Nov 172014
 

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, November 17, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Foreign Affairs Council meeting
Brussels, 17 November 2014
The Council adopted the following conclusions:
“1. The European Union (EU) remains deeply concerned abou…

Nov 172014
 

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, November 17, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, welcomes the significant progress made in Burkina Faso towards the establishment of a civilian-led transition, in conformity with the aspirations of the people of Burkina Faso for change and the consolidation of democracy.

In this regard, the Chairperson of the Commission welcomes the restoration of the Constitution and the signing, yesterday, 16 November 2014 in Ouagadougou, by all Burkinabe stakeholders, of the Transitional Constitutional Charter, in the presence of the AU Special Envoy for Burkina Faso, Mr. Edem Kodjo. She also notes with satisfaction the appointment of a civilian, Michel Kafando, as President of the Transition. She notes that these measures are in line with the communiqué of the 465th meeting of the Peace and Security Council (PSC), held on 3 November 2014. The Chairperson of the Commission expresses her deep appreciation to all the stakeholders and the Burkinabe people for their political maturity and sense of responsibility, which made it possible to take these crucial steps. She encourages them to persevere in their efforts to ensure a civilian-led transition, in accordance with the aspirations of the people of Burkina Faso and the PSC communiqué.

The Chairperson of the Commission also expresses her appreciation to the AU current Chairman, President Mohamed Ould Abel Aziz of Mauritania, as well as to Presidents Macky Sall of Senegal, Chair of the Contact Group on Burkina Faso of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), John Dramani Mahama of Ghana, current Chairman of ECOWAS, Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, and Faure Gnassingbe of Togo, for their important role in supporting the Burkinabe people and stakeholders. She also welcomes the contribution of the joint AU/ECOWAS/United Nations (UN) missions, comprising the AU Special Envoy, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, and the UN Special Representative for West Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas.

The Chairperson of the Commission reiterates the AU’s commitment, in close cooperation with ECOWAS and the UN, to continue to support the efforts of the Burkinabe stakeholders for the completion of the Transition within the agreed timeframe. She calls on the larger international community to support these efforts and to mobilize the necessary support in favor of Burkina Faso.

Nov 172014
 

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, November 17, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, welcomes the significant progress made in Burkina Faso towards the establishment of a civilian-led transition, in conformity with the aspirations of the people of Burkina Faso for change and the consolidation of democracy.

In this regard, the Chairperson of the Commission welcomes the restoration of the Constitution and the signing, yesterday, 16 November 2014 in Ouagadougou, by all Burkinabe stakeholders, of the Transitional Constitutional Charter, in the presence of the AU Special Envoy for Burkina Faso, Mr. Edem Kodjo. She also notes with satisfaction the appointment of a civilian, Michel Kafando, as President of the Transition. She notes that these measures are in line with the communiqué of the 465th meeting of the Peace and Security Council (PSC), held on 3 November 2014. The Chairperson of the Commission expresses her deep appreciation to all the stakeholders and the Burkinabe people for their political maturity and sense of responsibility, which made it possible to take these crucial steps. She encourages them to persevere in their efforts to ensure a civilian-led transition, in accordance with the aspirations of the people of Burkina Faso and the PSC communiqué.

The Chairperson of the Commission also expresses her appreciation to the AU current Chairman, President Mohamed Ould Abel Aziz of Mauritania, as well as to Presidents Macky Sall of Senegal, Chair of the Contact Group on Burkina Faso of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), John Dramani Mahama of Ghana, current Chairman of ECOWAS, Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, and Faure Gnassingbe of Togo, for their important role in supporting the Burkinabe people and stakeholders. She also welcomes the contribution of the joint AU/ECOWAS/United Nations (UN) missions, comprising the AU Special Envoy, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, and the UN Special Representative for West Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas.

The Chairperson of the Commission reiterates the AU’s commitment, in close cooperation with ECOWAS and the UN, to continue to support the efforts of the Burkinabe stakeholders for the completion of the Transition within the agreed timeframe. She calls on the larger international community to support these efforts and to mobilize the necessary support in favor of Burkina Faso.

