Sep 222014
 

PARIS, France, September 22, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Tomorrow, 23 September 2014, will mark the one year anniversary of the outbreak of demonstrations in cities throughout Sudan. These were sparked by the lifting of fuel subsidies the day before, and were met by Sudanese authorities with excessive force, including live ammunition, leading to the deaths of at least 185 people. Hundreds of people were detained, many without any charges ever being brought, and numerous activists were tortured and otherwise ill-treated. FIDH and ACJPS reiterate their call upon regional and international human rights bodies to condemn abuses and ensure investigation and justice.

On the anniversary of the brutal suppression of last year’s protests, the United Nations Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Sudan will present his annual report to the Human Rights Council. In his report made public in advance of the session, the UN expert confirmed that the Sudanese authorities have failed to provide him with any “evidence of a thorough and independent investigation of the human rights violations that occurred during the September demonstrations” and highlighted that it is “unacceptable both morally and legally” that the Sudanese authorities reported “it was difficult to locate any of those who shot and killed so many people in broad daylight”.

“One year on, the victims and families affected by Sudan’s brutal suppression of protests are still denied truth and justice,” said Katherine Perks, Programme Director at the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS). “The UN Human Rights Council meeting this week must ensure it takes a strong position to condemn Sudan’s repeated failure to ensure accountability and redress serious human rights violations including torture and extra-judicial killings; impunity cannot be accepted”.

Although human rights groups verified 185 deaths, Sudanese authorities acknowledged just 85. A majority of death certificates issued listed cause of death as “mysterious circumstances”, despite a majority of victims having been shot in the head or chest. The mandate, composition and findings of three state commissions of inquiry reportedly established have never been made public, and repeated attempts to access them have been unsuccessful. Out of at least 85 criminal complaints pursued by victims’ families, only one has progressed to court, with the final decision pending.

FIDH and ACJPS have repeatedly called for the African regional human rights body, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), to send a fact-finding mission to investigate violations perpetrated in connection with the 2013 protests and call on the Government of Sudan to immediately stop further abuses. Such an inquiry could be organised in close coordination with the relevant UN bodies such as the Human Rights Council.

“Whilst Sudan bears the responsibility to stop its forces from committing abuses, deliver remedies and hold those responsible to account, international and regional human rights bodies must step up where Sudan has shown it clearly has no intention to do so,” declared Sheila Muwanga Nabachwa, FIDH Vice President and Deputy Executive Director at the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI – Uganda). “Time has come to put an end to the culture of impunity which prevails in Sudan. The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, also meeting next month, should deploy a fact-finding mission mandated to investigate the repression and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice”.

The September 2013 violent repression of protests and the impunity enjoyed by those responsible illustrates a broader context of serious human rights violations in Sudan, where human rights defenders, independent journalists and political opponents who criticise the government and its actions continue to face arbitrary arrests and detentions, acts of harassment and intimidation and in some cases acts of torture and ill-treatment. In such a context, the ACHPR and the UN Human Rights council must take concrete actions to ensure that victims of serious human rights violations in Sudan obtain justice and reparations.

Background information

On 4 November 2013, Sudanese Justice Minister, Mohamed Bushara Dosa, stated to the pro-government newspaper Al Rayaam that 84 individuals had been killed and that an investigation into the killings had been opened. The official death toll later reported by authorities to the UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Sudan increased to 85, including one security officer. The compositions and mandates of the three committees of investigation reportedly established have never been made public, and repeated attempts to access them have been unsuccessful. In May 2014 the Deputy Minister of Justice later announced that there was no committee established to investigate the events, and that the “riots” would be investigated by the Attorney General.

