Vice President Faure at the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit

The Vice President of the Republic of Seychelles, Mr. Danny Faure, is representing the Head of State, Mr. James Alix Michel, at the first World Humanitarian Summit being held from 23rd to 24th May 2016, in Istanbul, Turkey.

The aim of the Summit, an initiative which was conceived by the UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon, in 2012, is to map out a forward-looking humanitarian agenda for the future, that is more effective and inclusive and which addresses the significant challenges facing a rapidly changing world.

The agenda will focus on five core responsibilities: global leadership to prevent and end conflict; uphold the norms that safeguard humanity; leave no one behind; change people’s lives – from delivering aid to ending need; and invest in humanity.

Consultations at the Summit will provide opportunities for all actors to discuss challenges and emerging trends, identify recommendations and develop a plan of action for the future of humanitarian efforts.

The Vice President’s delegation comprises high level officials from the Ministry of Social Affairs, Community Development and Sports; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Risk and Disaster Management.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Seychelles.

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Vice President Faure at the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit

The Vice President of the Republic of Seychelles, Mr. Danny Faure, is representing the Head of State, Mr. James Alix Michel, at the first World Humanitarian Summit being held from 23rd to 24th May 2016, in Istanbul, Turkey.

The aim of the Summit, an initiative which was conceived by the UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon, in 2012, is to map out a forward-looking humanitarian agenda for the future, that is more effective and inclusive and which addresses the significant challenges facing a rapidly changing world.

The agenda will focus on five core responsibilities: global leadership to prevent and end conflict; uphold the norms that safeguard humanity; leave no one behind; change people’s lives – from delivering aid to ending need; and invest in humanity.

Consultations at the Summit will provide opportunities for all actors to discuss challenges and emerging trends, identify recommendations and develop a plan of action for the future of humanitarian efforts.

The Vice President’s delegation comprises high level officials from the Ministry of Social Affairs, Community Development and Sports; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Risk and Disaster Management.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Seychelles.

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Source:: Vice President Faure at the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit

More U.S. Support in Search for EgyptAir MS804

Today, the U.S. Navy continued search operations for EgyptAir MS804 in coordination with the Egyptian Joint Rescue Coordination Center.

Since May 19, the U.S. Navy has conducted search operations for MS804 with flight missions by the U.S. Navy’s P-3 Orion aircraft, which specialize in maritime surveillance. The P-3 Orion missions have flown from the U.S. Naval Air Station in Sigonella, Italy to search the Mediterranean Sea area in which flight MS804 disappeared.

Today, the U.S. Navy continued to support the search operation with two flight missions by P-3 Orion aircraft. For additional updates on the U.S. Navy’s support for this search operation, follow @USNavyEurope or @USEmbassyCairo on Twitter, or visit the website below:

http://www.c6f.navy.mil/news/us-navy-p-3-orion-assists-search-egyptair-flight-ms804

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of U.S. Embassy – Cairo.

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Statement attributable to the Humanitarian Country Team in Sudan on the de facto expulsion of UN senior official and OCHA Head of Office Mr. Ivo Freijsen

The Humanitarian Country Team in Sudan today expressed shock and disappointment at the de facto expulsion by the Government of Sudan of one of its senior UN officials, the Head of Office of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Mr. Ivo Freijsen.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informed the United Nations in Sudan that Mr. Freijsen’s annual stay permit will not be renewed when it expires on 6 June 2016. This is despite the request for a 12-month extension of his stay permit, as per routine process, which was submitted on 10 April 2016. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has provided no official explanation in writing for this decision.

This action by the Government of Sudan is inconsistent with the fundamental principles of the international civil service enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, the organisation’s foundational treaty, to which Sudan is a party.

The Humanitarian Country Team is concerned about the impact of this decision on the operating environment for all humanitarian organisations in Sudan, which provide emergency relief, and early recovery and transitional assistance to those in need. In 2015 the Humanitarian Country Team and partners coordinated and implemented the delivery of over US$600 million worth of aid to hundreds of thousands of people across the country.

