AfDB signs two trade-related programs worth $8.5 million with COMESA

TUNIS, Tunisia, November 8, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — A delegation from the African Development Bank (http://www.afdb.org) led by Moono Mupotola, Division Manager, Regional Integration and Trade (ONRI), and Freddie Kwesiga, Resident Representative in Zambia, and comprised of Zambia Country Office, ONRI and Southern Africa Regional Resource Centre officials participated in the inauguration of two Bank-financed trade-related projects, namely: the Tripartite Capacity Building Programme (TCBP) and the COMESA Trading for Peace Project.

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Both projects were developed by the Bank and the three regional economic communities (RECs): East African Community (EAC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).

The Tripartite Capacity Building Program is a $7.5-million grant to the Tripartite (EAC-COMESA-SADC) which aims to enhance the capacity of the RECs to address trade-related constraints. The program will facilitate the negotiations process for the establishment of a Tripartite Free Trade Area, scale up industrial research and help in the identification and the removal of non-tariff barriers and other bottlenecks that prevent the Tripartite region from being borderless.

The second project which was signed was a $963,000 grant to COMESA to support the implementation of its Trading for Peace Programme (TfP). The TfP is the first formal COMESA program to address post-conflict reconstruction and development. Its objective is to consolidate peace in post-conflict areas, especially the Great Lakes Region by encouraging interaction and building trust between communities through the facilitation and formalization of cross-border trade. The project will increase access to information in various border areas through the establishment of Trade Information Desks and the provision of targeted trade-related trainings. The TfP is financed through the recently launched Africa Trade Fund (AfTra). AfTra is a Bank-hosted, trade-related technical assistance facility with the objective to enhance the trade performance of African countries. Canada provided the seed capital to launch the AfTra.

In his remarks, Kwesiga highlighted the progress made in trade and regional integration in COMESA and the Tripartite, the challenges that remained and how the recently approved projects would help in addressing many of those challenges. He noted that he was confident that the TCBP would accelerate the consolidation of the Tripartite region into a single economic space and that the TfP Project would result in a significant reduction in informal activity, trade-related complaints and insecurity while generating increases in cross-border trade volumes.

Kumar Gupta, Head of Office and Representative of the High Commission of Canada, underscored the long-standing relationship of the Government of Canada, the Bank and COMESA. He noted that Canada was particularly keen to scale up its Aid for Trade (AfT) programs and that the African Development Bank, through the Africa Trade Fund, provided an excellent vehicle for the channeling of AfT resources. He welcomed both projects, noting that they would help alleviate many of the bottlenecks that traders face in the COMESA and wider Tripartite region.

For his part, Sindiso Ngwenya, Secretary General of COMESA, saluted the Bank for its consistent focus on regional infrastructure, stating that without regional infrastructure connectivity, deep African integration would never be achieved. He noted that the Tripartite was a significant step in the realization of the African Union’s continental objectives, particularly the Continental Free Trade Area and that COMESA was honoured to have been designated by the RECs and the Bank as the executing agency for the program. He thanked the African Development Bank and the High Commission of Canada for the financing provided to the TfP, stressing that the program had already received the praise of numerous donors for its ability to show results on the ground and positively impact the lives of thousands of formal and informal cross-border traders.

In conclusion, both COMESA and the Bank noted that conceptualizing a project and launching it only represented 10 per cent of the work required. The remaining 90 per cent is in the quality of implementation. They reassured the meeting of the continued support and commitment of their respective institutions during the implementation phase so as to ensure that the projects are implemented in a timely and efficient manner and the expected benefits are attained.

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

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

Rwanda: Wounded soldiers treated at Gisenyi hospital

GENEVA, Switzerland, November 8, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Following the latest clashes between government forces and armed group M23 in North Kivu province, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 76 wounded soldiers have crossed the border into Rwanda and been admitted to Gisenyi hospital.

A surgical team from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was immediately sent to provide urgent support to the facility’s medical staff as of 8 November. “Our medical teams are now assessing the urgency of each case,” said Georges Paclisanu, head of the ICRC delegation in Rwanda.