Out of at least 85 criminal complaints filed by victims’ families, ACJPS is aware of only one that reached court. That concerned the killing of Dr. Sara Abdelbagi who was shot and killed outside her uncle’s home in the Aldorashab neighbourhood of Khartoum Bahri on 25 September 2013. Dr Sara Abdelbagi had joined friends and family members outside the home after hearing that her 15 year old cousin, Soheib Mohamed Musa, had been shot and killed at a demonstration. Several eye-witnesses reported seeing an army officer dressed in civilian attire fire two gunshots, one of which hit Dr Sara Abdelbagi in the side of her body. One eye-witness reported seeing him then apologise and say he did not mean to shoot her. The death certificate originally issued for Dr Sara Abdelbagi stated she died of mysterious causes. It was later changed to state that she died of gunshot wounds after her family opened an official complaint into the circumstances of her death at the local police station in Aldorashab. The army officer was arrested on 15 December 2013 and charged with murder under article 130 of the 1991 Sudanese Penal Code. Court proceedings are ongoing. This is the only known case of immunity provisions in Sudanese law being lifted to allow for criminal proceedings against a state official accused of using excessive force during the 2013 protests.

The general human rights climate in Sudan continues to deteriorate amidst calls for a national dialogue; scores of activists, human rights defenders, and political opposition members have been arrested since January 2014, and dozens of newspapers, including traditionally pro-government newspapers, have been subjected to post-print censorship.

Sep 222014
 

PARIS, France, September 22, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Tomorrow, 23 September 2014, will mark the one year anniversary of the outbreak of demonstrations in cities throughout Sudan. These were sparked by the lifting of fuel subsidies the day before, and were met by Sudanese authorities with excessive force, including live ammunition, leading to the deaths of at least 185 people. Hundreds of people were detained, many without any charges ever being brought, and numerous activists were tortured and otherwise ill-treated. FIDH and ACJPS reiterate their call upon regional and international human rights bodies to condemn abuses and ensure investigation and justice.

On the anniversary of the brutal suppression of last year’s protests, the United Nations Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Sudan will present his annual report to the Human Rights Council. In his report made public in advance of the session, the UN expert confirmed that the Sudanese authorities have failed to provide him with any “evidence of a thorough and independent investigation of the human rights violations that occurred during the September demonstrations” and highlighted that it is “unacceptable both morally and legally” that the Sudanese authorities reported “it was difficult to locate any of those who shot and killed so many people in broad daylight”.

“One year on, the victims and families affected by Sudan’s brutal suppression of protests are still denied truth and justice,” said Katherine Perks, Programme Director at the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS). “The UN Human Rights Council meeting this week must ensure it takes a strong position to condemn Sudan’s repeated failure to ensure accountability and redress serious human rights violations including torture and extra-judicial killings; impunity cannot be accepted”.

Although human rights groups verified 185 deaths, Sudanese authorities acknowledged just 85. A majority of death certificates issued listed cause of death as “mysterious circumstances”, despite a majority of victims having been shot in the head or chest. The mandate, composition and findings of three state commissions of inquiry reportedly established have never been made public, and repeated attempts to access them have been unsuccessful. Out of at least 85 criminal complaints pursued by victims’ families, only one has progressed to court, with the final decision pending.

FIDH and ACJPS have repeatedly called for the African regional human rights body, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), to send a fact-finding mission to investigate violations perpetrated in connection with the 2013 protests and call on the Government of Sudan to immediately stop further abuses. Such an inquiry could be organised in close coordination with the relevant UN bodies such as the Human Rights Council.

“Whilst Sudan bears the responsibility to stop its forces from committing abuses, deliver remedies and hold those responsible to account, international and regional human rights bodies must step up where Sudan has shown it clearly has no intention to do so,” declared Sheila Muwanga Nabachwa, FIDH Vice President and Deputy Executive Director at the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI – Uganda). “Time has come to put an end to the culture of impunity which prevails in Sudan. The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, also meeting next month, should deploy a fact-finding mission mandated to investigate the repression and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice”.

The September 2013 violent repression of protests and the impunity enjoyed by those responsible illustrates a broader context of serious human rights violations in Sudan, where human rights defenders, independent journalists and political opponents who criticise the government and its actions continue to face arbitrary arrests and detentions, acts of harassment and intimidation and in some cases acts of torture and ill-treatment. In such a context, the ACHPR and the UN Human Rights council must take concrete actions to ensure that victims of serious human rights violations in Sudan obtain justice and reparations.

Background information

On 4 November 2013, Sudanese Justice Minister, Mohamed Bushara Dosa, stated to the pro-government newspaper Al Rayaam that 84 individuals had been killed and that an investigation into the killings had been opened. The official death toll later reported by authorities to the UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Sudan increased to 85, including one security officer. The compositions and mandates of the three committees of investigation reportedly established have never been made public, and repeated attempts to access them have been unsuccessful. In May 2014 the Deputy Minister of Justice later announced that there was no committee established to investigate the events, and that the “riots” would be investigated by the Attorney General.

