Africa Mining Vision Compact between business and host governments launched

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At Cape Town’s annual Mining Indaba, the launch of an Africa Mining Vision (AMV) Compact (www.AfricaMiningVision.org) between African governments and mining companies has been announced.

Frank Dixon Mugyenyi, Senior Trade Advisor of the Department of Trade and Industry in the Africa Union Commission (AUC) delivered the keynote speech on behalf of H.E. Mrs Fatima Acyl at a specially hosted dinner hosted on Tuesday evening.

“This Compact is a concrete step forward in aligning key interests around the implementation of Africa Mining Vision with those of the business community,” read the Commissioner’s speech. “The goal of the Compact is to strengthen trust and mutual understanding of challenges as well as opportunities for implementing the Africa Mining Vision.”

The Compact outlines a number of commitments and undertakings by host governments and mining companies to realise the benefits outlined in the Africa Mining Vision. Its launch was acknowledged by Mr Simon Tuma Waku on behalf of the Mining Industry Association of South Africa (MIASA), representing Chambers of Mines from across the SADC region, who also addressed the dinner audience.

“The Compact which we are launching today contains a set of standards that would serve as a benchmark for companies and governments to assess performance, resulting in robust policies that cover a range of principles,” read Mr Mugyenyi.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Mineral Development Centre.

For more information, please contact:
Ms. Daisy Leoncio
Communications Director
African Mineral Development Centre
[email protected]
or visit www.AfricaMiningVision.org

Note for editors on the Africa Mining Vision:
Formally adopted by African heads of state in 2009, the Africa Mining Vision (AMV) (www.AfricaMiningVision.org) is the continent’s own response to tackling the paradox of great mineral wealth existing side by side with pervasive poverty. Simply put, the AMV outlines the roadmap to the transparent, equitable and optimal exploitation of mineral resources to underpin broad-based sustainable growth and socio-economic development in Africa.

Source:: Africa Mining Vision Compact between business and host governments launched

Categories: AFRICA

EU launches 7 million Euros education programme for Puntland

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The European Union jointly with the Government of Puntland launched the second phase of the Puntland Education Sector Support Programme. The Waxbarashadu Waa Iftiin (Education is Light) phase II programme launched today is implemented by a consortium of NGOs comprising CARE, Save the Children, ADRA and VU Amsterdam University, and in close coordination with the Ministry of Education, Puntland.

The new programme will consolidate and expand the gains made under Waxbarashadu Waa Iftiin I which terminated in November 2015. The mentioned project was successful having directly benefited 21,000 primary school children, 6,700 secondary school children and 830 youth, the latter were equipped with vocational skills. In its bid to improve the learning environment, the programme constructed 10 new schools and 145 new classrooms.

The programme reflects full alignment with the education priorities set out in the Puntland’s Education Sector Strategic Plan, Peace and State-building Goal (PSG 5) of the New Deal Compact as well as the recently unveiled Sustainable Development Goals. It will contribute to the deepening of the sector-wide approach to education programming introduced in 2012 in Puntland.

With this new and significant education support from the EU, educational infrastructure will be expanded, teachers will be trained; textbooks will be distributed; youth will be equipped with marketable vocational skills and the capacity of the Ministry of Education to deliver education services will be strengthened. The programme also incorporates special measures for children with special needs, children from pastoralist communities and girls. Waxbarashadu Waa Iftiin II will be complemented by another new EU funded education programme worth 1.9 Million Euros focusing on curriculum and examinations.

“Education is essential in alleviating poverty, building peaceful societies and promoting social inclusion. Educated youth are less likely to become radicalized, attracted to militias and join other destabilising activities. It is on this basis that the EU continues to prioritize and support education development in Puntland. The programme we are launching today will go a long way in improving and expanding education and vocational training opportunities for Somali children and youth in target areas,” said the EU Ambassador and Special Envoy to Somalia, Michele Cervone d’Urso.

The European Union remains the largest donor in the education sector in Somalia. With contributions of 85 million EUR between 2008 and 2013 and 61 million EUR for the period covering 2014 to 2020, the EU is contributing the positive education trends that have emerged in Somalia over the recent years.

