Press Conference / Assistance to Tanzania for Burundi – Refugees

The government of Germany will tomorrow announce a major increase in its humanitarian assistance to help Tanzania manage the influx of refugees from Burundi.

The announcement will be made by the German Ambassador, His Excellency Egon Kochanke, at Umoja House. Also present will be Mrs. Joyce Mends-Cole, the Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Dr. Helmut Schön, the Country Director of the German Development Bank KfW, Mr. Richard Ragan, the Country Director of the World Food Programme and a high-level representative of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania.

You are warmly invited for the joint press-conference at Umoja House (SK-Conference Room, groundfloor) on Friday, 11th December, at 10.30 am.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany – Tanzania.

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Source:: Press Conference / Assistance to Tanzania for Burundi – Refugees

Categories: AFRICA

EU and 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries join forces for ambitious global climate deal

As UN climate negotiations enter their final days, the European Union and the group of 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States today stressed their shared commitment for an ambitious and binding global climate deal to be agreed in Paris.

The EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific states have agreed:

the Paris Agreement must be legally binding, inclusive, fair, ambitious, durable and dynamic
it must set out a clear and operational long-term goal which is in line with science
it must establish a review mechanism for countries to come together every five years to consider progress made and to enhance collective and individual efforts as appropriate
it must include a transparency and accountability system to track progress on the delivery of national commitments and the sharing of best practice

EU Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete, Minister for Environment of Luxembourg holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Carole Dieschbourg, and Secretary-General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, Patrick Gomes, highlighted the longstanding cooperation and common understanding between the two groups of countries in the fight against climate change. They agreed that the 79 ACP countries and the 28 European Union Member States will push together for an ambitious agreement in Paris.

Miguel Arias Cañete and Patrick Gomes welcomed the signing of the 11th European Development Fund Intra-ACP Strategy by the ACP Group and the European Commission, which allocates €475 million to support climate action, resilience building and the environment in ACP countries up to 2020.

Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete said: “These negotiations are not about “them” and “us”. These negotiations are about all of us, both developed and developing countries, finding common ground and solutions together. This is why the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries have agreed to join forces for an ambitious outcome here in Paris. We urge other countries to join us. Together we can do it. The EU stands shoulder to shoulder with its long term partners in the African, Caribbean and Pacific regions.”

ACP Secretary General Patrick Gomes stressed the importance of supporting ACP Countries to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change, stating: “The EU and the ACP Group represent a great majority of countries in the world and we want an ambitious Paris Agreement to accelerate the global transition that we urgently need. Now is the time for leaders to be ambitious. The adverse impacts of climate change threaten the world as a whole, including the very survival of the 79 countries of the ACP Group, while impeding their achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals”.

Luxembourg Environment Minister Carole Dieschbourg said: “This initiative shows that there is a broad coalition of different countries striving for an ambitious agreement. It’s a great sign that there is more that binds us together, than holds us apart.”

Federal Minister for the Environment Barbara Hendricks said about the EU-ACP Commitment: “It has become clear that the majority of countries supports an ambitious and binding agreement. At this conference, the EU and Germany have clearly signalled that we take fair burden sharing seriously. The G7, the EU and Sweden pledged 10 billion euros for promoting renewables in Africa. Today, Germany increased its funding for the adaptation fund for developing countries by 50 million euros to reach a total of 140 million euros.”

The Paris climate conference, scheduled to run from 30 November to 11 December, is due to conclude a new international agreement to limit global average temperature rise and avoid the most dangerous consequences of climate change.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Mauritius.

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Categories: AFRICA

IMF Executive Board Completes Eighth Extended Credit Facility Review for Côte d’Ivoire and Approves US$67.7 Million Disbursement

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today completed the eighth and last review under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF)1 Arrangement for Côte d’Ivoire. The completion of the review enables the immediate release of SDR 48.78 million (about US$67.7 million), bringing total disbursements under the ECF arrangement to SDR 520.32 million (about US$722.2 million).

The Executive Board approved the ECF arrangement for Côte d’Ivoire on November 4, 2011 (see Press Release No. 11/399). It aimed to restore a sustainable fiscal and external position, while achieving high growth and reducing poverty.

In completing the review, Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, made the following statement:

“Côte d’Ivoire’s economic performance over the course of the arrangement with the Fund has been impressive. Macroeconomic stability has been restored and strong growth over the last four years has lifted real per capita income by some 20 percent. The fiscal position has also strengthened, while needed infrastructure and pro-poor spending have increased. As a result, poverty has declined but remains high.

