WHO Virtual Press Conference following the first meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on Ebola Viral Disease

GENEVA, Switzerland, August 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — WHO Virtual Press Conference following the first meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on Ebola Viral Disease

WHAT: On 6-7 August, the World Health Organization will convene an Emergency Committee meeting in order to ascertain whether the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa constitutes a “public health emergency of international concern” (PHEIC) and, if it does, to recommend appropriate temporary measures to reduce international spread. WHO will brief journalists on the committee’s decisions after the meeting.

WHEN: Thursday 7 August, early evening CEST, timing to be confirmed.

WHERE: Geneva-based journalists may participate in the Library Room at WHO Headquarters.

Journalists outside Geneva may dial in. Dial-in numbers will be sent to all media on Tuesday.

Source: APO

Categories: AFRICA

MEDIA ANNOUNCEMENT/ OUAGA+10 EXTRAORDINARY SUMMIT

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, August 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Media representatives are kindly informed that the African Union is organizing an extraordinary session of the Assembly of the Union dubbed Ouaga+10 scheduled to take place from 26 August to 7 September 2014 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Venue: Ouaga 2000 Conference Center, Ouagadougou

Theme: The theme of the Extraordinary Summit is: “Employment, Poverty Eradication and Inclusive Development”.

Specific dates for the meetings of the different AU organs and decision-making bodies during the Summit will be as follows:

26 August: Meeting of the Permanent Representatives Committee, Addis Ababa

2-3 Sept. 2014: Youth and Women Forum on Employment Poverty eradication& inclusive development, Ouagadougou.

3 Sept. 2014: Continuation of the meeting of the Permanent Representative Committee (PRC)

3-7 Sept. 2014: Exhibition on Employment

4 Sept. 2014: Extraordinary Session of the Executive Council

4-5 Sept. 2014: Social Partners’ Forum

5 Sept. 2014 Forum on leveraging remittances for job creation, poverty eradication and inclusive development

6-7 Sept 2014 Extraordinary Assembly of the Union

More information with regard to media accreditation and coverage of the Summit is provided on the special webpage of the Ouaga+10 Extraordinary Summit at the following web link: http://summits.au.int/en/ouagaplus10/registration

Journalists are kindly invited to register online for accreditation to cover this Extraordinary Summit of the African Union.

The dateline for submission of accreditation request is Monday 25 August 2014.

For further information please visit the special webpage of the Ouaga+10 Extraordinary Summit: http://sa.au.int/en/content/extraordinary-summit-african-union-employment-poverty-eradication-and-inclusive-development

You can also visit the official website of the host country at the following link: www.ouagaplus10.com

Source: APO

Categories: AFRICA

WHO Director-General assesses the Ebola outbreak with four West African presidents Dr Margaret Chan Director-General of the World Health Organization

CONAKRY, Guinea, August 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Dr Margaret Chan Director-General of the World Health Organization

Excellencies, honourable ministers, members of the press, ladies and gentlemen,

West Africa is facing its first outbreak of Ebola virus disease. This is an unprecedented outbreak accompanied by unprecedented challenges. And these challenges are extraordinary.

West Africa’s outbreak is caused by the most lethal strain in the family of Ebola viruses.

The outbreak is by far the largest ever in the nearly four-decade history of this disease. It is the largest in terms of numbers of cases and deaths, with 1,323 cases and 729 deaths reported to date in four countries.

It is the largest in terms of geographical areas already affected and others at immediate risk of further spread.

It is taking place in areas with fluid population movements over porous borders, and it has demonstrated its ability to spread via air travel, contrary to what has been seen in past outbreaks. Cases are occurring in rural areas which are difficult to access, but also in densely populated capital cities.

This meeting must mark a turning point in the outbreak response. The presence here of four heads of state is clear evidence of the high-level of political concern and commitment.

Let me give you some frank assessments of what we face. And by “we”, I mean your countries and your neighbours, WHO and its partners in outbreak response, including civil society organizations, and the international community, including countries on other continents that can give you the support you so clearly need.

First, this outbreak is moving faster than our efforts to control it. If the situation continues to deteriorate, the consequences can be catastrophic in terms of lost lives but also severe socioeconomic disruption and a high risk of spread to other countries. As I said before, this meeting must mark a turning point in the outbreak response.

In addition, the outbreak is affecting a large number of doctors, nurses, and other health care workers, one of the most essential resources for containing an outbreak. To date, more than 60 health care workers have lost their lives in helping others. Some international staff are infected. These tragic infections and deaths significantly erode response capacity.

Second, the situation in West Africa is of international concern and must receive urgent priority for decisive action at national and international levels. Experiences in Africa over nearly four decades tell us clearly that, when well managed, an Ebola outbreak can be stopped.

