Launch of 50 African Union youth clubs and the African youth continental publication ‘I AFRICA’

The African Union Commission in collaboration with The African Union Youth Club (AUYCs) at the University of Cape Town partnered for an important launch of 50 AUYCs and an African youth continental publication, ‘IAfrica’, held at the historic Constitution Hill.

The Commission was represented by H. E. Ambassador Baso Sangqu, Chief Advisor to the Chairperson, Mr. Vukani Lumumba Mthintso, Communications Advisor, BCP and Ms. Diana Diallo, Youth Engagement Officer in the department of Human Resources Science and Technology (HRST), Youth Division. The launch marked a monumental step in achieving a key objective laid out in Agenda 2063.

In his remarks, Ambassador Baso Sangqu spoke on the importance of youth in engaging on continental issues as outlined in Agenda 2063. Ambassador Sangqu quoted from the Chairperson of the Commission, Her Excellency Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma’s seminal speech titled “E-mail from the future” delivered in January 2014, a precursor to the Africa Agenda 2063: “The role played by successive generations of African youth to our success towards a united, prosperous and peaceful Africa was great…..they formed AUYCs in schools and universities across the continent, and linked with each other via social media. Thus we saw the grand push for integration, for free movement of people, for harmonization of education and professional qualifications, with the Pan African University and indeed the university sector and intelligentsia playing an instrumental role…..”

The AUYCs at the University of Cape Town was established in 2014 following a meeting of the AUC Chairperson with students at the University of Cape Town. During the meeting, the Chairperson challenged the Club to assist in the establishment of other AUYCs across the continent. The Club with support from its continental partners has facilitated the establishment of 50 AUYCs in four African Countries (South Africa, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroun). The AUYCs represent nationals from over 46 African countries.

The event also launched the #IamAgenda2063 and #Africa112 campaigns which aim at empowering women and youth for the attainment of Agenda 2063.

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

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Source:: Launch of 50 African Union youth clubs and the African youth continental publication ‘I AFRICA’

Categories: AFRICA

IOM Niger Opens Migrant Information Office in Agadez

IOM Niger has inaugurated a migrant information office in the town of Agadez in the Sahara, a hub for West African migrants travelling to Libya, Algeria and Europe. The office was formally opened by IOM Council Chair Ambassador Bertrand De Crombrugghe of Belgium.

The office will provide information and counselling to potential migrants, migrants in transit and returnees to Niger. The initiative is part of IOM’s Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism (MRRM) and is funded by the European Union and UK DFID.

It aims to improve migrants’ understanding of the risks and dangers associated with irregular migration and how to migrate in a safer and regular way. It also points migrants towards available legal migration channels and educates them on their rights and obligations, as well as those of States. It can also provide direct assistance. This week it identified and assisted a victim of trafficking from Nigeria.

“The main beneficiaries are migrants on their way to Libya and Algeria. The office is unique in that it does not just discourage people from leaving. It also plays a proactive role in reaching out to migrants coming back and sharing their information with those who want to go. It can help them to make better informed migration decisions,” said IOM Niger Chief of Mission Giuseppe Loprete.

The office is linked to an IOM information campaign “Supporting Informed Migration Decisions in Niger”, co-funded by the European Union and the Italian Ministry of Interior.

Niger represents one of the last stops of a long journey that West African migrants undertake before leaving the region on route to North Africa and Europe.

The Nigerien authorities estimate that between 120,000 and 150,000 migrants will transit Niger in 2016, mostly coming from West Africa and heading to Libya and Algeria via the Agadez region.

“Niger is well known for its stability in the region. These migrants in transit may generate new job opportunities and contribute to income generation and the national economy. But Niger still needs to meet the challenge of recording who is entering the country and their countries of origin, as many of them have no identity documents,” said Ambassador De Crombrugghe.

During his three days visit to the country, Ambassador De Crombrugghe also visited IOM’s Transit Centre in Agadez and met with Niger Prime Minister Brigi Rafini, the Sultan of Aïr and the EU Delegation. Before leaving for Mali, he also visited the border with Burkina Faso, where a frontier police post is currently being rehabilitated by IOM.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of International Office of Migration (IOM).

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Source:: IOM Niger Opens Migrant Information Office in Agadez

Categories: AFRICA

Cash Relief gives hope to thousands but needs are huge in drought-hit Lesotho

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is giving cash assistance to 21,000 vulnerable people in Lesotho’s two districts worst-affected by the El Niño-related drought. This is WFP’s first ever emergency cash relief operation in the Mountain Kingdom.

