Finalists for ONE Africa $100 000 USD Prize announced

JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, November 4, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The ONE Campaign (http://www.one.org) today announced the six finalists of its 2013 ONE Africa Award. With a $100,000 USD annual prize, the ONE Africa Award celebrates the innovations and progress made by African civil society organisations towards achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Africa.

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

This year’s finalists 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; Agricultural Non-State Actors Forum (ANSAF) of Tanzania; Friends of the Global Fund Africa of Nigeria; and Réseau Accès aux Médicaments Essentiels (RAME) of Burkina Faso.

Dr. Sipho S. Moyo, Africa Director at ONE applauded the work of these organisations, calling on others to emulate their spirit and innovation.

“These finalists represent some of the most innovative development advocates and change agents in Africa. They are creating a better future for their fellow Africans through the incredible work they do, often with no more than sheer determination and will. These finalists have proven to be effective in helping their communities make progress to specific MDG targets, whether it be halving extreme poverty, halting the spread of HIV/AIDS, or providing universal primary education,” she said.

“We at ONE advocate for progressive policy solutions to African governments that promote economic opportunity and development, which are necessary to eradicate extreme poverty and preventable diseases in Africa. What I must acknowledge is that none of what we do would be effective without the indispensable role of indigenous African civil society organisations in accelerating the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. We are therefore proud to support local civil society on our continent, and it is for this reason that we initiated the ONE Africa Award in 2008. Today, I am honored to recognize and announce this year’s finalists, ” Dr. Moyo added.

The ONE Africa Award winner will be announced at a ceremony to be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 8 November 2013 as part of the African Media Leaders Forum.

Previous winners of this prestigious award 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.

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

View video presentations of the 2013 ONE Africa Award finalists here. For more information, please visit one.org/Africa

RAME: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIhhE9jRoKQ

JeCCDO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUga0PSoefE

DEFIS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlYSS8SJ-Lc

ANSAF: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqGKtJ2ulj8

ZOCS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMbgTIvWg0c

Friends Africa: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rX_iuYja0g

Note to Editors:

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 work with 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.

About ONE Africa Award 2013 Finalists:

Zambia Open Community Schools (ZOCS) – Zambia

1 million Zambian children do not yet access a formal education. Though government schools try to meet this need, the challenge is immense and for too many of Zambia’s children, their dreams are limited before they even get the chance to realize them. Some Zambians have stepped up to fill this void by establishing their own community schools.

But it’s not enough to just get kids in school. It’s essential that they receive a quality education. One of the major challenges for community schools is a lack of qualified teachers – that’s where Zambia Open Community Schools, or ZOCS, comes in.

ZOCS has helped train nearly 900 teachers for community schools, which now have legal recognition because of its work. ZOCS won’t stop until every child in Zambia is empowered to pursue her dreams.

Doper l’Entrepreneuriat par la Finance Innovante et Solidaire (DEFIS) – Mali

Coups, jihadists and the destruction of the archives in Timbuktu: these international headlines overlooked the full impact of Mali’s recent conflict on the lives of average Malians.

A group of farmers in northern Mali saw their existence and livelihood threatened, as their traditional sources of financing fled south to safety and charities began moving in with free food and hand-outs.

DEFIS sprang into action by creating consumer groups in southern Mali to pre-purchase northern farmers’ produce. Group participants would pay small amounts each month and in return, the northern farmers would send rice back once harvested.

These efforts benefit the livelihoods of producers in the north and consumers in the south. DEFIS is helping to build bridges in a country with historical divisions — uniting Malians through their economic interests as they develop their country.

Jerusalem Children and Community Development Organization (JeCCDO) – Ethiopia

Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa, and it must manage this challenge across urban and rural populations. Ethiopians don’t have enough healthcare, jobs, education and other services to meet their basic needs. So how will Ethiopia address all these challenges at once? Ethiopians will come together through their communities.

