Cameroon receives US$1 million grant from United Nations agency to promote aquaculture entrepreneurship

The Republic of Cameroon and the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) signed an agreement today to finance the Aquaculture Entrepreneurship Promotion Project (PPEA) that will help to establish over 300 small enterprises in the fish farming sector. Thirty per cent of these enterprises will be managed by women and 50 per cent by young people. In total, the new project is expected to create 1,500 new jobs.

The total cost of the new project is US$3.3 million. The funding includes a $1 million IFAD grant as well as a $2.3 million contribution from the government. The agreement was signed in Rome by Taiga, Minister of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries of the Republic of Cameroon, and by Périn Saint Ange, Associate Vice President of IFAD in charge of Progammes Management Department.

Currently in Cameroon, fish production does not meet domestic demand estimated at 400,000 tonnes due to lack of fishing equipment and qualified fishers. As a consequence, the country imports more than 200,000 tonnes of fish products per year for national consumption.

PPEA will pilot, at a small scale, the implementation of the Sustainable Aquaculture Development Plan for Cameroon. It aims to promote profitable aquaculture enterprises that create jobs in the South, Littoral and Centre regions of the country.

“Aquaculture can help to increase the incomes of rural populations, improve their livelihood and reduce poverty in rural areas,” said Bernard Mwinyel Hien, IFAD Representative and Country Programme Manager for Cameroon. “One of the innovations in this new project is that it applies a business incubator approach that nurtures entrepreneurialism and supports the development of new enterprises.”

The project will help to develop partnerships among those involved in the fish farming sector, including the private sector which plays a role in the production, processing and marketing of fish.

Implemented by the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries, the project will also help fishers access adequate training and advisory support services.

Since 1981, IFAD has invested a total of $142.1 million in 10 programmes and projects in Cameroon. This has generated a total investment of $371.0 million, benefiting 578,400 households.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of International Fund for Agricultural Developmen (IFAD).

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Source:: Cameroon receives US$1 million grant from United Nations agency to promote aquaculture entrepreneurship

Categories: AFRICA

IOM Builds Capacity to Combat Human Trafficking in Mauritius

IOM Mauritius, in partnership with UNODC and Mauritius’ Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions organized a US-funded training on combating human trafficking on 27 and 28 January in Port Louis.

Some 25 participants included representatives of the Mauritian Police Force, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Ministry of Labour and Employment, and Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare.

The training focused on victim identification, investigation and prosecution. It also discussed ways to improve coordination between government stakeholders involved in counter-trafficking activities.

Director of Public Prosecutions Satyajit Boolell opened the training, noting that are many challenges in addressing human trafficking in Mauritius. They include the need to better protect the victims and to prosecute perpetrators.

US Ambassador in Mauritius Shari Villarosa highlighted the vulnerability of minors working in the sex trade, as well as migrant workers in the textile industry.

Mauritius is a source, transit, and destination country for trafficked men, women, and children. But the government is making significant efforts to comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. A strong commitment from all stakeholders is highly needed to improve the situation.

IOM Mauritius Head of Office Timon Van Lidth said: “We need as much as possible to join our competencies, resources and efforts in order to combat human trafficking effectively. The very close collaboration that has led to this training is a good example of how we can work and achieve positive results together.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of International Office of Migration (IOM).

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Source:: IOM Builds Capacity to Combat Human Trafficking in Mauritius

Categories: AFRICA

Two Eritrean Refugees Die in Traffic Accident in Ethiopia

IOM Ethiopia says that it deeply regrets the death of two refugees in a tragic highway accident that occurred on Wednesday (27/1) afternoon near Mekele in Ethiopia.

The accident happened when a group of 57 Tigrinya-speaking refugees from Eritrea was being transported by bus from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to Shire, a refugee camp in northern Ethiopia.

Besides the two people killed, three were seriously injured and four more suffered minor injuries and were taken to a local hospital for monitoring. The seriously injured passengers were evacuated to a hospital in Maicho, about 80 kilometers from the crash site.

The group had come to Addis Ababa with an IOM escort to complete medical assessments required for resettlement in Canada and were returning to the refugee camp when the accident occurred.

Eyewitnesses said that the accident occurred when a tire burst on a wet highway, causing the 45-seater bus to roll over.

