Polio Vaccination Campaign Reaches 26,000 Children in South Sudan

GENEVA, Switzerland, February 13, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM’S Rapid Response Teams in South Sudan have completed a mass polio vaccination campaign.

The campaign was carried out in coordination with the Renk Department of Health, Upper Nile State between February 5th and 8th, and immunized 26,114 children under the age of 15.

“Our rapid response teams provide health care services in hard to reach areas of South Sudan,” said Haley West IOM South Sudan’s health programme manager. “Most of these communities may not have had access to care for weeks or even months. This vaccination campaign is a great step in ensuring the children and the country are not at risk from possible future polio outbreaks.”

According to the World Health Organization, South Sudan had been polio-free for more than five years. But two cases of polio at an internally-displaced persons (IDP) camp in Unity state were confirmed in September last year.

The displacement of more than 1.8 million people in South Sudan has hampered access to adequate health care and referral services throughout the country.

Conflict affected states, such as Upper Nile, are severely affected by the crisis, as primary and secondary health care facilities were either destroyed during fighting or simply are not available. As a result many children remain under-immunized against polio and other preventable childhood diseases.

Renk County Health Director Chol Ayiik applauded the IOM health team’s efforts to support the mass immunization campaign.

“Challenges are many in South Sudan, but with the support of IOM’s Rapid Response Teams we were able to go to the greatest extent possible to ensure that all children received the second dose of the oral polio vaccine,” he noted.

In December 2014, IOM’s Rapid Response Team conducted the first round of a polio and measles campaign, vaccinating more than 29,135 children against polio and 27,195 children between 6 months and 15 years for measles.

In the past week IOM teams also reached more than 14,860 children with de-worming medication. Intestinal parasitism – also a preventable condition – is directly associated with malnutrition among children.

The rapid response mechanism allows IOM to provide lifesaving humanitarian response in hard to reach locations. IOM’s multi-sector teams have been deployed to more than 15 locations throughout the country and have provided emergency distribution of non-food relief items, water and sanitation services and access to basic health care and prevention services.

Source:: Polio Vaccination Campaign Reaches 26,000 Children in South Sudan

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Gabon’s record on women’s rights to face scrutiny by UN Committee

GENEVA, Switzerland, February 13, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Gabon’s record on women’s rights will be examined by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) on Tuesday 17 February in meetings that will be webcast live.

Gabon is one of the 188 States parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and so is required to submit regular reports to the Committee of 23 independent experts on how it is implementing the Convention.

The Committee will engage in a dialogue with the delegation from the Government of Gabon on questions relating to the promotion and protection of women’s rights in the country, and will also hear from NGO representatives. The session will be from 10:00 – 17:00 in Conference Room XVI, Palais des Nations, in Geneva. The live webcast of the session can be viewed on http://www.treatybodywebcast.org/.

Among the possible issues to be discussed are: absence of comprehensive strategy to combat violence against women; gender stereotypes and harmful practices; steps to increase women’s political participation; measures to address persisting high rates of maternal mortality and lack of access to healthcare, in particular among disadvantaged groups of women; legal provisions regarding abortion; discriminatory legal provisions related to polygamy, different minimum age of marriage for girls and boys; customary laws that discriminate against women with regard to their right to inheritance.

Gabon’s written report and more information can be found here: http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/SessionDetails1.aspx?SessionID=901&Lang=en.

The concluding observations on Gabon and the other States being reviewed – Azerbaijan, Ecuador, Tuvalu, Denmark, Kyrgyzstan, Eritrea and Maldives – will be published on 6 March here: http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/SessionDetails1.aspx?SessionID=901&Lang=en

Source:: Gabon’s record on women’s rights to face scrutiny by UN Committee

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Printronix Announces Partnership with Talk Technology

JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, February 13, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Printronix Inc. (http://www.printronix.com) has announced a distribution agreement with Talk Technology (http://www.talk-tec.co.uk), the print technology distribution and channel services specialist, to deliver its print solutions across Africa outside of RSA region. The agreement is for delivery of TallyGenicom products throughout Africa as part of the Printronix strategy to invest in its African partner base. The Printronix and Talk Technology partnership plan will be to develop a re-certification program across the region. This re-certification program will support the African end-user customers, focusing on product support and providing a cost-effective resource for new sales opportunities. Under the terms of the agreement, Talk Technology will assume all management responsibilities of Printronix warranty programs previously executed by Westcon Africa.

Photos: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?searchterms=Printronix&level=search

Video 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjD-jmxhukI

Video 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRBnqLWh6P8

Video 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adLGMFN9RsY

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

Logo Talk Technology: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/talk-tec.jpg

According to Rosemarie Zito, Printronix Vice-President of EMEA Sales & Marketing, the company has partnered with Talk Technology because of their successful track record in the African market and detailed knowledge of businesses throughout the region. “Printronix is looking forward to working with Talk Technology. Their management has a great track record for building channels, which will greatly support our solutions,” said Rosemarie Zito. “Talk Technology has extensive knowledge of the local landscape and with their well-trained partner base will help drive our business within the region.”

