flydubai announces fourth full-year of profitability and 25% increase in passenger numbers

  • Announces 2015 Annual Results and reports profits of AED 100.7 million (USD 27.4 million)
  • Total revenue was AED 4.9 billion (USD 1.33 billion) for the 12-month period
  • Airline carried 9.04 million passengers across its network. An increase of 1.8 million passengers compared to 2014; a healthy increase of 25%
  • A total of 81,530 flights flown during the year
  • Average sector length was 1,664 kms within its geographic radius

flydubai (www.flydubai.com) today reported profits of AED 100.7 (USD 27.4 million) for 2015 following a stronger second half-year which saw increased numbers of passengers travel across its network.

Total revenue for the full year was AED 4.9 billion (USD 1.33 billion), an increase of 11% compared to 2014. The overall yield, in terms of fils per Revenue Passenger Kilometre (RPKM), was under pressure attributable to the strong dollar; the challenging trading environment across the network; disruption resulting from the suspension of flights on some established routes and a large number of recently launched routes with a lead time required to reach maturity.

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of flydubai, said: “2015 was an important year for flydubai. It was a year in which through determination and commitment we continued to realise our vision to increase connectivity in support of the UAE’s economic development. The year culminated in two achievements: the delivery of our 50th aircraft; and our fourth full-year of profitability.”

Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of flydubai, added: “The overall trading environment has remained challenging but we have maintained our growth story and ended the year positively. Our robust passenger growth of 30%, in terms of RPKM, underlines the demand for travel within our geographic focus; the continued appeal of Dubai as a destination; and the popularity of our service.”

Cost performance

A stronger performance in the second half of the year coupled with cost management efforts has resulted in a positive end to the year.

Fuel costs reduced to 30.3% of operating costs benefitting from lower fuel prices with 59% of fuel costs unhedged. In line with flydubai’s active fuel hedging policy, 16% of the fuel requirements for the next 24 months are currently hedged. This will provide a level of certainty and control to its fuel costs due to the ongoing fluctuation in fuel prices.

EBITDAR reduced slightly compared to the previous year, but remained healthy at 20.5% of revenue.

The closing cash and cash equivalents position, including pre-delivery payments for future aircraft deliveries, was robust at AED 2.4 billion.

Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO of flydubai, commenting on flydubai’s cost performance, said: “The solid foundation we laid when the airline launched has ensured that we are best placed to respond quickly to manage the challenging socio-economic environment, in a controlled manner, both in the short term and for the long term.”

Operational performance

Ready for business: Business Class was introduced on 17 new routes in 2015 representing 87% of all departures from Dubai. flydubai saw the number of passengers from across its network who travelled in Business Class increase by 72% compared to 2014. Highest demand came from Africa followed by the Subcontinent and the Middle East, highlighting the demand for business class air travel, especially in the markets that have not had access to this service before. Demand for this service is also reflected in the UAE’s position as an internationally recognised centre for business and trade.

Driving demand at second hub: the start of flydubai’s new operations at Al Maktoum International-Dubai World Central saw services become available to Amman, Beirut, Doha, Kathmandu and Kuwait while flights to these destinations continued to be available at Dubai International. Services started on 25 October 2015 and during these first 10 weeks of operations passengers welcomed the choice and convenience offered by the new airport. Al Maktoum International-Dubai World Central continues to provide passengers from across Dubai with increased opportunities for travel.

Creating free flows of trade: increased accessibility to previously underserved markets has benefited cargo revenues which remain strong, posting an increase of 28.4% with 40,441 tons carried during the year.

Increased spending aids ancillary revenue: continued strong performance for pre and onboard sales including inflight entertainment, food, seat preferences, checked baggage allowance, car rental, hotel bookings, travel insurance and visa facilitation services contributed 15.1% of revenue. The introduction of new technology has provided more flexibility and opportunity to increase sales.

Growing in experience and talent: in support of its growing fleet flydubai staff numbers rose to a total of 3,393 including 658 pilots, 1,435 cabin crew and 273 engineers representing 114 nationalities. This is a reflection of the opportunity created by opening previously underserved markets and flydubai’s ability to attract some of the best talent in the aviation industry.

Listening to our customers: flydubai’s onboard survey continues to provide the airline with unique insights into emerging travel trends. Feedback through the onboard survey came from 230,016 passengers and covered 36 touch points. flydubai reviews and analyses the data on a weekly basis and uses it to drive innovation across the airline. This approach further emphases its commitment of putting the customers’ experience at the core of its operations.

Creating real connections: flydubai’s strategy to support the vision of the Government to create a globally recognised centre for trade and tourism has seen:

  • flydubai launch 18 new destinations including Asmara, Astana, Chennai, Gizan, Jouf, Quetta and Shiraz.
  • An increase in business and leisure travel between KSA and the UAE contributed to flydubai’s market growth of 26%. flydubai’s commitment to open direct air links between KSA’s regional airports and Dubai saw the number of flights increase by 29% including the start of the first international flights from Jouf Airport.
  • flydubai’s comprehensive network across the GCC (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman) saw passenger numbers grow by 18%.
  • Passenger numbers from 14 points in the Middle East (including Jordan and Lebanon) grew by 37%.
  • Demand for travel between India and the UAE remained strong. flydubai accounted for 15% of the total passenger growth which represented 4.5% of the overall market. In March, Chennai became the 8th point on flydubai’s network in India with three flights a week.
  • With 11 points in Europe and 9 points in Russia flydubai passenger numbers grew by 14% across these markets however passenger numbers between Russia and Dubai decreased by 22% reflecting the current economic situation.
  • Passenger numbers from the Caucasus grew by 21% and from Central Asia by 15%.
  • The start of flights to Quetta and Faisalabad saw the network in Pakistan increase to five points and a 77% increase in passenger numbers contributed to an overall market growth of 12%.

