Islamic Development Bank: Ask your questions LIVE to the President of Islamic Development Bank (IDB)

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, March 16, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The President of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) (http://www.isdb.org) will host an online press conference on Thursday, March 19th, 2015 at 09:30 GMT.

Journalists interested in attending this online press conference will be able to ASK QUESTIONS LIVE VIA THE INTERNET.

The IDB has 56 member countries in Africa, Middle East, Europe, Asia & Latin America.

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

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1615 (Dr Ahmad Ali, President of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB)

WHO: Dr Ahmad Ali, President of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB)

WHEN: 19th March, 2015 at 09:30 GMT

(Time converter: http://bit.ly/1BwmnQ5)

LANGUAGES: English, Arabic, French

How it works: This service is FREE and only requires a computer connected to the internet.

REGISTER: http://www.apo-opa.com/application.php?L=E&vc=ISB

Technical Contact:

sec.sg@apo-opa.org

+41 22 534 96 97

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).

Source:: Islamic Development Bank: Ask your questions LIVE to the President of Islamic Development Bank (IDB)

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Minister Sherlock visit to Ethiopia to highlight trade and investment opportunities

DUBLIN, Ireland, March 13, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Minister of State for Development, Trade Promotion and North-South Co-operation, Seán Sherlock, TD, today departs on a three day visit to Ethiopia, as part of the Government’s “Promote Ireland” initiative to mark St. Patrick’s Day.

Minister Sherlock’s visit will combine trade and investment engagements with visits to a number of Irish Aid funded initiatives which have a commercial or private sector focus.

Speaking ahead of his departure, Minister Sherlock said:

“Ethiopia is expected to be among the 20 fastest growing economies in the world this year and has great potential for Irish companies looking for mutually-beneficial investment opportunities. Our current bilateral trade with Ethiopia is already in the region of €20 million per year.

“During my last visit to Ethiopia in November alongside President Higgins, I signed a Double Taxation Agreement between Ireland and Ethiopia, as well as a bilateral Air Transport Agreement which will pave the way for a new Ethiopian Airlines route.

“With direct flights between Dublin and Addis Ababa due to start from June of this year, there is huge potential for boosting trade, investment and tourism between Ireland and Ethiopia.”

On Sunday 15th, Minister Sherlock will witness the operation of the first mobile money transfer service in Ethiopia, known as the M-BIRR service. This initiative has been a beneficiary of Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-Up scheme. The Minister will also visit Irish Aid funded consortium which provides passion fruit, mangoes, mandarins and other fruits to the Irish-Dutch company, Africa Juice, for export.

“These two initiatives are excellent examples of how the private sector can support economic and social transformation in Africa, bringing financial services to very rural under-served areas through M-BIRR and by boosting Ethiopia’s export sector with Africa Juice”, Minister Sherlock said.

On Monday 16th, the Minister will visit the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange in Addis Ababa where he will ring the bell marking a new transaction. Irish Aid provided initial start up funding of €400,000 to the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange as part of a broader effort to improve livelihoods in rural communities.

Highlighting Ireland’s long term development assistance to Ethiopia through Irish Aid, Minister Sherlock said:

“Ethiopia is one of Ireland’s Key Partner Countries and last year we provided over €25 million in assistance to the poorest and most vulnerable sections of Ethiopian society.

“The projects I will visit show how Irish Aid is engaging with the private sector as a catalyst for Ethiopia’s development.”

Minister Sherlock will also visit World Food Programme (WFP) warehouse in Adama, from which food aid which is transported to Gambella in south-west Ethiopia before being air-dropped into South Sudan. Ireland recently provided €750,000 to WFP as part of a wider contribution to the humanitarian relief effort in South Sudan, including assistance to refugees in neighbouring States such as Ethiopia.

On Monday, 16th March, Minister Sherlock will meet with the State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Berhane GebreChristos, to discuss the outline of a 20-year roadmap for Irish-Ethiopian relations, and the Post-2015 sustainable development goals.

Minister Sherlock will round off his visit as guest of honour at a St. Patrick’s Day reception in Addis Ababa expected to be attended by some 300 guests from the diplomatic, development, business and Irish communities.

Source:: Minister Sherlock visit to Ethiopia to highlight trade and investment opportunities

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Remarks at a Reception Hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce of Egypt

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Remarks

John Kerry

Secretary of State

Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

March 13, 2015

Curt, thank you very, very much. Good morning to everybody, and thank you all for being here. It’s wonderful to be here. I’m really happy to be back, particularly here, and – where the water is tantalizing and the sun is warm. I come from the land of seven-foot snow drifts right now – (laughter) – Massachusetts. As you’ve been watching, we’ve had unparalleled amount of snow.

I was thinking, as I was just listening to the introductory comments, watching the video, and looking at this unbelievable gathering here of businesspeople, all of whom have come here with an appropriate sense of possibilities, of enthusiasm and a belief in the possibilities of the future. And then I was thinking about some of the other challenges that we obviously face within the region, discussions that I’ve been having with respect to Iran and Daesh and Libya and Yemen and different challenges.

So I was reminded, actually, of a story of Winston Churchill, who came to America at one point after the war to receive an award for temperance – temperance means not drinking, not being excessive. And here in a predominantly Muslim region, I know you already got the message; you’ve adopted – that your beliefs with respect to that. But I have to tell you that Churchill was very funny about – he really did have a great sense of humor about it all.