Under this relief programme, WFP is providing M 1,020 (US$65) each month to 2,000 families in Mohale’s Hoek district and to 2,200 families in Mafeteng district. However, the programme, which began in March, will stop at the end of May unless further funding is secured. WFP needs at least US$13.6 million to continue and scale up its drought relief operation in Lesotho.

Lesotho is one of the countries worst-hit by drought in southern Africa. Assessments indicate that the 2015/16 agricultural season has largely failed. Harsh climatic conditions over recent months depleted most water sources, including rivers and dams, leading to an acute shortage of drinking water and water rationing.

The results of a multi-stakeholder Rapid Drought Assessment conducted in January revealed that 535,000 people in rural areas are experiencing food insecurity and will continue to do so beyond harvest time in June this year. The severity of the drought led to the declaration of a state of drought emergency by Lesotho’s Prime Minister, Pakalitha Mosisili, in December and an appeal for humanitarian assistance in early February.

The drought crisis has yet to attract the levels of funding required to meet the needs of those affected including children, people living with HIV and large numbers of subsistence farmers who could not plant crops due to the low rainfall and high temperatures between October and December.

“WFP is providing cash to support families relying solely on farming who are not expecting to harvest anything this year,” said WFP Country Director Mary Njoroge after visiting a Siloe community receiving cash relief in Mohale’s Hoek. “Our intervention also aims to help families not receiving any social assistance and without any real sources of income or productive assets as a result of the drought.”

Mafeteng and Mohale’s Hoek were identified as the districts most impacted by drought. According to the recent Drought Assessment and other studies, the food security situation is likely to worsen later this year and in the early months of 2017.

Working with the Government of Lesotho, WFP conducted a Market Assessment in March which showed that markets are functioning normally despite current high food prices. In such circumstances, a system of cash-based transfers is deemed more appropriate as it allows recipients choice in their purchases of food while invigorating the local economy.

“The major challenge is that the needs are overwhelming,” said Ms. Njoroge. “Harder times lie ahead because many farming families – who constitute 80 percent of the country’s population – have consumed all the food they harvested last year. Food prices are already beyond the reach of many people including some of those in urban areas.”

In rural areas, the price of maize meal has increased by between 30 and 50 percent since December. The high demand for basic food items such as maize meal, pulses, vegetable oil, and salt may trigger further price increases in Lesotho during coming months.

In responding to the drought crisis, WFP is working with partners including the Disaster Management Authority, Word Vision International, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, the Ministry of Forestry, Range and Soil Conservation, and Standard Bank through which cash payments are made.

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

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Source:: Cash Relief gives hope to thousands but needs are huge in drought-hit Lesotho

Categories: AFRICA

UK Export Finance unlocks Kenyan market for UK exporters

British High Commissioner to Kenya, Mr. Nic Hailey, today announced that the UK’s export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), has joined African Trade Insurance (ATI), the pan-African export credit agency. The move comes as the UK government looks to encourage more UK businesses to trade with Kenya.

As an ATI member, UKEF will gain access to information about upcoming opportunities for exporters, as well as local knowledge of firms and projects. UKEF’s ATI membership will also give Kenyan buyers and UK suppliers enhanced access to each other and will help identify and promote real business opportunities where UK and Kenyan companies can work together, and provide the local market knowledge needed to facilitate trade.

Witnessing UKEF joining ATI, Mr. Nic Hailey said:

“The UK is a global leader in many of the sectors for which Kenya has greatest demand: infrastructure, advanced engineering, energy, ICT, and defence and security. In these and other specialist areas, UK expertise can help accelerate Kenya’s development and economic growth.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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Source:: UK Export Finance unlocks Kenyan market for UK exporters

Categories: AFRICA

Statement by the Spokesperson on Sudan’s internal conflicts

The prospects for a resolution of Sudan’s internal conflicts have been enhanced by the latest initiative of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) for Sudan and South Sudan’s following talks in Addis Ababa. This is an important achievement in the pursuit of peace in Sudan and in laying the foundation for an inclusive and comprehensive national consultation.

The Roadmap Agreement proposed by the AUHIP outlines steps to end the conflicts in Darfur and the Two Areas and to establish humanitarian access, while offering a framework for a parallel political dialogue that would eventually incorporate all parties in Sudan.

Progress on this initiative now requires the engagement of all parties. The 21 March signature by the Government of the Republic Sudan of the Agreement proposed by the AUHIP is a positive step forward. It encourages the Government to abide by the Road map Agreement, to consider immediate additional steps to build confidence among all the parties and to guarantee fundamental freedoms conducive to dialogue. The EU looks to the remaining participants of the Addis meeting to fully engage in this process. Good faith on the part of all parties will be the essential to progress.