Community based organisations—or CBOs—are a powerful grassroots source for development in Ethiopia. JeCCDO has designed an innovative program to develop and add capacity to these CBOs.

JeCCDO leverages CBOs to take charge of their communities’ own development and choose from a variety of programs to address their communities’ needs through a holistic, integrated approach.

JeCCDO has empowered its fellow citizens—including women—to better engage their local governments in positive ways, to secure public services and a development agenda that meets their needs. Much more remains to be done, but Ethiopians will keep working through their communities for a brighter future.

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.

Friends of the Global Fund Africa – Nigeria

Millions of African citizens die every year from preventable, treatable diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Malaria itself kills 660,000 people annually, most of whom are children under the age of five in Africa. Ridding the continent of these scourges will require the collective support of all parts of society across Africa.

Friends of the Global Fund Africa works to unite Africans from various backgrounds to fight these diseases by reducing stigmatization, educating on prevention, and raising money to fund the fight.

By the end of 2012, the Global Fund had approved nearly 23 dollars billion in expenditure in 151 countries to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Friends Africa supports the Global Fund in Africa by working to secure financing. Earlier this year, it secured an additional $500 million over five years from the Nigerian government to fight HIV/AIDS in Nigeria. Friends Africa is at the forefront as Africans from all over the continent take charge of their own health targets.

Réseau Accès aux Médicaments Essentiels (RAME) – Burkina Faso

In Burkina Faso, there may be a healthcare facility near your home, but other problems will arise. Will the nurse show up to work today? Will the pharmacy have the right medicines in stock? Such problems should not deter a sick person from accessing treatment, and that is why this group is fighting for better health rights for the Burkinabe.

The Network for Accessing Essential Medicines—or RAME in its French acronym—utilizes its Observatory system to hold the government accountable in its delivery of healthcare services. The Observatory system monitors healthcare facilities in all 13 of Burkina Faso’s regions and issues alerts when there is problem, such as the lack of medicines or healthcare workers that don’t come to work.

RAME fought for and won the right to free ARVs in Burkina Faso. It continues the fight to ensure every patient receives the quality treatment they deserve.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

The African Film Festival of Cordoba reaches 13,000 spectators in its tenth edition / Annual date of reference in Europe for African cinemas

CORDOBA, Spain, November 4, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The African Film Festival of Cordoba-FCAT has reached 13,000 spectators in its tenth edition, celebrated from the 11th to the 19th of October. In its second year at Cordoba, after eight editions in Tarifa (Cadiz), the audiences have enjoyed a panoramic view towards the realities of cinemas in Africa and the Arab World, through 70 films from 32 different countries, and a series of round tables, conferences and exhibitions, among other activities.

The director of FCAT Cordoba, Mane Cisneros, has highlighted that the festival “has managed to maintain the number of spectators despite the very hard times that Spain is going through”. In this tenth anniversary, the organisation has designed a very modest festival regarding funding (200,000€), yet “under high standards of quality”.

Cisneros considers that this piece of data confirms that Cordoba has made a good choice by consolidating the festival in its city. However, she has pointed out that “if we want the festival to grow, we will need to find solutions fighting against the scarcity of means that we have worked with this year”.

In this way, the festival –organised by the NGOD Al Tarab, supported mainly by the City Council of Cordoba, and sponsored by Magtel, Halal Institute, El Corte Inglés, Turkish Airlines, Diputación de Córdoba and Eurostarshotes, among others – cements its place as the annual date of reference in Europe for African cinemas. Today, it is the only Spanish event devoted to the film productions in Africa and one of the most important events in the world.

During the festival, a total of 13,000 spectators have joined the screens and at Cordoba to enjoy the wide range of activities offered by the festival. Among them, 3,000 children and teenagers have participated in the Learning Space of FCAT Cordoba, an on-growing number thanks to the work carried out by the areas of Education and Cooperation in the City Council of Cordoba, as well as the contributions of a large number of teachers.

