Central Mediterranean situation: UNHCR calls for an additional 40,000 resettlement places

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, called today (September 12, 2017) for an additional 40,000 resettlement places to be made available for refugees located in 15 priority countries* along the Central Mediterranean route.

“These 40,000 resettlement places, which will complement already existing commitments, will be crucial to help the most vulnerable refugees along the Central Mediterranean route. Of course, resettlement can only be one element of a more global response to increase access to protection and solutions for refugees and mitigate risks they face on their way to Libya and to Europe,” said Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

As part of these global efforts, UNHCR hosted today (September 12, 2017) the first meeting of the Core Group** for Enhanced Resettlement and Complementary Pathways along the Central Mediterranean route, which was chaired by France.

“A comprehensive approach will be critical in reducing onward movements, saving the lives of refugees and avoiding the creation of a pull factor. It is essential that any resettlement response covers all sub-regions affected by these movements, including West, East, North Africa as well as the Horn. Adherence to UNHCR’s resettlement criteria, which puts the emphasis on vulnerability and protection needs, is also key”, said Grandi.

“So far, the response has been very far from adequate, with only 6,700 refugees along the routes to Libya resettled so far this year. There is a need to step up in line with States’ commitment in the New York Declaration to provide resettlement places and other legal pathways on a scale that would meet global annual resettlement needs,” he added.

In 2016, resettlement opportunities were offered to only six per cent of the refugees in need in the 15 priority countries of asylum and transit along the Central Mediterranean route, where total needs are estimated to stand at 277,000.

The movement of refugees and migrants towards Europe continues to take a devastating toll on human life. Since the beginning of the year, over 2,420 people are believed to have died or gone missing while crossing the Mediterranean to reach Europe, with reports of many others perishing en route.

* The 15 priority countries of asylum identified along the central Mediterranean route are Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Sudan and Tunisia.
** The Core Group for Enhanced Resettlement and Complementary Pathways along the Central Mediterranean route includes global resettlement States includes global resettlement States, IOM, the EU and UNHCR. In total, 18 States were present at its opening on Monday, 11 September.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Media files

Download logo

Source:: Central Mediterranean situation: UNHCR calls for an additional 40,000 resettlement places


Categories: AFRICA | Tags: | Leave a comment

Hon. Okello addresses first summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on Science and Technology

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in charge of International Affairs, Hon. Henry OryemOkello, has called upon the OIC Summit on Science and Technology to increase funding in Science and Technology Research and Development in Universities and Institutions funded by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), including Islamic University in Uganda.

Hon. Okello who is leading a 9-person delegation is attending the First Summit of the OIC on Science and Technology which runs from 9-11th September 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan. He made the remarks on September 10th, during the inaugural and first working session during which heads of high-level foreign delegations and international organizations delivered their statements.

The Astana Summit has been described by various quarters as a historic event for the entire Islamic world and, which will help to establish a framework to hold Science and Technology Summits on the regular basis. The Astana Summit is meant to ensure a clear understanding of the necessity to completely reduce scientific and technological gaps between Muslim Ummah and developed countries and it will also contribute to the earliest implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and promote the principles of cooperation and solidarity among all OIC Member States.

It is envisioned that it will mark beginning of a new process aimed at rethinking the historical role of the Muslim Ummah in the area of scientific and technology modernization of the world community and, as a practical step. The outcome of the Summit is expected to be the adoption of an OIC Science, Technology and Innovation Agenda 2026 and the Astana Declaration.

Hon. Okello who was accompanied by Hon. EliodaTumwesigye, Minister of Science and Technology and officials from the Ministries of Science, Technology and Innovation and Foreign Affairs expressed concern to the Summit that there was a need to reduce scientific and technological gaps in the Members States. He informed the Summit that Uganda’s challenge, which was not much different from others in the developing world, was in the current education system, which emphasizes theoretical academic work with little depth on applied science, engineering and technical skills which are central to technological innovations.

He emphasized that the Government of Uganda had given high priority support to the Science, Technology and Innovation sector in its overall development strategy by establishing the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST) as the overall sector coordination agency. He said that the UNCST has developed and reviewed that National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy which the Government formally adopted. To implement this policy the Government later created a fully-fledged Ministry of Science and Technology.

