The Commissioner for political affairs congratulates the human rights expert of the department of political affairs on the appointment as ambassador within the ministry of foreign affairs of Sudan

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H.E. Dr. Aisha L. Abdullahi, Commissioner for Political Affairs of the African Union Commission wishes to take this opportunity to congratulate Mr. Salah S. Hammad, Human Rights Expert of the Department of Political Affairs of the African Union Commission for his appointment as Ambassador within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Sudan.

Mr. Hammad received this ambassadorship appointment for his efforts and dedication to the promotion African Union Agenda in the area of governance, democracy and human rights in Africa.

Mr. Hammad will remain with the Department of Political Affairs as its Senior Human Rights Expert in order to implement the programmes and activities of Project 2016. 2016 has been declared as the Year of Human Rights in Africa with Special focus on the Rights of Women.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Source:: The Commissioner for political affairs congratulates the human rights expert of the department of political affairs on the appointment as ambassador within the ministry of foreign affairs of Sudan

Categories: AFRICA

Climate action in Seychelles : join us for ban zil pli prop

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Where: Mahé, Anse Etoile

When: Thursday, 12 November 2015

14:30 : Opening ceremony at Anse Etoile Playing Field

15:00 : Site cleaning at North East Point (Dan Vilaz) and Anse Etoile (Fishermen area)

Context :

What you need to know:

The climate action is undertaken in the framework of the European Year for Development and the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) to be held in Paris in December.

Organisers: the European Union, the British High Commission and the French Embassy, the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), and SYAH Seychelles.

The event: a site cleaning action to encourage the population, in particular

the young generation, to actively engage in the fight against climate change

around one motto ‘ ban zil pli prop ‘.

Why you

– Citizen mobilisation (associations, youth, national and local authorities,

should

general public)

attend:

– Sensitisation of the public to the climate challenge

– Simple actions to protect the environment

– The possibility to interview participants in the cleaning action.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Mauritius.

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Source:: Climate action in Seychelles : join us for ban zil pli prop

Categories: AFRICA

Climate action in Seychelles : join us for ban zil pli prop

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Where: Mahé, Anse Etoile

When: Thursday, 12 November 2015

14:30 : Opening ceremony at Anse Etoile Playing Field

15:00 : Site cleaning at North East Point (Dan Vilaz) and Anse Etoile (Fishermen area)

Context :

What you need to know:

The climate action is undertaken in the framework of the European Year for Development and the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) to be held in Paris in December.

Organisers: the European Union, the British High Commission and the French Embassy, the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), and SYAH Seychelles.

The event: a site cleaning action to encourage the population, in particular

the young generation, to actively engage in the fight against climate change

around one motto ‘ ban zil pli prop ‘.

Why you

– Citizen mobilisation (associations, youth, national and local authorities,

should

general public)

attend:

– Sensitisation of the public to the climate challenge

– Simple actions to protect the environment

– The possibility to interview participants in the cleaning action.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Mauritius.

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Source:: Climate action in Seychelles : join us for ban zil pli prop

Categories: AFRICA

The 5th Continental Task Force (CTF) Meeting on the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) Considers Documents in Preparation of the Negotiations

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The 5th Meeting of the Continental Task Force (CTF) on the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) at the Experts level, commenced today in Abuja, Nigeria. The meeting was organized by the Department of Trade of the Africa Union Commission in preparation for the commencement of the CFTA negotiations in December 2015. During the next three days, experts from the African Union Commission, the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), will consider all the post-launch preparatory issues and consider essential process issues and technical documents that will enable the negotiations to be conducted in an efficient way. The Trade Law Centre (TRALAC) has been invited as a resource person to the meeting.

The CTF is established to coordinate actions between the African Union Commission and the Regional Economic Communities and to ensure that the CFTA negotiations are conducted within the agreed timelines. The expected results of the CTF are to finalize drafts of the various technical documents that will be considered by the First Meeting of the Continental Free Trade Area-Negotiating Forum (CFTA-NF) as well as the negotiations to be concluded later in order to establish the CFTA by the indicative date of 2017.

In her opening remarks, Mrs. Treasure Maphanga, Director of the Department of Trade and Industry of the African Union Commission, expressed her gratitude to the meeting for the milestone achieved at the African Union June 2015 Summit with regards to the launch of the CFTA negotiations. She recalled the importance and the objectives of the meeting and underscored the progress made on the CFTA process. The Director encouraged the Continental Task Force to work as a team to ensure that the negotiations are effectively concluded by 2017. Mrs. Maphanga urged the participants to share with the meeting, their regional experience and best practices in order to enrich the documents and to further consolidate a strategy on preparing and conducting negotiations at the continental level.