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

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Categories: AFRICA

Prominent African banker Alvaro Sobrinho set to continue claim for damages

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Alvaro Sobrinho, former head of Banco Espirito Santo’s Angolan unit, is set to continue his claim for damages in London against the publisher of Portuguese newspaper Expresso, his legal representatives confirmed this week. Sobrinho had claimed damages to his reputation in the UK following the publication of an article in Expresso criticizing loans made under his leadership. Since publication, Sobrinho has been cleared of the allegations during a Parliamentary hearing in Portugal, yet according to the statement he “continues to be affected in his business and philantrophic activities in the UK”.

Following the ruling of Judge James Dingemans in London in January, the statement read:

“The Court recognised the established and good reputation of Dr Álvaro Sobrinho in the UK, achieved through his work as a banker, investor and philanthropist, yet deemed sufficient harm was not caused by these articles in this jurisdiction. This goes against the personal and professional experiences encountered by our client since publication, and he continues to be affected in his business and philanthropic activities in the UK.

The Court formally recorded that Impresa did not seek to justify the meaning of the articles it published, which meaning was held to be capable of causing serious harm.

We will now be seeking permission to appeal.”

According to the judgement, Sobrinho became executive chairman of Banco Valor, another Angolan bank, in 2013, and is currently chairman of UK charity Planet Earth Institute.

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

Media contact:
Contact name: Justin Funke
Contact email: [email protected]

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Categories: AFRICA

UN distributes food and other emergency aid to the 38,000 civilians displaced by recent conflict in Darfur

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The United Nations and partners have distributed food relief and other humanitarian aid to the 38,000 civilians – the vast majority women and children – who have been displaced by the recent conflict in Darfur’s Jebel Marra area. Other life-saving assistance, delivered mostly by a 24-truck convoy escorted by the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) that arrived in the area on 11 February 2016, includes water, shelter, cooking equipment, latrines, medical supplies and nutritional supplement for malnourished children.

The hostilities in the Jebel Marra, that escalated mid-January, have forced thousands of civilians to flee the mountainous area that straddles three Darfur states, many walking for miles with no food or water. The 38,000 who have received assistance are in three locations in North Darfur – 23,000 in Sortony (next to a UNAMID base), 13,000 in Tawilla (in an established camp for displaced people) and over 1,000 in Kebkabiya town. In Sortony, a remote area with no established humanitarian presence, 62 per cent of the newly displaced are children and 28 per cent are women.

Thousands are also reported to have fled into Central Darfur but the UN has not yet been able to verify reported displacement or ascertain and respond to humanitarian needs.

“Emergency supplies have been delivered to the newly displaced in North Darfur, but longer term support will be required as long as it remains unsafe for them to return to their villages. Displacement could also increase if hostilities continue,” said the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Ms. Marta Ruedas. “The United Nations is calling for a cessation of hostilities and is urging all parties to the conflict to allow international humanitarian workers to reach displaced people in Central Darfur.

In addition to the emergency assistance provided, the UN and partners have also deployed medical staff and child protection officers.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

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UN distributes food and other emergency aid to the 38,000 civilians displaced by recent conflict in Darfur

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The United Nations and partners have distributed food relief and other humanitarian aid to the 38,000 civilians – the vast majority women and children – who have been displaced by the recent conflict in Darfur’s Jebel Marra area. Other life-saving assistance, delivered mostly by a 24-truck convoy escorted by the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) that arrived in the area on 11 February 2016, includes water, shelter, cooking equipment, latrines, medical supplies and nutritional supplement for malnourished children.

The hostilities in the Jebel Marra, that escalated mid-January, have forced thousands of civilians to flee the mountainous area that straddles three Darfur states, many walking for miles with no food or water. The 38,000 who have received assistance are in three locations in North Darfur – 23,000 in Sortony (next to a UNAMID base), 13,000 in Tawilla (in an established camp for displaced people) and over 1,000 in Kebkabiya town. In Sortony, a remote area with no established humanitarian presence, 62 per cent of the newly displaced are children and 28 per cent are women.

Thousands are also reported to have fled into Central Darfur but the UN has not yet been able to verify reported displacement or ascertain and respond to humanitarian needs.

“Emergency supplies have been delivered to the newly displaced in North Darfur, but longer term support will be required as long as it remains unsafe for them to return to their villages. Displacement could also increase if hostilities continue,” said the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Ms. Marta Ruedas. “The United Nations is calling for a cessation of hostilities and is urging all parties to the conflict to allow international humanitarian workers to reach displaced people in Central Darfur.