Out of at least 85 criminal complaints filed by victims’ families, ACJPS is aware of only one that reached court. That concerned the killing of Dr. Sara Abdelbagi who was shot and killed outside her uncle’s home in the Aldorashab neighbourhood of Khartoum Bahri on 25 September 2013. Dr Sara Abdelbagi had joined friends and family members outside the home after hearing that her 15 year old cousin, Soheib Mohamed Musa, had been shot and killed at a demonstration. Several eye-witnesses reported seeing an army officer dressed in civilian attire fire two gunshots, one of which hit Dr Sara Abdelbagi in the side of her body. One eye-witness reported seeing him then apologise and say he did not mean to shoot her. The death certificate originally issued for Dr Sara Abdelbagi stated she died of mysterious causes. It was later changed to state that she died of gunshot wounds after her family opened an official complaint into the circumstances of her death at the local police station in Aldorashab. The army officer was arrested on 15 December 2013 and charged with murder under article 130 of the 1991 Sudanese Penal Code. Court proceedings are ongoing. This is the only known case of immunity provisions in Sudanese law being lifted to allow for criminal proceedings against a state official accused of using excessive force during the 2013 protests.

The general human rights climate in Sudan continues to deteriorate amidst calls for a national dialogue; scores of activists, human rights defenders, and political opposition members have been arrested since January 2014, and dozens of newspapers, including traditionally pro-government newspapers, have been subjected to post-print censorship.

Sep 222014
 

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, September 22, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Etihad Airways (http://www.etihad.com), the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will expand its African route network with the launch of a daily service to Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania.

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

Download Etihad New Routes 2015 Map: http://www.apo-mail.org/Etihad-New-Routes-2015-map.PDF

Flights between Abu Dhabi and Dar es Salaam, which commence on 1 December 2015, will be operated using Airbus A320 aircraft with 16 Business Class and 120 Economy Class seats.

Dar es Salaam will be Etihad Airways’ 110th destination globally, and its 11th destination in Africa and the Indian Ocean. The daily schedule will offer two-way connectivity over Etihad Airways’ hub in Abu Dhabi, with convenient onward connections to 45 popular destinations across the Middle East, Europe, the Indian Subcontinent, North and Southeast Asia, and Australasia.

In particular, it is anticipated that the demand for the new route will be boosted by strong flows of business and leisure travellers, as well as cargo volumes, between the East Africa region and the Indian Subcontinent and China.

James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “Dar es Salaam is an important new route on Etihad Airways’ global network. It builds upon our existing presence in Africa, and supports the close trading relationship between the United Arab Emirates and Tanzania.”

The UAE is the primary trade partner of Tanzania in the GCC region. Between 2007 and 2012, trade between UAE and Tanzania increased by more than 350 per cent to US$761 million.

“Africa has one of the world’s fastest growing regional economies, and the launch of this new route also enhances access and the two-way flow of trade and tourism between the continent and key destinations across our global network, supports inbound tourism, encourages investment, and provides much needed local employment,” he added.

Tanzania has the sixth largest population in Africa (51 million), with over four million people living in the largest city, Dar es Salaam. The large proportion of the community consist of market traders and proprietors of small businesses whose families originated from the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent—areas of the world with which the settlements of the Tanzanian coast have had long-standing trading relations.

The country is also developing quickly, and currently has around US$19 billion in transport and utilities infrastructure projects being planned. China is playing a key role in financing these major projects, and is fast becoming the East African country’s leading trade partner, with trade between the two countries growing to US$3.7 billion in 2013.

In 2013, Tanzania was also named one of the world’s most sought after destinations for leisure travellers, and is blessed with numerous national and international tourist attractions including Mt. Kilimanjaro, the wildlife-rich national parks of the Serengeti, and the spice island of Zanzibar.

