Oct 302014

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, October 30, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo, the Minister of Social Affairs and Public Health Maggie De Block and Ebola coordinator Dr. Erika Vlieghe met on Thursday 30 October with Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations.

Ambassador Samantha Power conducted the past few days a field visit to the three West African countries most affected by Ebola: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. She shared her experiences with the two Belgian ministers. Ambassador Power also praised and thanked Belgium for its efforts in providing humanitarian aid to the affected countries and for the preventive measures Belgium has taken to face the Ebola epidemic.

The meeting took place at the residence of the American ambassador in Brussels.

In recent months and recent weeks, our country has allocated over 35 million euros for the necessary humanitarian assistance. “The Ebola crisis is not only a sanitary but also a humanitarian crisis. The epidemic decimates entire communities in West Africa. The US ambassador to the United Nationsconfirmed this during our exchange. Infected people have little chance of survival, hospitals are no longer able to cope with the influx of patients,schools are closed and a food crisis looms. We cannot close our eyes to this humanitarian tragedy,” said the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo. He stated that “the Belgian development cooperation strongly supports aid organisations that can act directly on the ground, organisations which possess the expertise and experience needed in the affected countries. Last week, our country released additional funds, thus bringing our commitment to more than 35 million euros. This effort is also clearly appreciated at the international level.”


Belgium has taken in recent months a series of preventive measures, issued recommendations and established procedures among companies and services that may come in contact with people who have sojourned in the three affected countries. Since the spring of 2014, the Federal Public Service (FPS) Public Health has been providing information and has led consultations with all concerned sectors, among others the FPS Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence, the Scientific Institute of Public Health, the Communities and the Regions, the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain, SN Brussels Airlines, Brussels Airport, the Port of Antwerp, hospitals and doctors (general practitioners), etc.” The risk that an infected person enters our country is tenuous, but we must take all possible measures to ensure that our specialists and our specialised teams are able toprovide the correct and best care to patients, without this affecting the daily operations of hospitals and of the entire health sector,” indicated Maggie De Block, Minister of Social Affairs and Public Health.

On October 17, 2014, Maggie De Block appointed Dr. Erika Vlieghe, specialised in infectious diseases, as Ebola coordinator and Dr. Daniel Reynders as her deputy in order to support all initiatives in this area, to assess them, and adapt and complete them where necessary. Since October 20,Brussels Airport imposes temperature controls for passengers coming from the three countries at risk as an additional security measure to dispel the numerous fears from airport personnel. These controls are part of a much larger Ebola strategy, which contains ten measures in addition to the temperature controls carried out in the countries of origin.

Oct 302014

BERLIN, Germany, October 30, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Christoph Strässer, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, issued the following statement on 29 October 2014 on the re-arrest of 23 human rights defenders in Egypt, including prominent activists such as Alaa Abdel Fattah:

I am very concerned about the re-arrest of 23 civil rights activists in Egypt. We are of the opinion that these actions highlight the seriously misguided approach to human rights in Egypt, which includes restrictive provisions on the freedom of assembly, association and opinion. I therefore call on the Egyptian Government to implement the rights guaranteed in the Egyptian constitution in compliance with their international human rights obligations and appeal for the activists to be treated in accordance with international standards. I would also like to call to mind the many other civil rights activists and members of the opposition, some of whom have been detained for months without formal charges having been brought against them.

Oct 302014

JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, October 30, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ —

• Investments by DHL Global Forwarding and DHL Supply Chain entities underscore long term growth plans for the region

• Investment is key in developing South Africa as a logistics hub for the region

DHL (http://www.dpdhl.com), the global market leader in the logistics and transportation industry today announced investments totalling EUR 30.5 million by both its Supply Chain and Global Forwarding divisions in South Africa. The investments signal the group’s long-term growth plans for the region as it brings state-of-the-art infrastructure, IT systems and world-class services to support businesses operating in Africa.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/dhl_logo2.jpg

Photo 1: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1493

Photo 2: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1492

The company launched two new facilities located in Plumbago, located in close proximity to the OR Tambo International Airport east of Johannesburg. An excellent location for logistics services, the facilities offer the twin benefit of both freeway access and high visibility.

Reinforcing the importance of Africa and the emerging economies for the Group’s future, Roger Crook, CEO, DHL Global Forwarding and Freight, Member of the Board of Management, Deutsche Post AG, said “Part of our global three pillar Strategy 2020 is to focus on further expansion of logistics services in the world’s emerging markets. Today, emerging market revenues contribute just over 20 percent of the Group’s revenues; by 2020, the Group expects this figure to climb to 30 percent(1).”

