Sep 252014

DUBLIN, Ireland, September 25, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Minister for Development, Trade Promotion, and North South Co-operation, Seán Sherlock, TD, today opened ‘A Celebration of Vision’ at the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) to mark the achievements of the Mozambique Eye-care Project.

Established with €1.5 million in Irish Aid funding, the project includes a training programme for optometrists and an eye-care service in Mozambique, both of which are designed to reduce preventable blindness and tackle poverty. It is run by the Dublin Institute of Technology and the University of Ulster, in close collaboration with universities in Mozambique and South Africa.

Preventable blindness is a major contributor to poverty in the developing world and those affected are far less likely to access education or employment, said Minister Sherlock, who described the Mozambique Eye-care Project as a sustainable solution to avoidable blindness.

“In just over five years, 15 optometrists have graduated through the Mozambique Eye Care Project, doubling the number of eye care personnel serving the entire country. Between 20 and 30 new optometrists will graduate in Mozambique annually, making this programme both effective and truly sustainable.

“Their ambitious plan to have a university faculty team in Mozambique and 170 fully-qualified optometrists to deliver education, eye-care and glasses to millions of visually impaired people in Mozambique by 2020 is truly commendable.

“Blindness, visual impairment, and the lack of eye-care services are too often the result of social, economic and developmental challenges. The Mozambique Eye-care Project stands out as an initiative which can break this chain. I congratulate DIT and all of the partners in Mozambique on the success of the project.”

Sep 252014

LOME, Togo, September 25, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Board of Directors of the West African Development Bank (BOAD) ( held its 94th ordinary meeting on Tuesday 23 September 2014 in Lomé, under the chairmanship of Mr Christian Adovelande, President, and Chairman of the Board of Directors.


Photo 1 : (Mr Christian Adovelande, President, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the BOAD)

Following the adoption of the minutes of its 93rd Board meeting held on 24 June 2014 in Dakar, the Board considered and approved the General Directives for updating the 2014-2018 financial outlook and preparing BOAD’s 2015-2017 programme budget. In addition, the Board approved seven operations involving a total amount of FCFA30.340 billion, bringing the aggregate amount of medium-term and long-term financing to FCFA3,140.3 billion for 721 projects. A new short-term loan of FCFA27 billion brought the cumulative amount of short-term financing to FCFA174.1 billion.

Loan proposals approved relate to the following operations:

• Partial funding of a support project to aid Compagnie nationale d’assurance agricole du Sénégal (national agriculture insurance provider in Senegal) with the implementation of a crop insurance product for cotton and corn crops (PA-CNAAS). The overarching aim of the project is to reduce the vulnerability of cotton and corn producers by offering them an insurance product that covers several phases of production. This should help grant input credit of FCFA22 billion to a total of 40,000 producers. Loan amount: FCFA1.09 billion.

• Partial funding of a support project to aid Assurance mutuelle agricole du Bénin (agriculture insurance provider in Benin) with the implementation of a crop insurance product for cotton and rice crops (PA-AMAB). This project will help provide crop insurance policies for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 cotton harvests to all 350,000 cotton producers and 1,000 rice producers located in Benin. Loan amount: FCFA1.089 billion.

These projects represent BOAD’s first two interventions as part of the implementation of its Crop Insurance Programme that it initiated following the food crisis that occurred in the WAEMU region in 2008. In view of the fact that climatic risks have a significant impact on agricultural development, the Bank financed a feasibility study from 2010 to 2012 that looked into setting up a crop insurance system in the countries of the WAEMU. This study concluded that a crop insurance scheme would be feasible in this area, particularly in Benin and Senegal, which both have dedicated insurance data and insurance companies specialising in crop insurance. BOAD will help the other six WAEMU states increase the reliability of agricultural and meteorological data and establish the institutional framework that is essential for the implementation of crop insurance.

• Partial funding of the road-paving and sewerage project in the towns of Abomey-Calavi (phase 2), Athiémé, Avrankou, Azovè, Kérou, Malanville and Zogbodomey, and the bridge construction project on the Djonou lagoon crossing between Cocotomey and Womey (Benin). As well as improving traffic flow, the project will also help improve the urban environment by reducing by 50% the prevalence rate of diseases related to unsanitary conditions. Loan amount: FCFA20 billion.

