Briefing by EU on support to health sector in Zambia,

Media Advisory

What: Briefing by European Union on support to health sector in Zambia through the MDGi programme

When: 4 May 2016

Time: 13:00hrs (lunch followed by briefing)

Where: Mulungushi Conference Centre, Room 2 Old Wing.

Why: The Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ), the European Union (EU), and the United Nations (UN) are supporting the implementation of an ambitious programme: the “Millennium Development Goal Initiative (MDGi) — Accelerating Progress towards Maternal, Neonatal and Child Morbidity and Mortality Reduction in Zambia.” This programme will be implemented over a 48-month period and aims at improving the availability and quality of health and nutrition services in 11 districts in Lusaka and Copperbelt provinces, covering over 30% of the Zambian population. The total budget of the programme is Euro 48 million (more than 400 million Kwacha) and it is solely funded by the EU.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

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Press release on PBF support to AU in Burundi: UN Peacebuilding Fund Finances African Union Human Rights Observers in Burundi –

Thirty-two (32) African Union human rights observers will be able to continue their work in Burundi for another six months after the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) transferred $2.26 million to the African Union Commission late last week, the AU and the PBF announced today.

This is the first time the PBF provides direct support to the African Union Commission and it represents a move toward strengthened cooperation between the UN and the AU in peacebuilding, in line with the resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly and Security Council last week, calling on the UN to strengthen its cooperation with the AU and other regional organisations.

In this latest round of financing, the PBF also supports the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Burundi with just over $300,000 for training and joint monitoring missions with the AU.

The observers were deployed in response to the decisions of the African Union Peace and Security Council of 14 May 2015 and 13 June 2015, expressing its concern with the increased cases of human rights abuses in Burundi. They are tasked with observing, monitoring and documenting human rights violations in the country as well as human rights advocacy with the government.

The observers have been deployed since July 2015 with funding support from the European Union, which is also supporting the AU military experts in Burundi. The PBF funds cover 32 human rights observers’ presence from April to September 2016. Their deployment is the second step in the AU’s planned deployment of 100 human rights observers and 100 military experts.

This support builds on existing PBF financing for human rights in Burundi. Human rights have been one of the key areas of PBF support to Burundi from the initial stages of PBF engagement in 2008. The AU and the PBF welcomed this fruitful cooperation and hope that the presence of the AU human rights observers will help to reduce the violations of human rights in Burundi.

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

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Source:: Press release on PBF support to AU in Burundi: UN Peacebuilding Fund Finances African Union Human Rights Observers in Burundi –

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Canada announces new support for Women’s Empowerment in Middle East and North Africa

Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced on behalf of the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Canada’s contribution of $16.3 million to further support women’s empowerment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region through a project implemented by the Forum of Federations.

The project, Empowering Women for Leadership Roles in the MENA Region, will help more than 5,400 women in Jordan, Tunisia and Morocco increase their participation and representation at all levels of government, including in parliaments, local governments, women’s coalitions, civil society organizations and academia. By improving their skills in such areas as public speaking and management, as well as their familiarity with political systems, this project will empower women to take leadership roles in parliaments and participate in decisions that will have an impact on their lives and their communities.

Parliamentary Secretary Goldsmith-Jones made the announcement at the Women in Parliaments Global Summit in Amman, Jordan. The Global Summit presents a unique opportunity to discuss and engage in dialogue on the most pressing issues regarding the role and importance of female decision makers in today’s parliaments.

Quotes

“Canada is committed to promoting greater gender equality and more inclusive governance. Women’s participation in political spheres and decision-making spaces is essential to ensuring that democracies are truly representative. More women in leadership positions means a more balanced view on policy. And it tells young girls and boys that power can, and should, be held equally.”

– Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

“The Forum of Federations thanks the Government of Canada for generously supporting this important project, which will encourage gender equality and women’s empowerment in political participation. With this announcement, Canada continues its role as a global leader in promoting and encouraging women’s leadership around the world.”