Since its launch, flydubai has opened 59 destinations on its network that were previously underserved or that did not have direct air links to Dubai. 2015 saw flydubai increase connectivity offered by Dubai’s aviation hub and contributed 29% of the total increase in passengers using Dubai’s airports.

Optimising a modern and efficient fleet: flydubai took delivery of seven new aircraft during 2015 which included its 50th aircraft, marking the last delivery from the first aircraft order made at the Farnborough Airshow in 2008. Aircraft utilisation was 13.6 block hours together with an industry-leading record of 99.77% technical dispatch reliability.

Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO of flydubai, commenting on flydubai’s operational performance, said: “We have been focused on increasing access to Dubai and during the last two years we have launched 41 new routes. In support of our expansion plans, we have continued to create demand for travel whilst maintaining the efficiency of our operations and meeting the needs of our passengers.”

Outlook

Starting in May, flydubai will take delivery of 16 new aircraft over the next 24 months. This includes five new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft due to arrive in the second half of 2017. In line with its strategy to maintain a young and efficient fleet these aircraft will support flydubai’s continued growth as well as replace some of the original aircraft in the fleet. During this period, seven aircraft will be retired.

The continued focus on cost improvement and efforts to increase operational efficiencies are expected to contribute further cost savings to the airline.

The airline’s route network will continue to strengthen as it sees all the 41 new routes launched in the last two years mature. flydubai has a network of 89 destinations in 43 countries.

Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO of flydubai commenting on the year ahead, said: “Our network is maturing and so we continue to monitor capacity and review the opportunities for existing routes as well as for new routes. In response to the changing environment, considered, balanced adjustment and management will be required. Our prudent outlook will help flydubai remain well-positioned to take advantage of the opportunities within our flying radius and continue our sustained growth trajectory.”

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

For further information, please contact:

Houda Al Kaissi, Public Relations Specialist, flydubai (+971) 56 683 0336; Email: houda.alkaissi@flydubai.com

Kareem Mahjoub, Press Officer, flydubai: (+971) 55 635 6196; Email: kareem.mahjoub@flydubai.com

About flydubai:

Dubai-based flydubai (www.flydubai.com) strives to remove barriers to travel and enhance connectivity between different cultures across its ever-expanding network. Since launching its operations in 2009, flydubai has:

  • Created a network of up to 90 destinations, with 18 new routes launched in 2015.
  • Opened up 59 new routes that did not previously have direct air links to Dubai or were not served by a UAE national carrier from Dubai.
  • Built up a fleet of 50 new Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft and will take delivery of more than 100 Boeing aircraft by the end of 2023.

In addition, flydubai’s agility and flexibility as a young airline has enhanced Dubai’s economic development, in line with the Government of Dubai’s vision, by creating trade and tourism flows in previously underserved markets.

For more information about flydubai services, please visit flydubai.com.

Source:: flydubai announces fourth full-year of profitability and 25% increase in passenger numbers

Categories: AFRICA

The Entrepreneur Club for start-ups in Africa and the Middle East

Orange (www.Orange.com) is launching the Entrepreneur Club, a new space for information in French and English devoted to entrepreneurs in Africa and the Middle East. The website (http://www.Entrepreneurclub.orange.com) is a source of information for entrepreneurs that puts them in touch with a variety of instruments from Orange that support entrepreneurship. The Entrepreneur Club also provides practical information and tools for company creation.

Orange supports start-ups in Africa and the Middle East

Entrepreneurs in Africa and the Middle East are contributing to their countries’ development and reputation. Orange collaborates with them on a daily basis by giving them access to quality voice and data services. Orange also supports small and medium companies in the region as part of its policy of corporate social responsibility, for example through the Orange Prize for the social entrepreneur in Africa and by working with a number of local incubators (CTIC in Senegal, CIPMEN in Niger, etc.).

A single window towards support by Orange

The Entrepreneur Club redirects the entrepreneur towards ecosystem instruments suited to his or her situation. For example, the entrepreneur can find pertinent information on numerous aspects of his or her business, including the legal environment, how-to sheets, best practices, tips and video verbatims.

Some entrepreneurs need the support, hosting and coaching that incubators provide, others want to improve their payment options with Orange’s APIs, still others are looking for financing. In addition to Orange’s local B2B services, the Net surfer is introduced to Imagine with Orange, Orange Partner, Orange Developer, Orange Fab and Orange Digital Ventures.

A survival kit for entrepreneurs

The business entrepreneur has to respond to a variety of questions, depending on the maturity of his or her start-up. At Entrepreneur Club, experienced entrepreneurs from Africa and the Middle East talk about the problems they have encountered and what they do to overcome them. Specialized journalists and lawyers contribute technical articles and practical advice in easy-to-understand language.

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

Press contacts: +33 1 44 44 93 93
Tom Wright, tom.wright@orange.com
Caroline Simeoni, caroline.simeoni@orange.com

About Orange
Orange (www.Orange.com) is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with sales of 39 billion euros in 2014 and 157,000 employees worldwide at 30 September 2015, including 98,000 employees in France. Present in 28 countries, the Group has a total customer base of 263 million customers worldwide at 30 September 2015, including 200 million mobile customers and 18 million fixed broadband customers. Orange is also a leading provider of global IT and telecommunication services to multinational companies, under the brand Orange Business Services. In March 2015, the Group presented its new strategic plan “Essentials2020” which places customer experience at the heart of its strategy with the aim of allowing them to benefit fully from the digital universe and the power of its new generation networks.