Under the aim of bringing African cinemas for all publics, the festival has integrated in its programme screenings across the province and municipalities of Cordoba, as well as a storyteller in the squares of the town.

The director of the festival has also highlighted the importance of the volunteering team in this tenth edition, “as an indispensible link with the city” and organising numerous activities of citizen participation during the weeks prior to the festival. These parallel activities proposes “as festival open to the citizens, offering it much more than a week of cinema”. Thus, and always thanks to the volunteering team, “we will try to keep all these activities for the whole year, so that there is a consolidation of audiences for the incoming editions”.

Once again, FCAT Cordoba has organised the FCAT Espacio Profesional, gathering together a number of international experts on African and Arab cinemas as well as European and African producers, distributers and filmmakers, seeking to find new ways of funding these projects and prompting new links between Africa and Europe, allowing young African filmmakers to develop their film projects.

The festival has reached around 550 publications in the national media, valued in over 750,000€. Also, the international media coverage has reached around 300 publications, bringing new countries on board, such as China, India, Madagascar and Peru. Almost 100 journalists have been accredited to come and cover the festival for their media.

A city of cinema

The African Film Festival of Cordoba, celebrating its tenth anniversary, has proposed, between the 11th and the 19th of October, a panoramic trip across 32 different countries, loyal to its aim to contribute to a better understanding of the neighbouring continent through its cinemas.

Over 70 films have been screened during one week, whose subjects revolve around Africa and the Middle East. Out of these 70 films, 27 were part of the three competitive sections: The African Dream (feature length films), The Other Side of the Strait (documentary films) and Africa in Short (documentary and feature short films).

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

Foreign Minister Kamara of Sierra Leone to Visit China

BEIJING, China, November 4, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying announces at the regular press conference:

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Samura Kamara, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Sierra Leone will pay a visit to China from November 4 to 7.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

SkyVision’s debut Showcase of comprehensive solutions for the Oil & Gas Industry at the OilComm 2013 Exposition

HERTFORDSHIRE, UK, November 4, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — SkyVision Global Networks Ltd. (http://www.skyvision.net), a leading global provider of IP connectivity over satellite and fiber optic systems, today announced its participation at the OilComm 2013 Conference & Exposition (Houston, TX, Nov. 6-8). The company will showcase its comprehensive end-to-end solutions designed uniquely for the oil & gas market. Hosted at the George R. Brown Convention Center, OilComm is the only global exhibition dedicated to the communications challenges faced in the oil & gas community.

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

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=701 (Doron Ben Sira, SkyVision CEO)

OilComm is the ideal platform for SkyVision to network and present its solutions into the fast-growing oil and gas industry, particularly in Africa, where the company has a broad customer base and strong local presence. This is the result of a comprehensive network of local partners and representatives, and SkyVision offices in Nigeria, Cameroon, Morocco, South Africa, Senegal, Guinea and Burkina Faso, coupled with the company’s hubs and PoPs situated across Africa, providing seamless VSAT and fiber connectivity to customers requiring communications to Africa and within Africa.

Today, as more and more oil and gas companies across the globe are realizing how reliable connectivity is critical to their business, oil and gas leaders must provide efficient and reliable communications in the field, and in between remote branch offices. With safety as the industry’s #1 priority, SkyVision knows that reliable information flow in routine or emergency situations is the key to ensuring smooth, seamless operations.

SkyVision’s solutions are suited to its oil & gas customers and are based over a wide range of connectivity platforms including: satellite/hybrid networks, WLAN, Microwave, VHF/UHF, and Fiber-Optics. SkyVision also provides a wide range of crew welfare solutions, such as scratch cards for voice calls/internet, telemedicine, video on demand, WLAN hotspots, and on-demand entertainment.

“We are especially proud to be taking part in this important industry event,” comments Doron Ben Sira, SkyVision CEO, who will also be attending the event. “SkyVision understands the industry’s unique challenges faced both offshore and at remote inland drill sites. By understanding their communications needs, we can address them and deliver reliable solutions to improve our customers’ productivity and network security. This exposition allows us to present our capabilities and solutions to the oil & gas industry outside of Africa, where SkyVision is already a trusted brand.” he added.

