COP21: Launch of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative

The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative was launched at a Session during the High-Level Meeting on “Lima-Paris Action Agenda: Focus on Energy” on 07 December, 2015 at the COP21. The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) aims to add an additional 10 GW and 300 GW of renewable energy capacity to the African energy sector by 2020 and 2030, respectively, and is endorsed and supported by the Governments of France, Germany, U.S., and Canada.

The High-Level Meeting was organized by the International Renewable Energy Agency (RENA) and the Sustainable Energy for All. The Session of the launch of this Initiative was attended by High-Level representatives of Government and International Organizations including African Ministers from Egypt, Nigeria, Benin, Senegal, Cameroun, Kenya, and Madagascar. Ministers from France, Germany, UK, Italy, Spain and Canada also attended the Session. H. E. Dr Khaled Fahmy, Minister of Environment of the Arab of Egypt and the Chair of AMCEN and H.E. Dr. Elham Ibrahim, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy at the African Union Commission, delivered keynote speeches at the opening of the Session.

In his Speech, H.E. Dr. Fahmy welcomed the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative and stated that it represented a landmark opportunity to move forward Africa’s sustainable energy development agenda. Mr. Fahmy further stated that the AMCEN and the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt will work together with all African Member States and stakeholders to ensure that the objectives of this Initiative are fully implemented in Africa.

Dr. Ibrahim, in her speech also welcomed this Initiative and re-iterated the commitment of the African Union Commission to support initiatives aimed at developing renewable energy and other modern energy sources in Africa. She pointed out that the implementation of this initiative will accelerate already on-going efforts to provide modern and sustainable energy access to all Africans. Dr. Ibrahim called on all stakeholders and Member States to leverage the opportunities provided by the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative and continue to harmonise their efforts and mobilize the required financial and technical resources needed to achieve Africa’s energy access Agenda. “We will work hard to support and see the success the African Renewable Energy Initiative and also call upon all stakeholders including Member States, financial institutions, the private and public sectors, civil societies and research institutions, amongst others, from all parts of the world to join us in our endeavours”, she Stated.

The Launch Session also included Signature Ceremonies; where H.E. Neven Mimica, European Commissioner in charge of International Development and Cooperation and other European countries signed on stage joint Declarations for Sustainable Energy for All in Africa with African Partners. The signings included: (1) Nigeria with France, Germany, Italy, UK and Spain; (2) Benin with France; (3) Senegal with France and Germany; (4) Cameroun with France; (5) Kenya with France, Italy, the Netherlands and the US; (6) Madagascar with France and Germany.

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

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Source:: COP21: Launch of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative

Categories: AFRICA

28th High Level meeting of Heads of the United Nations Missions in West Africa

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA), Mr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, will chair the 28th High Level meeting of Heads of the United Nations Missions in West Africa, on 11 December 2015 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

Participants:

Mr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for West Africa (UNOWA)

Mrs. Aïchatou Mindaoudou, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and Head of the UN Operation in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI)

Mr. Miguel Trovoada, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peace-Building Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS)

Mr. Mongi Hamdi, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA)

Mr. Farid Zarif, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and Head of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL)

Where: Hôtel Pullman, Abidjan

When: Friday, 11 December 2015 at 13.30

Context: Under the chair of The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA), Mr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the meeting will bring together the Heads of the United Nations Peace Missions in West Africa (UN Mission in Liberia, UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, Special Envoy for the Sahel, United Nations Integrated Peace-Building Office in Guinea-Bissau, UN Operations in Côte d’Ivoire).

This bi-annual meeting will focus mainly on governance and security developments in the sub-region and discuss ways and means to continue to strengthen coordination between the various UN entities in the sub-region. The Heads of Mission will also review progress in the implementation of their respective mandates.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA).

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Source:: 28th High Level meeting of Heads of the United Nations Missions in West Africa

Categories: AFRICA

Remarks Before Meeting With Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra

Remarks

John Kerry
Secretary of State

Paris, France

December 9, 2015

SECRETARY KERRY: Good morning, everybody. I want to say thank you to my friend Ramtane for his leadership and for Algeria’s leadership with respect to the mediation in Mali, where they successfully managed to get an agreement and are working still to reduce the tensions. And also we’ve been particularly engaged on the subject of Libya, and today we’ll talk at length about that because we have a meeting in Rome coming up in an effort to try to see if there isn’t a way to advance that process. So I’m very glad to see you again, and I look forward to visiting Algeria again. Thank you.