Tanzania has the second largest economy in East Africa, and Dar es Salaam provides a strategic gateway for the transportation of goods and commerce to the surrounding six land-locked countries of Zambia, Malawi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

Download the table “Etihad Airways schedule for Dar es Salaam flights, effective 1 December 2015″: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/140922.png

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

For more information contact:

Damian James, Etihad Airways Corporate Communications

Tel: +971 (0) 2 511 1035 / Email: DJames@etihad.ae

About Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways (http://www.etihad.com) began operations in 2003, and in 2013 carried 11.5 million passengers. From its Abu Dhabi base Etihad Airways flies to 110 existing or announced passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. The airline has a fleet of 104 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and more than 200 aircraft on firm order, including 71 Boeing 787s, 25 Boeing 777-X, 62 Airbus A350s and 10 Airbus A380s. Etihad Airways holds equity investments in airberlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia, Aer Lingus, Air Serbia and Jet Airways, and is in the process of formalising equity investments in Alitalia and Swiss-based Etihad Regional*. For more information, please visit: www.etihad.com

*Operated by Darwin Airline

Sep 222014
 

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, September 22, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Etihad Airways (http://www.etihad.com), the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will expand its African route network with the launch of a daily service to Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania.

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

Download Etihad New Routes 2015 Map: http://www.apo-mail.org/Etihad-New-Routes-2015-map.PDF

Flights between Abu Dhabi and Dar es Salaam, which commence on 1 December 2015, will be operated using Airbus A320 aircraft with 16 Business Class and 120 Economy Class seats.

Dar es Salaam will be Etihad Airways’ 110th destination globally, and its 11th destination in Africa and the Indian Ocean. The daily schedule will offer two-way connectivity over Etihad Airways’ hub in Abu Dhabi, with convenient onward connections to 45 popular destinations across the Middle East, Europe, the Indian Subcontinent, North and Southeast Asia, and Australasia.

In particular, it is anticipated that the demand for the new route will be boosted by strong flows of business and leisure travellers, as well as cargo volumes, between the East Africa region and the Indian Subcontinent and China.

James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “Dar es Salaam is an important new route on Etihad Airways’ global network. It builds upon our existing presence in Africa, and supports the close trading relationship between the United Arab Emirates and Tanzania.”

The UAE is the primary trade partner of Tanzania in the GCC region. Between 2007 and 2012, trade between UAE and Tanzania increased by more than 350 per cent to US$761 million.

“Africa has one of the world’s fastest growing regional economies, and the launch of this new route also enhances access and the two-way flow of trade and tourism between the continent and key destinations across our global network, supports inbound tourism, encourages investment, and provides much needed local employment,” he added.

Tanzania has the sixth largest population in Africa (51 million), with over four million people living in the largest city, Dar es Salaam. The large proportion of the community consist of market traders and proprietors of small businesses whose families originated from the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent—areas of the world with which the settlements of the Tanzanian coast have had long-standing trading relations.

The country is also developing quickly, and currently has around US$19 billion in transport and utilities infrastructure projects being planned. China is playing a key role in financing these major projects, and is fast becoming the East African country’s leading trade partner, with trade between the two countries growing to US$3.7 billion in 2013.

In 2013, Tanzania was also named one of the world’s most sought after destinations for leisure travellers, and is blessed with numerous national and international tourist attractions including Mt. Kilimanjaro, the wildlife-rich national parks of the Serengeti, and the spice island of Zanzibar.

Tanzania has the second largest economy in East Africa, and Dar es Salaam provides a strategic gateway for the transportation of goods and commerce to the surrounding six land-locked countries of Zambia, Malawi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

Download the table “Etihad Airways schedule for Dar es Salaam flights, effective 1 December 2015″: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/140922.png

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

For more information contact:

Damian James, Etihad Airways Corporate Communications

Tel: +971 (0) 2 511 1035 / Email: DJames@etihad.ae

About Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways (http://www.etihad.com) began operations in 2003, and in 2013 carried 11.5 million passengers. From its Abu Dhabi base Etihad Airways flies to 110 existing or announced passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. The airline has a fleet of 104 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and more than 200 aircraft on firm order, including 71 Boeing 787s, 25 Boeing 777-X, 62 Airbus A350s and 10 Airbus A380s. Etihad Airways holds equity investments in airberlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia, Aer Lingus, Air Serbia and Jet Airways, and is in the process of formalising equity investments in Alitalia and Swiss-based Etihad Regional*. For more information, please visit: www.etihad.com

*Operated by Darwin Airline

Sep 222014
 

KHARTOUM, Sudan, September 22, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Sudanese authorities have lifted the suspension of activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), even while discussions on practical arrangements to prom…

Sep 222014
 

NDJAMENA, Chad, September 22, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — U.S. Africa Command hosted its first ever signing of an Acquisition Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA), continuing the mutually beneficial relationship the United States enjoys with its partner nation Chad, Sept. 18, 2014.

