Somali Business Leaders call on Federal Government to establish legal framework to ensure Security of Investment

DUBAI, UAE, April 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Leading Businesses, government officials and International businesses converged in Dubai on the 6th and 7th of April for the second investment Summit (http://bit.ly/NEQVuU) hosted by the Somalia Economic Forum.

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Photo 1: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=992 (Hassan Al Hashimi of Dubai Chamber (Left), H.E Said Ali Korshel (Midle) H.E Ali Ghedi Former PM, Federal Republic of Somalia)

Photo 2: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=993

Photo 3: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=994

The federal Government of Somalia was represented by H.E Said Ali Korshel, Who is the minister of Transport and Civil aviation, H.E Yusuf Moallim Amin, Minister of ports and Marine Transport and former Prime Minister of Somalia H.E Ali Ghedi.

In reassuring the business community, H.E Korshel said, “Rebuilding the State of Somalia is our key priority and investment is what our country needs, this summit shows that Somalia is getting back to its normality”.

In his keynote address, Mr Hassan Al Hashimi, Vice President Dubai Chambers of Commerce highlighted the role of Dubai as a gateway to Africa and the annual Africa Global Business forum was an indication of the importance of Dubai to Africa. On Somalia Mr Al Hashimi stressed that the long standing bilateral relation between Somalia and Dubai. In 2013 trade between the two countries was up to $1.3 Billion and further security stability in Somalia will see an increase in this. Mr Al Hashmi said Dubai was home to many successful Somalia Businesses whose contribution to the society was invaluable.

The summit attracted the attention of International Governments with the United States Sending their Embassy Staffers from Nairobi whilst Sweden sent their Diplomats from Dubai and Nairobi.

Hassan Dudde, MD Somali Economic Forum in an interview spoke of his organisation’s commitment to driving Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Somalia, the summit was a clear indication of these efforts. Mr Dudde said that over 70 firms attended the forum and was quite pleased to see the level of interaction that took place at the summit.

Somalia Businesses in one accord voiced concern over security, urging governments to honour part of their agreement. Investing in general infrastructure as well as ensuring security stability throughout the country.

Legal practitioners from Hogan Lovells and Anjawalla and Khana spoke of the importance of a clear legal framework as a driver to Investment.

‘Investors need to know where and how to invest, when to take out their money and who to go to if there is a dispute’ Africa must become better in establishing this clarity. Mohamed Elgatit – Hogan Lovells Stated.

The summit highlighted potential in Somalia’s Infrastructure sector, Agriculture, Energy as well as Telecom.

Mr Samer Khalaf, Director for Africa and Middle East at the Russian Gazprombank was very pleased to have attended the summit. ‘There is certainly an interest for Somalia from Gazprombank, we are on the ground working on due diligence before getting to the real work”.

PTA bank, the Trade and Development Bank of Eastern and Southern Africa (PTA Bank) is a treaty-based regional institution, announced of the recent lifting of sanction against Somalia. A clear indication of the bank’s commitment to the region and especially in Somalia’s Stability.

Somalia’s finance sector is very lucrative, the interest shown by the financial institutions represented at the summit.

Dahabshiil Bank Ceo , Mr Hirsi Dirir indicated plans to open up banks in Somalia and Nairobi, other institutions were Chase Bank, IBS and the recently launched micro finance bank targeting rural farmers, traders and fishing community in Somalia , Barwaqo Bank.

The summit concluded by calling the Government to play its role in providing security and infrastructure and from the Government, the minister reassured the business community that efforts were being done to ensure security of investment.

The Government stressed that the Investment regulation would ensure the overall benefit of Somalis as well as Investors.

There was a rallying call too from the Government for 3rd Investment Summit scheduled for next year to be hosted in Mogadishu.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the Somali Economic Forum.

