Didier Reynders and Alexander De Croo condemn terrorist attacks in Ouagadougou

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo condemn the terrorist attacks that took place yesterday evening and today in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). The Ministers offer their condolences to the families and friends of the victims and to the people and the government of Burkina Faso.

Burkina Faso is a new partner country of the Belgian development cooperation and Minister De Croo visited the country in the beginning of this month to emphasize this partnership.

The two Ministers express their support for President Roch Kaboré and his government. The democratic elections in November 2015 and the start of the new government brought hope for progress after a difficult transition period.

Didier Reynders and Alexander De Croo hope that the efforts of the new Burkinabe government to attract investment will not be affected by these attacks. Belgium will continue to support Burkina Faso in its economic development and in its fight against terrorism.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Kingdom of Belgium – Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.

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Categories: AFRICA

Amnesty International quote on Burkina Faso attacks

“The perpetrators of the horrific attack in Ouagadougou on Friday night which deliberately killed and injured dozens of people from many nationalities and religions, show an utter disregard for fundamental principles of humanity,” said Alioune Tine, Amnesty International West Africa director.

“Over the last 15 months the people of Burkina Faso have shown enormous courage and determination in peacefully protecting their constitution, facing down a coup d’état and electing a new government. Their resilience in doing so will help ensure they protect their rights and freedoms again.”

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

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Categories: AFRICA

Foreign Secretary Statement on Burkina Faso

The Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said:

“I utterly condemn the appalling attack in Ouagadougou last night and offer my deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of those who have been killed and injured. The United Kingdom stands with President Kaboré and the people of Burkina Faso in the fight against terrorism.

“We advise British nationals in Burkina Faso to avoid the area where the attack took place, follow the instructions of local security authorities and monitor FCO travel advice.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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Source:: Foreign Secretary Statement on Burkina Faso

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The AU condemns the terrorist attacks in Ouagadougou and expresses its full solidarity with and support to the Government and the people of Burkina Faso

The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, leant with great dismay about the terrorist attacks yesterday, 15 January 2016, in various locations in Burkina Faso, against a military post in Tin Akof and against a hotel and a restaurant in the capital, Ouagadougou.

The Chairperson of the Commission strongly condemns these despicable and cowardly terrorist attacks that caused many casualties and injuries among the civilian population and the Defence and Security Forces. On behalf of the AU, she presents her heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and wishes speedy recovery to the injured and expresses the full solidarity of the AU with the people and the Government of Burkina Faso.

The Chairperson of the Commission stresses that these attacks take place at a time when the new authorities of Burkina Faso, emanating from the elections of 29 November 2015, which put an end to the Transition, initiated in November 2014, usher in a new era of democracy, justice, reconciliation and sustainable development, with the support of the countries of the region and the international community as a whole.

The Chairperson of the Commission stresses, once again, the imperative need for strengthened and always better coordinated collective African and international efforts to deal with the growing threat of terrorism and extremism in Africa. She reiterates her call to the Member States to enhance their cooperation within the framework of the relevant African and international instruments. In this respect, she reaffirms the vital importance of establishing, quickly, an Intervention Force to be deployed in northern Mali, to fight against the criminal and terrorist groups operating from that region towards other countries of the Sahel, as envisaged in the Conclusions of the meeting, held in Bamako, on 4 September 2015, by the Defence Ministers of the Member countries of the Nouakchott Process on Enhanced Security Cooperation and Operationalisation of the African Peace and Security Architecture in the Sahelo-Saharan Region. On this painful occasion, she reiterates the determination of the AU to continue to support Burkina Faso in its efforts towards reconciliation and reform.

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

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Source:: The AU condemns the terrorist attacks in Ouagadougou and expresses its full solidarity with and support to the Government and the people of Burkina Faso

Categories: AFRICA

Global executives see emergence of Sub-Saharan Africa as consumer market

Consumer spending by a fast-growing middle class is as important a growth driver for Africa as mineral and resource demand, according to a new survey of global logistics executives.

In the survey, which is part of the 2016 Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index (www.Agility.com/2016Index), industry executives rank South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana as the most promising markets in Sub-Saharan Africa. Poor infrastructure, lack of power generation and corruption continue to pose the most risk to African economies, according to the more than 1,100 executives responding to the survey.

Despite recent growth and surging foreign investment, Sub-Saharan Africa remains a challenging frontier for many. Only 21.2% of logistics industry executives surveyed said their companies have operations there. Another 12.7% said they are in the planning stages to enter African markets. More than 43% said they have no plans to set up in Africa.

