CCN working for responsible elections in Nigeria

GENEVA, Switzerland, February 26, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — In many countries, national elections can provoke tension and uncertainty. Nigeria is no exception. The elections, originally scheduled for the middle of February, have now been postponed to 28 March, partly as a result of the security situation.

Seeking to make a positive contribution to the electoral process, the Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN), a national ecumenical partner of the World Council of Churches (WCC), has been engaged in a major project to encourage church leadership to train its members to take a full part in civic activities. The CCN project has included the training of election observers and monitors.

According to recent reports from the Christian Council of Nigeria, within the period between December 2014 and January 2015, the CCN has trained 480 persons who will go back to their localities to train others. The trained persons are comprised of women, men and young people – who are leaders in the various church denominations across the country. The training took place in four locations: Ibadan, Lagos, Kaduna and Umuahia.

The major objective of the training sessions was the enhancement of participation by members of the Christian Council of Nigeria in the nation’s civic activities. On a broader scale, the training objectives were: to build the capacity of participants to carry out non-partisan voter education and social mobilization; to equip participants with knowledge and skills for empowering church leaders and members to understand their civic rights and obligations and to enhance their capacity actively to participate in the electoral process and increase the participation of the Christian Council of Nigeria in promoting electoral transparency and to mandate protection in Nigeria.

There was a training Manual produced, which is now in circulation in Nigeria. The CCN also produced a jingle in both audio and video formats. The link to the audio format is available online. The jingle was further translated to three major Nigerian local languages: Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa.

The CCN is also expecting to train and mobilize 2,035 individuals specifically as election observers in the 36 states and Abuja.

Source:: CCN working for responsible elections in Nigeria

Categories: African Press Organization | Leave a comment

Louis Berger helps Millennium Challenge Corporation complete $480 million anti-poverty program in Burkina Faso

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina-Faso, February 26, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Louis Berger (http://www.louisberger.com), acting as the procurement agent for the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), recently marked the completion of the agency’s $480 million poverty reduction program in Burkina Faso. As procurement agent for the program, Louis Berger oversaw the purchase and distribution of all goods and services, ensuring the program remained within budget. At the end 2014, after the Compact’s closure period, Louis Berger reported a 99 percent Compact funds disbursement rate and had managed more than 500 procurement processes.

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

As part of MCC’s five-year Burkina Faso Compact, the poverty reduction program aimed to spur economic growth by boosting agricultural production, improving livestock and financial management, enhancing access to domestic and international markets, and increasing the number of girls attending school. By the end of the Compact, MCC had made demonstrable progress on its measurement and evaluation criteria in the West African country, including the:

• Training of almost 10,000 farmers in advanced agricultural techniques,

• Training of 700 judges in the management of land disputes,

• Immunization of more than 1.4 million cattle and poultry,

• Construction or modernization of 400 classrooms, and

• Graduation of more than 3,100 girls and almost 2,750 boys from the program.

“Due to the Compact’s size and fixed implementation period, serving as the program’s procurement agent proved to be a challenging undertaking,” said Pascal Houdeau, Louis Berger’s deputy general manager of operations for Western and Eastern Africa. “Nonetheless, the development outcomes in Burkina Faso are gratifying and could not have been achieved without an effective procurement system in place.”

Louis Berger has more than 50 years of experience in Africa and nearly 30 years of project implementation in Burkina Faso. To learn more about the MCC’s Burkina Faso Compact and the development outcomes the program achieved, visit MCC’s Burkina Faso country page (http://www.mcc.gov/pages/countries/program/burkina-faso-compact) and its accompanying blog (https://www.mcc.gov/pages/povertyreductionblog/entry/what-a-difference-a-paved-road-makes).

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

Contact:

Regine de la Cruz

rdelacruz@louisberger.com

+1.202.303.2791

About Louis Berger

Louis Berger (http://www.louisberger.com) is a $1 billion global professional services corporation that helps infrastructure and development clients solve their most complex challenges. We are a trusted partner to national, state and local government agencies; multilateral institutions; and commercial industry clients worldwide. By focusing on client needs to deliver quality, safe, financially-successful projects with integrity, we are committed to deliver on our promise to provide Solutions for a better world.

Louis Berger operates on every habitable continent. We have a long-standing presence in more than 50 nations, represented by the multidisciplinary expertise of 6,000 engineers, economists, scientists, managers and planners.

