IMF Statement on Ghana

ACCRA, Ghana, October 17, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — A Ghanaian delegation led by Mr. Kwesi Botchwey and including Finance Minister Seth Terkper, Minister of Employment and Labor relations, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu, and Bank of Ghana Governor Kofi Wampah held discussions with International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff on a possible IMF program during October 14-16 in Washington.

Mr. Joel Toujas-Bernate, the IMF Mission Chief for Ghana, issued the following statement today: “We had a productive dialogue and made further progress on identifying economic and policy reforms that could form the basis of a possible Fund-supported program. We are also working in close collaboration with other multilateral partners, including the World Bank and the African Development Bank. Discussions will continue in the coming weeks and an IMF mission is expected to visit Accra in November.”

Categories: AFRICA

Statement Attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the return to Madagascar of former President Marc Ravalomanana

NEW YORK, October 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Secretary-General has taken note of the return to Madagascar of former President Marc Ravalomanana on 13 October. He rejects the remarks Mr. Ravalomanana made during a press conference challenging the legitimacy of the institutions born of the country’s recent elections.

The Secretary-General stresses the imperative of respecting the legitimacy of the democratically-elected Government and the rule of law. He calls on all political actors and stakeholders to continue working together towards an inclusive national reconciliation process, the full implementation of the SADC Roadmap, the deepening of democratic governance and economic recovery for the good of all Malagasies.

Categories: AFRICA

Libya: Mogherini stresses need for follow-up to diplomatic efforts

ROME, Italy, October 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — After her visit to Tripoli on Saturday 11 October, Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini spoke on the phone today with the United Nations Special Envoy for Libya, Bernardino Leon. In the run-up to the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council taking place in Luxembourg on Monday 20 October, they discussed the developments in the crisis. “The situation, already difficult, has seen worrying developments in the last few days”, said Mogherini. “It is vital to follow up the political-diplomatic initiatives launched last week, and especially the visit to Tripoli by the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, in the most effective manner possible”.

Categories: AFRICA

Sudan: Pistelli in Khartoum. A hugely important advance in relations with the countries of Africa

ROME, Italy, October 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — “Today in Khartoum we have achieved a hugely important advance in relations with the African countries for stronger and more effective cooperation in combating the trade in and trafficking of human beings in the Mediterranean, and irregular migration”.

The Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Lapo Pistelli, has returned to Sudan to take part in the Regional Conference on Human Trafficking and Smuggling in the Horn of Africa. The Conference was organised by the African Union (AU) with support from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Deputy Minister Pistelli was attending in his dual role as Head of the Italian Delegation and Representative of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. This was his second visit to Sudan this year, following his mission a few months ago to bring Meriam Ibrahim, the young woman condemned to death for apostasy, to Italy.

The Conference marked the opening of an enhanced dialogue between the countries of Africa and the European Union, at the initiative of the Italian Presidency, which has made migration a priority issue. The “Khartoum Process”, as it is now informally called, echoing the Rabat Process, will be launched in Rome on 28 November 2014 during a ministerial conference. The conference will be attended by representatives of the countries of origin and transit on the main route for migrants heading for Europe: the “Horn of Africa Migratory Route”.

Pistelli underscored that the Khartoum Process will provide a framework of reference – which so far has been lacking – with a view to developing a structured policy and operational dialogue on how best to manage migration between the European Union and the countries of the Horn of Africa.

In his speech, the Deputy Minister also recalled – to the applause of all participants – Italy’s commitment to search and rescue (SAR) activities, most notably the Mare Nostrum operation. Since it was launched in the wake of the Lampedusa tragedy, Mare Nostrum has saved over 100,000 people and arrested over 500 traffickers. At Italy’s initiative, it will soon be supplemented by “Triton”, an operation launched by the European Union’s Frontex agency.

“Let’s be brave, let’s go together”. With these words, addressed as much to the EU member states as to the African countries, Deputy minister Pistelli concluded by reiterating the importance of continuing along the pathway opened up by Italy. A pathway that at last sees the countries of origin, destination and transit of migratory flows working together.

Addressing the countries of origin, he underscored that combating people trafficking and smuggling is just the first step in a more ambitious course that aims to tackle the deeper causes of unregulated migration. In this respect, he underlined the close link between migration and development. “Italy and the European Union view development cooperation as the best route to limit migration flows. Working to provide better living conditions also gives Africans the right to stay in their own land”, concluded Pistelli.

Categories: AFRICA

The Humanitarian Envoy of the UN Secretary General and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to visit Sudan

KHARTOUM, Sudan, October 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — HUMANITARIAN ENVOY OF THE UN SECRETARY GENERAL ABDULLAH AL MATOUQ AND UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES ANTONIO GUTERRES TO VISIT SUDAN

WHO: Humanitarian Envoy of the UN Secretary General, Abdullah al Matouq, and UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres

WHAT: Mission to Sudan

WHEN: 21 to 22 October 2014

WHERE: Khartoum & White Niles State

The Humanitarian Envoy of the UN Secretary General, Abdullah al Matouq, and UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, are scheduled to visit Sudan from 21 to 22 October.

During their two-day mission, Mr al Matouq and Mr Guterres will meet with officials from the Government of Sudan and representatives from humanitarian organizations. They will discuss with them ways to improve humanitarian access to people affected by conflict and displacement across Sudan, particularly refugees arriving from South Sudan.

Mr al Matouq and Mr Guterres are also expected to travel to White Nile State to see the ongoing humanitarian operation to assist refugees from South Sudan. The humanitarian community continues to work with the Government and its partners to address the deteriorating living conditions of refugees and affected communities across Sudan. Mr al Matouq and Mr Guterres will look into how the humanitarian community can strengthen its capacity to meet the urgent needs of tens of thousands of people who had fled their homes due to recent fighting in South Sudan.

A press conference is scheduled for 17.00 p.m. (GMT +3) on Wednesday 22 October 2014 at the UNDP Marawi Conference Room in Khartoum

Categories: AFRICA

Sweden contributes medical care efforts in the fight against Ebola in West Africa

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, October 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Government has decided to contribute an additional SEK 100 million in humanitarian support to efforts to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

The new funds are to be channelled through the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency for planning and implementing medical care efforts and coordinating voluntary Swedish health workers. The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency will also contribute in other relevant ways, such as with logistical assistance.

“Sweden is now responding to the UN request for more personnel and other resources. The number of people infected in West Africa is doubling every two to three weeks. Sweden has many competent people who want and are able to contribute effectively the fight against Ebola. It is essential that all actors do their utmost. Ebola is now a global security issue,” says Minister for International Development Cooperation Isabella Lövin.

In addition to health workers, other personnel, materials (for example trucks) and logistical assistance have also been requested for the construction of accommodation for international relief workers and personnel involved in the UN-led efforts.

Swedish humanitarian support to combat the Ebola outbreak now amounts to SEK 239.3 million.

“Many people want to help, and the Government has now approved a number of decisions to step up Sweden’s efforts. A key issue is that Swedish personnel who want to go are granted leave from work, and here I think the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions has sent positive signals that people are to be granted leave,” says Minister for Public Health Gabriel Wikström.

Categories: AFRICA