Angola National Day

WASHINGTON, November 11, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
November 10, 2014

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Angola as…

Foreign Secretary condemns suicide bomb attack on school in Nigeria

LONDON, United-Kingdom, November 11, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Following reports of a suicide attack this morning on a school in North East Nigeria, the Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, condemned the attack and expressed his support for Nigeria.

“I am horrified to hear about the suicide bomb attack today that has killed a large number of students at a school in North East Nigeria, and injured many more. I condemn those responsible for this appalling act and hope they are swiftly brought to justice.

“I offer the British government’s deepest condolences to the bereaved and those who have suffered injury. We will continue to work closely with the Nigerian government to help them tackle the threat from terrorism.”

Gemalto survey in Africa: 80% voice interest for mobile marketing if in line with “right person, right message, right moment” golden rule

AFRICACOM, South Africa, November 11, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Gemalto (Euronext NL 0000400653 GTO) (http://www.gemalto.com), the world leader in digital security, is releasing the results of a new survey conducted by Ifop in South Africa and Nigeria on consumers’ perceptions of mobile marketing. The findings reveal that although 80% of respondents feel annoyed when receiving unsolicited messages, the same proportion could be won back by operators and brands if they implemented best practices to improve customer engagement.

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The survey clearly highlights that consumers in South Africa and in Nigeria share the same desire to be in control of the mobile marketing campaigns they receive: 83% of respondents consider that mobile marketing should be permission-based and 90% want to be able to easily identify the sender. They also want messages to be relevant to them and there is room for improvement in this respect as nearly 70% said they received promotional messages not in line with their interests. Consumers also want tangible benefits: 53% of South Africans expect, in order of preference, immediate discounts, loyalty benefits, and the possibility to collect points and gifts.

In conclusion, the survey indicates that there is a clear and strong potential for mobile marketing in Africa, provided mobile operators and marketers implement the golden rules: right person, right message, and right moment. If the end user is given control to opt in, optout and select the frequency; and if messages are relevant and provide value, then 80% of those surveyed in both countries would become “connected ad lovers”.

On the South African market, mobile end users can be won back by adopting best practices which are more respectful of their wishes. As for Nigeria, where mobile marketing is still in its infancy, those golden rules can be implemented right from the outset.

“In a continent where the mobile phone is the most widespread screen, mobile marketing has tremendous potential for operators and brands to engage better with their audiences,” said Nadia Gonzalez, Vice President of Mobile Marketing at Gemalto. “Mobile operators have key assets for improving end-users’ experience of mobile marketing. Starting with a respect for consumer privacy, their ability to segment campaigns by end-users’ profiles, location and interests puts them in the driving seat in helping brands apply these golden rules.“

Methodology

French research firm Ifop, on behalf of Gemalto, conducted face-to-face interviews with 800 adult (18 years of age and older) owners of a mobile phone in Nigeria and South Africa, to understand consumer perceptions regarding mobile marketing and to identify blockers and drivers for mobile marketing in each region. The survey was fielded in July 2014 and included 400 respondents from South Africa and 400 respondents from Nigeria.

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

Gemalto Media Contacts:

Kristel Teyras

Middle East & Africa

+33 6 43 81 93 61

kristel.teyras@gemalto.com

About Gemalto

Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 GTO) (http://www.gemalto.com) is the world leader in digital security (http://www.gemalto.com/companyinfo/digital_security.html) with 2013 annual revenues of €2.4 billion and more than 12,000 employees operating out of 85 offices and 25 research and software development centers, located in 44 countries.

We are at the heart of the rapidly evolving digital society. Billions of people worldwide increasingly want the freedom to communicate, travel, shop, bank, entertain and work – anytime, everywhere – in ways that are enjoyable and safe. Gemalto delivers on their expanding needs for personal mobile services, payment security, authenticated cloud access, identity and privacy protection, eHealthcare and eGovernment efficiency, convenient ticketing and dependable machine-to-machine (M2M) applications. We develop secure embedded software and secure products which we design and personalize. Our platforms and services manage these products, the confidential data they contain and the trusted end-user services made possible.

