web/en/355-wildlife-monitoring.php

4. High resolution radar satellites can help to combat wildlife crime by helping to detect vehicles and other equipment as they move under forest cover, or during the night. This can also help detect unusual human presence in national parks and could allow anti-poaching units to identify, locate and ultimately arrest possible poachers. High resolution radar satellites can also collect images over cloud covered regions, unlike other optical Earth Observation satellites – another major advantage in monitoring and tracking.

http://www.intelligence-airbusds.com/terrasar-x/

5. Hyperspectral satellites can provide data that can be used to look at crop health in remote locations. Monitoring crops for potential diseases can have various advantages, and such hyperspectral satellites could also be used to identify crop types and crop growth stages, the extent of logging and deforestation, and the availability of water,. They can also be used to accurately monitor biodiversity in general.

http://www.planetaryresources.com/earth-observation/#eo-the-data-types

Download logo

Source:: United Nations/Kenya Conference on Space Technology and Applications for Wildlife Management and Protecting Biodiversity

Categories: AFRICA | Leave a comment

United Nations/Kenya Conference on Space Technology and Applications for Wildlife Management and Protecting Biodiversity

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More than 250 participants will gather in Nairobi next week for the United Nations/Kenya Conference on Space Technology and Applications for Wildlife Management and Protecting Biodiversity. This conference is an initiative of the Vienna-based United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), which has organized it in conjunction with the Government of the Republic of Kenya.

Pressures from climate change, ecosystem loss and wildlife crime are threatening biodiversity and wildlife around the globe. In response to this a wide range of applications, initiatives and projects have been developed that use space-based technologies – such as imagery collected by Earth Observation satellites and satellite-derived geospatial data, satellite-communications and global navigation satellite systems – to monitor, assess and manage biodiversity and ecosystems in support of sustainable environmental development. Many of these applications or initiatives are not fully known to users, but can be better promoted through dedicated awareness-raising efforts such as this conference.

This event will therefore bring together actors from around the world involved in biodiversity and wildlife management, including representatives of space industry, governmental and non-governmental organizations, technology experts, national park authorities and rangers, and wildlife managers, to share their experiences and requirements, build cooperation and develop recommendations.

The programme consists of keynote and expert talks, panel discussions and poster presentations. The results of this conference will feed into UNOOSA’s preparatory process for UNISPACE+50, a special segment of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in 2018 to mark the 50th anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

The conference is co-hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and co-sponsored by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the European Space Agency (ESA).

Speakers from:

· Airbus

· European Space Agency (ESA)

· Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS)

· Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora Secretariat (CITES)

· DigitalGlobe

· Group on Earth Observations (GEO)

· INTERPOL

· Japan National Institute for Environmental Studies

· Kenya Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources

· Kenya Wildlife Services

· Lusaka Agreement Task Force

· Max Planck Institute for Ornithology

· Remote Sensing Technology Center of Japan

· TRAFFIC (Wildlife trade monitoring network)

· United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)

· United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP)

· United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

· World Wildlife Fund

Story suggestions for interested media:

We have identified a number of interesting stories about space technology, including the role it can play in managing wildlife and protecting biodiversity. If any of the following stories interest you and you would like to arrange interviews with experts who can speak about these topics, please contact the UNEP press officer below.

1. In 2015 world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The role that space can play as tool for achieving these SDGs is broad and diverse – and perhaps even surprising.

http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/benefits-of-space/sustainable-development.html

2. Icarus Initiative: Small sensors (one to five gram in weight) attached to animals, such as birds and possibly even large insects, will allow scientists to track the animals and reveal more about the spread of disease, help predict natural disasters and give a greater understanding of the impact of climate change on animals. The insect-size sensors are still in development. Next year, hardware will be installed on the International Space Station that will pick up the signals from the animal tracking transmitters.

http://icarusinitiative.org/about-icarus

http://www.audubon.org/magazine/may-june-2014/tracking-wildlife-space

3. Technological advancements in animal sensors can tell when an elephant is about to be poached by detecting when the animal behaves unusually, giving law enforcement time to act. This can also improve understanding of animal behaviour in general.

http://www.argos-system.org/web/en/355-wildlife-monitoring.php

4. High resolution radar satellites can help to combat wildlife crime by helping to detect vehicles and other equipment as they move under forest cover, or during the night. This can also help detect unusual human presence in national parks and could allow anti-poaching units to identify, locate and ultimately arrest possible poachers. High resolution radar satellites can also collect images over cloud covered regions, unlike other optical Earth Observation satellites – another major advantage in monitoring and tracking.

