Mining Economies of West & Central Africa Gather in Accra this May to Showcase Resilience & Strength

ACCRA, Ghana, May 13, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The largest mining event in the region, the 7th West & Central Africa (WaCA) Mining Summit & Expo (http://www.magenta-global.com.sg/wacamining2014) returns to Accra, providing the industry with the timely platform to showcase resilience, strength and unity after a turbulent year especially pockmarked by Ebola, falling mineral prices and declining global demand.

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Magenta Global (http://www.magenta-global.com.sg) will once again host this cornerstone industry event, supported by important industry stakeholders including the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources Ghana and the Ghana Minerals Commission.

Taking place on the 20th & 21st of May 2015, the event is expected to draw a huge turnout. Key highlights include presentations from industry leaders such as Johan Ferreira, Head of Africa and Regional SVP for Newmont Mining Corporation, and Alfred Baku, Executive Vice President and Head of West Africa for Gold Fields.

Also known as WaCA Mining, the regional summit will feature industry stakeholders from over 30 countries, including Congo, Senegal, Benin, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, South Africa, Namibia and Cameroon. High level government officials from Benin, Senegal, Congo and Mauritania will also take advantage of this event to showcase their countries’ mining potential though official high level presentations.

According to Magenta Global CEO, Maggie Tan, despite West and Central Africa boasting some of the world’s largest high-grade bauxite and iron-ore reserves, these are mostly untapped, owing to political risks, infrastructure deficiencies, inadequate transport networks and fiscal and regulatory bottlenecks. “These are some of the issues into which the Summit will delve,” she notes, adding that the Summit is a good platform to take the industry forward, as industry leaders, government officials and many other mining stakeholders will be in attendance.

Ms Tan adds: “The mining industry is facing one of the most challenging business environments with declining commodity prices, rising costs and increased complexity in mining operations. Achieving operational sustainable performance will be key to the continued survival of mining operations.”

Mr Alfred Baku of Gold Fields adds “Resilience is what every mining operation needs, especially considering the current operating environment. I look forward to sharing our resilient turnaround strategy that enabled us to turn our Damang Mine, which was at the brink of closure, to a profit making mining operation”.

Participants at the Summit can participate in roundtable discussions on critical sub-themes including: the Policy & Regulators Roundtable, on overcoming infrastructural bottlenecks and policy transparency, to be moderated by Sulemanu Kone, CEO of the Chamber of Mines of Ghana; the Mining Industry Leaders Roundtable on achieving resilience in mining operations with a focus on cost management, talent management and community engagement, to be moderated by Daniel Owiredu, COO & EVP of Golden Star Resources; and the Mining Investors Roundtable on assessing credible and alternative financing options for mining projects in the region.

There will also be 22 presentations that cover policy, strategic, commercial and operational issues.

The first day of the Summit will be chaired by Ghana Ministry of Lands & Natural Resources Adviser Benjamin Aryee, while the second day will be chaired by Golden Star Resources COO & EVP, Daniel Owiredu.

Ibrahima Lamine Wane, former Mauritania Minister of Energy & Petroleum and currently Managing Director of Wafa Mining & Petroleum Mauritania, said: “I certainly support the positive sentiment of the main theme in this Summit, which is displaying resilience in light of recent challenging times, therefore I am proud to share with the delegates my experience and some insights regarding the mining sector in Mauritania.”

Alioune Sarr, Director of Projects & Facilities, Ministry of Energy & Mines, Senegal, adds: “I am excited to come to Accra to showcase the rise of Senegal as a mining powerhouse. We have outlined six key projects with mining potential and will share best practices on how to have successful mining operations in Senegal to everyone.”

Exhibitors from Belgium, Canada, Poland, Czech Republic, South Africa, India, Germany, Nigeria, Liberia, Canada, France, UK, Australia, Russia, Ghana etc, will be showcasing solutions, technology, products and services covering all crucial aspects of mining operations and productivity. Visitors to WaCA Mining Expo 2015 will get to meet and do business with these companies who are all bullish about West & Central Africa and ready to invest in the region. The Expo will also see the strong representation of South African companies under the umbrella of Trade Investment KwaZulu Natel (TIKZN), this being its second year exhibiting at this mining show.

Other foreign companies taking a close look at the opportunities in West & Central Africa include Beak Consultants of Germany, Nitroerg of Poland, Austin Powder International from Czech Republic, and Defawes Gears from Belgium.

Visitors to the Expo will experience the wide range of technology and services on display as well as the opportunity to learn more from a host of free seminars that have been scheduled, including a free workshop by environmental project management company Veolia for mine engineers under the theme Optimising Operations for Environmental Sustainability.

Sponsors at the 7th WaCA Mining Summit & Expo include 888 Investment Group, Veolia, Newco Ghana & Gold Fields.

The 7th WaCA Mining 2015 will be held at the Accra International Conference Centre.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Magenta Global Pte Ltd.