Our innovations enable our clients to offer trusted and convenient digital services to billions of individuals. Gemalto thrives with the growing number of people using its solutions to interact with the digital and wireless world.

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

UNAMID Verification Team Visits Tabit village to Investigate Mass Rape Allegations

EL FASHER (DARFUR), Sudan, November 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Further to our earlier press releases; on 9 November 2014, an African Union –United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) verification team was granted access to Tabit village in North Darfur; following media reports of an alleged mass rape incident perpetrated against 200 women and girls in the area. The team included representatives from police, military and civilian components.

The team spent several hours touring the village and interviewing a variety of Tabit’s residents; including community leaders, ordinary men and women, teachers and students to ascertain the veracity of the media reports. Village community leaders reiterated to UNAMID that they coexist peacefully with local military authorities in the area. The team also interviewed the local Sudanese Armed Forces Commander.

None of those interviewed confirmed that any incident of rape took place in Tabit on the day of that media report. The team neither found any evidence nor received any information regarding the media allegations during the period in question.

UNAMID intends to conduct further follow-up actions on the matter; including possible further investigations and patrols; in coordination with relevant host authorities and in accordance with the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the Government of Sudan and UNAMID.

The Pope receives the bishops of Senegal, Mauritania, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau: focus on the quality rather than the quality of priests

VATICAN, Holy See, November 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Prelates of the Conference of Bishops of Senegal, Mauritania, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau were received in audience by the Holy Father this morning, at the end of their five-yearly “ad Limina” visit. In the written discourse that he handed to them at the end of the visit, the Pope writes that the bishops’ visit to the See of Peter is “an opportunity to strengthen the communion the particular Churches maintain with the Church of Rome and with her bishop. However, it is also an opportunity to strengthen the bonds of love between you … and to experience collegiality. This represents a great challenge for an episcopal conference that groups together the bishops of four countries – Senegal, Mauritania, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau – that are different in terms of language, geography, culture and history, but which nonetheless feel the need to be united and to support each other in their ministry”.

“Among the challenges you face, there is that of rooting faith more deeply in hearts so that it is put into practice in life. This is particularly true in areas experiencing first evangelisation, but it also applies where the Gospel has been announced a long time ago, as faith is a gift that must always be strengthened and which is under threat in many ways nowadays, owing to other religious proposals that prove easier and more attractive from a moral point of view, and as a result of the phenomenon of the secularisation that affects African societies”.

Therefore, “it is useful for laypeople to receive a solid doctrinal and spiritual formation, and continual support so that they are able to become witnesses of Christ in all areas of their lives, and to imbue society with the principles of the Gospel, avoiding the marginalisation of faith in public life. The pastoral care of families, as shown in the recent Synod of Bishops, must receive special attention since the family … is the place where the foundations of faith are laid, where the basic principles of community life are learned, and frequently where the priestly and religious vocations are nurtured – vocations your Churches need”.

“Priestly formation is decisive for the future”, writes Francis. “Your countries experience very different situations, but the primacy of quality above quantity is always important. I invite you to be close to your priests, especially those who are young, to ensure that after their ordination they continue their formation, persevere in their life of prayer, and are able to count on a spiritual guide, so that they are able to meet the challenges presented to them: for some, this means a certain isolation, for others, material poverty and the lack of resources, or worldly attractions. Contact with other religions is an important issue in many of your dioceses where there is an Islamic majority, in terms of mutual relations between different communities. I believe that it is important for the clergy to receive a formation to establish a constructive dialogue with Muslims, a dialogue that is increasingly necessary for peaceful coexistence. If we all, believers in God, wish to contribute to reconciliation, justice and peace, we need to work together to prevent all forms of discrimination, intolerance and religious fundamentalism”.

