Obhrai Statement on Ramadan Bombings in Nigeria

OTTAWA, Canada, July 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Honourable Deepak Obhrai, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and for International Human Rights, today issued the following statement:

“Canada condemns in the strongest terms the two terrorist attacks in Nigeria’s Kaduna region, which killed at least 82 innocent victims.

“These cowardly acts took place on one of the most important nights of Ramadan, and reports are that one of the bombs targeted former Nigerian leader General Buhari. They also follow on the heels of Boko Haram’s brutal destruction of Damboa and recent attacks on Chibok, the hometown of the kidnapped girls.

“On behalf of all Canadians, I call for swift justice for the perpetrators of this violence and offer our sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims.”

Source: APO

Categories: AFRICA

Canada Providing Humanitarian Funding to Support UNICEF in Somalia / Canada’s support is improving health, well-being and protection of children, women and their families in Somalia

OTTAWA, Canada, July 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Today, on behalf of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Nina Grewal, Member of Parliament for Fleetwood-Port Kells, announced humanitarian assistance funding to support the efforts of UNICEF in Somalia. The support will help improve the health, well-being and protection of children, women and their families.

“In light of the continuing humanitarian crisis in Somalia, Canada is answering the call to provide additional help,” said MP Grewal. “Canada’s support to UNICEF will help ensure that Somali families get what they need to survive, including access to safe water, treatment for malnutrition, and essential vaccinations for children.”

After decades of conflict and insecurity, punctuated by recurring drought, Somalia faces one of the worst and longest-running humanitarian crises in the world. The funding announced today will support UNICEF’s efforts to save the lives of Somali children by providing essential vaccinations, treatment for malnutrition, improved access to safe water, community-based care and support for child victims of gender-based violence and military recruitment, as well as improved access to quality education for children and the provision of support to protect the livelihoods of crisis-affected families.

Maternal, newborn and child health is Canada’s top development priority. At the Saving Every Woman, Every Child summit held in Toronto last May, Prime Minister Stephen Harper released the Toronto Statement, which reaffirmed global consensus on the way forward toward ending the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children under the age of five within a generation, and committed an additional $3.5 billion toward achieving that goal.

“We welcome the Government of Canada’s generous support for the children, women and families of Somalia as we have a small but critical window to do what’s needed to prevent a repeat of the famine of 2011, ” said David Morley, President and CEO of UNICEF Canada. “Somalia is at a crossroads with 50,000 children severely malnourished, including many at risk of death within weeks if they do not get the treatment they need.”

UNICEF works to help save the lives of children and their families by providing children with health care and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education and emergency relief.

“Canada is committed to supporting our partners such as UNICEF, to provide life-saving assistance to extremely vulnerable families and individuals in Somalia,” said Minister Paradis. “Canada will continue to respond to the needs of people facing humanitarian crises in the developing world.”

MP Grewal made the announcement at a round table, hosted by the Umoja Operation Compassion Society, to discuss the current challenges in Somalia.

Quick Facts

• More than one third of the Somali population faces food insecurity.

• Child malnutrition rates in Somalia are among of the worst in the world.

• From May 28 to 30, 2014, in Toronto, the Prime Minister hosted the Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach Summit and Canada committed $3.5 billion to advance maternal, newborn and child health as a global priority beyond 2015.

• Canada’s contribution will continue to target the most effective ways to reduce maternal and child deaths by prioritizing efforts in three areas: strengthening health systems, improving nutrition, and reducing the burden of leading diseases.

• Solid international progress is being made to address maternal, newborn and child health. The global number of deaths of children under the age of five has dropped significantly, from nearly 12 million in 1990, to 6.6 million in 2012.

Source: APO

Categories: AFRICA

Address by MP Nina Grewal: Announcement of Funding to UNICEF for Humanitarian Assistance in Somalia

OTTAWA, Canada, July 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Check Against Delivery

Good morning/afternoon. Thank you for coming.

It is a pleasure for me to be able to talk to the people of Surrey about the wonderful work that Canada is doing to help the people of developing countries affected by humanitarian crises.

Sitting in our safe homes in Canada, with enough food to eat and clean water to drink, with ready access to medical care, most of us lead lives in which the situation faced by people in conflict zones is remote from our experience and frankly, unimaginable.