FOREIGN MINISTER LAMAMRA: Please, welcome. President Bouteflika and I are very grateful to you and to President Obama for all your leadership regarding Africa, Mali, but also communities that Syria and a number of key problems that humankind is faced with, beginning, of course, with the climate change.

SECRETARY KERRY: Absolutely. Thanks, my friend.

FOREIGN MINISTER LAMAMRA: It was my pleasure to be able to see you again.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you all very much.

FOREIGN MINISTER LAMAMRA: Thank you.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of U.S. Department of State.

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Source:: Remarks Before Meeting With Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra

Categories: AFRICA

Nigerian winners to receive awards from Her Majesty The Queen

It has been announced that three young people from Nigeria are among 60 young people from across the Commonwealth who are being recognised as exceptional leaders in their community. These 60 young people will receive a prestigious Queen’s Young Leaders Award.

The Award, which will be presented in London by Her Majesty The Queen in 2016, and is part of The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme, celebrates the achievements of young people who are taking the lead to transform the lives of others and make a lasting difference in their communities.

This year’s Award winners, aged between 18 and 29 and who come from all over the Commonwealth, are working to support others, raise awareness and inspire change on a variety of different issues including; education, climate change, gender equality, mental health and disability equality.

Nigeria’s Twenty three year old Imrana Alhaji Buba has been selected for the Generation Change Fellowship of the United States Institute of Peace and was also inducted into the Global Alliance for Youth Leaders. Imrana is the founder of an organisation which encourages peace building. Since 2010 he has partnered with local groups to visit surrounding villages to carry out community building and youth education programmes. His organisation now has more than 600 members. Imrana also offers training for unemployed young people. He offers training for unemployed young people to help them channel their potential in order to maximise the community building work he has carried out.

Twenty three year old Olanrewaju Adeloye, also from Nigeria, has always had an interest in health care and went to university to study medical physiology. Three years later he worked as an intern at a small primary health centre, in a deprived area, which served over 12,000 pregnant mothers and newborns a month. As a result of this experience he co-founded SaferMom; a startup which uses low cost mobile technologies (SMS, voice services and apps) to engage mothers with health information through pregnancy and their baby’s early years. More than 900 women in nine rural communities now use this service.

Olumide Femi Makanjuola, twenty eight, has been working for almost a decade in the LGBTI+ sphere. His work includes offering sexual health and human rights education and services to LGBTI+ persons in Nigeria. In 2013 he helped produce a documentary on the impact of the same sex marriage prohibition law on LGBTI+ persons called Veil of Silence, which has been screened in over 14 countries. Olumide has spoken about his work at the European Union Parliament, European Asylum Support Office, the World Pride Human Rights Conference and other related forums. The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme was established in 2014 by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust in partnership with Comic Relief and the Royal Commonwealth Society in recognition of The Queen’s lifetime of service to the Commonwealth. Over the next three years the Programme will support thousands of young people to achieve their goals. Dr Astrid Bonfield, Chief Executive of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust said: “Once again 60 incredible young people from around the Commonwealth have shown strength, leadership, empathy and drive. Some of our winners are just embarking on their leadership journey and others are more established. Either way, we recognise not only what these amazing young people have achieved, but also their potential in changing people’s lives for the better in the countries and communities in which they live.” To see a full list of Award winners and Highly Commended runners up, and read more about their stories please visit www.queensyoungleaders.com .

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

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Source:: Nigerian winners to receive awards from Her Majesty The Queen

Categories: AFRICA

UN and partners call for US$ 2 billion for emergency needs in the Sahel

United Nations agencies and partners today launched the Sahel humanitarian appeal for 2016. The regional plan calls for US$1.98 billion to provide vital assistance to millions of people affected by crises in nine countries across Africa’s Sahel region.

“In the Sahel, the combined effects of climate change, abject poverty, fast population growth and a tormenting rise in violence and insecurity dangerously undermine the lives, assets and future prospects of some of the most vulnerable communities in the world,” said Toby Lanzer, Assistant Secretary-General and Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel. “We need the renewed support of the international community to ensure millions are afforded the most basic assistance and protection they deserve to survive and live a dignified life,” Lanzer added.