• Partial funding of the project to expand the capacity of the cocoa bean processing unit of Ivory Cocoa Products (ICP) SA in San Pedro (Côte d’Ivoire). The aim of this project is to increase the nominal processing capacity of ICP SA’s industrial unit from 24,000 to 48,600 tons of cocoa beans per annum, which equates to 38,880 tons of finished product per annum. Loan amount: FCFA2 billion.

• Short-term facility to the Government of Benin for the partial funding of the 2014-2015 cotton harvest. This operation is intended to support Benin in its efforts to produce 367,340 tons of cotton, which equates to a 20% increase on the previous harvest. This will mark BOAD’s third intervention in a row in support of cotton harvests in Benin. Loan amount: FCFA27 billion.

The Board of Directors also approved the acquisition of shareholdings in the following entities:

• La Société de Promotion et de Participation pour la Coopération Economique, PROPARCO (company for the support and financing of economic cooperation). In the context of a share capital increase at PROPARCO, BOAD will acquire an additional shareholding of FCFA1.161 billion (€1,770,613.2).

• Compagnie aérienne régionale, ASKY (regional airline company). Within the context of increasing the company’s share capital to FCFA25 billion, BOAD will increase its shareholding by FCFA3 billion.

• Air Côte d’Ivoire (national airline of Côte d’Ivoire). Within the context of Air Côte d’Ivoire increasing its share capital from FCFA25 billion to FCFA65 billion, BOAD will acquire a shareholding of FCFA2 billion.

Furthermore, the Board of Directors delivered a favourable opinion on BOAD’s draft 2015-2019 strategic plan, the proposal of measures to boost BOAD’s refinancing facilities and the statement of recovery of BOAD loans as of 31 August 2014.

Lastly, the Board took notice of the following items: Allocation of annual ordinary funding for the 2013 financial year; report on BOAD bond loan issue for 2014-2017; use of BOAD resources as of 31 July 2014; report on the restructuring of Groupe de la Banque Régionale de Solidarité, BRS (Regional Solidarity Bank Group); report of the Credit Committee of the Board of Directors following on-site consultation of its members on the proposal to renew the short-term financing granted to the company AGROPHYTEX in Senegal for the import of agricultural inputs; minutes of the ordinary meeting of the WAMU Council of Ministers held on 28 June 2014 in Dakar.

The members of the Board thanked the Togolese authorities for the warm and fraternal welcome extended to them, as well as for the material and organisational arrangements that facilitated the holding of their meetings under congenial conditions.

Prepared in Lomé, 23 September 2014

Saïdou Ouedraogo

Director of Communications, Marketing and Public Relations

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the West African Development Bank (BOAD).

Sep 252014

OTTAWA, Canada, September 25, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, will make an important announcement regarding Canada’s support for international efforts to control the Ebola outbreak.

Event: Media availability

Date: September 25, 2014

Time: 10:15 a.m.

Place: United Nations Headquarters, New York City, New York, Stakeout – First Floor of the Conference Building (CR2)

Media entrance: E 47th Street and 1st Avenue

Sep 252014

OSLO, Norway, September 25, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — ‘Three years after the last famine in Somalia, another hunger crisis is looming. According to the UN, one million people are in urgent need of emergency response. The Norwegian Government is therefore increasing its humanitarian support for Somalia by NOK 35 million,’ said Foreign Minister Børge Brende.

On 24 September, Mr Brende attended a high-level meeting on Somalia in New York, which was organised by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. According to the UN, the food security situation in Somalia is critical. The UN is now calling for additional assistance to meet the acute need for food, water, medical supplies, shelter, and emergency education. So far, the UN’s humanitarian appeal for Somalia has been met with only 34 per cent of the requested USD 933 million.

‘The situation in Somalia is critical, and without sufficient response, it could develop into a new, humanitarian crisis. Many families have fled their homes because of the conflict. In many areas, people in need lack access to humanitarian assistance,’ said Mr Brende.

