Mogadishu attack: Emergency Response Update (as of 20 October 2017)

Following the massive bomb explosion in Mogadishu on 14 October, the Federal Government of Somalia, humanitarian organizations, the UN, NGOs, donors, the private sector, member states and civil society organizations have stepped up search and rescue efforts, including providing urgent life-saving assistance through the government-led emergency response center. Assistance provided so far include earthmoving and fire equipment, ambulances, cash, medical and food supplies and tents. As of 20 October, more than 300 people have been confirmed dead, over 300 people injured with nearly 200 people still missing.

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United Nations and World Council of Churches Consultation issues communique on sustainable peace in Burundi

A consultation in Arusha, Tanzania, has issued a communique entitled “Sustainable Peace in Burundi.” The meeting, organized by the World Council of Churches and the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect, drew together Burundian religious leaders on 18-19 October.

Representatives from the Roman Catholic Church, National Council of Churches of Burundi, Council of Union of Christian Churches, Islamic Community of Burundi, Confederation of Church and Revival of Burundi, and Seventh Day Adventist Church attended the consultation.

They examined the current situation in Burundi as well as the role of religious leaders and their contribution to enhance peace, security and reconciliation in the country.

The communique, in addition to recognizing government, civic and religious groups engaged in peace-building, also called on the international community and government of Burundi to re-establish diplomatic relationships.

Among other recommendations, the communique proposes establishing a workshop in Bujumbura in early 2018 engaging all religions. In addition, the communique urges the Burundian government to “continue to pursue the path of national peace, security, reconciliation, inclusive dialogue and social cohesion; and to establish the conditions for free, fair and transparent elections in 2020.”

The communique also urges Burundian political leaders to prevent the dissemination of divisive speech and narratives and incitement to violence; as well as promote peace, unity and non-violent behaviors. It urges the Burundian population to discard rumors and lies and remain peaceful and united.

The communique also calls upon the international community, including the Africa Union and United Nations, to re-establish good relations with the government of Burundi.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Council of Churches (WCC).

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United States Agency for International Development and Ghana Government Foster Private sector-led Economic Growth through Partnerships

Recognized as the largest annual gathering of farmers, buyers, manufacturers, government officials, development partners and financial institutions, the Seventh Annual Pre-Harvest Agribusiness event draws private sector investment and encourages the sustainable growth of agribusinesses in Ghana. On October 19, 2017, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future Initiative, in collaboration with the Government of Ghana and Agri-House Foundation, organized the event to build business relationships around the upcoming 2017 maize, rice and soybean harvest. In attendance were Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture Dr. Sagre Bambangi; Northern Regional Minister Honorable Salifu Saeed; and USAID/Ghana Agriculture Team Leader Jenna Tajchman who emphasized the importance of expanding economic opportunities for smallholder farmers and unlocking the potential of Ghanaian agribusinesses.

The Pre-Harvest event brought together over 1,000 agribusiness stakeholders across the country to network and learn about the latest technological advances in agriculture. Participants shared lessons learned and identified opportunities and challenges within the sector. The event featured business to business sessions as well as an exhibition, showcasing improved agricultural equipment, inputs and services. The event served as a platform to rally agribusiness stakeholders and the private sector to forge partnerships and make strategic investments to spur economic growth.

Ms. Tajchman shared that, “In Ghana, our Feed the Future program aims to expand economic opportunities and boost agricultural productivity. Over 85,000 individuals applied improved technologies and practices on over 72,600 hectares of land. The application of these improved technologies combined with training and marketing assistance led to farmer beneficiaries selling produce valued at over $120 million following the 2016 growing season. Now is the time to sustain this momentum and continue making investments that ensure Ghana’s progress, especially as Ghana advances the Beyond Aid Agenda.”

The Pre-Harvest Agribusiness event has been held annually since 2010, and was organized through Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative. Over the years, the event has linked rural farmers to new market opportunities and gained the support of the private sector.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Department of State.

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Source:: United States Agency for International Development and Ghana Government Foster Private sector-led Economic Growth through Partnerships

      

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President Zuma Appoints New Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) Board Members

President Jacob Zuma has appointed three new members of the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) Board.

The three new members are: Mr. Ronald Lamola, Ms. Martina Della-Togna and Ms. Nombeko Mbava.

Mr. Lamola is currently a member of the finance committee in the Tshwane University of Technology Governance Council. Ms. Della-Tonga is a multimedia and social media consultant and former Multimedia Manager in the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa.

Ms. Mbava is a board member of the South Africa Monitoring and Evaluation Association.

President Zuma wishes the three new members all the best in their new responsibilities.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Presidency.

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