Orange is listed on Euronext Paris (symbol ORA) and on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol ORAN).
For more information on the internet and on your mobile: www.orange.com, www.orange-business.com, www.livetv.orange.com or to follow us on Twitter: @presseorange.
Orange and any other Orange product or service names included in this material are trademarks of Orange or Orange Brand Services Limited.

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Source:: The Entrepreneur Club for start-ups in Africa and the Middle East

Categories: AFRICA

MTN Nigeria selects Gemalto for first commercial rollout of GSMA Mobile Connect authentication service

Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 GTO) (www.Gemalto.com), the world leader in digital security, has been selected to provide its LinqUs Mobile ID platform to MTN Nigeria. This new project, operated for MTN in SaaS mode by Gemalto Allynis Services, marks the first commercial rollout of SIM based services delivering convenient mobile authentication for all mobile users. Compliant with the latest GSMA standards, Mobile Connect, ‘MTN Token’ is available immediately to MTN Nigeria’s 70 million subscribers and positions the operator as the country’s foremost provider of secure digital identification and authentication.

MTN Token offers their users a universal digital ID combined with a mobile-based second factor authentication, for easy and secure web service access, payments and financial transactions validation. When using MTN Token for eCommerce, banking, insurance, ePublic and corporate networks services, the user’s mobile phone number is employed as the username. Depending on the level of protection required by the service provider, the process is completed by simply pressing OK on the handset, or entering a unique user-selected PIN code.

Any service provider in Nigeria can now easily adopt MTN Token services to dramatically strengthen protection of online services against identity theft and cybercrime. It also enables the operator to offer a convenient digital journey to its customers, removing complex registration and log-in processes, while sparing them the hassle of remembering new username/password combinations.

MTN Token leverages the secure SIM vault, creating a trusted environment for sensitive data and transactions, without the initial infrastructure investment required by in-house implementations.

“With the launch of MTN Token, we are the first private provider of secure online identity and positioned as a warrant of digital ID and authentication in Nigeria,” said A’isha Umar Mumuni, General Manager, Products & Innovation at MTN Nigeria. “As our network of service providers adopting MTN Token grows, the solution will deliver significant reductions in fraud whilst easing the frustration often experienced by consumers on their digital journeys.”

“The long-established partnership between MTN Nigeria and Gemalto is the perfect foundation for this ground-breaking project,” said Eric Claudel, President for Middle East & Africa at Gemalto. “Bridging the gap between security and convenience, Mobile Connect represents the future of user authentication. It also fully supports operators in monetizing new value added services”.

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

Gemalto media contacts:

Kristel Teyras
Middle East & Africa
+33 1 55 01 57 89
kristel.teyras@gemalto.com

Philippe Benitez
North America
+1 512 257 3869
philippe.benitez@gemalto.com

Peggy Edoire
Europe & CIS
+33 4 42 36 45 40
peggy.edoire@gemalto.com

Vivian Liang
大中华地区 (Greater China)
+86 1059373046
vivian.liang@gemalto.com

Ernesto Haikewitsch
Latin America
+55 11 5105 9220
ernesto.haikewitsch@gemalto.com

Shintaro Suzuki
Asia Pacific
+65 6317 8266
shintaro.suzuki@gemalto.com

About Gemalto

Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 GTO) (www.Gemalto.com) is the world leader in digital security, with 2014 annual revenues of €2.5 billion and blue-chip customers in over 180 countries.

Gemalto helps people trust one another in an increasingly connected digital world. Billions of people want better lifestyles, smarter living environments, and the freedom to communicate, shop, travel, bank, entertain and work – anytime, everywhere – in ways that are enjoyable and safe. In this fast moving mobile and digital environment, we enable companies and administrations to offer a wide range of trusted and convenient services by securing financial transactions, mobile services, public and private clouds, eHealthcare systems, access to eGovernment services, the Internet and internet-of-things and transport ticketing systems.

Gemalto’s unique technology portfolio – from advanced cryptographic software embedded in a variety of familiar objects, to highly robust and scalable back-office platforms for authentication, encryption and digital credential management – is delivered by our world-class service teams. Our 14,000 employees operate out of 99 offices, 34 personalization and data centers, and 24 research and software development centers located in 46 countries.

For more information visit www.gemalto.com, www.justaskgemalto.com, blog.gemalto.com, or follow @gemalto on Twitter.

Source:: MTN Nigeria selects Gemalto for first commercial rollout of GSMA Mobile Connect authentication service

Categories: AFRICA

FACT SHEET FY 2017 Development and Humanitarian Assistance Budget

As a core pillar of American leadership and power, global development works together with defense and diplomacy to advance our interests and values abroad, and to protect the American people at home.

With less than 1% of the federal budget, USAID supports critical development activities and the experts who are carrying them out every day. In total, funding for accounts from which USAID administers assistance is $22.7 billion, of which $11.0 billion is in core USAID-managed accounts: Development Assistance, Global Health Programs-USAID, International Disaster Assistance, Food for Peace Title II, Transition Initiatives, Complex Crises Fund, and USAID Administrative Expense accounts.

The President’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget fortifies USAID’s global leadership in development practice and policy. It also supports USAID’s work all over the world to foster and sustain development progress; prevent, mitigate, and respond to humanitarian crises; and confront threats to our national security and global stability.

Position USAID as a Leader in Development and Foreign Policy

USAID is modernizing development and driving smart policy approaches by promoting new partnerships; science, technology and innovation; integration with local leadership; and a relentless focus on measuring and delivering results. As a global leader in development and in U.S. foreign policy, USAID is mobilizing the rest of the world around shared challenges, and leveraging every dollar invested through partner­ships with other donors, country governments, the private sector and local organizations. This budget request will position USAID to continue to lead and meet the needs of a changing world by investing in approaches that work, emphasizing knowledge and evidence-based learning, supporting Agency staff and operations, and strengthening USAID as an institution. Specifically, the President’s budget will:

Enhance science, technology, innovation, evaluation and learning, and partnership with a requested $195.5 million in central funding for the Global Development Lab and the Policy, Planning, and Learning (PPL) Bureau. Funding for PPL will strengthen USAID’s central evaluation capacity and policy development. Funding for the Lab will enable USAID to source, develop, and scale breakthrough solutions; accelerate the transformation of the U.S. development enterprise by leveraging additional outside resources; and improve the sustainability of development interventions by attracting private-sector, market-driven resources.