Nov 172014
 

MOGADISHU, Somalia, November 17, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) Nicholas Kay met with Somali political leaders on 16 November 2014. He was joined by Danish Ambassador Geert Aagaard Andersen, European Union (EU) Special Representative for the Horn of Africa Alex Rondos, EU Special Envoy to Somalia Michele Cervone d’Urso, Italian Ambassador Fabrizio Marcelli, Swedish Ambassador Mikael Lindvall and UK Ambassador Neil Wigan for meetings with His Excellency President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, His Excellency Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed and His Excellency Speaker of the Federal Parliament Mohamed Osman Jawari. They discussed the ongoing political crisis and urged the leaders to find a solution that would allow the Federal Government to implement the Vision 2016 plan for Somalia’s political transformation in a timely manner. Their meetings came as the Federal Government and Somalia’s international partners prepare for the first Ministerial-level High Level Partnership Forum (HLPF) in Copenhagen on 19 and 20 November.

“The HLPF will be a critical opportunity to review progress and chart the way ahead for the implementation of the New Deal Somali Compact. The Compact brings together national priorities agreed amongst the Somali people, the Federal Government and the international community. Much has been achieved, particularly through the concerted and joint efforts of the Federal Government. But significant challenges remain. The ongoing political crisis in Somalia is a serious risk to further progress. I call on all parties to find a way to resolve their differences quickly so that the business of statebuilding and peacebuilding can resume and accelerate.” said SRSG Kay.

Nov 172014
 

CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, November 17, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ —

• O Índice de Conetividade Global da DHL para 2014 destaca a melhoria geral da conetividade na região entre 2011 e 2013

• O Burundi foi o país que mais evoluiu nas classificações

De acordo com o recentemente divulgado Índice de Conetividade Global (ICG) da DHL (http://www.dpdhl.com), uma análise detalhada do nível de globalização em todo o mundo realizada pela DHL, líder mundial de logística, a região da África Subsariana registou, em média, o terceiro maior aumento em conetividade de 2011 a 2013 entre todas as regiões globais. Além disso, cinco dos países que apresentam o maior aumento nas suas pontuações (Burundi, Moçambique, Madagáscar, Mali e Costa do Marfim) localizam-se nesta região. A posição do Burundi, como o país com o maior aumento registado na pontuação de conetividade global (elevando-o da 140.a posição para a 137.a), foi impulsionada por um alargamento substancial das suas interações internacionais.

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

Photo Charles Brewer: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/charles-brewer-1.jpg (Charles Brewer, Diretor-Geral da DHL Express da África Subsariana)

A globalização refere-se ao processo pelo qual as empresas ou outras organizações estabelecem uma influência internacional ou começam a operar a uma escala internacional. Segundo Charles Brewer, Diretor-Geral da DHL Express da África Subsariana, “a globalização é uma das forças que mais tem moldado o crescimento económico do continente e possui um grande potencial inexplorado para melhorar o nível de vida dos africanos. Os cidadãos de países globalizados desfrutam de um melhor acesso a uma vasta gama de bens e serviços, preços mais reduzidos e trabalhos melhor remunerados. A conetividade e a prosperidade estão intimamente ligadas e são ambas consequências da globalização. O aumento da conetividade na África Subsariana, indicado no ICG, demonstra que a região está no caminho certo relativamente ao comércio e conetividade globais.”

A terceira edição do ICG classifica 140 países relativamente aos seus níveis de conetividade global, com base nos fluxos internacionais de comércio, capital, informação e população. Uma das principais conclusões do relatório é que a conetividade global, avaliada pelos fluxos transfronteiriços de comércio, capital, informação e população, recuperou da maioria das perdas sofridas durante a crise financeira de 2008. O relatório também destaca o facto de as economias emergentes estarem a reformular a conetividade global e de estarem presentemente envolvidas na maioria das interações internacionais.

Segundo o ICG, o aumento nos níveis de conetividade na África Subsariana foi impulsionado pelas categorias de informação e população. O aumento na categoria de informação é particularmente notável, pois esta é a categoria na qual África se encontra a uma maior distância das outras regiões.

Brewer prossegue: “Na perspetiva da DHL Express da África Subsariana, existem algumas indústrias que contribuem significativamente para o nosso crescimento. Temos assistido a um crescimento sólido no setor energético, especialmente graças à mobilização de novas campanhas por parte de empresas exploradoras em países como os Camarões, Congo e Gabão. O setor tecnológico continua a oferecer oportunidades para a DHL fornecer soluções inovadoras, especialmente através da colaboração transversal de unidades de negócio, à medida que os clientes procuram organizar os seus requisitos internos no sentido de atingir eficácia e limitação de custos. Apesar de estarem sujeitos a pressão regulamentar e da concorrência, os serviços financeiros continuaram a crescer motivados principalmente pela necessidade de fornecer instrumentos financeiros aos seus clientes de forma rápida e eficaz. De uma perspetiva do mercado de consumo, a classe média emergente irá, entretanto, impulsionar a procura por bens de grande consumo, produtos de cuidados de saúde, assim como aumentar a procura nas áreas de retalho, alimentação, telecomunicações e outros bens necessários para os consumidores.”