– Rupak Chattopadhyay, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Forum of Federations

Quick facts

There are an estimated 9,000 woman parliamentarians around the world.
According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2015, the average participation rate for women in the parliaments of Arab countries is 7 percent compared to the global participation rate of 25 percent.
In MENA region countries, only 25 percent of women are employed in the workforce compared to 50 percent globally.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Department of Foreign Affairs Canada.

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Consultative meeting in Algiers on the start-up of AFRIPOL

The African Union (AU) Commission held in Algiers, Algeria, on 27-28 April 2016, the consultative meeting on the start-up of the African Union Mechanism for Police Cooperation (AFRIPOL).

The meeting was intended to provide an opportunity for AFRIPOL to learn from the experiences and best practices in police cooperation from the other police cooperation organizations, as part of the steps towards the full operationalization of AFRIPOL in 2017. The participants included the Chairperson and representative of the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (SARPCCO) and the East African Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (EAPCCO), respectively. Other regional police and law enforcement cooperation organizations, including the ASEAN Chiefs of Police (ASEANAPOL), the European Union’s law enforcement agency (EUROPOL) and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) participated at the meeting. The AU Commission and the African Center for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT) were also represented. Algeria participated as host of the AFRIPOL Secretariat.

The opening session featured statements by His Excellency Major General Abdelghani HAMEL, General Director of National Security of Algeria and Dr. Tarek A. SHARIF, Head, Defence and Security Division in the Peace and Security Department of the AU Commission. The statements highlighted the transnational nature of the organized crime and the terrorist threat, and stressed the need for cooperation between and among the relevant agencies in the Member States to counter them.

Participants exchanged views, experiences and best practices on sharing of information, building and sharing databases, staffing, effective cooperation, including beyond the continent, and the need for minimum requirements in training.

In his closing remarks, Major General Abelghani HAMEL, stressed the need for enhanced cooperation between the police and law enforcement agencies in Africa and the benefits of such cooperation in the fight against transnational organized crime and terrorism.

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

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Source:: Consultative meeting in Algiers on the start-up of AFRIPOL

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Yohannes Tilahun has announced his intent to resign from his position as Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of GE Ethiopia

I would like inform you that Yohannes Tilahun has announced his intent to resign from his position as Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of GE Ethiopia (http://www.ge.com/africa/company/ethiopia) as of May 1st 2016 to pursue other opportunities.

Yohannes joined us from Ethiopian Investment Commission (“EIC”), where he held the role of Senior Director, Strategy. He has also served as a special advisor to the CEO of the EIC as well as other Government Ministers on numerous issues including priority focus areas for greater economic development through private sector involvement. Prior to this, he held roles of increasing responsibilities in the US with Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley. Yohannes brought years of experience in designing and successfully executing large multi-stakeholder
projects and leading teams to deliver results.

We thank Yohannes for his contributions to support GE’s growth in Ethiopia and we wish him all the best in
his future endeavors.

Daniel Hailu, COO Ethiopia will be acting CEO Ethiopia until a replacement is identified.

Jay Ireland
President & CEO, GE Africa

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

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Yohannes Tilahun has announced his intent to resign from his position as Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of GE Ethiopia

I would like inform you that Yohannes Tilahun has announced his intent to resign from his position as Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of GE Ethiopia (http://www.ge.com/africa/company/ethiopia) as of May 1st 2016 to pursue other opportunities.

Yohannes joined us from Ethiopian Investment Commission (“EIC”), where he held the role of Senior Director, Strategy. He has also served as a special advisor to the CEO of the EIC as well as other Government Ministers on numerous issues including priority focus areas for greater economic development through private sector involvement. Prior to this, he held roles of increasing responsibilities in the US with Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley. Yohannes brought years of experience in designing and successfully executing large multi-stakeholder
projects and leading teams to deliver results.

We thank Yohannes for his contributions to support GE’s growth in Ethiopia and we wish him all the best in
his future endeavors.

Daniel Hailu, COO Ethiopia will be acting CEO Ethiopia until a replacement is identified.