http://www.intelligence-airbusds.com/terrasar-x/

5. Hyperspectral satellites can provide data that can be used to look at crop health in remote locations. Monitoring crops for potential diseases can have various advantages, and such hyperspectral satellites could also be used to identify crop types and crop growth stages, the extent of logging and deforestation, and the availability of water,. They can also be used to accurately monitor biodiversity in general.

http://www.planetaryresources.com/earth-observation/#eo-the-data-types

Download logo

Source:: United Nations/Kenya Conference on Space Technology and Applications for Wildlife Management and Protecting Biodiversity

Corporate Citizens Need to Make a Real Impact on Africa’s Sustainable Development Goals

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Prepared to follow on from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the 17 Sustainable Development Goals were unveiled with the aim of taking steps towards building a better world in the next 15 years.

This is no easy target. The UN has spent significant time analysing the successes and failings of the MDGs in order to apply the learnings to the SDGs. The MDGs did produce some good outcomes, such as contributing to decreasing the proportion of people living on less than $1.25 from 47% in 1990 to 14% in 2015. However, it is also acknowledged that progress has been limited, with many being left behind.

According to reports, the SDG strategy will require an annual outlay of $2.5 trillion for it to be implemented successfully, which will need to come from private investment. It’s certainly something the private sector wants to get involved with in an effort to show support for sustainable development.

The SDGs hone in on growth as the main solution to poverty, but we are still in a position where most of the global GDP growth remains in the upper echelons of society, rather than having an impact on the poor. The amount of growth needed to truly end poverty would also have a significant impact on environmental issues such as climate change.

So this leaves the corporate sector, called on to make the investment needed to achieve these goals, in a tricky situation. Where do we invest to ensure we aren’t encouraging one area of growth at the expense of another?

Corporate investors play such a central role in the roll-out of the SDGs, and there’s a lot of work that needs to be done when it comes to our specific commitments and accountability mechanisms.

With this framework, Samsung’s (www.Samsung.com) aim is to make a positive contribution towards the SDGs by positively impacting the lives of people. The company continues to inspire the world and create the future through innovative technology that enriches people’s lives and contribute to social growth.

We see ourselves as an active participant in the global agenda to help promote positive change by using our global network of employees, suppliers and partners; which is why we have established solutions which help address the felt need of communities, particularly in education, health, skills and employability.

In 2015, we have established Digital Villages in various countries in Africa including Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon and Senegal to mention a few. Designed in collaboration with African communities, the Digital Village concept comprises of mobile, solar-powered facilities including a connected admin centre, solar powered internet school, solar powered generator and solar power mobile health centre, which can be configured to serve as the high-tech hub of rural and underserved communities.

In addition to delivering desperately-needed services to communities, the Digital Village also delivers WiFi access and power to the broader community, often for the first time. This access sparks small business development and information-sharing, e-government service delivery and agricultural progress in areas that have been sidelined in the information age for too long.

It makes sense to get behind the SDGs because they are a mechanism to help end poverty and promote sustainability across the board. It may be Corporate Citizenship that kick starts the process, but it is essential that every individual is working towards a common goal.

There is no doubt that the SDGs will, in one way or another, shape the global agenda on economic, social and environmental development over the next 15 years. It is also true that global action is the best way to ensure accountability and inclusivity. Ultimately the call is for everyone from government, to the private sector and civil society to play their part in creating a sustainable future.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd..

Media Contacts:
Sthembile Shabangu
PR Lead Samsung Africa office
Tel: +27 11549 4517
Email: [email protected]

Note to Editors:
Abey Tau is the Public Affairs and Corporate Citizenship Manager for Samsung Electronics Africa. With over 10 years’ experience in the local and global development arena, Abey was a South African finalist in the 2014 Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) / Mandela Washington Fellow and was selected by the National Empowerment Fund as one of 56 young junior managers for a secondment in Paris in 2011. He continues to sit on the Board of AIESEC at Monash University.

Source:: Corporate Citizens Need to Make a Real Impact on Africa’s Sustainable Development Goals

Categories: AFRICA | Leave a comment

ECOSOCC holds consultations on AU agenda 2063 with Mandela-Washington Fellows

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The Presiding Officer of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) of the African Union (AU), Dr. Joseph Chilengi held a series of consultations with the Mandela – Washington fellows as part of the Africa Regional Conference of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) which were held in West, South and East Africa. The conferences were held in Accra, Ghana, from 19 – 21 May 2016; Johannesburg, South Africa from 9-11 June 2016; and Nairobi, Kenya from 15-15 June, respectively. The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) which aims to empower young people through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking.