O ICG mede a globalização em 3D: analisando o alcance, a direção (fluxos para o exterior vs. fluxos para o interior) e a distribuição geográfica (extensão) das interações transfronteiriças dos países.

“As conclusões do relatório confirmam que o comércio intra-africano e o comércio internacional estão a recuperar. Continuamos a estar otimistas em relação a África e o futuro só pode ser excelente. Está na altura da África se concentrar, ligar e crescer”, termina Brewer.

Distribuído pela APO (African Press Organization) em nome da Deutsche Post DHL.

Nota para os editores:

O ICG de 2014 conta com os perfis de 140 países e mapas personalizados dos seus fluxos comerciais. Também inclui visualizações inovadoras de fluxos globais, desenvolvidas em parceria com especialistas do Georgia Institute of Technology.

O relatório e as informações de contexto adicionais podem ser transferidos em www.dhl.com/GCI

Contacto para os meios de comunicação social:

Megan Collinicos. Diretora: Publicidade e Relações Públicas, África Subsariana

DHL Express

Tel.: +27 21 409 3613 Telemóvel: +27 76 411 8570

megan.collinicos@dhl.com

DHL – A empresa de logística para o mundo

A DHL (http://www.dpdhl.com) é a líder mundial de mercado na indústria logística e de transportes e “A empresa de logística para o mundo”. A DHL aplica os seus conhecimentos especializados sobre transporte expresso internacional, entrega de encomendas nacional e internacional, frete aéreo e marítimo, transporte rodoviário e ferroviário, bem como sobre soluções relacionadas com contratos e comércio eletrónico em toda a cadeia de abastecimento. Uma rede global composta por mais de 220 países e territórios e com cerca de 315 000 colaboradores em todo o mundo que disponibiliza aos consumidores a melhor qualidade de serviço e conhecimento local para satisfazer os seus requisitos de expedição e da cadeia de abastecimento. A DHL aceita a sua responsabilidade social ao apoiar a proteção ambiental, a gestão de catástrofes e a educação.

Nov 172014
 

WASHINGTON, November 17, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — For the first time, this year’s crop in the U.S. White House kitchen garden included orange sweet potato (OSP), a root vegetable rich in vitamin A, that is becoming popular in Africa. The sweet potato was chosen to highlight its role in improving the nutrition and health of millions of children and women throughout sub-Saharan Africa by providing essential vitamin A.

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

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/141115.png

Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is a major public health problem in many countries. It impairs immunity, increases the risk of illnesses such as diarrheal disease, and causes eye damage that can lead to blindness and even death. Annually, up to 500,000 preschool children go blind from VAD, and about two-thirds will die within months of going blind. In Africa, VAD prevalence is estimated at 42 percent among children under five.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is now funding efforts to provide 285,000 Ugandan farming households not only with orange sweet potato but also beans that are richer in iron, as part of the US Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future.

“Through Feed the Future, President Obama’s landmark food security initiative, we are scaling up the use of orange sweet potatoes in thousands of communities vulnerable to undernutrition and stunting,” said USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah. “In the last year alone, we have helped seven million farmers boost their harvests with new technologies like this, and reached 12.5 million children to tackle undernutrition—one of the leading contributors to child death that also undermines global growth.”

Orange fruits and vegetables, dark leafy greens, and animal products are good sources of vitamin A but are not always available, or may be too expensive in some regions. In many part of sub-Saharan Africa, people eat large amounts of staple foods like sweet potatoes. However, the types commonly eaten are yellow and white in color and a poor source of vitamin A. The orange varieties are extremely rich in vitamin A and have been adapted to growing conditions in Africa, and to local tastes. In addition to being a rich source of vitamin A, orange sweet potato is also high yielding, virus resistant, and drought tolerant. In Africa, the crop is also referred to as orange-fleshed sweet potato.

