Minister Costello attends EU-Africa Summit in Brussels

DUBLIN, Ireland, April 2, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello TD, is representing the Government at the EU-Africa Summit, which takes place in Brussels today and tomorrow, 2-3 April 2014.

The Summit, which will be attended by leaders of EU and African countries and by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, will focus on progress and opportunities in Africa, on the theme Investing in People, Prosperity, and Peace.

Speaking ahead of the Summit, Minister Costello said:

“I will address the Summit on the opportunities offered by high economic growth rates in many African countries to transform the relationship between the EU and the continent, in particular on the critical role of agriculture in generating sustainable and inclusive economic growth, and on Ireland’s cooperation with Africa in fighting hunger and malnutrition.

“The Summit was preceded by the EU-Africa Foreign Ministers’ meeting yesterday. During the meeting I raised the importance of strengthening cooperation on peace and security issues. In particular I focussed on the urgent need for further progress on disarmament, the implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty adopted by the UN General Assembly a year ago today, and on the continuing need to tackle the issue of 300,000 child soldiers forced to serve in conflicts in fifty countries in Africa and other regions.”

The Summit will discuss the continuing humanitarian challenges in Africa, peace and security in crisis areas such as the Central African Republic, trade and development, and on building a new partnership between Europe and Africa to tackle global challenges, including climate change. This is in line with the Government’s Africa Strategy, and the expansion of Ireland’s trade, investment, development and political ties with African countries.

Source: APO

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Sierra Leone Ministerial Delegation Meets Mubadala in Abu-Dhabi

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, April 2, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, His Excellency Ernest Bai Koroma paid an official visit to Abu-Dhabi on 20th January 2014. During the visit of His Excellency the President held fruitful discussions with high level officials of the government of the United Arab Emirates bordering on Economic cooperation.


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As a follow up to the visit of His Excellency the President of Sierra Leone, the Government of Sierra Leone sent a delegation to the UAE, headed by the Honorable Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources Hon Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray, accompanied by H.E. Mr Siray Alpha Timbo, Ambassador designate to the UAE, and coordinated by Mr. Bahige Annan – Consul General of Sierra Leone in Dubai, UAE and Mr. Filip Matwin of Royal Group had meetings with Mubadala Development Company (Mubadala), the Abu Dhabi-based strategic investment and development company, to explore new investments and partnerships in strategic sectors such as Bauxite, Alumina and Iron Ore in the Republic of Sierra Leone.

Commenting on the meeting, The Honorable Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources Hon. Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray, noted: “Mubadala is a potential strategic Mining partner for the Republic of Sierra Leone and we are very pleased to initiate talks in this direction. We look forward to working towards a successful partnership with Mubadala in the Mining sector, which is highly strategic for Sierra Leone and our bilateral economic cooperation particularly for the development of our economy. This initiative is in line with the government of the Republic of Sierra Leone’s Agenda for Prosperity as it addressees new opportunities for our people. The avowed commitment of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma is to ensure that partnership in our natural resources benefits the people of Sierra Leone. Therefore the need for a broader and growing cooperation between the Republic of Sierra Leone and the United Arab Emirates cannot be underestimated.

Mubadala is an investment and development company supporting the diversification of the UAE by investing in key infrastructure and creating globally integrated industry sectors in Abu Dhabi. The company is mandated to strengthen Abu Dhabi’s growth potential, and to help the Government meet its socioeconomic targets. While Mubadala’s investments are designed to generate sustainable profits over the long-term, they also deliver strong social returns to Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates.

Focused on investment and development across multiple sectors, Mubadala’s portfolio is valued at more than US$55 billion. The company brings together and manages a multi-billion dollar portfolio of local, regional and international investments and partners with leading global organizations to operate businesses across a wide range of industry sectors. These include semiconductor technology, aerospace, energy, healthcare, information communications and technology, infrastructure, real estate and hospitality, and services ventures.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the Sierra Leone Embassy in the United Arab Emirates.