EUR 16 Million boost for DHL Global Forwarding’s Operations

For DHL Global Forwarding, the leading provider of air, sea and road freight services, the EUR 16 million new facility located at the Plumbago Business Park boasts 12,000 square meters of warehouse space and 5,500 sq meters of office space. The efficient layout of the new facility greatly improves cargo handling with an enhanced flow of goods in and out of the facility. The new facility also increases the company’s ability to offer customers a full range of Value-Added-Services (VAS) such as bonded storage and re-packing, and further grow its Airfreight and Ocean Freight export handling capabilities.

A TAPA ‘A’ certified warehouse, the new premises are a world class facility in South Africa, strengthening the country’s growth capabilities as the hub for distribution into the region. Twine Mtya, CEO, DHL Global Forwarding, Southern Africa, said, “Our new investments are necessary to support our growth and expansion plans in South Africa. In addition to our established Air and Ocean freight services, we have seen particular growth in our robust intermodal road network, spanning 12 African countries – road freight volumes have more than doubled in the past year, spurred by increasing demand and economic growth on the continent.”

DHL Global Forwarding is also expecting to reduce its CO2 emissions in excess of 700,000 kg per annum from consolidating its Johannesburg operations into one facility. Emission reduction will be achieved from savings on electricity through the use of solar power energy, and savings on petrol through more efficient and effective material handling at the warehouses.

EUR 14.5 mil state-of-the-art Facility to consolidate DHL Supply Chain’s operations

DHL Supply Chain’s 25,000m² multi-user warehouse facility will be used to consolidate its technology client portfolio, as well as some key fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) clients. The facility has been purpose-built for the technology and consumer industries including speciality designs such as high density storage up to 16m in height for FMCG companies; optimised operational flows; a super flat floor necessary for such high-level storage and retrieval; and the latest technology on reach trucks.

“We are implementing international best practices at Plumbago, and this will become the model for other facilities across the country. Our long-term strategy is to develop warehouses in prime locations – with our well-established networks, we provide daily deliveries to almost all retailers across South Africa with 99.8% on-time efficiency,” said Craig Roberts, CEO, DHL Supply Chain – Middle East and Africa.

“The new space gives our clients the advantage of a better location and warehouse design, planned by the best logistics specialists, as well as increased automated throughput. Such investments are long-term in nature, and reflect DHL Supply Chain’s commitment to Africa. We have an ambitious growth strategy for this region and intend to use our South African assets as a springboard into the rest of Africa,” he added.

The facility will offer market leading warehousing management systems, and boasts eco-friendly features including energy efficient lighting system, and rain water harvesting for vehicle washing. The consolidation and relocation nearer to OR Tambo Airport, client distribution centres and retailers, itself considerably reduces carbon emissions.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Deutsche Post DHL.

(1) http://goo.gl/6pJ1tw

Media Contact:

DHL Asia Pacific & EEMEA

Corporate Communications and Responsibility

Belinda Tan

Tel: +65 6771 3332

Fax: +65 6771 3322

Email: apeemeamediarelations@dhl.com


Text100, Johannesburg

Global Communications

Mpho Makhaye


Tel: +27 11 775 5708

Email: mpho.makhaye@text100.co.za

DHL – The logistics company for the world

DHL (http://www.dpdhl.com) is the global market leader in the logistics and transportation industry and “The logistics company for the world”. DHL commits its expertise in international express, national and international parcel delivery, air and ocean freight, road and rail transportation as well as contract and e-commerce related solutions along the entire supply chain. A global network composed of more than 220 countries and territories and around 315,000 employees worldwide offers customers superior service quality and local knowledge to satisfy their shipping and supply chain requirements. DHL accepts its social responsibility by supporting environmental protection, disaster management and education.

DHL is part of Deutsche Post DHL. The Group generated revenues of more than 55 billion euros in 2013.

Oct 302014

WASHINGTON, October 30, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The United States condemns in the strongest terms the latest attacks by Sudan People’s Liberation Movement /Army – In Opposition (SPLM/A – IO) in and around Bentiu, South Sudan. Since last December, thousands of people have been killed and millions have fled their homes due to the senseless man-made conflict in South Sudan. Despite the parties’ recent acceptance of collective responsibility for the crisis, these current attacks demonstrate that the SPLM/A-IO has yet to abandon violence to achieve its goals. We call on both sides – both of whom have committed violations of the agreement that have delayed peace – to ensure their forces refrain from further actions that violate the January 23 Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and undermine the peace process in South Sudan.