Gabriel Okutoi, an operations official for IOM in Addis Ababa, said that a second bus in the two-bus convoy was not involved in the crash and that no IOM staff were injured.

The Shire refugee camp has a population of 110,956 and many refugees living there have been waiting years for resettlement abroad.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of International Office of Migration (IOM).

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Source:: Two Eritrean Refugees Die in Traffic Accident in Ethiopia

Categories: AFRICA

Seychelles deepens ties during bilateral in the margins of the African Union Summit

The Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport, Mr Joël Morgan, has said the Seychelles Government is committed to improving its institutions and actively tackling issues of income inequality.

Speaking to the Secretary General of the International Institute of Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), the Minister said that the central goal of all engagements was to improve the quality of life for the Seychellois people, which is why the Ministry is keen to engage with institutions like the IDEA.

“Seychelles is proud to have moved up in the rankings of the Corruptions Perception Index this week, and we are making strides towards strengthening our national institutions, through an Independent Anti Corruption Commission and a national Human Rights Commission,” said the Minister

“There is always much to be gained in the pursuit of a vibrant democracy.”

Minister Morgan met with Secretary General Mr Yves Leterme in the sidelines of the 28th Executive Council of the African Union in Addis Ababa today.

The IDEA, an intergovernmental organisation specialising in sustainable democracy, has been previously engaged with the Seychelles Electoral Commission and has reached out to explore further engagements with the Government.

As part of his bilateral engagements, Minister Morgan also met with the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr Yerzhan Ashikbayev, and the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Georgia, Mr David Jalagania, to discuss growing opportunities for deepening cooperation and trade.

Minister Morgan extended a special thanks to the Georgian Minister for their Government’s extension of the visa period for travelling Seychellois, from 30 days visa free entry to one year.

The Minister said it was a reflection of the high esteem and confidence the Georgian authorities had in the Seychellois people.

The Seychelles delegation to the African Union Summit also includes the Permanent Representative to the African Union, Amb. Joseph Nourrice, the Principal Counsellor in the Seychelles Embassy in Addis Ababa, Mrs. Amanda Bernstein, and Third Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Transport, Ms Lorraine Faure.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Seychelles.

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Source:: Seychelles deepens ties during bilateral in the margins of the African Union Summit

Categories: AFRICA

African Islands Meet at the AU Summit

The Foreign Ministers of the Island States of the African Union met within the margins of the on-going 28th Executive Council of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to consolidate the position of the islands on the African Union programme of work.

The Ministers of Seychelles, Cabo Verde, Sao Tomé and Principé and the representatives of Madagascar and Mauritius discussed numerous issues of importance, which included the implementation of Agenda 2063, the SAMOA Pathway, the decisions of COP-21 and the fight against climate change, and the management of African seas and oceans – namely the Blue Economy.

“It is important that this informal group keep our positions aligned on these important issues for the benefit of our people, and speak with one voice,” said the Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport, Mr. Joël Morgan

“We are not many [islands] on the continent and we are spread on both sides of the continent so we always strive to ensure that we make the most of all opportunities to meet. We have learnt from past experience that we are stronger together.”

During this session, Seychelles also ceded the Chairmanship of this group to the Foreign Minister of Cabo Verde, Mr. Jorge Tolentino, for the year 2016.

Minister Tolentino made a proposal for the group to engage in deeper discussions on the issues faced by African island states in a more formal setting in the future, and invited his fellow Ministers to attend a stand alone meeting for African islands in Cabo Verde in June 2016.

Other issues discussed included the need for a renewed commitment to the adoption of renewable energy sources over fossil fuels, the rise of natural disasters experienced on the continent, and the candidatures of the island states in key organisations and committees.

The Seychelles delegation, led by Minister Morgan, is currently in Addis Ababa attending the 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union, and includes the Permanent Representative to the African Union, Amb. Joseph Nourrice, the Principal Counsellor in the Seychelles Embassy in Addis Ababa, Mrs. Amanda Bernstein, Third Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Transport, Ms. Lorraine Faure, and the Consultant to the Minister, Mr. Raymond St Ange.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Seychelles.

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Source:: African Islands Meet at the AU Summit

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African Islands Meet at the AU Summit

The Foreign Ministers of the Island States of the African Union met within the margins of the on-going 28th Executive Council of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to consolidate the position of the islands on the African Union programme of work.