The OCHA Head of Office is the fourth senior UN official to be expelled from Sudan in the last two years. This comes in addition to the forced closure of international NGO Tearfund in December 2015 and the de facto expulsion of three international NGO country representatives in recent months.

The Humanitarian Country Team remains committed to supporting the Government and the people of Sudan in providing humanitarian assistance. The Humanitarian Country Team calls upon the Government of Sudan to ensure a fully conducive environment for delivering timely, principled and quality humanitarian assistance.

Mr. Freijsen is highly appreciated by the Humanitarian Country Team for his dedication to humanitarian action in Sudan, his in-depth expertise, and his strategic and effective leadership. Mr. Freijsen was appointed to his position by the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, on behalf of the UN Secretary-General, in February 2014. He has worked for over a decade in Sudan during a career spanning 23 years and over 15 countries. During 12 years at OCHA he has led principled humanitarian coordination work, focusing on providing life-saving and emergency assistance to people in need. This is his sixth official appointment in Sudan.

The Humanitarian Country Team is the highest-level decision-making forum of the Inter-Agency Steering Committee (IASC) structures in Sudan and is the primary mechanism for coordination among UN agencies and NGOs. The IASC was established globally by a resolution of the UN General Assembly. Members of the Humanitarian Country Team in Sudan include representatives from FAO, UNDP, UNFPA, UNHABITAT, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNOCHA, WFP, WHO, IOM, the international NGO Forum Steering Committee and IICO. MSF, an observer to the Humanitarian Country Team in Sudan, also aligns itself with this statement.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations (UN).

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Source:: Statement attributable to the Humanitarian Country Team in Sudan on the de facto expulsion of UN senior official and OCHA Head of Office Mr. Ivo Freijsen

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Statement by the HR/VP Federica Mogherini on Libya

Following up on our useful talks last Monday in Vienna to discuss an array of issues relating to Libya, the Libyan Prime Minister Serraj has written to request rapid EU support contributing to the training of the Libyan Navy and Coast Guard, as well as the security service. This is an important development that I will discuss with Ministers at tomorrow’s meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council with a view to making this operational as soon as possible so as to support the Libyans with the many challenges that need facing.

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

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UN Security Council Mission Discusses Regional, Global Issues at Arab League, Egyptian Foreign Ministry

Representatives of the 15 Member States of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) today held an unprecedented consultative meeting with delegations of Member States of the League of Arab States (LAS) where they discussed developments of the Palestinian issue, the Middle East peace process, updates on the situation in both Libya and Somalia, as well as challenges of the surging numbers of refugees, displaced persons and illegal immigrants.

The UNSC mission, led by the representative of Egypt to the UN and current President of the UNSC Ambassador Amr Abul Atta, arrived in Cairo from the Kenyan Capital Nairobi after a quick visit to Somalia to discuss preparations for elections there in August and lend support to the process.

After a meeting with LAS Secretary General Dr. Nabil El Araby, the joint consultative meeting between delegations of the two entities was held under the co-chairmanship of Egypt as President of UNSC and Bahrain, which chairs the current LAS session. The meeting opened with a keynote address in which El Araby stressed the importance of enhancing cooperation and coordination between the world organization and LAS on various issues, particularly those relating to international peace and security, and stability in the Arab region and around the world. Many representatives from both sides urged that such consultative meetings become regular, with some diplomats calling for converting them into a fixed mechanism between the two organizations.

The LAS chief also stressed the need to reconsider the way the UN Security Council operates in order to become better able to shoulder responsibilities entrusted to it in dealing with crises that threaten international peace and security and resolving disputes by peaceful means. He pointed out the significant role played by regional organizations in this regard, which he said was also underlined in the charters of both the UN and LAS.

Following the League’s meeting, the Security Council mission went to meet Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and some of his top aides. Their talks revolved around the Palestinian issue, developments in both Libya and Somalia, and the conflict in Syria.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations (UN).