The agreement allows for the rapid and uncomplicated exchange of many types of common military necessities in exchange or trade for money, services, equipment or supplies of equal value.

“This agreement will continue to strengthen our bilateral cooperation on international security issues, contributing to the logistics, maintenance and supply support as well as the interoperability of the armed forces of both nations,” said Brig. Gen. James C. Vechery, Director for Logistics (J4), U.S. Africa Command.

The ACSA signed at the AFRICOM headquarters replaces a similar document that was signed in 2004. That agreement was only valid for 10-years. The new ACSA will remain valid indefinitely with no expiration date.

“The renewal of this agreement symbolizes the very nature of defense cooperation between our two countries and I have a feeling of satisfaction. This bilateral military accord is very significant,” said Brig. Gen. Marc Ndoubayo, Senior Military Advisor to the Chadian President. “This signing ceremony is just a continuation of the great relationship the government of Chad shares with the United States.”

The United States also has similar agreements 18 other African nations which includes: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Gabon, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia, Ghana.

Sep 222014
 

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, September 22, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — European Commission President José Manuel Barroso will tomorrow co-sign joint declarations in New York to reinforce energy cooperation with five African countries: Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Togo and Rwanda. These agreements will aim to increase access to sustainable energy sources, even in rural areas where the needs are the greatest.

In order to achieve this also on a global scale, the EU plans to allocate more than 3.3 billion euro worth of grants in the 2014-2020 financial period to support sustainable energy projects all over the world. Around 2 billion euro will be dedicated to African countries.

Ahead of the signing, President Barroso said: “Sustainable energy is essential for fuelling growth and development. Two years ago, at the EU Sustainable Energy for All Summit in Brussels, I therefore proposed the ambitious target of helping developing countries to provide access to sustainable energy services to 500 million people by 2030. I am delighted that we are now joining forces with European and African countries that have decided to take the lead in the fight against energy poverty.”

European Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, added: “Without energy, factories cannot function, schools cannot be lighted up and families cannot cook, and this is a situation that many people are still facing today. But it is equally important that sustainable energy sources are promoted first and foremost. These declarations are a clear sign of the political commitment of all co-signatories that we want to work together and achieve faster progress in ensuring access to sustainable energy for all.”

A key goal of the agreements is to engage with the private sector to improve the conditions for investment and funding, and therefore increase access to sustainable energy or the production of sustainable, reliable and cost effective electricity. For this to be truly effective, the governments of our partner countries and the EU will work together on bringing forward sustainable energy projects.

President Barroso and Commissioner Piebalgs are currently in New York for the UN General Assembly, to attend, among other key international meetings, the Climate Change Summit. Tomorrow, President Barroso will also address the Assembly’s High Level Session on renewable energy and energy efficiency. Development topics of the General Assembly will include negotiations of the post-2015 development agenda, the preparations for a Conference on Financing for Development as well as the process under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change for reaching a global agreement on climate change in 2015.

Background

Tomorrow’s agreements will also aim to strengthen the political ties between energy policy commitments of signatory countries and the financial support by the EU and other co-signing donors. The following European countries will equally co-sign the joint declarations:

• Cabo Verde: Austria, Luxembourg, Spain and Portugal

• Ivory Coast: France

• Liberia: Norway

EU energy funding in development and cooperation

For the period 2014-2020 about 30 developing countries have chosen energy as a focal sector for their cooperation with the EU. In addition, other countries will also receive substantial allocations in the field of energy where this has not been defined as a focal sector. In total, around €3.3 billion will be dedicated to supporting sustainable energy in the EU’s partner countries around the globe, through bilateral and regional cooperation. This is expected to leverage between €15 and €30 billion in loans and equity investment to fill gaps in energy infrastructure and power businesses, schools, homes and hospitals.