Media contact:

Hassan Dudde

admin@somalieconomicforum.org

Source: APO

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Philips reiterates commitment to sustainable healthcare and lighting solutions during its fifth pan-African roadshow

CAIRO, Egypt, April 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ —

• Philips’ fifth Cairo to Cape Town roadshow contributes to ambitions to significantly expand its business footprint on the continent

• Focus on the UN Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 as well as the post-2015 Development agenda; maternal and child health, non-communicable diseases and energy efficient LED lighting

• 21st century LED technology to highlight iconic city monuments

Royal Philips (http://www.philips.com) (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) announces its fifth consecutive pan-African Cairo to Cape Town roadshow (http://www.philips.com/africaroadshow) (from 14 April to 3 September 2014) continuing to focus on key challenges facing Africa today – the need for energy-efficient lighting and the revitalization of African healthcare infrastructure.

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Download the bannere: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/bannere.jpg

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Photo 1: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/140320-1.png (JJ van Dongen, Senior Vice President & CEO Philips Africa)

Photo 2: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=990 (Solar street lighting – Ghana)

Photo 3: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=989 (World first game of soccer under solar lightin Nairobi – Kenya)

Photo 4: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=988 (Ghana – Clinical Trainings – Ridge Hospital)

Photo 5: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=987 (Ghana – Clinical Trainings – Ridge Hospital)

With an Africa-relevant product portfolio and a strong historical presence on the continent, Philips is committed to significantly expand its business footprint in Africa in the coming years and enhance life in Africa with meaningful innovations. The annual pan-African Cairo to Cape Town roadshow is an important vehicle in Philips’ approach to enhance understanding of local needs and growing the market.

“As investment demand continues to grow in most of Africa (1), we are very positive about expanding our business footprint on the continent. In the past decade (2), 6 of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world were in Africa; Philips is therefore aiming for double digit growth in the coming years”, states JJ van Dongen, Senior Vice President and CEO Philips Africa. “Local entrepreneurship and talent development continue to be key in addressing the complexities of the African market and in developing locally relevant innovations that meet the needs of Africa’s growing middle class.”

Focus on Post-2015 Development Agenda and non-communicable diseases

Philips remains consistently committed to reducing child mortality and improving maternal health, linked to the current UN Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 (MDGs) (http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals). In contribution to the Post-2015 Development Agenda (http://www.post2015hlp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/UN-Report.pdf), Philips calls for improving universal access to healthcare and reducing the double-disease burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) as additions to the current MDGs.

Figures from Philips’ latest Fabric of Africa Trends Report (http://philips.to/1e7oYBe) show that in 2008, nearly three million African deaths were attributable to preventable or treatable NCDs. That figure will rise by more than 25 percent in the next decade. This year’s roadshow will have an increased focus on non-communicable diseases in addition to Mother and Child care.

21st century technology to highlight iconic city monuments

Next to healthcare solutions, Philips will introduce its latest LED and solar innovations during the roadshow. More than 600 million people in Africa currently have no access to electricity; Philips’ off-grid LED solar powered solutions illuminate the most remote areas and provide energy-efficient lighting. Philips has committed to installing 100 “light centers” to off-grid communities by 2015, over a third of these “light centers” have already been installed and more will be inaugurated during the upcoming roadshow.

Additionally, Philips has committed to lighting up and illuminating one iconic monument in every city visited during the roadshow with the latest LED technology. As the number one lighting company in the world, Philips has transformed iconic city landmarks around the globe and will now provide a stunning lighting makeover of historic, well-recognized monuments in African cities.

Scaling innovations in technology and education

Research and innovation are central to Philips’ activities in Africa. The recently launched Philips Africa Innovation Hub (http://philips.to/P05GIq) in Nairobi, Kenya, will be the center for developing innovations “in Africa-for Africa”. To increase the impact of newly developed solutions, Philips continues to combine the introduction of new innovations with dedicated focus on clinical education and training. Since 2011 Philips has trained over 2,500 healthcare professionals during the Cairo to Cape Town roadshow and clinical education and healthcare training continues to remain a priority.

Addressing aspirational needs of the African consumer

Philips’ consumer lifestyle portfolio, through innovation and localization, will focus on the continent’s desire for healthier cooking as well as beauty and grooming solutions by introducing new products to meet the aspirational needs of the rising middle class in Africa.

Cairo to Cape Town Roadshow 2014

The roadshow brings together key stakeholders including governments, NGO’s, professional associations, and research institutions to exchange best practices, collaborate and develop public-private partnerships aimed at addressing key challenges in Africa.