Support and strengthen USAID, with a requested $1.7 billion across multiple USAID administrative expense accounts to sustain ongoing operations and build on recent reforms, including through continued improvements in procurement, local-capacity building, innovation, and accountability.

Foster and Sustain Development Progress

All over the world, USAID advances broad-scale human progress by fostering sustained and inclusive economic growth and strengthening democratic governance. This work is lifting millions out of extreme poverty and helping countries become open, peaceful, and flourishing partners for the United States. The President’s budget request will enable USAID to double down on efforts that are delivering results and continue to build the conditions that make progress possible. With this budget, we will continue to:

Save lives and improve health, with $2.9 billion requested for USAID Global Health Programs, which, along with the Department of State Global Health Programs, contribute to global efforts to support three goals: ending preventable child and maternal deaths, creating an AIDS-free generation, and protecting communities from infectious diseases. USAID child survival and maternal health programs have already helped save the lives of 2.4 million children and almost 200,000 mothers, and this budget includes robust support for these efforts, including a total of $275 million for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (a $40 million increase over the FY 2016 Enacted level) as part of the four-year, $1 billion pledge announced last year. Additionally, we are on track to end the scourge of HIV/AIDS and, as the President stated in this year’s State of the Union Address, the opportunity exists to do the same with malaria. Ninety percent of all malaria deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa, most of which are among children under 5. In 17 of the 19 President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) countries, significant declines in mortality rates among children under 5 have been observed – ranging from 18% (in both Liberia and Nigeria) to 55% (in Zambia). The budget includes a total increase of $200 million (30%) for PMI above the FY 2016 Enacted level, of which $71 million is requested as additional resources and $129 million is requested via authority to redirect remaining Ebola emergency funding.

Ensure food security and progress toward ending hunger, with $978 million requested for the Feed the Future initiative. Feed the Future focuses on increasing food security and economic growth – with an emphasis on empowering women – by promoting growth in the agriculture sector and reducing hunger, poverty and malnutrition. The request will also help vulnerable populations become more resilient to shocks that can limit access to food. In areas where it has major programs, Feed the Future support has contributed to significant results, with stunting reduced by 14.4% in areas of Bangladesh from 2011-2014; by 21% in areas of Cambodia from 2010-2014; by 25% in areas of Kenya from 2008-2014; and by 33% nationally in Ghana from 2008-2014. In Honduras, average incomes of Feed the Future beneficiaries increased 55% between 2012 and 2014, helping nearly 27% of more than 135,000 beneficiaries rise out of extreme poverty.

Connect and empower Africa, with $376.3 million with FY 2017 funding, including support for Power Africa ($291.3 million). This will increase access to reliable, cleaner power for economic growth, as part of the Administration’s $300 million annual commitment. Against the U.S. Government’s Power Africa goal to add 30,000 megawatts (MWs) of power generation, USAID has supported transactions that may represent as much as 29,000 MWs, and helped facilitate the close of targeted transactions expected to generate 4,300 MWs. In FY 2017, Power Africa will reach 20 more countries with in-depth engagement and support. The budget also includes $75 million for Trade Investment Capacity Building, which will align, focus and expand current U.S. Government bilateral and regional trade programs in sub-Saharan Africa, and $10 million for the Young African Leaders Initiative, which will bring young African leaders to the United States for training and provide professional development activities for fellows once they return to the continent.

Promote democratic societies and institutions, with $2.3 billion for democracy, human rights and governance programs globally, with specific funding in Central America, Asia, and Africa. This assistance will help USAID establish and strengthen inclusive and accountable democracies to advance freedom, dignity, and development. And these advances will help ensure that our development investments are sustainable and transparent.

Continue to support rebalance in the Asia-Pacific region, with $694.4 million requested to strengthen governance and democratic processes, foster engagement with civil society, and promote rule of law and respect of human rights in this region. Other activities will support: economic growth by improving the conditions for competition in the private sector, health through emphasis on preventing and containing pandemic threats, and critical trade efforts like investment, economic inclusion and innovation activities in Vietnam related to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

Prevent, Mitigate, and Respond to Humanitarian Crises

In a time of unprecedented need and dynamic global challenges, USAID continues to serve as a global leader in humanitarian response, providing medicine, emergency food aid, relief and other assistance in places where it is desperately needed. But responding to crises after the fact is not enough. USAID also works to prevent disasters before they happen, and to build the capacity of countries to withstand future crises and meet humanitarian needs on their own through enhanced service delivery, public administration and governance. This budget will enable USAID to:

Provide life-saving responses to areas with the most vulnerable populations, with $3.3 billion in USAID-managed humanitarian assistance to provide emergency food supplies, address the underlying causes of food insecurity, and assist internally displaced persons and the victims of conflict and natural disasters. The budget seeks to make food aid more effective to allow the same resources to reach about two million more beneficiaries. An additional $107.6 million is requested to prevent conflict and stabilize emerging democratic processes in critical transition environments, and for quick response to urgent, unanticipated civilian contingencies.