“We need to think outside the box to envisage the way to achieve this mandate and meet the schedule set to us by our Leaders. We are very keen to work with you in order to synchronize and share some of the lessons learned on the Tripartite and other Regional Economic Communities”, she concluded.

The 5th Meeting of the CTF will consider the draft Rules of Procedure for the CFTA Negotiating Forum, the Initial drafts of the modalities for the CFTA tariff negotiations and trade in services and the establishment of Technical Groups in specific areas inter alia.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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The 5th Continental Task Force (CTF) Meeting on the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) Considers Documents in Preparation of the Negotiations

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The 5th Meeting of the Continental Task Force (CTF) on the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) at the Experts level, commenced today in Abuja, Nigeria. The meeting was organized by the Department of Trade of the Africa Union Commission in preparation for the commencement of the CFTA negotiations in December 2015. During the next three days, experts from the African Union Commission, the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), will consider all the post-launch preparatory issues and consider essential process issues and technical documents that will enable the negotiations to be conducted in an efficient way. The Trade Law Centre (TRALAC) has been invited as a resource person to the meeting.

The CTF is established to coordinate actions between the African Union Commission and the Regional Economic Communities and to ensure that the CFTA negotiations are conducted within the agreed timelines. The expected results of the CTF are to finalize drafts of the various technical documents that will be considered by the First Meeting of the Continental Free Trade Area-Negotiating Forum (CFTA-NF) as well as the negotiations to be concluded later in order to establish the CFTA by the indicative date of 2017.

In her opening remarks, Mrs. Treasure Maphanga, Director of the Department of Trade and Industry of the African Union Commission, expressed her gratitude to the meeting for the milestone achieved at the African Union June 2015 Summit with regards to the launch of the CFTA negotiations. She recalled the importance and the objectives of the meeting and underscored the progress made on the CFTA process. The Director encouraged the Continental Task Force to work as a team to ensure that the negotiations are effectively concluded by 2017. Mrs. Maphanga urged the participants to share with the meeting, their regional experience and best practices in order to enrich the documents and to further consolidate a strategy on preparing and conducting negotiations at the continental level.

“We need to think outside the box to envisage the way to achieve this mandate and meet the schedule set to us by our Leaders. We are very keen to work with you in order to synchronize and share some of the lessons learned on the Tripartite and other Regional Economic Communities”, she concluded.

The 5th Meeting of the CTF will consider the draft Rules of Procedure for the CFTA Negotiating Forum, the Initial drafts of the modalities for the CFTA tariff negotiations and trade in services and the establishment of Technical Groups in specific areas inter alia.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Source:: The 5th Continental Task Force (CTF) Meeting on the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) Considers Documents in Preparation of the Negotiations

EU Ambassador visits Mandera County

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The Head of the EU Delegation to Kenya, H.E. Ambassador Stefano A. Dejak, made his first official visit to Mandera on 6th November 2015. He expressed his condolences to all the families of the victims of terrorism and violence in the County, which has experienced many terror attacks, and assured residents that the EU and its member states stand in solidarity with Kenya and Somalia in fighting terror and violent extremism.

Ambassador Dejak made the visit during the handing over of the Beyond Zero Campaign, spearheaded by Kenya’s first lady Mrs. Margaret Kenyatta. While congratulating the first lady for her strong and personal commitment towards reducing maternal and child mortality rates in Kenya, Ambassador Dejak reassured the first lady of the EU and its member states’ commitment to support her in her and Kenya’s efforts to improve maternal and child health.

Noting that society must not forget other challenges and allow terrorist to divert attention away from development, Ambassador Dejak underscored the importance of reducing maternal and child mortality especially in the local context where it is difficult to access health services because of the long distances or poor infrastructure.

Under the current devolved government, the EU ambassador noted that Governors have received great responsibilities and local leadership is key in driving development forward, especially in the peripheral regions. He emphasized that the EU is a staunch supporter of the devolution process and is working with many counties to implement their development plans.

The EU support to reducing maternal and child mortality and enhancing nutrition and family planning in Kenya amounts to around 4.7 billion Kenyan shillings (42 million euro) and is implemented in close cooperation with the Ministry of Health and the County governments. In Mandera, the EU supports two projects implemented by NGOs Save the Children and Health Unlimited, valued at 180 million Kenya Shillings (1.6million Euro)

Ambassador Dejak also announced that Mandera is one of the Counties that is likely to benefit from the recently established EU Emergency Trust Fund, which is intended to help stabilizing the Horn of Africa region. The Trust Fund will address the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement in countries of origin and transit, by enhancing resilience to external shocks, eradicating extreme poverty, creating inclusive economic opportunities, empowering youth and women, strengthening social cohesion, and building better governance.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of EU Delegation to Kenya.