Some examples of ongoing EU work on energy

EU blending facilities: The EU supports the Lake Turkana Wind Power project with €25 million under the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund. This will result in the construction of a 310 MW wind farm in Kenya and unlock a total investment cost of €625 million. The project will reduce the country’s import dependency and season-sensitive hydropower production, increase energy security and improve economic activities in remote areas.

Rural Electrification: An EU funded €2 million project in Liberia, implemented by Save the Children, installs solar panels in all public health facilities that have no electricity to provide light and power radios. The project will reach around 1.5 million beneficiaries, mainly women and children in rural areas in a country of 3.5 million people.

Building alliances: The EU and New Zealand have created a partnership that supports concrete projects in the Pacific. For instance, with a new hydropower plant with a capacity of less than 1 MW has a positive impact on the lives of 188 000 people in Samoa.

Sep 222014
 

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, September 22, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — European Commission President José Manuel Barroso will tomorrow co-sign joint declarations in New York to reinforce energy cooperation with five African countries: Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Togo and Rwanda. These agreements will aim to increase access to sustainable energy sources, even in rural areas where the needs are the greatest.

In order to achieve this also on a global scale, the EU plans to allocate more than 3.3 billion euro worth of grants in the 2014-2020 financial period to support sustainable energy projects all over the world. Around 2 billion euro will be dedicated to African countries.

Ahead of the signing, President Barroso said: “Sustainable energy is essential for fuelling growth and development. Two years ago, at the EU Sustainable Energy for All Summit in Brussels, I therefore proposed the ambitious target of helping developing countries to provide access to sustainable energy services to 500 million people by 2030. I am delighted that we are now joining forces with European and African countries that have decided to take the lead in the fight against energy poverty.”

European Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, added: “Without energy, factories cannot function, schools cannot be lighted up and families cannot cook, and this is a situation that many people are still facing today. But it is equally important that sustainable energy sources are promoted first and foremost. These declarations are a clear sign of the political commitment of all co-signatories that we want to work together and achieve faster progress in ensuring access to sustainable energy for all.”

A key goal of the agreements is to engage with the private sector to improve the conditions for investment and funding, and therefore increase access to sustainable energy or the production of sustainable, reliable and cost effective electricity. For this to be truly effective, the governments of our partner countries and the EU will work together on bringing forward sustainable energy projects.

President Barroso and Commissioner Piebalgs are currently in New York for the UN General Assembly, to attend, among other key international meetings, the Climate Change Summit. Tomorrow, President Barroso will also address the Assembly’s High Level Session on renewable energy and energy efficiency. Development topics of the General Assembly will include negotiations of the post-2015 development agenda, the preparations for a Conference on Financing for Development as well as the process under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change for reaching a global agreement on climate change in 2015.

Background

Tomorrow’s agreements will also aim to strengthen the political ties between energy policy commitments of signatory countries and the financial support by the EU and other co-signing donors. The following European countries will equally co-sign the joint declarations:

• Cabo Verde: Austria, Luxembourg, Spain and Portugal

• Ivory Coast: France

• Liberia: Norway

EU energy funding in development and cooperation

For the period 2014-2020 about 30 developing countries have chosen energy as a focal sector for their cooperation with the EU. In addition, other countries will also receive substantial allocations in the field of energy where this has not been defined as a focal sector. In total, around €3.3 billion will be dedicated to supporting sustainable energy in the EU’s partner countries around the globe, through bilateral and regional cooperation. This is expected to leverage between €15 and €30 billion in loans and equity investment to fill gaps in energy infrastructure and power businesses, schools, homes and hospitals.

Some examples of ongoing EU work on energy

EU blending facilities: The EU supports the Lake Turkana Wind Power project with €25 million under the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund. This will result in the construction of a 310 MW wind farm in Kenya and unlock a total investment cost of €625 million. The project will reduce the country’s import dependency and season-sensitive hydropower production, increase energy security and improve economic activities in remote areas.