The Ministers of Seychelles, Cabo Verde, Sao Tomé and Principé and the representatives of Madagascar and Mauritius discussed numerous issues of importance, which included the implementation of Agenda 2063, the SAMOA Pathway, the decisions of COP-21 and the fight against climate change, and the management of African seas and oceans – namely the Blue Economy.

“It is important that this informal group keep our positions aligned on these important issues for the benefit of our people, and speak with one voice,” said the Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport, Mr. Joël Morgan

“We are not many [islands] on the continent and we are spread on both sides of the continent so we always strive to ensure that we make the most of all opportunities to meet. We have learnt from past experience that we are stronger together.”

During this session, Seychelles also ceded the Chairmanship of this group to the Foreign Minister of Cabo Verde, Mr. Jorge Tolentino, for the year 2016.

Minister Tolentino made a proposal for the group to engage in deeper discussions on the issues faced by African island states in a more formal setting in the future, and invited his fellow Ministers to attend a stand alone meeting for African islands in Cabo Verde in June 2016.

Other issues discussed included the need for a renewed commitment to the adoption of renewable energy sources over fossil fuels, the rise of natural disasters experienced on the continent, and the candidatures of the island states in key organisations and committees.

The Seychelles delegation, led by Minister Morgan, is currently in Addis Ababa attending the 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union, and includes the Permanent Representative to the African Union, Amb. Joseph Nourrice, the Principal Counsellor in the Seychelles Embassy in Addis Ababa, Mrs. Amanda Bernstein, Third Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Transport, Ms. Lorraine Faure, and the Consultant to the Minister, Mr. Raymond St Ange.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Seychelles.

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Source:: African Islands Meet at the AU Summit

Seychelles Ambassador Accredited to Switzerland

Ambassador Selby Pillay has presented his credentials to the Federal President of the Swiss Confederation, Johann Schneider- Ammann at a ceremony in the Federal Palace in Bern.

Ambassador Pillay conveyed President James Michel’s warm greetings and congratulations following President Schneider-Ammann’s assumption of office on the 1st of January 2016. The Swiss President reciprocate and also conveyed his congratulations to President Michel following his victory in the Seychelles’ general elections.

President Johann Schneider-Ammann expressed his desire to visit Seychelles and also praised Seychelles’ advocacy role at the COP21, as well as the state’s track record and efforts to combat climate change. The Swiss President also noted with interested to learn more of recent developments in the tourism and fisheries industries; and what would be Seychelles priority as a member of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, and how the Pacte linguistique was being implemented.

Ambassador Pillay took the opportunity to identify avenues of future mutually beneficial cooperation between both Governments and the people of Switzerland. In particular, the possibility of Switzerland providing French instructors for local schools; an idea which President Schneider-Ammann was open to.

During his accreditation visit Ambassador Selby Pillay also has bilateral meetings with Ambassador Anne Lougon-Moulin, Head of the Sub-Saharan Africa Division and Mr Maurizio Salvatori,Deputy Regional Director & Desk Officer for Seychelles, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

Ambassador Pillay expressed his desire for collaboration between the University of Seychelles and institutions in Switzerland at Cantonal level, the need for a modernised Air Services Agreement between the two nations, the need for a Double Taxation Agreement and a targeted approach to increase tourism arrivals from Switzerland.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Seychelles.

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Source:: Seychelles Ambassador Accredited to Switzerland

Categories: AFRICA

Invitation to a technical background briefing on EUFOR RCA

You are invited to a technical background briefing on EUFOR RCA. The briefing will take place at the EEAS building, Rond-Point Schuman 9, on 29 January at 15:00.

Due to limited space, please confirm if you will be able to attend

Accreditation for this briefing will be given on a first-come, first-served basis.

For journalists only

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

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Source:: Invitation to a technical background briefing on EUFOR RCA

Categories: AFRICA

Statement by the spokesperson on alleged wrongdoings by EUFOR RCA’s personnel in Central African Rep

On 19 January 2016, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights informed the EU about allegations of possible sexual exploitation and abuse by some operation personnel of EUFOR RCA, which closed in March 2015.

These alleged incidents appeared to have occurred in Bangui (Central African Republic) in the course of 2014.

The EU takes these allegations very seriously. The EU is committed to human rights, protection of victims of sexual abuse and to fighting against impunity.

