Oct 222014
 

KHARTOUM, Sudan, October 22, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) will inaugurate a photo exhibition highlighting the activities of the peacekeeping mission in Darfur on Thursday, 23 October 2014, at 9:00 a.m. until noon at the African Union’s offices at Riyadh district in Khartoum. The event will be attended by the Acting Joint Special Representative and Joint Chief Mediator a.i., Abiodun Bashua.

A musical concert under the theme “Darfur, talk peace now” will take place on Saturday, 25 October 2014, at 5:00 p.m. until late at the Sudan National Theatre in the Friendship Hall, Khartoum. The concert will feature the musicians Mohammed El Ameen, Omar Ihsas, Shumoos, Hawa Ramadan and Ahmad Bass.

These events are taking place on the margins of the United Nations Day celebrations.

All media are invited to attend both events.

Oct 222014
 

STRASBOURG, France, October 22, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Human rights

Denis Mukwege is the laureate of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2014, following today’s decision by EP President Martin Schulz and the political group leaders. Mukwege will be invited to Strasbourg on 26 November to receive the award during the plenary session.

Announcing Mukwege as the 2014 laureate, President Schulz said: “The Conference of Presidents decided unanimously to award Dr Denis Mukwege from Democratic Republic of Congo the Sakharov Prize for his fight for protection especially of women.” Mr Schulz said it wasn’t a decision against Euromaidan and paid tribute to the other finalists, saying the representatives of Euromaidan will be invited to join the award ceremony in November and that the Parliament will immediately send a delegation with representatives from all political groups to Azerbaijan to meet and to support Leyla Yunus in her fight for democracy and freedom in her country.

The gynaecologist standing up for women´s rights

In many armed conflicts around the world, rape is used as a weapon of war, but Mukwege decided to help victims in his country. The 59-year-old gynaecologist founded the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu in 1998, when a war took place in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where today he still treats victims of sexual violence who have sustained serious injuries.

The war in DRC might be officially over, but the armed conflict still continues in the eastern part of the country and so do attacks against civilians, including gang rapes. Despite travelling regularly abroad to advocate women’s rights and managing Panzi Hospital, Mukwege continues to see patients and perform surgery two days a week. He was nominated by the S&D and ALDE groups and MEP Barbara Lochbihler.

Sakharov Prize

The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is awarded each year by the European Parliament. It was set up in 1988 to honour individuals and organisations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms. Last year the prize was awarded to Malala Yousafzaï, the Pakistani campaigner for girls’ education.

Supporting human rights

The European Parliament takes all human rights violations seriously, no matter where they take place. MEPs regularly highlight abuses, help monitor elections around the world, ensure that human rights are protected in the EU’s external economic and trade agreements, and award the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought every year.

Oct 212014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, October 21, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Following two deadly attacks that took place in the cities of Béni and Eringeti, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has transferred 14 casualties by air to Goma’s Ndosho Hospital.

“We are extremely worried by the nature and extent of the recent violence, which is afflicting people already hard hit by years of armed conflict,” said Alessandra Menegon, head of the ICRC delegation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “These attacks against civilians are a serious infringement of the most basic principles of humanity. They must stop.”

The northern part of North Kivu province has been the scene of a number of such attacks, the most violent of which have taken place in the past few days. Since 11 October, according to the authorities, the attacks have claimed the lives of 80 people, including women and children, and resulted in a further 19 people suffering serious injury.

“The Red Cross Society of the Democratic Republic of the Congo acted swiftly to recover mortal remains,” said Arnaud Meffre, head of the ICRC office in Béni. An ICRC surgical team working at the hospital in Goma has treated 16 war-wounded patients. In an effort to provide support for other health-care facilities in the area, the ICRC has given the general hospital in Béni enough surgical and other medical supplies to treat up to 50 war-injured people, and it has given Oïcha’s general hospital bandages and oral medications needed to stabilize war casualties. To help Congolese Red Cross volunteers carry out the difficult task of handling mortal remains, the ICRC has provided them with 40 body bags, 200 pairs of disposable gloves, 10 reusable masks, 10 kilograms of chlorine and financial support to defray the cost of fuel.

In North and South Kivu since the beginning of the year, the ICRC has taken over 290 people wounded in fighting to treatment facilities and has itself provided treatment for more than 550; in addition, it has provided medications and medical supplies for nine health-care centres and four referral general hospitals to enable local health-care personnel to cope with medical emergencies.

Oct 212014
 

JUBA, South Sudan, October 21, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — UNDP has formally launched its pilot projects within the Integrated Crisis Prevention and Recovery Programme “Strengthening national capacities for Early Recovery, Peace Building and Reconciliation” at the UN-House Protection of Civilian (PoC) site.