In 2016, some 23.5 million people – almost one in six – will not have enough to eat, of which at least 6 million will require emergency food assistance. Acute malnutrition will threaten the lives and development of 5.9 million children under five years of age.

“Agricultural assistance is essential to restore people’s livelihoods and contribute to halt the vicious cycle of poverty and vulnerability in the Sahel”, said Vincent Martin, Head of the sub-regional resilience and emergency office for West Africa (FAO) and FAO Representative in Senegal. “For the many families who rely on subsistence farming, timely assistance will allow them to continue to grow their own food, secure income and take advantage of local economic opportunities.”

A spike in violence has worsened the already dire situation in the region and has led to new peaks of displacement. Today, 4.5 million people have been forced from their homes, representing a threefold increase in less than two years. In addition to the volatile situation in Mali, where insecurity continues to hamper the return to their homes of some 200,000 Malians, the violence across the Lake Chad Basin accounts for more than half of the displaced people in the Sahel.

“The world has sadly not yet woken up to the scale of the crisis in the Lake Chad Basin. 30 million people live in areas affected by Boko Haram’s senseless acts of terrorism. Their random targeting leaves entire populations in fear, and 2.5 million have so far had to flee from their homes”, stressed Jan Egeland, the Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), one of the organisations providing assistance to the displaced in north-east of Nigeria.

“Mounting humanitarian need is the most visible symptom of the triple crisis of poverty, insecurity and climate change that plagues the Sahel region,” Lanzer concluded. “As humanitarians, we will do our part, delivering essential food, health care, safe water and sanitation to families; treating children from malnutrition and striving so they can stay in schools despite the odds. We also pledge to work with countries and organisations engaged in development and stabilisation programmes, without which humanitarian aid will be required indefinitely.”

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

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Source:: UN and partners call for US$ 2 billion for emergency needs in the Sahel

Categories: AFRICA

UK and Kenya sign new Defence Co-operation Agreement (DCA)

Today saw the signature of a new Defence Co-operation Agreement (DCA) between the UK and Kenya. The document, signed on behalf of their respective Governments by British High Commissioner Nic Hailey and CS Defence Raychelle Omamo, will now go forward for ratification in the UK and Kenyan Parliaments.

The new DCA will significantly enhance defence co-operation between the two countries, with increased interaction between the three Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) services and UK Armed Forces. This will increase the operational effectiveness of both nations, and further contribute to Kenyan and wider regional security. It will also enable the continuation of British military training in Kenya, worth approximately Ksh 9 billion per annum to the Kenyan economy.

Speaking following the signature at KDF Headquarters, new British High Commissioner to Kenya Nic Hailey said:

“The UK is Kenya’s longest-standing defence and security partner, and both our countries want to see the relationship continue and grow. This new agreement is based on mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty, the Kenyan Constitution and the shared interest of our military relationship.”

Notes to Editors

The military relationship between the UK and Kenya is a genuine partnership, based on mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty, in which both countries benefit.

UK defence spend in Kenya last year was around Ksh 8.7 billion, with the majority (Ksh 7 billion) going directly into the Kenyan economy. The remainder went towards institutional development, collective and individual training, capacity building, gifting of equipment, operational assistance and community projects.

Finalizing the new Defence Co-operation Agreement (DCA) will allow for strengthened defence engagement in areas such as border security and Counter Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) capability, and continue training and capacity building to Kenya and other AMISOM troop-contributing countries.

Contrary to some media reporting, the UK has never sought immunity from prosecution for soldiers who commit crimes in Kenya. The UK Government insists on legal accountability for all its personnel in line with either British or Kenyan law, depending on which is most appropriate in the circumstances

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

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Source:: UK and Kenya sign new Defence Co-operation Agreement (DCA)

Categories: AFRICA

Africa-Led Renewable Energy Project Receives Billions in Backing from International Community

The ambitious Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI), an African-led plan to add 10,000 MW of additional renewable energy on the continent by 2020, has received over $10 billion worth of backing from the international community at COP21.

At an event on the sidelines of the Paris climate meeting, the European Union, Sweden and G7 jointly pledged $10 billion. In particular, Germany will contribute $3.25 billion, France $2.2 billion, Sweden $500 million and Canada CA$110 million to the initiative, which will provide clean power to millions across the continent.