The ICRC worked with Rwandan Red Cross volunteers to transfer the war-wounded from Kinigi to Gisenyi hospital on 5 and 6 November. Nineteen people with battle injuries had already been admitted to the hospital the previous week. “We’re also making sure the patients are getting enough food,” added Mr Paclisanu. The hospital has been supplied with medicines and medical equipment.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda, the ICRC continues to bring aid to those affected by the recent fighting. In Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo, an ICRC surgical team is treating people wounded in combat at Ndosho hospital. Meanwhile, in Uganda, delegates have registered over 100 children who became separated from their families as they fled the hostilities. With the support of Uganda Red Cross volunteers active in the refugee camps, the ICRC is offering families the chance to get in touch with their loved ones.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

Invest to Save: Meeting of Ministers of Health and Finance on domestic financing for health

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, November 8, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The African Union Commission (AUC) in collaboration with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and the African Development Bank (AfDB) (http://www.afdb.org) will convene a high-level political meeting on increased domestic funding for AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, in Addis Ababa from November 11-12, 2013.

Logo AfDB: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/african-development-bank-2.png

The meeting will advocate for increased innovative domestic resource mobilization following renewed commitments in Abuja by Heads of State and Government this year in July and pledges to support the Global Fund’s fourth replenishment.

The response to AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria over the last three decades has mobilized unprecedented resources, commitment and action at the national, regional and global levels. However the results achieved and the progress made over the years in responding to these epidemics is not sustainable. African countries have relied heavily on external financing, leaving them vulnerable to the unpredictability of donor funds and often considerably weakening national ownership. Sub-Saharan Africa’s dependency on international funding has been especially stark, with over 60 per cent of investment coming from external sources. More innovative domestic resource mobilization is vital in effectively implementing the African Union Roadmap for Shared Responsibility and Global Solidarity on AIDS, TB and malaria (2012-2015) and related continental commitments.

The commitment of implementing countries to the fight against the diseases in the form of investing increasing amounts of domestic resources in their national health and disease programs is crucial for demonstrating country ownership and for the long-term sustainability of programs. It also demonstrates accountability and sends a strong message to donors that implementing countries are taking action to address their countries health and development challenges.

Pledges from African Union Member States can provide an opportunity to help secure a fully funded Global Fund, which in turn is a guarantee for implementing countries to receive sufficient and predictable funding in order to reach the Millennium Development Goals and win the fight against the three pandemics.

These commitments are all the more crucial as we stand at a key historic moment: it is now within our grasp to turn the three epidemics into low-level epidemics, virtually control them, and remove them as threats to public health if we intensify our efforts. The global community has secured the science, acquired the requisite experience and understands the high impact interventions that will sustain the results.

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

For more information, visit http://www.africa-union.org, http://www.afdb.org; http://www.aidswatchafrica.org

For further information contact:

Yaye Nabo Sene I Information and Communication Officer | African Union Commission I Phone +251115517700 | E-mail: Chisangot@africa-union.org | Web www.au.int I

Addis Ababa | Ethiopia

Tawanda Chisango I AIDS WATCH AFRICA (AWA) Program Advocacy & Partnership Expert | Social Affairs | African Union Commission I Mobile +251934167052 | E-mail: Chisangot@africa-union.org | Web www.au.int I

Addis Ababa | Ethiopia

Nejmudin Kedir Bilal | Principal Health Economist |Human Development Department | African Development Bank | email: n.bilal@afdb.org | Tel: +216 7110 1652 | Tunis |Tunisia

Nawsheen Elaheebocus | Senior Human Development and Communications Officer | African Development Bank | email: n.elaheebocus@afdb.org | Tel: +216 7110 1224 | Tunis | Tunisia

The African Union spearheads Africa’s development and integration in close collaboration with African Union Member States, the Regional Economic Communities and African citizens. AU Vision: An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena. Learn more at: http://www.au.int/en/

The Global Fund is a unique global public/private partnership dedicated to attracting and disbursing additional resources to prevent and treat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. This partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities represents a new approach to international health financing. The Global Fund works in close collaboration with other bilateral and multilateral organisations to supplement existing efforts in dealing with the three diseases.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) (http://www.afdb.org) spurs sustainable economic development and social progress in its 54 regional member countries (RMCs), thus contributing to poverty reduction through mobilizing and allocating resources for investment in RMCs; and providing policy advice and technical assistance to support development efforts. The AfDB’s Human Development Department supports RMCs in areas of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Health, Social Protection and Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship. The AfDB recently approved a new Strategy for 2013-2022. Learn more at http://www.afdb.org/en/about-us/afdbs-strategy/

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

AfDB President named 2013 African of the Year

TUNIS, Tunisia, November 8, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — African Development Bank Group President Donald Kaberuka (http://www.afdb.org) has been named 2013 African of the Year in recognition of his role in spearheading the Africa50 Fund to mobilize the financing of infrastructure projects on the continent.