Build resilience to recurrent crises related to climate change by investing, through the Global Climate Change Initiative, $352.2 million in developing countries well-suited to transition to climate-resilient, low-emission economic growth – including through development and implementation of 25 countries’ low emissions development strategies. In 2015, partner countries achieved 30 major milestones as a result of U.S. assistance, each reflecting measurable improvement in national frameworks for low emission development. Climate adaptation programs – for which the United States pledged to double grant-based public financing by 2020 – help countries become more resilient and contribute to stability and economic growth.

Confront Threats to National Security and Global Stability

In places of strategic national security importance, USAID works side-by-side with our counterparts in the U.S. Military and the Department of State’s diplomatic corps to confront emerging threats and other global security challenges. Our efforts to achieve development progress in countries facing conflict and crisis helps enhance global stability and fosters good will toward the United States. The President’s budget request supports this critical work, and specifically will:

Strengthen reforms in Afghanistan and Pakistan, with $1.45 billion to sustain gains made in these strategically important countries, from improving the performance and legitimacy of the Afghan government to promoting a stable, secure and prosperous Pakistan that counters violent extremism. The budget will also support work to continue strengthening each country’s economy, and advance ambitious reforms in a variety of sectors, including energy, agriculture, education and health.

Counter Russian aggression, with $698.1 million to strengthen market economies and trade opportunities, independent media and democratic institutions, anti-corruption efforts, energy independence in eastern Europe and central Asia, and enduring commitments such as health. These efforts will help Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova and their neighbors stand strong against increased pressure from Russia.

Seize emerging opportunities to promote lasting stability, peace and democracy, with $77.6 million to support Transition Initiatives in countries plagued by conflict and crisis. The budget will provide flexible funding to catalyze positive change in countries all over the world, from Nigeria to Syria to Colombia.

Address root causes of migration from Central America,with a $470.3 million request to improve prosperity and economic growth throughout the region. This bilateral and regional assistance for Central America is part of the Administration’s $1 billion whole-of-government request for appropriations and financing assistance to support the U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America. Building upon prior appropriations, funding will provide expertise to host governments as they make necessary reforms, scale up proven community-based interventions, and train youth for a 21st century workforce while helping businesses have the financial and market access to invest and generate economic growth and jobs.

For more information, please contact the USAID Press Office at usaidpressofficers@usaid.gov

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

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Source:: FACT SHEET FY 2017 Development and Humanitarian Assistance Budget

Categories: AFRICA

Baroness Northover appointed as new trade envoy to Angola

The Rt.Hon Baroness Northover has been appointed by Prime Minister David Cameron to act on behalf of the British Government to increase trade and economic co-operation between the United Kingdom and Angola.

Speaking in Luanda, the British Ambassador to Angola, John Dennis welcomed the appointment;

“I am delighted that Baroness Northover has been appointed to this key role. There are major opportunities for the UK to help Angola diversify its economy, in the process increasing trade and investment to the benefit of both countries and peoples. Baroness Northover will bring to bear on this task her wealth of experience and skills. I and my team are greatly looking forward to working closely with her.”

Speaking in London, Baroness Northover said:

“I am delighted to have been appointed as the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy from the UK to Angola. I look forward very much to building on the work of my predecessor, David Heath, and seeking out opportunities for the UK to build its trade with Angola, in a way which will benefit both the UK and the Angolan people.”

Further Information:

Rt Hon Baroness (Lindsay) Northover was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of International Development (DFID), and Minister for Africa, 2014-15, in the Coalition Government. Prior to that she served in a number of other Government departments, including the Ministry of Justice, the Department of Health, the Department for Education, the Department for Energy and Climate Change, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Government Equalities Office, as well as serving as Lead Government Spokesperson for DFID from 2010-14.

She is an Honorary Associate Professor at the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London, and is a former Member of Council of the Overseas Development Institute, Trustee of the Tropical Health and Education Trust, and Trustee of UNICEF UK. She is a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords, serving as Spokesperson for her Party first on Health and then on International Development. She has served on a number of House of Lords Select Committees. Her first degree is from Oxford University, and her Master’s and PhD are from Bryn Mawr College and the University of Pennsylvania in the USA. Lindsay Northover was formerly a Lecturer at the Wellcome Institute and University College London.

Source: APO FEED2

Categories: AFRICA | Tags:

Transcript of US.-Africa Business Summit Press Briefing, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Below for your reference is a link to the transcript of the U.S.-Africa Business Summit press conference on February 2 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, featuring U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) President and CEO Stephen Hayes, and CCA Chairman of the Board of Directors Paul Hinks.

Transcript: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ime/africamediahub/releases/252095.htm

Source: APO FEED2

Categories: AFRICA | Tags:

Mauritania: “Safeguards against torture must be made to work” – UN Rights expert urges

(Issued as received) — United Nations human rights expert Juan E. Méndez today called on the Mauritanian authorities “to put into practice the existing laws and safeguards for the protection from torture and ill-treatment for all suspects and detainees in Mauritania.”

“The legal safeguards against torture and ill-treatment are in place, but they don’t work,” warned the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment said at the end of his first official visit to the country.

Mr. Méndez welcomed the latest legislative developments in the fight against torture, including the new torture law and the law establishing the National Preventive Mechanism. “However,” he stressed, “the judicial operators in Mauritania must understand that a problem exists in this domain, and must step up their efforts to use and implement those safeguards.”

“I am in particular concerned about the almost total absence of investigations into allegations of torture and ill-treatment today,” the UN independent expert said.

“There seems to be little interest from prosecutors and courts in pursuing allegations of torture. The complete lack of forensic medical expertise is a factor in the legal system’s inability to investigate such allegations adequately. It also has the effect of making it almost impossible to apply the rule of exclusion of statements obtained under coercion,” he noted.

During his ten-day visit to Mauritania, the expert carried out unannounced visits to places of detention such as police and gendarmerie stations, prisons, juvenile detention centers, as well as mental health institutions and places where irregular immigrants are held, including a very rarely visited high security detention facility in the Salahdine military base. His visit covered both the capital as well as several regions in the interior of the country.