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Source:: UN Security Council Mission Discusses Regional, Global Issues at Arab League, Egyptian Foreign Ministry

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IMF Executive Board Approves US$2.9 billion Extended Arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility for Tunisia

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today approved a 48-month extended arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) with Tunisia for an amount equivalent to SDR 2.04 billion (about US$2.9 billion, or 375 percent of Tunisia’s quota) to support the country’s economic and financial reform program detailed in the authorities’ economic vision. This program aims at promoting stronger and more inclusive growth by consolidating macroeconomic stability, reforming public institutions—including the civil service, facilitating financial intermediation, and improving the business climate. Following the Board’s decision, an amount equivalent to SDR 227.29 million (about US$319.5 million) is available for immediate disbursement; the remaining amount will be phased in over the duration of the program, subject to eight program reviews.

Following the Executive Board discussion on Tunisia, Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy Managing Director, and Acting Chair, said:

“Tunisia’s economy has shown resilience but continues to face important fiscal, external, structural, and social challenges. Macroeconomic stability has been preserved and important reforms have been initiated, including with the support of the recently expired Fund-supported program.

“The authorities have developed a comprehensive and new economic program—to be supported by a four-year Extended Fund Facility—to address remaining vulnerabilities. The program aims at consolidating macroeconomic stability and promoting more inclusive growth. Strong commitment to sound policies, early and decisive action on key structural reforms, and consensus-building and communication efforts, particularly on socially difficult reforms, are crucial to create jobs and yield the largest gains for Tunisia’s population.

“A prudent fiscal policy that puts public debt on a downward path will help ease financing constraints, reduce external imbalances, and ensure sustainability. A comprehensive civil service reform will improve public service delivery and increase fiscal space for priority investment and well-targeted social spending. A more progressive and efficient tax system will broaden the tax base and improve equity. Fiscal risks should continue to be monitored; and governance efforts, accelerated.

“Enhanced central bank independence will strengthen the effectiveness of monetary policy, while greater exchange rate flexibility will strengthen reserve buffers and facilitate external adjustment.

“The adoption of critical banking sector legislation is welcome. Further action is needed to restructure public banks and strengthen the banking resolution and supervision frameworks. Developing credit bureaus and relaxing caps on lending rates will increase access to finance.

“Efforts to streamline existing business procedures and enhance market access through a new investment code and the implementation of the competition law and the law on public-private partnerships are essential to promote private-sector development and create jobs.”

ANNEX

Recent Economic Developments

With the implementation of the IMF-supported Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) that expired in December 2015, Tunisia has managed to preserve macroeconomic stability and initiate fiscal and banking reforms in a context marked by a prolonged political transition, spillovers from the crisis in Libya, and numerous exogenous shocks, including terror attacks. However, important challenges remain: economic activity is weak, employment is low, social tensions linger, spending composition has deteriorated, and external imbalances are high.

To tackle these challenges, the authorities formulated in 2015 a five-year economic vision, which is being developed into a detailed plan. This vision aims at promoting stronger and more inclusive growth by transforming Tunisia’s growth model through a strategy based on macroeconomic stability and including five pillars: effective public institutions; economic diversification; human development and social inclusion; regional development; and green economic growth.

Program Summary

The new program aims at achieving more inclusive growth and create jobs, with implementation centered around four pillars: i) consolidating macroeconomic stability; ii) reforming public institutions, iii) promoting financial intermediation, iv) and improving the business climate.

Consolidating macroeconomic stability . Key measures include: (i) an appropriate fiscal policy that creates space for priority capital spending and aims at putting public debt on a downward path; (ii) a prudent monetary policy aimed at containing inflation; and (iii) greater exchange rate flexibility that preserves reserves in the face of important exogenous shocks.

Reforming public institutions and modernizing the public administration to improve its efficiency and effectiveness and support inclusive growth remains a priority. The policy package will include reforming civil service to improve public service delivery and help contain the wage bill, progressing with energy subsidy reform while strengthening the social safety net, fostering the monitoring and performance of the State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), boosting equity-friendly revenue mobilization, and strengthening public financial management and transparency efforts, including through enhanced anti-corruption initiatives.

