Erratum: Third Africa-India Forum Summit (AIFS-III): both sides commit to open more investment opportunities to enhance the socio-economic development of their populations

African Heads of State and Government gathered at the Third Africa-India Forum Summit (AIFS-III) on 29 October 2015 witnessed a blend of the rich cultural diversity of Africa and India during the opening ceremony that took place at the Indira Gandhi Stadium Complex in New Delhi, where dance groups from both sides in their colourful traditional regalia, showcased the beauty of a fruitful partnership between Africa and India.

Jointly organized by the African Union (AU) and the Government of India, the Summit was co-chaired by H.E. Mr. Robert Mugabe, Chairperson of the AU, who is also the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and H.E. Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, in the presence of H.E Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), who presented a key note address at the inaugural ceremony of the Third Africa-India Summit. The AUC Deputy Chairperson, Mr. Erastus Mwencha, alongside some AU Commissioners and High Officials, also attended the event.

President Mugabe recalled the great role played by India in the fight against colonialism and apartheid in Africa. He underscored the importance and urgency to strengthen the African and Indian ties with a view to promoting friendship and collaboration. According to the AU Chairperson, the Declarations adopted during the First and Second Summits, held in New Delhi in April 2008 and in Addis Ababa in May 2011 respectively, provided the necessary foundation that has consolidated and sustained the strategic partnership.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his opening remarks, referred to Africa as the “land where history began, humanity grew and new hope rises”, stressing the fact that the peoples of Africa and India have a common history and geographical background …”We have long lived under the shadow of colonialism, and we have fought for our liberty and our dignity… from Mahatma Ghandi to Albert Luthuli to Nelson Mandela”, underlined the Indian Prime Minister.

According to Prime Minister Modi, “the Summit is not just a meeting of India and Africa but it is the dream of one-third of humanity that have come together under one roof.” While noting that Africa and India are the world’s oldest civilizations, he remarked that the currents of the mighty Indian Ocean have nurtured the ties of kinship, commerce and culture of the peoples of both sides through centuries.

Addressing the Summit, H.E Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), stated that, while Africa welcomes the world, and in particular India, to take advantage of the opportunities that exist for investment, it is equally important to encourage the establishment of African-owned businesses in India. “It is our wish as Africans that India creates wider opportunities within the framework of this partnership, to benefit from its remarkable expertise in the identified areas of cooperation as listed in the outcome documents of this Summit”, she noted.

Dr. Dlamini Zuma noted that the Africa-India Partnership has evolved over time, and currently transcending its bilateral content into a multilateral dimension. She stated that Africa’s developmental trajectory anchors on holistic continental dynamics that would bring continental value to the growing African population. She informed that, prior to this global gathering, the African Union Heads of State and Government in 2014 adopted the African Union Agenda 2063, which defined the “The Africa We Want”. The overall vision of the Agenda 2063 is to achieve an “integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, an Africa driven and managed by its own citizen and representing a dynamic force in the international arena”. This overarching objective is broken down into specific aspirations, goals and priority areas, to ensure the maximum achievements of which Africa is now mobilized at the continental, regional and national levels. During its 25th Ordinary Session held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in June 2015, the African Union Assembly adopted the First Ten-Year Plan of Agenda 2063, spanning the period 2013-2023. “As the continent strives towards achieving this objective, working together with our old and new partners would enable greater opportunities to build synergies in all the efforts that have been invested as to attain common success”, underscored Dr. Dlamini Zuma.

Quoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on one of his tweet posted on 17 October 2015, “Stepping up trade ties, particularly in oil and gas sector, strengthening maritime cooperation and lifting the overall engagement to a new high will be the main agenda of the Summit”, Dr. Dlamini Zuma noted that such statement is an indication that there is already a new way of thinking towards bringing in more energy and commitment in this partnership. She hoped that the outcome of the Third Africa-India Summit will animate and reinvigorate the Africa-India Strategic Partnership.

Meanwhile, the Heads of State and Government adopted the Declarations and the Africa-India Framework for Strategic Cooperation. Copies of the two documents will subsequently be made available on the website of the African Union: www.au.int .

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

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Third Africa–India Forum Summit (AIFS-III): both sides commit to open more investement opportunities to enhance the socio-economic development of their populations

African Heads of State and Government gathered at the Third Africa-India Forum Summit (AIFS-III) on 29 October 2015, witnessed a blend of rich cultural diversity of Africa and India during the opening ceremony that took place at the Indira Gandhi Stadium Complex in New Delhi, where dance groups from both sides in their colourful traditional regalia, showcased the beauty of a fruitful partnership between Africa and India.