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Categories: AFRICA

EU Ambassador visits Mandera County

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The Head of the EU Delegation to Kenya, H.E. Ambassador Stefano A. Dejak, made his first official visit to Mandera on 6th November 2015. He expressed his condolences to all the families of the victims of terrorism and violence in the County, which has experienced many terror attacks, and assured residents that the EU and its member states stand in solidarity with Kenya and Somalia in fighting terror and violent extremism.

Ambassador Dejak made the visit during the handing over of the Beyond Zero Campaign, spearheaded by Kenya’s first lady Mrs. Margaret Kenyatta. While congratulating the first lady for her strong and personal commitment towards reducing maternal and child mortality rates in Kenya, Ambassador Dejak reassured the first lady of the EU and its member states’ commitment to support her in her and Kenya’s efforts to improve maternal and child health.

Noting that society must not forget other challenges and allow terrorist to divert attention away from development, Ambassador Dejak underscored the importance of reducing maternal and child mortality especially in the local context where it is difficult to access health services because of the long distances or poor infrastructure.

Under the current devolved government, the EU ambassador noted that Governors have received great responsibilities and local leadership is key in driving development forward, especially in the peripheral regions. He emphasized that the EU is a staunch supporter of the devolution process and is working with many counties to implement their development plans.

The EU support to reducing maternal and child mortality and enhancing nutrition and family planning in Kenya amounts to around 4.7 billion Kenyan shillings (42 million euro) and is implemented in close cooperation with the Ministry of Health and the County governments. In Mandera, the EU supports two projects implemented by NGOs Save the Children and Health Unlimited, valued at 180 million Kenya Shillings (1.6million Euro)

Ambassador Dejak also announced that Mandera is one of the Counties that is likely to benefit from the recently established EU Emergency Trust Fund, which is intended to help stabilizing the Horn of Africa region. The Trust Fund will address the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement in countries of origin and transit, by enhancing resilience to external shocks, eradicating extreme poverty, creating inclusive economic opportunities, empowering youth and women, strengthening social cohesion, and building better governance.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of EU Delegation to Kenya.

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Source:: EU Ambassador visits Mandera County

Tanzanian Elections

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Press Statement

John Kerry
Secretary of State

Washington, DC

November 5, 2015

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of the United Republic of Tanzania on their presidential and parliamentary elections, reaffirming Tanzania’s strong democratic record.

As President John Pombe Magufuli and his administration assume their responsibilities, we look forward to continuing our close partnership and strengthening further ties between our two countries as we work together to support democratic traditions, promote regional security, and continue to spur economic development.

I also thank outgoing President Kikwete for his efforts to help build a strong and enduring relationship between the United States and Tanzania.

The United States, however, continues to be gravely alarmed by the announcement by authorities that they intend to nullify Zanzibar’s October 25 presidential election.

We strongly urge Tanzania’s new administration to ensure that the will of the Zanzibari people is reflected in the prompt, fair, and peaceful conclusion of the electoral process in Zanzibar.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of U.S. Department of State.

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Categories: AFRICA

IMF Executive Board Approves 3-Month Extension of the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement for Liberia

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The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved on October 14, 2015—the decision was taken without an Executive Board meeting1—a 3 month-extension of Liberia’s Extended Credit Facility (ECF) Arrangement to February 18, 2016.

The extension will help to provide the Liberian authorities with more time to implement actions on the fiscal and structural fronts—public financial management, public sector debt, and strengthening international reserves—that are required for the completion of the fourth review under the ECF and the related disbursement.

The ECF arrangement2 for Liberia in the amount equivalent to SDR 51.68 million (about US$71.8 million or 40 percent of quota) was approved by the IMF’s Executive Board on November 19, 2012 (see Press Release No: 12/449). In September 2014, as part of the response in the fight against Ebola, the Board approved an augmentation of access of the equivalent of SDR 32.3 million (about US$44.9 million or 25 percent of quota) under the ECF arrangement for Liberia.

1 The Executive Board takes decisions under its lapse of time procedure when it is agreed by the Board that a proposal can be considered without convening formal discussions.

2 The Extended Credit Facility (ECF) is the IMF’s main tool for medium-term financial support to low-income countries. It provides for a higher level of access to financing, more concessional terms, enhanced flexibility in program design, and more focused, streamlined conditionality. Financing under ECF currently carries a zero interest rate, with a grace period of 5½ years, and a final maturity of 10 years.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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Source:: IMF Executive Board Approves 3-Month Extension of the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement for Liberia

Categories: AFRICA

Sharm el-Sheikh: Flights to the UK from Egypt resume on Friday

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A Downing Street spokesperson said:

We have been working on the situation in Sharm el-Sheikh throughout the day and there was a cross-Whitehall meeting of senior officials late this afternoon to review our response. Our utmost priority is to make sure we have all the right measures in place to ensure that British citizens can return safely to the UK.