This is not an airborne virus. Transmission requires close contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person, also after death. Apart from this specific situation, the general public is not at high risk of infection by the Ebola virus.

At the same time, it would be extremely unwise for national authorities and the international community to allow an Ebola virus to circulate widely and over a long period of time in human populations.

Constant mutation and adaptation are the survival mechanisms of viruses and other microbes. We must not give this virus opportunities to deliver more surprises.

Third, this is not just a medical or public health problem. It is a social problem. Deep-seated beliefs and cultural practices are a significant cause of further spread and a significant barrier to rapid and effective containment. This social dimension must also be addressed as an integral part of the overall response.

Fourth, in some areas, chains of transmission have moved underground. They are invisible. They are not being reported. Because of the high fatality rate, many people in affected areas associate isolation wards with a sure death sentence, and prefer to care for loved ones in homes or seek assistance from traditional healers.

Such hiding of cases defeats strategies for rapid containment. Moreover, public attitudes can create a security threat to response teams when fear and misunderstanding turn to anger, hostility, or violence.

Finally, despite the absence of a vaccine or curative therapy, Ebola outbreaks can most certainly be contained. Bedrocks of outbreak containment include early detection and isolation of cases, contact tracing and monitoring of contacts, and rigorous procedures for infection control.

Moreover, we do have some evidence that early detection of cases and early implementation of supportive therapy increases the chances of survival. This is another message that needs to be communicated to the public.

Excellences, ladies and gentlemen,

Let me assure you: you are not alone in facing this unprecedented outbreak with all its unprecedented challenges.

Affected countries have made extraordinary efforts and introduced extraordinary measures. But the demands created by Ebola in West Africa outstrip your capacities to respond.

I have made myself personally responsible for coordinating international response efforts under WHO leadership, and personally responsible for mobilizing the support you need, on the most urgent basis possible.

The needs are vast.

Accurate and detailed mapping of the outbreak is urgently needed. All affected and at-risk countries need a national response plan, and these plans need to be regionally coordinated.

Facilities for isolation and supportive therapy need to be properly equipped and adequately staffed. Some facilities lack such essentials as electricity and a safe supply of running water.

Current numbers of national and international response staff are woefully inadequate. Personal protective equipment is absolutely essential, but it is hot and cumbersome, limiting the time that doctors and nurses can work on an isolation ward.

Work is also emotionally very stressful. For national staff, salaries need to be paid.

Dignified burial makes an essential contribution to public trust and eases family grieving, but this must be done safely. Traditional funeral practices are a well-documented spark that ignites further chains of transmission.

Contact tracing is a formidable challenge, for reasons I have mentioned. Again, more staff are needed.

Public awareness of the facts about this disease needs to increase dramatically. Messages from presidents and community and religious leaders are important, but this outbreak needs professionally designed and implemented campaigns, again with help from external experts.

Depending on the epidemiological situation, your governments may need to impose some restrictions, for example, on population movements and public gatherings.

Governments may need to use their police and civil defence forces to guarantee the safety and security of response teams. Some are already doing so.

Under the provisions of the International Health Regulations, I have convened an Emergency Committee that will meet on 6 August to assess the international implications of West Africa’s outbreak.

I am relying on the experts in this Committee, including those from West African nations, to heighten international awareness of the magnitude of this outbreak and the many challenges that need urgent support from the international community.

I am also here to learn first-hand your specific concerns and needs for support.

As I said, Ebola outbreaks can be contained. Chains of transmission can be broken. Together, we must do so.

Thank you.

Source: APO

Categories: AFRICA

AUC delegation arrives in Washington DC for first US-Africa Leaders’ Summit

WASHINGTON, August 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — A delegation of the African Union Commission, led by Chairperson H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will arrive in Washington on 2 August for the first and historic US-Africa Leaders’ Summit. The delegation will be joining about 50 African Heads of State and Government in high level dialogue and meetings with a cross section of top officials of President Barrack Obama’s Administration. The first ever US-Africa Leaders’ Summit is being organized from 4-6 August 2014, in Washington DC.

On the invitation of US President Barrack Obama, the leaders will hold a high level strategic dialogue under the theme: “Investing in the Next Generation.” It is expected that these discussions and other side engagements with further strengthen the cooperation between Africa and the US at the continental level, building upon the existing strong bilateral and regional cooperation.

The Summit will focus on three sub-themes: Investing in Africa’s Future; Peace, and Regional Security; Governing for the Next Generation (Capacity Development). Though invited on individual basis, Africa is expected to speak from a common position on these areas which are of critical importance to the continent’s future.

