Secretary Tillerson meets with Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra, at the Department of State

Public Schedule: Public Schedule: May 17, 2017
05/16/2017 10:26 PM EDT
May 17, 2017

DEPARTMENT OF STATE
PUBLIC SCHEDULE
MAY 17, 2017

SECRETARY REX TILLERSON

10:00 a.m. Secretary Tillerson meets with Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra, at the Department of State.

(CAMERA SPRAY AT TOP)

Preset time for video cameras: 9:15 a.m. from the 23rd Street Entrance.

Final access time for journalists and still photographers: 9:30 a.m. from the 23rd Street Entrance.

4:00 p.m. Secretary Tillerson meets with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, at the Department of State

(CAMERA SPRAY AT TOP)

Preset time for video cameras: 3:15 p.m. from the 23rd Street Entrance.

Final access time for journalists and still photographers: 3:30 p.m. from the 23rd Street Entrance.

Distributed by APO on behalf of U.S. Department of State.

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Source:: Secretary Tillerson meets with Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra, at the Department of State

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Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Côte d’Ivoire

The Secretary-General welcomes the return to calm in Côte d’Ivoire following the unacceptable acts of violence committed by soldiers of the Forces Armées de Côte d’Ivoire (FACI) over the past few days. He commends the Government of Côte d’Ivoire for its efforts to address the unrest and restore security.

The Secretary-General expresses the United Nations continued support to the Government of Côte d’Ivoire in its efforts to sustain the hard-won gains of peace and stability in the country, including with the assistance of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) and other international actors.

Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General

New York, 16 May 2017

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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Source:: Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Côte d’Ivoire

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IMF Staff Concludes 2017 Article IV Visit to Botswana

  • Positive prospects for the diamond sector could lead to somewhat higher rates of GDP growth in 2017-19. Fiscal projections envisage moderate deficits this year and the next, with surpluses thereafter.
  • Tax revenue reforms need to be accelerated to protect public finances against any adverse developments and maintain the country’s track record of sound fiscal management.
  • The inflation rate remained low, close to the lower band of the Bank of Botswana’s inflation objective range of 3–6 percent.

A team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) led by Enrique Gelbard visited Gaborone from May 1-16 for discussions on the 2017 Article IV Consultation with Botswana. The discussions covered recent developments and prospects and focused on policies to support continued economic stability and promote inclusive growth. At the end of the visit, Mr. Gelbard issued the following statement:

“Following a downturn in 2015, Botswana’s pace of economic activity recovered in 2016, supported by improvements in diamond sales, fiscal stimulus, and an accommodative monetary policy. The rate of inflation remained low, close to the lower band of the Bank of Botswana’s inflation objective range of 3–6 percent, and the trade weighted exchange rate has been broadly stable. Botswana’s exchange rate regime of a managed rate of crawl against a basket of currencies continues to serve the country well and, at the moment, no changes are deemed necessary.

“In the past year, government spending rose in line with the government’s Economic Stimulus Program, but the fiscal deficit fell to about 1 percent of GDP owing to higher revenues from diamonds. The financial sector has remained well capitalized, profitable, and stable, despite a small increase in non-performing loans associated with the liquidation of the state-owned BCL copper and nickel mine.

“Looking ahead, positive prospects for the diamond sector could lead to somewhat higher rates of GDP growth in 2017-19. Fiscal projections envisage moderate deficits this year and the next, with surpluses thereafter. The fiscal profile is predicated on the authorities’ intention to increase tax revenues and slowdown the pace of spending on wages and salaries and on transfers to state-owned enterprises. In this connection, tax revenue reforms need to be accelerated to protect public finances against any adverse developments and maintain the country’s track record of sound fiscal management.

“As the economy finishes its cyclical recovery, and considering the challenges to foster private sector growth and employment creation, the authorities plan to tilt the composition of public spending to favor investment in physical and human capital, a move to be accompanied with steps to improve the quality and effectiveness of such spending. Furthermore, a focus on activities with economy-wide benefits (e.g. cost-effective investment projects, internet connectivity) will be critical in the period ahead. To complement these efforts, the authorities need to proceed with the privatization process and reforms to improve the efficiency and financial viability of government enterprises, reduce bureaucratic procedures for private businesses, and improve education outcomes and the skills of the labor force.