Together the conferences brought together about 750 leaders from the fields of civic leadership, business and entrepreneurship and public administration across East, West, Central and South African countries.

The conference provided an opportunity for ECOSOCC to engage with fellows on two levels: a Partnership Expo in which staff from the ECOSOCC Secretariat briefed fellows on the programs of ECOSOCC and the African Union in General; and a Town Hall on AU Agenda 2063; in which the Presiding Officer highlighted the main components of the flagship African Union strategy. The presiding officer also urged the young leaders to engage with the AU to further enrich Agenda 2063, champion its implementation at country level and join efforts towards continental integration.

The two interactive platforms allowed for Fellows to develop an increased understanding of the structures, policies and programs of both ECOSOCC and the African Union; particularly as relates to youth engagement.

ECOSOCC is also scheduled to participate at the Presidential Summit in Washington DC, USA, later in the year.

The Presiding Officer used the occasion to reaffirm the commitment of ECOSOCC to pursue engagement with African youth within the Agenda 2063 Framework; as young people all over the continent work to transform communities, build businesses and strengthen public administration.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Source:: ECOSOCC holds consultations on AU agenda 2063 with Mandela-Washington Fellows

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Treasury Sanctions High-Ranking Government Security Official for Role in Violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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U.S Department of the Treasury

Press Release
6/23/2016

Action Targets Kinshasa Police Commissioner for Police Violence Against DRC Civilians

Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned a Congolese government official, Céléstin Kanyama, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13413, as amended by Executive Order 13671, which authorizes the designation of persons for specified conduct “contributing to the conflict” in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Specifically, OFAC designated Kanyama for being responsible for or complicit in, or having engaged in, directly or indirectly, the targeting of women, children, or any civilians through the commission of acts of violence, abduction, or forced displacement in the DRC, and for being a leader of an entity that has, or whose members have, engaged in such conduct. As a result of today’s actions, all assets of the individual designated that are based in the United States or in the control of U.S. persons are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with him.

Today’s action is not directed at the people of DRC. It is intended to alter the behavior of individuals involved in violence against civilians. The United Nations Joint Human Rights Office reported that the beginning of 2015 was marred by “an increase in the number of violations of political rights and public freedoms” committed by DRC government agents, particularly by police. In several provinces, security forces violently repressed demonstrations organized to oppose a new draft electoral law that many feared would allow President Kabila to run for a third term. Clashes between police and protestors have continued this year.

“As President Kabila’s constitutionally limited term nears its end in December, the regime has engaged in a pattern of repression, including the arrest of opposition members and violent suppression of political protests, all to avoid scheduling national elections,” said John E. Smith, Acting OFAC Director. “Treasury’s action today sends a clear message that the United States condemns the regime’s violence and repressive actions, especially those of Céléstin Kanyama, which threaten the future of democracy for the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”

Céléstin Kanyama
General Céléstin Kanyama is the Congolese National Police (PNC) Provincial police commissioner for Kinshasa. Under his leadership, police forces engaged in the targeting of civilian protestors through acts of violence.

Kanyama was the primary commander of Operation Likofi, a police operation between late 2013 and early 2014 that was set up to combat criminal delinquency in Kinshasa. However, the operation reportedly did not enforce the law in Kinshasa, but instead used unlawful violent tactics to establish a climate of fear. During this operation, Kanyama was responsible for extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances. In raids across the city, uniformed police wearing black masks dragged suspects out of their homes at night at gunpoint with no arrest warrants. At least 50 young men and boys were reportedly killed, and over 30 were reported to be forcibly “disappeared” during the operation.

In January 2015, during Kanyama’s tenure as Kinshasa police commissioner, over 40 people were killed during demonstrations in Kinshasa, including at least 20 people fatally shot by security forces. The demonstrators were protesting proposed changes to the electoral law that many Congolese believed would permit President Joseph Kabila to stay in office beyond his mandated two-term limit.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Africa Regional Media Hub.