Farming communities in Uganda, where orange sweet potato is now being grown on a large scale as a result of US Government assistance, have substituted more than one-third of their traditional white and yellow sweet potatoes with orange varieties. This has helped to ensure that large numbers of children and women receive their daily needs for vitamin A. One study found that in these communities orange sweet potato contributed to more than half of the vitamin A intakes of young children aged 6 months to 3 years old. This is notable because the first 1,000 days of a child’s life, counted from the start of a woman’s pregnancy until the child is two years old, is the most critical period of growth and development. All it takes is one ice-cream scoop’s worth of orange sweet potato to provide a young child with his or her daily vitamin A requirement. Farmers are also able to sell their surplus crop to earn extra income.

Agnes Amony, a Ugandan farmer who is part of this project, says: “I began feeding my child on these nutritious foods following the knowledge I attained in the recommended feeding practices for children under five. My child began gaining weight steadily and I am in no doubt that these foods have saved my child’s life. I am forever grateful and will never stop feeding my child on these food crops.”

In the mid-1990s, USAID played a seminal role in convincing agricultural scientists that improving yields of staple food crops was not enough—they also had to make them more nutritious. Vitamin A-rich OSP emerged as one of the first nutritionally-enhanced—and most successful—staple food crops to date.

Under First Lady Michelle Obama, the White House kitchen garden has been expanded and reinvigorated to include a wide range of herbs, fruits, and vegetables. It serves to educate people, especially children, on the importance of good nutrition and the role that vegetables and fruits can play in improving health. The sweet potatoes that were planted in the garden were provided by North Carolina State University (NCSU) and include Covington, a variety developed at NCSU, and Beauregard, a variety developed at Louisiana State University. Beauregard has become one of the most popular OSP varieties, and is being grown as far afield as northern Brazil.

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

Media Contact:

Yassir Islam, HarvestPlus, Washington D.C.y.islam@cgiar.org Tel: +1 202-862-5602

Photos:

White House Garden Fall Harvest, 2014: https://www.flickr.com/photos/feedthefuture/sets/72157648364029539/

HarvestPlus Sweet Potato Project Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/harvestplus/sets/72157628028196093/

Farmers Speak: OSP (video): http://bit.ly/OSPFarmersSpeak

Resources:

10 Reasons We’re Sweet on Sweet Potatoes and Why You Should Be Too!: http://feedthefuture.gov/article/10-reasons-we%E2%80%99re-sweet-sweet-potatoes-and-why-you-should-be-too

Orange Sweet Potato Makes the Case that Biofortification Works: http://www.harvestplus.org/content/orange-sweet-potato-makes-case-biofortification-works

Orange Sweet Potato Reduces Risk of Vitamin A Deficiency among Children and Women in Mozambique: http://www.harvestplus.org/content/orange-sweet-potato-reduces-risk-vitamin-deficiency-among-children-and-women-mozambique

Infographic: Rooting out Hunger: http://www.harvestplus.org/sites/default/files/HarvestPlus_OFSP_Infographic_web(withlinks).pdf

More about Feed the Future:

Feed the Future is the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative. With a focus on smallholder farmers, particularly women, Feed the Future supports partner countries in developing their agriculture sectors to spur economic growth and trade that increase incomes and reduce hunger, poverty and undernutrition. More information: www.feedthefuture.gov.

More about HarvestPlus:

HarvestPlus (http://www.harvestplus.org) leads a global effort to improve nutrition and public health by developing and deploying staple food crops that are rich in vitamins and minerals. These crops have all been conventionally bred. HarvestPlus is part of the CGIAR (http://www.cgiar.org) Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) (http://www.a4nh.cgiar.org). CGIAR is a global agricultural research partnership for a food secure future. Its science is carried out by its 15 research centers in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations. The HarvestPlus program is coordinated by two of these centers – the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) (http://ciat.cgiar.org) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) (http://www.ifpri.org).

More about CIP:

The International Potato Center (http://cipotato.org), known by its Spanish acronym CIP, provides locally acceptable varieties of biofortified OSP in Africa, and is now responding to increasing global demand through a phased scaling-up program in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean (Haiti). CIP is a research center of the CGIAR.

Nov 142014
 

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, November 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Sierra Leone must be braced for the social and economic shock resulting from the Ebola crisis, according to a new study co-sponsored by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The Economic and Social Impact of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Sierra Leone, released 14 November, 2014, raises red flags in the wake of the epidemic that has so far claimed over 5,000 lives, mostly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea since it began in early 2014. Most notably, the report warns that the socio-economic progress made over the last few years is stopped in its tracks and, in some cases, completely reversed.