“Program implementation has continued to be strong this year. All end-June performance criteria and indicative targets were met. However, progress in structural reform has been mixed. Four of the seven structural benchmarks under the eighth review were met, while three others are being implemented with minor delays. The authorities are appropriately taking steps to maintain the momentum of economic reforms.

“The near-term macroeconomic outlook remains favorable, with real GDP growth projected to remain strong. The 2016 draft budget goes some way toward further strengthening the fiscal position, but more ambitious consolidation going forward, including by streamlining tax exemptions, would help address emerging fiscal risks and make room for needed social programs. Additional steps to improve public finance and debt management would also boost the policy framework.

“The authorities should continue to pursue ambitious reforms to strengthen the financial sector, improve the business climate, and foster private activity and economic diversification. Improving the provision of statistics, beginning with national accounts, should also remain an important priority.”

1 The ECF has replaced the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility as the Fund’s main tool for medium-term financial support to low-income countries. Financing under the ECF currently carries a zero interest rate, with a grace period of 5.5 years, and a final maturity of 10 years. The Fund reviews the level of interest rates for all concessional facilities every two years

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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Source:: IMF Executive Board Completes Eighth Extended Credit Facility Review for Côte d’Ivoire and Approves US$67.7 Million Disbursement

Categories: AFRICA

MEPs to debate with Tunisian Minister for Investment and International Cooperation

Foreign affairs committee MEPs will debate with Yassine Brahim, Minister for Investment and International Cooperation and Development of Tunisia, on Thursday 10 December at 11.30. The minister is expected to present to the committee the 2016-2020 five-year strategic development plan of Tunisia, focusing on political and economic reforms, such as human development, social inclusion, human rights, women’s rights or diversification of economy.

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

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Categories: AFRICA

ERRATUM: Implementation of INDCs another red line Africa will not cross in COP 21 negotiations, according to AMCEN Chair

The joint Pan African lead institutions brought together African ministers; representatives of their leaders and policymakers to plan the way forward under a new climate change agreement in Paris while upholding Africa’s priorities through regional solidarity on the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) during the 2015 United National Conference on Climate Change in Paris (COP21) Africa Day event today.

The three Pan-African institutions, including the African Union Commission (AUC); the African Development Bank (AfDB); the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) brought together hundreds of African policy makers and experts attending COP 21 to enlighten them on Africa’s proposed amendments to the draft Paris Agreement (especially Articles on the INDCs) now making its way through the negotiation process.

The Egyptian Minister of Environment, Dr. Khaled Fahmy who currently chairs the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) told the meeting that the provision of means of implementation for the INDCs is a thick red line that Africa will not cross in Paris just because “we want an agreement at all cost.”

He said that the other red lines concerned the necessity to have an agreement with a real balance between adaptation and mitigation; while the other is on the legally binding aspect of the expected agreement.

“We are not in Paris to re-write the Convention but to ensure its judicious implementation”, he said, charging that “all African countries having drawn up their different INDCs in accordance with the Peru outcome, the time now is for implementation; and for all to abide by it.

All parties to the COP21 including African countries are expected to express their INDCs—public declarations of post-2020 climate actions they intend to take under a new international agreement to help global mitigation ambitions, as well as adaptation goals within the context of their national priorities, circumstances and capabilities. With INDC submissions to date, global warming is expected to be maintained at 2.7 degrees Celsius, which is above the global ambition of 2 degrees Celsius increase. So far, out of the fifty-four African nations, fifty-three have submitted INDCs.

The day began with an opening session chaired by the Ethiopian Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Mrs. Tumusiime Rhoda Peace in her opening statement, stressed that the Africa Day is not about lamenting the risks and challenges posed by climate change, but instead to serve as an opportunity for the continent to showcase to the rest of the world solutions underway to mitigate these challenges, specifically through the development of INDCs.

“The Paris Climate COP is the pinnacle of the global climate change negotiations that has historic milestone from the Africa COP in Durban COP17”. It proofs the level of commitment by the global community in addressing the adverse impacts of climate change and reduction of the greenhouse gases”, she said.

Mr. Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary of the UNECA, said that it is important, therefore, that Africa’s Parties submission on INDCs lead to the conclusion of a new agreement under the Convention that is in full conformity with its principles and provisions, in particular those of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.

“In addition, Annex I Parties need to make “equitable and appropriate” mitigation contributions towards achieving the objective of the Convention taking into account their cumulative historical responsibility and use of atmospheric space and resources and that cumulative emissions in Africa remain extremely low”, Mr. Lopes concluded.

