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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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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Stranded Ethiopian Migrants Returned Home from Yemen

Tempted by the new house that his neighbors could afford and propelled by his dreams for a better life, Ahmed*, 21, left Ethiopia imagining that he would find a well-paid job when he arrived in the Middle East. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

After paying smugglers to transport him across the Red Sea, his traumatic ordeal began almost immediately. He told IOM how he and other Ethiopians were handed over to multiple smugglers as soon as they arrived in Yemen, tortured and held for ransom.

Those who were able to pay were free to go, but the unlucky ones were taken to a place called Jebel, where, according to Ahmed, they were “hung upside down and beaten with chains.”

Men and women were also raped by the kidnappers. “They also forced us to torture one another by melting plastic materials on each other’s bodies, even dousing a companion with flammable liquid and setting him ablaze,” he said.

Now that Ahmed is back in Ethiopia and deeply grateful to be alive, he now worries about his family, who lost everything, including their house and cattle – their source of livelihood – to pay the ransom money. With no money he now asks himself: “What are we going to do now and how do we pick up the pieces of our lives?”

Human trafficking and smuggling are crimes committed worldwide. In Ethiopia – a country of origin and transit for three major migration routes – IOM and other agencies have provided technical assistance to the government to improve the country’s laws to combat the crime. Proclamation 909/2015 entered into force in August 2015. The new legislation imposes harsh penalties on traffickers and smugglers and focuses on safeguarding the fundamental rights and dignity of migrants in the country and the region.

Ahmed is one of the fortunate Ethiopians evacuated from war-torn Yemen in April 2016 through the combined efforts of IOM and the Ethiopian government. To date, a total of 1,220 stranded Ethiopian migrants have been evacuated by IOM with funding from DFID, ECHO, the US State Department, Sida, UN CERF and USAIM.

Like Ahmed, many Ethiopians are still trying to reach the Gulf countries via Yemen and falling into the hands of traffickers. The Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat 2016 Report explains that the total estimated number of migrants who crossed the Gulf of Aden in March 2016 alone was 10,424 – 35 percent more than in February. Of these, 83 percent were Ethiopians.

*Name changed to ensure privacy and confidentiality.

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

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IOM Launches Literacy Training in Rural Central African Republic

IOM is starting today (3 May) to provide literacy and book keeping classes for young people and members of vulnerable communities in four rural areas in the Central African Republic (CAR).

Many schools closed and teachers fled following the outbreak of the sectarian conflict in December 2013.

The programme is part of IOM’s European Union (EU)-funded “Community Stabilization for at-risk communities in the Central African Republic” and is designed to reach up to 40,000 beneficiaries in communities badly affected by displacement and ongoing communal violence. All of them suffer from an acute lack of schools and teachers.

Ndele, the remote provincial capital of Bamingui-Bangoran, currently has one functioning primary school, which is supported by the international community. But it has no educational facilities for young people or adults. IOM, in close collaboration with the national authorities, selected ten trainers to teach classes before launching the project.

“We salute this initiative…One of the main problems of our youth is that they are excluded from many chances simply because they cannot read or write. This initiative is really giving them a chance,” said Sultan Ibrahim Kamoun of Ndele.

The Community Stabilization Project aims to contribute to the stability and early recovery of communities affected by the violence of the past two and a half years. The project provides income generating activities for vulnerable community members in areas severely affected by the conflict throughout the country.

The three main components of the project include local market revitalization, infrastructure rehabilitation, and social cohesion projects. By engaging community members and revitalizing social spaces and infrastructure, the projects try to strengthen dialogue and solidarity within mixed communities.

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

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“If We Leave We Are Killed: Lessons Learned from South Sudan Protection of Civilian Sites 2013-2016”

“If We Leave We Are Killed” is an independent report that analyses the unprecedented protection and humanitarian response at UN peacekeeping bases in South Sudan, where as many as 200,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) have sought shelter from a vicious civil war since December 2013.

By opening its gates, the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), alongside humanitarians, has saved thousands of lives. Conditions for IDPs within the Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites can be crowded and harsh, but the sites represent one of the only sources of safety for civilians as they continue to bear the brunt of the conflict.

Despite cautious optimism as implementation of the peace agreement moves forward, key stakeholders recognise that PoC sites are likely to remain necessary in the years to come.

In face of this reality, the Government of Switzerland and IOM commissioned this report to objectively examine the response at PoC sites, identify lessons learned in the past two and a half years and recommend key steps for improvement.

“My sincere hope is that this report leads to an open discussion among key actors, improving the response and protection offered to IDPs in UNMISS bases,” said Dr. Chaloka Beyani, Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of IDPs, in his foreword to the report.