Jointly organized by the African Union (AU) and the Government of India, the Summit was co-chaired by H.E. Mr. Robert Mugabe, Chairperson of the AU who is also the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and H.E. Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, in the presence of H.E Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the Chairperson of African Union Commission (AUC), who presented a key note address at the inaugural ceremony of the Third Africa-India Summit. The AUC Deputy Chairperson, Mr. Erastus Mwencha alongside some AU Commissioners and High Officials, also attended the event.

President Mugabe recalled the great role played by India in the fight against colonialism and apartheid in Africa. He underscored the importance and urgency to strengthen the African and Indian ties with a view to promoting friendship and collaboration. According to the AU Chairperson, the Declarations adopted during the First and Second Summits held in New Delhi, in April 2008 and Addis Ababa in May 2011, respectively, provided the necessary foundation that has consolidated and sustained the strategic partnership.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his opening remarks, referred to Africa as the “land where history began, humanity grew and new hope rises”, stressing the fact that the peoples of Africa and India have a common history and geographical background …”We have long lived under the shadow of colonialism, and we have fought for our liberty and our dignity… from Mahatma Ghandi to Albert Luthuli to Nelson Mandela”, underlined the Indian Prime Minister.

According to Prime Ministers Modi, “the Summit is not just a meeting of India and Africa but it is the dreams of one-third of humanity that have come together under one roof.” While noting that Africa and India are the world’s oldest civilization, he remarked that the currents of the mighty Indian Ocean have nurtured the ties of kinship, commerce and culture of the peoples of both sides through centuries.

Addressing the Summit, H.E Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), stated that, while Africa welcomes the world and in particular India to take advantage of the opportunities that exist for investment, it is equally important to encourage the establishment of African-Owned businesses in India. “It is our wish as Africans that India creates wider opportunities within the framework of this partnership, to benefit from its remarkable expertise in the identified areas of cooperation as listed in the outcome documents of this Summit”, she noted.

Dr. Dlamini Zuma noted that the Africa-India Partnership has evolved overtime, and currently transcending its bilateral content into multilateral dimension. She stated that Africa’s developmental trajectory anchors on holistic continental dynamics that would bring continental value to the growing African population. She informed that, prior to this global gathering, the African Union Heads of State and Government in 2014 adopted the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063, which defined the “The Africa We Want”. The overall vision of the Agenda 2063 is to achieve an “Integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, an Africa driven and managed by its own citizen and representing a dynamic force in the international arena”. This overarching objective is broken down into specific aspirations, goals and priority area, to ensure maximum achievements of which Africa is now mobilized at the continental, regional and national levels. During the 25th ordinary session held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in June 2015, the African Union Assembly adopted the First Ten Year Plan of Agenda 2063, spanning the period 2013-2023. “As the continent strives towards achieving this objective, working together with our old and new partners, would enable greater opportunities to build synergies in all efforts that have been invested as to attain common success”, underscored Dr. Dlamini Zuma.

Quoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on one of his tweet posted on 17 October 2015, “Stepping up trade ties, particularly in oil and gas sector, strengthening maritime cooperation and lifting the overall engagement to a new high will be the main agenda of the Summit”, Dr. Dlamini Zuma noted that such statement is an indication that there is already a new way of thinking towards bringing in more energy and commitment in this Partnership. She hoped that the outcome of the Third Africa-India Summit will animate and reinvigorate the Africa-India Strategic Partnership.

Meanwhile, the Heads of State and Government adopted the Declarations and the Africa-India Framework for Strategic Cooperation. Copies of the two documents will subsequently be made available on the website of the African Union: www.au.int .

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

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Third Africa–India Forum Summit (AIFS-III): both sides commit to open more investement opportunities to enhance the socio-economic development of their populations

African Heads of State and Government gathered at the Third Africa-India Forum Summit (AIFS-III) on 29 October 2015, witnessed a blend of rich cultural diversity of Africa and India during the opening ceremony that took place at the Indira Gandhi Stadium Complex in New Delhi, where dance groups from both sides in their colourful traditional regalia, showcased the beauty of a fruitful partnership between Africa and India.

