APRM deals decisively with its country reports backlog

The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), the continent’s good governance promotion and self-monitoring initiative, has embarked on a major drive to lessen its backlog of tabling Country Reports to the Pan African Parliament (PAP).

As part of this initiative the APRM this morning (05 May 5, 2016) tabled five Country Reports for discussion at the Ordinary Session of the PAP. The Session was opened on 2 May 2016 in Midrand, South Africa, by Honorable Nkondo Dang, the President of PAP and will end on 18 May 2016.

Professor Eddy Maloka, the CEO of the APRM said the tabling of the reports represented yet another major milestone in the revitalization of the continent-wide initiative.

“We have successfully tabled Country Reports from Nigeria, Mauritius, Ethiopia, Benin and South Africa. The APRM is indeed redeeming itself and advocating for a universal accession of non-members to accede to the Mechanism because its gains are enormous”, Professor Maloka said.

“We further urge the Members of Parliament to demonstrate their commitment to the Mechanism by ensuring that there exists a vibrant and dynamic APRM Process in their respective countries. We acknowledge the important role of PAP in the space of the African governance landscape and the potential role it should play in the successful implementation of the APRM Process in Member Countries”, added Professor Maloka.

Country Reports present for consideration of the Head of State of the country under review a set of recommendations with an attached programme of actions deemed necessary for overcoming identified shortcomings and improving governance, in accordance with the mandate of the APRM.

The presentation of Country Reports at AU Organs is a statutory mandate for the APRM as stated in the Base Document – which stipulates that after adoption of reports by the APR Forum, Country Reports should

be disseminated widely. Following the presentations of the Country Reports, Representatives from Nigeria, Mauritius, Benin, Ethiopian and South Africa were given an opportunity to respond and articulate measures that their countries have put in place to implemented recommendations by the APRM Report.

Other milestones in the revitalization of the APRM are increased number of Peer Review Countries and more effective implementation of National Programmes of Action and enhanced APRM’s visibility. It has also

facilitated experience-sharing and peer–learning.

Presenting the Country Reports for South Africa and Benin at the PAP session, Lead Panel Member for these countries Honorable Joseph Tsang Mang Kin commended the commitment of the Pan African Parliament to

the APRM. He said the resolution which was induced by the Justice and Human Rights and the Cooperation and International Relations Committees which states that PAP shall ensure that the APRM Process is

allocated sufficient funds in the National Budget is telling of this commitment.

He further urged MPs to adopt the role of APRM Champions in their respective countries and integrate the APRM revitalization strategy in their activities at constituency level.

“This will indeed bring harmony across Africa in the implementation of AU programmes and initiatives”, he said.

The President of the Pan African Parliament H.E Roger Nkodo Dang said the benefits derived from the APRM cannot be over-emphasized. He said in some countries, the APRM findings have highlighted good practices that are worthy of broader dissemination across the continent and drew attention to impending crises that need immediate preventive action, and analyzed virtually all issues of governance that fall somewhere in between.

“In the unfortunate situation where crises already anticipated by APRM reviews were left unaddressed and eventually materialized. H.E added that the APRM recommendations have provided a useful framework for immediate resolution and long-term reform for African Countries.

Background

The APRM was established on 9 March 2003 by the Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee (HSGIC) of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), as an instrument for better governance through self- and peer-review and monitoring. An African instrument voluntarily acceded to by Member States of the African Union, the APRM was envisaged as an important initiative to stimulate NEPAD reforms.

The APRM is mandated to ensure that the policies and practices of participating states conform to the agreed political, economic and corporate governance values, codes and standards is contained in the Declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic and Corporate Governance of 2002. The adoption of the APRM initiative demonstrated the commitment of African Leaders to place good governance through self-assessment, public participation, peer review and peer learning at the center of their development strategies.