“The Summit offers another great opportunity to further refine our reflections on the Africa we want, and how to make it happen, with the support of partners such as the United States. Therefore, I look forward to discussing with the leaders about how we can drive strategies such a skills revolution for our young girls and boys, on financially and technically supporting the energy generation, infrastructural development that fast-track our regional integration agenda, and more as we envision our Agenda 2063.” Dr. Dlamini Zuma projects her expectations before leaving the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa for Washington DC.

Aside from other meetings preceding the Summit such as with the Private Sector, the Youth and AGOA forum, during which she will make statements, the AU Chairperson will on Sunday 3 August deliver an opening address at the “Believe in Africa Day” an Africa Diaspora-led initiative to showcase business opportunities in Africa.

On the final day of the Summit, Dr. Dlamini Zuma will co-grant a Press Conference with H.E. Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and current Chairperson of the AU. This will follow the final Press Conference of President Barrack Obama.

Follow live coverage of the Summit on www.au.int; Twitter: @_AfricanUnion

Source: APO

Categories: AFRICA

Africa: Only 1 Month Until APO Media Award Entry Deadline: WIN $6,000, one lap top, one intercontinental flight ticket to a destination of your choice and more

DAKAR, Sénégal, August 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — APO (African Press Organization) (http://www.apo-opa.com), the sole press release wire in Africa and the global leader in media relations relating to Africa, announced today that entry is now open for the 2014 APO Media Award (#APOMediaAward).

The first-place winner will be presented with $500 a month for one year, one laptop and one intercontinental flight ticket to a destination of his or her choice as well as one year of access to over 600 airport VIP lounges worldwide.

The second-place winner will be awarded $300 a month for one year.

The third-place winner will receive $200 a month for one year.

APO logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/apo-african-press-organization-small.png

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=782 (Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Founder and CEO of APO (African Press Organization)

APO Media Award celebrates brilliant and inspiring stories about Africa. The subject matter may comprise a single topic or a variety of subjects, including – but not limited to – business, economy, technology, agriculture, health, energy, gender, logistics, tourism, motoring, aviation, not-for-profit issues, diplomacy, environment, mining, entertainment and more.

APO Media Award is open to African journalists and bloggers, whether directly employed or freelancers, working in the continent of Africa who have produced a story that has been broadcast or published in English, French, Portuguese or Arabic in the form of a printed publication, a television feature, a radio story, a website or a blog whose primary audience is based in Africa.

Stories must have been broadcast or published between January and August 2014.

Stories are judged on content, writing, analysis, creativity, human interest and community impact.

All stories must be submitted in electronic format:

a) Print: upload the scan(s) of the published article.

b) Radio: upload the SoundCloud link (SoundCloud is an online audio distribution platform that enables its users to upload and share sounds they have created themselves – https://soundcloud.com).

c) Website: upload the URL.

d) TV: upload the YouTube link.

TV material must first be uploaded to YouTube (www.youtube.com) and radio material to SoundCloud (www.soundcloud.com). If you are not a member of these sites, you will need to sign up in order to upload the video or radio material. Once you have obtained the link, you must enter it in this online entry form when inputting your story details.

Online Entry Form is available here: http://www.apo-opa.com/apo_media_award.php?L=E

The deadline for entries is 1 September 2014.

The finalists will be announced on 15 September 2014.

The winners will be announced on 29 September 2014.

Follow APO on Twitter: https://twitter.com/apo_source

Follow the hashtag: #APOMediaAward

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization).

Contact:

award@apo-opa.org

+41 22 534 96 97

About APO

APO (African Press Organization) (http://www.apo-opa.com) is the sole press release wire in Africa and the global leader in media relations relating to Africa.

With offices in Senegal, Switzerland, Dubai, Hong Kong, India and Seychelles, APO has a media database comprising over 50,000 contacts and is the main online community for news relating to Africa.

It offers a complete range of services, including press release distribution and monitoring, online press conferences, interactive webcasts, media interactions, strategic advice, public diplomacy, government relations and events promotion. To find out more, please visit http://www.apo-opa.com.

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/apo_source

Follow us on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/african-press-organization

Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/africanpressorganization

Source: APO

Categories: AFRICA

SkyVision Wins National Bid for a Communications Project with Bank of Africa in Burkina Faso

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina-Faso, August 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — SkyVision Global Networks Ltd. (http://www.skyvision.net), a leading global communications provider, announced the successful implementation of the first phase of its project with the Bank of Africa (BOA) Burkina Faso, the country’s second largest financial institution. The project included implementing a full communications solution through the SkyVision VPN service, connecting BoA headquarters in Ouagadougou to its branch offices throughout the country.