As the conflict persists and the humanitarian crisis continues to reach even more appalling levels, it is more urgent than ever to respect previous agreements to end the hostilities, cease the recruitment and mobilization of forces, including that of child soldiers, and engage earnestly in inclusive negotiations. No party should use these latest attacks as an excuse not to engage in the peace process or not to work in good faith to negotiate all necessary elements of a sustainable political transition, achieve a sustainable peace and restore national unity. We remind all parties of the need to guarantee that UNMISS sites and personnel are protected and that UN and other humanitarian agencies have safe, unfettered access to people in need of assistance. The United States remains committed to the people of South Sudan and is determined to hold accountable those who choose violence, standing ready to place sanctions on those who obstruct peace, commit human rights abuses and violations, and block humanitarian assistance.

Oct 302014

DUBLIN, Ireland, October 30, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Trade between Ireland and Africa is expected to reach €24 billion by 2020, Minister for Development, Trade Promotion and North South Cooperation, Seán Sherlock told the Africa-Ireland Economic Forum in UCD’s Smurfit Graduate Business School today.

The forum, organised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, brings Irish businesses together with African partners to explore opportunities for trade and investment. Total merchandise trade between Ireland and Africa increased by 35% from 2010-2013, from just over €1.7bn to over €2.3bn.

Minister Sherlock highlighted the huge potential that Africa presents for Irish businesses and investors:

“Africa collectively is on the rise. It is important now that we grasp opportunities and have the vision to see where they can take us and work toward developing strong and equal trade and investment partnerships with African countries.

“In the last three years we have seen an increase of 25% in Irish goods exports to sub-Saharan Africa and 27% with the entire continent. In return we have seen a more than doubling of our imports from sub-Saharan countries and an increase of well over 45% with the entire continent. Improving our people-to-people links and encouraging initiatives to enable business links is a vital element in developing these relationships.

“This year we have invested in our Embassy network across the continent – upgrading our office in Sierra Leone to a full Embassy and reopening our Embassy in Kenya. We now have eleven Embassies across the continent. Irish Embassies and Ambassadors across the continent are engaging with Irish companies entering markets, selling goods and services, investing in countries and winning tenders. This activity has ranged across many sectors including major energy projects, engineering consultancy, agri-business development and education and learning partnerships.

“We want you to make contact. We are interested in hearing from you and working with you and for you. Our Embassies are developing new initiatives including networking links which you can plus into.”

This year the forum will focus on Transformation through Technology and the new business and employment opportunities being created by technology, particularly mobile technology which is transforming the way ideas are communicated and business is conducted across Africa. Some 350 businesspeople are attending the conference.

Among the speakers are Simon Milner, ‎Policy Director, UK, Middle East and Africa, Facebook and Dr. Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa.

Minister Sherlock said: “Science, technology and innovation have been identified as key pillars for Africa’s development in the post-2015 development agenda. A profound economic transformation to improve livelihoods by harnessing innovation, technology, and the potential of businesses is crucial to delivering on the goal of eradicating extreme poverty.

“Ireland will work to make sure that our strong traditional relationships with African countries are complemented by an increased economic relationship that works to the benefit of all. This does not mean leaving our traditional commitments behind. It does mean inviting new partners to the table. We continue to look for opportunities to build on our tradition of development cooperation and to develop stronger political and economic links with Africa. ”

Oct 302014

LAGOS, Nigeria, October 30, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Nigeria’s most innovative telecommunications company, Etisalat (http://www.etisalat.com.ng), has announced the 2014 Flash Fiction Prize category of the Etisalat Prize for literature. This award category which is in line with the company’s goal of inspiring and encouraging creativity is designed to celebrate the short form of storytelling.

Logo Etisalat: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/etisalat.png

Logo Etisalat Prize for Literature: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/etisalat_prize_for_literature.jpg

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1491 (Mr. Enitan Denloye, Director, Brands and Communication of Etisalat Nigeria)

According to the Director, Brands and Communication of Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Enitan Denloye, ‘In today’s fast paced world, communication is right at our finger tips through the use of smart devices; phones, tablets and the likes and people prefer to consume information on-the-go and in small bits. The flash fiction category therefore seeks to marry these concepts thus providing added value to mobile device users across Africa.’ Entry is open to the public, who would also be responsible for reviewing entries and ultimately voting the winner’

The flash fiction prize is awarded to the top three writers in this category. The winning author receives a cash prize of £1,000, a high-end device, with his or her published e-book promoted online and via digital media platforms. The category will also produce two runners up, with each receiving a cash sum of £500 and a smart device for their literary efforts.