Since its inception, the APRM has made significant progress in terms of the number of countries that have acceded to the Mechanism, the rolling-out of the review exercise, the refining of the review process, as well as the level of participation and engagement of stakeholders. Today, the APRM has a membership of 35 countries that have voluntarily acceded to it. Seventeen of these countries have completed their reviews, while three are currently at advanced stages of the review process and will be tabled at the 27th APR Forum in July 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda.

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

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Experts discussing trade, migration and regional integration at second intra-regional forum on migration in Africa

The second intra-regional forum on migration in Africa, being hosted in Lusaka by the Zambian government, has heard a first-hand account of the benefits of facilitating free movement of people, goods and services as well as some of the challenges being faced in efforts to promote trade and integration in Africa.

Ms Esther Mwemba, a Zambian cross border trader narrated to the meeting of stakeholders on 4th May, how cross border trade has helped her raise her family. “Through cross border trading, I have managed to raise money to educate my children”, she said. She praised the one stop border post (OSBP) between Zimbabwe and Zambia, saying it has reduced transit costs.

However, Ms Mwemba also outlined some challenges that are common to most traders in Africa. These include security concerns, the fear by some countries of being overwhelmed by migrants, tensions with nationals, and illegal activities at border posts among others

The Lusaka forum, co organised by the Zambian government, the African Union Commission, Regional Economic Communities, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the International Organisation on Migration, is discussing these challenges and more. It has four main items on its agenda; migration and security (border management), migration and trade (OSBP), regional integration (cross border trade and mobility), and migration and human rights (health and gender issues). Participants will share experiences, lessons, best practices and strategies on removing barriers to human mobility and trade in order to boost intra African trade. The forum will also complement and maximise the synergies between other continental initiatives such as the one stop border posts which are being put into place to boost trade facilitation across borders. This is in response to AU decisions, policies and declarations on migration and development in Africa.

[Description: 193B4846] The meeting’s opening session was addressed by Hon Davies Mwila, Zambia’s Minister of Home Affairs who spoke on behalf of the country’s Vice President Hon Inonge Wina. He called for human rights based migration policies. “Where possible, we must go beyond set targets and find ways of dealing with people on the move”, he said.

Speaking as head of the AU Commission delegation to the meeting, Amb Olawale Maiyegun, Director of Social Affairs, outlined the political leadership played by the African Union through the adoption of pertinent policies and decisions to foster integration; among which are the formation of a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), the African Common position on migration and development, the Joint Labour Migration Programme, and launching of a common African passport.

[Description: 193B4834] He cited the decision of the 25th summit of the African Union, made in Johannesburg in June 2015, where African leaders reaffirmed previous commitments aimed at accelerating mobility and integration; including speeding up the implementation of the continent wide visa free regimes and issuance of visas at ports of entry. In this regard, he indicated that there is progress as shown by countries such as Ghana and Rwanda. However he pointed to security as one major concern dominating the migration agenda in Africa.

The Director General of the IOM Mr Lacy Swing recalled the importance of intra African trade. So important is it that the African Union has identified the continental free trade area (CFTA) as one of the 12 priority projects under Agenda 2063. He noted that, far from being a problem, migration is an opportunity to be seized.

The meeting was also addressed by representatives from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Its recommendations are expected to be presented for consideration and adoption by the AU Commission and the RECs for implementation by AU member states.

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

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Kenya to Host 4th Retreat of the Executive Council

When: 6-7 May 2016

Who: The Ministerial Retreat is organised by the African Union Commission (AUC) and hosted by the Government of the Republic of Kenya.

Why: In preparation of the 27th African Union (AU) Summit to be held from 10 to 18 July 2016 in Kigali, Republic of Rwanda, the AU Commission is organising a Ministerial Retreat of the Executive Council in Nairobi, Kenya. During the retreat, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs/External Relations and other Ministers or authorities duly designated by their Government will brainstorm and exchange views on the implementation of Agenda 2063, among others.