“More generally, it seems to me that it is important not to hesitate in occupying all the space that is yours in civil society. I know that you work tirelessly, in particular in Senegal and Guinea-Bissau, for peace and reconciliation, and for this I rejoice. I urge you to maintain good relations with the political authorities in order to promote the official acknowledgement of Church structures, which will be of great help in facilitating evangelisation. Some of you, such as the bishops of Cape Verde, already benefit from the existence of a framework agreement between the State and the Holy See. Even where the Church is in a minority, or is completely at the margins of civil life, she is appreciated and recognised for her important contribution in the fields of human development, healthcare and education. I thank you for what you achieve in your dioceses, often due to the efforts of many religious congregations and laypeople”.

“Dear brothers”, the Pontiff concludes, “some of your Churches are small and fragile, but they are courageous and generous in the proclamation of faith and you are witnesses to their dynamism. I offer thanks to God for the wonders He performs through you, and likewise I thank again those who participate in our common task of evangelisation”.

Vatican / Pope Francis receives the president of Ghana

VATICAN, Holy See, November 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Today, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Francis received in audience John Dramani Mahama, president of the Republic of Ghana, who subsequently met with Cardinal …

EBOLA: HARD-WON GAINS IN LIBERIA MUST NOT BE UNDERMINED / INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE MUST ADAPT TO CHANGING EPIDEMIC PATTERN

MONROVIA, Liberia, November 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — While the number of new Ebola cases reported in Liberia has declined in recent weeks, the outbreak is far from over and new hotspots continue to emerge across the country, the international medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said today, warning that the international aid response must rapidly adapt to this new phase of the epidemic, or risk undermining progress made against Ebola.

Unlike in neighbouring Guinea and Sierra Leone, where cases are on the rise, MSF teams in Liberia are witnessing a decline in the number of Ebola patients admitted to case management centres (CMCs) for the first time since the beginning of the epidemic. At present, MSF’s 250-bed ELWA3 CMC in Monrovia is treating around 50 patients. In Foya, in northern Liberia, the number of patients reached zero on October 30, with no confirmed cases since that date. Case numbers could again rise, as they have in Guinea, where, following two significant dips in admissions to MSF facilities, patient numbers are again increasing.

“In Liberia, the international response is finally getting off the ground,” said Fasil Tezera, MSF head of operations in Liberia. “Financial support is starting to flow into the country and huge resources are being put into constructing large-scale Ebola isolation centres. Isolation units in Monrovia and some other parts of the country now have adequate capacity and we must adapt the strategy if we want to stay ahead of the curve and beat the epidemic. Priority should be given to a more flexible approach that allows a rapid response to new outbreaks and gets the regular healthcare system safely up and running again.”

Agile and well-equipped rapid response teams should be deployed quickly to actively investigate hotspots wherever they occur, and mount a comprehensive response, MSF said. This includes isolating patients, tracing people who have been in contact with the sick, organising safe burials, carrying out disinfection of contaminated areas, and mobilising local communities.

“In Foya, we believe this comprehensive approach, as well as active engagement by the community, has led to a steady reduction of cases across the county,” said Dr. Nico Heijenberg, MSF emergency coordinator. “Trust and understanding by the community is hugely important in acceptance of medical activities, and in successfully containing the virus.”

Restarting essential healthcare services is also a critical component of an Ebola response.

The Liberian healthcare system has virtually collapsed because of the epidemic. Many hospitals and clinics are closed, and those that are running turn feverish or vomiting patients away for fear they have Ebola. MSF is adapting its response in Monrovia by carrying out a mass distribution of anti-malarial prophylaxis/treatment and opening an Ebola screening point next to the 200-bed government-run Redemption Hospital, assisting it to reopen safely.

“Infection control measures like triage points should be implemented urgently within regular health facilities, in order to reduce the spread of Ebola and stop people dying from preventable diseases and unmanaged complications,” said Dr. Heijenberg. “Much of the international aid funding for the Ebola response is earmarked for specific projects. Instead, international donors and implementing organisations should deploy their resources with flexibility so that they can be used where they are needed most.”

MSF is responding to the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, employing roughly 3,300 staff across the region and operating six Ebola case management centres and two transit centres. In Mali, an MSF team provides technical support to the Ministry of Health. Since the beginning of the outbreak, MSF has admitted more than 5,600 patients.