In addition to the emergency assistance provided, the UN and partners have also deployed medical staff and child protection officers.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

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Foreign Minister Steinmeier following the Foreign Ministers meeting on the situation in Libya

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Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement after the Foreign Ministers meeting on the situation in Libya on 13 February:

Libya is rarely the focus of media attention here – unjustly, in my view. What is happening on the other side of the Mediterranean just a few hundred kilometres south of Italy cannot be a matter of indifference to us in Germany and Europe. It cannot be a matter of indifference to us if unscrupulous human trafficking rings are left to go about their criminal business in the midst of chaos and civil war. And it certainly cannot be a matter of indifference to us if the ISIS terrorist militias gain a firm foothold on Europe’s fringes.

All of us here agreed that implementing the peace agreement and quickly forming a government of national unity will be decisive for stabilising Libya and thus also for the fight against ISIS.

UN Special Representative Martin Kobler reported to us on the latest state of affairs. There has been some progress in the two months since the peace agreement was signed. The parliament has approved the peace agreement in principle.

We very much hope that the Presidential Council will be able to submit a new cabinet list for the government of national unity for parliament’s approval soon.

It is good that we have been able to discuss this with President of parliament Agila today, and to make the international community’s expectations clear once again.

Our message is this: the time for manoeuvrings is over! This is the time to show responsibility for Libya. Because Libya cannot wait any longer to finally tackle the pressing problems of ISIS terrorism and violence.

All sides must help ensure that the government of national unity can take up work as soon as possible and embark on the difficult job of restoring state order in Libya, driving out the ISIS terrorists and enabling the people once again to live in peace and stability.

Germany, Europe and the international community are prepared to offer every possible assistance to support the Libyan government of national unity in these endeavours. This includes the development of state structures and the training of security forces.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Germany – Federal Foreign Office.

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Source:: Foreign Minister Steinmeier following the Foreign Ministers meeting on the situation in Libya

Categories: AFRICA

USAID and Government of Ghana Hold Workshop to Advance Universal Health Care Coverage in Africa

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The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with the Ghana Ministry of Health, the National Health Insurance Authority, and the World Health Organization, organized a five-day workshop focused on the goal of achieving universal healthcare in Africa. The workshop launched on Monday, February 15, 2016, at the Mövenpick Hotel in Accra, Ghana, and will run through Friday, February 19. It brings together more than 150 representatives from the government, civil society, and the private sector of countries including Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo and Uganda. Speakers include Robert P. Jackson, U.S. Ambassador to Ghana; Ariel Pablos-Mendez, USAID Assistant Administrator for Global Health; Honorable Alex Segbefia, Ghana Minister of Health; and experts from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank and the World Health Organization.

The workshop, entitled Africa Regional Peer-Learning Workshop on Country Approaches to Risk-Pooling for Attaining Universal Health Coverage, is facilitating interaction and knowledge-sharing between attendees on the topic of healthcare. It aims to familiarize policymakers with lessons learned and best practices for achieving universal healthcare, with a focus on financial risk protection.

At the workshop, officials from Ghana are sharing their experiences expanding and improving the quality of Ghanaian health care. Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme, which covers an estimated 40 percent of the population, has been lauded by the global community for its ability to provide equitable access and financial coverage for basic health care services to the Ghanaian population. USAID supports the National Health Insurance Authority in its efforts to strengthen its management, roll out a new provider payment system, improve its monitoring systems, engage with public and private health care providers, and increase the quality and scope of care.

“Change is possible when we partner together and learn from each other. The U.S. government, through USAID, collaborates closely with the National Health Insurance Agency to support its financial sustainability, increase enrollment, and improve effective coverage of quality health services,” said Ambassador Jackson.

These activities further the goals of USAID’s integrated Health, Population, and Nutrition Program, which works to improve the health and well-being of the population in Ghana. USAID partners with the government of Ghana to achieve these goals and build leadership, improve governance, and build capacity in the health sector.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Embassy of the United States – Accra – Ghana.

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Categories: AFRICA

The potential of agricultural biotechnologies in assisting family farmers

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Much more must be done to ensure that family farmers, especially those in developing countries, have access to agricultural biotechnologies that can make their activities more productive and sustainable in the face of major challenges such as climate change and population growth, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said today.