Following a decision taken at the AU Summit in January 2016, the African Union Commission (AUC) was requested to organise this Ministerial Retreat to allow for in-depth discussions on the implementation and domestication of Agenda 2063.

Objective: The objective of the Ministerial Retreat will include the following:

Allow for in-depth discussions on the paradox of rich Africa, poor Africans, on changing mind-sets and other relevant issues;

Update on the implementation of Agenda 2063, its domestication and popularization, including the interaction with the United Nations Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and other strategic matters given current developments in Africa and in the world.

Update on the Agenda 2063 flagship projects including the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework.

Other matters of strategic concern, including the structural reforms of the AU to facilitate implementation of Agenda 2063.

Expected outcomes: The Ministers will adopt their report to be submitted to the 27th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government for consideration. The report will among other things include the domestic mobilization of finances and resources to speed up African development, as well as leverage national, regional and continental resources from elsewhere to fund African institutions, democratic governance and peace-building among others.

Participants: The participants at the ministerial retreat would include:

Ministers of Foreign Affairs/External Relations and other Ministers or authorities duly designated by their Government ; and
Representatives from the African Union Commission.

Background: The 1st Ministerial Retreat of the Executive Council was held in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia in January 2014, with its major focus on the development of Agenda 2063. The discussions of the retreat focused on the ‘E-mail from the Future’, which laid the basis for the aspirations of this continental fifty year vision. Flowing from this, the Bahir Dar Retreat reviewed Africa’s place in the world, threats and risks, and key strategic initiatives. These were captured in the Outcomes document, with recommendations to the Executive Council at the January 2014 Summit. The strategic initiatives identified in the Outcomes document formed the basis of the Agenda 2063 flagship projects, as adopted at the Malabo Summit in June 2014.

Since the Bahir Dar Retreat in January 2014, the Executive Council has met in Retreat at least once a year. The Retreats, including Bahir Dar focused on strategic issues, with reports and recommendations to the Summit for adoption. Overall, the Retreat discusses strategic approaches to Agenda 2063, monitors implementation of flagship projects and priorities, engages on institutional issues such as the Streamlining of the Business of the AU, the Restructuring project, Financing the Union, and mainstream issues that may have been neglected, such as the case of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism.

The 2nd Retreat of the Executive Council was held in Sandton, South Africa in June 2015, and in addition to discussing Agenda 2063, also focused on the Free movement of People, the proposals on Streamlining of AU Working methods and Summits, the Harmonization of Higher education Qualifications, the 70th Anniversary of the UN and the State of Multilateralism, with recommendations to the Summit.

The 3rd Retreat of the Executive Council was held in Mek’elle, Ethiopia in January 2016 Retreat discussed the paradox of a continent, rich in natural resources, but with many countries within the least developed countries category. In addition, the retreat received an update on the Agenda 2063 Flagship projects, on the Restructuring project of the AU Commission, and on Tourism and Wildlife Preservation.

The format of the Retreats is geared towards ensuring a free-flowing discussion, with strategic inputs during interactive sessions between the Ministers and the AUC leadership in a convivial and friendly manner.

The Bahir Dar Retreat established a Ministerial Follow-up Committee, with representatives from the five (5) regions (rotating every two (2) years), the Chairpersons of the 8 RECs, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, and Executives of NPCA, UNECA, AfDB, and the RECs. It would be recalled that the membership of the committee was changed at Mek’elle in January 2016. To date the Ministerial Committee has met once in session in December 2014 in Johannesburg.

Worth recalling that the theme of the 27th AU Summit is: “2016: African Year of Human Rights with a particular focus on the Rights of Women”.