In addition to the nearly one million people in need of emergency relief, 2.1 million people are barely able to meet their food needs. Children and pregnant women are particularly vulnerable, especially those who are among the 1.1 million internally displaced. More than 200 000 children under five are suffering from serious undernourishment, and it is estimated that 43 000 are in urgent need of specialist help in order to survive.

The additional Norwegian funding to Somalia will be channelled to organisations that are taking part in the UN appeal, and to the Red Cross/Red Crescent.

Sep 252014

NEW YORK, September 25, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The recent outbreak of Ebola in West African has exposed the lack of infrastructure and limited resources in Africa, said South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma today as he pledged to continue, in every possible way, to assist the people and Governments of hardest-hit Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

“We believe that Ebola would have been contained within a few days had it been an outbreak in the developed World,” said President Zuma as he addressed global leaders at the United Nations.

President Zuma welcomed that the United Nations under the leadership of the Secretary General is deploying a Mission to coordinate efforts to combat the virus.

Given its history, South Africa is in a unique place to support struggles for freedom, including the struggles of the people of Palestine and Western Sahara who continue to live under occupation. President Zuma said the Israeli-Palestine question will be resolved when both sides commit to a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders. He also pledged to support the people of Cuba in their struggle for economic liberation.

On making the UN more effective, President Zuma said “some contentious aspects of the Organization such as the veto powers and the exclusion of regions such as Africa in the Security Council are some of the critical matters that cannot be ignored in the quest for transformation.”

He lauded the partnership between the African Union (AU) and the UN, particularly with the formation of the AU Peace and Security architecture, which is responsible for progress in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The UN must make sure that South Sudan does not regress. As it stands now, the young nation is in a dire humanitarian situation.

Lastly, he paid tribute to the late Nelson Mandela, recalling how last December the world “descended on South Africa to pay respects to our beloved Madiba.” The South African President welcomed the decision by the General Assembly to establish the UN Nelson Mandela Prize which will be awarded to a person who has demonstrated a commitment to the principles of the UN.

“The Prize is a great testament to the outstanding individual that Madiba was and will always be,” said President Zuma.

EUSEC RD Congo extended

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Sep 252014

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, September 25, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Council today extended the mandate of the EU mission to provide advice and assistance for Security Sector Reform in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (EUSEC RD Congo) until 30 June 2015.

This decision extends the transition period, during which the mission will have a reduced staff and will focus on preparing the transfer of most of its duties to a major programme to support defence reform in the Democratic Republic of the Congo under the 11th European Development Fund.

From 30 June 2015 until 30 June 2016, EUSEC RD Congo will be preserved as a CSDP “Micromission”, maintaining the EU’s support to the Congolese military authorities for activities which cannot be supported from the European Development Fund, such as strategic advice and support to military schools.

The mission will continue assisting the Congolese authorities on the implementation of reforms in the Congolese army (FARDC) by providing advice at the strategic level as well as further support to administrative modernisation, setting up of an effective human resource management system for the army, and building a permanent high quality military education system including schools for both officers and non-commissioned officers.

EU SEC RD Congo’s headcount will be reduced from 1 October 2014 from 41 currently to 30 personnel and will be further cut as tasks are passed on. A budget of €4.6 million is available until 30 June 2015.

EUSEC RD Congo has supported since 2005 the Congolese authorities in rebuilding an army that could guarantee security throughout the whole country, permitting the conditions necessary to stabilisation, restoration of state services and economic and social development. In close cooperation and coordination with other actors in the international community, the mission is focusing its efforts on activities that directly contribute to the structural stabilisation of the FARDC and the improvement of its operational capabilities, in accordance with the principles of good governance and respect for human rights, integrating all actions in the gender perspective.

To date, the mission’s accomplishments include the support to the legal framework for the reform of the army, helping to set up a nationwide basic military education system for officers and noncommissioned officers, and the establishment of both a biometric census and a payment system for all personnel of the FARDC. EUSEC RD Congo has contributed to more transparent financial procedures in the FARDC and to modernising the management of military arms and munitions stockpiles.