Jay Ireland
President & CEO, GE Africa

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

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Statement by the Spokesperson on the Presidential Elections in Equatorial Guinea

The elections in Equatorial Guinea, while held in a generally orderly manner and calm atmosphere, were a missed opportunity for the democratisation of the country.

The campaign was held without any debate on national issues. There was an inequitable access of candidates to public media and financial resources as well as incidents of harassment against opposition candidates, including an attack carried out by security forces against the headquarters of an opposition party. This environment challenges the conclusions of the national dialogue process held in 2014, notably regarding the aim to facilitate the establishment and work of political parties and to open political space.

The confirmation of presidential election results opens the way for President Obiang to serve another term. We note the President’s public undertaking that this would be his last term.

The Preliminary declaration issued by the African Union Election Observation Mission, which the EU acknowledges, contains important recommendations. They include the need to reinforce political dialogue and consensus building among all stakeholders in the electoral process and the reform of the National Electoral Commission with the objective of making it a permanent, more inclusive, impartial and independent body in accordance with the Constitution.

Equatorial Guinea’s ratification of the revised Cotonou Agreement would allow comprehensive political relations and full co-operation to match those which the EU enjoys with other African, Caribbean and Pacific states.

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

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100 Young Nigerians to be Unveiled as New Mandela Washington Fellows

The U.S. Mission to Nigeria will introduce 100 young Nigerian leaders recently selected to participate in the 2016 Mandela Washington Fellowship Program for Young African Leaders. U.S. Ambassador James F. Entwistle will deliver keynote remarks during a special reception in the newest fellows’ honor.

What: Introduction of the 2016 Mandela Washington Fellows

When: Thursday, May 5, 2016, at 4:30 p.m. sharp

Press Arrival: 3:45 p.m.-4:15p.m. (No admittance after 4:15p.m.)

Where: U.S. Embassy, Plot 1075, Diplomatic Drive, Central Business District, Abuja

Interested journalists who wish to participate in this event should register in advance with Sani Mohammed by phone or text at 0703-408-5920 or via e-mail at MohammedS@state.gov.

Please Note: Participating journalists are encouraged to arrive at the Embassy no later than 4:15 p.m. to allow adequate time for security screening. Please bring this invitation and your media credentials for easy identification. Note that laptops, cell phones, and liquids are not allowed in the Embassy. However, recording devices like portable recorders and cameras will be allowed into the compound.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United States Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria.

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Consultative meeting in Algiers on the start-up of AFRIPOL

The African Union (AU) Commission held in Algiers, Algeria, on 27-28 April 2016, the consultative meeting on the start-up of the African Union Mechanism for Police Cooperation (AFRIPOL).

The meeting was intended to provide an opportunity for AFRIPOL to learn from the experiences and best practices in police cooperation from the other police cooperation organizations, as part of the steps towards the full operationalization of AFRIPOL in 2017. The participants included the Chairperson and representative of the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (SARPCCO) and the East African Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (EAPCCO), respectively. Other regional police and law enforcement cooperation organizations, including the ASEAN Chiefs of Police (ASEANAPOL), the European Union’s law enforcement agency (EUROPOL) and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) participated at the meeting. The AU Commission and the African Center for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT) were also represented. Algeria participated as host of the AFRIPOL Secretariat.

The opening session featured statements by His Excellency Major General Abdelghani HAMEL, General Director of National Security of Algeria and Dr. Tarek A. SHARIF, Head, Defence and Security Division in the Peace and Security Department of the AU Commission. The statements highlighted the transnational nature of the organized crime and the terrorist threat, and stressed the need for cooperation between and among the relevant agencies in the Member States to counter them.

Participants exchanged views, experiences and best practices on sharing of information, building and sharing databases, staffing, effective cooperation, including beyond the continent, and the need for minimum requirements in training.

In his closing remarks, Major General Abelghani HAMEL, stressed the need for enhanced cooperation between the police and law enforcement agencies in Africa and the benefits of such cooperation in the fight against transnational organized crime and terrorism.