UNDP developed the Program in response to the December 2013 crisis. It seeks to enhance national capacities for early recovery, peace building and reconciliation in South Sudan. Speaking at the official launch of the programme, Mr. Balázs Horváth, UNDP Country Director, emphasized the importance of the Programme, saying “This is a pilot Programme. Our intention is to replicate what we do well and equally, learn from challenges we encountered.”

UNDP is working with a number of development partners and NGOs to implement the pilot activities. Under the programme’s Peacebuilding &Conflict Prevention pillar, UNDP is working closely with the International Rescue Committee to support mechanisms that allow coordination and information sharing across the camp leadership structures. In the Justice and Rule of Law pillar UNDP partnered with UNPOL in training and equipping 46 members of the community watch groups, including16 females, to undertake policing and deal with cases of Sexual and Gender Based Violence. Finally, the Livelihoods and Employment pillar, UNDP is working with Nile Hope to strengthen competencies of 120 people, 95 of whom are women and 25 men, in catering, hairdressing and tailoring. Some trainees are already using their new-found hairdressing skills to earn money from fellow IDPs at the PoC.

During the launch, participants in the pilot projectsexhibited their products based on the training they received. As part of the launch, UNPOL also exhibited training activities implemented in partnership with women living within the PoC site. In comments, the women’s leader at the PoC, Ms. Nyatel Wuor stated, “we now feel that we are not in an Island. We can work and earn money.”

Other speakers in support of the programme during the launch included UNDP’s implementing partners from the International Rescue Committee and Nile Hope, a local NGO. A representative from ACTED – the organization that manages the PoC site said she was “particular excited by the emphasis that the Integrated Crisis Prevention and Recovery Programme places on dialogue and reconciliation.”

Mr. Balázs Horváth also stated, “We are also working outside this community as part of this Programme. We support the National Platform for Peace & Reconciliation to create space for South Sudanese men and women to participate actively in the search for peace, healing, and reconciliation. This initiative has reached Lakes, Jonglei, Warrap and Western Bahr El Ghazal states. We plan to roll it out to other states – including opposition-held areas.”

In similar efforts, UNDP supported the establishment of the first Emergency Call Centre in Juba, and assisted the independent Judiciary to build its capacity and expand its reach so that disputes are resolved in accordance with fair trial principles and credible justice processes. In Mingkaman, Lakes state, UNDP is supporting the construction of a market place to create sustainable livelihoods while providing emergency employment for the local population.

Mr. Balázs Horváth ended his remarks by applauding “the great partnership” that UNDP has had with UNMISS Reintegration Rehabilitation and Peacebuilding, UN Police, ACTED, Nile Hope, IRC, Non-Violent Peace Force, and the community leaders who welcomed and worked with UNDP. “…Let us keep up this spirit of cooperation – because together, we can do a lot for South Sudan.”

Other dignitaries who attended included diplomats and representatives from Switzerland, Turkey, Eritrea, the World Bank, and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).

The event concluded with the UNDP Country Director officially launching the pilot projects at the UN House PoC site.

Oct 212014
 

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, October 21, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Economist Events (http://www.economistevents.com) will be hosting their Health Care in Africa Summit (http://www.africahealth.economist.com) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania at the Hyatt Regency, The Kilimanjaro on November 18th and 19th 2014.

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Drawing together the key stakeholders representing the continents entire health care spectrum, attendees will discuss the key issues, challenges and opportunities facing health care in Africa.

The latest addition to the high-powered speaker line-up is Dr Joanne Liu, international president of Médecins Sans Frontières. Dr Liu will speak about the current Ebola outbreak gripping the continent and will focus on her organisation’s efforts at the front line.

Senior stakeholders from leading African and international political and commercial organisations, will showcase the most comprehensive views on the sector to help form opinions that will shape the health care agenda for this rapidly developing continent.

Vivek Muthu, Health Care Director, The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), who will be chairing the event comments: “This year’s Health Care in Africa theme is “Fast-tracking to the future.” Africa’s health care systems are at a critical turning point. The reforms that governments undertake over the next decade will be crucial to cutting mortality rates and improving health outcomes in the continent. Together, we will look at current challenges and promising reforms, share knowledge and spark action”.

Building on the success of previous events in the series, Health Care in Africa 2014 will focus on learning lessons from Africa’s successes to accelerate progress, looking at how to adopt and adapt elements of best practice and – crucially – what is needed in terms of political leadership, planning and partnerships to ensure these elements form part of a functioning and forward-looking healthcare system.