Visit SkyVision at OilComm 2013 – Houston, Texas, November 6-8 – Booth #727

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

About SkyVision

SkyVision (http://www.skyvision.net) is a leading global communications service provider, offering comprehensive, integrated solutions to meet all corporate, government and telco market requirements.

Via its gateways in Europe, North America, Africa and the Middle East, the company provides IP connectivity with access to the global Internet backbone, as well as an extensive suite of both customized end-to-end solutions and industry-standard services. With a network spanning 100 countries, SkyVision’s solutions combine global reach with active local presence and support. SkyVision’s customers include telecos, ISPs, cellular operators, global and local enterprises, government entities and NGOs. For more information, visit http://www.skyvision.net.

Contact:

Iris Tovim

Marketing Communications Manager

SkyVision Global Networks

+44 20 8387 1750

irist@skyvision.net

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

Sixth meeting of the Support and Follow-up Group on the situation in Mali, Bamako, 2 November 2013

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, November 4, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — CONCLUSIONS

1. The Support and Follow-up Group (SFG) on the situation in Mali held its 6th meeting in Bamako, on 2 November 2013. The opening ceremony was marked by statements delivered by the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the President of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo, the United Nations (UN) Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous, and the Minister of Justice acting on behalf of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Mali, Mr. Mohamed Ali Bathily.

2. The meeting, which was co-chaired by the AU High Representative for Mali and the Sahel, Pierre Buyoya, Mr. Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo and Mr. Hervé Ladsous, was attended by Mali, whose delegation was led by Mr. Zahabi Ould Sidi Mohamed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and included Mr Cheick Ouamar Diarrah, Minister of Reconciliation, Reconstruction and Development for northern Mali, Mr. Soumeylou Boubèye Maiga, Minister of Defence and Former Combatants, and Mr Moussa Sinko Coulibaly, Minister of Territorial Administration, Mr Sada Samake, Minister of Security, and Mr Hamadoun Konaté, Minister of Labour and Social and Humanitarian Affairs. Ministers and other senior officials of the region and other AU Member States, as well as bilateral and multilateral partners also participated in the meeting. Furthermore, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Mali and Head of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), Albert Gerard Koenders, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and Head of the UN Office in West Africa (UNOWA), Saïd Djinnit, and the European Union (EU) Special Representative for the Sahel, Michel Reveyrand De Menthon, also attended the meeting. The list of countries and organisations that participated in the meeting is indicated below.

3. The meeting afforded the Group the opportunity to review the developments in Mali since the last meeting of the SFG, held in Bamako, on 1 July 2013, and to exchange views with the Malian authorities on how best to consolidate the progress made in addressing the challenges facing the country. The meeting also discussed the overall security, humanitarian and development situation in the Sahel region, in light of the latest initiatives taken by the concerned stakeholders.

4. Participants welcomed the significant progress made over the past few months in stabilizing the situation in Mali. They hailed the peaceful and successful presidential election, whose first round and runoff took place on 28 July and 11 August 2013, respectively. They congratulated the new President of Mali, Mr. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, on his election, and expressed appreciation to Mr. Soumaïla Cissé, for having gracefully accepted the results of the elections. They commended former President Dioncounda Traoré for having successfully steered Mali’s transitional process and the restoration of constitutional order. Participants pledged to work with the new Government and continue to support Mali, in order to consolidate the gains made so far and enable the country to tackle the multifaceted challenges facing it.

5. Participants were informed of the decision of the Malian authorities to organise the legislative elections on 24 November 2013, with the second round slated for 15 December 2013, as well as of the steps being taken to this end. They encouraged the Government and all Malian stakeholders in their efforts to create conditions conducive to inclusive, transparent and credible legislative elections. They further encouraged them to hold appropriate and regular consultations among all stakeholders. They urged the international community to provide the required assistance, including in the area of security, financial resources, technical expertise, logistics and election observation.