And so when he was brought in to receive this reward, the person giving him the award looked at him and said, “You know, Sir Winston, we’ve actually discovered that you really do drink a little bit. In fact, we figured out that you had a little wine at lunch and then in the middle of the afternoon you have a small constitutional, and then in the evening again wine with dinner, and then of course you’d take your bath with a big glass of brandy. And we calculated that if we were to take all the alcohol you had imbibed in a lifetime and added up, it would come to a line right here in this room.” And he pointed so that to a line, it was about where the top of the white panels are there.

And Winston sat back in his chair in a very, very pronounced way. And he looked very deliberately at the line, and then he looked at the ceiling. And then he looked at the line, looked at the ceiling again, and he turned to the introducer and he said, “So far to go, so little time.” (Laughter and applause.)

So the – I couldn’t help but say to myself, time – time is the challenge here. A long way to go, but a lot happening. And we’re beginning to get up to that line in terms of the investments, the things that need to happen to restore confidence. So I want to talk about that just a little bit here this morning, I really do. But I want to thank Curt, first of all. Thank you, Curt, for what you do; thank you for what Coca-Cola does, and for the leadership on the U.S.-Asia Business Council, together with Apache and Exxon and others. I think those of you who know Coca-Cola as a company, probably the world’s most recognized corporate brand – it really is a model case of a company that thinks globally but acts locally. And it acts locally as a good corporate citizen, does a great deal to help not just build a company that’s making a profit, but rather that’s giving back to the community. And the reason $500 million investment of Coke here in Egypt’s going to pay huge dividends, I know, not just for Egypt’s future, but literally for stability and shared prosperity throughout the region. So I thank you, Curt, and I thank Coca-Cola; I thank our friend who is not here, Muhtar Kent, and others for their leadership of this.

Ladies and gentlemen, ministers, many of you my friends who I’ve met along this journey, it’s really a privilege to join you today to reinforce the close partnership between the makers of American foreign policy and the engineers of global prosperity. And by that, I mean, obviously, all of you. In America, we don’t believe – at least most of us don’t believe the vast majority of the government is the engine of job creation. It’s the private sector, it’s the innovators, it’s the entrepreneurs; it’s people who are willing to put their capital into an idea, and to let that idea blossom by virtue of its acceptance in the marketplace and all that that then brings in terms of jobs, prosperity, opportunity, education, the next generation doing better.

And I want to thank the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt and the Egypt-U.S. Business Council for their belief in this formula and in the ability of the private sector to make an enormous difference. The fact is that the Chamber does a tremendous job, the businesses that are investing here, and I am grateful for the very capable team of American officials who have accompanied me here today. You heard a number of their names in the course of the introduction, but I just want to mention, first of all, Ambassador Steve Beecroft is one of America’s most skilled and capable diplomats. He was in Iraq, he helped us with the transition of the government there – he did a tremendous job, and many other folks – but he is now here in Egypt and we have extraordinary confidence in his ability to be helpful to all of you in this important collaboration between the public sector and the private sector.

In addition, Ambassador David Thorne, who’s already gotten much too much publicity this morning. But he spearheaded this economic effort, and we’re deeply grateful to him. He served previously as ambassador to Italy most recently, and a private businessman. Scott Nathan, who is my special representative for business affairs, who ran an important fund in Boston, has been an investor, a private investor, putting his capital on the line, making money for investors. He knows the bottom line, he understands spreadsheets, he understands opportunity, he knows how to evaluate it. And then, of course, Andy Baukol, the deputy assistant secretary of Treasury. We’re a team, together with our Commerce Department and those people engaged in our commercial affairs.

And our job is to encourage investment and help break down the barriers to the building of confidence that is essential for the movement of capital. We want to promote around the clock shared prosperity in Egypt and across the region, but particularly, I say, in Egypt. And we want to do that – (applause) – we want to do that. Why do I say “particularly?” Egypt has always had an extraordinary business corps. Egypt has great capacity. This is not something new. In addition, Egypt has always had a vibrant civil society. And it has been there for the hub of thinking, of progress, of energy, of direction in this region – not to mention the fact that it represents a quarter of the population of the Arab world. It has always, in my judgment, had the ability to demonstrate entrepreneurial energy. And prior to the first Tahrir Square, the economy was growing at 7 percent and rising.

I remember that very well, because I was here very, very shortly afterwards, and I was here before that. And I remember where we were before that moment of transformation. There is no reason whatsoever that with concerted effort and belief in the possibilities of the future they shouldn’t quickly get back to the 7 percent and then double it and get into the double digits. That’s not wishful thinking; that’s absolutely a choice staring us all in the face.

So the reason that we’re here is very, very clear. In the 21st century, a nation’s interests and wellbeing are advanced not just by and perhaps not even principally by troops and diplomats, but rather by entrepreneurs and executives, the forward-thinking companies. I believe that. That’s why, when I came to this job as Secretary of State, in the first days, even in my confirmation hearing, I said loudly and clearly – and I repeated again and again – economic policy is foreign policy, and foreign policy is economic policy. They are the same side of – two different sides of the same coin, my friends.

And in today’s world more than ever – much more than ever – we’re in a very different place than where we were at the end of World War II, when most economies of the developed world were destroyed. And one nation, obviously – ours – was in a position to be able to make choices and move. Frankly, to some degree, success was unavoidable. But the world has changed now with the fall of the Berlin Wall, with the changes in countries’ aspirations, with greater levels of education, with more and more people in touch with everybody all the time, every day, because of smart phones and mobile devices. Everybody has access to information and to aspirations and to possibilities. And more than ever, trade, innovation, investment are not just the principal engines of a strong economy; they’re the principal engines of a strong society. They build community and they provide the opportunity for people to be able to do so, and that’s not just in one place; that’s on every continent.