The contributions forthcoming from developed country Parties relating to mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology and capacity are in a balanced manner in the context of a global and comprehensive agreement for the period beyond 2020.

AfDB representative, Anthony Okon Nyong, speaking on behalf of Mr. Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB President noted that “the vision of the African Heads of State and Government to embrace green growth and low carbon development for Africa’s transformation outlined today are meant to propel us into a future which promotes sustainable development for generations to come.”

“Africa has come with solutions on renewable energy; adaptation and loss and damage”, he said.

There were two technical presentations on INDCs by the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change and the UNECA. A Ministerial dialogue followed on INDCs showcasing Africa’s readiness in addressing climate change, including its ability to deliver on its own potential with international cooperation in addition to the contribution of INDCs to the overall development of the continent. The ministerial dialogue was chaired by H.E Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra, Foreign Minister of Algeria; and vote of thanks was given by H.E Dr. Elham Ibrahim, Commissioner for Infrastructure & Energy, AUC while Ms. Olushola of the AUC served as a Master of Ceremony.

Over 500 participants attended Africa Day, which saw the participation of high level delegates from the governments of Algeria; Cameron, Egypt, Ethiopia, Malawi, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda, in addition to the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change, African Union Commission, African Ministerial Conference on Environment, Pan-African Parliament, African Development Bank, East African Community, European Investment Bank, Green Climate Fund, International Labor Organization, NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, United Nations Development Program, and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

Throughout the day, leaders discussed the region’s priorities with respect to climate change, while considering the status of INDCs development in Africa and their challenges and opportunities moving forward in implementation.

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

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Source:: ERRATUM: Implementation of INDCs another red line Africa will not cross in COP 21 negotiations, according to AMCEN Chair

Categories: AFRICA

Facebook brings its Internet.org Innovation Challenge to Africa

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) (http://www.facebook.com) is launching the Internet.org (http://Internet.org) Innovation Challenge in Africa (https://info.internet.org/en/story/innovation-challenge), with the aim of recognising developers and entrepreneurs who are using the internet to improve the standard of education and economic health in their communities. Developers across Africa are invited to enter the challenge.

Facebook will present an Innovation Challenge Award of US $150,000 to the app, website or service judged to be the best in two categories: learning/education and economic empowerment. Each Innovation Challenge Award winner will also receive a package of tools and services worth up to $60,000 from Facebook’s FbStart program (https://fbstart.com). Two apps, websites or services in each category will receive an Impact Award prize in the amount of $50,000.

Connecting people across growth economies

This follows the success of Facebook’s Internet.org Innovation Challenge in India (https:/info.internet.org/en/2015/10/20/innovationchallengeindia), an award designed to recognise people making the internet more relevant for women, students, farmers and migrant workers in India. Facebook awarded prizes to services working on these challenges in India, where it was inspiring to see the range of entrepreneurship devoted to improving people’s lives.

“The Internet.org Innovation Challenge in Africa supports our vision of a connected world by recognizing those who are working on solutions that aim to improve education and economic health of communities in Africa,” says Ime Archibong, director of strategic partnerships at Facebook. “We’re looking forward to seeing how African developers are providing real value for their communities. By connecting people and empowering them with access to services and information, we can help them achieve extraordinary things and help them to enhance their lives.”

The details of the awards

The awards are open to developers of apps, websites and online services that provide real value to African communities under the following pillars:

  1. Learning/education (apps, websites or online services that make use of technology to inspire and deliver learning)
  2. Economic empowerment (apps, websites or online services that help to advance the economic strength and ability of communities)

All entries must be received by 1 May, 2016. Winners will be announced in August/September 2016.

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

Press contact for Facebook:
Idea Engineers
Janina Boezaart
Janina@ideaengineers.co.za
+27 72 281 2441

Source:: Facebook brings its Internet.org Innovation Challenge to Africa

Categories: AFRICA

The Humanitarian Coordinator in Chad is concerned by the situation of populations affected by the crisis in the Lake region

The Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Coordinator (HC/RC) of the United Nations in Chad, M. Stephen Tull, visited the Lake Chad region on 7 December. This mission was organized as part of a United Nations inter-Agency mission, and aimed at improving the coherence and effectiveness between humanitarian interventions and activities to support development in the area.

The Humanitarian Coordinator met with affected people of Baga-Sola in Dar-es-Salam refugee camp, in Kafia site (hosting internally displaced persons), and with local authorities. At present, over 53,000 internally displaced persons who fled the Lake’s islands are still living in precarious conditions in about 15 sites located in and around the towns of Bol and Baga-Sola, and in the areas of Daboua, Liwa, and Ngouboua.