Journalists wishing to interview the leadership of the AU Commission during the Summit should submit their requests to Mrs Esther Azaa Tankou, Ag. Director of Information and Communication of the AUC, via E-mail: YambouE@africa-union.org / esthertankou@yahoo.com

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#Agenda2063

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

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Final Results of the Presidential Elections in the Republic of Chad

Press Statement

Mark C. Toner
Deputy Department Spokesperson

Washington, DC

May 5, 2016

The United States notes the announcement by Chad’s Constitutional Council that President Deby Itno won re-election for a fifth term, and we applaud the Chadian people for their strong commitment to democracy as evidenced by the historic voter turnout. Their continued peaceful involvement in the political process is vital to the development of democratic institutions in the Republic of Chad. We also congratulate the political parties for their active and full participation during this election cycle and look forward to their continued involvement leading up to next year’s legislative elections.

The United States welcomes the technical improvements to the electoral process this year, including the introduction of biometric voter identification cards, and encourages the government to correct remaining deficiencies. We further call on the government to demonstrate its commitment to democracy by opening more civic and political space, which will bring greater credibility to future elections.

We are concerned about reports of abuse and kidnapping targeting opposition supporters and urge the Chadian Government to fully investigate and account for these allegations. Those found responsible for any misconduct or abuses should be brought to justice through a credible, transparent process in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Chad.

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

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United States supports World Food Programme operations in Sudan

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed the arrival of a U.S. vessel carrying a food contribution worth approximately US$37 million from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

WFP will use the shipment of 47,500 metric tons of sorghum, a Sudanese staple, to cover the needs of nearly 200,000 South Sudanese refugees for five months and more than a million displaced people in Darfur for four months.

The United .States Embassy Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Benjamin Moeling and WFP Sudan Representative and Country Director Adnan Khan were both in Port Sudan in the Red Sea state to welcome the ship’s arrival. They also saw firsthand the unloading and bagging of sorghum at the port.

“The Obama Administration, working with WFP, is committed to ensuring that fewer people in Sudan go to bed hungry. We cannot and will not ignore the pressing and immediate needs of people who are affected by conflict or drought who continue to face severe food insecurity and malnutrition. “We remain committed to helping vulnerable people in Sudan and urge all parties to end the conflicts.,, said Charge D’Affaires a.i. Moeling.”

As a leader in relief efforts, the United States continues to be WFP’s long-standing partner and largest single donor to Sudan over the years, contributing almost half of WFP’s yearly requirements for its operations in the country. From 2010 to 2015 alone, USAID contributed more than US$1.4 billion to WFP operations in Sudan, enabling it to respond to the needs of food-insecure people across the country, especially those who have been displaced by the recurring conflict.

“This generous contribution from the Government of the United States and its people comes at a time when we are looking for additional resources to meet the needs created by new displacements in Darfur as well as the influx of South Sudanese refugees. It also demonstrates our strong relations and common goal of serving the vulnerable people of Sudan,” said Khan.

Sudan is one of WFP’s most complex humanitarian emergencies, characterized by recurring conflict, new as well as protracted displacement, regional insecurity, and crisis levels of malnutrition and food insecurity. Through its Protracted Relief and Recovery Operations, WFP will continue providing life-saving food assistance where required while at the same time vigorously supporting communities’ resilience and recovery.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of World Food Programme (WFP).

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ECOWAS – African Union – United Nations Joint Mission to Banjul

From 4 to 5 May 2016, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) undertook a joint mission to Banjul.

The Mission was led by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Marcel Alain de Souza; the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Dr. Aisha Laraba Abdullahi; and the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, Mr.Mohamed Ibn Chambas. The Mission also included the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights through its Regional Representative for West Africa.

The Joint Mission aimed at developing an understanding of the viewpoints and perspectives of Gambian stakeholders on political and other developments affecting The Gambia ahead of the presidential election due to take place in December 2016; assessing compliance with regional and sub-regional standards on elections, democracy, human rights and governance, including the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance and the AU Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance; and exploring options to further support dialogue among Gambian stakeholders with a view to promoting consensus on critical issues in order to contribute to inclusive, credible, participatory and peaceful elections in The Gambia.