Jointly organized by the African Union (AU) and the Government of India, the Summit was co-chaired by H.E. Mr. Robert Mugabe, Chairperson of the AU who is also the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and H.E. Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, in the presence of H.E Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the Chairperson of African Union Commission (AUC), who presented a key note address at the inaugural ceremony of the Third Africa-India Summit. The AUC Deputy Chairperson, Mr. Erastus Mwencha alongside some AU Commissioners and High Officials, also attended the event.

President Mugabe recalled the great role played by India in the fight against colonialism and apartheid in Africa. He underscored the importance and urgency to strengthen the African and Indian ties with a view to promoting friendship and collaboration. According to the AU Chairperson, the Declarations adopted during the First and Second Summits held in New Delhi, in April 2008 and Addis Ababa in May 2011, respectively, provided the necessary foundation that has consolidated and sustained the strategic partnership.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his opening remarks, referred to Africa as the “land where history began, humanity grew and new hope rises”, stressing the fact that the peoples of Africa and India have a common history and geographical background …”We have long lived under the shadow of colonialism, and we have fought for our liberty and our dignity… from Mahatma Ghandi to Albert Luthuli to Nelson Mandela”, underlined the Indian Prime Minister.

According to Prime Ministers Modi, “the Summit is not just a meeting of India and Africa but it is the dreams of one-third of humanity that have come together under one roof.” While noting that Africa and India are the world’s oldest civilization, he remarked that the currents of the mighty Indian Ocean have nurtured the ties of kinship, commerce and culture of the peoples of both sides through centuries.

Addressing the Summit, H.E Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), stated that, while Africa welcomes the world and in particular India to take advantage of the opportunities that exist for investment, it is equally important to encourage the establishment of African-Owned businesses in India. “It is our wish as Africans that India creates wider opportunities within the framework of this partnership, to benefit from its remarkable expertise in the identified areas of cooperation as listed in the outcome documents of this Summit”, she noted.

Dr. Dlamini Zuma noted that the Africa-India Partnership has evolved overtime, and currently transcending its bilateral content into multilateral dimension. She stated that Africa’s developmental trajectory anchors on holistic continental dynamics that would bring continental value to the growing African population. She informed that, prior to this global gathering, the African Union Heads of State and Government in 2014 adopted the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063, which defined the “The Africa We Want”. The overall vision of the Agenda 2063 is to achieve an “Integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, an Africa driven and managed by its own citizen and representing a dynamic force in the international arena”. This overarching objective is broken down into specific aspirations, goals and priority area, to ensure maximum achievements of which Africa is now mobilized at the continental, regional and national levels. During the 25th ordinary session held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in June 2015, the African Union Assembly adopted the First Ten Year Plan of Agenda 2063, spanning the period 2013-2023. “As the continent strives towards achieving this objective, working together with our old and new partners, would enable greater opportunities to build synergies in all efforts that have been invested as to attain common success”, underscored Dr. Dlamini Zuma.

Quoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on one of his tweet posted on 17 October 2015, “Stepping up trade ties, particularly in oil and gas sector, strengthening maritime cooperation and lifting the overall engagement to a new high will be the main agenda of the Summit”, Dr. Dlamini Zuma noted that such statement is an indication that there is already a new way of thinking towards bringing in more energy and commitment in this Partnership. She hoped that the outcome of the Third Africa-India Summit will animate and reinvigorate the Africa-India Strategic Partnership.

Meanwhile, the Heads of State and Government adopted the Declarations and the Africa-India Framework for Strategic Cooperation. Copies of the two documents will subsequently be made available on the website of the African Union: www.au.int .

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

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U.S. Congratulates Côte d’Ivoire on Peaceful Election

Press Statement

John Kirby
Department Spokesperson

Washington, DC

October 29, 2015

The United States congratulates the Ivoirian people for a peaceful presidential election on October 25, which observers have judged to be credible, transparent and inclusive. This election marks another important step toward overcoming conflicts of the past, with a majority of the citizens on the voting rolls exercising their democratic right to select their next president.

According to the provisional results released by Côte d’Ivoire’s Independent Electoral Commission and accepted by the main opposition candidate, President Ouattara has secured a significant victory, and we congratulate him.

We look forward to working with the government and people of Côte d’Ivoire to consolidate our strong partnership and continue the important business of strengthening Côte d’Ivoire’s governance, security, and economic institutions. We encourage all political actors to renew and expand efforts to promote national reconciliation, respectful political dialogue, equitable justice and shared economic prosperity.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Africa Regional Media Hub.