To address the humanitarian needs of the people of the Lake region, some US$22.5 million have already been mobilized, which represents 38% of the total amount required. Since July 2015, most displaced people have received at least a one-month food ration. Latrines and boreholes which were built are covering 45% of water needs, and 23% of sanitation. Shelters, essential household items and school kits have also been distributed. Moreover, access to healthcare is facilitated through mobile clinics and support to local health and nutrition centres.

Despite these efforts people affected by the crisis still need food, drinking water, shelter, health care, protection and education. “A rapid funding of assistance is necessary to avoid a degradation of the situation, in a context of chronic drought and drying of Lake Chad, which impact on the peoples’livelihoods”, declared Stephen Tull. He also called on donors to support the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), a vital lifeline to strengthen operations capacities.

According to Stephen Tull, “The situation in the Lake shows that it is essential to integrate humanitarian action and development, in support of the Government”. This crisis struck in a general context of chronic vulnerability, affecting the livelihoods of local and displaced people – the majority of whom are fishermen, farmers, and pastoralists (limitation of exportations, restrictions on fishing activities etc.)

At the end of his visit, M. Tull spoke about the recent attacks which hit Koulfoua island on 5 December, killing over 30 people and wounding at least 120 others. “It is a massive violation of Human rights and of international humanitarian law. We express all our sympathy and condolences to the victims and affected communities”, he said.

This mission was the first field visit of the HC/RC since he took office in Chad some weeks ago. The mission included a team composed of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Department for Safety and Security (UNDSS), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the World Food Programme (WFP).

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

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Source:: The Humanitarian Coordinator in Chad is concerned by the situation of populations affected by the crisis in the Lake region

Categories: AFRICA

AUC Chairperson H.E Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma officially opens the 6th Batch Training of the African Union Youth Volunteer Corps (AU-YVC).

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Her Excellency Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma officially welcomed the 6th Batch of the African Union Youth Volunteer Core (AU-YVC) training program.

Her Excellency took the opportunity to share valuable knowledge with the young people that are taking part in this year’s program. She described their experience as a great privilege to contribute to the work of the AU and further stated that she is looking forward to exposing them to work skills benefiting from the competences of those who would be assigned to her Office. The future of Africa took centre stage in her address, revealing the AU’s position and vision for young people. In relation to Agenda 2063, the Chairperson stated, ‘we consider that the people who are going to drive Agenda 2063, those who will develop this continent to be prosperous, integrated and peaceful are young people along with women. You are part of that youth!’ As the Chairperson engaged the young people, she constantly reminded them to never stop believing in their abilities and never losing hope in the African continent and its people. In her own words, ‘this is the first step to Pan-Africanism’. The Chairperson concluded her speech to young people by offering advice on the importance of time management, passion for work, maintaining vibrancy and [Description: Description: cid:E990674E-6CFF-4519-AD01-FEF5EF89D17B] creating bigger opportunities for the next generation than those that were created for them.

In a true display of encouraging youth participation, Her Excellency, with the assistance of University of Johannesburg’s Vice Chancellor Professor Tshilidzi Marwala, opened up the floor for young people to pose questions. Her answers revealed her journey from Cabinet Minister in South Africa to the AUC, plans to include vocational college graduates into the AU-YVC program, the need to quantify the work that women contribute to economies and the support structures that have enhanced her career. The open session also gave AU-YVC training participant Heba Shama the opportunity to share her story. The young Egyptian shared her journey of discovery in identifying, appreciating and understanding her own Africanness, which began whilst she was studying in the USA. She further praised the AUYVC program for the work it is doing in helping her solidify her identify.

Addressing the audience before Her Excellency took to the podium, Acting Head of the Youth Division within the AUC, Dr Beatrice Njenga, gave insight into the program. She described the AU-YVC as a flagship programme which aims to instil the spirit Pan-Africanism, volunteerism, leadership, life skills, personal initiative, creativity and collective responsibility in young people across the continent and in the diaspora. This year’s Batch of 80 participants (65% female and 35% male) from 37 AU Member States was selected out of 5000 applicants. In relation to the higher percentage of females, Dr Njenga stated, ‘we are pleased to have more females in this year’s Batch as 2015 is the AU’s Year for Women Empowerment’. The training will conclude on the 19th of December 2015 and a majority of the participants will be deployed to different organisations in Member States across Africa including the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa. The programme is currently supported by AU Member States and Ford Foundation. The training in Johannesburg is hosted by the University of Johannesburg and supported by the AU Foundation and the Nelson Mandela Foundation among others.