The Prime Minister held talks on the situation with President Sisi earlier today and, following further discussions with the airlines and the Egyptians we have agreed on a package of additional security measures that is being put in place rapidly. Consequently the government has decided, in consultation with the airlines, that flights from Sharm to the UK will resume tomorrow.

We advise British nationals in Sharm to check with their airline or tour operator on their travel plans. The additional security measures will include permitting passengers to carry hand baggage only and transporting hold luggage separately. We are working with the airlines to ensure there are suitable arrangements in place to reunite passengers with their belongings as soon as possible.

Outbound flights from the UK to Sharm el-Sheikh remain suspended and the Foreign Office continues to advise against all but essential travel by air to or from Sharm el Sheikh airport but we are continuing to work with the Egyptians to get back to normal service as soon as possible.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street.

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Source:: Sharm el-Sheikh: Flights to the UK from Egypt resume on Friday

Categories: AFRICA

IMF Staff Concludes Review Mission to Ghana

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A team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), led by Joël Toujas-Bernaté, visited Accra from October 21–November 5, 2015, to conduct discussions on the second review of Ghana’s financial and economic program supported by the IMF’s Extended Credit Facility (ECF).1 The discussions focused on the implementation of the program, the medium-term outlook and policies needed to restore debt sustainability, macroeconomic stability, and a return to high growth and job creation while protecting the poor.

Mr. Toujas-Bernaté released the following statement at the end of the mission:

“Implementation of the program has so far been satisfactory with all end-August 2015 performance criteria met. Despite a difficult global environment, economic outcomes have been broadly as anticipated, with growth estimated at around 4 percent during the first half of the year and inflation at around 17 percent. In line with the program, the fiscal deficit is expected to decline to 7.3 percent of GDP in 2015, down from 10.2 percent of GDP in 2014. The authorities have also made progress in implementing fiscal structural reforms, albeit at a slower pace than expected in some areas. The mission welcomes the steps taken by the government in addressing payroll irregularities and advancing public financial management reform.

“Looking ahead, given the high level of public debt and financing constraints, the planned fiscal adjustment under the program will be strengthened in 2016. The budget will also face additional spending needs from the (one-off) costs related to next year’s elections and a nominal wage bill increase now projected to be slightly higher than envisaged under the program, while earmarking of revenues for statutory funds continues to reduce budgetary flexibility. Recognizing these challenges, the authorities, after discussions with the mission, prepared a package of revenue and spending measures for the 2016 budget to bring the fiscal deficit down to 5.3 percent of GDP next year, instead of 5.8 percent envisaged in the program. Steps to contain losses in state owned enterprises will also be particularly important to prevent additional fiscal pressures.

“Further fiscal adjustment along with tight monetary policy should help to restore macroeconomic stability. Building on its recent progress to improve the effectiveness of its inflation targeting framework, the Bank of Ghana remains committed to adjusting the monetary policy stance, as necessary, to bring inflation down toward its medium-term objective. This, together with the recent build-up of foreign exchange reserves, should also contribute to reducing the volatility of the cedi.

“The IMF Executive Board is tentatively expected to consider the review by the end of the year after finalization of the required documentation.

“The mission met with President John Dramani Mahama; Finance Minister Seth Terkper; Bank of Ghana Governor Henry Kofi Wampah; Dr. Kwesi Botchwey, Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission; other senior officials; and the donor community. The IMF team thanks the authorities for their hospitality, the collaboration, and the high-quality and constructive discussions.”

1 The ECF is a lending arrangement that provides sustained program engagement over the medium to long term in case of protracted balance of payments problems. The arrangement for Ghana in an amount equivalent to SDR 664.20 million (180 percent of quota or about US$918 million) was approved on April 3, 2015 (see Press Release No.15/159).

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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Source:: IMF Staff Concludes Review Mission to Ghana

Categories: AFRICA

UN Human Rights Committee issues findings on Greece, San Marino, Austria, Suriname, Korea, Iraq, Benin

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The UN Human Rights Committee has published its findings on the countries reviewed during its last session: Greece, San Marino, Austria, Suriname, the Republic of Korea, Iraq and Benin.

The findings cover how the respective country is implementing the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), highlighting positive developments as well as main matters of concern and recommendations. The reports, officially known as concluding observations, can be found here: http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/SessionDetails1.aspx?SessionID=899&Lang=en

The Human Rights Committee, composed of 18 international independent experts, monitors implementation of the ICCPR by States that have ratified the Covenant.

Members met the respective government delegations during their latest session which began on 19 October, and also heard from NGOs and national human rights institutions.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

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Source:: UN Human Rights Committee issues findings on Greece, San Marino, Austria, Suriname, Korea, Iraq, Benin

Categories: AFRICA