Opening the FAO-hosted international symposium “The Role of Agricultural Biotechnologies in Sustainable Food Systems and Nutrition”, Graziano da Silva stressed the need for “a broad portfolio of tools and approaches to eradicate hunger, fight every form of malnutrition and achieve sustainable agriculture.”

“As a neutral forum, FAO has been promoting debates, dialogues and exchanges of information in order to enhance our knowledge of these tools and approaches,” the FAO Director-General added.

The symposium focuses mainly on the broad range of biotechnologies that could result in yield increases, better nutritional qualities, and improved productivities of crops, livestock, fish and trees benefitting family farmers and their food systems, nutrition and livelihoods.

These include many “low tech” applications, for example fermentation processes, bio-fertilizers, artificial insemination, the production of vaccines, disease diagnostics, the development of bio-pesticides and the use of molecular markers in developing new varieties and breeds.

“We cannot lose sight that biotechnologies, knowledge and innovation must be available, accessible and applicable to family farmers including small holders,” Graziano da Silva told symposium participants. “We must find the means to remove the barriers that prevent their availability to family farmers,” he added.

“Let me state this loud and clear: this symposium is not about genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Agricultural biotechnologies are much broader than GMOs,” the FAO Director underscored.

About 500 scientists, representatives of government, civil society, the private sector, academia, farmers’ associations and cooperatives are participating in the three day event. A high-level ministerial segment will take place on 16 February.

Ahead of the symposium, FAO issued a worldwide public call of interest to ensure the broadest possible range of participants. All non-state actors were given equal space, and they responded according to their interests.

Sharing knowledge, experience and best practices

Through a series of presentations and side events, symposium participants will share knowledge, experience and best practices on how biotechnologies can help to make the transition from agricultural production that relies of fewer inputs with less negative impacts. Several success stories will be discussed. Examples of these – none of which involve GMOs – can be found here.

“We want to investigate and give examples of how modern biotechnologies can be compatible with principles of agroecological approaches,” Graziano da Silva said, noting that knowledge and innovation “grounded on sound evidence and science” are key to address the complex challenges of sustainable agriculture.

The symposium is planned around three main themes: climate change impacts; sustainable food systems and nutrition; and, people, policies, institutions and communities.

It also includes a special student interactive session to provide an opportunity for the young generation to listen to symposium speakers and to present their views. Students from five agricultural universities around the world will hold live webinars through video links with FAO headquarters in Rome.

As part of its efforts to promote international dialogues and exchanges of information on sustainable development FAO in 2014 organized an international symposium on agroecology and also helped launch the Global Alliance on Climate Smart Agriculture. In January this year it released a new edition of “Save and Grow in Practice” FAO’s model for ecosystem-based agriculture.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

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Categories: AFRICA

The fourth Royal Society of Chemistry and Procter & Gamble holds in Lagos

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The Royal Society of Chemistry and Procter & Gamble are delighted to once again have partnered to deliver the fourth in their successful series of joint symposia, this year returning to the inaugural city of Lagos. This year’s symposium, on the theme of Chemical Sciences and Technology Enabling Growth in Africa, has brought together a wide selection of renowned international and African speakers, on topics ranging from water, disease management and skincare. As well as focusing on high quality science, the symposium has delivered a program with a strong focus on regulatory solutions, entrepreneurship and paths to innovation. Commenting on the first day, RSC International Development Manager Stuart Govan said he was struck not only by the scientific quality of the presentations, but even more so by the speakers’ passion and enthusiasm to unlock Africa’s potential for growth. “Working with partners who share our vision, the Royal Society of Chemistry is able to generate even more impact from its activities. This is why we are delighted to be working again with Procter & Gamble, a company that very much shares our vision for Africa and what we can achieve together”.

This event is part of a number of events that the Royal Society of Chemistry has delivered since the forming of the Pan-African Chemistry Network in 2008. The aim of the PACN is to support African science, solve local problems and promote global knowledge. This year’s RSC-P&G symposium has attracted speakers from Nigeria, all across the African continent, the UK, Europe and America, and is therefore a perfect example of the network in action for the benefit of not only Nigeria but Africa as a whole.

Another example, recently announced as part of the Pan-African Chemistry Network, is a new five-year partnership with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to enhance the capabilities of African scientists in modern analytical skills. This expanded version of an existing programme will up skill and empower African scientists developing their practical analytical techniques to solve global challenges. It aims to train local chemists to train others – leaving a self-sustaining programme and lasting legacy in African science. Courses will take place across Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Ghana. For further details please visit the Royal Society Of Chemistry website.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of British High Commission Abuja.