The second and final day of the Summit, (September 11), will be devoted solely to searching new methods and tools to develop science and cross-sector international cooperation, in order to strengthen the technological capacity of the OIC Member States.

The Astana Declaration is a political document, the adoption of which will be a clear sign of determination of the OIC Member States to support science and technology as a priority, including in the framework of the OIC 2025: Programme of Action and the Outcome Document of the Astana Summit. The Declaration will reflect the importance of developing and implementing initiatives and programs, as well as inferential research in the field of education, professional skills, basic and applied sciences, primarily aimed at resolving urgent social problems.

Distributed by APO on behalf of The Republic of Uganda – Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Media files

Download logo

Source:: Hon. Okello addresses first summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on Science and Technology


Categories: AFRICA | Tags: | Leave a comment

AGCO leads new project to determine sustainable business models for smallholders and farm service centres

“The transformation of on-farm mechanisation can make a major contribution to improving rural livelihoods by boosting productivity and growth in rural incomes and making farming an appealing and worthwhile career choice for young people,” said Nuradin Osman, Vice President and General Manager, Africa for AGCO Corporation (www.AGCOcorp.com), Your Agriculture Company (NYSE:AGCO), a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment and infrastructure.

Mr Osman was speaking at the 2017 African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) (www.AGRF.org) attended by more than 700 delegates and held this year in Abidjan, Ivory Coast (4-8 September).

Under the theme ‘Growing Inclusive Economies and Jobs through Agriculture’ the AGRF 2017 sought to create a new agenda for action by pushing the boundaries of possibility in the fields and markets of African agriculture. AGCO has been a partner and sponsor of AGRF since 2014 and is co-chair for the Thematic Working Group on Mechanisation, drawing in particular on its widespread practical experience of Africa agriculture and knowledge developed at its pioneering AGCO Future Farm in Zambia.

“Through our investment in initiatives like our Future Farms, AGCO is committed to advancing and transforming African agriculture,” explained Mr Osman. “The implementation of modern farming techniques and the more efficient use of resources empowers communities to develop a sustainable food production system and increase farm productivity – thus improving local economies, helping to create jobs and inspiring the next generation to move into agriculture.”

Key to the sustainable commercialisation and modernisation of African agriculture are sustainable business models. Speaking at the AGRF Thematic Working Group Meeting on Mechanisation, Mark Moore, AGCO Agricultural Advisory Manager, outlined a new 18-month collaborative project the Company is leading for AGRA (Alliance for a Green Revolution for Africa). The project is set to examine the agricultural mechanisation of Sub-Saharan African smallholders and the development of local farm service centres known as agro-dealers. The project kicked off in July 2017 and will assess the affordability of mechanisation systems along with farming practices, such as conservation agriculture for smallholders, and develop and evaluate the agro-dealer approach for supporting and training smallholders. Co-partners in the project include Harper Adams University in the UK, FutureSeeds Zambia and the University of Zambia.

Major work on the initiative will take place at the AGCO Future Farm in Lusaka. This 150ha farm, which also includes a mechanisation training centre and poultry learning centre, is a hub for developing leading-edge agriculture for Africa. It demonstrates the value of mechanisation, technology and sustainable farm practices systems through real-life experience

“We will be trialing a model to establish the levels of income a smallholder farmer needs to achieve to pay for mechanisation services like crop establishment,” Mr Moore explained. “We will also trial a similar model to understand the income a local agro-dealer needs to generate in order to supply and support local smallholder farmers in their area with services like tillage and planting contract work and the supply of farm inputs. By defining an initial business case for mechanisation and other products and services that small-scale farmers need to be successful, the aim is to ensure that they and the local agro-dealer supporting them both have sustainable businesses.”

The African Green Revolution Forum was established in 2010 and has emerged as Africa’s leading ‘platform of agricultural platforms. It brings together a range of critical stakeholders including African Heads of State and Governments, ministers, farmers, private agribusiness firms, financial institutions and NGOs to discuss and develop concrete plans for achieving the green revolution in Africa. The Forum aims to be an accountability platform to allow participants to measure progress made to date and to challenge one another to redouble efforts in the coming year.