“The results show a serious disconnect between the perception of the market and actual opportunities. These are some of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Africa’s requirement for logistics services and supply chain expertise is huge and growing every day. At the same time, many of the companies that need logistics to enter the market don’t know how to get started in Africa or aren’t willing to take the risk,” said Geoffrey White, CEO of Agility Africa. “The market is open for first movers who can navigate risk and nurture African talent. The opportunity is for those seeking to build long-term, sustainable businesses that bring world-class practices and adapt to local conditions.”

The Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index, now in its 7th year, offers a snapshot of logistics industry sentiment and ranks the world’s 45 leading emerging markets based on their size, business conditions, infrastructure and other factors that make them attractive to logistics providers, freight forwarders, shipping lines, air cargo carriers and distributors.

China, the world’s second-largest economy, remains the leading emerging market by a large margin. Among the countries at the top of the Index rankings this year, UAE (No. 2), India (3) and Malaysia (4) leaped over the commodity-dependent economies of Saudi Arabia (5), Brazil (6) and Indonesia (7). Rounding out the top 10 are Mexico (8), Russia (9) and Turkey (10).

The leading markets in Sub-Saharan Africa are South Africa (No. 16) and Nigeria (17). South Africa has Africa’s most advanced logistics industry and transport infrastructure, but its economy has been hobbled by chronic power shortages, slumping commodity prices, a plunging currency and labor unrest.

Nigeria climbed 10 spots in the 2016 Index, tying Egypt (No. 22) for the biggest gain by any country in the seven years since the Index was first published. Nigeria’s enormous potential has become clearer since its recent decision to update the methods by which it collects economic data. Even so, its economy is heavily reliant on oil and has been hurt by low energy prices.

Other countries in the region fall toward the bottom of the rankings: Ethiopia (37), Tanzania (40), Kenya (43) and Uganda (45). Among countries in North Africa, Morocco ranked No. 20, trailed by Egypt (22), Algeria (30), Tunisia (36) and Libya (41).

Other Index findings:

  • UAE, home to the powerhouse economies of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, has the best business climate and the best “connectedness,” a measure of infrastructure and transport connections, of any emerging market. As a result, UAE ranks as the world’s No. 2 emerging market after China, even though China’s economy is 25 times larger; India’s is five times larger; and Brazil’s is six times larger.
  • UAE, Malaysia, China, Chile lead in “connectivity,” meaning they have the best infrastructure and transport links, along with the most efficient customs and border administration.
  • Nigeria’s size and growth suggest it should rank near Brazil (No. 6) or Mexico (8) in the overall Index. But Nigeria is no more business friendly than Venezuela and Uganda, and its weak infrastructure, transport links and customs regime puts it with Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Tanzania in “connectivity.”
  • Among countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa has the best “connectivity.” In North Africa, Morocco has the best business climate and connections.
  • Countries in Latin America are losing ground to other emerging markets as a result of recession and political turmoil in Brazil, the region’s biggest economy, and depressed prices for commodity exports. Of the 10 countries that slipped furthest in the Index, six are in Latin America: Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela. Even so, Chile continues to be the top-ranked emerging market with GDP under $300 million.
  • Russia, hurt by Western sanctions and isolated economically since it began backing rebels in Ukraine and intervened militarily in Syria, fell from No. 7 to No. 9 in the Index. Tension with Russia and the loss of economic output in the breakaway Crimea region have hurt Ukraine, as well. Ukraine fell four spots to No. 34.

Other survey findings:

  • Industry executives view oil prices and China’s economy as the leading risks to the global economy in 2016. Both represent potential threats for some Sub-Saharan economies. Mozambique, Uganda, Tanzania and others want to exploit huge new energy finds but are hamstrung by low prices. China, the leading buyer for African minerals and other key commodities, will buy less as its economy slows.
  • Logistics executives see “economic shock” as the top risk in Asia Pacific, a sign of concern that a slowdown in China could ripple through economies and supply chains elsewhere in the region. A significant percentage (38%) said they are reassessing their China strategies. In the past, industry executives said natural disasters and corruption were the top risks in Asia.
  • The logistics industry is intrigued by the possibility that Iran could emerge from its long economic isolation as the result of an agreement to curtail its nuclear program. In the survey, Iran moved up 12 spots – from No. 27 to No. 15 – among countries with potential as major logistics markets.

“It was a volatile year for emerging markets, and you see that in the Index. Eight of the top 10 emerging markets shifted places,” said Essa Al-Saleh, President and CEO of Agility Global Integrated Logistics. “Despite the turbulence, the fundamentals driving growth remain consistent – a rising middle class with spending power, progress in poverty reduction, growing populations. That’s why we are still positive on the outlook for emerging markets and see them driving global growth.”