Source:: Louis Berger helps Millennium Challenge Corporation complete $480 million anti-poverty program in Burkina Faso

Categories: African Press Organization | Leave a comment

RiskMap 2015: Sub-Saharan Africa’s growth has outpaced political reform

JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, February 26, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Control Risks (https://www.controlrisks.com), the global business risk consultancy, today launched its annual RiskMap report at a briefing attended by South African business leaders in Johannesburg. RiskMap is an established authoritative guide and a key reference point for policy makers and business leaders seeking to plot global trends over the coming year. RiskMap highlights the most significant underlying trends in global risk and security, and provides a detailed view from the markets that will matter most in 2015.

For the full report and the map please click here: https://riskmap.controlrisks.com

• 2015 may indicate limits to sub-Saharan Africa’s growth story. As economic growth outpaces political reform, politics will remain a central risk factor for investors.

• Extremism will continue to make headlines across Africa in 2015, raising concerns about regional powers’ ability to deal with its threat.

• Competition for influence and membership between rival labour union factions in South Africa is a risk factor for continuing strikes in 2015.

• In Mozambique, uncertainty about policy and extractive industry law reform remains a key risk.

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

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1783 (George Nicholls, Managing Director Southern Africa, Control Risks)

Introducing RiskMap 2015, George Nicholls, Managing Director Southern Africa, Control Risks, commented:

“2015 is the year when we will see political failings impact Africa’s growth story. Governments have so far failed to tackle key structural issues and growth usually occurs despite government rather than because of it.”

“Labour unrest and the power crisis remain drags on South Africa’s economic growth. Divisions within the ruling party, and perceptions of corruption and lack of accountability by the executive continue to create unease among investors. The ANC’s response to criticism of its failure to address persistent socioeconomic grievances has largely been to increase populist rhetoric around such issues as land reform and state involvement in extractives and power sectors, though we expect the centrist elements within the ANC to stem this translating into policy. However the focus of opposition criticism on President Zuma as a means of attacking the ANC is driving a much more fractious parliament, which will slow down policy-making under the current government.”

“Terrorism will continue to make headlines in Africa in 2015. Regional groups are unlikely to replicate the methods or success of Islamic State (IS) on the continent, but the response will remain fragmented. In 2015, extremism and its effects will persist.”

For the full report and the map please click here: https://riskmap.controlrisks.com

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

For more information, please contact

Control Risks

Friederike Brinker

+49 30 533 288 55

+49 173 619 54 66

friederike.brinker@controlrisks.com

About Control Risks

Control Risks (https://www.controlrisks.com) is a global risk consultancy specialising in political, security and integrity risk that has more than 30 years of experience working in Africa. Control Risks serves global companies that are new to Africa and organisations that know the continent well and are looking to expand their African business. Control Risks has unrivalled experience in helping organisations throughout their investment and operational cycle in Africa and provides clients with high-quality support in entering new markets, realising opportunities and building resilience capabilities to manage risk in rapidly changing environments.

www.controlrisks.com

Follow us on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/163205) and twitter (https://twitter.com/Control_Risks).

Source:: RiskMap 2015: Sub-Saharan Africa’s growth has outpaced political reform

Categories: African Press Organization | Leave a comment

Republic of Congo / Singapore

SINGAPORE, Singapore, February 26, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The following foreign Ambassador presented its credentials to President Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam in ceremony at the Istana today:

The Ambassador of the Republic of Congo

His Excellency Daniel Owassa

HE DANIEL OWASSA

AMBASSADOR TO THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE

REPUBLIC OF CONGO

BORN :

28 January 1959, Fort-Rousset, Republic of Congo

AGE :

56

MARITAL STATUS:

Married to Gisèle Owassa Okemba

Has 3 children

EDUCATION:

Masters in Sociology

Diploma in Diplomatic Studies, Oxford University Foreign Service Programme

CAREER:

1984

Diplomat, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

1986 – 1987

Head of Eastern and Southern Africa Section, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

1987 – 1988

Head of the Organisation of Africa Unity Section, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

1989 – 1990

Chargé de Mission, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation

1990 – 1993

Diplomatic Attaché, Office of the Head of State

1993 – 1996

Diplomatic Advisor of the Prime Minister

1996 – 1997

Junior Minister, Public Service and Administrative Reforms

CAREER:

(cont’d)

2000 – 2005

Diplomatic Advisor of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

2005 – 2012

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

9 Oct 2012

– to date

26 Feb 2015

Ambassador to China

Ambassador to Singapore

AWARDS:

Grand Officier : Ordre National du Mèrite (Congo)

Commander : Lègion d’Honneur (France)

LANGUAGE:

French and English

Source:: Republic of Congo / Singapore

Categories: African Press Organization | Leave a comment

Engage with Africa on a long-term basis – Ecobank Group CEO Albert Essien tells investors

MUNICH, Germany, February 25, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Ecobank Group CEO Albert Essien (http://www.ecobank.com) gave the keynote address in Munich today at the 4th Conference on Managing Risk in Africa. Mr Essien offered strategies for managing risk in Africa’s growth markets. Against the backdrop of what he outlined as a generally positive outlook for Africa, he advised investors against viewing Africa as one, but rather 54 countries with different growth prospects, different infrastructure, trade agreements, tax regulations, culture and levels of technological development.