In today’s world, that translates – that kind of business activity and the recognition of global realities translates into not just economic growth, but it translates into stability, upward mobility for people, a better life, the opportunity to have an outlet for those aspirations that are raised by being in touch with everybody in the world and seeing what everybody else is doing.

So wisely channeled, the private sector engagement creates growth that is sustainable. And sustainability is critical in today’s world. It lifts living standards, it helps build bridges to communities that have for too long been left behind. It’s why I have always said that we must keep in mind this synergy – symbiosis, if you will – between the private sector and government today, if government today is doing its job properly.

And we live today in a world of unbelievably fast-rising expectations. But we also live in a world of stunning, increasing possibilities. In country after country, we also see there are huge numbers of unemployed young people. This is one of the countries where you have a massive number of people who are under the age of 35, perhaps 50 percent of the population under the age of 21, 40 percent under the age of 18. And so the responsibility to try to provide opportunity is even greater, and government needs to work even harder to make certain that that happens.

In Egypt, according to the World Bank, the youth unemployment rate is around 30 percent. But a lot of those young people have a combination – in some cases, education; in some cases, a cell phone and mobile device; in many cases, both – and they can communicate with people anywhere anytime, as you all know. And so frankly, that provides much greater demand. That’s why this business conference is really so important. Nobody defines the nature and extent of the opportunities more, frankly, than businesspeople themselves. And I think you are the best place to be able to actually build the future – together with the government, that has to help for a whole lot of reasons, and I’ll get into a couple of them in a minute. But to the extent that we can, my job in the State Department, President Obama’s commitment is to work with you in order to do everything that we can to help you to be able to move and control and shape this transformation that is staring us in the face.

Now, I can tell you we really do approach this challenge with confidence. No question in my mind that we can make it on this road. And there isn’t anyone here who I think doesn’t understand – yes, there are these level of challenges that I referred to in my comments about Churchill; of course there are. You see them everywhere – not just in the Middle East, by the way; they’re all over the world, these challenges. We face them, too. We’re still on our journey of transformation, always trying to do a little bit better. We understand that. And I come here with a great deal of humility about the size of these challenges and the constancy of them. But there isn’t anyone, I think, who doesn’t really believe – or you wouldn’t be here – that these challenges can be met and that the private sector can play a critical role in helping to do so.

This part of the world is blessed with a stunning amount of commercial potential. Recently, the foreign minister of the Emirates shared with me a study that the Emirates have done with respect to what would happen in this region if we actually could make peace between Palestinians and Israelis and how there would be just this unleashing of commercial activity and a sense of possibility and transformation. And I know that the American private sector is absolutely committed. I read the papers; I know how some people spread rumors and some people want to sow the seeds of doubt, but let me dispel them firmly today. The United States of America is eager, ready and willing to be a catalyst in Egypt’s economic development, and we respect the efforts that you are already making, and we want to help you grow them. (Applause.)

Last year, U.S. companies invested more than $2 billion here. I was sitting at the table a moment ago and was reminded that during all of this change that has been taking place, not one company left. We believe in these possibilities, and you’re engaged in nearly every single sector of the Egyptian economy, from energy to health to automobiles, food security, financial services, manufacturing – that’s what American companies are already investing in. Apache Corporation is Egypt’s largest oil producer. And since 2011, Microsoft has doubled its employment in the country and developed the so-called citizen’s portal, giving Egyptians access to more than 300 government services online. Nearly 30 percent of Egypt’s installed power capacity, 30 percent comes from General Electric. And American companies are top-flight corporate citizens, I assure you, bringing the best practices in transparency, innovation, technology transfer, and social responsibility.

Our team at the State Department absolutely understands – as I mentioned a little while ago – that capital needs confidence. And that confidence has to be earned. That’s why we’re working so hard with the Egyptian Government to help support their efforts to implement reforms. And President Sisi has engaged on a bold and critical path to implement reforms. He’s committed to restoring investor confidence in Egypt’s[i] future. He is taking steps to stabilize Egypt’s macro economy and improve the climate for doing business. He has launched a serious effort to phase in the costly – to phase out the costly energy subsidies. And he’s promising tax reform and new investment that aims – the new investment law, I think, that just actually passed in order to eliminate red tape for company registration and project licensing. These are big steps. They’re not all the steps; I understand that. Everybody understands how difficult this part of the road is. But we also know from experience that it’s a fragile process and it’s not going to be easy.

But to sustain it, it’s going to require all of your help and our help and our commitment. And I am not blind to the hurdles that stand in the way. But I want to emphasize: There is a path forward. It’s not as if there aren’t options, choices. And economists predict that the investment that we see in Egypt today could actually grow dramatically if each of these proposals are fully implemented and begin to take hold.

So first, more steps have to be taken in order to improve and sustain a welcoming investment climate. Now, I understand that the new investment law contains provisions to establish a one-stop shop for business registration. And that is something that we have been advocating and supporting for some time. It’s very difficult to come into anywhere, whatever country it is, and get run around from one ministry to another, no matter where you are, and wait month after month after month in order to try to get a decision and not get it. And that hurts investment, it scares investment, because capital needs to have a return, you need to get to work as fast as you can.