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

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/140801.jpg

“This project is an important win and an even more important milestone for SkyVision. We welcome the opportunity of a long term partnership with BOA and highly value our business relationship. We look forward to continue growing our mutual business and offering our solutions to the entire BOA Group”. Commented SkyVision CEO, Ori Watterman.

The combined solution included a Romantis UHP hub and SkyVision VPN, a VSAT-based communications solution that provides organizations with superior network performance and reliability. The advanced technology that drives SkyVision VPN provides customers with enhanced flexibility, enabling reliable control and system management across immense remote areas, such as those in Burkina Faso. Fully deployed and managed by SkyVision, SkyVision VPN is fast becoming one of Africa’s “solutions of choice,” delivering superior connectivity at a minimum cost.

BOA headquarters in Ouagadougou will host the Romantis hub, which will in turn converge to the remote sites (BOA branches) and operate in a fully autonomous environment dedicated solely to BOA sites. This allows them to connect their remote branch offices and quickly and efficiently, share information by means of voice and data applications, with no investment in additional infrastructure. Combined, the end-to-end solution meets BOA’s communications’ needs, including a full disaster recovery plan.

“In Africa, and in particular, Burkina Faso, reliable communications is mandatory to our business and one of our highest priorities. It is for this reason that we turned to SkyVision to deliver the most trustworthy and efficient connectivity solution on the market to ensure our daily operations run smoothly and securely. We have every confidence in their ability to meet and exceed our needs and to partner with us into the second phase of this important project.” said Toni Sebastien, CEO of BOA Burkina Faso.

General Manager of SkyVision Burkina Faso, Mr. Pascal Vokouma, also comments, “We have been awarded a tremendous opportunity to serve the financial industry in Burkina Faso and intend to continue to provide BOA with the utmost quality of service and customer support. We view the financial industry as a strategic market and highly value our partnership with BOA and the trust it has put into the company and its solutions.”

For over a decade, SkyVision has focused on enhancing connectivity in rural Africa, with the establishment of hubs and PoPs across Africa to deliver quality communications to customers nationwide.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of SkyVision Global Networks Ltd.

For more information, contact:

Iris Tovim

Marketing Communications Manager

SkyVision Global Networks

+44 20 8387 1750

irist@skyvision.net

More information about BOA-BURKINA FASO

BOA-BURKINA FASO, a leading player in the financing of the national economy, has been open to the public since March of 1998. With current capital of CFAF 11 billion, on 31 December 2013 it had a total of CFAF 414 billion in balance sheet assets, CFAF 287 billion in customer deposits, and CFAF 273 billion in customer loans. It has 200,000 accounts on its books and employs more than 300 people across a network of 32 branches.

Like other subsidiaries in the Group, BOA-BURKINA FASO is a universal commercial bank offering its customers the expertise of a strong and structured Group.

Today, the BANK OF AFRICA Group is established in seventeen countries, including eight in West Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo and Ghana), four in East Africa (Burundi, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania), one in Central Africa (Democratic Republic of the Congo), in the Indian Ocean and the Horn of Africa (Madagascar, Djibouti and Ethiopia) as well as in France, (a financial corporation specializing in financial transactions between Europe and Africa, including financial operations in the African diaspora in Europe).

This network includes seventeen commercial banks, a financial corporation, a housing bank, a brokerage firm, two investment companies, an asset management company and a Group representative office in Paris.

Since 2010, the BANK OF AFRICA Group has been majority-owned by BMCE Bank (Banque Marocaine du Commerce Extérieur), a key player in the Moroccan banking industry.

BMCE Bank provides strategic and operational support to the BANK OF AFRICA Group, as well as direct access to international markets through its presence in Europe and Asia. For more information, visit http://www.bank-of-africa.net.

About SkyVision

SkyVision (http://www.skyvision.net) is a global communications service provider, offering comprehensive, integrated solutions to meet all corporate, government and telco market requirements. With an emphasis on its customers’ local or regional requirements, SkyVision offers superior network connectivity solutions. Known for its innovative approach, the company offers an extensive suite of both customized solutions and industry-standard services for end-to-end IP connectivity, managed from its international gateways and selected local hubs. SkyVision’s global-reaching network connects its customers to the Internet backbone with more than ten satellite platforms and a network of high-capacity fiber optic cables, via its gateways in Africa, Europe, North America and the Middle East as well as multiple points of presence (POPs) in Africa. SkyVision currently commands a satellite and fiber network IP connectivity spanning 100 countries. The company’s C-Band and Ku-Band VSAT network solutions draw on SkyVision’s extensive space segment inventory from leading satellite providers and its capacity is carefully tailored to customers’ individual needs for optimal cost-effectiveness. Visit http://www.skyvision.net.

Source: APO

Categories: AFRICA