The report is informed by dozens of interviews with key stakeholders, including UNMISS and humanitarian staff, donors and IDPs themselves.

Among key takeaways, the report recommends that both UNMISS and humanitarians embark upon longer-term planning and strengthen coordination to ensure a safe and secure environment for IDPs, noting that the protection needs of IDPs must be addressed realistically by all.

Apon, an elder currently living the PoC site in Malakal, is one of the IDPs interviewed by the report’s author, Michael Arensen. While describing the perilous course he undertook to reach the site in 2015, he acknowledged the very hard choice that many IDPs must make between living in crowded conditions and risking their lives outside the sites: “The PoC is hot, but it is better than death—if we leave we will be killed,” he observed.

The crisis in South Sudan has killed more than 50,000 people, internally displaced nearly 1.7 million and forced another 711,000 to flee to neighbouring countries. Confronted by multiple displacements and an unpredictable security environment, civilians in the country remain in dire need. The UN estimates that more than 6.1 million people will require humanitarian assistance this year.

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Source:: “If We Leave We Are Killed: Lessons Learned from South Sudan Protection of Civilian Sites 2013-2016”

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WHO urges health care providers to clean their hands to reduce infections

On the occasion of World Hand Hygiene Day, celebrated worldwide on 5 May, the World Health Organization (WHO) urges all health care workers to increase safety through improving hand hygiene and reducing health care-associated infections. The subject of this year’s campaign is surgical site infections, with particular focus on ensuring clean hands from the moment the patient enters the hospital, through surgical preparation and post-operative care, until the patient is discharged.

Health care-associated infections often occur when germs are transferred by health workers’ hands. Surgical site infections are the most frequent type of infection in low-income and middle-income countries, with a pooled incidence of 11.8% of surgical procedures. They can be prevented by health workers following standard hand hygiene practices. Adequate hand hygiene in surgical sites can reduce the prevalence of health care-associated infections. 8 million lives can be saved worldwide every year in hospitals alone by halting surgical site infections and other health care-associated infections.

In the Eastern Mediterranean Region, the prevalence ofhealth care associated infections in several countries is reported to vary from 12% to 18%. “These infections cause avoidable suffering for patients, prolong hospital stays, increase financial burden and, sometimes, lead to long-term disability or death,” said Dr Ala Alwan, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean.

WHO calls on all health care facilities to join the “SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands” movement and commit to improving hand hygiene practices. “In the Eastern Mediterranean Region, 1480 health care facilities in the 22 countries have registered for the SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands campaign. This number demonstrates the ongoing efforts to promote safer care. Nevertheless, it needs to be substantially increased during 2016.” Dr Alwan added.

Surgical care workers can help to prevent surgical site infections through following standard hand hygiene practices when interacting with patients, inserting anintravenous or urinary catheter, giving medications and caring for a post-operative wound.

Although hand hygiene is a very simple action, it is also the primary action in preventing health care-associated infections and enhancing patient safety. Yet, several studies around the world have shown that only around 40% of the health care workers follow the standard hand hygiene practices.

“A significant number of health care facilities in some countries still do not have soap and water for hand hygiene, highlighting the importance of the water, sanitation and hygiene agenda for hand hygiene compliance and the provision of safe care.” Dr Alwannotes.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of World Health Organization (WHO).

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Meetings of the Assembly of users of Pan African e-Network (PAeN) for Telemedicine and Tele-Education (PAeN) and the Bureau of the Specialized Technical Committee on Communication & Information & Communication Technologies (STC-CICT)

Back-to-back meetings of the Assembly of users of Pan African e-Network and the Bureau of the Specialized Technical Committee on Communication and Information and Communication Technologies took place on 26 – 28 April 2016 to identify, coordinate, ensure appropriation and plan activities to be undertaken with the involved stakeholders in order to implement the decisions and declarations, notably those related to the Communications and Information & Communication Technologies (CICT) sectors with special emphasis on the sustainability of the Pan Africa e- Network.

The Assembly of users of PAeN held its first meeting on 26 – 27 April 2016 to deliberate on new governance structures of the PAeN and set-up the managing and operating entities for the PAeN after its transfer from the Indian government to the African Parties. The meeting concluded with the adoption of the necessary governance and management structures of the network with the implementation of the transfer to be carried out following a transitional period to allow for a smooth handover.

At the opening ceremony of the Bureau meeting on 28 April 2016, Dr. Elham M.A. Ibrahim Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union highlighted that the ICT sector contributes to the foundation of the physical integration of Africa, provides support and acts as an engine of economic growth, economic development and poverty reduction. H.E. added that the two major outcomes of the first meeting of the STC-CICT are the Addis Ababa declaration and the election of the Bureau for the two coming years.