In the meantime, violence continues, humanitarian needs are great and economic distress grows. Both government and armed opposition should extend their commitments made in late 2015 to unilateral cessations of hostilities. This would foster greater confidence among all the parties, give time to lay the ground rules for detailed negotiations and reinforce the efforts led by the AUHIP, supported by the European Union, to incorporate all political parties, movements and civil society into this vital political process.

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

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Source:: Statement by the Spokesperson on Sudan’s internal conflicts

Categories: AFRICA

The 3rd Senior Officials Meeting of the Africa-EU high level policy Dialogue on Science, Technology and Innovation

The department of Human Resources, Sciences and Technology (HRST) today 4th April 2016 held the 3rd Senior Officials Meeting of the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on science, technology and innovationin collaboration with the European Commission at the African Union Commission (AUC), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The EU-Africa High-Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on science, technology and innovation (STI) is a platform established to promote dialogue on STI between the EU and Africa under the Lisbon 2007 Joint Africa-EU Strategy. The HLPD has so far held two Senior Officials meetings, in Addis Ababa in October 2011and in Brussels in November 2013.The Senior Officials in their second meeting agreed to work towards a long-term co-owned Research and Innovation Partnership (R&IP). They further agreed on the first priority namely “the role of science, technology and innovation in ensuring Food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture, (FNSSA)”. In the implementation of these conclusions, the Bureau of the EU-Africa HLPD worked on the development of a roadmap towards this EU-Africa R&I Partnership on FNSSA for collaborative research and innovation, taking the whole value chain into consideration. This roadmap proposes the basis for a joint research agenda, short-to medium term actions towards implementation (2014-2017) and reflections on long-term options for implementation (2018-2020 and beyond) and is based on the input of three different working groups.

The Commissioner of the Human Resource, Science and technology (HRST), H.E Dr. Martial De-Paul Ikounga in his remarks appreciated the efforts of the senior officials since the Lisbon 2007, and also expressed his gratitude to the HLPD Bureau for successfully organizing this third policy dialogue. “It is now time for European and African continents, with their rich and complex history, to forge a new and stronger partnership that builds on their new identities and renewed institutions, capitalize on the past and provide a solid framework for long-term, systematic and well integrated cooperation”. The Commissioner expressed.

H.E. Dr. Martial De-Paul Ikounga reiterated that the ambition of the Lagos Plan of Action was that no African country could obtain consistent results from its research system unless it commits at least 1% of its GDP. He emphasized that while simulation within the context of STISA 2024 shows that for the year 2013, 1% of the continent’s GDP could amount to 23 billion U.S. dollars it is disheartening to observe that only two or three countries have so far achieved or are in the phase of achieving the goal of 1% of investment in R&D.

Furthermore, the Commissioner re-emphasized that the roadmap developed on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture within the EU-Africa partnership will be instrumental in delivering on the people centered long-term Agenda 2063 and in addressing the Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

He acknowledged the efforts of the EU in its funding strategy for the economic growth of Africa through investing in Science, technology and innovations.

Mr. Wolfgang Burtscher, Deputy Director General and Co-chair of the HLPD; DG research and Innovation European Commission in his statement appreciated the role of Science, technology and innovation, which has gained momentum with agenda 2030, and further calling for increased international cooperation. The deputy director mentioned that EU’s commitment ‘’HORIZON 2020” is open to international cooperation. EU has strong investment within the areas of science and technology, geared towards providing solutions for example: climate change, sustainable energy production, and food and nutrition security.

Mr. Wolfgang Burtscher expressed deep gratitude to the African Union Commission for hosting the HLPD meeting and to the bureau of the HLPD for a better implementation of the Science, Technology and Innovation at continental levels. He applauded AU’s interest in investing in science, technology and Innovation and reiterated the significance of adopting the roadmap towards the jointly EU-Africa Research and Innovation partnership. Mr. Burtscher underlined that the European Commission already dedicated a 97.5 Euros budget towards implementation. He welcomed the commitments some of the European and African countries are ready to make towards this Research and Innovation partnership.

Prof. Prof. Hany El-Shemy

Dean of the faculty of Agriculture, AU Co-chair of the HLPD called upon delegates to work hard during the two days deliberations to come up with insightful recommendations and outcomes. In addition, professor El-Shemy underscored that Africa has potentials, resources but investing in science and technology is a prerequisite, by the partnership between AU and EU, Africa will move forward its Agenda 2063.