“We have been in Africa for many years and have a strong installed base of our equipment, but we strongly acknowledge the benefits of dialogue during this roadshow and the need for our company to listen to the local market and understand how we can adapt our products to better serve this continent”, summarizes JJ van Dongen.

The roadshow kicks-off in Cairo on 14th April 2014 and will make its next stop in Algiers on 12th May, and concludes in Cape Town on 3rd September.

For more information please follow the Cairo to Cape Town roadshow on: http://www.philips.com/africaroadshow

(1) International Monetary Fund (IMF) – Regional Economic Outlook : Sub-Saharan African. http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/reo/2013/afr/eng/sreo1013.pdf

(2) The Post-2015 Development Agenda : A new global partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development – http://www.post2015hlp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/UN-Report.pdf (page 46)

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

For further information, please contact:

Radhika Choksey

Philips Group Communications – Africa

Tel: +31 62525 9000

E-mail: radhika.choksey@philips.com

About Royal Philips

Royal Philips (http://www.philips.com) (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2013 sales of EUR 23.3 billion and employs approximately 115,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at http://www.philips.com/newscenter.

Source: APO

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Norway to host donor conference for South Sudan

OSLO, Norway, April 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — “South Sudan is experiencing a humanitarian crisis as a result of the armed conflict in the country. We cannot simply stand by and watch this happen. In response to a request from the UN, Norway will hold a conference in Oslo in May to mobilise resources for alleviating this serious crisis,” says Minister of Foreign Affairs B

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AFRICAN GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES GATHER TO FOCUS ON LONG-TERM PLANS FOR CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, April 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Climate change adaptation is the focus of high-level regional training and knowledge exchange in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia this month. African government ministerial representatives from more than 30 least developed African countries are meeting to consider National Adaptation Plan (NAP) requirements, which aim to address the long–term climate change challenges for Africa.

“Climate change is likely to increase development challenges among least developed countries (LDCs) particularly in Africa and undercut the gains already made in these countries. The economic and social costs are likely to be substantial in many critical areas – such as food security, livelihoods, health, access to safe water and infrastructure,” said H.E. Ato Kare Chawicha, State Minister of Environment Sector, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of Ethiopia.

“With this in mind, country-specific National Adaptation Plans are extremely important to support ongoing development processes in least developed African countries.”

A meeting of 15 English-speaking African LDCs will be held from 14-17 April 2014, followed closely by a meeting of 19 French-speaking African LDCs from 21-24 April 2014, at the United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“To support countries to address these long-term development challenges, we are bringing together delegates from ministries of environment, planning and finance from more than 30 LDCs from Africa to help to advance their NAP processes,” said Ermira Fida, Head, GEF Climate Change Adaptation Unit, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

“The NAP process is viewed by African LDCs as a vehicle for moving their adaptation agenda forward and coping with the challenges that Africa is facing today. As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report and UNEP Africa Adaptation Gap Technical Report both state, climate changeis already affecting food production and is likely to increase the number of people at risk of hunger in Africa.”

The NAP process aims to identify medium- and long-term climate adaptation needs and to mainstream these needs into national development planning processes and strategies. These meetings are convened by the National Adaptation Plan Global Support Programme (NAP-GSP) – which is coordinated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UNEP– together with other UN partners and collaborating organisations, with support from the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) of the Global Environment Facility (The GEF). The Global Water Partnership (GWP) – a NAP-GSP partner – is collaborating closely to support these meetings.

The NAP-GSP is assisting LDCs to identify technical, institutional and financial needs to integrate climate change adaptation into ongoing medium and long-term national planning and budgeting. Currently, 26 LDCs from Africa, Asia and the Pacific have requested support for their NAP process.

“These meetings will support countries to gain a better understanding of the technical issues, strategies, steps, tools and options presented in the National Adaptation Plan process,” said Pradeep Kurukulasuriya, Head, Climate Change Adaptation and Senior Technical Advisor – Adaptation (Global), UNDP-GEF.

“We are also providing specific country-level support, building on ongoing and complementary adaptation initiatives, through our partner agencies and in association with national governments.”