6. Participants reiterated the importance of the full implementation of the Ouagadougou Preliminary Agreement of 18 June 2013, to ensure the effective restoration of State authority over the northern part of the country. They called for renewed efforts to overcome the challenges impeding the implementation of the Agreement, including the quartering of the elements of the armed groups signatory to the Ouagadougou Agreement, to pave the way for further steps, notably disarmament, demobilization and reinsertion of all concerned. They welcomed the confidence building measures taken by the Government, including the release of prisoners as stipulated in the Ouagadougou Agreement. They stressed the importance of the speedy implementation of the inclusive dialogue and reconciliation process. In this regard, they noted with satisfaction the launching of the ”Assises nationales sur le nord du Mali”, with large participation of local authorities and other stakeholders. They urged the Malian authorities to expedite the reconciliation process, with the support of international partners, as foreseen in the relevant decisions of ECOWAS, the AU Peace and Security Council and UN Security Council resolution 2100 (2013).

7. More specifically, Participants expressed deep concern at the prevailing situation in Kidal, where State authority is not yet fully restored, noting that such situation provides terrorist groups with opportunities to carry out their criminal acts. They demanded that the armed groups, notably the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), unconditionally and immediately vacate the governorate and radio station in Kidal and to demonstrate consistency and seriousness in their commitment to the Agreement.

8. Participants expressed profound consternation following the announcement of the death of two French journalists, who were kidnapped today, 2 November 2013, in Kidal. They strongly condemned this cowardly act, and extended their condolences to the families of the victims, as well as to the French Government and people.

9. Participants reiterated their call to the Malian authorities to expedite the effective redeployment of State administration to the northern regions of the country, as well as the rehabilitation and reestablishment of basic services, especially schools and health centres. They stressed that such steps are crucial to create an environment conducive to a return to normalcy, including the free and voluntary return of internally displaced persons and refugees. In this regard, they welcomed the national forum on decentralisation in Mali (États Généraux de la Décentralisation), held in Bamako, from 21 to 23 October 2013, which brought together central and local government authorities, representatives of the populations and refugee camps, as well as experts and international partners, to discuss decentralisation, including the devolution of power and the provision of resources and capacity-building to local government structures. They look forward to the effective implementation of the conclusions and recommendations of this forum, and encouraged the Malian authorities to draw lessons from past experiences and to maintain the inclusive nature of the process.

10. Participants condemned the recent terrorist attacks in Timbuktu, Gao and Tessalit against the personnel of MINUSMA, the Malian Defence and Security Forces (MDSF) and civilians, as well as against infrastructure. They expressed concern at the prevailing volatile security situation in northern Mali. They expressed support to on-going military operations by the MDSF and Serval Operation to deal with the threat that terrorist and criminal groups continue to pose to State institutions and human security.

11. Participants welcomed the efforts being deployed by the Government of Mali to rebuild its security and defense sector, through training, provision of adequate equipment, enhanced governance and appropriate civilian control and oversight. They reiterated their appreciation to the EU for the support rendered through its Training Mission, as well as to the other partners for their support. They called on Mali’s partners to increase their assistance to the ongoing efforts to reform the defense and security sector.

12. Participants welcomed the progress made, since 1 July 2013, in the deployment of MINUSMA, as authorized by resolution 2100 (2013). They called on the international community as a whole to extend the necessary support to MINUSMA, including mobilization of additional assets and enablers, in order to facilitate the early completion of the deployment of the Mission, bearing in mind the continued fragility of the situation in northern Mali. They stressed the need for continued close collaboration between all actors on the ground to address the security threats posed by terrorist groups in northern Mali, particularly as Serval gradually reduces its strength.