Promoting financial intermediation . Important steps have been taken towards establishing a modern banking system, subject to strong supervision and competition. The new program will include measures aimed at strengthening banking sector resilience and promoting financial intermediation. This requires continued progress on public bank restructuring, a risk-based supervision system, a proper resolution framework, and strengthened regulations. All these reforms, and the implementation of the new bankruptcy law, will help banks actively resolve their non-performing loans. Financial inclusion will be helped through the development of microfinance institutions.

Improving the business climate. Key measures include improving the adoption of a new investment code, the streamlining of tax incentives, and the simplification of procedures to reduce entry barriers and protect investor rights. The simplification of about 530 tax, customs, and business formalities completed over the past two years are expected to reduce administrative burden faced by businesses and increase government efficiency. Labor market reform will proceed gradually by building upon consensus amongst stakeholders to finalize a national employment strategy to address the main labor market issues including skills mismatch and worker protection.

Tunisia: Selected Economic and Financial Indicators, 2012–17

2015 2016 2017

2012 2013 2014 Pre. Proj.

Production and income (percent change)

Real GDP

3.9 2.4 2.3 0.8 2.0 3.0

GDP deflator

5.0 4.3 5.2 4.9 5.1 3.3

Consumer price index (CPI), average

5.1 5.8 4.9 4.9 3.9 3.9

Consumer price index (CPI), end of period

5.9 5.7 4.8 4.1 4.0 3.9

Gross national savings (in percent of GDP)

16.1 14.4 14.0 12.9 14.1 15.3

Gross investment (in percent of GDP)

24.4 22.7 23.2 21.8 21.8 22.3

Central government (percent of GDP, unless indicated otherwise 1/

Total revenue (excluding grants)

24.0 24.9 25.4 23.0 23.9 24.1

Total expenditure and net lending

29.8 32.4 29.7 28.5 28.5 28.0

Central government overall balance (excluding grants)

-5.8 -7.5 -4.3 -5.5 -4.6 -3.9

Central government overall balance (excluding grants, cash basis)

-5.5 -9.8 -5.4 -4.7 -4.6 -3.9

Structural fiscal balance 2/

-5.7 -6.4 -4.3 -4.3 -4.0 -3.3

Change in the structural fiscal balance (+: improvement)

-2.4 -0.7 2.1 0.0 0.3 0.7

Central government debt (foreign and domestic)

45.5 44.5 49.0 53.2 54.6 54.5

Foreign currency public debt (percent of total debt)

61.6 59.6 62.6 62.6 68.0 68.6

Total external debt

External debt (US$ billions)

24.0 26.0 26.7 26.7 29.3 30.7

External debt (in percent of GDP)

52.9 57.0 61.4 63.5 69.0 71.4

Debt service ratio (percent of exports of GNFS)

12.1 9.5 8.4 10.2 12.8 16.7

Money and credit (percent change)

Credit to the economy

8.8 6.8 9.4 6.4 7.1 7.3

Broad money (M3 of the financial system)

8.4 6.6 7.8 5.3 6.5 6.8

Velocity of circulation (GDP/M2)

1.46 1.45 1.45 1.46 1.47 1.46

External sector (percent change)

Exports of goods, f.o.b. (in $)

-4.6 0.3 -1.9 -15.9 -2.6 5.8

Imports of goods, f.o.b. (in $)

2.1 -0.5 1.8 -18.4 -4.3 3.9

Exports of goods, f.o.b. (volume)

1.6 -0.7 -2.9 -2.8 1.6 5.5

Import of goods, f.o.b. (volume)

9.0 -0.5 2.1 -1.7 3.5 2.1

Trade balance (in percent of GDP)

-13.6 -12.8 -14.0 -11.5 -10.4 -10.1

Current account (in percent of GDP)

-8.3 -8.4 -9.1 -8.9 -7.7 -7.0

Foreign direct investment, net (in percent of GDP)

1.5 1.1 2.3 2.5 2.1 2.2

Terms of trade (deterioration -)

0.2 1.1 1.4 4.2 3.7 -1.5

Official reserves

Gross official reserves (US$ billions, e.o.p)

8.7 7.7 7.7 7.6 8.3 8.5

In months of next year’s imports of goods and services, c.i.f.