Find out more on this on-going event at @AUYouthProgram and Facebook – AU Youth Program

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

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Source:: AUC Chairperson H.E Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma officially opens the 6th Batch Training of the African Union Youth Volunteer Corps (AU-YVC).

Categories: AFRICA

Implementation of INDCs another red line Africa will not cross in COP 21 negotiations, according to AMCEN Chair

The joint Pan African lead institutions brought together African ministers; representatives of their leaders and policymakers to plan the way forward under a new climate change agreement in Paris while upholding Africa’s priorities through regional solidarity on the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) during the 2015 United National Conference on Climate Change in Paris (COP21) Africa Day event today.

The three Pan-African institutions, including the African Union Commission (AUC); the African Development Bank (AfDB); the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) brought together hundreds of African policy makers and experts attending COP 21 to enlighten them on Africa’s proposed amendments to the draft Paris Agreement (especially Articles on the INDCs) now making its way through the negotiation process.

The Egyptian Minister of Environment, Dr. Khaled Fahmy who currently chairs the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) told the meeting that the provision of means of implementation for the INDCs is a thick red line that Africa will not cross in Paris just because “we want an agreement at all cost.”

He said that the other red lines concerned the necessity to have an agreement with a real balance between adaptation and mitigation; while the other is on the legally binding aspect of the expected agreement.

“We are not in Paris to re-write the Convention but to ensure its judicious implementation”, he said, charging that “all African countries having drawn up their different INDCs in accordance with the Peru outcome, the time now is for implementation; and for all to abide by it.

All parties to the COP21 including African countries are expected to express their INDCs—public declarations of post-2020 climate actions they intend to take under a new international agreement to help global mitigation ambitions, as well as adaptation goals within the context of their national priorities, circumstances and capabilities. With INDC submissions to date, global warming is expected to be maintained at 2.7 degrees Celsius, which is above the global ambition of 2 degrees Celsius increase. So far, out of the fifty-four African nations, fifty-three have submitted INDCs.

The day began with an opening session chaired by the Ethiopian Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Mrs. Tumusiime Rhoda Peace in her opening statement, stressed that the Africa Day is not about lamenting the risks and challenges posed by climate change, but instead to serve as an opportunity for the continent to showcase to the rest of the world solutions underway to mitigate these challenges, specifically through the development of INDCs.

“The Paris Climate COP is the pinnacle of the global climate change negotiations that has historic milestone from the Africa COP in Durban COP17”. It proofs the level of commitment by the global community in addressing the adverse impacts of climate change and reduction of the greenhouse gases”, she said.

Mr. Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary of the UNECA, said that it is important, therefore, that Africa’s Parties submission on INDCs lead to the conclusion of a new agreement under the Convention that is in full conformity with its principles and provisions, in particular those of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.

“In addition, Annex I Parties need to make “equitable and appropriate” mitigation contributions towards achieving the objective of the Convention taking into account their cumulative historical responsibility and use of atmospheric space and resources and that cumulative emissions in Africa remain extremely low”, Mr. Lopes concluded.

The contributions forthcoming from developed country Parties relating to mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology and capacity are in a balanced manner in the context of a global and comprehensive agreement for the period beyond 2020.

AfDB representative, Anthony Okon Nyong, speaking on behalf of Mr. Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB President noted that “the vision of the African Heads of State and Government to embrace green growth and low carbon development for Africa’s transformation outlined today are meant to propel us into a future which promotes sustainable development for generations to come.”

“Africa has come with solutions on renewable energy; adaptation and loss and damage”, he said.

There were two technical presentations on INDCs by the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change and the UNECA. A Ministerial dialogue followed on INDCs showcasing Africa’s readiness in addressing climate change, including its ability to deliver on its own potential with international cooperation in addition to the contribution of INDCs to the overall development of the continent. The ministerial dialogue was chaired by H.E Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra, Foreign Minister of Algeria; and vote of thanks was given by H.E Dr. Elham Ibrahim, Commissioner for Infrastructure & Energy, AUC while Ms. Olushola of the AUC served as a Master of Ceremony.

Over 500 participants attended Africa Day, which saw the participation of high level delegates from the governments of Algeria; Cameron, Egypt, Ethiopia, Malawi, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda, in addition to the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change, African Union Commission, African Ministerial Conference on Environment, Pan-African Parliament, African Development Bank, East African Community, European Investment Bank, Green Climate Fund, International Labor Organization, NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, United Nations Development Program, and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

Throughout the day, leaders discussed the region’s priorities with respect to climate change, while considering the status of INDCs development in Africa and their challenges and opportunities moving forward in implementation.