Talk Technology will distribute the complete Printronix product offerings, which includes their premium Thermal print solutions.

John Spreadborough, Director, Talk Technology, believes the African IT channels will see significant opportunity through this agreement. Regional partners will now have access to a business with an established customer base throughout Africa. “We are bringing Printronix technology and a highly skilled reseller network together through our sales and warranty management services. This partnership represents a new development in the African channel for Printronix, and we expect both our partners and their customers to benefit from this program.”

The agreement will take effect on January 26th, 2015 with immediate benefits available to both resellers and their customers.

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

Media contact:

Printronix Inc.

Sybille Bloech

Marketing Manager, EMEA

Tel: +49 (0) 69 829 70 640

Email: sbloech@printronix.com

Sales contact:

Talk Technology Ltd

John Spreadborough

Tel: +44 1252 756598

Email: sales@talk-tec.co.uk

Printronix Inc.

Matt Dyson

Regional Sales Manager – Middle East, Turkey & Africa.

Mobile: +447557 773285

Email: mdyson@printronix.com

About Printronix

For more than 40 years, Printronix (http://www.printronix.com) has been addressing global customer needs for mission-critical industrial printing. Offering the two most-trusted brand names in back office and supply chain printing, Printronix and TallyGenicom are known throughout manufacturing, distribution, retail, banking, government and enterprises across the globe. The combined brand portfolios include the highest-quality line matrix, thermal and RFID printers, and service management solutions. Their products streamline operations, provide visibility to supply chain, reduce costs, and help organizations sharpen their competitive edge. Printronix was founded in 1974 and is headquartered in Irvine, Calif. For additional information, visit Printronix.com.

About Talk Technology

Based in Hampshire, UK, Talk Technology (http://www.talk-tec.co.uk) is committed to delivering world class, cost effective solutions across Africa through its expert logistics organisation. Our focus is on solutions that deliver the print industry’s lowest total cost of ownership with maximum reliability and up-time. We provide expert support for our reseller base with vendor backed training solutions as well as a dedicated sales team based in Africa to support our partners. Talk Technology is a trade only distribution company. Talk Technology is headquartered in UK. More information is available at http://www.talk-tec.co.uk

Source:: Printronix Announces Partnership with Talk Technology

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IMF Executive Board Concludes 2014 Article IV Consultation with the Islamic Republic of Mauritania

NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania, February 13, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — On January, 28, 2015, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation1 with Mauritania.

In recent years, Mauritania’s economy has benefited from macroeconomic stability and high growth in the context of contained inflation, responsible macro policies, high iron ore prices, windfall donor assistance, and scaled-up public investment. Real GDP growth is estimated at 6.4 percent in 2014, from 5.7 percent in 2013 owing to a rebound in the fishing sector. The current account deficit has remained at 25 percent of GDP during 2013–14 owing to large capital imports associated with investments in the extractive sector and, lately, to worsening terms of trade. International reserves, which remained at 6½ months of prospective imports, excluding those related to the extractive industries in 2013, have absorbed the deterioration of the terms of trade, declining to 4.7 months in 2014. The overall balance, excluding grants, posted a deficit of 2.2 percent of non-extractive GDP in 2013, down from 3.0 percent in 2012, but deteriorated to 4.7 percent of non-extractive GDP in 2014 on lower revenues, mainly mining revenues from SNIM, the public mining company. Monetary indicators suggest a moderate increase in credit.

The Financial System Stability Assessment (FSSA) concluded that the banking sector is well capitalized and liquid, but remains fragile to shocks. High credit concentration (including credit to the public sector), foreign exchange risk exposures, and low profitability due to a constrained business model and higher competition exacerbate banking vulnerabilities. While the banking system appears well capitalized overall, some banks are not meeting the minimum capital requirement and are under-provisioned. Asset quality remains weak with nonperforming loans representing 20 percent of loans in the second quarter of 2014.

The near-term outlook remains favorable despite slower economic activity and lower iron ore prices. Real GDP growth is projected to decline to 5.5 percent in 2015 because of lower growth in mining activity and lower private investment and consumption. Terms of trade are projected to deteriorate by 4.5 percent as lower iron ore prices (by 24 percent) are partially compensated by the decline in oil prices (of 40 percent). Inflation is expected to accelerate somewhat but remain below 5 percent, favored by the decline in international food prices and lower non-extractive GDP growth. Continued appreciation in real terms could result in higher private sector demand. Medium-term prospects remain promising: Mauritania’s large resource endowment provides ample opportunities for development. Structural reforms are essential to generate more growth and jobs and to address the challenges of economic diversification, inequality, and unemployment.

Risks to the outlook are tilted to the downside and dominated by global developments. Spillovers from weakening external demand for commodities could further reduce iron ore prices and mining export revenues. Larger-than-envisaged declines in main export prices would further reduce exports and FDI and cast doubts on mining expansion plans, dimming growth prospects and worsening fiscal balances. External shocks could expose vulnerabilities in the banking system, exacerbating a negative shock to growth and financial stability.