Media Contact:

Singapore

Mr Jose Carpio

International Marketing Manager

DID: +65 6392 2535

Main: +65 6392 2552

Email: jose@magenta-global.com.sg

Ghana

Mr Carlos Jay

General Manager

Insight Advertising, exclusive affiliate of GREY

Tel: +233 20 3798189

M: +233 24 450 1057

Email: carlos@insightgreygh.org

Notes for the Editor:

About Magenta Global – Owner & Organizer

Magenta Global Pte Ltd (http://www.magenta-global.com.sg) is a premier independent business media company that provides pragmatic and relevant information to government and business executives and professionals worldwide. The organization provides the opportunity to share thought-provoking insights, exchange ideas on the latest industry trends and technological developments with thought leaders and business peers. With a strong focus in emerging economies especially in Africa, Middle East and Central Asia, Magenta Global works in partnership with both the public and private sectors. www.magenta-global.com.sg.

About the Ghana Ministry of Lands & Natural Resources – Supporting Organization

Ghana’s Ministry of Lands & Natural Resources (MLNR) is the sector Ministry entrusted with the sustainable management and utilization of Ghana’s lands, forests, wildlife and mineral resources for socio-economic growth and development. This is achieved through the efficient formulation, implementation, coordination, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programs of sector agencies; efficient and equitable land delivery; promotion of sustainable forest, wildlife and mineral resource management and utilization; promotion of effective inter-agency and cross-sectoral linkages; creation of an enabling environment for effective private sector participation; and promotion of effective community participation in multiple use of land, forest wildlife and mineral resources.

About the Ghana Minerals Commission – Supporting Organization

Ghana’s Minerals Commission is a government agency established under Article 269 of the 1992 Constitution and the Minerals Commission Act. The Minerals Commission as the main promotional and regulatory body for the minerals sector in Ghana, is responsible for “the regulation and management of the utilization of the mineral resources of Ghana and the coordination and implementation of policies relating to mining. It also ensures compliance with Ghana’s Mining and Mineral Laws and Regulation through effective monitoring.

Source:: Mining Economies of West & Central Africa Gather in Accra this May to Showcase Resilience & Strength

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DR Congo: ADF rebel group responsible for grave international humanitarian law violations, says UN report

GENEVA, Switzerland, May 13, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — A UN report published Wednesday reveals that grave violations of international humanitarian law were committed by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a rebel group from Uganda, in Beni territory, North Kivu province, over a three-month period at the end of 2014. These violations, which were both systematic and extremely brutal, may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, the report says.

Between 1 October and 31 December 2014, at least 237 civilians were killed, including 65 women and 35 children, by ADF combatants in Beni territory. Some 47 civilians were also wounded, 20 abducted and two sexually abused. In total, ADF combatants attacked 35 villages. Attackers used machetes, hammers and knives, among other weapons, to wound or execute civilians. Some had their throats slits, were shot at while trying to flee or were burned alive in their homes. Several cases of looting and destruction of property were also documented.

The report details the results of in-depth investigations conducted by the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (UNJHRO)*. Human rights officers on the ground gathered more than 180 testimonies from various sources, including from victims and witnesses.

The total number of victims could be much higher, the report says, as UNJHRO human rights officers encountered many difficulties in conducting their investigations and could not access some areas for security reasons.

The report also documents violations of international humanitarian and human rights law committed in Beni territory during the same period by members of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) deployed on Operation Sukola I against the ADF.

At least 300 people, including at least 33 FARDC members, have been arrested in the course of the investigations conducted by the Congolese authorities into the Beni massacres. In November 2014, two FARDC officers and four ADF leaders were convicted by the Congolese military justice authorities for the killing of the FARDC General Mamadou Ndala, and for participating in an insurrectional movement.

“I welcome these initial steps towards justice, but urge the authorities to redouble their efforts to hold to account all those implicated in the series of truly horrendous crimes that ravaged the Beni area last year,” said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

According to the report, the civilian population in Beni remains extremely vulnerable to attacks. The threat has now extended to the Irumu territory, also in the east of DRC, where violations committed by ADF combatants have been reported since the beginning of 2015.

“In light of the magnitude and the persistence of the attacks by ADF combatants, I call upon the Congolese authorities to take, as soon as possible, all the necessary measures to put an end to the massacres of civilians,” said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Martin Kobler.

Source:: DR Congo: ADF rebel group responsible for grave international humanitarian law violations, says UN report

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EUCAP Sahel Niger to help prevent irregular migration

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, May 13, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Council has agreed to reinforce the civilian mission EUCAP Sahel Niger as part of the actions of the European Union to prevent irregular migration.

The EU will offer the Nigerien authorities support in preventing irregular immigration and combatting associated crimes. This would include advice on a related strategy and training to the Nigerien security services. EUCAP Sahel Niger would also have an outpost in Agadez, a major trafficking hub on the road to Libya.

The High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Commission Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: “Today the EU confirms that it is taking up its responsibilities, in partnership with key countries and in a comprehensive way. Two weeks after the European Council’s request to increase our support to partner countries to prevent irregular migration flows, we have agreed on reinforcing our presence in Niger: 90% of migrants from Western Africa travel through Niger. Only by working jointly with countries of origin and transit, with the African Union and the UN, we will succeed to tackle the root causes of the emergency while disrupting criminal organisations and helping migrants to escape from them”.