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

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Source:: Implementation of INDCs another red line Africa will not cross in COP 21 negotiations, according to AMCEN Chair

Categories: AFRICA

Press Statement of the Peace and Security Council 560th meeting on the ongoing efforts to neutralize the Boko Haram terrorist group

The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 560th meeting held on 26 November 2015, was briefed by the Commission on the ongoing efforts to neutralize the Boko Haram terrorist group, including the operationalization of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) established by the Member States of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and Benin. Council also listened to the statements made by the representative of Niger, as Chair of the LCBC, as well as by those of Chad, Cameroon and Nigeria. Council took note of the statements made by France, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, as members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, as well as by the UN Secretariat and the European Union (EU).

Council recalled its earlier pronouncements on the Boko Haram terrorist group, including press statement PSC/PR/BR(DXVIII) adopted at its 518th meeting, held on 25 June 2015.

Council acknowledged the progress made on the ground in the fight against the Boko Haram terrorist group. In this respect, Council noted the recovery of areas that had previously been under the control of this group and other related operations to eliminate the threat it poses. Council nonetheless expressed concern at the continued ability of the Boko Haram terrorist group to carry out attacks against civilians, as well as against military and security forces, and to destroy infrastructure and livelihoods, as illustrated by the incidents that have taken place in various locations in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. Council strongly condemned these cowardly attacks and expressed, once again, the AU’s solidarity with the affected countries and their Governments.

Council commended the LCBC Member States and Benin for their continued efforts to fully operationalize the MNJTF. In this respect, Council welcomed the conclusions of the Special Session of the Committee of Chiefs of Defense Staff of the LCBC Member States and Benin held in Ndjamena, Chad, on 20 August 2015, including the effective deployment of the pledged contingents in the Area of Responsibility, transfer of authority to the MNJTF Command, and continued staffing of the MNJTF Headquarters. Council also noted with satisfaction the other steps taken fully to operationalize the MNJTF, including the Conference of the Communication and Signal Directors of the LCBC Member States and Benin and the inaugural meeting between the MNJTF Force Commander and Sector Commanders, held in Ndjamena, on 5 and 13 November 2015, respectively.

Council urged the LCBC Member States and Benin to persevere in their efforts and to enhance their cooperation within the framework of the MNJTF, bearing in mind the relevant provisions of the strategic Concept of Operations (CONOPS) adopted in Yaoundé, Cameroon, on 7 February 2015, as endorsed by Council in communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(CDLXXXIX)-Rev.1, adopted at its 489th meeting held on 3 March 2015, and by the Extraordinary Summit of the LCBC Member States and Benin, held in Abuja on 11 June 2015.

Council commended the Commission for the steps taken, in line with the relevant provisions of communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(CDLXXXIX)-Rev.1, in support of the operationalization of the MNJTF. In this respect, Council noted the deployment of a Start-up Team to the MNJTF Headquarters in Ndjamena and the subsequent establishment of the AU Support Team (AUST), the provision of communication equipment to facilitate coordination between the MNJTF Headquarters and Sector Headquarters, as well as between the MNJTF Headquarters and the AU Commission, the procurement of vehicles, and the hiring of staff to help run the MNJTF Headquarters.

Council also noted the steps taken to ensure that the MNJTF comply fully with international humanitarian and human rights law in the conduct of its operations, including the secondment, for a period of two months, by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, at the request of the Commission, of a senior human rights officer, who provided advice on the setting up of a human rights component, including its structure and staffing, adherence by the deployed uniform personnel to international human rights and humanitarian law standards, and mainstreaming of human rights. Council urged for the continuation and enhancement of these efforts, bearing in mind that scrupulous respect for international human rights and humanitarian law is a sine quo non for the effective neutralization of the Boko Haram terrorist group.

Council further noted the steps taken by the Commission to secure additional funding amounting 50 million Euros from the EU, within the framework of the Africa Peace Facility, to assist in various areas, including command, communication and control information systems (C3IS), infrastructure development at the level of both the MNJTF Headquarters and Sectors Headquarters, ground transportation, air mobility, including assets to support intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance activities, human resources and medical support. Council, having expressed its deep gratitude to the EU for this support in the spirit of the Africa-EU partnership, and looks forward to the urgent signing of an Agreement that would pave the way for the disbursement of the pledged funds. Council requested the Commission, once the required procedures with the EU are finalized, to ensure the timely and effective delivery of the planned support and to take all required administrative measures to this effect, and to continue to closely coordinate its efforts in this respect with the LCBC member countries and Benin.