3.9 3.4 4.2 4.3 4.6 4.5

Memorandum items:

GDP at current prices (TD millions)

70,354 75,152 80,816 85,491 91,658 97,495

GDP at current prices (US$ billions)

45.0 46.3 47.6 43.6 44.0 44.4

Real effective exchange rate (percent change, depreciation -) 3/

-1.49 -1.90 -0.20

Interest rate (money market rate, in percent, e.o.p)

3.3 4.8 4.7

Stock market TUNINDEX (12/31/1997=1000)

4,580 4,381 4,674

Sources: Tunisian authorities; and IMF staff estimates and projections.

1/ Excludes the social security accounts.

2/ Excludes banking recapitalization costs and one-off arrears payments for energy subsidies. Different figures from sixth SBA review account for updated output gap estimation.

3/ Information Notice System.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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IMF Executive Board Approves US$2.9 billion Extended Arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility for Tunisia

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today approved a 48-month extended arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) with Tunisia for an amount equivalent to SDR 2.04 billion (about US$2.9 billion, or 375 percent of Tunisia’s quota) to support the country’s economic and financial reform program detailed in the authorities’ economic vision. This program aims at promoting stronger and more inclusive growth by consolidating macroeconomic stability, reforming public institutions—including the civil service, facilitating financial intermediation, and improving the business climate. Following the Board’s decision, an amount equivalent to SDR 227.29 million (about US$319.5 million) is available for immediate disbursement; the remaining amount will be phased in over the duration of the program, subject to eight program reviews.

Following the Executive Board discussion on Tunisia, Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy Managing Director, and Acting Chair, said:

“Tunisia’s economy has shown resilience but continues to face important fiscal, external, structural, and social challenges. Macroeconomic stability has been preserved and important reforms have been initiated, including with the support of the recently expired Fund-supported program.

“The authorities have developed a comprehensive and new economic program—to be supported by a four-year Extended Fund Facility—to address remaining vulnerabilities. The program aims at consolidating macroeconomic stability and promoting more inclusive growth. Strong commitment to sound policies, early and decisive action on key structural reforms, and consensus-building and communication efforts, particularly on socially difficult reforms, are crucial to create jobs and yield the largest gains for Tunisia’s population.

“A prudent fiscal policy that puts public debt on a downward path will help ease financing constraints, reduce external imbalances, and ensure sustainability. A comprehensive civil service reform will improve public service delivery and increase fiscal space for priority investment and well-targeted social spending. A more progressive and efficient tax system will broaden the tax base and improve equity. Fiscal risks should continue to be monitored; and governance efforts, accelerated.

“Enhanced central bank independence will strengthen the effectiveness of monetary policy, while greater exchange rate flexibility will strengthen reserve buffers and facilitate external adjustment.

“The adoption of critical banking sector legislation is welcome. Further action is needed to restructure public banks and strengthen the banking resolution and supervision frameworks. Developing credit bureaus and relaxing caps on lending rates will increase access to finance.

“Efforts to streamline existing business procedures and enhance market access through a new investment code and the implementation of the competition law and the law on public-private partnerships are essential to promote private-sector development and create jobs.”

ANNEX

Recent Economic Developments

With the implementation of the IMF-supported Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) that expired in December 2015, Tunisia has managed to preserve macroeconomic stability and initiate fiscal and banking reforms in a context marked by a prolonged political transition, spillovers from the crisis in Libya, and numerous exogenous shocks, including terror attacks. However, important challenges remain: economic activity is weak, employment is low, social tensions linger, spending composition has deteriorated, and external imbalances are high.

To tackle these challenges, the authorities formulated in 2015 a five-year economic vision, which is being developed into a detailed plan. This vision aims at promoting stronger and more inclusive growth by transforming Tunisia’s growth model through a strategy based on macroeconomic stability and including five pillars: effective public institutions; economic diversification; human development and social inclusion; regional development; and green economic growth.

Program Summary

The new program aims at achieving more inclusive growth and create jobs, with implementation centered around four pillars: i) consolidating macroeconomic stability; ii) reforming public institutions, iii) promoting financial intermediation, iv) and improving the business climate.