Executive Board Assessment2

Executive Directors commended the Mauritanian authorities for policies that have secured macroeconomic stability and supported development in recent years. Directors noted, however, that the risks from further declines in iron ore prices and weak activity in key trading partners cloud the outlook for the near term. Accordingly, they encouraged the authorities to persevere with prudent policymaking and the implementation of institutional and structural reforms to boost the economy’s resilience and foster more inclusive growth.

Directors welcomed progress with fiscal consolidation and the improved revenue performance. They agreed that the 2015 budget mitigates shortfalls in mining revenue, but considered that additional measures may be needed if the budget comes under pressure. Directors also stressed the importance of strengthening public financial management to reduce the risk of debt distress. Looking ahead, they underscored the need to improve the fiscal framework over the medium term to enhance the management of resource wealth and support macrostability. They recommended implementing an appropriate fiscal rule that takes into consideration the development needs of the country and helps safeguard the budget from boom-bust cycles of natural resource revenue, while reinforcing fiscal governance.

Directors encouraged the authorities to take advantage of the favorable inflation environment to reinforce Mauritania’s monetary framework by strengthening liquidity management. They also noted that prompt recapitalization of the central bank is essential to safeguard its credibility and independence. Directors emphasized the importance of a gradual liberalization of the foreign exchange market, noting that greater exchange rate flexibility would help absorb external shocks and support the reconstitution of reserve buffers. They welcomed the authorities’ steps toward compliance with Article VIII obligations, and encouraged them to eliminate the remaining exchange restriction as soon as possible.

Directors underscored the need to further strengthen the stability of the financial system. They welcomed the authorities’ intention to implement the recommendations of the recent Financial System Stability Assessment. Priorities include strengthening regulatory enforcement and supervisory independence, expanding central bank supervision to cover public banks and the insurance sector, and enhancing the bank resolution framework.

Directors encouraged the authorities to accelerate reforms to promote private sector development and economic diversification, which would boost employment and reduce poverty. In particular, they recommended working closely with development partners to address infrastructure bottlenecks, invest in human capital and education, improve governance and institutions, and deepen financial inclusion.

Source:: IMF Executive Board Concludes 2014 Article IV Consultation with the Islamic Republic of Mauritania

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GENEVA, Switzerland, February 12, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Stephen Dungu Karau, the new Permanent Representative of Kenya to the United Nations Office at Geneva, today presented his credentials to Michael Møller, the Acting Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva.

Prior to his appointment to Geneva, Mr. Dungu Karau was the African President of the Collaborative Arrangement for the Prevention and Management of Public Health Events in Civil Aviation (CAPSCA). At the same time, he worked as the Chief Medical Assessor at the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, where he oversaw the work of all the Aviation Medical Examiners in the country. In 2006-2007, Dr. Karau worked as the Director of Military Public Health with the US Army Medical Research unit at the Kenya Medical Research Institute Campus, Nairobi. During his career as a public health physician, Dr. Karau has also served as the Kenya Country Director for AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

Dr. Karau retired from the military in 2002, his last position being the Head of the Air Force Medical Department for six years. Within the ranks of the military, Dr. Karau had started as a Junior Doctor (Captain) and rose to the level of a Senior Consultant (Colonel) in Aviation Medicine and Public Health, conducting clinical and HIV work, and teaching.

Together with his family, Dr. Karau owns and runs Vam Health Services Kenya Ltd, which deals with pharmaceuticals trade and real estate development.

Dr. Karau graduated from the University of Nairobi in 1977 with a Bachelor Degree in Medicine. He did his post-graduate studies at the Royal Air Force Institute of Aviation Medicine in 1982, and received a Masters in Public Health from the University of Leeds in 1987. Dr. Karau is married and has four children.


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Extension of the Dispatch Term of the International Peace Cooperation Corps in South Sudan

TOKYO, Japan, February 12, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — 1. Japan has dispatched Headquarters staff personnel and Ground Self Defense Force engineering unit to UNMISS (United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan) since November 2011 and January 2012 respectively.

South Sudan gained independence in July 2011 after the long civil war between the north and the south Sudan and the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). Three years have passed since its independence, and currently domestic political disorder is a great challenge to the nation-building of South Sudan. The Government of Japan recognizes that the peace and stability of South Sudan is important for the peace and stability of Africa, and that the international community needs to work cooperatively on this issue.

UNMISS activity period was defined as until 30 November 2014 in the mandate of previous United Nations Security Council resolution. On 25 November 2014, the Security Council adopted Resolution 2187, which extended its mandate until 30 May 2015.

In relation to this, the Government of Japan decided to revise the Implementation Plans for International Peace Cooperation Assignments and extend its period.

According to the International Peace Corporation Law Article 7 preamble and (i), the Prime Minister will report the contents pertaining to the revision and situation of implementation to the Diet.

2. Major Points of Revision are following.

Source:: Extension of the Dispatch Term of the International Peace Cooperation Corps in South Sudan

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