Distributed by APO on behalf of AGCO Corporation.

Media Contact:
Shlobi Maluleke
Manager, Marketing and Communications Africa
Tel: +27 11 230 8606
Cell: +27 82 040 7543
Email: Shlobi.Maluleke@AGCOcorp.com

About AGCO:
AGCO (NYSE: AGCO) is a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural solutions and supports more productive farming through its full line of equipment and related services. AGCO products are sold through five core brands, Challenger®, Fendt®, GSI®, Massey Ferguson® and Valtra®, supported by Fuse® precision technologies and farm optimization services, and are distributed globally through a combination of approximately 3,000 independent dealers and distributors in more than 140 countries. Founded in 1990, AGCO is headquartered in Duluth, GA, USA. In 2016, AGCO had net sales of $7.4 billion. For more information, visit www.AGCOcorp.com. For company news, information and events, please follow us on Twitter: @AGCOCorp. For financial news on Twitter, please follow the hashtag #AGCOIR.

Source:: AGCO leads new project to determine sustainable business models for smallholders and farm service centres


Categories: AFRICA | Tags: | Leave a comment

Masawara Insurance Group drives digital strategy with SSP Pure Insurance

Insurance technology specialist SSP (www.SSP-worldwide.com) has signed a new deal with the Masawara Group of insurance companies. The deal has seen SSP Pure Insurance deployed across Botswana Insurance Company Limited, Lion Assurance Company Limited and Zimnat Lion Insurance Company Limited in multiple African territories, all of which are now live.

SSP Pure Insurance is a flexible, end-to-end core insurance system, which provides Masawara Insurance Group with the full-cycle policy administration, finance, claims, reinsurance and MI/BI reporting capabilities it needs to drive future growth.

The enterprise solution will also provide Masawara Insurance Group with a web-based employee portal and a broker portal, which will make it easier for brokers to do business with the three insurers through online e-trading.

Adrian Coupland, Customer and Marketing Managing Director at SSP, said SSP was delighted it had extended its partnership with Masawara Insurance Group. “With our existing customers, Botswana Insurance Company Limited and Lion Assurance Company Limited, and their sister company Zimnat Lion Insurance Company Limited, all live on our market-leading platform, they can benefit from a consolidated solution with best practice configuration and proactive support from the experienced team in our South African office,” says Coupland.

Mustafa Sachak, Chief Executive Officer at Masawara Insurance Group comments, “SSP Pure Insurance gives us a future-proof enterprise solution with the capability and flexibility for us to be self-sufficient, as well as centralised reporting and intelligence for the data across all three insurers. SSP has over 30 years’ knowledge and experience of the African general insurance market, and has delivered the same SSP Pure Insurance package to more than 50 short-term insurers. This gives us the confidence that we have adopted a proven solution that has benefitted from $7.2m of R&D investment over the last three years.”

Stanley Mazorodze, Managing Director at Zimnat Lion Insurance Company Limited concludes, “We are committed to making a real difference to the lives of Zimbabweans through providing superior products and customer service. By adopting SSP Pure Insurance, we have not only implemented a proven functionality-rich platform designed specifically for the short-term insurance market, but can also benefit from SSP’s constant investment in its technology, service and people. As a result, we have the capabilities and support necessary to make our clients’ lives better today and in the future as the market changes.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of SSP.

Jacqui Rorke on Jacqui@FindleyPR.co.za with any queries or call 011 463-6372.

About SSP:
SSP (www.SSP-worldwide.com) is a global provider of technology systems and solutions across the entire insurance industry, using our expertise to enable our customers to transform their business and increase their profitability. SSP provides core technology solutions, distribution and trading capability, advanced analytics and solution delivery. We work with 8 of the top 10 UK insurers, 4 of the top 10 global insurers and over 40% of UK brokers. Our unique position in the market, including the largest market share of UK e-trading, enables us to provide leading data insight and unrivalled distribution. With over 30 years’ experience, our knowledge, talent and technology capabilities deliver innovative results that make us the partner of choice for our customers.

Source:: Masawara Insurance Group drives digital strategy with SSP Pure Insurance


Categories: AFRICA | Tags: | Leave a comment