“While priority number one must be to stop the spread of Ebola, protecting Sierra Leone from the wider damage caused by this disease is crucial,” said David McLachlan-Karr, the Resident Representative for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Resident Coordinator for the UN in Sierra Leone. “This report is a sobering warning that shows us that Sierra Leone faces a dramatic GDP loss (gross domestic product), significant inflation, and a severe drop in trade and production nationwide across many sectors.”

The report, a synthesis of surveys and analyses by the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, found that disruptions in most sectors will shrink the GDP from a successful 20.1% in 2013, which was close to the fastest economic growth in the world, to a projected 5% for 2014. Furthermore, shortages in food, foreign currency, and depreciation of the national currency (Leone) will put pressure on the national budget and Sierra Leone’s post-Ebola recovery.

Quarantined districts and health checkpoints across the country have limited the movement of not only people, but goods as well, which is causing prices to soar and incomes to shrink. People simply have less money to spend on items that are becoming more expensive.

The social implications of Ebola are equally as damaging. With schools closed since the crisis began, children face at least a year of academic set-backs which will impact the future workforce and brain trust; expectant mothers are dying at alarming rates in childbirth due to fear and failed healthcare systems, and 80% of people living with HIV have not been able to access their management treatments.

“Getting ahead of this crisis is so important,” Mr. McLachlan-Karr said. “We’re committed to not just arresting the reversal of development gains, but to turning the tide against it.”

The study advises policy recommendations for addressing the Ebola crisis with a mind to protecting the most vulnerable. It looks at the value of lockdowns, like the one implemented in September 2014 and seen as a largely successful intervention at the time. While a 21-day lockdown could isolate and assuredly strangle the spread of the virus, it will surely place a significant burden on Sierra Leone’s poorest and most vulnerable.

Some of the other findings in the report include:

• Increased financial instability: borrowers are falling short on loan repayments, which has caused banks to limit new loans and a tightening of financial ranks.

• The suspension of commercial flights by all but two airlines has not only impacted tourism and the movement of people, but has also limited the amount of foreign cash in the coffers.

• The heath sector has all but ceased to operate for non-Ebola cases. Many healthcare workers, who are the most at risk for contracting the Ebola virus, have stopped reporting to work forcing clinics and hospitals to close; meanwhile, patients suffering from non-Ebola conditions are avoiding any professional health care putting them at risk of harm and even death from common preventable disease.

• Gender-based violence is significantly on the rise and women are particularly at risk.

Findings from the study will be used by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to inform the budget development for 2015. It will also inform UN agencies and other development actors as to how non-direct Ebola programming can have a great impact on the future of Sierra Leone as it navigates through this devastating crisis.

UNDP is at the forefront of the fight against Ebola, mobilizing communities against the disease, helping people recover from the crisis and assisting governments to continue to provide basic services, and to develop Ebola impact assessments and recovery plans.

For more information, please visit www.undp.org/ebola

Nov 142014
 

WASHINGTON, November 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Press Statement
Jen Psaki
Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC
November 13, 2014

The State Department, in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is in tou…

Nov 142014
 

NAIROBI, Kenya, November 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Around half a million refugees, mainly from Somalia and South Sudan, living in the Dadaab and Kakuma camps in remote areas in northern Kenya, will receive reduced rations from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) as a result of insufficient funding.

The ration cut of 50 percent, starting tomorrow, comes as WFP struggles to raise US$38 million to cover its refugee operation for the next six months. This includes US$15.5 million urgently required to address food needs through January 2015.

“WFP has done everything it can to avoid reducing rations, using all means at our disposal to cover critical funding gaps,” said Paul Turnbull, WFP Deputy Country Director for Kenya. “Cutting rations is the last resort and we’re doing it to eke out the limited food we currently have available over the next ten weeks, as we continue to appeal to the international community to assist.”

Each month, WFP distributes 9,700 metric tons of food for some 500,000 refugees in Kenya, at a cost of almost US$10 million. The refugees are provided with a food ration of cereals, pulses, vegetable oil, a nutrient-rich maize-soya blend and salt, providing 2,100 kilocalories per person per day, the recommended emergency ration. From mid-November, the refugees will receive a food ration equivalent to 1,050 kilocalories per day.

“WFP depends entirely on voluntary contributions from donors who generously support food assistance for refugees,” said Valerie Guarnieri, WFP’s Regional Director for East and Central Africa. “With competing humanitarian needs around the world, we realize budgets are tight but nonetheless, we must call for more funding so that we can work with the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to meet the urgent needs of these vulnerable people, who have no other means of support.”