“As envisaged in the latest National Development Plan, the authorities plan to promote economic diversification into selected sectors. In this regard, it would be preferable to focus on a few sectors with growth and employment potential (e.g. tourism in the north of the country) by designing and implementing development strategies with concrete goals, time-bound steps, and monitorable outcomes.

“Delivering on the above policies and reforms will ensure economic stability and pave the way for private sector-led growth and employment creation in Botswana.

“The IMF staff team met with the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Honorable O. Kenneth Matambo, the Governor of the Bank of Botswana, Moses Pelaelo, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Solomon Sekwakwa, other senior government officials, and representatives of the private sector and development partners.

“The IMF team thanks the authorities for their hospitality and constructive discussions.”

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

End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board. Based on the findings of this mission, staff will prepare a report that, subject to management approval, will be presented to the IMF’s Executive Board for discussion and decision.

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Source:: IMF Staff Concludes 2017 Article IV Visit to Botswana

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The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) signs MoU with China-Africa Development Fund to boost infrastructure investment and growth in selected African countries

At the side lines of the landmark IsDB 42nd Annual Meeting in Jeddah, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) (www.ICD-ps.org), the private sector arm of Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group and China-Africa Development Fund (CADFund) (www.CADFund.com), a Beijing-based private equity firm and subsidiary of the China Development Bank which focuses on Africa.

The envisaged cooperation reflects ICD and CADFund’s goal of developing and establishing a strategic framework that focuses on improving the efficiency and efficacy of resource mobilization with third-party investors interested in participating and investing in the African Islamic Infrastructure Financing Fund (AIIFF). In addition, CADFund plans to work with ICD in the establishment of the AIIFF and/or with the AIIFF (following its incorporation) on promoting and financing infrastructure development projects in Africa.

The MoU was signed by Mr. Khaled Al Aboodi, the Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of ICD, and Mr. Shi Jiyang, President and Chief Executive Officer of CADFund.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Khaled Al Aboodi expressed his strong support for the partnership, stating: “ICD and CADfund share the vision of promoting foreign direct investment, trade, and inclusive economic growth on a continent which is full of potential. By joining forces, we can better combine our expertise and commitment to achieve greater economic prosperity for the benefit of all. Additionally, ICD’s commitment to accelerate infrastructure development in Africa and specifically sub-Saharan Africa will bring the at least the basic level of energy, transportation, medical and educational needs of citizens of African member countries.”

Mr. Shi Jiyang said, “It certainly comes as no news that Africa’s rating on the global infrastructure development index is significantly behind. By driving investments targeting infrastructure development projects in Africa, we will not only improve infrastructure and address the huge chasm, but we will also be contributing to economic growth thus further transforming the region. We look forward to a long-term partnership with the ICD.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD).

About the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD)

ICD (www.ICD-ps.org) is a multilateral organization and a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group. The mandate of ICD is to support economic development and promote the development of the private sector in its member countries through providing financing facilities and/or investments which are in accordance with the principles of Sharia’a. ICD also provides advice to governments and private organizations to encourage the establishment, expansion and modernization of private enterprises. ICD is rated AA/F1+ by Fitch and Aa3/P1 by Moody’s. For more information, visit www.ICD-ps.org.

About China-Africa Development Fund

CADFund (www.CADFund.com) is the first Chinese investment fund focusing on Africa, and was announced at the Beijing Summit of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum as one of the Eight Measures for cooperation with Africa. With its aim to encourage, support, and partner up with Chinese enterprises in making investments in Africa, CADFund has so far made investments in a variety of sectors including infrastructure, energy, agriculture and manufacturing.

Source:: The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) signs MoU with China-Africa Development Fund to boost infrastructure investment and growth in selected African countries

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