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Categories: AFRICA

New Danish ambassador to Seychelles accredited

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The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Denmark to the Republic of Seychelles, HE. Ms. Mette Knudsen, presented her credentials to President James Michel at State House this morning.

President Michel and Ambassador Knudsen spoke about maritime security in the Indian Ocean region as well as the developments in the stabilization of Somalia.

They also spoke about Seychelles’ chairmanship of the East African Standby Force (EASF) in relation to the existing conflicts on the African continent. Ambassador Knudsen said that it is commendable that Seychelles is leading the EASF at the moment.

They also spoke about the need to tackle transnational crime in the Indian Ocean, including illegal fishing, drugs and arms trafficking.

Ambassador Knudsen told the national media that Denmark will continue to support Seychelles in the domain of maritime security.

“Our two countries have a lot of close cooperation when it comes to the maritime domain. The background has been the large problem of piracy which has been a challenge for both Denmark and Seychelles… we have also decided to support the Coast Guard of Seychelles with a number of small vessels, which will be handed over this year,” said Knudsen

Ambassador Knudsen said they also discussed economic growth and the tourism sector, noting that Seychelles has quite good growth. She said that Denmark has a lot of expertise in the renewable energy sector and that this is another potential area for cooperation.

Ambassador Mette Knudsen is based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Also present during the meeting were the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport, Mr. Joel Morgan, the President’s Diplomatic Adviser, Ambassador Callixte D’Offay, and the Honorary Consul of Denmark based in Seychelles, Mr. Basil Soundy.

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

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Council Conclusions on Somalia

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The Somali Compact launched at the Brussels New Deal Conference for Somalia in September 2013 has provided an essential framework for the reconstruction of Somalia. It has allowed for coordinated support to Somali authorities for the promotion of an inclusive political process, security, the rule of law and socio-economic development. It is the keystone of Somalia’s partnership with the international community. The EU highlights the importance of renewing the Compact beyond 2016, whilst preserving its essential elements. The EU reaffirms its commitment to support the development and stability of Somalia.

The EU will continue to work closely with the Somali authorities, the United Nations (UN), the African Union (AU) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) as well as other key actors, in the immediate region and beyond, and looks forward to the forthcoming Ministerial High Level Partnership Forum (HLPF) on Somalia in Istanbul to assess next steps in its partnership with Somalia. This meeting should focus on finalising the political process, securing Somalia and restoring state authority and public services in the territories recovered from al-Shabaab.

Somalia has entered a crucial year to consolidate political progress, notably on the formation of interim regional administrations, and to succeed in the electoral process by August 2016. Further genuine progress depends on Somali-led inclusive and accountable political processes, which should ensure participation of all, including women and persons belonging to minorities. The EU welcomes the progress of the state formation process and calls for the swift finalisation of an interim regional administration in Hiraan and Middle Shabelle, and for the definition of the status of Benadir. Reconciliation, inclusivity and capacity-building at the local level are crucial to prevent frictions, and to ensure the long term security and sustainability of a federal Somalia. The EU urges the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) to revitalise the constitutional review process, with a view to adopting a Constitution that is widely consulted and supports cooperation and coordination among the various Regional Administrations.

The recent decision on the model for the electoral process represents an important step forward. The EU looks forward to its swift implementation and constructive engagement from all stakeholders, including the Parliament, in order to comply with constitutional deadlines. The EU welcomes the 30 percent quota for women in both houses of parliament and expects all Somali leaders to adhere to the commitment. To ensure the respect of electoral process deadlines, an implementation plan should be presented by the Somali authorities at the next HLPF; extension of the mandate of the Parliament would not be acceptable. This year’s electoral process should mark a significant improvement in comparison with the 2012 process and should be more legitimate and inclusive. It should also be a step towards holding one-person-one-vote elections in 2020, planning for which needs to start now. The EU is ready to support the process, but highlights the need for the Somali political leadership and all stakeholders to honour their commitments.

Security and stabilisation of the country still remain a key priority and a prerequisite for sustainable state-building and development. The EU strongly condemns all terrorist attacks by al-Shabaab, including the recent large-scale attacks on the AU Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) and pays tribute to the sacrifices made by AMISOM, the Somali National Army (SNA) troops, as well as by Somali civilians. The EU recognises the significant territorial gains and overall progress, made by the SNA and AMISOM since its launch in restoring peace and security in Somalia and in the fight against al-Shabaab, but underlines that the overall security situation remains volatile.