WFP expects to distribute half-rations until the end of January 2015, when a shipment of food assistance donated by the United States of America, sufficient for six weeks’ food requirements, is expected to arrive. Immediate, additional contributions would allow WFP to purchase food that is available in the region, which would reduce the impact of these dramatic cuts on the vulnerable refugee population. In 2014, international donors have contributed US$68.8 million to support food assistance for refugees in Kenya.

WFP also provides specialised fortified foods to young children, as well as to pregnant women and nursing mothers, to stave off malnutrition. In addition, primary and pre-primary schoolchildren receive porridge, which helps them concentrate on their classes and acts as an incentive to their families to send them to school. So far, these activities are not expected to be affected by the cuts.

Nov 142014
 

LONDON, United-Kingdom, November 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — GSK (http://www.gsk.com) today launched the first call for proposals for its Africa NCD Open Lab, to support much-needed scientific research into non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Africa. Up to £4m will be available in this first funding round, to support successful proposals from researchers in Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Ghana, The Gambia, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Malawi.

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

The Africa NCD Open Lab was established by GSK earlier this year, with a commitment of £25m funding over five years, as part of a series of strategic investments in sub-Saharan Africa. In this region, and across developing countries, non-communicable diseases, such as cancer and diabetes, are becoming more prevalent, and we need to learn more about how – and why – these diseases manifest differently in this setting. The Africa NCD Open Lab aims to address this through the creation of an innovative research network that will see GSK scientists collaborate with researchers across Africa on high quality epidemiological, genetic and interventional research, from its hub at GSK’s Stevenage R&D facility in the UK. The aim is that this will specifically inform interventions for the prevention and treatment of five priority diseases – cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease and chronic respiratory disease – while helping build local expertise and creating a new generation of African NCD experts.

This builds on the success of GSK’s Open Lab in Tres Cantos, Spain which provides independent researchers access to GSK facilities, resources and knowledge to help them advance their own research projects into diseases of the developing world such as malaria, tuberculosis and leishmaniasis. Since the Tres Cantos Open Lab was established, 15 projects from world class institutions have been completed, progressing much needed research into diseases of the developing world.

An independent external advisory group, comprising clinical and scientific experts in the field of NCDs, will review applications to the NCD Open Lab, with recommendations for funding based on scientific merit. The group will consist of a majority African membership to ensure that only locally-relevant research is funded.

A second call for proposals in South Africa is planned for early in 2015 which will be launched in collaboration with the Medical Research Councils of South Africa and the UK, with a combined £5m funding.

Dr. Mike Strange, Interim Head of the Africa NCD Open Lab, said: “We believe the highly collaborative research network we’re creating through the Africa NCD Open Lab has the potential to dramatically improve understanding of NCDs in Africa – and could ultimately, accelerate the development of new, better medicines to treat these.

“The launch of our first call for proposals is an important milestone for this initiative, and we encourage researchers working in the field of NCDs who are based in the eight eligible countries to consider applying for the funding and expert support available to them through this.”

For more information, or to submit a research idea for consideration, please visit http://www.gsk.com/africa-ncd-openlab.

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

Notes to editors

• GSK (http://www.gsk.com) has a long history in the developing world, including the development and trial of new vaccines for malaria and Ebola. Its vaccines are included in immunisation campaigns in 170 countries worldwide and of the 862 million vaccine doses delivered in 2013, more than 80% were shipped for use in developing countries.

• In 2015, GSK will donate its five billionth tablet of albendazole to treat intestinal worms and lymphatic filariasis – part of the company’s long-term commitment to tackle neglected tropical diseases which affect people in the world’s poorest countries.

• GSK has formed a ground-breaking five-year partnership with Save the Children, to help save the lives of one million children living in the poorest countries in Africa. The partnership combines the resources and capabilities of two organisations to help bring medicines and vaccines to some of the world’s poorest children, train thousands of healthcare workers, and seek to alleviate child malnutrition.

• In March 2014, GSK announced a series of targeted investments of up to £130m in Africa over the next five years, designed to address pressing health needs and contribute to long-term business growth.

GSK enquiries:

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Nov 142014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, November 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM this week organized a two-day national consultative forum to address health challenges facing the migrant community in Kenya.
The workshop, organized in partnership with t…