“In interviews with detainees, several described some forms of coercion by police and gendarmerie at arrest and interrogation that amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment under international law, such as beatings, threats, demeaning verbal abuse and slaps” Mr. Mendez stated, while acknowledging that others said they had not been mistreated. “In some testimonies that I received and consider reliable the severity of the pain and suffering endured did constitute torture, such as in prolonged solitary confinement, or stress positions or severe beatings lasting several days.”

In that respect, he noted that “while not rampant, ill-treatment occurs frequently enough -in particular for more serious crimes- that it merits to be taken seriously by the Government. Each allegation should be investigated immediately and thoroughly and the necessary conclusions drawn.”

The Special Rapporteur also drew attention to the use of safe houses (unofficial detention facilities), acknowledged by the Mauritanian authorities during the visit. “The use of such facilities and the absence of access to a lawyer for up to 45 days for suspects charged with terrorism creates an environment for torture and ill-treatment,” he warned. He urged the Government to review both of those policies and bring detention practice within the standards of international law.

“The living conditions for the inmates are inhumane,” the expert said. “Facilities are overcrowded, inadequate – as they are rarely purposely built -, unsanitary and insufficiently ventilated. There is effectively no access to health care and dental and psychiatric support is totally absent. Inmates lack work and education opportunities, as well as exercise and sunshine.”

The UN Special Rapporteur furthermore voiced his concern that prison staff lacks appropriate training in the management and security of penitentiary facilities.

He also urged Mauritania to address remedies for the human rights violations and forced deportations that occurred in the period of the so-called “passif humanitaire” between 1989 and 1992 including prosecution for international crimes, particularly torture. “Impunity for crimes of the past only breeds impunity for the instances of abuse in the present,” he said.

During his official visit to Mauritania, Mr. Méndez held consultations with high-ranking officials, relevant government institutions, civil society organisations and victims’ associations. “Throughout, the access provided by the authorities was complete and without hindrance; the Government deserves recognition for living up to its commitment to respect the integrity and independence of the mission,” he noted.

The Special Rapporteur will present a final report to the Human Rights Council or the General Assembly in the course of the year.

Source: APO FEED2

Categories: AFRICA | Tags:

Minister for Africa condemns latest attacks in Lake Chad region

James Duddridge, Minister for Africa, said of the recent violence:

I condemn the latest brutal attacks on innocent civilians in Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon. Our thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives and all who were affected by terrorist action. The UK stands with the governments in the Lake Chad region in their fight against terrorism.

Source: APO FEED2

Categories: AFRICA | Tags:

Africa premiere for Massey Ferguson’s Farm Mechanisation Package at US/Africa Business Summit in Addis Ababa

AGCO, Your Agriculture Company (NYSE:AGCO) (http://www.AGCOcorp.com), a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment is showcasing its new Massey Ferguson Farm Mechanisation Package at the 10th Biennial US-Africa Business Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 1st-4th February 2016.The package is aimed at farmers who are taking their first step in mechanised farming and is primarily based upon the newly launched MF 300 Series tractor plus a set of MF implements and forms part of a wider package of support through the Massey Ferguson Africa distribution network. This package is at the heart of AGCO’s strategy help to transform agriculture in Africa through inclusive and sustainable mechanisation solutions.

Aligned with this strategy is the announcement of a new partnership between AGCO and the international development non-profit organisation ‘Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture’ (CNFA) to promote mechanisation as a catalyst to raise farm productivity and food security in Africa.

““To be sustainable, farm mechanisation needs to be environmentally-compatible, economically-viable, affordable and adapted to local conditions.” says Dr Rob Smith, AGCO Senior Vice President and General Manager Europe/Africa/Middle East who will speak at the US-Africa Business Summit.

“The Massey Ferguson Farm Mechanisation Package, you could call it a ‘farm in a box’, is designed to make staying on the land or indeed, returning to the land a viable choice. It’s especially designed to encourage more young people to get involved in agribusiness,” continues Dr Smith. “Further support has been built into the package by the provision of training and support through the pioneering AGCO Future Farm project and our Massey Ferguson distribution network together with the assistance of partners such as CNFA.”

The new Massey Ferguson MF 300 Series tractors feature powerful and straightforward operation, robust dependability and are ideally-equipped to meet the tough challenges of African agriculture. The range will initially consist of three models from 50hp to 85ph. Further models are to be released later in the year. The new line of complementary Massey Ferguson-branded implements includes a range of harrows, ploughs, subsoilers, planters, trailers and transport boxes.

The farm mechanisation package is to form the central focus of the newly-announced AGCO collaboration with Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture. For more than 30 years, CNFA has worked to improve agricultural productivity, competitiveness, and smallholder household wellbeing around the world through training, demonstrations, behavior activities and partnerships.

CNFA and AGCO will work together to take action to increase farmers’ access to mechanisation Africa-wide. This will include channeling the expertise of CNFA’s Farm Service Centres and Agricultural Dealers to highlight the effectiveness and validity of mechanisation to increase productivity. Among the activities planned will be farm machinery leasing, demonstrations and training using Massey Ferguson machines. A pilot project started in Ethiopia in January, supported by Massey Ferguson’s National Distributor, Ries Engineering, will be followed by a staged roll-out across Africa.

“Among one of CNFA’s flagship approaches is the development of privately operated agricultural dealer outlets and Farm Service Centres across Africa to improve smallholder farmers’ access to high-quality agricultural inputs and services,” CNFA President and CEO Sylvain Roy said. “In conjunction with better access to inputs, agricultural mechanisation is also a critical element in making Africa more food secure. Through this partnership with Massey Ferguson, CNFA will be able to reach more farmers and demonstrate on the ground how this machinery and technology can significantly increase crop yields, thereby generating higher incomes for both their families and communities.”