Rural Electrification: An EU funded €2 million project in Liberia, implemented by Save the Children, installs solar panels in all public health facilities that have no electricity to provide light and power radios. The project will reach around 1.5 million beneficiaries, mainly women and children in rural areas in a country of 3.5 million people.

Building alliances: The EU and New Zealand have created a partnership that supports concrete projects in the Pacific. For instance, with a new hydropower plant with a capacity of less than 1 MW has a positive impact on the lives of 188 000 people in Samoa.

Sep 222014
 

DUBLIN, Ireland, September 22, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Minister for Development, Trade Promotion and North South Co-operation, Seán Sherlock T.D., today announced €600,000 in funding to support communities battling the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone and Liberia, the two countries which have been worst affected by the epidemic.

Ireland will also provide 42 tonnes of emergency supplies, including blankets, tents, mosquito nets and water tanks.

Announcing the emergency aid, Minister Sherlock said:

“I am gravely concerned about the continued spread of Ebola and the devastating impact on communities and families in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. Many of the people affected were already extremely vulnerable.

“The Ebola epidemic in West Africa is the worst ever, with more than 5,000 people now reported to have been infected. Health services in these countries are already over-whelmed and the World Health Organisation has warned of an exponential increase in Ebola cases over the coming months.”

Ireland will provide over €600,000 to UNICEF to provide life-saving nutritional supplies to children who have been affected by the crisis. Minister Sherlock also announced that more than 42 tonnes of Irish stocks including blankets, tarpaulins, tents, mosquito nets, jerry cans and soap, will be airlifted from the UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Ghana. They will be distributed by the World Food Programme, Goal, and Concern, to assist survivors of Ebola and affected vulnerable children in Sierra Leone.

Minister Sherlock added:

“A member of Ireland’s Rapid Response Corps was deployed last weekend to Dakar, Senegal, to work with the World Food Programme to set up an air transit centre for use by the UN Humanitarian Air Service.”

Minister Sherlock called on the international community to urgently scale up their efforts to combat the epidemic:

“While the international response has improved significantly, we must do more to prevent further spread. Ireland is playing our part. This additional funding and the deployments of Irish emergency stocks are the latest in a series of steps I have authorised to scale up our efforts to fight the Ebola virus.”

Sep 222014
 

NEW YORK, September 22, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The new Permanent Representative of Senegal to the United Nations, Fode Seck, presented his credentials to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today.

Since February 2014, Mr. Seck has ser…

Sep 192014
 

PARIS, France, September 19, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Reaching an average growth rate of about 4% in 2013, compared to the 3% growth of the global economy, Africa proved again its dynamism and resilience to regional and international turmoil. Africa´s average growth is projected to accelerate to close to 5% in 2014 and 5%-6% in 2015, particularly enhanced by the vitality of West and East African economies. A fabulous window of opportunity, this solid growth must be more inclusive to achieve Africa’s economic transformation as well as political and social stability, better using the regional and global value chains to its benefits, and addressing future challenges such as the fast pace of urbanisation bringing along necessary changes in territorial policies.

The Africa Forum is the annual gathering where OECD and African policy-makers meet private sector representatives, academics and civil society leaders working on and with Africa to discuss the region’s main challenges and opportunities. Organised by the OECD development Centre in partnership with the African Union Commission, the 2014 edition will focus on the achievements and limits of the current transformation of African economies, notably through Africa’s insertion into the global and regional value chains, as well as the new challenges that territorial development policies and the growing discrepancy between rural and urban areas represent, in Africa

With the participation of:

• Macky Sall, President, Senegal

• Moussa Mara, Prime Minister, Mali

• Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson, African Union Commission (AU)

• Angel Gurría, Secretary General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

• Sufian Ahmed, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Ethiopia

• Kordje Bedoumra, Minister of Finance and Budget, Chad

• Mo Ibrahim, Founder and President, Mo Ibrahim Foundation

• Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary, Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)

• Aboulaye Mar Dieye, Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

• Mario Pezzini, Director, OECD Development Centre

• Romano Prodi, Former UN Special Envoy for Sahel

This debates will benefit from the 2014 African Economic Outlook jointly produced by the African Development Bank, the OECD Development Centre and the United Nations Development Programme.

Media are requested to register here by 3 October. A press card will requested to enter the Forum.