It was shocking for me to learn, for example, that in 2013, 11.7 million people around the globe lived as refugees, and that more than 33 million people were displaced within their own countries.

Among the most vulnerable are women and children who live in situations of conflict and insecurity. They live with fear for their security and many are forced to flee their homes and sources of livelihood, with few possessions.

But I am proud to say that our country is committed to protecting and assisting people who continue to suffer because of conflict and civil unrest in developing countries. Canada is a world leader in providing humanitarian assistance to vulnerable populations around the world.

Our Government has a principled foreign policy that represents values we share as a country. Saving the lives of vulnerable women and children is one of the clearest expressions of our Canadian values. At the Saving Every Woman, Every Child Summit held in Toronto last May, Prime Minister Stephen Harper released the Toronto Statement, which reaffirmed global consensus on the way forward toward ending the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children under the age of five within a generation, and committed an additional $3.5 billion in support toward achieving that goal. To answer the call for help to women and children who have been displaced or affected by conflict, we work with experienced partners like the United Nations Children’s Fund, or UNICEF.

UNICEF and its partners are right there, on the ground, ensuring that children have access to water, sanitation, health care, and education, despite the desperate circumstances they may be living in.

Somalia is home to one of the largest and most enduring humanitarian crises in the world—the result of decades of conflict and instability, where chronic drought makes it difficult for people to eke out a living under the best of circumstances.

An ongoing conflict between the Somali government and its allies, and the Al Shabaab insurgents—as well as sporadic inter-clan conflicts—has complicated humanitarian relief operations, threatening the safety of aid workers and blocking the delivery of much-needed humanitarian assistance.

Currently, close to three million people in Somalia are struggling to feed themselves, and more than 200,000 children under the age of five are acutely malnourished and facing death.

More than a million Somalis are displaced within their own country and a further million live as refugees in Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Yemen.

Significant international support is needed.

And Canada has been helping. We have been a consistent supporter of humanitarian organizations, both working in Somalia and supporting Somali refugees in neighbouring countries, to help provide food, water and sanitation, as well as health care, emergency shelter, and protection for the most vulnerable people, including children.

Today, on behalf of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, I am pleased to announce that Canada will contribute further funding of $5 million to UNICEF for the provision of humanitarian assistance in Somalia.

This funding will contribute to the improved health, well-being and protection of children, women and their families.This will make a difference. For example:

• 135,000 children under five will be treated for malnutrition;

• 2.2 million children will receive essential vaccinations;

• 180,000 children will have access to quality education;

• 9,000 children who have been the victims of gender-based violence or military recruitment will get the community care and support they need;

• 500,000 people will have improved access to clean water; and

• 90,000 families will be able to protect their livelihoods.

In other words, Canada’s support to UNICEF will help ensure that Somali families get what they need to survive.

I know that those of you taking part in today’s round table, and members of the Umoja Operation Compassion Society, know only too well through your own experience as immigrants and refugees just how life-altering this help will be for Somali children and families.

And I can assure all of you that Canada will continue to respond to the needs of families facing humanitarian crises in the developing world.

Thank you.

Source: APO

Categories: AFRICA

ETHIOPIA SETTING THE HIGHEST HUMANITARIAN STANDARDS BUT THE REST OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY MUST SHOULDER THEIR SHARE OF THE BURDEN

NEW YORK, July 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — John Ging, Operations Director for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, says that more must be done to support the Government of Ethiopia in hosting the large influx of those fleeing violence and possible famine in South Sudan.

180,000 South Sudanese refugees have poured into Ethiopia since the start of 2014, at a steady rate of 25,000 per month, with numbers set to reach 300,000-350,000 by the end of the year. 90% of these arrivals are women and children, 70% are under 18 years old. People are arriving in a dire state, with some 30% of new arrivals under the age of five acutely malnourished, and 10% severely acutely malnourished, meaning that without urgent treatment they are likely to die of starvation.

“This is a manmade problem – the result of a political disagreement between two powerful individuals,” said Mr. Ging on his return from Ethiopia. “It is tragic to see this happening in the world’s youngest country, whose independence we were so recently celebrating. It is imperative that parties to the conflict, and those with influence over them, find a peaceful political solution urgently. The people of South Sudan must not be treated as expendable pawns in this power struggle.”