“Massey Ferguson is committed to providing high-quality machinery and appropriate technology to suit all types of farm operations all over the world,” explains Thierry Lhotte, Massey Ferguson Vice-President Marketing, Europe/Africa/Middle East. “We are a true full-line supplier of farm equipment, providing solutions to farmers no matter what their farm size or type of operation.”

The Corporate Council on Africa’s 10th biennial US-Africa Business Summit brings together business representatives and government officials, entrepreneurs and investors, decision-makers and managers from throughout Africa, the United States and beyond to discuss the achievement of business goals and forge new partnerships.

Download pictures from http://assets.agcocorp.com
Searchword: MF300AFRICA-03022016

Media contact:

Paul Lay
Manager, PR & Communications
Tel: +44 (0)2476 851209
Mobile: 0044 7920805993
Email: Paul.Lay@agcocorp.com

Louisa Parker-Smith
Manager External Affairs
Mobile UK: +44 (0)7789 746268
Mobile Zambia: +260 (0)971398169
Email: louisa.parker@agcocorp.com

About AGCO

AGCO(NYSE:AGCO) (http://www.AGCOcorp.com) is a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural equipment. AGCOsupports more productive farming through a full line of tractors, combines, hay tools, sprayers, forage equipment, grain storage and protein production systems, seeding and tillage implements and replacement parts.AGCO products are sold through five core equipment brands, Challenger®, Fendt®, GSI®, Massey Ferguson® and Valtra® and are distributed globally through a combination of approximately 3,100 independent dealers and distributors in more than 140 countries. Founded in 1990,AGCOis headquartered inDuluth, GA, USA. In 2014, AGCO had net sales of $9.7 billion. For more information, visit http://www.AGCOcorp.com.For company news, information and events, please follow us on Twitter: @AGCOCorp. For financial news on Twitter, please follow the hashtag #AGCOIR.

AGCO: 25 years of identity, centuries of history

Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture(CNFA) is an international non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.and Brussels, Belgium with offices in 16countries throughout Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe.

We work with businesses, foundations, governments and communities to build customized local and global partnerships that meet the world’s growing demand for food. Since our inception in 1985, we have designedand implementedenterprise-based, agricultural development initiatives to facilitate market access, enhance agribusiness competitiveness, increase productivity and improve access to inputs and credit across 43 countries worldwide.

Source: APO FEED2

Categories: AFRICA | Tags:

African Leaders to Gather in Ethiopia for First-Ever Ministerial Conference on Immunization in Africa

African leaders, including ministers of health, finance, and other line ministries, will gather in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 24-25 February 2016, for the Ministerial Conference on Immunization in Africa — the first-ever ministerial-level convening with a singular focus on ensuring that people across the continent can get access to life-saving vaccines.

The conference — hosted by the World Health Organization Regional Offices for Africa (AFRO) and the Eastern Mediterranean (EMRO) in conjunction with the African Union Commission — will provide a powerful platform for African policymakers and advocates to celebrate progress toward expanding immunization coverage; discuss strategies for tackling the biggest challenges facing vaccine efforts; foster country ownership for sustainable financing for immunization; and advocate for greater engagement with all stakeholders to ensure sustainable demand for immunization.

“The Ministerial Conference is a unique opportunity to secure buy-in at the highest levels for prioritizing immunization across the continent,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “With strong commitment from everyone, we can make universal access to immunization a reality.”

In collaboration with the Ministerial conference, WHO and PATH are hosting an event celebrating the success of the Meningitis Vaccine Project, which resulted in the first tailor-made vaccine for use against meningitis A in the 26 African countries in the meningitis belt. The event will convene representatives from these countries and immunization partners. Since the ground-breaking MenAfriVac® vaccine was introduced in 2010, more than 230 million people in 16 countries have been protected, resulting in the control and near elimination of deadly meningitis A disease outbreaks across the meningitis belt.

Over the past five years, 50 countries in Africa have successfully introduced at least one new vaccine into their immunization programs, yet many African countries have been slow to make progress on other nationally agreed-upon immunization targets, and one in five children in the Region still does not receive the vaccines they need. In 2014, nearly 8 million infants (21%) in the African Continent did not receive the required three doses of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccine, a strong indicator that health systems are underequipped and underfunded to deliver other vaccines and health care services.

“We know that vaccines are one of the most cost-effective solutions in global health and, as a continent, we must do more to accelerate progress and reach more children,” said Dr Ala Alwan, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean. “Vaccinating children against life-threatening diseases is a great investment in socioeconomic development in Africa and the world as a whole.”

The Ministerial Conference is expected to convene more than 500 political leaders, technical experts and advocates from across Africa and globally. Conference sessions will cover a range of topics, including sustainable financing for immunization, the role of communities in driving coverage and demand for vaccines, building on the success of Africa’s polio eradication initiative, and building stronger systems to improve child health.

Media can sign up to attend the meeting on the conference website. Media attendees will have access to all conference sessions and benefit from a variety of on-site media activities, including press conferences, one-on-one interview opportunities, a fully-equipped on-site media work room and select side events.

A ‘virtual’ media room will be available to those who are unable to attend the conference in person. Virtual registrants will have access to all conference materials, as well as telephone access to press conferences taking place at the event.

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Source: APO FEED2

Categories: AFRICA | Tags:

Gabon selects Gemalto for fully integrated border and visa system

Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 GTO) (www.Gemalto.com), the world leader in digital security, has been selected as end-to-end solution provider by Gabon’s Department of Homeland Security DGDI* to supply and implement a fully integrated border and visa management system (http://www.gemalto.com/govt/coesys/eborder). The new scheme will strengthen national security, improve operational efficiency and enhance the traveling experience for people entering and leaving the Central African state.