The Joint Mission consulted widely with Cabinet members. The delegation also interacted with the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission, representatives of the ruling majority and opposition parties, religious leaders and representatives of civil society organizations. The Joint Mission also met with Gambia’s diplomatic partners including Ambassadors from ECOWAS countries, the Head of the European Union Delegation, the British and US Ambassadors, and the Spanish Charge d’ AffairThe Mission appealed for credible and inclusive elections in an atmosphere of peace and tolerance throughout the electoral process. The Mission noted progress in the preparations towards the elections and welcomed all stakeholders’ commitment to the holding of peaceful elections. The Mission commended Gambian stakeholders for the reinstatement of the Inter Party Committee, which may serve as an effective platform for the resolution of contentious issues ahead of, and during the electoral process. In particular, the Mission urged political parties to work together to create consensus around electoral laws and enhance outreach to increase the participation of youth and women. The Mission encouraged the establishment of an Elections Situation Room, which is best practice in many African countries.

In regard to ongoing judicial proceedings and in particular to the events on 14 and 16 April 2016, the Mission evoked international and regional standards according to which the State has the duty to protect the rights of its citizens, in particular, the freedom of expression, assembly and political participation. The Mission reiterated calls for a credible and independent investigation, and urged the Government of The Gambia to allow due process of law.

The Mission also welcomed the announcement by His Excellency the President during the State Opening of the National Assembly, and looks forward to the establishment of the proposed National Human Rights Commission.

The Joint Mission expresses the wish that The Gambia will emulate the ongoing trend of peaceful and inclusive elections across West Africa, as a precondition to confront challenges of development, in line with the aspirations by the Gambian people.

On the border issue, the delegation appealed to the two countries to continue the dialogue underway, and in particular, to convene the bi-lateral meeting scheduled for the middle of May with a view to arriving at a mutually agreed solution.

United in the vision to contribute to a better future for the peoples of Africa, ECOWAS, the AU, and the UN re-affirm their continuing commitment to supporting the Government and the people of The Gambia in their quest to realize the universal Sustainable Development Goals.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations (UN).

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UN Secretary-General appoints Modibo Touré of Mali as Special Representative for Guinea-Bissau

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Modibo Touré of Mali as his new Special Representative for Guinea-Bissau and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS).

Mr. Touré replaces Miguel Trovoada of São Tome and Principe, who completed his assignment on 30 April 2016. The Secretary-General is grateful for Mr. Trovoada’s leadership and for the accomplishments of the Mission during his tenure at UNIOGBIS.

Mr. Touré served as Special Adviser to the Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region from 2013 to 2015. Prior to that, he was the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Representative ad interimof the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Kenya (2013).

He worked in 2012 as the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim in the Central African Republic, and served as United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Chad and Ethiopia. He has held high-level positions in the African Development Bank and served as Minister of New Technologies, Telecommunications and Post Office in Mali.

Mr. Touré holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Vanderbilt University, United States, and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Ecole nationale d’administration in Mali.

Born in 1959, he is married and has three children.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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Malawi: Authorities must put end to killing spree of people with albinism

Malawian authorities must take immediate action to stop the ritual killings of people with albinism following the discovery of two more mutilated bodies in the past week, Amnesty International said today.

Details were uncovered yesterday of the killing of a 30-year-old woman with albinism, Jenifer Namusyo, who was found dead on 30 April hours after she was stabbed in the back, abdomen and elbow, with her breasts and eyes removed.

The body of Malawian teenager David Fletcher, who went missing on 24 April, was discovered in Mozambique earlier this week with his arms and legs cut off.

“These gruesome killings are a reminder of the grave danger people with albinism in Malawi live in,” said Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southern Africa.

“Authorities must act now to end this killing spree and take immediate measures to protect these vulnerable people.”

Thousands of people with albinism live in fear of being abducted or killed criminal gangs in Malawi, where their body parts are sold for use in rituals.

Namusyo was attacked as she made her way to another village on a bicycle to seek traditional medicine. She left home 2 a.m. and her mutilated body and bicycle were found at 10 a.m. on the same day.

At least 14 people with albinism are known to have been killed in Malawi since December 2014, while five others have been abducted during the same period. Their fate and whereabouts remain unknown.

“We call on Malawian authorities to ensure that suspected perpetrators of these horrific crimes are brought to justice, and to address the root causes of these killings, which have left people with albinism living in constant fear,” said Muleya Mwananyanda.

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

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Special Envoy Perriello Travel to Sweden and the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson

Washington, DC

May 3, 2016

Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa Thomas Perriello will travel to Stockholm, Sweden, on May 3-5, 2016, and to Goma and Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), on May 6-10. The Special Envoy will meet with the International Contact Group in Stockholm to discuss elections in the DRC and the urgent need to resume a regionally-mediated dialogue with Burundian stakeholders. The Envoy will then travel to the DRC to engage with Congolese stakeholders.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Africa Regional Media Hub.

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IMF Staff Completes 2016 Article IV Mission to Guinea

An IMF staff team led by Abdoul Aziz Wane, visited Conakry from April 21 to May 5 for the 2016 Article IV consultation discussions with the authorities. At the conclusion of the mission, Mr. Wane made the following statement:[1]

“The Guinean authorities have made significant progress in reducing macroeconomic imbalances since the last consultation in 2012. This reflects the effective policies that have been adopted under their economic program, supported by an IMF extended credit facility (ECF) arrangement. The main gains include the significant decline in inflation from 22 percent in 2011 to 7.5 percent at the end of March 2016 and the elimination of the spread between the official and market exchange rates. The public financial management system (PFM) has been strengthened through the adoption of a new organic finance law, the establishment of a single treasury account, and a new procurement code consistent with international best practices. Other concrete achievements include the much increased electricity provision (from the new Kaleta dam).

“Despite this progress, however, the overall economic performance fell markedly short of levels envisioned in 2012. Reflecting the malign effects of the Ebola epidemic, as well as episodes of heightened political uncertainty, annual GDP growth only averaged 1.8 percent during 2012–15, compared to 7.6 percent expected at the time of the last consultation. Coupled more recently with the adverse effects of the commodity price slump, it has left fiscal and external buffers depleted. Delays in structural reform implementation and recent deviations from the program have also held back progress.

“The macroeconomic outlook for 2016 and the medium term point to a gradual recovery. Real GDP growth is projected at 3.7 percent in 2016, with inflation remaining at a single- digit level. Growth is projected to increase to about 4 percent on average over the medium term reflecting financed plans to increase capacity in existing bauxite projects, the improved provision of basic services, including electricity, health and education, as well as continued robust expansion of the agricultural sector. The authorities aim to increase reserve buffers to over three months of imports and reduce inflation to below 5 percent.

“Staff supports the broad objectives and reforms of the new government appointed after the October 2015 presidential elections, in particular the focus on enhancing the agricultural sector productivity and strengthening infrastructure services to support the private sector. The mission welcomed the authorities’ plans to rehabilitate the health sector in the context of the post-Ebola Recovery Plan.

“The team also made recommendations aimed at meeting the 2016 ECF program objectives and ensuring that medium-term public finances remain on a sustainable footing and macroeconomic imbalances remain contained. In this context, it will be important for policies to prioritize projects taking into account available financing and the absorption capacities. Strict application of existing PFM laws and regulations, including the public procurement code, will be important to ensure efficient use of public resources. The mission highlighted the importance of tapping Guinea’s tax potential by broadening the tax base, and keeping the wage bill under 6 percent of GDP, which would make room for public infrastructure projects and strengthen social spending.