Transport Intelligence (Ti), a leading analysis and research firm for the logistics industry, compiled the Index.

John Manners-Bell, Chief Executive Ti, said: “The world’s economy is still riven by instability, and emerging markets such as China and Brazil have not been immune. However others, such as Mexico, are in a far stronger position and will benefit from the economic growth experienced in the U.S. and Europe. More than ever, investors in emerging markets need to be discerning and the results of our Index are critical to providing clarity in a confusing and complex world.”

2016 Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index: www.Agility.com/2016Index

Index video: https://youtu.be/3EAImYNekzk

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

Media contact:
Disa Tersmeden
Fleishman Hillard

About Agility
Agility (www.Agility.com) brings efficiency to supply chains in some of the globe’s most challenging environments, offering unmatched personal service, a global footprint and customized capabilities in developed and developing economies alike. Agility is one of the world’s leading providers of integrated logistics. It is a publicly traded company with more than $4.8 billion in revenue and more than 20,000 employees in over 500 offices across 100 countries. Agility is investing heavily on the African continent, building a series of distribution parks with world-class warehousing facilities and guaranteed power, security and connectivity to help companies get their goods to market. Agility supports the oil and gas industry through project logistics of heavy and out-of-gauge equipment, bulk fuel transport and store, and remote camp services. Agility also supports governments in airport services and ground handling, driving efficiency in the flow of passengers and cargo. Agility’s core commercial business, Global Integrated Logistics (GIL), provides supply chain solutions to meet traditional and complex customer needs. GIL offers air, ocean and road freight forwarding, warehousing, distribution, and specialized services in project logistics, fairs and events, and chemicals. Agility’s Infrastructure group of companies manages industrial real estate and offers logistics-related services, including e-government customs optimization and consulting, waste management and recycling, aviation and ground-handling services, support to governments and ministries of defense, remote infrastructure and life support.

For more information about Agility, visit agility.com
Twitter: twitter.com/agility
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/agility
YouTube: youtube.com/user/agilitycorp

About Transport Intelligence
Ti is one of the world’s leading providers of expert research and analysis dedicated to the global logistics industry. Utilising the expertise of professionals with many years’ experience in the mail, express and logistics industry, Transport Intelligence has developed a range of market leading web-based products, reports, profiles and services used by all the world’s leading logistics suppliers, consultancies and banks, as well as many users of logistics services.

For more information about Transport Intelligence, visit www.transportintelligence.com
Telephone: +44 (0)1666 519900
Email: ssmith@transportintelligence.com
LinkedIn: The Transport Intelligence Forum

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IMF Executive Board Completes Fourth PSI Review for Rwanda

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today completed the fourth review of Rwanda’s economic performance under a three-year program supported by the IMF’s Policy Support Instrument (PSI)[1].

The PSI for Rwanda was approved on December 2, 2013 (see Press Release No.13/483).

Following the Executive Board discussion, Mr. Min Zhu Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, made the following statement:

“Rwanda has a track record of strong policy performance that has led to sustained high growth, progress in reducing poverty, and a stable macroeconomic situation. Growth in 2015 was slightly stronger than expected and inflation remained contained. Revenue collection and budget execution were broadly in line with expectations.

“However, the growth outlook for 2016–17 has become more uncertain, due to recent declines in international commodity prices. These have already reduced Rwanda’s export receipts and, combined with appreciation of the U.S. dollar, has created strong downward pressure on the exchange rate.

“The authorities’ planned policy response is to continue to allow exchange rate flexibility to function as the central tool for adjustment, supported by modest tightening of the monetary stance, with frontloaded provision of donor assistance and some additional use of international reserves to cushion the immediate impact. However, the authorities should consider contingency plans for further fiscal and monetary adjustment, should the shock persist longer or intensify more than expected. Careful monitoring will be needed over the next months to determine whether additional tightening may be needed, including to avoid undue pressure on the exchange rate or depleting reserve buffers. Re-building reserve buffers will be critical to enhance the country’s resilience to future shocks.

“Over the medium term, policies should remain focused on sustaining high growth through growth-enhancing public investment, encouraging private investment, and diversifying exports. The authorities plan to restore fiscal buffers by reducing the deficit via higher revenue collection, improved public spending efficiency and cautious borrowing, underpinned by medium-term fiscal consolidation. In addition, reforms to expand access to financial services and deepen financial markets will provide needed capital for private sector-led growth and enable Rwanda’s integration in larger markets within the East African Community.”