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Source:: Treasury Sanctions High-Ranking Government Security Official for Role in Violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Treasury Sanctions High-Ranking Government Security Official for Role in Violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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U.S Department of the Treasury

Press Release
6/23/2016

Action Targets Kinshasa Police Commissioner for Police Violence Against DRC Civilians

Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned a Congolese government official, Céléstin Kanyama, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13413, as amended by Executive Order 13671, which authorizes the designation of persons for specified conduct “contributing to the conflict” in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Specifically, OFAC designated Kanyama for being responsible for or complicit in, or having engaged in, directly or indirectly, the targeting of women, children, or any civilians through the commission of acts of violence, abduction, or forced displacement in the DRC, and for being a leader of an entity that has, or whose members have, engaged in such conduct. As a result of today’s actions, all assets of the individual designated that are based in the United States or in the control of U.S. persons are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with him.

Today’s action is not directed at the people of DRC. It is intended to alter the behavior of individuals involved in violence against civilians. The United Nations Joint Human Rights Office reported that the beginning of 2015 was marred by “an increase in the number of violations of political rights and public freedoms” committed by DRC government agents, particularly by police. In several provinces, security forces violently repressed demonstrations organized to oppose a new draft electoral law that many feared would allow President Kabila to run for a third term. Clashes between police and protestors have continued this year.

“As President Kabila’s constitutionally limited term nears its end in December, the regime has engaged in a pattern of repression, including the arrest of opposition members and violent suppression of political protests, all to avoid scheduling national elections,” said John E. Smith, Acting OFAC Director. “Treasury’s action today sends a clear message that the United States condemns the regime’s violence and repressive actions, especially those of Céléstin Kanyama, which threaten the future of democracy for the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”

Céléstin Kanyama
General Céléstin Kanyama is the Congolese National Police (PNC) Provincial police commissioner for Kinshasa. Under his leadership, police forces engaged in the targeting of civilian protestors through acts of violence.

Kanyama was the primary commander of Operation Likofi, a police operation between late 2013 and early 2014 that was set up to combat criminal delinquency in Kinshasa. However, the operation reportedly did not enforce the law in Kinshasa, but instead used unlawful violent tactics to establish a climate of fear. During this operation, Kanyama was responsible for extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances. In raids across the city, uniformed police wearing black masks dragged suspects out of their homes at night at gunpoint with no arrest warrants. At least 50 young men and boys were reportedly killed, and over 30 were reported to be forcibly “disappeared” during the operation.

In January 2015, during Kanyama’s tenure as Kinshasa police commissioner, over 40 people were killed during demonstrations in Kinshasa, including at least 20 people fatally shot by security forces. The demonstrators were protesting proposed changes to the electoral law that many Congolese believed would permit President Joseph Kabila to stay in office beyond his mandated two-term limit.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Africa Regional Media Hub.

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Source:: Treasury Sanctions High-Ranking Government Security Official for Role in Violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Treasury Sanctions High-Ranking Government Security Official for Role in Violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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U.S Department of the Treasury

Press Release
6/23/2016

Action Targets Kinshasa Police Commissioner for Police Violence Against DRC Civilians

Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned a Congolese government official, Céléstin Kanyama, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13413, as amended by Executive Order 13671, which authorizes the designation of persons for specified conduct “contributing to the conflict” in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Specifically, OFAC designated Kanyama for being responsible for or complicit in, or having engaged in, directly or indirectly, the targeting of women, children, or any civilians through the commission of acts of violence, abduction, or forced displacement in the DRC, and for being a leader of an entity that has, or whose members have, engaged in such conduct. As a result of today’s actions, all assets of the individual designated that are based in the United States or in the control of U.S. persons are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with him.

Today’s action is not directed at the people of DRC. It is intended to alter the behavior of individuals involved in violence against civilians. The United Nations Joint Human Rights Office reported that the beginning of 2015 was marred by “an increase in the number of violations of political rights and public freedoms” committed by DRC government agents, particularly by police. In several provinces, security forces violently repressed demonstrations organized to oppose a new draft electoral law that many feared would allow President Kabila to run for a third term. Clashes between police and protestors have continued this year.

“As President Kabila’s constitutionally limited term nears its end in December, the regime has engaged in a pattern of repression, including the arrest of opposition members and violent suppression of political protests, all to avoid scheduling national elections,” said John E. Smith, Acting OFAC Director. “Treasury’s action today sends a clear message that the United States condemns the regime’s violence and repressive actions, especially those of Céléstin Kanyama, which threaten the future of democracy for the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”

Céléstin Kanyama
General Céléstin Kanyama is the Congolese National Police (PNC) Provincial police commissioner for Kinshasa. Under his leadership, police forces engaged in the targeting of civilian protestors through acts of violence.