The EU, through its African Peace Facility (APF), has been a crucial supporter of AMISOM since 2007 in its efforts to fulfil its mandate to defeat al-Shabaab. The mission’s operational effectiveness needs to be revitalised and enhanced. In this context, the EU recalls the results of the joint AU-UN benchmarking exercise and its recommendations, endorsed in UN Security Council Resolution 2232 (2015). It underlines the importance to resume offensive operations against al-Shabaab in a well coordinated manner, in full compliance with qualitative improvements requested by UNSC and with applicable international law.

Enhanced operational effectiveness should be achieved notably by strengthening Command and Control structures, by closer cooperation, under the leadership of the AU, among Troop Contributing Countries as well as by further coordination with the SNA and Somali Police Forces (SPF). The EU encourages further review of their campaign planning.
AMISOM forces must observe international human rights and humanitarian law and ensure the protection of civilians. In this context, the EU welcomes the creation of the Civilian Casualty Tracking, Analysis, and Response Cell within AMISOM and looks forward to the publication of its first progress report. Military advances should be aligned with stabilisation support efforts by Somali authorities to establish or improve governance structures in the recovered areas and by the provision of basic services, including security. The participation of women in roles as peacemakers and in governance structures should be increased.

Security and stabilisation can only become sustainable if supported by an effective SNA and an integrated civilian stabilisation effort, including SPF, followed by a quick deployment of a civil administration. Therefore, the EU regrets the limited progress in the development of an overall National Security Architecture that is essential for a sustainable security sector. It urges the Somali authorities to prioritise the fight against al-Shabaab and to focus on speedy, coordinated and sustainable integration of regional forces as well as renewed commitment to, and implementation of, the President’s pledge for significant reforms of the security sector, with a particular focus on financial management systems. The FGS has an obligation to pay its security forces and progress should be accelerated to implement a realistic security sector budget, as well as to increase transparency, accountability and civilian oversight. Poor financial accountability and absence of payroll reform risk undermining current achievements. The swift implementation of the Guulwade (Victory) Plan will be essential to AMISOM’s eventual exit strategy. As the mandate and model for the SPF are emerging, the Heegan (Readiness) Plan needs to be finalised, supported at political level and operationalized.

Essential conditions for balanced development and peace dividends across the country can be created on this basis. The EU reiterates its strong and urgent call on the AU and Somali authorities to invite other partners, especially from the immediate region, to contribute substantially to sustainable and predictable funding both for AMISOM and for the Somali security forces.
The EU welcomes the effective contribution of the CSDP missions and operation in Somalia and the Horn of Africa. Following a comprehensive review of this engagement, the Council confirms its intention to extend the mandates of the three CSDP missions and operation until December 2018, with a view to further enhancing the EU’s Comprehensive Approach in Somalia and the Horn of Africa, in particular the security-development nexus. In this regard, the EU reiterates its resolve to implement as soon as possible its initiative for Capacity Building in support of Security and Development (CBSD).

In particular, the EU considers it indispensable to build up the capacities of Somali defence institutions, including by the provision of equipment to train and maintain needed capabilities. The military CSDP Training Mission in Somalia (EUTM Somalia) will therefore continue to provide strategic advice to the Ministry of Defence and the General Staff as well as provide direct training support to the Somali National Army. The EU furthermore recognises that the dramatic reduction in pirate activity in the Western Indian Ocean is a major achievement and commends the significant contribution of counter-piracy operations such as EUNAVFOR Operation ATALANTA to this end. However, criminal networks ashore still exist and the threat of resurgence of piracy therefore remains. Hence, it welcomes the continued focus of Operation ATALANTA on countering piracy off the coast of Somalia, albeit with a downscaled force posture, while retaining the capacity to scale up should piracy resurge. The EU calls on the Federal Government of Somalia to further increase its contribution to counter-piracy and maritime security. It also welcomes the important role of EUCAP Nestor, in cooperation with other actors, including EU’s Maritime Security Programme and the Critical Maritime Routes Programme, to reinforce civilian maritime security capacities in Somalia, including by contributing to a pertinent rule of law framework in Somalia. Moving forward the mission will be renamed and refocused.