[1]The PSI is an instrument of the IMF designed for countries that do not need balance of payments financial support. The PSI helps countries design effective economic programs that, once approved by the IMF’s Executive Board, signal to donors, multilateral development banks, and markets the Fund’s endorsement of a member’s policies (see http://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/psi.htm). Details on Rwanda’s current PSI are available at www.imf.org/rwanda.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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Source:: IMF Executive Board Completes Fourth PSI Review for Rwanda

Categories: AFRICA

Security Council Press Statement on Al Shabaab Attack in Somalia

The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the attack on 15 January 2016 perpetrated by Al-Shabaab in el-Ade, Somalia which has resulted in a number of deaths and injuries.

The members of the Security Council expressed their deep sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims, as well as to the people and Government of Somalia and the Republic of Kenya. The members of the Security Council wished a speedy recovery to those injured.

The members of the Security Council underscored their full support to AMISOM in delivering their mandate to reduce the threat posed by the terrorist group Al Shabaab and armed opposition groups in Somalia. The members of the Security Council underscored their gratitude for the bravery and sacrifices of AMISOM personnel in carrying out their mandate.

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.

The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice. The members of the Security Council stressed that those responsible for these killings should be held accountable, and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions to cooperate actively with all relevant authorities in this regard.

The members of the Security Council reiterated that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed. The members of the Security Council reaffirmed the need for all States to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and other obligations under international law, including international human rights law, international refugee law, and international humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.

The members of the Security Council further stressed the need to take measures to prevent and suppress the financing of Al Shabaab, and any other terrorist group in Somalia.

The members of the Security Council paid tribute to all international actors working to bring peace and stability in Somalia. The members of the Security Council reiterated their determination to support the peace and reconciliation process in Somalia. They underlined that neither this, nor any other terrorist attack would weaken that determination.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations – Security Council.

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Source:: Security Council Press Statement on Al Shabaab Attack in Somalia

Categories: AFRICA

Statement by the Spokesperson on the Al-Shabaab attack on AMISOM

Today’s lethal attack by Al-Shabaab against an African Union base in southern Somalia is another attempt to undermine a political process towards a stable and secure Somalia and a population desiring a life in peace.

The EU expresses its condolences to the victims and their families in Somalia and in Kenya.
The EU is a staunch supporter of AMISOM and the Somali security forces. They provide the necessary security for any of the key political processes to be sustainably achieved in Somalia.

Acts of terrorism will not deter our efforts. The EU will continue working with the Somali authorities, the African Union and other partners to enhance stability and Somalia’s capacity to fight terrorism.

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

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Statement of the Secretary-General regarding attack on AMISOM base at El Adde, Somalia

The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack perpetrated by Al Shabaab this morning against an AMISOM base in the town of El Adde, Gedo region in Somalia. Details of casualties are still being verified.

The Secretary-General commends the efforts of AMISOM troops working for peace in Somalia. He affirms that this attack will not diminish the resolve of the United Nations to work hand in hand with the African Union and AMISOM to support the people and Government of Somalia.

New York, 15 January 2016

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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Source:: Statement of the Secretary-General regarding attack on AMISOM base at El Adde, Somalia

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UN expert group on people of African descent launches fact-finding visit to the United States

The United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent will carry out a fact-finding visit to the United States from 19 to 29 January 2016, at the invitation of the Government. The Group’s delegation will travel to Washington DC, Baltimore, Jackson (Mississippi), Chicago and New York City.

“We will gather first-hand information about the current human rights situation of African-Americans, and follow up on the recommendations to fight racism we made during our last visit to the country in 2010,” said human rights expert Mireille Fanon Mendes-France, who currently heads the expert panel.

The delegation, which also includes human rights experts Sabelo Gumedze and Ricardo A. Sunga III, will address current concerns, and assess progress made in combatting racial discrimination, Afrophobia, xenophobia, and protecting and promoting the human rights of African- Americans.

The experts will also promote the International Decade for People of African Descent*, which runs from 2015 to 2024 and aims both to highlight the contribution of people of African descent to societies and strengthen national, regional and international cooperation to ensure the human rights of people of African descent are respected, promoted and fulfilled.

During its eleven-day visit, the experts will meet with Government officials at Federal, state and local levels, representatives of civil society organizations, as well as academics, practitioners and individual African-Americans. Following its visit, the Working Group will present a report containing its findings and recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2016.

A press conference to share the delegation’s preliminary findings will be held on Friday 29 January at 12:00 noon in the UN Information Center in Washington DC (1775 K ST NW, Suite 400, Washington DC 20006). Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists. RSVPs are required to access the building.