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Photo Donald Kaberuka: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/donald-kaberuka-afdb-president.jpg

The $50,000 award was announced Thursday evening in Addis Ababa during the African Media Leaders Forum. The prize is sponsored by Nigeria’s Daily Trust newspaper.

“[This award] is for his bringing to fruition the idea of domestically financed development,” Salim Ahmed Salim, Tanzania’s erstwhile foreign minister and former Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity (current African Union), said at the forum.

The Africa50 Fund seeks to leverage infrastructure financing for transformational development projects from African central bank reserves, pension and sovereign wealth funds; the African diaspora; and high net worth individuals on the continent.

The Fund was endorsed in May 2013 by African Finance Ministers during the Bank’s Annual Meetings in Marrakech, where Kaberuka underscored the critical role of infrastructure in Africa’s development. “The one thing which can really slow down the recent performance in its tracks is infrastructure,” he said. “No country in the world has been able to maintain 7% GPD growth and above (sustainably) unless the infrastructure bottleneck is overcome.”

In July, African institutions including the African Union Commission, UN Economic Commission for Africa, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), regional Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency endorsed the Africa50 Fund as the continent’s vehicle for facilitating large-scale mobilization of resources to unlock international private financing with a view to addressing Africa’s $45-billion infrastructure gap, according to some estimates.

The African Development Bank will play a lead role in the Fund, said Kaberuka: “It will be a vehicle which can build on the AfDB track record and financial strength as investor, financial engineer, attract local and international pools of savings, utilize smart aid and leverage that to up our funding of infrastructure. It will be a strongly rated instrument able to issue a bond of significance – a bond attractive to investors.”

The Africa50 Fund is a game-changer in the delivery of infrastructure, Slim Ahmed said Thursday, adding that Africa must take ownership of its development.

“We are proud to honour an idea whose time has come. Dr. Kaberuka has shown what Africa should do,” he said.

The award will be presented at a ceremony slated for January 15 in Abuja.

Last year’s African of the Year award went to former South African president Thabo Mbeki.

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

Media contact:

Magatte Wade, Head of Communications, AfDB, m.wade@afdb.org

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

Tanzania’s ANSAF wins 2013 ONE Africa Award

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, November 8, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The announcement was made today by ONE’s Africa Director (http://www.one.org), Dr. Sipho S. Moyo, at a ceremony held at the UN Conference Center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The ceremony, which was attended by ONE co-founder Bono, Board Chairman Tom Freston and CEO Michael Elliott, took place at the Africa Media Leaders Forum.

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

Photo 1: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=722 (ONE’s Dr. Sipho S. Moyo and Tom Freston hand over the ONE Africa Award trophy to ANSAF’s Audax Rukonge as Bono watches)

Photo : http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=721 (from left to right) ONE CEO Michael Elliott, ONE co-founder Bono, ONE Africa Director Dr. Sipho S. Moyo, ONE Board Chairman Tom Freston, and ANSAF Executive Director, Audax Rukonge)

Now in its sixth year, the annual $100,000 USD prize celebrates the innovations and progress made by African civil society organisations towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Africa.

“The ONE Award is an incredible opportunity for us at ONE to shine a spotlight on some the most innovative Africa-led, Africa-driven efforts and initiatives by civil society organizations that are working hard to build a better future for African citizens. These organizations often tie public service delivery efforts to robust advocacy tactics so that systemic change can be achieved,” Dr. Moyo said, while announcing the winner.

ANSAF is a network of non-state stakeholders in Tanzania’s agricultural sector that brings the voices of struggling smallholder farmers to the policy-making table. The organization monitors Tanzania’s agricultural budget and advocates for the government to allocate 10% of its national budget to agricultural and rural development in accordance with the 2003 Maputo Declaration.

ANSAF is also using cashew nuts to develop an advocacy model aimed at improving the entire value chain of agriculture in the country. Tanzania was once one of the world’s leading exporters of cashew nuts. Regaining this position could contribute significantly to curbing poverty in rural areas that produce the nuts.