So the faster you get those decisions, which hopefully comes from a one-stop shop capacity, the easier you can move. And everybody knows that no country is immune to it. Wherever there is any kind of corruption in that process, that is a hurdle to the movement of capital and to the building of confidence. Of course, a solid bankruptcy piece of legislation is also a critical step that many investors tell us they want to see. And so we’re going to work with the Egyptian Government to try to streamline the decision-making as much as we humanly can affect it.

Second, intellectual property protections have to be strengthened. Better protection of trademarks and patents encourages innovation. It encourages investment, encourages job creation, and it will also shield the public from threats to safety and health from counterfeit goods or from things that haven’t been properly vetted. Strong intellectual property protections are really not a luxury in today’s global marketplace; they are essential to being able to build confidence and attract capital.

In addition, finally, entrepreneurs have got to be empowered to create jobs and grow their businesses. Egypt boasts a lot of very capable entrepreneurs; I’ve met many of them. Too many are still in the diaspora. They need to come back. And the confidence-building is critical to bringing them back. But people like Tanta Iqraaly, who has founded Recyclobekia, or – which recycles electronic waste – it’s a very smart idea; Mia Medhat, who founded Eventtos, which connects people throughout Cairo; the company Cairo Angels has invented – has invested, I think, in some eight startups just since 2012 alone.

But a lot more can clearly be done to unleash Egypt’s talent and investment, and I think all of you understand that. The government and the private sector need to work together to remove the barriers for entrepreneurs, and we pledge to work with you to help people to do that, to go from startup to maturity. And that includes making it easier to turn ideas into products and services that can transform the Egyptian economy.

We also understand that part of the essential ingredients of being able to innovate and being able to invest your capital freely and being able to do so with confidence and knowing that there is transparency and accountability – part of that is also having the freedom to exchange ideas, including when you disagree with your government. And the more inclusive and the more diverse and the more rules-based and accountable the political process is, the greater confidence the business community will have. We continue to talk about these imperatives with the Egyptian Government, and we look forward to seeing further progress in the fulfilment of the democratic aspirations of the people of Egypt.

Now, I know the reason that you’re here. It’s because every single one of you already sees and feels this promise of this great country, this country that has written so much history, been at the forefront of the development of so many of the things we take for granted in the world today, going back to the beginnings of civilization. I also know that many of you have voiced a need for greater transparency and accountability in the government’s engagement with the private sector. The Egypt Economic Development Conference – this conference is a significant step on the path to addressing that concern.

And let me emphasize: The United States, President Obama, myself – we are committed to working with you and with the government to address your concerns. Going forward, I promise you we’ll do everything we can to make it easier for you to create jobs, make it easier for you to build shared prosperity, while also contributing to a stronger and more fully positive relationship between the United States and Egypt. We will continue to work with Egypt, to bolster its economic reforms. We’re supporting the World Bank and the IMF efforts to provide technical expertise, which we know will also contribute to investor confidence. And we will continue to do our part in expanding opportunities for U.S. businesses in the Egyptian marketplace.

As leaders of some of America’s largest companies, those of you who are here, each of you really brings a unique perspective to this discussion and to these possibilities. We will be calling on every one of you in the days ahead. We will need the talent and commitment of everybody in this room, all the good ideas and all the commitment that comes from being on the front lines in order to realize the potential that is in front of us.

But let me just convince you of one simple thing: You can’t get – you can’t become the prisoners of a chicken-and-egg debate – which comes first, the chicken or the egg? If you sit there and say, “Well, I just want to wait a little longer to invest because I want to make sure that everything’s going to be quiet and run absolutely smoothly,” that may be the lack of the next job or the next opportunity that gives people the confidence to make sure the next opportunity comes. You have to make the decision to believe in Egypt as much as a lot of other people who are not Egyptian do. You have to commit to make certain that we’re attracting capital, that we’re investing in the future, because the more jobs that are created, the more people begin to see the movement towards that future, the more opportunities there are for those young people, the faster all the other things will be taken care of and the faster things will turn around.

So we need patience, we need focus, we need discipline, but above all, we need to believe in the future. And if we do, I’m absolutely confident of the role Egypt is going to play in helping to define that future. Thank you. (Applause.)

[i] Secretary meant to say Egypt, instead of Israel, as delivered.

Source:: Remarks at a Reception Hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce of Egypt

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Orange and Airtel join forces to enable international money transfers between Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, March 13, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — As of today, customers of Orange Money in Côte d’Ivoire can use their mobile phones to send money to customers of Airtel Money in Burkina Faso, and vice versa. This partnership between Orange (http://www.orange.com) and Airtel enables Orange customers, for the first time, to send and receive money to or from people based in a country outside the Group’s footprint. In addition, thanks to the interconnection between the two operators’ mobile money platforms, it is also the first time that people living in Burkina Faso will be able to send money to contacts in Côte d’Ivoire using their mobile phones.

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

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/photo-orange-money.jpg

This partnership builds on the existing “Orange Money International Transfer” offer, which enables Orange Money customers based in Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and Mali to carry out cross-border money transfers. Since its introduction in July 2013, the service has been a considerable success with over 200,000 users to date.