“I applaud the generosity of the people and Government of Ethiopia, who are now hosting almost 600,000 refugees from the region,” he added. “Despite not being a rich country, they have consistently kept their borders open, and are an example of international standard for the treatment of refugees in practice. It is now the international community’s turn to step up and shoulder its responsibilities to share the burden with Ethiopia.” So far, of the 193 member states of the United Nations, only 18 are funding the appeal.

The US$211 million South Sudanese refugee appeal for Ethiopia is just 25% funded. Humanitarian partners are doing an excellent job with the resources available, but are unable to keep pace with the rapidly growing needs. “Only 5% of school-age children in Gambella have access to education, which sets us up for huge problems down the road, and in the camp I visited only 20% of people had shelter which meets international humanitarian standards,” noted Mr. Ging. “Camps are overcrowded and, with the onset of the rainy season, the danger of a disease epidemic is very real. Urgent funding is needed to ensure that those fleeing violence in South Sudan can live decently, healthily and with dignity.”

With the prospects of famine on the horizon in South Sudan, and no prospect for an end to the conflict, humanitarians must prepare for the worst in South Sudan and neighbouring countries.

Source: APO

Categories: AFRICA

ETHIOPIA SETTING THE HIGHEST HUMANITARIAN STANDARDS BUT THE REST OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY MUST SHOULDER THEIR SHARE OF THE BURDEN

NEW YORK, July 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — John Ging, Operations Director for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, says that more must be done to support the Government of Ethiopia in hosting the large influx of those fleeing violence and possible famine in South Sudan.

180,000 South Sudanese refugees have poured into Ethiopia since the start of 2014, at a steady rate of 25,000 per month, with numbers set to reach 300,000-350,000 by the end of the year. 90% of these arrivals are women and children, 70% are under 18 years old. People are arriving in a dire state, with some 30% of new arrivals under the age of five acutely malnourished, and 10% severely acutely malnourished, meaning that without urgent treatment they are likely to die of starvation.

“This is a manmade problem – the result of a political disagreement between two powerful individuals,” said Mr. Ging on his return from Ethiopia. “It is tragic to see this happening in the world’s youngest country, whose independence we were so recently celebrating. It is imperative that parties to the conflict, and those with influence over them, find a peaceful political solution urgently. The people of South Sudan must not be treated as expendable pawns in this power struggle.”

“I applaud the generosity of the people and Government of Ethiopia, who are now hosting almost 600,000 refugees from the region,” he added. “Despite not being a rich country, they have consistently kept their borders open, and are an example of international standard for the treatment of refugees in practice. It is now the international community’s turn to step up and shoulder its responsibilities to share the burden with Ethiopia.” So far, of the 193 member states of the United Nations, only 18 are funding the appeal.

The US$211 million South Sudanese refugee appeal for Ethiopia is just 25% funded. Humanitarian partners are doing an excellent job with the resources available, but are unable to keep pace with the rapidly growing needs. “Only 5% of school-age children in Gambella have access to education, which sets us up for huge problems down the road, and in the camp I visited only 20% of people had shelter which meets international humanitarian standards,” noted Mr. Ging. “Camps are overcrowded and, with the onset of the rainy season, the danger of a disease epidemic is very real. Urgent funding is needed to ensure that those fleeing violence in South Sudan can live decently, healthily and with dignity.”

With the prospects of famine on the horizon in South Sudan, and no prospect for an end to the conflict, humanitarians must prepare for the worst in South Sudan and neighbouring countries.

Source: APO

Categories: AFRICA

Nigeria has the potential to become a major economic force in the coming decades – McKinsey report

LAGOS, Nigeria, July 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — There is no disguising the challenges that Nigeria is facing. The world is well aware of the concerns around terrorism and Nigeria’s ongoing struggle with poverty.