EEAS headquarters immediately offered assistance to the UN High Commissioner and his team, as well as to the States potentially concerned, to cooperate on the follow-up of these alleged wrongdoings.

The EU has sent an expert to discuss cooperation modalities in these proceedings with the Office of the High Commissioner. The EEAS is also reviewing any information pertaining to EUFOR RCA that could prove relevant.
The EU follows a zero-tolerance policy as regards sexual misconduct or criminal activity. All EU Missions and Operations’ documents and instructions include strict rules aimed at preventing such misbehaviour. These documents also aim at ensuring that competent national judiciary authorities effectively investigate any incidents.

According to EU missions and operations’ rules, responsibility for any investigation, disciplinary or criminal action remains in the hands of the contributing States.

The EEAS informed EU Member States and is in contact with troop contributing States concerned for cooperation.

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

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Source:: Statement by the spokesperson on alleged wrongdoings by EUFOR RCA’s personnel in Central African Rep

Categories: AFRICA

More allegations of sexual abuse of children by foreign soldiers in the Central African Republic

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said Friday he was extremely alarmed at continuing allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse of minors in the Central African Republic (CAR) by members of foreign military forces. The alleged crimes mostly took place in 2014, but only came to light in recent weeks.

A joint UN team in the CAR recently interviewed a number of girls who said they had been sexually exploited or abused by foreign soldiers.

Four of the girls said their abusers were attached to contingents operating as part of the European Union operation (EUFOR / CAR). Two of the girls interviewed said they were raped by EUFOR soldiers, and the two other girls said they were paid to have sexual relationships with other EUFOR soldiers. While the nationalities of some of the soldiers remain unclear, three of the girls said they believed their abusers were members of the Georgian EUFOR contingent. The four girls were aged between 14 and 16 at the time of the alleged abuse.

UN human rights staff also interviewed a girl and a boy who were aged 7 and 9 respectively when they were allegedly abused in 2014 by French Sangaris troops. The girl said she had performed oral sex on French soldiers in exchange for a bottle of water and a sachet of cookies. Both she and the nine-year-old boy said that other children were abused in a similar fashion in repeated incidents involving several French soldiers.

All six cases involving non-UN foreign military forces took place in, or near, the M’Poko camp for displaced people next to the airport in the capital, Bangui.

High Commissioner Zeid last week raised the cases with the European, Georgian and French authorities, as well as with another country on a similar allegation for which additional corroboration is needed. All four authorities have promptly responded to the High Commissioner and stated that they have already begun investigations or referred the cases to relevant judicial authorities in their respective countries.

“These are extremely serious accusations and it is crucial that these cases are thoroughly and urgently investigated,” the High Commissioner said. “I am heartened at the initial responses we have received from the countries concerned, as well as from the European Union, which show they take these terrible allegations very seriously. We will continue to closely follow up on these cases, and any others which emerge as the UN team on the ground continues its investigations. Far too many of these crimes continue to go unpunished, with the perpetrators enjoying full impunity. This simply encourages further violations. States have an obligation to investigate, prosecute and ensure that the victims receive the redress to which they are entitled. As more and more cases emerge, implicating more and more national contingents, it is also clear that all foreign military forces, whether UN or non-UN, must employ much stronger and more effective actions to prevent further abuse and exploitation – and not just in CAR.”

While the cases raised by the High Commissioner relate to non-UN military forces, a number of cases involving UN peacekeepers also came to light during the interviews carried out by the joint UN team. Those cases are being raised separately with the relevant Troop Contributing Countries by UN Peacekeeping (DFS / DPKO), in accordance with the standard policy of UN headquarters in New York.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

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Source:: More allegations of sexual abuse of children by foreign soldiers in the Central African Republic

Categories: AFRICA

More allegations of sexual abuse of children by foreign soldiers in the Central African Republic

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said Friday he was extremely alarmed at continuing allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse of minors in the Central African Republic (CAR) by members of foreign military forces. The alleged crimes mostly took place in 2014, but only came to light in recent weeks.

A joint UN team in the CAR recently interviewed a number of girls who said they had been sexually exploited or abused by foreign soldiers.