Niger is in a critical geographical location for migration flows to Europe: 90% of migrants from Western Africa travel through Niger on their way to Libya. Half of the migrants arriving irregularly in Italy in 2014 came through Libya, according to the EU’s border management agency Frontex.

EUCAP Sahel Niger already provides advice and training to support the Nigerien authorities in strengthening their capacities to combat terrorism and organised crime. The mission works to promote the interoperability of Nigerien security forces, to develop criminal investigation capacities, to facilitate coordination in the fight against terrorism and organised crime as well as to improve the sustainability of the security forces. EUCAP is embedded in the EU regional strategy for security and development in the Sahel.

Around 50 international experts from 12 EU member states currently work in the mission, which is based in Niamey. Since May 2014, Filip de Ceuninck from Belgium has been Head of Mission.

The decision was taken in the Council’s Political and Security Committee.

Source:: EUCAP Sahel Niger to help prevent irregular migration

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UN Committee to review Ghana’s record on children’s rights

GENEVA, Switzerland, May 13, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Ghana’s record on children’s rights will be reviewed by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on Wednesday 20 May and Thursday 21 May in sessions that will be webcast live.

Ghana is one of the 195 states that have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child and so is required to undergo regular examinations of its record by the Committee of 18 independent experts.

The discussions between the CRC and the delegation from the Ghanaian Government will take place at Palais Wilson in Geneva at the following times:

20 May: 15:00-18:00 (13:00-16:00 in Ghana)

21 May: 10:00-13:00 (08:00 – 11:00)

The sessions will be webcast at http://www.treatybodywebcast.org/.

Among the possible issues to be discussed: measures to eliminate discrimination against vulnerable children, particularly children with disabilities; steps to increase birth registration; measures to combat spread of HIV/AIDS and reduce poverty; legislation and awareness-raising to eradicate harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation, early marriage and ritual servitude (Trokosi); measures to eradicate worst forms of child labour.

The full list of issues and Ghana’s submitted written report can be found here: http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/SessionDetails1.aspx?SessionID=829&Lang=en . The CRC’s concluding observations on Ghana and the other countries being reviewed – Eritrea, Mexico, Honduras, Ethiopia, Netherlands, Laos and Israel – will be published on this page on 10 June.

Source:: UN Committee to review Ghana’s record on children’s rights

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The African Union to attend the East African Community meetings on the situation in Burundi / The AU High-Level delegation continues its consultations in Burundi

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, May 13, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, will attend the Summit of the East African Community (EAC) being convened in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, today, to discuss the situation in Burundi. Yesterday, 12 May 2015, the Commissioner for Peace and Security, Sma?l Chergui, participated in the preparatory ministerial meeting. The AU’s participation in the EAC meetings is a further illustration of its continued support to the regional efforts to address the crisis in Burundi.

In the meantime, the AU High-Level delegation, comprising former Togolese Prime Minister Edem Kodjo and Professor Ibrahima Fall of Senegal, continues its consultations with the Burundian stakeholders. The delegation met with President Pierre Nkurunziza, Foreign Minister Laurent Kavakure and other Government officials, as well as with representatives of political parties and civil society organizations. Throughout these consultations, the delegation underlined the imperative of dialogue and mutual accommodation as the only sustainable way to resolve the current crisis. It urged all concerned to bring all acts of violence and intimidation to an end, in order to facilitate the ongoing regional efforts to create the conditions required for the holding of free, fair, transparent, peaceful and inclusive elections. The High-Level delegation also met members of the international community in Bujumbura. Other consultations are scheduled today.

Source:: The African Union to attend the East African Community meetings on the situation in Burundi / The AU High-Level delegation continues its consultations in Burundi

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UNAMID deplores the outbreak of violence between Ma’alia and Reziegat in East Darfur

EL FASHER (DARFUR), Sudan, May 13, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — UNAMID strongly deplores the rapid deterioration of tensions between the Ma’alia and the Reziegat tribes into armed confrontations resulting in the death of dozens of fighters from both sides and the injury of many others. The Mission remains gravely concerned about the continued mobilization on both sides despite a temporary lull in the fighting.

UNAMID continues to exert around-the-clock efforts to mitigate the impact of the fighting on the civilian population in the area. The Mission is ready to assist the Sudanese authorities in the ongoing evacuation of more than 50 injured tribesmen from both tribes to Khartoum for treatment. It also provided East Darfur State medical authorities with medicines and other surgical equipment which were in short supply. Mission officials are, in the meantime, coordinating closely with the UN Country Team to facilitate delivery of critically urgent assistance to those affected by the conflict. In addition, UNAMID peacekeepers in East Darfur have raised their level of preparedness and put in place proactive response measures to address any potential demands for physical protection or shelter for affected civilians.

Source:: UNAMID deplores the outbreak of violence between Ma’alia and Reziegat in East Darfur

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