Consolidating macroeconomic stability . Key measures include: (i) an appropriate fiscal policy that creates space for priority capital spending and aims at putting public debt on a downward path; (ii) a prudent monetary policy aimed at containing inflation; and (iii) greater exchange rate flexibility that preserves reserves in the face of important exogenous shocks.

Reforming public institutions and modernizing the public administration to improve its efficiency and effectiveness and support inclusive growth remains a priority. The policy package will include reforming civil service to improve public service delivery and help contain the wage bill, progressing with energy subsidy reform while strengthening the social safety net, fostering the monitoring and performance of the State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), boosting equity-friendly revenue mobilization, and strengthening public financial management and transparency efforts, including through enhanced anti-corruption initiatives.

Promoting financial intermediation . Important steps have been taken towards establishing a modern banking system, subject to strong supervision and competition. The new program will include measures aimed at strengthening banking sector resilience and promoting financial intermediation. This requires continued progress on public bank restructuring, a risk-based supervision system, a proper resolution framework, and strengthened regulations. All these reforms, and the implementation of the new bankruptcy law, will help banks actively resolve their non-performing loans. Financial inclusion will be helped through the development of microfinance institutions.

Improving the business climate. Key measures include improving the adoption of a new investment code, the streamlining of tax incentives, and the simplification of procedures to reduce entry barriers and protect investor rights. The simplification of about 530 tax, customs, and business formalities completed over the past two years are expected to reduce administrative burden faced by businesses and increase government efficiency. Labor market reform will proceed gradually by building upon consensus amongst stakeholders to finalize a national employment strategy to address the main labor market issues including skills mismatch and worker protection.

Tunisia: Selected Economic and Financial Indicators, 2012–17

2015 2016 2017

2012 2013 2014 Pre. Proj.

Production and income (percent change)

Real GDP

3.9 2.4 2.3 0.8 2.0 3.0

GDP deflator

5.0 4.3 5.2 4.9 5.1 3.3

Consumer price index (CPI), average

5.1 5.8 4.9 4.9 3.9 3.9

Consumer price index (CPI), end of period

5.9 5.7 4.8 4.1 4.0 3.9

Gross national savings (in percent of GDP)

16.1 14.4 14.0 12.9 14.1 15.3

Gross investment (in percent of GDP)

24.4 22.7 23.2 21.8 21.8 22.3

Central government (percent of GDP, unless indicated otherwise 1/

Total revenue (excluding grants)

24.0 24.9 25.4 23.0 23.9 24.1

Total expenditure and net lending

29.8 32.4 29.7 28.5 28.5 28.0

Central government overall balance (excluding grants)

-5.8 -7.5 -4.3 -5.5 -4.6 -3.9

Central government overall balance (excluding grants, cash basis)

-5.5 -9.8 -5.4 -4.7 -4.6 -3.9

Structural fiscal balance 2/

-5.7 -6.4 -4.3 -4.3 -4.0 -3.3

Change in the structural fiscal balance (+: improvement)

-2.4 -0.7 2.1 0.0 0.3 0.7

Central government debt (foreign and domestic)

45.5 44.5 49.0 53.2 54.6 54.5

Foreign currency public debt (percent of total debt)

61.6 59.6 62.6 62.6 68.0 68.6

Total external debt

External debt (US$ billions)

24.0 26.0 26.7 26.7 29.3 30.7

External debt (in percent of GDP)

52.9 57.0 61.4 63.5 69.0 71.4

Debt service ratio (percent of exports of GNFS)

12.1 9.5 8.4 10.2 12.8 16.7

Money and credit (percent change)

Credit to the economy

8.8 6.8 9.4 6.4 7.1 7.3

Broad money (M3 of the financial system)

8.4 6.6 7.8 5.3 6.5 6.8

Velocity of circulation (GDP/M2)

1.46 1.45 1.45 1.46 1.47 1.46

External sector (percent change)

Exports of goods, f.o.b. (in $)

-4.6 0.3 -1.9 -15.9 -2.6 5.8

Imports of goods, f.o.b. (in $)

2.1 -0.5 1.8 -18.4 -4.3 3.9

Exports of goods, f.o.b. (volume)