Mr. Siray Alpha Timbo

Ambassador-Designate of Sierra Leone to UAE

Source: APO

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Symantec: “Simple njRAT Fuels Nascent Middle East Cybercrime Scene”

DUBAI, UAE, April 2, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Symantec ( has observed the growth of indigenous groups of attackers in the Middle East, centered around a simple piece of malware known as njRAT ( While njRAT is similar in capability to many other remote access tools (RATs), what is interesting about this malware is that it is developed and supported by Arabic speakers, resulting in its popularity among attackers in the region.


Figure: (Majority of njRAT C&C servers are found in the Middle East and North Africa)

The malware can be used to control networks of computers, known as botnets. While most attackers using njRAT appear to be engaged in ordinary cybercriminal activity, there is also evidence that several groups have used the malware to target governments in the region.

Symantec analyzed 721 samples of njRAT and uncovered a fairly large number of infections, with 542 control-and-command (C&C) server domain names found and 24,000 infected computers worldwide. Nearly 80 percent of the C&C servers were located in regions in the Middle East and North Africa, including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories and Libya.

njRAT is not new on the cybercrime scene. It has been publicly available since June 2013 and three versions have already been released, all of which can be propagated through infected USB keys or networked drives.

The main reason for njRAT’s popularity in the Middle East and North Africa is a large online community providing support in the form of instructions and tutorials for the malware’s development. The malware’s author also appears to hail from the region.

Most njRAT users seem to be home users who are interested in online pranks such as spying on webcams or taking screenshots of victims’ computers. However, infections have also been recorded on the networks of a number of governments and political activists.

Symantec has identified 487 groups of attackers mounting attacks using njRAT. These attacks appear to have different motivations, which can be broadly classed as hacktivism, information theft, and botnet building.

As large numbers of Middle Eastern attackers continue to use njRAT due to its accessibility, Symantec expects that they will try to find new ways of obfuscating the malware to evade detection by antivirus software. They are likely to continue to use njRAT since an Arabic speaking community and its Arabic author continue to provide support for the malware.

Symantec anticipates that such groups will eventually depart from using publicly available tools like njRAT and begin to develop their own tools and more advanced RATs for cyberattacks.

Symantec detects this threat as Backdoor.Ratenjay (

For more information, please click here:

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Symantec Corporation.

Media contact:

Katie Beck

+971 55 300 61 22

About Symantec

Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ: SYMC) ( is an information protection expert that helps people, businesses and governments seeking the freedom to unlock the opportunities technology brings – anytime, anywhere. Founded in April 1982, Symantec, a Fortune 500 company, operating one of the largest global data-intelligence networks, has provided leading security, backup and availability solutions for where vital information is stored, accessed and shared. The company’s more than 21,500 employees reside in more than 50 countries. Ninety-nine percent of Fortune 500 companies are Symantec customers. In fiscal 2013, it recorded revenues of $6.9 billion. To learn more go to or connect with Symantec at:

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Source: APO

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EP – Pan-African Parliament summit calls for high-level dialogue on realistic objectives

STRASBOURG, France, April 2, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Members of the European Parliament and of the Pan-African Parliament meeting in Brussels on 31 March and 1 April 2014 called for regular and specific dialogue focusing on a limited number of realistic objectives between the European and African partners in the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, in a recommendation to the 4th EU-Africa summit.

Peace and security, macro-economic governance, economic development and trade and social issues should top the future dialogue at high level and ministerial level, MEPs and members of the Pan-African said. They quoted the fight against tax evasion and illicit financial flows, potential of intra-African trade and the need for minimum standards at the continental level in the social field as examples.

Source: APO

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West African Development Bank (BOAD) Selects APO for Newswire Distribution of its Press Releases in Africa

DAKAR, Sénégal, April 2, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — APO (African Press Organization) (, the sole press release newswire in Africa and a global leader in media relations relating to Africa, today announced that it has been selected by the West African Development Bank (BOAD) to be the bank’s exclusive supplier of press release wire distribution and monitoring services in Africa.

The West African Development Bank (BOAD) is the development financing institution of the West African Economic Monetary Union (WEAMU) and operates in eight West African member states: Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Niger, Senegal, Togo, Mali and Guinea-Bissau.

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Photo : (Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Founder and CEO of APO (African Press Organization)

BOAD’s press releases will be distributed via Africa Wire

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