Colonel Jean-Louis Nurenberg has been the Head of Mission since October 2014. Currently,

10 EU Member States and the United States of America contribute to the mission.

Sep 252014

Amsterdam, The Netherlands, September 25, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ —

- Philips to target sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia where high maternal and infant mortality can be addressed through early diagnosis, proper nutrition, remote monitoring innovations and access to energy.

- Philips commits to improve the lives of 100 million women and children by 2025.

Royal Philips (AEX: PHIA, NYSE: PHG) (, joins UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s initiative Every Woman Every Child ( and commits to improving the lives of 100 million women and children by 2025. In Philips’ pledge of support to the UN, Frans van Houten, CEO of Royal Philips, underlined the need for improving lives in areas where maternal and infant mortality is concentrated and where nutrition and energy challenges are most acute.

To download the Philips pledge to the Every Woman Every Child initiative please click here: .

Photo 1: (Philips showcases Respiratory Rate Monitor)

Photo 2: (Philips VISIQ ultrasound)


“We look forward to working with the UN and its partners in Every Woman Every Child to deliver impact at scale in regions where women and children need it the most”, said Frans van Houten ( . “The goals of Every Woman Every Child are well aligned with Philips’ vision ( to make the world healthier and more sustainable through innovation and our ultimate goal of improving the lives of three billion people a year by 2025.”

Philips has a long tradition of partnering with national Health Ministries throughout the world and has undertaken several country-wide rehabilitation programs across Africa. By targeting sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia specifically, Philips will mobilize resources to support access to healthcare through large scale healthcare transformation projects, in combination with clinical education and skills training for healthcare professionals.

Through the Philips Africa Innovation Hub (, the company will develop and deploy quality solutions and new business models that enable access and improve quality of care for mothers and their children in low-resource settings. The Innovation Hub has already developed automated respiration monitors that support the diagnosis of pneumonia in children under 5, clean cooking stoves and solar lighting, as well as telehealth and mobile-health solutions which can provide early diagnosis and healthy living and nutritional advice. Philips has recently piloted the telehealth “Mobile Obstetrical Monitoring” (MoM) project in Indonesia to remotely monitor pregnant women for early high risk identification.

“The private sector has become eager to increase its engagement, not just because there are business opportunities but because they see the value in ethical business and in helping to improve people’s lives”, said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

Every Woman Every Child initiative:

An estimated eight million children die a year before reaching their 5th birthday, and about 350,000 women die during pregnancy or childbirth. The provision of simple inexpensive tools and practices can save millions of lives each year. Launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Summit in September 2010, Every Woman Every Child aims to save the lives of 16 million women and children by 2015. The initiative matches two of the five Millennium Development Goals ( and aims for a two-thirds reduction in under-five mortality and a 75 per cent reduction in maternal mortality by 2015. Every Woman Every Child is a global initiative that seeks to mobilize international and national action by governments, multilaterals, the private sector and civil society to address the major health challenges facing women and children around the world.

To download the Philips pledge to the Every Woman Every Child initiative please click here: .

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

For further information, please contact:

Radhika Choksey

Philips Group Communications – Africa

Tel: +31 625259000


About Royal Philips:

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) ( is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2013 sales of EUR 23.3 billion and employs approximately 113,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at

Sep 252014

JUBA, South Sudan, September 25, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — So far in 2014, donors have contributed close to US$1.2 billion for humanitarian action in South Sudan, including over $980 million for projects in the South Sudan Crisis Response Plan.

To enhance transparency of the flow of resources for humanitarian action in South Sudan and other emergencies around the world, the United Nations maintains an online system called the Financial Tracking Service ( This public system tracks donations in real-time, specifying which organization has received resources for which projects. For South Sudan, the system has been in operation since the country gained independence in 2011.

“The Financial Tracking Service is one of the tools we use to make sure that the aid operation is transparent and accountable to the people we are here to serve,” explained Toby Lanzer, Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan. “At the click of a button, people can find out how much money non-governmental organizations and United Nations agencies have received, for what purpose, and from which donor.”

Users of the Financial Tracking Service can download pre-prepared tables detailing donors and recipients of funds; create customized searches or focus on specific sectors or organizations; and compare financing flows between different crises across the globe. Though internet-based, the system makes it easy to create, print and share tables with financial information in other formats.