Kanyama was the primary commander of Operation Likofi, a police operation between late 2013 and early 2014 that was set up to combat criminal delinquency in Kinshasa. However, the operation reportedly did not enforce the law in Kinshasa, but instead used unlawful violent tactics to establish a climate of fear. During this operation, Kanyama was responsible for extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances. In raids across the city, uniformed police wearing black masks dragged suspects out of their homes at night at gunpoint with no arrest warrants. At least 50 young men and boys were reportedly killed, and over 30 were reported to be forcibly “disappeared” during the operation.

In January 2015, during Kanyama’s tenure as Kinshasa police commissioner, over 40 people were killed during demonstrations in Kinshasa, including at least 20 people fatally shot by security forces. The demonstrators were protesting proposed changes to the electoral law that many Congolese believed would permit President Joseph Kabila to stay in office beyond his mandated two-term limit.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Africa Regional Media Hub.

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Source:: Treasury Sanctions High-Ranking Government Security Official for Role in Violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Three African Renewable Energy Projects Announced as Winners of the US$7million Access Co-Development Facility Prize

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  • Three winners to share US$7million prize and deliver 100 MW of clean energy to 340, 000 homes
  • Record breaking participation – 96 entries spanning 25 countries across Africa

Access Power (“Access”) (www.Access-Power.com), a developer, owner and operator of renewable power projects in emerging markets, is delighted to announce the winners of the 2016 US$7 million Access Co-Development Facility (ACF), a financial support mechanism for renewable energy projects in Africa.

Three projects from Nigeria, Madagascar, and Sierra Leone, fought off fierce competition from almost 100 entries to win a share of US$7million prize. The prize also includes a package of technical support designed to bring their renewable energy projects to life.

The winners are AGES PLC (25MW solar project in Sierra Leone), Mentach Energy (50 MW wind project in Nigeria), and Stucky Ltd (25MW Hydro & Solar project in Madagascar). Collectively, the projects will deliver 100 megawatts of electricity to 340,000 homes.

The winners were announced in London at the 18th annual Africa Energy Forum, following a presentation by five shortlisted developers to a panel of expert judges. The judges selected the three winners based on commercial, technical and environmental merits, as well as the local regulatory environment, and capability of the project team.

Reda El Chaar, Executive Chairman of Access Power said: “I am delighted to congratulate today’s well-deserved winners and we look forward to working with each of them to provide the technical skills, expertise and financing to get their projects across the finish line.

“There is still a massive, urgent need for electrification in Africa and we firmly believe that renewable energy will be a significant part of the solution. This year’s ACF competition introduced us to almost 100 projects, demonstrating the scale of entrepreneurialism and ambition across the African continent to meet the electrification challenge.”

ACF 2016 saw unprecedented participation with a 75% increase in applications from the inaugural ACF 2015. Submissions came from 25 different African countries, a 40% annual uplift in the number of countries involved, with 95% of the projects submitted came from Sub-Saharan Africa, a key growth area for Access Power.

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

Media Contacts:
Tel: +44(0)203 727 1885
Email: [email protected]
www.access-power.com.

Source:: Three African Renewable Energy Projects Announced as Winners of the US$7million Access Co-Development Facility Prize

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Three African Renewable Energy Projects Announced as Winners of the US$7million Access Co-Development Facility Prize

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  • Three winners to share US$7million prize and deliver 100 MW of clean energy to 340, 000 homes
  • Record breaking participation – 96 entries spanning 25 countries across Africa

Access Power (“Access”) (www.Access-Power.com), a developer, owner and operator of renewable power projects in emerging markets, is delighted to announce the winners of the 2016 US$7 million Access Co-Development Facility (ACF), a financial support mechanism for renewable energy projects in Africa.

Three projects from Nigeria, Madagascar, and Sierra Leone, fought off fierce competition from almost 100 entries to win a share of US$7million prize. The prize also includes a package of technical support designed to bring their renewable energy projects to life.

The winners are AGES PLC (25MW solar project in Sierra Leone), Mentach Energy (50 MW wind project in Nigeria), and Stucky Ltd (25MW Hydro & Solar project in Madagascar). Collectively, the projects will deliver 100 megawatts of electricity to 340,000 homes.