The visa management system simplifies and speeds the issuance of visas, e-Visas and resident’s permits. This suite of applications was used to create Gabon’s e-Visa portal service (https://evisa.dgdi.ga) in July enabling visitors to use the Internet to apply for a visa to enter the country. Once the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) is delivered, the visa is issued at Libreville International Airport upon arrival.

The solution is built around the centralized, back-office Coesys Visa and Border Management System (http://www.apo.af/S7iKN3). This supports automation of queries to databases – such as Interpol’s (http://www.apo.af/y8bbPo)- that alert authorities to potential threats and risks. In addition, the Automated Border Control kiosks now offer travelers rapid, ‘self-service’ passport checks at the country’s main airport which handles around one million passengers annually.

The Border Intelligence module uses the data mined at the border. It offers investigation tools for discovering new risk patterns, with a highly intuitive “clicking” process. Its reporting app also provides valuable information to drive tourism and prioritize national investment efforts.

“Gemalto’s solution puts us in control of a secure and adaptable integrated border management system that is field-proven. It also helps expedite the border clearance process, cutting wait times and improving the customs experience for travelers,” said General Celestin Embinga, General Manager of DGDI, Gabon’s Department of Homeland Security. “In addition, Gemalto’s speed and commitment are tangible: our new e-Visa service was defined and implemented within 14 weeks.”

“We take pride in helping Gabon’s authorities improve border security and traveler satisfaction,” said Ari Bouzbib, Senior Vice President of Government Programs at Gemalto. “Gemalto is delivering a unique solution which is flexible and fast to implement. We also combine local resources and international expertise in partnership with government bodies. This is precisely what is appreciated by our growing number of customers in Africa.”

*La Direction Générale de la Documentation et de I’Immigration, Ministère de l’Intérieur gabonais

Gemalto media contacts:

Kristel Teyras
Middle East & Africa
+33 1 55 01 57 89
kristel.teyras@gemalto.com

About Gemalto

Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 GTO) is the world leader in digital security, with 2014 annual revenues of €2.5 billion and blue-chip customers in over 180 countries.

Gemalto helps people trust one another in an increasingly connected digital world. Billions of people want better lifestyles, smarter living environments, and the freedom to communicate, shop, travel, bank, entertain and work — anytime, everywhere — in ways that are enjoyable and safe. In this fast moving mobile and digital environment, we enable companies and administrations to offer a wide range of trusted and convenient services by securing financial transactions, mobile services, public and private clouds, eHealthcare systems, access to eGovernment services, the Internet and internet-of-things and transport ticketing systems.

Gemalto’s unique technology portfolio – from advanced cryptographic software embedded in a variety of familiar objects, to highly robust and scalable back-office platforms for authentication, encryption and digital credential management – is delivered by our world-class service teams. Our 14,000 employees operate out of 99 offices, 34 personalization and data centers, and 24 research and software development centers located in 46 countries.

For more information visit www.gemalto.com, www.justaskgemalto.com, blog.gemalto.com, or follow @gemalto on Twitter.

Source: APO FEED2

Categories: AFRICA | Tags:

The Chief of Protocol and the Ag. Director of Information and Communication of the African Union briefs the Press on coverage Tips

The Chief of Protocol of the African Union Commission Mrs. Simone Abala and the Ag. Director of Information and Communication, Mrs. Esther Azaa Tankou, jointly briefed the journalists who were designated by their respective media organs to cover the 26th AU Summit held from 21 to 31 January 2016 at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The briefing took place in the presence of the Spokesperson of the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Mr. Jacob Enoh Eben, who presented the guidelines for media coverage during the summit.

The AU Chief of Protocol began by presenting the mandate of her office. She said Protocol is one of the key departments involved in the preparation of AU meetings, and most importantly AU Summits and conferences.

According to Mrs. Abala, during such meetings, Protocol deals mainly with the following activities:

Airport activities (reception of delegates and dignitaries including welcoming of Heads of State and Delegations with the Host Country counterparts);
Logistics (transport and accommodation needs of AU sponsored guests, Summit office allocation, management of bilateral meeting rooms);
Accreditation (designing, ordering and issuance of Conference Badges, compiling of List of Participants). For Media accreditation, Protocol works closely with the Directorate of Information and Communication;
Seating arrangements of the participants (all the conference rooms set up with Name Plates for every planned or unplanned meeting);
Functions (drafting, ordering and dispatching of Invitation Cards, decoration of venues, provision of tea/coffee breaks, organization of luncheons preceded by the selection of menus for these lunches and coffee/tea breaks in accordance with accepted standards);
Ceremonial (welcoming and ushering of Heads of State/Delegation and Ministers, Program Director/Master of Ceremony).

Meanwhile, the Chief Protocol is the Master of Ceremony during the summit and she coordinates the solemn official ceremony to involve the AU Choir groups who sing the African Union anthem at the opening and official closing of the Summit.

The Ag. Director Information and Communication (DIC) brief the journalists on media tips to facilitate media coverage of the Summit. The issues on accreditation processes, usage of the media center, facilitation of interviews with the leadership of the AU Commission, implementation of the communication strategy of the AU among others, were presented.

The journalists were also informed about the press conferences organised to enable the AU leadership and resource persons of the Commission provide information on the programs and flagship projects under their respective department. These press conferences are intended to keep the journalists busy when the policy making organs of the AU are meeting in close session. It is also aimed at providing source information to the different journalists on various thematic areas especially those related to the theme of the Summit so that they can report efficiently and regularly on the event.

Source: APO FEED2

Categories: AFRICA | Tags: