IMF Executive Board Concludes the Sixth and Final Review under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement with the Union of the Comoros

MORONI, Comoros, December 14, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today completed the sixth and final review under the three-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) for the Union of the Comoros. The completion of the review enables the disbursement of an amount equivalent to SDR 1.55 million (about US$2.4 million). In completing the review, the Board approved a waiver for the nonobservance of the performance criterion on net credit to the government at end-June 2013.

The three-year Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement for the Union of the Comoros was approved in September 2009, for the equivalent of SDR 13.5725 million (US$13.57 million, or 152.5 percent of quota, see Press Release No. 09/315).

Following the Executive Board’s discussion, Mr. Naoyuki Shinohara, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair issued the following statement:

“The authorities are to be commended for significant progress in implementing their Fund-supported adjustment program. As the financing arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility draws to a close, structural reforms have advanced and the main macroeconomic objectives have been achieved. Growth with low inflation has been sustained, and the fiscal position has strengthened. Looking ahead, it will be important to safeguard macroeconomic stability and further reduce poverty through prudent policies and continued reforms.

“Additional efforts are needed to strengthen cash management, budget preparation, and expenditure control as well as bolster domestic revenue mobilization. It will also be critical to preserve the gains from debt relief through continued reliance on concessional financing and improved debt management.

“Structural reforms of public utilities and further investment in infrastructure will help accelerate growth and poverty reduction. Plans to reform the energy sector and address other supply-side bottlenecks hold out the promise to improve the business environment and strengthen medium-term prospects.

“Going forward, strong policies remain crucial, and continued close engagement with the Fund will be important.”

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

Parliamentary Secretary Brown to attend African Mining and Development Conference

OTTAWA, Canada, December 14, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Lois Brown, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie, will attend the third African Union Conference of Ministers Responsible for Mineral Resources Development, in Maputo, Mozambique, from December 13-17, 2013.

The Parliamentary Secretary will deliver remarks at the Conference’s official opening and will help launch the African Minerals Development Centre, to which Canada is the largest contributor. PS Brown will also participate in a panel discussion on leveraging the Africa Mining Vision.

While in Maputo, PS Brown will chair a roundtable discussion on Women’s Economic Empowerment in Africa with African and Canadian business and community leaders. She will also meet with a number of her counterparts from across the continent with the objective of reinforcing collaboration between Canada and Africa to sustainably develop Africa’s vast natural resource potential for the benefit of its people.

The Conference has become a premier forum for African leaders to address issues related to the development of mineral resources on the continent and has as its aim the promotion of sustainable development in Africa. PS Brown’s participation is aligned with Canada’s commitment to help African countries maximize the benefits of their extractive sectors, to help ensure these benefits flow to their people in ways that improve their overall quality of life.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

Parliamentary Secretary Brown to attend African Mining and Development Conference

OTTAWA, Canada, December 14, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Lois Brown, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie, will attend the third African Union Conference of Ministers Responsible for Mineral Resources Development, in Maputo, Mozambique, from December 13-17, 2013.

The Parliamentary Secretary will deliver remarks at the Conference’s official opening and will help launch the African Minerals Development Centre, to which Canada is the largest contributor. PS Brown will also participate in a panel discussion on leveraging the Africa Mining Vision.

While in Maputo, PS Brown will chair a roundtable discussion on Women’s Economic Empowerment in Africa with African and Canadian business and community leaders. She will also meet with a number of her counterparts from across the continent with the objective of reinforcing collaboration between Canada and Africa to sustainably develop Africa’s vast natural resource potential for the benefit of its people.

The Conference has become a premier forum for African leaders to address issues related to the development of mineral resources on the continent and has as its aim the promotion of sustainable development in Africa. PS Brown’s participation is aligned with Canada’s commitment to help African countries maximize the benefits of their extractive sectors, to help ensure these benefits flow to their people in ways that improve their overall quality of life.

Source: APO

Statement by the spokesperson of the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on Guinea Bissau

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, December 14, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The High Representative expresses her grave concern at the serious incident of 10 December in which a TAP-Air Portugal crew was compelled by a senior member of the transitional authorities of Guinea Bissau, accompanied by military personnel, to carry 74 presumed

Syrian nationals with illegal passports from Bissau to Lisbon, in complete disregard of international law.

This raises serious questions about the effectiveness of the rule of law in Guinea Bissau and the willingness of the authorities themselves to respect it.

The HR calls on the transitional authorities to take urgently the appropriate measures to avoid any repetition of such incidents and to comply fully with their international and national legal obligations.

The High Representative also calls on the transitional authorities to honor their commitments to combat impunity and to organize free, fair and inclusive elections on 16 March 2014 allowing for the return to constitutional order, democracy and rule of law in Guinea-Bissau.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

Statement by NSC Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden on the African Great Lakes Region

WASHINGTON, December 13, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The United States welcomes today’s signing of declarations ending the M23 rebellion in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. For too long, the people of the African Great Lakes region have suffered as a result of conflict and instability. Today’s signing moves us one step closer to bringing decades of violence to an end.

While we welcome this important progress, much work remains. M23 must be disarmed and demobilized. Those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity must be held to account. A regional dialogue around peace and security issues must now move forward to strengthen regional cooperation and resolve the underlying causes of conflict once and for all.

We commend the parties for reaching this accord, and Ugandan President Museveni for his role in bringing the Kampala Dialogue to a successful close. As the countries of the region work to usher in a new era of security and prosperity, the United States and the international community stand with them as partners for peace and for progress.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

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