“Following the successful launch of Orange Money International Transfer between Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and Mali, we want to develop new ways to allow our customers to send and receive money between countries in the West African Economic and Monetary Union. We are very happy to launch this service between Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso, which meets one of the region’s biggest needs,” said Thierry Millet, Orange’s Senior VP Mobile Financial Services and NFC.

faster, easier and available anywhere

With “Orange Money International Transfer”, Orange Money customers can easily use their mobile phones to transfer electronic money in real-time. The customer simply connects to his or her Orange Money account on their mobile phone, and enters the recipient’s number and the amount to be sent. Funds are then immediately available in the mobile wallet of the beneficiary, who can then pay bills, purchase goods or make transfers from wherever they are, or make a withdrawal at any nearby Orange Money distribution point. The same applies to Airtel customers based in Burkina Faso using their own mobile wallets.

Orange Money is available in 13 countries in Africa and the Middle East and currently has over 13 million customers.

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 (http://www.orange.com) is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with sales of 39 billion euros in 2014 and 156,000 employees worldwide at 31 December 2014, including 99 400 employees in France. Present in 29 countries, the Group has a total customer base of 244 million customers worldwide at 31 December 2014, including 185 million mobile customers and 16 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.

Orange is listed on the NYSE 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: @orangegrouppr.

Orange and any other Orange product or service names included in this material are trademarks of Orange or Orange Brand Services Limited.

Source:: Orange and Airtel join forces to enable international money transfers between Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso

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FY 2015 Notice of Funding Opportunity for NGO Programs Benefiting Malian Refugees in Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Niger

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Funding Opportunity Announcement

Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration

March 11, 2015

Funding Opportunity Number: PRM-PRMOAPAF-15-011-051180

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number: 19.517 – Overseas Refugee Assistance Programs for Africa

Announcement issuance date: Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Proposal submission deadline: Friday, April 10, 2015, at 12:00 p.m. noon EDT. Proposals submitted after this deadline will not be considered.

**ADVISORY: All applicants must submit proposals through the website Grants.gov NOT through GrantsSolutions.gov. Please note that if you apply on the GrantSolutions.gov site, your application will be disqualified. PRM strongly recommends submitting your proposal early to allow time to address any difficulties that may arise.**

If you are new to PRM funding, the Grants.gov registration process can be complicated. We urge you to refer to PRM’s General NGO Guidelines “New to PRM Funding” section for information and resources to help ensure that the application process runs smoothly. PRM also strongly encourages organizations that have received funding from PRM in the past to read this section as a refresher.

Full Text of Notice of Funding Opportunity

A. Program Description

This announcement references PRM’s General NGO Guidelines which contain additional information on PRM’s priorities and NGO funding strategy with which selected organizations must comply. Please use both the General NGO Guidelines and this announcement to ensure that your submission is in full compliance with PRM requirements and that the proposed activities are in line with PRM’s priorities. Submissions that do not reflect the requirements outlined in these guidelines will not be considered.

Current Funding Priorities:

(a) Proposed activities should primarily support Malian refugees in refugee camps/zones in Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and/or Niger. Because of PRM’s mandate to provide protection, assistance, and sustainable solutions for refugees and victims of conflict, PRM will consider funding only those projects that include a target beneficiary base of at least 50 percent refugees.

(b) Proposals must focus on one or more of the following sectors (see PRM’s General NGO Guidelines for sector descriptions):

(i) Protection, including child protection, gender-based violence prevention and response, and/or prevention of recruitment by armed groups;

(ii) Livelihoods, in particular programs that rebuild household assets and/or foster refugees’ self-sufficiency; and/or

(iii) Education (primary only).

B. Federal Award Information

Proposed program start dates: August 1 – September 30, 2015

Duration of Activity: Program plans should not exceed 12 months.

Funding Limits: Project proposals must not be more than $700,000 per country or they will be disqualified.

C. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: (1) Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with IRS, other than institutions of higher education; (2) Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) status with IRS, other than institutions of higher education; and (3) International Organizations. International multilateral organizations, such as United Nations agencies, should not submit proposals through Grants.gov in response to this Notice of Funding Opportunity announcement. Multilateral organizations that are seeking funding for programs relevant to this announcement should contact the PRM Program Officer (as listed below) on or before the closing date of the funding announcement.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching: Cost sharing, matching, or cost participation is not a requirement of an application in response to this funding announcement.

3. Other:

(a) Proposals must have a concrete implementation plan with well-conceived objectives and indicators that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and reliable, time-bound, and trackable (SMART), have established baselines, and include at least one outcome or impact indicator per objective; objectives should be clearly linked to the sectors.

(b) Proposals must adhere to relevant international standards for humanitarian assistance. See PRM’s General NGO Guidelines for a complete list of sector-specific standards including new guidance on proposals for projects in urban areas.

(c) PRM strongly encourages programs that target the needs of potentially vulnerable and underserved groups among the beneficiary population (women; children; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex (LGBTI) individuals; older persons; the sick; persons with disabilities; and other minorities) and can demonstrate what steps have been taken to meet the specific and unique protection and assistance needs of these vulnerable groups effectively. NOTE: PRM partners must complete a gender analysis (see PRM proposal template, section 3a) that briefly analyzes (1) gender dynamics within the target population (i.e., roles, power dynamics, and different needs of men and women, girls and boys); (2) associated risks and implementation challenges for the project posed by those dynamics; and (3) how program activities will mitigate these protection risks and be made accessible to vulnerable groups (particularly women and girls). A gender analysis is a requirement prior to PRM making a final funding award.