However, there is another side to the Nigeria story that has been overshadowed both by the recent headlines and the persistence of outdated beliefs and assumptions about Nigeria’s economy. A new report from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) (http://www.mckinsey.com/mgi) and McKinsey’s Nigeria office (http://www.mckinsey.com), Nigeria’s renewal: Delivering inclusive growth in Africa’s largest economy, examines the country’s economic potential and finds that with the right reforms and investments, it can become one of the world’s leading economies by 2030.

Download the report: http://mckinsey.com/insights/africa/nigerias_renewal_delivering_inclusive_growth

Photo 1: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1258 (Reinaldo Fiorini, director and location manager of McKinsey’s Lagos office)

Photo 2: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1259 (Acha Leke, a director in McKinsey’s Nigeria office)

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

Since 1999, Nigeria has proven to be both politically and economically stable and new data released this year show that it is now the largest economy in Africa, in addition to being the most populous.(1) The new data also show that Nigeria’s economy is far more diverse than previously understood. While the nation’s rich oil reserves remain a critical source of government income and exports, the entire resources sector today is only 14 percent of GDP. Agriculture and trade are larger and faster-growing. It is also not generally recognized that Nigerian productivity, which remains low, has been growing recently and now contributes more to GDP growth than does the expanding population.

“What people overlook is Nigeria’s extraordinary advantages for future growth, including a large consumer market, a strategic geographic location, and a young and highly entrepreneurial population,” says Reinaldo Fiorini, director and location manager of McKinsey’s Lagos office. The results of Nigeria’s progress, however, have not been spread evenly across its economy. More than 40 percent of Nigerians live below the nation’s official poverty line and 130 million (74 percent of the population) live below the MGI Empowerment Line(2)—a level of income and access to vital services that provides a decent standard of living.

Chief reasons for Nigeria’s persistent poverty include low farm productivity due to limited access to fertilizer and mechanized tools, and inefficient markets. At the same time, urbanization has not raised incomes the way it has in other developing economies. This is because formal job creation and skill development in Nigeria’s cities have been weak, making productivity in urban sectors such as manufacturing lower than in agriculture.

Looking ahead, the report finds that Nigeria has the potential to expand its economy by roughly 7.1 percent per year through 2030, raising GDP to more than $1.6 trillion. This could make Nigeria a top-20 global economy—with higher GDP than the Netherlands, Thailand, or Malaysia in 2030.What’s more a large consuming class is developing in Nigeria, with potentially as many as 160 million members by 2030, more than the current populations of France and Germany combined. This upside scenario is based on a bottom-up analysis of the potential for five major sectors of the Nigerian economy:

- Trade. Based on an expanding consumer class in Nigeria, MGI projects that consumption could more than triple, rising from $388 billion a year today to $1.4 trillion a year in 2030, an annual increase of about 8 percent. This would make trade the largest sector of the economy and provides a particularly good opportunity for makers of packaged foods and fast-moving consumer items such as juices, which could grow by more than 10 percent per year.

- Agriculture. Improvements on several fronts can help raise both the volume and value of Nigerian agricultural production in the next 15 years. The sector, which is now the largest at 22 percent of GDP, could more than double from $112 billion per year in 2013 to $263 billion by 2030. This would require raising yields through greater use of fertiliser, seeds, and mechanized implements; shifting the crop mix to more valuable crops; increasing the amount of land under cultivation; reducing post-harvest losses; and raising more livestock and increasing the output of forestry and fisheries.

- Infrastructure. On average, the value of a nation’s core infrastructure—roads, railways, ports, airports, the electrical system—is about 70 percent of GDP; in Nigeria, core infrastructure is estimated to be about 35 – 40 percent of GDP. It has one-seventh the roads per kilometer as India. On a per capita basis, Nigeria has one-third the residential buildings of Indonesia and one-sixth of the commercial space. Between core infrastructure and real estate, total infrastructure investments in Nigeria could reach $1.5 trillion between 2014 and 2030. This would not only make infrastructure building a major contributor to GDP, but also an enabler of growth across the economy.

- Manufacturing. Manufacturing in Nigeria remains at a relatively early stage of development, contributing $35 billion, or about 7 percent of GDP, in 2013. It has, however, achieved strong growth recently, with output rising by 13 percent per year from 2010 to 2013. Based on current trends, this could yield a four-fold increase in manufacturing output by 2030, to $144 billion per year (an annual growth rate of 8.7 percent). Local processing (packaged foods, for example) and commodities would continue to be the largest manufacturing industries in Nigeria.