Interested writers are encouraged to enter works of not more than 300 words at the Etisalat Prize for Literature Flash Fiction webpage: http://goo.gl/sS2klO. Entries will close on November 4th, 2014 while review and voting will commence from November 5th, 2014 through November 25th, 2014. The top 20 entries would be announced after moderations on December 7, 2014 while the shortlist will be announced in January 2014.

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

Media contact:

EZE Kenneth Obasi

The Quadrant Company

Lagos – Nigeria

Mobile: +234 809 736 8557


About Etisalat

In just 6 years of operations, Etisalat Nigeria (http://www.etisalat.com.ng) has become a major industry player with a growing subscriber base of 20 million in a highly competitive market. Its portfolio of voice and data-centric products include – easy starter, easycliq, easybusiness, and easyblaze; all tailor-made to meet the needs of its customers.

Etisalat Nigeria is one of the 19 operations of the Etisalat Group that spans across Africa, Middle East and Asia serving over 182 million subscribers; and it is committed to delivering innovative and quality services to its growing subscribers.

Oct 302014

OTTAWA, Canada, October 30, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today welcomed the results of Tunisia’s parliamentary elections, which were held October 26, 2014.

“Tunisia’s peaceful, credible and well-organized elections were a testimony to the dedicated work of Tunisians to build a democratic society and political system based on the values of peace, protection of human rights and the rule of law. It was a historic and exciting day for all Tunisians, as shown by the very high turnout, particularly among women.

“I would like to offer my best wishes to all the women and men of Tunisia’s new parliament. These parliamentarians will devote the next five years to strengthening and building upon the important achievements the country has made, notably the full implementation of Tunisia’s new constitution and a continued rejection of extremism.

“In the months and years to come, I encourage these lawmakers to continue to strengthen Tunisia’s democracy and to work toward building a bright, prosperous and peaceful future for all Tunisians.”

Oct 302014

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, October 30, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Following the Press Release issued by the Commission of the African Union (AU), on 8 September 2014, in response to the report of Human Rights Watch (HRW) titled “The Power These Men Have Over Us – Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) by AU Forces in Somalia”, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission for Somalia and Head of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Ambassador Maman S. Sidikou, on 19 October 2014, addressed the attached letter to the Africa Director of HRW, Mr. Daniel Bekele. (Click here for the letter)

In that letter, the AU Special Representative for Somalia addressed a number of issues, notably the investigations and assessment of SEA, the existing mechanisms to address SEA within AMISOM, and the context and impact of HRW’s report on AMISOM operations. The letter also highlights the AU’s major concerns with respect to the report.

The Special Representative also reiterated the AU’s zero tolerance policy towards SEA and any other acts of misconduct, and its commitment and determination to investigate these allegations and to take all necessary steps if they are found to be accurate and ensure justice for victims.

Oct 302014

NEW YORK, October 30, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, concluding a two-day visit to South Africa today said that learning from the experiences of the region will be vital in the global effort to reform humanitarian action.

“Humanitarian needs around the world are growing as a result of conflicts, natural disasters and other factors. The number of organizations and people involved in humanitarian response is growing, and we need to think through how best to work together,” said Ms. Amos at the opening of the regional consultation for Eastern and Southern Africa of the World Humanitarian Summit. “We need to ensure that people are at the heart of response efforts – not an afterthought. What do people themselves feel they need? How can we find out and seek to meet most needs rather than imposing solutions?”

Eastern and Southern Africa is the third of eight world regions to hold consultations, following consultations held in the West and Central Africa region in June and in North and South-East Asia in July. The results and recommendations will feed into the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, in 2016 convened by the UN Secretary-General. The aim of the summit is to set the agenda for future humanitarian action and create an inclusive and diverse global humanitarian system.

While in South Africa, USG Amos signed an agreement with Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax, Executive Secretary of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), aimed at strengthening the partnership between the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and SADC on regional disaster preparedness and response.

Ms. Amos also met representatives of the private sector, to explore ways of working together more closely on humanitarian response and visited a UNICEF-sponsored Sports for Development programme for youth in the Kempton Park area near Johannesburg.

“I thank the Government and people of South Africa for their generosity in co-hosting the World Humanitarian Summit consultation with Ethiopia, and for their leadership and commitment to helping chart a course for new ways of thinking, new ways of preparing for and responding to disaster,” said Ms. Amos. “South Africa has the resources and capacity to be a key player in humanitarian assistance on the continent.”