Visit the Financial Tracking Service on: For information on South Sudan, click on “Republic of South Sudan – Crisis Response Plan 2014”.

Sep 252014

NEW YORK, September 25, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Secretary-General remarks at high-level meeting on Somalia

Thank you for your commitment to Somalia, and thank you for your participation discussing the situation in Somalia. I am glad to see so many partners, including the leaders from Ethiopia, Italy and the United Kingdom who jointly suggested this meeting.

I am delighted to welcome my co-chairs, the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission.

I would like to salute the leadership of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, the Federal Parliament and the Federal Government, in carrying out an ambitious political process under challenging circumstances.

I wish to express appreciation to the African Union for its continued support to the Federal Government’s security and stabilization efforts, especially the latest joint operations against Al-Shabaab. We pay tribute to AMISOM, the Somali security forces and the Somali people for their courage and sacrifice.

I also take this opportunity to recognize the staff of the United Nations, under the leadership of Special Representative Nicholas Kay, and other international partners serving in Somalia for their dedication to peace.

The peace process in Somalia is gathering momentum.

Since we last met, the Federal Government has set out its “Vision 2016” plan for Somalia’s political transformation. Agreements have been reached to forge interim administrations in south, south-west and central Somalia. I welcome IGAD’s important support to these developments.

But there is no time to lose if elections are to take place in 2016 as the President has pledged. I urge all Somalia’s political institutions to keep this process on track. Parliament has a central role to play in establishing the National Independent Electoral Commission and the Boundaries and Federation Commission that must be delivered this year.

National reconciliation remains crucial. I welcome the efforts of the emerging interim regional administrations, together with the Federal Government, to convene inclusive reconciliation conferences. Inclusive local administrations are also urgently needed in newly recovered areas. The participation of women at all levels in these processes and in Somalia’s institutions is an imperative.

Political progress also depends on security, the rule of law and respect for fundamental rights. I welcome the recent discussions in London on building effective and human rights-compliant security forces. I urge the Federal Government to firmly place human rights, especially the protection of women and children, at the centre of its state-building policies and programmes.

The current operations to recover more locations from Al Shabaab are critical to enable delivery of critical supplies to communities cut off by the group’s blockades.

I remain extremely worried about the humanitarian situation. Malnutrition rates are again on the rise. If we do not increase humanitarian support, all other gains could be jeopardized.

I am pleased to announce that the United Nations Multi-Partner Trust Fund under the Somali Compact is operational. We are also working with the World Bank on an initiative to promote resilience and economic development in the Horn of Africa.

There is much work still ahead. I urge you, Mr. President, and the Federal Government to redouble efforts to deliver on “Vision 2016” and the Somali Compact. Yet they cannot achieve this ambitious agenda alone. As we look forward to the High-Level Partnership Forum in Copenhagen in November, I appeal to the international community to continue its support to Somalia so that its people can reap the dividends of peace.

The United Nations remains strongly committed to supporting these efforts.

Thank you.

Sep 252014

JUBA, South Sudan, September 25, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations are launching the planning for the 2015 aid operation in South Sudan at the beginning of October. The planning is to take place in close collaboration with South Sudanese people and institutions and authorities at the local, state and national levels in order to help inform the aid community’s response to the ongoing crisis.

“South Sudan is home to one of the world’s largest aid operations, and the enormous needs we are seeing today are likely to persist into 2015,” said Toby Lanzer, the Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan. “We look forward to working closely with national and local authorities, civil society organizations and conflict-affected men, women and children of South Sudan to make sure that the aid operation is tailored to meet the most acute needs on the ground.”

Nine months into the conflict, close to 1.8 million people have been uprooted from their homes, including over 450,000 people who have fled to neighbouring countries. 2.5 million people are projected to be severely food insecure between January and March 2015, and malnutrition threatens the lives of tens of thousands of children. So far this year, aid agencies have reached over 3 million people, many in remote and hard-to-reach areas.

“To get the response right in a crisis of this magnitude, consultation is key,” continued Mr. Lanzer. “The people of South Sudan know best what they need to get through this crisis, and we will reach out and do all we can to make sure that their perspectives are included in every stage of the planning for our work next year.”