Notable key speakers expected to speak at the event include: Hon Dr Agnes Binagwaho, Minister of Health, Republic of Rwanda; HE Bahar Idris Abu Garda, Federal Minister of Health, Republic of Sudan; Hon Dr Seif Seleman Rashidi, Minister for Health and Social Welfare, United Republic of Tanzania; Ashwin Naik, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder, Vaatsalya Healthcare, India; Frank Nyonator, Chief Executive Officer, Health Streams International, Ghana; Salim Abdullah, Director, Ifakara Health Institute, Tanzania; Liza Kimbo, Chief Executive Officer, Viva Afya, Kenya; Hiiti B. Sillo, Director General, Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of The Economist Events.

Visit www.africahealth.economist.com for more information.

PLEASE NOTE: If you would like to arrange an interview with any of the speakers on the programme or you would like to attend the event you must register with:

Suleiman Asilia Khamis

Account Manager

Frontline Porter Novelli

Tel: +255 6588 70111

Email: suleiman@frontline.co.tz

Press MUST bring both photographic and business card ID in order to be admitted into the event.

Follow the event on Twitter: @EconomistEvents #africahealth

For general queries or further information about the event please call 0207 576 5118 or e-mail emeaevents@economist.com

About The Economist Events

The Economist Events (http://www.economistevents.com) is the leading provider of international events for senior executives seeking new insights into strategic issues. These meetings include industry conferences, management events and government roundtables held around the world. As part of The Economist Group, The Economist Events is a highly respected brand with a 162-year history and an unrivalled reputation for excellence and independence.

Each meeting organised by The Economist Events delivers objective and informed analysis. Our meetings provide unusually high-level events where senior executives can gain insights, exchange views and compare strategies.

Join us on Twitter: @EconomistEvents

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Oct 212014
 

MOGADISHU, Somalia, October 21, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Hearing of the case of Shabelle and SkyFM journalists started at the regional Court on Tuesday morning around 10:00am and lasted for an hour.

Judge Hashi Elmi Nor opened the hearing as scheduled and read a letter from the office of the Attorney General charging Abdimaalik Yusuf Mohamoud, owner of Shabelle Media Network and Ahmed Abdi Hassan, Shabelle newscaster on Articles 320 – (Instigation to Delinquency – To publicly incite another to commit one or more offenses) and 321 (Instigation to disobey the laws – to publicly incite another to disobey the laws relating to public order or stir up hatred between the social classes) on the Somali penal code.

However, the both Abdi Maalik and Ahmed rejected the charges.

The Deputy Attorney General, Dr. Ahmed Hassan took the session and said since they rejected, we request the honourable court to provide its office additional time, in which they will be able to present evidence and witnesses before the court proofing that they had committed that crime, adding that the office of the Attorney General has the right to investigate the matter within 90 days citing article 47 of the Somali procedural code.

Later the Judge asked the lawyers defending Shabelle Media Network, if they had anything to request, since the Attorney General’s office is requesting additional time for the case.

The journalists were represented a group of Six lawyers, among them, Avv. Ali Halane who had requested from the court to grant a temporary freedom to the journalists.

The Attorney General, Ahmed Ali Dahir was also present at the hearing said that they have the right to request temporary freedom from the court, but it should be conditional and that the court imposes travel ban if it is to grant such freedoms.

Finally, the Regional Court Chief, Judge Hashi Elmi Nor granted the release on bail requested and the court hearing was adjourned.

Mohamed Bashir Hashi, Editor of Shabelle and Mohamud Mohamed Dahir were not brought in today’s hearing.

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) welcomes the temporary freedom granted and calls for the other journalists to be given fair trail while the union reiterates its call that the radio stations be allowed to resume operations.

“We were encouraged by today’s hearing and welcome that some of our colleagues are released on bail.” Mohamed Ibrahim, NUSOJ Secretary General said, “We call on the Somali government to provide fair trail for those still held in custody and allow the radio station to resume operations.”

Oct 212014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, October 21, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Widespread violence since October 7th has led to a renewed displacement of vulnerable people in and around Bangui, the capital of the Central Africa Republic (CAR), according to IOM.

Preliminary analysis of data provided by IOM’s displacement tracking matrix (DTM) suggests that the new displacement has increased the total number of displaced people in and around Bangui to over 64,300.

The latest movements included the arrival of some 4,300 more internally displaced people (IDPs) in the town of Bimbo, 25 kms southwest of Bangui, some of whom have come from IDP sites in other severely affected areas.