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner said, “Africa’s renewable energy revolution will ensure access to clean, reliable and efficient energy, while ensuring we do not add to the greenhouse gas emissions we are gathered here in Paris to reduce. The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative aims to do just that. Such leadership from Africa, and the financial backing from the international community announced today, provides fresh hope that we can tackle the twin challenges of sustainable development and climate change.”

African Development Bank (AfDB) President Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina said, “Africa is tired of being in the dark. The Lack of electricity has put the brakes on Africa’s industrialization. Through the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative, we can sustain fast economic growth in Africa and on a low carbon development pathway.”

Approximately 600 million people have no access to electricity in Africa, with the figure expected to rise to 700 million by 2030 without further action, a 2015 UNEP report found. As a result, many rely on wood or other biomass to cook and heat their homes, leading to hundreds of thousands of deaths each year from indoor air pollution.

AREI- which was launched by representatives of the African Union, the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment, and the African Development Bank, among others-aims to help achieve sustainable development and enhanced well-being by ensuring universal access to clean and affordable energy.

In its second phase, the initiative is targeting the mobilization of Africa’s massive renewable resources, such as solar, geothermal and wind, to generate at least 300 GW by 2030, more than doubling current.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

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Source:: Africa-Led Renewable Energy Project Receives Billions in Backing from International Community

Categories: AFRICA

Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) bags the “The Most Outstanding Institution for Contribution to Islamic Finance” award in Kuala Lumpur

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) (www.ICD-idb.org) was presented the prestigious “The Most Outstanding Institution for Contribution to Islamic Finance” award at the Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum (KLIFF) Awards Ceremony 2015, which was held in conjunction with the 12th Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum in Kuala Lumpur on 1 December 2015.

Hailed as one the most respectable market-led awards in Islamic banking and finance, the annual Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance (KLIFF) Awards aims to highlight the best practices in Islamic banking and finance, and honor and acknowledge the significant efforts and contributions of individuals and institutions in the Islamic finance industry. Both foreign and local Islamic financing institutions are polled for the various categories of the awards. The guest of honor for this year’s ceremony was YB Senator Dato’ Dr. Asyraf Wajdi Dato’ Dusuki, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department of Malaysia, Malaysia, who also presented the awards to the winners.

Mr Khaled Aboodi commented, “On behalf of ICD, we are pleased to be accorded this prestigious award. It is a an honor for ICD to be receiving this award and to witness ICD gain recognition and stand alongside a long list of admirable Islamic finance institutions and industry leaders, all of whom have worked diligently to drive Islamic finance growth in the global sphere. Since its inception in 1999, ICD has dedicated itself to private sector development through Sharia’a compliant means in its 52-member countries to provide access to finance and promote inclusive growth through reducing inequality and poverty. We have achieved remarkable results not only in financial terms, but most importantly in our efforts to achieve sustainable development goals. And all of these is an accumulation of the strong support of our stakeholders. Receiving this award is a testament to our collective efforts in the domestic and international arena, and it will spur us to strive even harder to stay committed to our role and duty as a multilateral development financial institution.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD).

For further information please contact:
Nabil Al-Alami
Head, Marketing
E-mail: nalami@isdb.org
Website: www.icd-idb.org

About the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD)
The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) (www.ICD-idb.org) is a multilateral organization, part of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group. ICD was established in November 1999 to promote economic development of its member countries in accordance with the principles of the Shari’a through private sector development. ICD encourages the establishment, expansion and modernization of private enterprises through financing private sector enterprises or projects. Projects are selected on the basis of their contribution to economic development considering factors such as creation of employment opportunities and contribution to exports. ICD also provides advice to governments and private sector groups on policies to encourage the establishment, expansion and modernization of private enterprises, development of capital markets, best management practices and enhance the role of market economy. ICD operations complement the activities of the IDB.

Source:: Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) bags the “The Most Outstanding Institution for Contribution to Islamic Finance” award in Kuala Lumpur

Categories: AFRICA

H.E. Amb Smail Chergui, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security congratulates Mr. El Ghassim Wane on his appointment as Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations in the United Nations (UN)

H.E. Amb Smail Chergui, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security has congratulated Mr. El Ghassim Wane for his appointment as Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations in the United Nations (UN).