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Categories: AFRICA

EU and African civil society is ready to cooperate in tackling the refugee crisis

An approach based on full cooperation with African countries and respect for human rights in tackling the refugee flows into the EU has the full support of civil society from both continents. However, it is necessary to act now: “An action plan is not enough, it is important to equip it with the necessary funding and improve coordination and cooperation”. These were the main messages of the 2nd meeting of the EU-Africa Socio-Economic Actors Network in Brussels, organised by the European Economic and Social Committee on 27-28 October.

The EESC welcomed Civil Society representatives from African States, members of European economic and social councils and partner organisations as well as representatives from the European institutions and international organisations to discuss the main challenges and find common solutions to the refugee crisis. The 2nd meeting of the EU-Africa Socio-Economic Actors Network ended with a joint resolution outlining proposals which mainly focused on three issues:

First, the fight against migrant smuggling and the strengthening of police and judicial cooperation as outlined in the EU’s action plan. Participants stressed the importance of adequate funding, the need for closer cooperation between the two continents and the urge to punish traffickers, not the migrants themselves. The setting up of safe humanitarian corridors and support to civil society organisations providing assistance to migrants on the ground were also highlighted.

Second, addressing the root causes for migration: The economic and social stakeholders in the EU-Africa network endorse the proposal of setting up an Emergency Trust Fund for Africa but insist on a real partnership between the countries for the implementation of this Fund. The goals defined by the Sustainable Development Objectives will need to frame the actions to be taken in this area.

Third, facilitating legal migration and mobility: Participants identified human rights, solidarity and real cooperation as the principles that should underlie legal migration policies and actions. Also, the ILO directives on labour migration have to be upheld, and social partners included in the implementation of agreements.

The adopted declaration will be forwarded to the EU and African Heads of State and Government that will meet at the Valletta Summit on 11-12 November in order to make them aware of the willingness of economic and social actors to cooperate in the resolution of the refugee crisis and in the shared management of migratory flows. As the crisis is already showing today, without the involvement of citizens and organised civil society, no sustainable solutions will be possible.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of EU Delegation to Kenya.

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Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on elections in Tanzania

The Secretary-General congratulates the people, Government and political parties of Tanzania for the peaceful and orderly manner in which the country held its elections on 25 October 2015. The responsible conduct of the citizens of Tanzania as they cast their ballots and awaited the results was a concrete manifestation of their commitment to democracy, peace and stability.

The Secretary-General remains concerned about the situation in Zanzibar and underscores that any disputes related to the electoral process should be addressed through the existing legal framework in a peaceful and transparent manner.

The Secretary-General calls on all stakeholders to remain calm, reject the use of violence, and avoid making statements that could further increase tensions.

New York, 29 October 2015

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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Source:: Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on elections in Tanzania

Categories: AFRICA

IMF Holds Discussions on the 5th Review under the PSI, on a New SCF Arrangement, and on the 2015 Article IV Consultation with Mozambique

A staff team from the International Monetary Fund, led by Michel Lazare, visited Mozambique during October 14-28, 2015 to complete discussions towards the completion of the fifth review under the three-year Policy Support Instrument (PSI) approved in June 2013 (see Press Release No. 13/231) and under the 2015 Article IV Consultation, and reach understandings on a new program to be supported under the IMF’s Stand-by Credit Facility (SCF).

The team met with Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario, Economy and Finance Minister Adriano Maleiane, Bank of Mozambique Governor Ernesto Gove, and other sectoral ministers, senior government officials, the private sector, civil society, and development partners.

At the conclusion of the visit, Mr. Lazare issued the following statement:

“The Mozambican authorities and the IMF team completed the Article IV Consultation discussions and reached a staff-level agreement for completing the fifth review under the PSI-supported program. In addition, they have reached a staff-level agreement on an 18-month economic framework through 2017 that could be supported with SDR 204.48 million (about US$286 million) under the IMF’s SCF, subject to approval by IMF management and the Executive Board. The Executive Board meeting is tentatively scheduled for mid-December 2015.
“Economic activity in 2015 has remained solid, though new challenges have emerged and require decisive policy action. In the mission’s views, growth will reach 6.3 percent in 2015 and is projected to accelerate slightly to 6.5 percent in 2016. Inflation is currently still low at about 2 percent, but is expected to increase towards 5-6 percent over the next few months due to the recent depreciation of the metical, and required adjustments in administered prices. Over the medium term (2017-20), growth could average 8 percent owing to positive prospects of massive investments in extractive industries, especially liquefied natural gas.