The EU recalls the adoption of the Horn of Africa Regional Action Plan 2015-2020 in October 2015 and notes that trans-regional threats such as trafficking in human beings and drugs, smuggling of migrants, illegal trade in charcoal, illegal fishing and proliferation of small arms and light weapons require increased attention, especially where such illegal activities form a source of income for al-Shabaab and other spoilers. The EU is concerned about the possible spill over effects of the conflict in Yemen as well as the importance of ongoing regional rivalries on efforts towards the stabilisation of Somalia and calls on all partners to ensure that their interventions are conducive to the country’s successful transition.
The EU is alarmed by continued serious violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights, including violence against women and children and attacks against journalists. It is essential to bring those responsible to justice. The EU encourages the Federal Government to take concrete measures to implement fully its Human Rights Roadmap adopted in August 2013 and to increase efforts in implementing its action plans on children and armed conflict, as well as to apply a moratorium on the death penalty. The EU also encourages the Somali authorities to enact the necessary legislation to operationalize its Human Rights Commission.

The EU urges the FGS to continue the implementation of financial governance reforms in order to improve transparency and accountability of the government’s finances with a view to increasing public and donor confidence. Efforts to strengthen the public financial management systems are an important building block towards debt relief. The forthcoming National Development Plan should enable Somali ownership, capacity development, and support implementation at the decentralised level.
In the context of the Valletta Action Plan and the Khartoum Process, the EU looks forward to working with the FGS on promoting and facilitating the voluntary return and reintegration of refugees and internally displaced persons, subject to the situation on the ground, as well as the return of Somalis who do not have legal basis to stay in the EU. During the October 2015 Brussels Conference, the EU renewed its commitment to provide assistance to support the 2013 Tripartite Agreement on Voluntary Repatriation of Somali Refugees from Kenya between the Governments of Kenya and Somalia, and UNHCR through the Emergency Trust Fund for Stability and Addressing the Root Causes of Irregular Migration and Displaced Persons in Africa.

The EU is concerned about the persistently high levels of humanitarian needs in Somalia currently exacerbated by El Niño. The EU remains committed to the provision of principled humanitarian assistance based on needs, provided in a neutral, impartial and independent manner and notes that a total of 166 M€ of EU and member states humanitarian assistance has been made available since 2015. The EU recognises the necessity of finding durable solutions to address the root causes of the persistent humanitarian needs. The EU also recognises the continued need to strengthen the resilience of vulnerable populations and enhance emergency preparedness.

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

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Source:: Council Conclusions on Somalia

Categories: AFRICA

Huawei Launches the Power Sharing Formula in Nigeria Through Jumia | Huawei G-Power #PowerOfSharing

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For the past couple of weeks, the Nigerian public has been speculating and trying to guess what #ThePowerOfSharing! Nigerians can heave a sigh of relief as Huawei is launching the Huawei G-Power #ThePowerOfSharing exclusively on Jumia (https://www.Jumia.com.ng)in Nigeria today, Monday, 15th of February, 2016.

Huawei is currently one of the top suppliers of the android smartphones all over the world and their epic antecedents in world Technology leaves much to be anticipated and desired even amongst those who are not tech enthusiasts.

This Huawei G-Power comes as a radical paradigm to bring to fore a power sharing formula which has ravaged the country’s ecosystem. The features of the Huawei G-Power is a tech touché to every Nigerian smartphone user who are in dire need of the phones power sharing formula, long battery life, a large memory and captivating camera quality of this laudable innovation.

It is in line with these expectations Huawei, has made the device exclusive to Africa’s online largest e-retailer, Jumia. The high-end mobile phone will be underpriced at N46,500 along with a FREE Bluetooth swan speaker worth N15,000 in the market.

“Huawei G-Power has raised the bar in the African mobile landscape with unique ability to charge other devices. Huawei G-Power is primed to give Nigerians the satisfaction they have always craved for. If there was anything synonymous to profit on investment it is definitely the Huawei G-Power.’ commented Fatoumata Ba, Managing Director of Jumia.

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

Media contact:

Huawei
Grace- Ayoka Grace Oluchi
[email protected]

Jumia
Simone- Simone Bartlett
[email protected]

Source:: Huawei Launches the Power Sharing Formula in Nigeria Through Jumia | Huawei G-Power #PowerOfSharing

Categories: AFRICA