“It was with great pleasure that I learned of your appointment as Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations in the United Nations (UN) and on behalf of the Peace and Security Department as a whole I would like to extend to you my warmest congratulations,” he said.

“Over the years, the United Nations and the African Union have forged a close and solid partnership on a range of thematic issues. Your role as Director was further characterized by renewed dialogue and collaboration with the AU Partners, particularly with the UN, on issues related to peace and security on the Continent. Your appointment therefore comes at an opportune time as the two organizations are continuously working to enhance their cooperation in the area of peace and security.’

Mr Wane’s appointment is thanks to his personal qualities but it is also in recognition of the AU’s increasing capabilities in the management of crises on the continent.

Amb. Chergui lauded Mr. Wane for his 21 years of distinguished and exemplary service to the Commission, adding that he had inspired the staff of the Department to aspire to greater heights in advancing the cause of peace and security on the Continent.

Amb Chergui said that Mr. Wane will be remembered at the Commission for his contribution to several of the AU’s flagship conflict prevention and management initiatives, most notably to the formulation of key AU policy documents relating to the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), the June 2006 Policy on Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) and the AU Border Programme among others.

“I would like to express to you my sincere and profound thanks for the dedication and commitment with which you served the Commission as Director of the AU Peace and Security Department (PSD). I am confident that you will take with you to the UN, the wealth of experience, industry and charismatic leadership that you have developed at the AU. I have no doubt that you will be equally dedicated to championing global peace and security at the UN with the same vigor and passion as you have demonstrated at the Commission. I wish you every success in this new phase of your professional career,” he said.

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

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Source:: H.E. Amb Smail Chergui, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security congratulates Mr. El Ghassim Wane on his appointment as Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations in the United Nations (UN)

Categories: AFRICA

4th Annual High Level Dialogue on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance in Africa: Trends, Challenges and Prospects.

The 4th “High Level Dialogue on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance: Trends, Challenges and Prospects” under the theme “Women’s Equal Participation and Leadership in Political Parties in Africa” officially opened yesterday in Kigali, by Hon. Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwanda Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.

`The High Level Dialogue, which is an annual convening of the African Union Commission, is designed to provide a frank, open and inclusive space for African Governance Architecture Platform Members, Member States and non-state actors to reflect and account on the impact of their work towards consolidating democracy and strengthening good governance in Africa. The 2015 Dialogue is envisaged as an opportunity to share comparable lessons and experiences on ensuring women’s equal participation and leadership in political parties in Africa at all levels.

[Description: Description: 7-8 Dec 2015 4th High Level Dialogue on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance in Africa (2)] In his own remarks at the opening, the Chair of the AU Permanent Representative Committee, H.E. Amb. Albert Chimbindi noted that Aspiration 6 of the AU Agenda 2063 urges African Heads of State and Government to ensure that women occupy 50% of elected public offices and half of the managerial positions in both the public and private sector by 2063. He added that the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) equally guarantees the right of women to participate in political and decision-making processes. Nonetheless, he argued that the continent still grapples with challenges such as high illiteracy levels, age-old stereotypes about what women can or cannot do, constraints of poverty, lack of time due to disproportionate family tasks and agricultural activities which all contribute to excluding and/or discouraging women from taking on active roles in political parties or in political life in general.

[Description: Description: 7-8 Dec 2015 4th High Level Dialogue on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance in Africa (6)] In her own remarks, the African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs, H.E Dr. Aisha Laraba Abdullahi applauded the leadership of Rwanda as a shining example for women participation in Africa and indeed the world. She stated that the 2015 Dialogue seeks to achieve three broad goals: (i) renewed commitment of Member States to ratify, domesticate and implement AU Shared Values Instruments that promote gender equality, particularly the Maputo Protocol; (ii) enhanced synergy, cooperation and collaboration among AGA Platform Members in promoting gender equality and leadership of women in political parties; and (iii) critically study and understand Rwanda’s success story on women empowerment and participation with the aim of replicating the lessons in other AU Member States in regard to participation of women in political parties.

[Description: Description: 7-8 Dec 2015 4th High Level Dialogue on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance in Africa (4)] While declaring the Dialogue open, H.E.Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda represented by H.E. Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwanda Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation emphasized the role of African political parties towards promotion and enhancement of women in decision-making. She expressed the gratitude of the Government and people of the Republic of Rwanda to the African Union Commission for having chosen Rwanda to host the current Dialogue and recognized this as a sign of recognition of the work done so far by her Government on women empowerment issues. Before declaring the Dialogue officially opened, H.E. Louise Mushikiwabo renewed the commitment of Rwanda towards achieving the three main expected goals of the Dialogue.