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

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Source:: Consultative meeting in Algiers on the start-up of AFRIPOL

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AU Special Envoy for Western Sahara Concludes his Mission to the UN Secretariat and Briefs the UN Security Council on Western Sahara

Within the framework of his mandate, the AU Special Envoy for Western Sahara, H.E. former President Joaquim Chissano, undertook a mission to the UN Secretariat in New York, from 26 to 29 April 2016. The mission was in implementation of the AU Organ’s decisions on the situation in Western Sahara, notably the decision adopted at the 588th meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC), held on 6 April 2016, at which, Council requested the Chairperson of the Commission to pursue and intensify her efforts, including through her Special Envoy, towards effective follow-up of the relevant provisions of its decisions.

During his mission, the AU Special Envoy held consultations with the UN high level officials, Ambassador Christopher Ross, UN Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara; Mr. Tayé-Brook Zerihoun, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs; Mr. Edmond Mulet, Chef de Cabinet to the UN Secretary-General. The AU Special Envoy’s delegation also met with various representatives of the Permanent Missions to the UN namely, Ambassador Liu Jieyi of China, President of the UN Security Council for the month of April; Ambassador Rafael Dario Ramirez Carreno, Permanent Representative of Venezuela; Ambassador Vitaly I. Churkin, Permanent Representative of Russian Federation to the UN; the Delegation of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR); Ambassador Gerard Jacobus Van Bohemen, Permanent Representative of New Zealand; Ambassador Michele Sison, U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN; Ambassador Sabri Boukadoum, Permanent Representative of Algeria to the UN; Ambassador Elbio Rosselli, Permanent Representative of Uruguay to the UN; Ambassador François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the UN; Ambassador Román Oyarzun Marchesi, Permanent Representative of Spain to the UN. The AU Special Envoy delegation also held in-depth consultations with the Permanent Representative of Angola, Ambassador Ismael A. Gaspar Martins, in its capacity as the member of A3.

The AU Special Envoy also briefed the UN Security Council during the Arria-formula Meeting on Western Sahara, which was jointly organised by the Permanente Missions of Angola and Venezuela, on 26 April 2016.

The consultations and the briefing provided an opportunity to exchange frank and open views on the situation in Western Sahara and the efforts being deployed towards resolution of the conflict. The AU Special Envoy expressed to his interlocutors the deep concern of the AU about the prolonged suffering of people of Western Sahara and the lack of progress towards the early resolution of the conflict in the territory on the basis of the international legality.

In this regard, he commended the timely and bold visit of the UN Secretary-General undertaken to Western Sahara and the region, from 3 to 7 March 2016, and the serious resolve the UNSG showed to end the Conflict in the Territory. In the same vein, Former President Chissano deplored the actions taken by the Moroccan authorities of not receiving the UNSG in Rabat and also preventing him from visiting MINURSO Headquarters in Layounne, capital City of the occupied Western Sahara, as well as their unilateral decision of expelling the civilian Component of the MINURSO.

Former President Chissano stressed the need to change the status quo of the current negotiation framework to serious negotiations without preconditions and in good faith to reach a just and durable solution to the conflict. He further stressed Africa’s moral and political responsibility to contribute to the solution to conflicts in the continent and underlined the need for Africa’s leading role and guidance for the international efforts regarding the conflict in Western Sahara.

The AU Special Envoy recalled the urgent need to give the people of Western Sahara the opportunity of choosing freely their destiny through the exercise of their legitimate right to self-determination, and called on the UN Security Council to facilitate this process by establishing a timetable for the referendum on self-determination.

The AU Special Envoy also expressed concerns over issues relating to the situation of human rights and illegal exploitation of the natural resources of the Territory by Morocco, as well as the worsening humanitarian situation, which is driven, in part, by the decrease in funding to support the refugees in the harsh conditions of the camps. He further called on the UN Security Council to provide a human rights mandate in the renewal of MINRSO’s mandate.

Lastly, The AU Special Envoy expressed the AU’s appreciation to the Permanent Representatives of Angola and Venezuela for convening the Arria-formula Meeting on Western Sahara, aimed at promoting dialogue and transparency on the discussion of the situation in Western Sahara in the search for a just and durable solution that will provide for self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.