The winners were announced in London at the 18th annual Africa Energy Forum, following a presentation by five shortlisted developers to a panel of expert judges. The judges selected the three winners based on commercial, technical and environmental merits, as well as the local regulatory environment, and capability of the project team.

Reda El Chaar, Executive Chairman of Access Power said: “I am delighted to congratulate today’s well-deserved winners and we look forward to working with each of them to provide the technical skills, expertise and financing to get their projects across the finish line.

“There is still a massive, urgent need for electrification in Africa and we firmly believe that renewable energy will be a significant part of the solution. This year’s ACF competition introduced us to almost 100 projects, demonstrating the scale of entrepreneurialism and ambition across the African continent to meet the electrification challenge.”

ACF 2016 saw unprecedented participation with a 75% increase in applications from the inaugural ACF 2015. Submissions came from 25 different African countries, a 40% annual uplift in the number of countries involved, with 95% of the projects submitted came from Sub-Saharan Africa, a key growth area for Access Power.

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

Media Contacts:
Tel: +44(0)203 727 1885
Email: [email protected]
www.access-power.com.

Source:: Three African Renewable Energy Projects Announced as Winners of the US$7million Access Co-Development Facility Prize

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Ground-breaking healthcare solutions grab the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2016 total cash Awards of US$150 000!

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In a glittering ceremony that marked the five-year milestone anniversary of the Innovation Prize for Africa (http://www.InnovationPrizeforAfrica.org) the landmark programme of the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) (http://www.AfricanInnovation.org) innovative healthcare solutions took pole position this year, offering ground-breaking responses to address Africa’s prevailing malaria and HIV/AIDS burdens. Out of a total of 985 applications, 10 nominees were selected, and from these Dr Valentin Agon of Benin was selected overall winner, with Imogen Wright of South Africa scooping Second Prize, and Dr Eddy Agbo of Nigeria winning the Special Prize for Social impact.

Disease, especially in Africa, is a preventable cause of poverty, but remains a pressing problem in the continent. A 2015 World Bank report states that an overwhelming 99% of people who die from AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis (TB) live in the developing world. The epicentre of the HIV and AIDs epidemic is sub-Saharan Africa, home to 70% of all new HIV infections. Malaria kills about 660 000 people each year, negatively impacting on African economies and households. Economists believe that malaria is responsible for a growth penalty of up to 1.3% in some African countries, hindering economic growth in the region.

AIF partnered with the Government of Botswana (GoB) represented by the Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology (MIST) and the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) to host IPA 2016 under its theme Made in Africa. H.E. President Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, the President of Botswana presided at the prestigious awards ceremony, held at the Gaborone International Conference Centre (GICC) in the capital’s metropolis.

“IPA 2016 marks some historic achievements since its inception in 2011,” said Jean Claude Bastos de Morais, AIF Founding Board Member. “Besides a huge database of more than 6 000 innovators for increased share and exchange of information and a cash investment of US$1 million, we received endorsement from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in support of innovation-led strategies to boost national development.” He added: “We are proud of the overwhelming response we have received for the competition thus far and congratulate all 10 nominees and the winners.”

IPA winners this year demonstrated know how and expertise, boasting dynamic new inroads to address the malaria and HIV disease burdens confronting Africa. The winning innovations this year impressed the expert panel of judges, led by Amolo Ng’Weno: “The standards were very high, and it was difficult to make a decision; everyone is a winner and all of them were addressing major social issues. I congratulate the winners and look forward to the next five years of IPA”.

Dr Valentin Agon of Benin was unanimous winner of the US$100 000 Grand Prize for his innovation Api-Palu, an anti-malaria drug treatment that has hit the market not only in Benin, but in Burkina Faso, Tchad, and Central African Republic (CAR). Made from natural plant extract, Api-Palu is significantly cheaper than anti-malarial drugs currently on the market; it has great inhibitory effects on 3D7 strains of plasmodium falciparum the causative agent of malaria.

Imogen Wright of South Africa scooped the Second Prize of US$25 000 for Exatype, a software solution that enables healthcare workers to determine HIV positive patients’ responsiveness to ARV drug treatment. Until now, national responses have focussed on access to treatment for all. However, a growing number of people on ARVs are resistant to drug regimens, leading to failure of the therapy, exacerbating the continent’s HIV burden. Exatype processes the highly complex data produced by advanced “next-generation” DNA sequencing of the HIV DNA in a patient’s blood. Through a simple report, it detects drugs that are resistant to the patient, then highlights the need to avoid these to ensure successful treatment.