Four of the girls said their abusers were attached to contingents operating as part of the European Union operation (EUFOR / CAR). Two of the girls interviewed said they were raped by EUFOR soldiers, and the two other girls said they were paid to have sexual relationships with other EUFOR soldiers. While the nationalities of some of the soldiers remain unclear, three of the girls said they believed their abusers were members of the Georgian EUFOR contingent. The four girls were aged between 14 and 16 at the time of the alleged abuse.

UN human rights staff also interviewed a girl and a boy who were aged 7 and 9 respectively when they were allegedly abused in 2014 by French Sangaris troops. The girl said she had performed oral sex on French soldiers in exchange for a bottle of water and a sachet of cookies. Both she and the nine-year-old boy said that other children were abused in a similar fashion in repeated incidents involving several French soldiers.

All six cases involving non-UN foreign military forces took place in, or near, the M’Poko camp for displaced people next to the airport in the capital, Bangui.

High Commissioner Zeid last week raised the cases with the European, Georgian and French authorities, as well as with another country on a similar allegation for which additional corroboration is needed. All four authorities have promptly responded to the High Commissioner and stated that they have already begun investigations or referred the cases to relevant judicial authorities in their respective countries.

“These are extremely serious accusations and it is crucial that these cases are thoroughly and urgently investigated,” the High Commissioner said. “I am heartened at the initial responses we have received from the countries concerned, as well as from the European Union, which show they take these terrible allegations very seriously. We will continue to closely follow up on these cases, and any others which emerge as the UN team on the ground continues its investigations. Far too many of these crimes continue to go unpunished, with the perpetrators enjoying full impunity. This simply encourages further violations. States have an obligation to investigate, prosecute and ensure that the victims receive the redress to which they are entitled. As more and more cases emerge, implicating more and more national contingents, it is also clear that all foreign military forces, whether UN or non-UN, must employ much stronger and more effective actions to prevent further abuse and exploitation – and not just in CAR.”

While the cases raised by the High Commissioner relate to non-UN military forces, a number of cases involving UN peacekeepers also came to light during the interviews carried out by the joint UN team. Those cases are being raised separately with the relevant Troop Contributing Countries by UN Peacekeeping (DFS / DPKO), in accordance with the standard policy of UN headquarters in New York.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

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Source:: More allegations of sexual abuse of children by foreign soldiers in the Central African Republic

Categories: AFRICA

NEPAD Heads of State and Government Summit & Press Briefing Chaired by President Macky Sall

WHAT: Media is invited to attend the official opening of the 34th NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC) meeting at the 26th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The HSGOC meeting will be followed by a press after the closing ceremony chaired by President of Senegal, H.E. Macky Sall.

WHEN: Friday, 29 January 2016

Opening of HSGOC meeting: 10:00 – 10:30

Press Briefing: 13:00 – 13:30

WHO:

OPENING CEREMONY

Statement of welcome to H.E. John P. MAGUFULI, President of United Republic of Tanzania

Statement – H.E. Robert MUGABE, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Chairperson of the African Union

Statement – H.E. Dr. Nkosazana DLAMINI ZUMA, Chairperson of African Union Commission

Opening Statement – H.E. Macky SALL, President of the Republic of Senegal and Chairperson of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC)

Press briefing:

Chair – H.E. Macky SALL, President of the Republic of Senegal and Chairperson of the HSGOC

H.E. Dr. Ibrahim MAYAKI, NEPAD Agency Chief Executive Officer and Interim CEO of African Peer Review Mechanism

WHERE: Medium Conference Hall, African Union Conference Centre (AUCC)

Press briefing: Medium Conference Hall, AUCC

Background Information:

Twenty African leaders who make up the membership of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee – HSGOC will meet in the Ethiopian Capital Addis Ababa ahead of the 26th AU Summit. The HSGOC provides leadership to the NEPAD process and sets policies, priorities and the programmes of action. The 20-member committee includes the five founding countries of NEPAD – Senegal, South Africa, Nigeria, Algeria and Egypt.

On the agenda:

Progress Report on NEPAD Presidential Infrastructure Championship Initiative – H.E. Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa

Skills and Migration – UN Economic Commission for Africa Executive Secretary – Dr. Carlos Lopes

NEPAD’s role in the implementation of Agenda 2063 – Infrastructure, Agriculture, Energy

Africa’s Partnerships Engagements

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Source:: NEPAD Heads of State and Government Summit & Press Briefing Chaired by President Macky Sall

Categories: AFRICA