In his opening remarks the Honorable Minister Mr Choguel Kokala Maïga, Minister of Digital Economy, Information and Communications of the Republic of Mali, the Chairperson of the Bureau of the STC-CICT thanked and welcomed the participants and declared that participating in this meeting is a strong signal of our commitment to implement the Addis Ababa 2015 declaration. The Honorable Minister acknowledged the impact that ICTs have on social economic development of African nations, fast-tracking the region into an information society and enabling African people to create access, utilize and share information and knowledge. He stressed that this would lead to greater productivity, increased competitiveness and sustainable economic growth, which are preconditions for poverty reduction.

In his opening statement Honorable Dr Siyabonga Cwele, Minister Telecommunications and Postal Services of South Africa, Rapporteur of the Bureau, thanked the Chair and the AU Commissioner for convening the Bureau, citing that South Africa was honoured to join the August gathering, recognising the importance of the meeting in supporting the vision of our forefathers of a united and prosperous Africa. The Minister stated that ICTs are central to the vision of a developed Africa, as well as in achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and our own Agenda 2063.

The meeting of the Bureau discussed the report of the first STC-CICT held 31 August-04 September 2015, the adoption of the report and recommendations of the Assembly of users of the Pan African e-Network (PAeN), the Action Plan for implementing declarations and decisions on communications and information and communication technologies (CICT) adopted by African Union Organs; as well as considered the AU draft declaration on internet governance.

The objectives of the Bureau meeting is to monitor and report to the ministers of the STC-CICT and other Organs of the African Union and make recommendations to provide direction to the various decisions and declarations already taken as well as avoid duplication of effort and decision on the same issue by the next STCs and Assemblies.

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

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Source:: Meetings of the Assembly of users of Pan African e-Network (PAeN) for Telemedicine and Tele-Education (PAeN) and the Bureau of the Specialized Technical Committee on Communication & Information & Communication Technologies (STC-CICT)

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UNMISS Press Conference – SRSG Ellen Løj on Wednesday 4 May @ 10:00am

The Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) and Head of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Ellen Loej will be holding a press conference on Wednesday 4 May.

You are cordially invited to attend this media event.

Date: Wednesday, 04 May, at UN House.

Venue: Yei Conference Room – UN House

Time: 10:10am

PLEASE NOTE:

UNMISS will provide transportation for the journalists to the press conference and back to town after the event as follows:

Bus 1: departing from Custom Dire Petroleum – Customs Market area –departure time: 09:20am

Bus 2: departing from Juba University – 09:20am

Journalists who wish to arrive to UN House by their own means are invited to present themselves at the gates with a valid press card/ID not later than 09:50am.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

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Source:: UNMISS Press Conference – SRSG Ellen Løj on Wednesday 4 May @ 10:00am

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SimbaPay announces single money transfer of up to $45,000 (USD) to Africa

SimbaPay (http://www.SimbaPay.com) is revolutionizing the remittance space through its official announcement of raising the single transaction limit to a whopping $45,000. This is substantially higher than the previous transaction limit of $3,000.

According to Victor Karanja, Head of Operations at SimbaPay, sending money home and buying property across Africa has just become a whole lot easier.

“A pain point for customers in the past has been having to undertake multiple transfers to complete a single purchase.”

“A key risk with multiple transfers was exchange rate fluctuation. Sending up to $45,000 with just our mobile app will protect senders from the fluctuation that arises when one splits up the transfer,” said Karanja.

African immigrants in the European countries can now easily complete larger purchases in Africa such as that of property, vehicles and paying large hospital bills or university fees via the SimbaPay app.

As an incentive to users, SimbaPay money transfers of more than $3,000 will also automatically qualify for the daily SimbaPay Discounted Exchange Rates. With the Discounted Exchange Rate, a user gets to transfer money at a more favourable exchange rate than the standard SimbaPay exchange rate.

EU based Africans will now be able to send large amounts of money back home instantly and free of charge.

Money transferred via the service to Africa is credited instantly at the destination mobile money wallet, merchant or bank account.

“What further sets SimbaPay apart from other money transfer services is that the App can do more than just send money directly to mobile money services such as M-Pesa. SimbaPay can also send money to bank accounts in Africa and to Pay Bill merchants such as schools and utility companies,” said Karanja.

The app’s higher transaction limit is immediately available on all SimbaPay platforms including iPhone, iPad, Android and Web.

Accolades

In 2015, SimbaPay was named the Overall Winner at the prestigious Demo Africa 2015 (http://blog.simbapay.com/2015/09/28/simbapay-wins-demo-africa-2015-next-stop-silicon-valley). SimbaPay also launched free, instant transfers to all Nigerian banks last year.