Council noted with gratitude the support provided by international partners to the MNJTF. Council reiterated its appreciation to the United Kingdom, the United States of America and France for their invaluable support, and urged other partners also to contribute to the ongoing efforts. In this respect, Council requested the Commission to reactivate its plans for the holding, by February 2016, at the latest, with the support of the UN, of a Donors’ Conference to mobilize additional resources, including finances, logistics and equipment, for the MNJTF.

Council noted with satisfaction the adoption by the UN Security Council, on 28 July 2015, of Presidential Statement S/PRST/2015/14 in which it, inter alia, reiterated its strong condemnation of all terrorist attacks and other abuses committed by Boko Haram; commended the LCBC and Benin for their continued efforts to fully operationalize the MNJTF; called upon the international community and donors to support the MNJTF, invited the Secretary-General to support the Commission’s plans for a Donors’ Conference, called on Member States to contribute generously to the AU Trust Fund and requested the Secretary-General to advocate strongly with the internatinoal community and donors in support of this effort; and, having recalled that Boko Haram has been designated as associated with Al Qaeda by the Committee established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011), expressed its readiness to consider listing individuals, groups, undertakings and entities providing support to Boko Haram. Council looks forward to the continued engagement of the Security Council on this matter and to support, as may be appropriate, by the UN Secretariat to the efforts to the activities of the MNJTF.

Council commended the Economic Community of the Central African States (ECCAS) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for their contribution to the ongoing efforts against the Boko Haram terrorist group. Council looks forward to the holding of the planned joint ECCAS/ECOWAS Summit to enhance coordination between the two organizations in the fight against Boko Haram.

Council appealed for greater international mobilization to assist the populations affected by the attacks carried out by the Boko Haram terrorist group, as well as the countries hosting refugees fleeing the atrocities committed by this group.

Council stressed, once again, the need to complement the military and security operations against the Boko Haram terrorist group by sustained national and regional efforts, to improve livelihoods, promote education and job creation, as well as ensure the protection of human rights, particularly those of women and girls. Council called for renewed efforts in this respect by the LCBC Member States and Benin, with the support of the larger international community. Council reiterated its request to the Commission to liaise with the LCBC, to identify practical steps through which the AU and its relevant structures could contribute to these efforts.

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

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Source:: Press Statement of the Peace and Security Council 560th meeting on the ongoing efforts to neutralize the Boko Haram terrorist group

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Press Statement of the Peace and Security Council 560th meeting on the ongoing efforts to neutralize the Boko Haram terrorist group

The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 560th meeting held on 26 November 2015, was briefed by the Commission on the ongoing efforts to neutralize the Boko Haram terrorist group, including the operationalization of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) established by the Member States of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and Benin. Council also listened to the statements made by the representative of Niger, as Chair of the LCBC, as well as by those of Chad, Cameroon and Nigeria. Council took note of the statements made by France, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, as members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, as well as by the UN Secretariat and the European Union (EU).

Council recalled its earlier pronouncements on the Boko Haram terrorist group, including press statement PSC/PR/BR(DXVIII) adopted at its 518th meeting, held on 25 June 2015.

Council acknowledged the progress made on the ground in the fight against the Boko Haram terrorist group. In this respect, Council noted the recovery of areas that had previously been under the control of this group and other related operations to eliminate the threat it poses. Council nonetheless expressed concern at the continued ability of the Boko Haram terrorist group to carry out attacks against civilians, as well as against military and security forces, and to destroy infrastructure and livelihoods, as illustrated by the incidents that have taken place in various locations in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. Council strongly condemned these cowardly attacks and expressed, once again, the AU’s solidarity with the affected countries and their Governments.

Council commended the LCBC Member States and Benin for their continued efforts to fully operationalize the MNJTF. In this respect, Council welcomed the conclusions of the Special Session of the Committee of Chiefs of Defense Staff of the LCBC Member States and Benin held in Ndjamena, Chad, on 20 August 2015, including the effective deployment of the pledged contingents in the Area of Responsibility, transfer of authority to the MNJTF Command, and continued staffing of the MNJTF Headquarters. Council also noted with satisfaction the other steps taken fully to operationalize the MNJTF, including the Conference of the Communication and Signal Directors of the LCBC Member States and Benin and the inaugural meeting between the MNJTF Force Commander and Sector Commanders, held in Ndjamena, on 5 and 13 November 2015, respectively.