The Social Impact Prize of US$25 000 was awarded to Dr Eddy Agbo of Nigeria for his Urine Test for Malaria (UMT) a rapid non-blood diagnostic medical device that can diagnose malaria in less than 25 minutes. More often than not, when fever is detected, anti-malaria medication is administered. However, not all fevers are due to malaria. Also, the inability to quickly diagnose and commence malaria treatment can lead to various complications including kidney failure, build-up of lung fluid, aplastic anaemia and even death. UMT detects malaria parasite proteins in the patient’s urine with fever due to malaria; it is simple and affordable, and a potential game changer in managing malaria and saving lives across Africa.

“All those involved in the advancement of the frontiers of innovation, science, and technology are winners, and on behalf of the Government of Botswana, we would like to congratulate all those who participated in IPA 2016. However, in this pool of achievers, there are those that stand head and shoulders above the rest and we applaud the winners of IPA 2016. We celebrate this fine achievement and trust that it will inspire innovators in Botswana and across the continent to do more to solve Africa’s challenges,” says Alan Boshwaen, CEO of BIH.

This years’ IPA 10 nominees showcased innovations from diverse African countries, reflecting the truly pan African flavour of the IPA initiative. African ingenuity included agricultural solutions, technological software development, power energy initiatives and ground-breaking health care innovations.

AIF, driver of the IPA initiative also hosted a successful Innovation Ecosystems Connector in the new BIH Icon Building space that offered tailor-made workshops and great networking opportunities for both innovators and innovation enablers. An innovation village showcased a variety of exhibitions from Botswana and the rest of Africa, with maker spaces, African food and fashion. The IPA 2016 Awards Ceremony was presented by CNBC’s Nozipho Mbanjwa; South Africa’s Freshly Ground provided spectacular entertainment, as more than 400 movers and shakers celebrated five years of Made in Africa, donning the colours of Africa.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Innovation Foundation (AIF).

For more information:

For the African Innovation Foundation
Aulora Stally
Communications Manager
Mobile: +267 72 451 718
E-mail: [email protected]

For the Botswana Innovation Hub
Tigele Mokobi
PR & Communications Manager
Tel: +267 391 3328
E-mail: [email protected]

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Source:: Ground-breaking healthcare solutions grab the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2016 total cash Awards of US$150 000!

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Cape Verde joins Port State Measures Agreement to combat unregulated fishing

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Cape Verde joined the Port State Measures Agreement today, as President Jorge Carlos Fonseca personally delivered his country’s ratification papers for the treaty to FAO in a visit to Rome.

FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva lauded that as “excellent news” and invited the head of state to a forthcoming event in Rome to celebrate the first international treaty to focus specifically on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

“Cape Verde is acting responsibly and joining the international community’s effort, led by the United Nations and FAO, to combat practices that limit sustainable access to resources that are important not only to the whole world but in particular to our island country,” said Mr. Fonseca.

As many as 60 countries that are signatories to t the PSMA will be at the special event when the Committee on Fisheries begins its 32nd session at FAO’s headquarters on July 11, he said. FAO drafted the treaty and began shepherding its adoption in 2009.

The PSMA, which requires all fishing vessels to allow inspectors aboard when they stop in foreign ports, went into legal force earlier this month after more than 25 countries – ranging from Cuba and the United States of America to Mozambique and the European Union acting on behalf of its 28 members – deposited their instruments of adherence.

Graziano da Silva signalled FAO’s willingness to support Cabo Verde’s fisheries sector, saying the agency’s collaboration with the country is “very progress”. Current projects include initiatives to tackle desertification, bolster reforestation efforts and to promote marine resources management and the Blue Economy.

Help with containing zika

Graziano da Silva also offered FAO’s technical assistance in the effort to contain Zika, a mosquito-borne disease that has been detected in the country, where a humid and warm climate is ideal for the insects’ proliferation.

“FAO is responsible for prevention, not for the disease itself,” he said. “Prevention is fundamental,” he said, adding that using insecticides in urban areas may not be enough to eradicate the mosquitos.

FAO and the International Atomic Energy Agency have a joint program to support member countries in insect pest control which has developed a technique of using sterile insects to combat such disease vectors.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

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Source:: Cape Verde joins Port State Measures Agreement to combat unregulated fishing

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