13. Participants expressed concern at the prevailing humanitarian situation in Mali, with almost half a million people displaced and at least 1.4 million in need of immediate food assistance. They reiterated the urgent need for continued and increased assistance to the affected populations, particularly women and children, and called on international partners to urgently address the gap in the funding of the Consolidated Appeal for Mali, noting that only 47% of the amount required has so far been mobilised. They took note of the efforts of the Malian Government aimed at preparing and supporting the return of the refugees and displaced persons. They encouraged the Government, with the support of MINUSMA and other partners, to continue working towards the creation of conditions conducive to their safe and voluntary return.

14. Participants reiterated the crucial importance of long-term socio-economic development in order to stabilize Mali. In this respect, they welcomed the adoption by the Government of Mali of the Plan for the Sustainable Revival of Mali for the period 2013-2014 (Plan pour la relance durable du Mali 2013-2014 – PRED), the Emergency Programme for the Revival of Development in the North (Programme d’Urgence pour la Relance du Développement dans les régions du Nord), as well as the Programme d’actions du Gouvernment et les Orientations et Priorités stratégiques du Gouvernement pour la période 2013-2018. They recalled the importance to fulfill the mutual commitments taken respectively by Mali and the international community during the 15 May 2013 Brussels high-level donors conference for the development of Mali, and reiterated the importance of a high- level follow-up. In this respect, they look forward to the conclusions of the follow-up meeting scheduled to take place in Bamako, on 7 November 2013. They noted again that the donors’ budgetary support for the PRED also depends on the Malian authorities’ determination to pursue the ongoing public finance reform. They welcomed the United Nations Priority Action Plan for Northern Mali (Plan d’actions prioritaires pour le Nord Mali) and its focus on economic recovery, social cohesion and the reestablishment of State authority. They noted the important gap in funding for the priority needs of the Action Plan and encouraged partners to support its implementation. They called on the Government and the donor community to forge an innovative relationship, on the basis of an agreed set of key priorities and a clear accountability framework that will lead Mali and international actors towards a more transparent and focused partnership, combating of bad governance and corruption, with Mali leading the process. They hailed the strategic choice of the Malian Government to work towards greater transparency and efficiency in the management of international aid.

15. Participants, acknowledging the multifaceted challenges facing the sahelo-saharan region, stressed the need for a holistic and coordinated approach to address these challenges. They recognized that the strengthening of State institutions, inclusive economic and social development, respect for human rights and the rule of law are necessary to ensure long-term security, development and stability in the Sahel.

16. Participants reiterated the need for sustained international support to the countries of Sahelo-Saharan region based on their priorities and leadership. They noted that the Security Council had welcomed the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel, which encompasses, in a holistic approach, security, humanitarian and development dimensions of the challenges in the region. They also noted the on-going efforts by the AU to develop a comprehensive and coordinated approach in support of the countries of the region. They look forward to the upcoming joint visit to be undertaken to the Sahel by the UN Secretary-General, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, the President of the World Bank, the President of the African Development Bank and the EU Commissioner for Development. They noted with satisfaction the efforts being made by ECOWAS as part of the overall objective to ensure greater coordination among all concerned stakeholders. In this context, they underlined the need for close coordination among all concerned stakeholders.

17. Participants commended the AU for its work towards the enhancement of security cooperation and the operationalization of the African Peace and Security Architecture in the Sahelo-Saharan region, through the Nouakchott Process, launched in March 2013. They noted with appreciation the regular meetings of the Heads of Intelligence and Security Services, as well as the relevant Ministers, and acknowledged that the Process complements other efforts by the countries of the region, including the core countries. They encouraged the pursuit the Nouakchott Process and its enhancement, and called on international partners to extent their necessary support.

18. Participants extended their gratitude to the Malian authorities for the facilities provided for the successful convening of the SFG meeting, as well as for the warm welcome accorded to all delegations. They agreed to convene their next meeting within two months, at a date to be determined through consultations among the co-chairs and with the Malian authorities.

Sixth meeting of the Support and Follow-up Group on the situation in Mali, Bamako, 2 November 2013

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

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