- Oil and gas. While the oil and gas sector is expected to grow by 2.3 percent per year at best, its success is still vital to the Nigerian economy. With the right reforms, liquids production could increase from 2.35 million barrels a day on average to a new high of 3.13 million barrels a day by 2030, contributing $22 billion to GDP by 2030. Natural gas output could grow by as much as 6 percent per year, adding $13 billion to GDP by 2030. In total, the oil and gas sector has the potential to contribute $108 billion per year by 2030, up from $73 billion in 2013. However, this assumes that the sector is successful in dealing with current obstacles such as security and can attract fresh investment.

If Nigeria can better link growth to poverty reduction, 70 million citizens could be lifted out of poverty and 120 million could have the resources to reach the Empowerment Line. We estimate that, under the most favorable circumstances, for each percent of GDP growth, poverty would be reduced by 0.20 percent, a rate that is between the ratios of Brazil (0.15) and Ghana (0.25). Tying growth to rising living standards across the economy will depend on raising farm incomes and creating more formal urban jobs. It will also require actions by the government—including reconsidering tariffs that raise the cost of imported food and re-prioritizing government spending needed to programmes that lead to economic empowerment.

While government has put in place clear strategies and plans for various sectors, the most important step that government can take now is to improve its ability to deliver its programs and services. These range from “safety-net” support payments to the poor, to health care, education and infrastructure. Nigeria trails peer economies on metrics such as child mortality and literacy. Basic literacy among 15- to24-year-olds—a crucial indicator for potential economic success—is just 66 percent, compared with 99 percent in South Africa, for example. A critical initiative for Nigeria, then, will be to adopt the best practices that have been well established around the world for improving delivery of government services. These include selecting strong, empowered leadership, raising pressure for government departments and agencies to perform, using “delivery units” (dedicated multi-disciplinary teams that can work across bureaucracies), and collaborating with the private sector and other stakeholders.

Nigeria can also capitalize on several favorable trends such as rising demand from emerging economies, growing global demand for resources, and the spread of the digital economy. Nigeria also has a young and rapidly-growing population and an advantageous geographic location in West Africa, which enables trade within the continent and with Europe and North and South America.

“By capitalizing on its strengths and positioning itself to take advantage of emerging global trends, Nigeria could potentially triple its GDP by 2030,” says Acha Leke, a director in McKinsey’s Nigeria office. “This adds up to a huge opportunity for inclusive growth that should not be missed.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of McKinsey & Company, Inc.

(1) In April 2014, the government began to release “rebased” data that show GDP of $454 billion in 2012 and $510 billion in 2013 (compared with the $259 billion and $270 billion previously reported.

(2) The MGI Empowerment Line was created to define a meaningful, economically empowered standard of living, rather than just bare subsistence. The Empowerment Line is the income required to fulfill eight basic household needs (food, energy, housing, drinking water, sanitation, health care, education, and social security).

Press contacts:

Rebeca Robboy

External Relations Manager, MGI

Phone: +1 (650) 743 1542

Email: rebeca_robboy@mckinsey.com

Marlynie Moodley

Head: External Relations, Africa

Phone: +27(0)82 329 8186

Email: Marlynie_moodley@mckinsey.com

About McKinsey Global Institute

The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) (http://www.mckinsey.com/mgi), the business and economics research arm of McKinsey & Company, was established in 1990 to develop a deeper understanding of the evolving global economy. Our goal is to provide leaders in the commercial, public, and social sectors with the facts and insights on which to base management and policy decisions.

The partners of McKinsey & Company fund MGI’s research; it is not commissioned by any business, government, or other institution. For further information about MGI and to download reports, please visit http://www.mckinsey.com/mgi.

McKinsey & Company, Nigeria

Since 2002, McKinsey (http://www.mckinsey.com) has played an active part in driving the growth and accelerating development of Nigeria. McKinsey opened its office in Lagos in 2010 and today the office has completed more than 200 projects in the country, serving a range of private local companies, multinationals, state-owned enterprises, and the public sector.

Source: APO

Categories: AFRICA