(*) The International Decade of People of African Descent: http://www.un.org/en/events/africandescentdecade/

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

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Categories: AFRICA

Tigo Tanzania pays $2.1 million in quarterly profit share to customers

Tanzania’s leading digital lifestyle company, Tigo (www.Tigo.co.tz), has announced another quarterly payment of US $ 2.1million (Tshs 4.4 bilion) to its 4.6 million Tigo Pesa users, the seventh time in a row that the company is distributing profit to its mobile financial services users.

Speaking at a press conference in Dar es Salaam this week Tigo Tanzania Head of Finance and Risk for Mobile Financial Services Obedi Laiser said cumulatively, the company has paid its mobile financial services users a total of US $ 16. 5 million (Tshs 35.5 billion) quarterly payments since September 2014.

The payment is generated from profit accruing in the Tigo Pesa Trust accounts held with major commercial banks in Tanzania, Laiser said.

Tigo Tanzania became the first telecom company in the world in 2014 to share profit generated from its mobile money Trust Account in the form of a quarterly distribution to its customers.

The revenue share model is in line with the Tanzanian central bank (Bank of Tanzania-BOT) which allows the country’s mobile operators to increase e-money deposits and mobile money transactions through new loyalty incentives.

“This profit share is payable to all Tigo Pesa users including individual customers, retail agents and our business partners each based on the e-value they have stored in their Tigo Pesa wallets,” Laiser said.

He added: “We are really excited to be announcing this profit share distribution for the seventh successive time. The payment underlines Tigo Tanzania’s commitment to provide financial access to our customers and to promote financial inclusion in the country through our Tigo Pesa services.”

According to the BOT, Tanzania has aims at attaining a 50% national financial inclusion of its population by 2016. The East African country has an estimated population of 45 million people.

Tigo Tanzania is the leading innovative telecommunication company in the country, distinguished as a fully-fledged digital lifestyle brand. Offering a diverse product portfolio in voice, SMS, high-speed internet and mobile financial services, Tigo has pioneered innovations such as Facebook in Kiswahili, TigoPesa App for Android & iOS users, Tigo Music (Deezer) and East Africa’s first cross-border mobile money transfer with currency conversion. Tigo also has the fastest and widest 4G network launched across Tanzania’s main cities last year.

In the past three years the company has launched over 500 new network sites with plans to double this investment by 2017 in terms of coverage and additional capacity networks for deeper penetration in rural areas. With over 10 million registered subscribers, Tigo directly and indirectly employs over 300,000 Tanzanians including an extended network of customer service representatives, mobile money merchants, sales agents and distributors.

Last year, the company announced an increased annual investment of US $ 120 million on infrastructure improvement and expansion which is 20% higher than Tigo’s annual spending in the previous three years.

Tigo is the biggest commercial brand of Millicom, an international company developing the digital lifestyle in 12 countries with commercial operations in Africa and Latin America and corporate offices in Europe and the USA.

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

For further information visit: www.Tigo.co.tz or contact:
John Wanyancha – Corporate Communications Manager
Mobile: 0658 123 089
E-mail: john.wanyancha@tigo.co.tz

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Source:: Tigo Tanzania pays $2.1 million in quarterly profit share to customers

Categories: AFRICA

Egypt Ramps Up Efforts to Combat Irregular Migration

Egypt’s inter-ministerial National Coordinating Committee to Combat and Prevent Illegal Migration (NCCPIM) has launched its first Annual Report.

Speaking at the launch of the report in Cairo, NCCPIM head Ambassador Naela Gabr thanked IOM for its support, its role in developing Egypt’s national anti-smuggling law, and its awareness raising campaign to inform young Egyptians of the risks and dangers of irregular migration.

The report addressed the achievements and challenges of the 2014-2015 NCCPIM National Action Plan, and future plans to develop a National Strategy for 2016-2018.

“The establishment of a national referral mechanism for migrants in Egypt is an essential element for protecting the rights of migrants as stated by the anti-smuggling law,” said Ambassador Gabr. She also called for the establishment of a trust fund to support those in need.

NCCPIM’s National Action Plan on Preventing Illegal Migration is based on four main pillars: legislative activities, documentation activities, awareness raising activities, and regional and international cooperation.

NCCPIM was established by Prime Ministerial Decree in 2014 to coordinate national efforts on combatting irregular migration to, through and from Egypt. It comprises of 20 relevant ministries and government bodies.

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

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Source:: Egypt Ramps Up Efforts to Combat Irregular Migration

Categories: AFRICA