In June 2015 SimbaPay became the first platform in the world to allow Kenyans living abroad to make M-Pesa PayBill payments and the app continues to disrupt the cross-border remittance industry with its focus on extreme speed and convenience.

In April 2016, SimbaPay was selected as one of 10 companies to join the first ever Barclays Accelerator powered by Techstars (http://www.forbes.com/sites/tobyshapshak/2016/04/05/techstars-announces-10-startups-for-first-ever-african-program) in Africa.

How SimbaPay Works

To send money via SimbaPay, Africans living in the EU with a bank account or debit card simply download the SimbaPay app from the Apple AppStore (http://itunes.apple.com/app/id912728134) or Google Play (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.simbapay.simbapayandroid). App users can then proceed to securely make money transfers straight from any smartphone, tablet or computer.

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

To learn more about this announcement, please contact:

SimbaPay:
Alex Maganga, Operational Officer
Email: alex@SimbaPay.com
info@SimbaPay.com
Tel: +44 (0)20 3137 8517
Address: Google Campus , 4-5 Bonhill Street, London, EC2A 4BX

About SimbaPay
SimbaPay (http://www.SimbaPay.com) is an award winning (http://blog.simbapay.com/2015/09/28/simbapay-wins-demo-africa-2015-next-stop-silicon-valley) mobile app transforming the international remittance space. With a focus on extreme speed, convenience and constant innovation, users are able to send money free to loved ones or even merchants in Africa, from wherever they are at any time of day or night.

The company is headquartered in London and can be found online at www.SimbaPay.com .
Blog post: https://blog.SimbaPay.com/2016/05/03/simbapay-announces-single-money-transfer-of-up-to-45000-usd-to-africa/

Twitter: @SimbaPay https://twitter.com/SimbaPay
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SimbaPay

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LiveAtState Media Advisory — Threats to Civilian Security in Africa

Please join the U.S. Department of State for an online press conference featuring Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Sarah Sewall. Having recently returned from Guinea and Mali, the under secretary will discuss the threat of violent extremism in Africa, as well as ending female genital mutilation/cutting and ensuring accountability for sexual violence in conflict. Journalists will be able to submit questions ahead of time and live during the briefing.

DETAILS:

Speakers: Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Sarah Sewall

Topic: Threats to civilian security in Africa: violent extremism, female genital mutilation/cutting, and sexual violence in conflict

Date: Thursday, May 5, 2016

Time: 1:00 pm (Please arrive no later than 12:45 to ensure time to pass through security.)

Location: U.S. Embassy, Accra

Ground rules: ON THE RECORD

To submit questions in advance: Please email your questions to live@state.gov.

To join us at the embassy: Please confirm attendance by noon on Wednesday, May 4, 2016, by contacting Joyce Asiedu of the Public Affairs Section on 0243-045-332 or Zainab Mahama on 0244-329-9960. You must bring photo ID to be admitted to the embassy. We look forward to your participation.

To participate independently: Journalists who wish to participate on their own may also RSVP independently to live@state.gov to receive the link and call-in info for the event. If you plan to participate independently, we would still be grateful if you could let us know, so we can determine interest in these sorts of events.

About LiveAtState

LiveAtState is the U.S. Department of State’s interactive online video platform for engaging international media on the top foreign policy issues of the day. Invited journalists from around the world submit questions and receive live video answers from U.S. policymakers. By harnessing cutting edge web chat technology, we are able to cross borders and time zones, offering international media new opportunities to engage in meaningful discussions with U.S. policymakers through unscripted “virtual press briefings” that address the most pressing topics of the day. Past LiveAtState programs may be viewed on www.state.gov/liveatstate

BIO: Sarah Sewall

Term of Appointment: 02/20/2014 to present

Dr. Sarah Sewall is a longtime advocate for advancing civilian security and human rights around the world. Dr. Sewall was sworn in as Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights on February 20, 2014. She serves concurrently as the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues. Over the previous decade, Dr. Sewall taught at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where she served as Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy and directed the Program on National Security and Human Rights.

Dr. Sewall has extensive experience partnering with the U.S. armed forces around civilian security. At the Kennedy School, she launched the MARO (Mass Atrocities Response Operations Project) to assist the U.S. military with contingency planning to protect civilians from large-scale violence. She was a member of the Defense Policy Board and served as the Minerva Chair at the Naval War College in 2012. She also led several research studies of U.S. military operations for the Department of Defense and served as the inaugural Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Assistance in the Clinton Administration. Prior joining the executive branch, Dr. Sewall served for six years as the Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to U.S. Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell and earned a Ph.D at Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

Note: RSVPs to join the event at the embassy must be received by 12 noon on Wednesday, May 4, 2016. You must bring photo ID to be admitted to the embassy.

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

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Source:: LiveAtState Media Advisory — Threats to Civilian Security in Africa

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