(d) PRM will accept proposals from any NGO working in the above mentioned sectors although, given budgetary constraints, priority will be given to proposals from organizations that can demonstrate:

• a working relationship with UNHCR, current UNHCR funding, and/or a letter of support from UNHCR for the proposed activities and/or overall country program (this letter should highlight the gap in services the proposed program is designed to address);

• a proven track record in providing proposed assistance both in the sector and specified location;

• evidence of coordination with international organizations (IOs) and other NGOs working in the same area or sector as well as – where possible – local authorities;

• a strong transition plan, where feasible, involving local capacity-building;

• where applicable, adherence to PRM’s Principles for Refugee Protection in Urban Areas;

• an understanding of and sensitivity to conflict dynamics in the project location.

D. Application and Submission Instructions

1. Address to Request Application Package:

(a) Application packages may be downloaded from the website www.Grants.gov.

2. Content and Form of Application:

(a) PRM Standardized Indicators

Livelihoods: Proposals focusing on livelihoods in camp-based/returnee settings must include a minimum of one of the three following indicators and should try to include as many of the other indicators as are relevant:

• Number of project beneficiaries, disaggregated by gender and population (refugee, national) receiving training on appropriate skills as determined by market and livelihood assessments. This may include language and skills training, entrepreneurship building, financial literacy, business support services, job placement and apprenticeship schemes, and/or legal aid.

• Number and percentage of program participants, disaggregated by gender and population (refugee, national) reporting higher household income level by end of project period as compared to the pre-project baseline assessment.

• (Temporary Employment) Number of beneficiaries, disaggregated by gender and population (refugee, national) participating in cash or food for work programs.

Proposals should include custom livelihoods indicators in addition to the relevant standardized indicator(s).

Key Resources – Livelihoods

• USAID/OFDA Guidelines for Proposals, October 2012 (pgs. 82-96)

• Women’s Refugee Commission, Preventing Gender Based Violence, Building Livelihoods: Guidance and Tools for Improved Programming

• Minimum Economic Recovery Standards, 2nd ed. Washington, DC, USA: The SEEP Network, 2010. http://communities.seepnetwork.org/econrecovery

• Emergency Market Mapping and Analysis Toolkit. (EMMA) Practical Action Publishing. 2010. www.emmatoolkit.info (In French as of 2011.)

• Local Economic Recovery in Post-Conflict: Guidelines. Geneva: ILO, 2010.

http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—ed_emp/documents/instructionalmaterial/wcms_141270.pdf

(b) Proposals must be submitted via Grants.gov (not via GrantSolutions.gov). If you are new to PRM funding, the Grants.gov registration process can be complicated. We urge you to refer to PRM’s General NGO Guidelines “New to PRM Funding” section for information and resources to help ensure that the application process runs smoothly. PRM also strongly encourages organizations that have received funding from PRM in the past to read this section as a refresher. Applicants may also refer to the “Applicant Resources” page on Grants.gov for complete details on requirements (http://test.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/applicant-resources.html).

(c) Do not wait until the last minute to submit your application on Grants.gov. Organizations not registered with Grants.gov should register well in advance of the deadline as it can take up to two weeks to finalize registration (sometimes longer for non-U.S. based NGOs to get the required registration numbers). To register with Grants.gov, organizations must first receive a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and register with the System for Award Management (SAM) at www.sam.gov which can take weeks and sometimes months. We recommend that organizations, particularly first-time applicants, submit applications via Grants.gov no later than one week before the deadline to avoid last-minute technical difficulties that could result in an application not being considered. PRM partners must maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which they have an active federal award or an application under consideration by PRM or any federal agency.

(d) To register with Grants.gov, organizations must 1) receive a DUNS number; 2) register with the System for Award Management (SAM); 3) register with Grants.gov; and 4) designate points of contact and authorized organization representatives in Grants.gov. Organizations based outside the United States must also request and receive an NCAGE code prior to registering with SAM.gov.

(e) Applications must be submitted under the authority of the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) at the applicant organization. Having proposals submitted by agency headquarters helps to avoid possible technical problems.

(f) If you encounter technical difficulties with Grants.gov please contact the Grants.gov Help Desk at support@grants.gov or by calling 1-800-518-4726. Applicants who are unable to submit applications via Grants.gov due to Grants.gov technical difficulties and who have reported the problem to the Grants.gov help desk, received a case number, and had a service request opened to research the problem, should contact the relevant PRM Program Officer to determine whether an alternative method of submission is appropriate.

(g) It is the responsibility of each applicant to ensure the appropriate registrations are in place and active. Failure to have the appropriate organizational registrations in place is not considered a technical difficulty and is not justification for an alternate means of submission.

(h) Pursuant to U.S. Code, Title 218, Section 1001, stated on OMB Standard Form 424 (SF-424), the Department of State is authorized to consolidate the certifications and assurances required by Federal law or regulations for its federal assistance programs. The list of certifications and assurances can be found at: https://www.statebuy.state.gov/fa/Documents/Listofoverseascertsandassurances.pdf.

3. Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number and System for Award Management (SAM)

Each applicant is required to: (i) be registered in SAM before submitting its application; (ii) provide a valid DUNS number in its application; and (iii) continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active PRM award or an application or plan under consideration by PRM. No federal award may be made to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable DUNS and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time the PRM award is ready to be made, PRM may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a PRM award and use that determination as a basis for making a PRM award to another applicant.

4. Submission Dates and Times

Announcement issuance date: Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Proposal submission deadline: Friday, April 10, 2015, at 12:00 p.m. noon EDT.

5. Intergovernmental Review – Not Applicable.

6. Funding Restrictions. Federal awards will not allow reimbursement of Federal Award costs without prior authorization by PRM.