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

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1785 (Ecobank Group CEO Albert Essien)

Mr Essien urged investors to be prepared to engage with African countries on a long-term basis and avoid abrupt changes in investment focus because of perceived instability in certain markets. He encouraged managing risks associated with doing business in Africa, including fiscal and monetary policy issues such as foreign exchange restrictions, transparency and compliance, political instability and corruption and resource and infrastructure challenges.

The Ecobank Group CEO offered executives overseeing market entry strategy in Africa six key considerations that they would have to contend with. These, he said, were: understanding the local business culture; assessing which markets represent the best balance of risk and reward; finding and vetting appropriate local partners; understanding local market regulations; local environmental factors; and levels of technological development.

Mr Essien highlighted several market entry risks, which he enumerated as: political risk, reputational risk, operational risk and physical risk to staff and assets. He encouraged scenario planning as a good way to anticipate what future trends might emerge and what their impact and probability might be. “Whatever risks are identified, they are best viewed holistically rather than in isolation. New market entrants will need to develop a clear risk appetite and weigh the opportunity against the cost of risk mitigation, which can be expensive,” Mr Essien said.

The Ecobank boss advised setting up a risk review board with participation from senior management, and said this would help ensure the right level and scope of ongoing risk monitoring.

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

Media Contact

Richard Uku

Group Head, Corporate Communications

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated

Tel. +228 22 21 0303 / Email: ruku@ecobank.com

Twitter: @richard_uku or @GroupEcobank

Website: Ecobank.com

About Ecobank

Incorporated in Lome , Togo, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘ET ‘) (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, namely: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Democratic Republic), Co te 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.

Source:: Engage with Africa on a long-term basis – Ecobank Group CEO Albert Essien tells investors

Categories: African Press Organization | Leave a comment

The Government of the Republic of Niger and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector signed an agreement to setup Sukuk Program during 2015-2020

NIAMEY, Niger, February 25, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Senior Minister, Minister of Economic Planning, Land Management and Community Development, H.E Dr. Amadou Boubacar CISSE and the CEO and General Manager of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) (http://www.icd-idb.com), the private sector arm of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB), Mr. Khaled Al Aboodi, signed an agreement to setup a Sukuk program in an aggregate principal amount of CFA 150.0 billion. This program will be implemented during 2015-2020 for financing developmental projects. The Sukuk Program will be implemented in two equal phases of CFA 75.0 billion.

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

Photo 1: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1781

Photo 2: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1782

ICD shall be the transaction advisor and global coordinator in the inaugural CFA 75.0 billion (or equivalent) Sukuk offering for the Government of Niger. ICD would assist the Government of Niger in coordinating with the relevant advisors, consultants, agents and officers of the Government of Niger and the mandated lead managers and overseeing the Sukuk offering in general.

ICD is mandated to support the economic development of its member countries through provision of finance and advisory services to private sector enterprises and governments in accordance with the principles of Shari’a.

Mr Khaled Al Aboodi, CEO of the ICD, commented on the agreement that: “The ICD will do its best to see that the issuance is successful and hopes this will contribute to transform the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) Capital Market“.

H.E Dr. Amadou Boubacar CISSE said “This Sukuk program is the first of its kind in Niger. We already have a number projects that we would like to finance through this Sukuk issuance”.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD).

For further information please contact:

Nabil Al-Alami

Head, Marketing

Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector

E-mail: nalami@isdb.org

Website: www.icd-idb.org

About the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD)

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) (http://www.icd-idb.com) is a multilateral organization, part of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group. ICD was established in November 1999 to promote economic development of its member countries in accordance with the principles of the Sharia through private sector development. ICD encourages the establishment, expansion and modernization of private enterprises through financing private sector enterprises or projects. Projects are selected on the basis of their contribution to economic development considering factors such as creation of employment opportunities and contribution to exports. ICD also provides advice to governments and private sector groups on policies to encourage the establishment, expansion and modernization of private enterprises, development of capital markets, best management practices and enhance the role of market economy. ICD operations complement the activities of the IDB.

Source:: The Government of the Republic of Niger and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector signed an agreement to setup Sukuk Program during 2015-2020

Categories: African Press Organization | Leave a comment