Keynote speakers in the opening session at the UNCC on 14 April 2014 are H.E. Rhoda Peace, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union, and H.E. Ato Kare Chawicha, State Minister of Environment Sector, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of Ethiopia.

Source: APO

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FAO urges countries to step up action against destructive banana disease / Following its spread to Africa and the Middle East, Fusarium wilt TR4 increases the risks to livelihoods and banana markets

ROME, Italy, April 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is warning countries to step up monitoring, reporting and prevention of one of the world’s most destructive banana diseases, Fusarium wilt, which recently spread from Asia to Africa and the Middle East, and which has the potential to affect countries in Latin America.

The TR4 race of the disease, which is also known as Panama disease, is posing a serious threat to production and export of the popular fruit, with serious repercussions for the banana value chain and livelihoods, FAO said in an information brief.

Banana is the eighth most important food crop in the world and the fourth most important food crop among the world’s least-developed countries, according to FAOSTAT, the UN agency’s data-gathering and analysis service.

“Any disease or constraint that affects bananas is striking at an important source of food, livelihoods, employment and government revenues in many tropical countries,” said Gianluca Gondolini, Secretary of the World Banana Forum. The Forum, whose Secretariat is based at FAO headquarters, promotes sustainable banana production and trade.

“The spread of Fusarium wilt banana disease could have a significant impact on growers, traders and families who depend on the banana industry,” Fazil Dusunceli, a plant pathologist at FAO, said. “Countries need to act now if we are to avoid the worst-case scenario, which is massive destruction of much of the world’s banana crop,” said Dusunceli.

Recommended action

At the country level, FAO specifically advises:

• Awareness raising at all levels and adoption of appropriate risk assessment, surveillance and early warning systems;

• Implementation of phytosanitary measures to prevent the spread of the disease through agricultural practices, irrigation and drainage systems, transportation, vehicles, containers, tools or visitors;

• Preventive measures, including quarantines, the use of disease-free planting materials, prevention of movement of infected soil and planting materials into and out of farms, and disinfection of vehicles;

• Capacity building in National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPO) in planning, extension and research, including the use of rapid and accurate diagnostic tools;

• Training of technical officers, producers and farm workers in disease identification, prevention and management under field conditions, and appropriate instructions to visitors.

While other races of the disease have existed for many years, TR4 has caused significant losses in banana plantations in Southeast Asia over the last two decades, and has recently been reported in Mozambique and Jordan.

TR4 infects the Cavendish banana varieties, which dominate global trade, as well as other susceptible varieties used for local consumption and markets. Despite damage to the banana plant and to production, the fruit itself remains edible.

Soil-borne disease

Fusarium wilt is caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense (Foc). The disease is soil-borne and the fungus can remain viable for decades. Once the disease is present in a field, it cannot be fully controlled by currently available practices and fungicides. The best way to fight the disease is to prevent its spread, which includes avoiding movement of diseased plant materials and infected soil particles.

“We need to raise awareness of this threat, coordinate efforts among countries and institutions for effective implementation of appropriate quarantine measures, and also work with banana producers, traders, plantation employees and smallholder farmers to help to minimize the spread of the disease,” Dusunceli said. He also highlighted the importance of research in better understanding the disease and developing alternative varieties that are disease resistant.

FAO’s information note stresses the importance of using disease-free seedlings and avoiding movement of infected soil and planting materials into, and out of, farms, through transportation, visitors or other means.

“A concerted effort is required from stakeholders including the industry, research institutions, governments and international organizations to prevent spread of the disease,” the note reads.

Raising awareness

FAO and its partners, including the World Banana Forum (WBF), the scientific community and the banana industry are among those making efforts to increase awareness of the inherent threat of TR4.

The issue will be on the agenda of a series of upcoming meetings in Kenya, South Africa, and Trinidad and Tobago, with the aim of addressing a range of issues related to TR4, including developing action plans for its prevention, monitoring and containment.

The banana crop is vulnerable to a number of diseases in various parts of the world, including the Black Sigatoka disease, Xanthomonas Wilt (BXW), Bunchy Top Disease (BBTD) and Fusarium Wilt, but Fusarium’s soil-borne nature makes it especially challenging.

Source: APO

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