“While medium-term prospects remain positive, short-term challenges have become more complex. As other countries in the region, Mozambique is currently experiencing an external shock associated with the drop in commodity prices, lower growth in trading partners, and delays in investment associated with large natural resource projects. Excessively expansionary policies in 2014 (especially on the fiscal side) also contributed to the current difficulties the country is facing. Imports have continued to grow at a fast pace at 17 percent year-on-year, while exports have stagnated. Capital inflows have also declined substantially compared to a year ago. This has created pressures in the foreign exchange market and has caused a sharp decline in international reserves and a depreciation of the metical.
“Against this backdrop, performance in implementing the IMF-supported PSI program was mixed. While some end-June 2015 quantitative program targets were met, 3 assessment criteria and one indicative quantitative target were missed. The same criteria and target were also missed at the end of September 2015. Delays were also incurred in the implementation of a number of structural reforms supported under the PSI.

“Subject to approval by the IMF management and the Executive Board, the team and the authorities agreed on a strong corrective policy package to put the program back on track and manage the above mentioned shocks to the balance of payments. This policy package would involve further fiscal consolidation in 2016 to continue to preserve debt sustainability and contribute to the needed external adjustment. Monetary policy tightening and substantial moderation in credit expansion is also required. The team commended the Bank of Mozambique for the recent decision to tighten monetary policy and recommended a continuation of the tightening cycle. In addition, efforts to reduce the current fragmentation of the foreign exchange market are necessary to generate greater incentives for banks to mobilize foreign exchange from their depositors. The team also discussed a range of structural reforms to help manage fiscal risks, eliminate arrears on VAT refunds, make public spending more efficient and transparent, and support more inclusive growth, including through greater financial deepening.

“The team believes that the authorities’ economic program, together with the agreed policy package, is strong and adequate to respond to the temporary external shocks that the Mozambique economy is going through at the moment.

“We would like to thank the authorities for the constructive policy discussions and warm hospitality.”

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

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Source:: IMF Holds Discussions on the 5th Review under the PSI, on a New SCF Arrangement, and on the 2015 Article IV Consultation with Mozambique

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IMF Holds Discussions on the 5th Review under the PSI, on a New SCF Arrangement, and on the 2015 Article IV Consultation with Mozambique

A staff team from the International Monetary Fund, led by Michel Lazare, visited Mozambique during October 14-28, 2015 to complete discussions towards the completion of the fifth review under the three-year Policy Support Instrument (PSI) approved in June 2013 (see Press Release No. 13/231) and under the 2015 Article IV Consultation, and reach understandings on a new program to be supported under the IMF’s Stand-by Credit Facility (SCF).

The team met with Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario, Economy and Finance Minister Adriano Maleiane, Bank of Mozambique Governor Ernesto Gove, and other sectoral ministers, senior government officials, the private sector, civil society, and development partners.

At the conclusion of the visit, Mr. Lazare issued the following statement:

“The Mozambican authorities and the IMF team completed the Article IV Consultation discussions and reached a staff-level agreement for completing the fifth review under the PSI-supported program. In addition, they have reached a staff-level agreement on an 18-month economic framework through 2017 that could be supported with SDR 204.48 million (about US$286 million) under the IMF’s SCF, subject to approval by IMF management and the Executive Board. The Executive Board meeting is tentatively scheduled for mid-December 2015.
“Economic activity in 2015 has remained solid, though new challenges have emerged and require decisive policy action. In the mission’s views, growth will reach 6.3 percent in 2015 and is projected to accelerate slightly to 6.5 percent in 2016. Inflation is currently still low at about 2 percent, but is expected to increase towards 5-6 percent over the next few months due to the recent depreciation of the metical, and required adjustments in administered prices. Over the medium term (2017-20), growth could average 8 percent owing to positive prospects of massive investments in extractive industries, especially liquefied natural gas.

“While medium-term prospects remain positive, short-term challenges have become more complex. As other countries in the region, Mozambique is currently experiencing an external shock associated with the drop in commodity prices, lower growth in trading partners, and delays in investment associated with large natural resource projects. Excessively expansionary policies in 2014 (especially on the fiscal side) also contributed to the current difficulties the country is facing. Imports have continued to grow at a fast pace at 17 percent year-on-year, while exports have stagnated. Capital inflows have also declined substantially compared to a year ago. This has created pressures in the foreign exchange market and has caused a sharp decline in international reserves and a depreciation of the metical.
“Against this backdrop, performance in implementing the IMF-supported PSI program was mixed. While some end-June 2015 quantitative program targets were met, 3 assessment criteria and one indicative quantitative target were missed. The same criteria and target were also missed at the end of September 2015. Delays were also incurred in the implementation of a number of structural reforms supported under the PSI.