The Dialogue was preceded by a youth pre-forum which focused on “youth participation and leadership in Political Parties with special focus on young women”. Participants at the youth pre-forum were drawn from more than 40 Member states of the African Union also took part in a one skill building session dedicated to improving the capacities of African youth for civic engagement, democratic leadership and development on the continent.

The two-day Dialogue is set to conclude on Tuesday 8th December 2015. The dialogue has been convened by the African Union Commission under the auspices of the African Governance Architecture and the Government of Rwanda through the Rwandan Governance Board. Other partners include the United Nations Development Programme, GIZ, International IDEA, State of Union (SOTU), National Democratic Institute, Institute for Security Studies, INFONET, YouthHubAfrica amongst others.

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

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Source:: 4th Annual High Level Dialogue on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance in Africa: Trends, Challenges and Prospects.

Categories: AFRICA

Power Africa Launches New Partnerships and Tools at Paris Climate Change Conference

As part of the U.S. Government’s approach to addressing the threat of climate change, Power Africa will forge several new partnerships and launch new tools during the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP 21) to support the development of renewable energy across sub-Saharan Africa. Scaling up access to cleaner electricity helps mitigate climate change and enhance resilience to climate shocks.

The energy sector continues to be one of the world’s largest sources of carbon pollution. Addressing sub-Saharan Africa’s energy challenge – where 2 out of 3 people live without access to reliable electricity – while reducing the energy-related drivers of climate change will require an intensive effort to build and upgrade the continent’s energy infrastructure.

Power Africa announced several new partnerships at COP21, including:

A new partnership with the Government of Norway, which aligns the collective investments of the United States and Norwegian governments in renewable energy; expands off-grid and mini-grid efforts; leverages Norway’s expertise in hydropower; supports regional power pools to increase renewable energy generation; and supports gender-inclusive growth in the power sector. Through this Memoranda of Understanding, the Government of Norway, through Norfund, is committing to bringing 1,500 MW online over a five-year period, contributing to Power Africa’s overall 30,000 MW electricity generation goal.
A new partnership with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which will focus on expanding information-sharing to further renewable energy growth in sub-Saharan Africa. Specifically, this cooperation will explore sharing publicly-available information on specific project opportunities and pipelines through IRENA’s Sustainable Energy Marketplace and Power Africa’s transaction tracking database. The objective of the Sustainable Energy Marketplace is to accelerate the scale-up of investments to promote the initiation, development and financing of low-carbon renewable energy projects by bringing together project owners, governments, financiers, and service and technology providers. This marketplace will make investment opportunities visible and easily identifiable for investors and help project developers to identify relevant funding sources and expertise.
A partnership with the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) to expand and leverage investments in cleaner energy; support power pools and other interventions to increase cleaner energy power generation and access to power through regional integration. This agreement includes Power Africa’s collaboration on the DFID-led Energy Access campaign, which will specifically focus on how to rapidly accelerate growth in the African household solar industry. This partnership will also support efforts to advance the full participation of women in the energy sector; support the regional development of the geothermal sector; and strengthen donor coordination in the sector by maximizing impact of interventions.

Other announcements that expand Power Africa’s partnerships and enhance coordination include:

Launch of the Efficiency for Access (E4A) Coalition Together with Global LEAP & SE4ALL: The Global Lighting and Energy Access Partnership (Global LEAP), whose partners include Power Africa, the World Bank Group, and the United Nations Foundation, among others, in collaboration with Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) are announcing at COP21 the E4A Coalition. The new effort aims to mobilize global support for the development and deployment of super-efficient, high-quality energy products and services in order to unlock the massive potential of energy efficiency as an energy access resource. E4A released its 2016 Framework for Action, which outlines E4A’s vision and steps for the coming year of action to mobilize and coordinate commitments from public and private sector partners leading up to COP22 in 2016.
Launch of Women in African Power: Power Africa will officially launch Women in African Power, a network dedicated to advancing the role and representation of women within the energy sector in Africa. Building cleaner, more climate-resilient power sectors that serve all people will require the inclusion and participation of all stakeholders — including those that have traditionally been sidelined from the energy industry.