1.6 -0.7 -2.9 -2.8 1.6 5.5

Import of goods, f.o.b. (volume)

9.0 -0.5 2.1 -1.7 3.5 2.1

Trade balance (in percent of GDP)

-13.6 -12.8 -14.0 -11.5 -10.4 -10.1

Current account (in percent of GDP)

-8.3 -8.4 -9.1 -8.9 -7.7 -7.0

Foreign direct investment, net (in percent of GDP)

1.5 1.1 2.3 2.5 2.1 2.2

Terms of trade (deterioration -)

0.2 1.1 1.4 4.2 3.7 -1.5

Official reserves

Gross official reserves (US$ billions, e.o.p)

8.7 7.7 7.7 7.6 8.3 8.5

In months of next year’s imports of goods and services, c.i.f.

3.9 3.4 4.2 4.3 4.6 4.5

Memorandum items:

GDP at current prices (TD millions)

70,354 75,152 80,816 85,491 91,658 97,495

GDP at current prices (US$ billions)

45.0 46.3 47.6 43.6 44.0 44.4

Real effective exchange rate (percent change, depreciation -) 3/

-1.49 -1.90 -0.20

Interest rate (money market rate, in percent, e.o.p)

3.3 4.8 4.7

Stock market TUNINDEX (12/31/1997=1000)

4,580 4,381 4,674

Sources: Tunisian authorities; and IMF staff estimates and projections.

1/ Excludes the social security accounts.

2/ Excludes banking recapitalization costs and one-off arrears payments for energy subsidies. Different figures from sixth SBA review account for updated output gap estimation.

3/ Information Notice System.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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Source:: IMF Executive Board Approves US$2.9 billion Extended Arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility for Tunisia

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Statement by the Spokesperson on the decriminalisation of male same-sex activity in Seychelles

Seychelles’ decision to decriminalise homosexuality, taken on 19 May 2016, adds to the number of African countries where same-sex relations are legal.

Through this ground-breaking decision, Seychelles has joined the increasing number of countries which have taken steps to abide by their international human rights commitments to promote the equality of all, regardless of their sexual orientation.

The EU reiterates its strong commitment to the equality and dignity of all human beings irrespective of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

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

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Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Inaugurates Large Corporation Group to Boost Manufacturing in Nigeria

The Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (http://www.ManufacturersNigeria.org) has inaugurated its Large Corporation Group, which will amongst other things come up with policy recommendations that will lead to a conducive economic and social climate for the operation and development for large scale industries in Nigeria.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, MAN’s President Mr. Frank Udemba said one of the most crucial tasks before the Large Corporation Group is the facilitation effective linkage between small/medium scale industries and large scale industries in the production and supply value chain. Mr. Udemba said linkage is critical in the task of making Nigeria a manufacturing hub in the sub region and beyond.

On her part, the Minister of State for Trade and Industry Hajia Aisha Abubakar said the Federal Government was committed to creating the enabling environment for manufacturing to thrive in the country and that the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) is government’s strategic partner in achieving this task. She said the tough conditions that manufacturer’s face in Nigeria notably inadequate power was a top priority for the present administration.

The event was sponsored by global digital industrial technology company – General Electric (GE) (www.GE.com), which made a presentation on GE’s Gas to Power solutions focusing on the use of LPG as a reliable and available fuel source for power generation. The integrated solution will go a long way in addressing a number of the energy needs of Nigerian manufacturers. During his presentation, Dr Christoph Reimnitz emphasized the availability of competitively priced LPG via GE’s fuel partner Vitol.

At the panel session on “Powering Manufacturing in Nigeria without Power”, the President and CEO of GE Nigeria Dr Lazarus Angbazo said the power deficit in Nigeria requires concerted co-operation of all stakeholders in the Power ecosystem. According to him, “there is no foreseeable way of boosting manufacturing in Nigeria without fixing the power sector”. Other panelists who spoke in similar vein were the CEO of British American Tobacco Mr. Chris Allister and the Vice President of MAN Engineer Ibrahim Usman. They agreed that the recent tariff increase to make the discos more bankable was a step in the right direction in attracting needed funding.