“The work ANSAF is doing to give smallholder farmers a seat at the policy table and to use the cashew industry as a model for finding the right solutions to increasing agricultural productivity and finding markets for that produce, holds enormous promise for the economy of Tanzania. We’re proud to partner with them and with our board member Howard Buffett, who has dedicated much of his life to agriculture development and funds this special award,” said Michael Elliott.

Accepting the trophy from Tom Freston, ANSAF’s Executive Director Audax Rukonge said:

“This is Award is for Tanzanian and African smallholder farmers who work had to ensure Africa has enough food to feed the nations.”

Speaking at the ceremony, Bono described the information revolution taking place in Ethiopia and around the world, and how it is empowering civil society organisations to hold governments to account.

“The quality of governance depends on the quality of civil society, ” he said. “And the quality of civil society depends on the quality, the accuracy, and the relevance of information,“ Bono added.

He also spoke about ONE’s work with civil society organizations campaigning for transparency to fight corruption:

“Transparency plus insight equals transformation. Capital flight is always at night, in the dark. Phantom companies, with more wealth than some governments, can’t stand the daylight that would unmask who owns them. Corporate and government corruption is killing more kids than any disease. But there is a vaccine, and it is information. It’s transparency.”

Addressing the Africa Media Leaders Forum, which hosted the ceremony, Bono spoke out on the importance of media freedom and commented:

“To try and pretend the revolution in information technology isn’t happening is like King Canute putting his hand up to try and stop the waves. They can’t be stopped, they are tidal waves. I would encourage this government, which has done such incredible work on human development, to surf these waves. Not to fear journalism, but to encourage it.”

Two hundred and fifty-seven NGOs from across Africa entered this year’s competition for the prestigious award. Previous winners include Positive-Generation (PG) of Cameroon in 2012; Groupe de Réflexion et d’action, Femme Démocratie et Développement (GF2D) of Togo in 2011; SEND-Ghana of Ghana in 2010; Slums Information Development and Resources Centres (SIDAREC) of Kenya in 2009; and Development Communications Network (DEVCOMS) of Nigeria in 2008.

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

View video presentation of ANSAF: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqGKtJ2ulj8.

For more information, please visit http://one.org/Africa

Contact: Nde Ndifonka – t: +27 11 706 4511 , c: +251 93 869 7881, e: africamedia@one.org

Note to Editors:

Runners-up of this year’s ONE Award include Zambia Open Community Schools (ZOCS) of Zambia; Doper l’Entrepreneuriat par la Finance Innovante et Solidaire (DEFIS) of Mali; Jerusalem Children and Community Development Organization (JeCCDO) of Ethiopia; Friends of the Global Fund Africa of Nigeria; and Réseau Accès aux Médicaments Essentiels (RAME) of Burkina Faso.

About ONE –

ONE (http://www.one.org) is a campaigning and advocacy organization of more than 3.5 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Co-founded by Bono and strictly non-partisan, we raise public awareness and press political leaders to combat AIDS and preventable diseases, increase investments in agriculture and nutrition, and demand greater transparency in poverty-fighting programs.

ONE is not a grant-making organization and does not solicit funding from the public or receive government funding. ONE is funded almost entirely by a handful of philanthropists and foundations. We achieve change through advocacy. Our teams in Washington, D.C., London, Johannesburg, Brussels, Berlin, and Paris educate and lobby governments to shape policy solutions that save and improve millions of lives. To learn more, go to ONE.org.

Agricultural Non-State Actors Forum (ANSAF) – Tanzania

In Tanzania, poverty remains rampant in rural areas where smallholder farmers struggle to make a living. Yet Tanzania’s agricultural sector offers immense opportunity to lift millions out of poverty…an opportunity that is not often exploited because the farmers’ voices go unheard…

ANSAF is using one commodity to change this trajectory. Tanzania was once a world leader in exporting cashew nuts. Farmers now find themselves mired in redtape and bureaucracy as they try to get their cashews to the market and make a profit. If Tanzania could get cashews right, its economy would benefit enormously.

ANSAF is bringing farmers’ voices to the policy-making table in Tanzania. And with the African Union and Tanzania’s leadership zeroing in on smallholder farmers in the coming year, the prospects for Tanzania’s farmers will have no limit.

Source: APO

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