Despite positive return trends from IDP sites over recent weeks, even to areas classified as highly volatile, the renewed surge in inter-communal violence since Tuesday has prompted a significant number of people to seek safety in already established sites in public buildings, churches, seminars, schools and hospitals.

Much of the newly displaced population originates from Bangui’s 3rd and 5th districts, with additional displacement taking place in and around Bimbo.

Tournons la page, a community association established to support IOM’s European Union (EU)-funded community stabilization efforts, notes: “Since Tuesday last week we have observed that not only no new families are indicating their wish to return to our neighbourhood, but a number of families who have just returned from the Mpoko airport site, have left again. The sound of gunfire and the thick smoke from burning houses in the neighborhoods scared many people and brings back terrible memories. Most families left as a precaution, while others were being directly threatened. We hope the situation stabilizes quickly so we can try to convince them to come back again. We really hope that an end of the violence is in sight.”

Tournons la page works with local organizations to provide sustainable return opportunities through the provision of individual house clean-up kits. Through a program called “Community Stabilization and Early Recovery for At-Risk Communities in Bangui,” which is funded by the EU, Tournons la page has helped over 70 families to return from various displacement sites.

IOM, through its site facilitator programme funded by ECHO, OFDA and the UN CERF, is actively tracking population movements to support ongoing humanitarian assistance efforts.

Since December 2013, IOM’s DTM has been providing life-saving, real-time data on displacement trends, humanitarian needs and gaps for IDP sites in Bangui. This is shared with other humanitarian partners through the Commission Mouvement de Population (CMP) to plan and improve the effectiveness of humanitarian relief operations.

Oct 212014
 

WASHINGTON, October 21, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ —

• GE Africa awarded Green Investment Initiative of the Year

• GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt awarded Global Investment Personality of the Year

• The Ai Investment and Business Leader Awards reward exceptional business practices, economic achievements and investments across Africa.

General Electric Company (GE: NYSE) (http://www.ge.com) picked up two awards at this year’s Africa Investor (Ai) Investment and Business Leader Awards. GE Africa was awarded Green Investment Initiative of the Year for the Power Africa initiative. In addition, GE’s global Chairman and CEO, Jeff Immelt was awarded Global Investment Personality of the Year. These awards are evidence of GE’s belief in the vast investment opportunities on the continent and the company’s commitment to the sustainable development of Africa.

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While congratulating the awardees, Hubert Danso, CEO and Vice Chairman of Africa investor, said he was pleased that with the awards Africa Investor is able to showcase African investment and business success stories. “We cannot emphasize enough the importance of the role these institutions play in improving the perception of Africa as an investment destination and we commend their contribution and commitment to this effort,” said Danso

GE Africa scooped the prestigious award in the Green Investment Initiative of the Year category. Some of the criteria used by the judges were evidence of efforts to support the sustainable growth of local markets as well as consistent involvement and commitment to financial transactions in Africa. The initiative that distinguished GE in this category was its Off-Grid Energy Challenge launched in 2013 in partnership with the US Africa Development Foundation (USADF) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). This three-year challenge is part of Power Africa, President Obama’s initiative to increase access to reliable, affordable, cleaner and more sustainable power in Sub-Saharan Africa. Power Africa is also helping ensure responsible, transparent and effective management of energy resources in Sub-Saharan Africa. In its first year, 6 winners were drawn from Kenya and Nigeria whilst in 2014, 22 winners were drawn from Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Liberia. The winners all received $100,000 each, towards implementing or scaling up their renewable energy projects.

President and CEO for GE Africa, Jay Ireland emphasized that GE is in Africa for the long run and will continue working with various stakeholders in government and the private sector. He said, “GE is committed to continue partnering with Africa by broadening the innovation play, localizing our technological solutions and also investing in skills development. The award therefore is a clear testament that GE’s partnership based strategy for Africa is adding value to our stakeholders.”

Chairman and CEO, Jeff Immelt was also awarded Global Investment Personality of the Year during the ceremony. At the recent Africa Heads of State summit in Washington, GE announced plans to invest $2 billion in Africa by 2018 to boost infrastructure, worker skills and access to energy. Some of GE’s key projects across Africa are MOU signings with the governments of Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya to develop infrastructure projects including sustainable energy solutions, rail transportation, quality healthcare, training and capacity building.

These prestigious Ai Awards are the longest standing international investment awards that reward exceptional business practices, economic achievements and investments across Africa, and recognize the institutions and individuals improving the continent’s investment climate.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of General Electric Company.

Media contact:

Yewande Sobamowo

YEWANDE.SOBAMOWO@ge.com

+2348141377182

About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) (http://www.ge.com) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the company’s website at http://www.ge.com.