Power Africa will also announce new tools and transaction milestones:

Release of the French-language version of the Power Purchase Agreement Handbook: One year ago, Power Africa, through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Law and Development Program, brought together a group of international experts to draft and publish a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) handbook that provides an overview of PPAs and the obligations, risks and remedies that are found within them. The group of experts included contributors from governments, development banks, private banks and leading international law firms. Power Africa continues to tailor its tools to address needs on the ground and is releasing a French-language version of this handbook to reach Francophone countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Announce a new commitment to the European Union’s ElectriFI Initiative: Power Africa will announce a new commitment of up to $10 million in support for the European Union’s Electrification Financing Initiative (ElectriFI). This joint venture, which includes many Power Africa partners, aims to encourage private investors to fund rural power projects across Africa. To improve project bankability and increase access to late-stage finance, the ElectriFI platform will provide blended finance, meaning early-stage grants that can be converted into long-term subordinated debt. It also deploys in-country managers to build the skills and capabilities of people working on electrification projects. These actions will support private investors along the rural power supply chain with the ultimate goal of expanding rural power access.
Support for Private Sector Investment in Renewable Energy in Zambia: As part of their commitment to Power Africa, USAID and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) are partnering with a local financial institution to support the renewable energy and agriculture sectors in Zambia. USAID and Sida are jointly contributing $8 million in private sector lending for renewable energy production and agricultural sector investment across the country. This financing will better position farmers and landowners to invest in renewable energy technologies, such as biodigesters that can power a milk chiller, or in solar-powered devices that improve irrigation, increasing the number of harvests and their yields.

President Obama launched Power Africa in 2013 – a partnership to help double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa, working with African governments, the private sector, and bilateral and multilateral development partners. Since Power Africa’s launch in 2013, the partnership has successfully mobilized significant investments in renewable technologies across sub-Saharan Africa, helping to diversify energy portfolios and accelerate Africa’s transition toward thriving, low-carbon economies.

The U.S. Government’s initial commitment of $7 billion has leveraged nearly $43 billion in commitments from over 120 public and private sector partners. Power Africa has helped projects expected to generate over 4,100 MW of new, cleaner electricity reach financial close and is actively supporting an additional 22,000 MW of projects. Over three-quarters of these projects involve clean, renewable technology.From wind parks in Kenya, to solar arrays in Rwanda, and geothermal generation in Ethiopia, Power Africa is putting the continent’s vast renewable resources to work. Power Africa’s aim is to help African governments build cleaner, more climate-resilient power sectors that serve all people. Learn more about Power Africa at usaid.gov/powerafrica.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

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Source:: Power Africa Launches New Partnerships and Tools at Paris Climate Change Conference

Categories: AFRICA

Joint statement on Libya

The Ambassadors and Special Envoys of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Head of the EU Delegation to Libya reaffirmed their strong support for the UN-facilitated Libyan Political Agreement, negotiated in Skhirat, as the only way forward to resolve Libya’s political, security and institutional crises. The agreement represents the culmination and consensus of a year of complex negotiations between the wide breadth of Libyan participants in the National Dialogue. It enjoys the support of the Libyan people and majorities of both House of Representatives (HoR) and the General National Congress (GNC). The Ambassadors and Special Envoys noted that a recent ‘declaration of principles’ has been announced by a very small number of HoR and GNC MPs while a sustainable solution to the crisis can be only as inclusive as possible. No last minute attempt to derail the UN driven process will succeed.

They underlined concern for the suffering of the Libyan people as a result of the dire humanitarian situation, deteriorating economy, and the growing threat of terrorism from Daesh and other extremists. They stressed the urgent need for a united government to resolve the situation, and highlighted the comprehensive support the international community is ready to provide to a Government of National Accord. The Ambassadors and Special Envoys urged those who remain opposed to the agreement to act urgently and responsibly in the interests of the Libyan people, and to join the majority who want peace in unity under a stable and inclusive Government of National Accord.

The Ambassadors and Special Envoys stressed that the upcoming Rome conference will demonstrate the commitment of the international community to an urgent conclusion of the Libyan Political Agreement.

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

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Source:: Joint statement on Libya

Categories: AFRICA