7. Other Submission Requirements

Content and Formatting

(a) This announcement is designed to accompany PRM’s General NGO Guidelines which contain additional administrative information on proposal content and formatting, and explain in detail PRM’s NGO funding strategy and priorities. Please use both the General NGO Guidelines and this announcement to ensure that your proposal submission is in full compliance with PRM requirements and that the proposed activities are in line with PRM’s priorities. Proposal submissions that do not meet all of the requirements outlined in these guidelines will not be considered.

(b) PRM strongly recommends using the proposal and budget templates that are available upon email request from PRM’s NGO Coordinator. Please send an email, with the phrase “PRM NGO Templates” in the subject line, to PRM’s NGO Coordinator to receive an automated reply with the templates. Single-year proposals using PRM’s templates must be no more than 20 pages in length (Times New Roman 12 point font, one inch margins on all sides). If the applicant does not use PRM’s recommended templates, proposals must not exceed 15 pages in length. Organizations may choose to attach work plans, activity calendars, and/or logical frameworks as addendums/appendices to the proposal. These attachments do not count toward the page limit total however annexes cannot be relied upon as a key source of program information. The proposal narrative must be able to stand on its own in the application process. For multi-year funding application instructions, see section (e) below.

(c) To be considered for PRM funding, organizations must submit a complete application package including:

• Proposal reflecting objectives and indicators for the program period.

• Budget and budget narrative for the program period.

• Signed completed SF-424.

(d) In addition, proposal submissions to PRM should include the following information:

• Focus on outcome or impact indicators as much as possible. At a minimum, each objective should have one outcome or impact indicator. Wherever possible, baselines should be established before the start of the project.

• To increase PRM’s ability to track the impact of PRM funding, include specific information on locations of projects and beneficiaries (GPS coordinates if possible).

• Proposals should outline how the NGO will acknowledge PRM funding. If an organization believes that publicly acknowledging the receipt of USG funding for a particular PRM-funded project could potentially endanger the lives of the beneficiaries and/or the organization staff, invite suspicion about the organization’s motives, or alienate the organization from the population it is trying to help, it must provide a brief explanation in its proposal as to why it should be exempted from this requirement.

• The budget should include a specific breakdown of funds being provided by UNHCR, other USG agencies, other donors, and your own organization.

• Applicants whose proposals address gender-based violence (GBV) through their projects must estimate the total cost of these activities as a separate line item in their proposed budgets. PRM’s budget template document has been updated to reflect this requirement.

• Gender analysis (See above. Required before an award can be made).

• Copy of the organization’s Code of Conduct (required before an award can be made).

• Copy of the organization’s Security Plan (required before an award can be made).

• Proposals and budgets should include details of any sub-agreements associated with the program.

• Most recent Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA), if applicable.

• NGOs that have not received PRM funding since the U.S. government fiscal year ending September 30, 2004 must be prepared to demonstrate that they meet the financial and accounting requirements of the U.S. government by submitting copies of 1) the most recent external financial audit, 2) proof of non-profit tax status including under IRS 501 (c)(3), as applicable, 3) a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, and 4) an Employer ID (EIN)/Federal Tax Identification number.

• Organizations that received PRM funding in FY 2014 for activities that are being proposed for funding under this announcement must include the most recent quarterly progress report against indicators outlined in the cooperative agreement. If an organization’s last quarterly report was submitted more than six weeks prior to the submission of a proposal in response to this funding announcement, the organization must include, with its most recent quarterly report, updates that show any significant progress made on objectives since the last report.

(e) Branding and Marking Strategy: Unless exceptions have been approved by the designated bureau Authorizing Official as described in the proposal templates that are available upon email request from PRM’s NGO Coordinator, at a minimum, the following provision will be included whenever assistance is awarded:

• As a condition of receipt of this assistance award, all materials produced pursuant to the award, including training materials, materials for recipients or materials to communicate or promote with foreign audiences a program, event, project, or some other activity under this agreement, including but not limited to invitations to events, press materials, event backdrops, podium signs, etc. must be marked appropriately with the standard U.S. flag in a size and prominence equal to (or greater than) any other logo or identity.

o Subrecipients and subsequent tier sub-award agreements are subject to the marking requirements and the recipient shall include a provision in the subrecipient agreement indicating that the standard, rectangular U.S. flag is a requirement. In the event the recipient does not comply with the marking requirements as established in the approved assistance agreement, the Grants Officer Representative and the Grants Officer must initiate corrective action.

E. Application Review Information

1. Criteria: Eligible submissions will be those that comply with the criteria and requirements included in this announcement. In addition, the review panel will evaluate the proposals based on the following criteria:

(i) Problem Analysis

(ii) Program Description

(iii) Objectives and Indicators

(iv) Monitoring and Evaluation Plan

(v) Beneficiary Interaction and Capacity Building

(vi) Coordination with other Stakeholders

(vii) Transition Plan

(viii) Management Capacity

(ix) Budget

2. PRM will conduct a formal competitive review of all proposals submitted in response to this funding announcement. A review panel of at least three people will evaluate submissions based on the above-referenced programmatic criteria and PRM priorities in the context of available funding.

F. Federal Award Administration Information

1. Federal Award Administration. A successful applicant can expect to receive a separate notice from PRM stating that an application has been selected before PRM actually makes the federal award. That notice is not an authorization to begin performance. Only the notice of award signed by the grants officer is the authorizing document. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified following completion of the selection and award process.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements. PRM awards are made consistent with the following provisions in the following order of precedence: (a) applicable laws and statutes of the United States, including any specific legislative provisions mandated in the statutory authority for the award; (b) Code of Federal Regulations (CFR); (c) Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions of the award; (d) the award’s specific requirements; and (e) other documents and attachments to the award.