“The authorities should also strengthen the independence of the central bank and complete the reform of the exchange rate system to align the exchange rate with fundamentals and rebuild reserves. The mission welcomes the authorities’ new financial inclusion plan, which will facilitate the sharing of growth dividends through the development of microfinance institutions, mobile banking, and improved households’ access to bank services.

“The Executive Board of the IMF is expected to consider the staff report for the Article IV consultation in June 2016. The authorities and IMF staff will discuss future Fund support with Guinea in the context of the mission for the eighth review of the ECF-supported arrangement set to expire in October 2016.”

During its visit, the mission met with members of the government, the Central Bank governor and other senior officials, other senior officials, as well as representatives of the private sector, bankers’ association, civil society organizations, including unions, and the donor community. The team wishes to express its gratitude to the Guinean authorities for the constructive discussions and their hospitality during its visit to Conakry.

[1] Under Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement, the IMF holds bilateral discussions with members, usually every year. A staff team visits the country, collects economic and financial information, and discusses with officials the country’s economic developments and policies. On return to headquarters, the staff prepares a report, which forms the basis for discussion by the Executive Board. At the conclusion of the discussion, the Managing Director, as Chairman of the Board, summarizes the views of Executive Directors, and this summary is transmitted to the country authorities.

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

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[Amendment ]Original date remains : Media Advisory, DDPD Implementation Follow-up Commission to meet in Khartoum on Monday, 09 May

All media are invited to the opening ceremony of the eleventh meeting of the Implementation Follow–up Commission (IFC), established by the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) that will take place on Monday9 May 2016, at 09:30 hours in the main conference room at Corinthia Hotel on the Nile Street in Khartoum.

The Chairperson of the IFC, His Excellency Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Mahmoud, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for the Council of Ministers Affairs of Qatar, and UNAMID Joint Special Representative/Joint Chief Mediator, Martin Uhomoibhi will also brief the press on the outcome of the meeting after its conclusion at approximately 12:30 hours.

The Commission, chaired by the State of Qatar, is the major mechanism for monitoring the implementation of the DDPD. Commission membership includes the Government of the Sudan, National Liberation and Justice Party, Liberation and Justice Party and the Justice and Equality Movement-Sudan, representatives of Burkina Faso, Canada, Chad, China, Egypt, France, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America, the African Union, the European Union, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and UNAMID, which is also facilitating the meeting.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).

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Source:: [Amendment ]Original date remains : Media Advisory, DDPD Implementation Follow-up Commission to meet in Khartoum on Monday, 09 May

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EU hands over maternity ward and equipment at Chilanga Health Centre, 6 May

Who:

· Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Dr. Peter Mwaba

· EU Ambassador to Zambia, H.E. Allesandro Mariani

· UNICEF Zambia Country Representative, Dr. Hamid El-Bashir Ibrahim

· 12 Ambassadors from EU member states

What: The EU will hand over a refurbished maternity ward and equipment at Chilanga Health Centre. Government officials and ambassadors will observe achievements of the Millennium Development Goal Initiative (MDGi) and interact with community volunteers and health workers in Chilanga district.

When: Friday 6 May 2016

Time: 14:00 – 15:00 (Transport leaves MICA hardware, Arcades at 12:00. Contact
Mark Maseko on 0974 775526 if you need transport)

Where: Chilanga Health Centre, Chilanga.

Note: The Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ), the European Union (EU), and the United Nations (UN) are supporting the implementation of an ambitious programme: the “Millennium Development Goal Initiative (MDGi) — Accelerating Progress towards Maternal, Neonatal and Child Morbidity and Mortality Reduction in Zambia.” This programme will be implemented over a 48-month period and aims at improving the availability and quality of health and nutrition services in 11 districts in Lusaka and Copperbelt provinces, covering over 30% of the Zambian population. The total budget of the programme is Euro 48 million (more than 400 million Kwacha) and it is solely funded by the EU. This programme aims to improve access to quality maternal, child health and nutrition services as well as services for adolescents and young people. The programme is implemented in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MOH), World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

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