“Subject to approval by the IMF management and the Executive Board, the team and the authorities agreed on a strong corrective policy package to put the program back on track and manage the above mentioned shocks to the balance of payments. This policy package would involve further fiscal consolidation in 2016 to continue to preserve debt sustainability and contribute to the needed external adjustment. Monetary policy tightening and substantial moderation in credit expansion is also required. The team commended the Bank of Mozambique for the recent decision to tighten monetary policy and recommended a continuation of the tightening cycle. In addition, efforts to reduce the current fragmentation of the foreign exchange market are necessary to generate greater incentives for banks to mobilize foreign exchange from their depositors. The team also discussed a range of structural reforms to help manage fiscal risks, eliminate arrears on VAT refunds, make public spending more efficient and transparent, and support more inclusive growth, including through greater financial deepening.

“The team believes that the authorities’ economic program, together with the agreed policy package, is strong and adequate to respond to the temporary external shocks that the Mozambique economy is going through at the moment.

“We would like to thank the authorities for the constructive policy discussions and warm hospitality.”

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

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Source:: IMF Holds Discussions on the 5th Review under the PSI, on a New SCF Arrangement, and on the 2015 Article IV Consultation with Mozambique

OCHA operations director: more help needed for people in protracted crises in Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia

The head of Operations at the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, John Ging, has called for more help for people and communities who have faced years of crisis in Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia.

“Each of these countries faces a unique set of challenges,” said Mr. Ging. “But in each country, I spoke with people who have had to run from their homes again and again, fleeing successive waves of violence. I met children who have grown up never knowing peace and stability.

“These people had simple demands: they wanted support in rebuilding their livelihoods, educating their children and accessing medical care,” said Mr. Ging. “But above all they told me they were exhausted, and desperately wanted an end to conflict.”

Mr. Ging travelled to the three countries from 18 to 25 October with representatives from the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union and the Netherlands.

“The challenges faced by these countries are overwhelming,” said Mr. Ging. “But in each we saw reasons for hope. In Sudan, the Government indicated a new willingness to allow humanitarian workers to access those in need of assistance. In South Sudan, the signing of a new peace agreement provides a prospect for an end to the violence which has engulfed the country. And in Somalia, we saw progress that many described as the best chance the country has had in 25 years to build lasting peace.”

In South Sudan, worsening violence has swept across the central region of the country over the past months, systematically targeting civilians. In Southern Unity state alone, some 1,600 women have been forcibly abducted since May, more than 1,000 civilians killed, 1,300 women and girls have been raped and more than 15,000 children have been recruited into armed groups.

Across East Africa, one of the most severe El Nino events on record is set to have a devastating impact in the next few months, causing an estimated 83 per cent increase in food insecurity by the start of 2016. The number in need of food assistance across the region is forecast to increase from 12 million at the start of 2015 to 22.1 million at the start of 2016, with flooding set to affect up to 3.5 million people.

These countries are some of the most dangerous in the world for humanitarian workers, with at least 10 aid workers killed in Somalia so far in 2015 and at least 34 killed in South Sudan since December 2013. Despite this, humanitarian workers continue to reach millions of people every month with lifesaving assistance.

“It is inspiring to witness the efforts our colleagues are making on the front line,” said Mr. Ging. “The international community must continue to support these efforts, and stand in solidarity with those who have been the victims of conflict for far too long.”

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

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Categories: AFRICA

New Report Calls for Policy Reforms to Achieve Planetary Health./ East Africa Launch of the Planetary Health Report

Humanity’s pursuit of economic development and civilization, while bringing notable improvements in areas such as human health, has come at the cost of degradation of the natural systems upon which these advancements depend.

To achieve planetary health—taking into account both the health of human civilization and the natural systems on which it depends—requires a shift in thinking to safeguard these natural systems.

A new report by the Rockefeller Foundation – Lancet Commission on Planetary Health and the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) outlines how an integrated view of what prosperity means can safeguard the environment, foster equitable consumption and offer a better outlook for human well-being, thereby achieving planetary health.