Former President Chissano further expressed his appreciation and gratitude to the UN Secretariat for facilitating his mission, as well as to the Staff of the AU Permanent Mission to the UN for their assistance.

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

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UNICEF and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) partner to improve newborn care in Northern and Upper East region.

Today UNICEF and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) of the Government of South Korea donated a Newborn Care Unit and 75 new motorcycles to support Ghana Health Services. The donation will provide critical newborn care for babies within their first 30 days of life and enable the transportation of health workers during outreach missions in the Northern and Upper East Regions of Ghana.

KOICA has partnered with UNICEF and the Government of Ghana for three years to support newborn care, pre-school education, teacher training and HIV awareness in the Upper East Region and Northern Region under the human development lifecycle approach project.

“Neonatal mortality continues to be a challenge here in Ghana where one new-born dies every fifteen minutes. That means ninety babies every day die within their first month of life and this cannot be acceptable” said Susan Namondo Ngongi.

Districts in the Upper East and Northern regions are among the most deprived in terms of quality education and the survival of newborns. The program focuses on improving new-born care for babies in their first month of life and improving the quality of education in these districts.

The South Korean Ambassador, H.E. Ambassador Lyeo, Woon-Ki, KOICA Country Director, Mr. Woochan Chang and UNICEF Representative Susan Namondo Ngongi met with the Regional Minister of the Upper East Region, Hon. Albert Abongo and Regional Minister of the Northern Region, Hon. Abdallah Abubakari as part of the visit.

The delegation also handed over a total of 75 motorcycles to the Ghana Health Services department, 45 for the Northern region and 30 for the Upper East Region. The newborn care unit and motorcycles are part of a $4.5 million package from the Government of South Korea to reduce newborn deaths in the Northern and Upper East Regions.

In his remarks, H.E. Ambassador reiterated that through KOICA, the Government of Korea pledges its commitment to strengthen the cooperative ties particularly in the Northern Ghana and to create a platform for a dynamic partnership with other Development Partners.

“We are happy for the people and mothers in Builsa and beyond for the chances of survival of neonates are improved and they will grow into healthy adolescents and adults. Who knows, one of these neonates benefiting from this new born care unit will one day be the President of Ghana” said Dr. Kofi Issah, Regional Health Director- Ghana Health Service, Upper East Region.

This donation will strengthen efforts by the Government of Ghana to ensure more children are saved at birth and more communities are reached with vital health services in these regions.

“We are confident that new-born lives will be saved, thanks to this program, and thanks to the Government of South Korea. Ensuring that Ghana’s youngest citizens can survive and thrive is fundamental for a greater future Ghana” said Susan Namondo Ngongi, UNICEF Ghana Representative.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

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Source:: UNICEF and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) partner to improve newborn care in Northern and Upper East region.

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Japan Donates USD 1.8 Million to Strengthen Uganda Border Security

Japan is providing USD 1.8 million to IOM to help the Ugandan government to improve its border security through an integrated border management approach.

Uganda’s porous borders make it extremely challenging to counter transnational organized crime, including terrorism, trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. As a country fully engaged in regional integration, Uganda must also ensure the legitimate cross-border flow of people and goods.

Japanese Ambassador to Uganda Junzo Fujita said that the project will contribute to the security of all Ugandans by enhancing the country’s capacity to respond more effectively to various migration and border challenges. “We cannot allow transnational crime to take hold because of porous borders. Also, we must ensure that Uganda’s borders are contributing to enhanced trade, investment and tourism,” he said.

The project “Strengthening Border Security in Uganda” will improve infrastructure, equipment and border management information systems which will allow the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC) to improve border control. DCIC will have access to more border patrol vehicles, as well as equipment to detect forged travel documents.

Four border crossing points on the DR Congo and Kenya borders will also be upgraded with IOM’s Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS), which collects, processes and stores traveler information, including biometrics.

The initiative also aims to strengthen inter-agency collaboration, particularly with regards to immigration intelligence. An Immigration Training Academy will also be constructed which will allow DCIC to carry out specialized training of its staff.

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

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