The panelists also recommended distributed/embedded power as a short term solution to addressing the power shortfall in the country.

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

For media enquiries contact
Oluwasegun Osidipe
Director, Corporate Affairs
olusegun.osidipe@manufacturersnigeria.org
Israel_osidipe@yahoo.com

About MAN
Established in 1971, MAN (http://www.ManufacturersNigeria.org) is in business to create a climate of opinion in Nigeria in which manufacturers can operate efficiently and profitably for the benefit of all. As the collective voice of its members, MAN was established to promote and protect manufacturers’ collective interests in Nigeria.

About GE
GE (NYSE: GE) (www.GE.com) is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the “GE Store,” through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry. www.GE.com

Source:: Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Inaugurates Large Corporation Group to Boost Manufacturing in Nigeria

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Ecobank and Old Mutual announce enhanced strategic agreeement

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) (http://www.Ecobank.com), parent company of the Ecobank Group, and Old Mutual Emerging Markets (OMEM) (https://www.OldMutual.com), a part of the Old Mutual Group, today announced an enhanced strategic agreement that will strengthen existing ties between the leading pan-African bank and the insurance and asset management giant.

Old Mutual Emerging Markets currently has a bancassurance partnership with the Ecobank Group. This latest agreement will grow the existing strategic alliance by offering seamless insurance services to Ecobank clients across selected countries where the two groups have operations. Clients will benefit mutually though access to a range of financial services that include life insurance, savings and short-term insurance solutions across a greater network on the African continent.

Ecobank Group CEO Ade Ayeyemi said plans for the integrated model include providing access to Old Mutual solutions for Ecobank’s banking operations across selected countries. “This is a productive and valued partnership between two pan-African institutions to provide complete financial services solutions to our customers,” he said.

Ralph Mupita, CEO of Old Mutual Emerging Markets, said: “It is in our mutual interest to ensure that this alliance grows from strength to strength, as we now look to complement Ecobank’s range of banking services to its customers with Old Mutual’s trusted financial products across the Ecobank network on the continent.”

Signed by both company chief executives at the Ecobank Group’s Lome head office yesterday, the enhanced agreement goes into immediate effect.

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

Media Enquiries
Richard Uku
Group Head, Coporate Communications
Ecobank Transnational Incorporated
T. +228 22210303 / M. +228 93264716
Email: ruku@ecobank.com

Lisa Lombard
Communications Manager
Old Mutual Emerging Markets
T. +27 21 509 3318 / M. +27 82 836 8036
Email: LLombard2@oldmutual.com

Sizwe Ndlovu
Investor Relations Manager
Old Mutual Emerging Markets
T. +27 11 217 1163
M. +27 83 500 8019
Email: Sizwe.Ndlovu@omg.co.uk

About Ecobank
Incorporated in Lomé, Togo, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) (http://www.Ecobank.com) is the parent company of the leading independent pan-African banking group, Ecobank. It currently has a presence in 36 African countries: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Democratic Republic), Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Group employs over 20,000 people in 40 different countries in over 1,200 branches and offices. Ecobank is a full-service bank providing wholesale, retail, investment and transaction banking services and products to governments, financial institutions, multinationals, international organizations, medium, small and micro businesses and individuals. More information can be found on the Group’s website: ecobank.com or on Twitter: @GroupEcobank

About Old Mutual
Old Mutual operates primarily in the long-term savings and investment market. Its primary objective is to preserve and grow the money entrusted to it by its customers, either directly or through their advisors. In addition to having operations in South Africa since 1845, Old Mutual currently has operations across 19 countries. Its Africa footprint includes operations in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and South Sudan. More information can be found at: OldMutual.com

Source:: Ecobank and Old Mutual announce enhanced strategic agreeement

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Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General — EgyptAir Flight

The Secretary-General is deeply saddened by the crash of EgyptAir’s flight MS804 yesterday. He sends his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and to the governments and peoples affected by this tragedy.

The Secretary-General is grateful to those who have joined the recovery operations for their quick response.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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Source:: Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General — EgyptAir Flight

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