The report highlights several steps, including waste reduction through the creation of products that are more durable and require less energy and materials to manufacture; the incentivisation of recycling, reuse, and repair; and the substitution of hazardous materials with safer alternatives. According to the report, planetary health offers an opportunity for reform to taxes and subsidies for many sectors of the economy—including energy, agriculture, water, fisheries, and health—to account for natural capital so that economy and nature are not separated.

The report also outlines the role of the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals in the integration of health and sustainability.

Media are invited to the East African launch of this report, which will be hosted by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Date:
Friday 30 October 2015 at 1:15 pm

Venue:
UN Complex, Gigiri – Conference Room 1

Panel of Experts:
Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director
Montira Pongsiri, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Alex Ezeh, Executive Director, African Population and Health Research Center
(APHRC)
Ligia Noronha, Director, Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, UNEP
High Level Representative from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Kenya

To participate and for enquiries:
Please contact Waiganjo Njoroge, UNEP News Desk on Tel. +254 (0) 723 857 270 or +254 (0) 20 762 5261, unepnewsdesk@unep.org to confirm your participation.

Please have a valid press card and an ID/passport to facilitate entry to the UN Compound.

Note:
A bus for journalists will depart from Chester House at 12:15 pm.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

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United States Delivers Four F-16 Fighter Jets to Egyptian Armed Forces

On October 29, Ambassador Stephen Beecroft and Senior Defense Official Major General Charles Hooper joined Air Marshal Younes al-Masri and other senior Egyptian military officials in a ceremony at the Cairo West Air Force Base to receive four F-16 “Fighting Falcon” fighter jets delivered by the United States to the Egyptian Air Force. Welcoming the four U.S. Air Force pilots who made the 14 hour flight from the United States to Egypt, Ambassador Beecroft called the delivery “another step forward in U.S.-Egyptian cooperation on fighting terror, bringing stability to the region, and strengthening our historic relationship.”

The F-16 Block 52 aircraft are premier fighter aircraft capable of performing reconnaissance missions, air-to-ground attacks, and air-to-air engagement. In addition to the fighter aircraft, the United States will provide follow-on maintenance and training for Egyptian Air Force pilots and ground crews. The aircraft, which were delivered under the “Peace Vector” program, which has provided F-16 fighter jets to Egypt for the last 30 years, will be integrated immediately into the Egyptian Air Force fleet.

Major General Hooper described the advanced F-16 fighter jet as a “vital multi-role aircraft that will provide the Egyptian people greater security and a powerful asset in the fight against terrorism.” Attending the arrival ceremony, Major General Hooper added, “I would like to congratulate the Egyptian military and people on their newest military assets and to celebrate the successful strategic cooperation between our governments. I take great pride in the enduring relationship with the Egyptian Armed Forces.”

The United States is deeply committed to its longstanding partnership with Egypt, including our joint efforts in the fight against terrorism.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of U.S. Embassy – Cairo.

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Source:: United States Delivers Four F-16 Fighter Jets to Egyptian Armed Forces

Categories: AFRICA

The AU and UNREC conclude a training course on SALW and ammunition identification and tracing for Central African states

The Commission of the African Union (AU), in collaboration with the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC),
organized a two-day training course on the Identification and Tracing of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and their Ammunition for the Member States of the Economic Community of
Central African States (ECCAS).

The training course was organized within the framework of the AU Strategy and Plan of Action on the Control of Illicit Proliferation, Circulation and Trafficking of SALW, adopted by the AU
Summit it 2013, and the International Instrument to Enable States to Identify and Trace, in a Timely and Reliable Manner, Illicit SALW, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in
2005.

The participants included practitioners and officials from the national defense and police forces, SALW commissions and foreign affairs of Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Gabon, Congo and
Sao Tome and Principe.

The training course consisted of theoretical and practical modules which included an introduction to the basic principles and methodology for identifying, registering, and tracing
illicit weapons and ammunition, as well as the identification of the materiel, and preparation of official tracing requests. The participants were trained on the correct identification of various SALW and ammunition, including by its caliber, type, model, manufacturer, unique serial number and previous ownership.
Arms identification and tracing remains a fundamental pillar in illicit SALW control efforts, as it allows states identify trafficking trends and points of diversion as well as investigate firearms crime and misuse.

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

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Source:: The AU and UNREC conclude a training course on SALW and ammunition identification and tracing for Central African states

Categories: AFRICA