Council urged the LCBC Member States and Benin to persevere in their efforts and to enhance their cooperation within the framework of the MNJTF, bearing in mind the relevant provisions of the strategic Concept of Operations (CONOPS) adopted in Yaoundé, Cameroon, on 7 February 2015, as endorsed by Council in communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(CDLXXXIX)-Rev.1, adopted at its 489th meeting held on 3 March 2015, and by the Extraordinary Summit of the LCBC Member States and Benin, held in Abuja on 11 June 2015.

Council commended the Commission for the steps taken, in line with the relevant provisions of communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(CDLXXXIX)-Rev.1, in support of the operationalization of the MNJTF. In this respect, Council noted the deployment of a Start-up Team to the MNJTF Headquarters in Ndjamena and the subsequent establishment of the AU Support Team (AUST), the provision of communication equipment to facilitate coordination between the MNJTF Headquarters and Sector Headquarters, as well as between the MNJTF Headquarters and the AU Commission, the procurement of vehicles, and the hiring of staff to help run the MNJTF Headquarters.

Council also noted the steps taken to ensure that the MNJTF comply fully with international humanitarian and human rights law in the conduct of its operations, including the secondment, for a period of two months, by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, at the request of the Commission, of a senior human rights officer, who provided advice on the setting up of a human rights component, including its structure and staffing, adherence by the deployed uniform personnel to international human rights and humanitarian law standards, and mainstreaming of human rights. Council urged for the continuation and enhancement of these efforts, bearing in mind that scrupulous respect for international human rights and humanitarian law is a sine quo non for the effective neutralization of the Boko Haram terrorist group.

Council further noted the steps taken by the Commission to secure additional funding amounting 50 million Euros from the EU, within the framework of the Africa Peace Facility, to assist in various areas, including command, communication and control information systems (C3IS), infrastructure development at the level of both the MNJTF Headquarters and Sectors Headquarters, ground transportation, air mobility, including assets to support intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance activities, human resources and medical support. Council, having expressed its deep gratitude to the EU for this support in the spirit of the Africa-EU partnership, and looks forward to the urgent signing of an Agreement that would pave the way for the disbursement of the pledged funds. Council requested the Commission, once the required procedures with the EU are finalized, to ensure the timely and effective delivery of the planned support and to take all required administrative measures to this effect, and to continue to closely coordinate its efforts in this respect with the LCBC member countries and Benin.

Council noted with gratitude the support provided by international partners to the MNJTF. Council reiterated its appreciation to the United Kingdom, the United States of America and France for their invaluable support, and urged other partners also to contribute to the ongoing efforts. In this respect, Council requested the Commission to reactivate its plans for the holding, by February 2016, at the latest, with the support of the UN, of a Donors’ Conference to mobilize additional resources, including finances, logistics and equipment, for the MNJTF.

Council noted with satisfaction the adoption by the UN Security Council, on 28 July 2015, of Presidential Statement S/PRST/2015/14 in which it, inter alia, reiterated its strong condemnation of all terrorist attacks and other abuses committed by Boko Haram; commended the LCBC and Benin for their continued efforts to fully operationalize the MNJTF; called upon the international community and donors to support the MNJTF, invited the Secretary-General to support the Commission’s plans for a Donors’ Conference, called on Member States to contribute generously to the AU Trust Fund and requested the Secretary-General to advocate strongly with the internatinoal community and donors in support of this effort; and, having recalled that Boko Haram has been designated as associated with Al Qaeda by the Committee established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011), expressed its readiness to consider listing individuals, groups, undertakings and entities providing support to Boko Haram. Council looks forward to the continued engagement of the Security Council on this matter and to support, as may be appropriate, by the UN Secretariat to the efforts to the activities of the MNJTF.

Council commended the Economic Community of the Central African States (ECCAS) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for their contribution to the ongoing efforts against the Boko Haram terrorist group. Council looks forward to the holding of the planned joint ECCAS/ECOWAS Summit to enhance coordination between the two organizations in the fight against Boko Haram.

Council appealed for greater international mobilization to assist the populations affected by the attacks carried out by the Boko Haram terrorist group, as well as the countries hosting refugees fleeing the atrocities committed by this group.

Council stressed, once again, the need to complement the military and security operations against the Boko Haram terrorist group by sustained national and regional efforts, to improve livelihoods, promote education and job creation, as well as ensure the protection of human rights, particularly those of women and girls. Council called for renewed efforts in this respect by the LCBC Member States and Benin, with the support of the larger international community. Council reiterated its request to the Commission to liaise with the LCBC, to identify practical steps through which the AU and its relevant structures could contribute to these efforts.

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

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Source:: Press Statement of the Peace and Security Council 560th meeting on the ongoing efforts to neutralize the Boko Haram terrorist group

COP21: Launch of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Categories: AFRICA