3. Reporting

(a) Program Reports: PRM requires program reports describing and analyzing the results of activities undertaken during the validity period of the agreement. A program report is required within thirty (30) days following the end of each three month period of performance during the validity period of the agreement. The final program report is due ninety (90) days following the end of the agreement. The submission dates for program reports will be written into the cooperative agreement. Partners receiving multi-year awards should follow this same reporting schedule and should still submit a final program report at the end of each year that summarizes the NGO’s performance during the previous year.

The Performance Progress Report (SF-PPR) is a standard, government-wide performance reporting format available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/OMB/grants/approved_forms/sf-ppr.pdf. Recipients of PRM funding must submit the signed SF-PPR cover page with each program report. In addition, the Bureau suggests that NGOs receiving PRM funding use the PRM recommended program report template and reference this template as being attached in block 10 of the SF-PPR. This template is designed to ease the reporting requirements while ensuring that all required elements are addressed. The Program Report Template can be requested by sending an email with only the phrase “PRM NGO Templates” (without the quotation marks) in the subject line to PRMNGOCoordinator@state.gov.

Successful applicants will be required to submit:

(a) Financial Reports: Financial reports are required within thirty (30) days following the end of each calendar year quarter during the validity period of the agreement (January 30th, April 30th, July 30th, October 30th). The final financial report covering the entire period of the agreement is required within ninety (90) days after the expiration date of the agreement. For agreements containing indirect costs, final financial reports are due within sixty (60) days of the finalization of the applicable negotiated indirect cost rate agreement (NICRA).

Reports reflecting expenditures for the recipient’s overseas and United States offices should be completed in accordance with the Federal Financial Report (FFR SF-425) and submitted electronically in the Department of Health and Human Services’ Payment Management System (HHS/PMS) and in accordance with other award specific requirements. Detailed information pertaining to the Federal Financial Report including due dates, instruction manuals and access forms, is provided on the HHS/PMS website at http://www.dpm.psc.gov/grant_recipient/ffr_info/ffr_info.aspx.

For more details regarding reporting requirements please see PRM’s General NGO Guidelines.

G. PRM Contacts

Applicants with technical questions related to this announcement should contact the PRM staff listed below prior to proposal submission. Please note that responses to technical questions from PRM do not indicate a commitment to fund the program discussed.

PRM Program Officer: Cathy Baroang (BaroangCA@state.gov, +1-202-453-9381) Washington, D.C.

Regional Refugee Coordinator: Skye Justice (JusticeSS@state.gov, + 221 33 879 4049) U.S. Embassy, Dakar, Senegal.

Source:: FY 2015 Notice of Funding Opportunity for NGO Programs Benefiting Malian Refugees in Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Niger

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African Union, ECOWAS, European Union and United Nations Joint Security Sector Assessment Mission to Guinea-Bissau

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, March 13, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — An African Union (AU) led Joint Security Sector Assessment Mission (JAM) to Guinea-Bissau was conducted on 2 – 12 March 2015. The mission was carried out upon request by the Government of Guinea-Bissau, and comprised of representatives from the AU, the United Nations (UN), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the European Union (EU), the African Security Sector Network (ASSN) and the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP). The mission was led by Ambassador Ovidio Pequeno, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission (SRCC) and Head of the AU Liaison Office to Guinea-Bissau.

The mission offered an opportunity to assess the current status of security sector reform initiatives with a view to arriving at a common understanding of the fundamental sectors involved in the reform process. In particular, the mission aimed at making recommendations on the gaps, deficiencies as well as opportunities to assist the Government of Guinea-Bissau in its efforts towards the reform of the country’s security institutions in line with national priorities, the AU Policy Framework on SSR and UN Security Council resolution 2203 (2015). The mission observed that the Government and people of Guinea Bissau are committed to security sector reform, and noted the important steps already taken by the Government and the international community in this regard. The recommendations of the mission will align with existing security sector reform guidance developed by the AU, the UN and ECOWAS to improve accountability, efficiency, effectiveness and responsiveness to democratic control of security institutions in Guinea-Bissau.

In the course of its work, the mission consulted with a wide range of national authorities and international partners, including President Jose Mario Vaz and Prime Minister Domingos Simões Pereira, other high-level Government officials and the civil society, including traditional leaders. The President highlighted the need for security and justice to reinforce socio-economic development The Prime Minister commended the support already being extended to Guinea Bissau by the international community in this regard. The mission also met with high level officials in the defence, security and justice sectors.

On 11 March, the mission conducted a one-day combined consultation workshop with representatives of all security sector stakeholders to brainstorm and consolidate the findings and recommendations. The workshop was opened by the Minister of National Defence, Cadi Seide. The JAM was considered to be timely as it coincides with the final stages of the country’s preparation for an International Roundtable with partners scheduled for 25 March 2015 in Brussels, at which security sector reform will feature prominently.

The Joint Security Sector Reform Team is now in the process of preparing the mission report that will be shared with the Government of Guinea-Bissau for consideration on the way forward, and with the various partners for their support. The AU remains committed to work with the international community to support security sector reform as one of the key components for building sustainable peace and development in the Republic of Guinea-Bissau.

Source:: African Union, ECOWAS, European Union and United Nations Joint Security Sector Assessment Mission to Guinea-Bissau

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