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

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Source:: The 3rd Senior Officials Meeting of the Africa-EU high level policy Dialogue on Science, Technology and Innovation

Categories: AFRICA

Change of Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Eritrea

Mr Ian Richards has been appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the State of Eritrea in succession to Mr David Ward, who will be transferring to another Diplomatic Service appointment. Mr Richards will take up his appointment during July 2016.

Curriculum Vitae

Full name Ian Richards

2015 Conakry, Chargé d’Affaires; Migration Adviser, UKMIS Geneva
2014 Caracas (Deputy Head of Mission); Conakry (Chargé d’Affaires); Bamako (Chargé d’Affaires)
2013 Ashgabat, Chargé d’Affaires
2011 – 2013 UK Trade & Investment, Head of Overseas Resources
2005 – 2011 Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Special Adviser to Deputy Director-General
2004 – 2005 Commission for Africa, Theme Manager
2002 – 2004 FCO, Head Economic Crime Team, Economic Policy Department
2002 FCO, Head Political & Military Team, Afghanistan Unit
2000 – 2001 Beijing, First Secretary
1996 – 1999 Shanghai, Consul Commercial/Economic
1994 – 1996 Full Time Language Training (Mandarin)
1993 – 1994 FCO, Desk Officer UN Disarmament
1993 Joined FCO

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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Source:: Change of Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Eritrea

Categories: AFRICA

Senegal Offers Two Former Guantanamo Detainees Humanitarian Resettlement

Press Statement

John Kerry
Secretary of State

Washington, DC

April 4, 2016

The United States is very grateful to our partner, the Republic of Senegal, for offering humanitarian resettlement to two individuals formerly in Department of Defense custody at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba detention facility.

On April 4, the Department of Defense announced the transfer of two Libyan nationals to the Republic of Senegal. These two individuals, Salem Abdu Salam Ghereby (Internment Serial Number (ISN) 189) and Omar Khalif Mohammed Abu Baker Mahjour Umar (ISN 695), were unanimously approved for transfer by six U.S. government departments and agencies, either through the 2009-2010 Executive Order Task Force or the more recent Periodic Review Board process. Senegal joins 26 different countries which, since 2009, have extended resettlement opportunities to nearly 100 detainees.

The United States appreciates the generous assistance of the Government of Senegal as the United States continues its efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. This significant humanitarian gesture is consistent with Senegal’s leadership on the global stage.

As the President has repeatedly made clear, the Administration is determined to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The continued operation of the detention facility weakens our national security by draining resources, damaging our relationships with key allies and partners, and serving as a propaganda tool for violent extremists. We are taking all possible steps to reduce the detainee population at Guantanamo and to close the detention facility in a responsible manner that protects our national security.

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

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Source:: Senegal Offers Two Former Guantanamo Detainees Humanitarian Resettlement

Categories: AFRICA

Food Gap Widens In Conflict-Stricken South Sudan

Civil strife and unfavourable rains have further reduced crop production in South Sudan, contributing to a cereal deficit of 381,000 metric tons – 53 percent greater than in 2015 – and aggravating the already severe food shortages, two UN agencies warned today.

Cereal prices have shot up nearly five-fold since early last year, making it increasingly difficult for people to get enough to eat, according to a new joint Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

The crisis in South Sudan is marked by alarming levels of hunger. Some 5.8 million people, or nearly half of the country’s population, are unsure where their next meal will come from, while the rate of severe food insecurity has now reached 12 percent, double the rate of one year ago.

“South Sudan is facing a deadly blend of conflict, economic hardship and poor rains. Together, they are worsening a hunger gap that we fear will force more people to go hungry and increase malnutrition,” said WFP Country Director Joyce Luma. “This report makes it clear that improving the food situation requires a peaceful resolution to the conflict.”

“Food insecurity has spread to areas previously considered relatively stable, highlighting the cumulative impact of conflict, economic downturn and climactic shocks,” said Serge Tissot, FAO Representative in South Sudan.

Localised production failure, markets paralyzed by crisis

South Sudan’s cereal shortfall is mainly the result of unfavourable rains in parts of the Bahr el-Ghazal and Equatoria states and disruptions to cropping activities caused by worsening insecurity.

South Sudanese families are forced to cope with soaring cereal prices, which are driven by a combination of the sharp devaluation of the local currency and higher transport costs.

Links between cereal-producing areas – mostly in the Equatoria and Bahr el-Ghazal states – and main markets have become extremely difficult due to heightened insecurity, a proliferation of roadblocks and exorbitant ad hoc taxes levied on commercial transporters along major trade routes.

“Despite huge potential for agricultural production – more than 90 percent of South Sudan’s land is arable – just 4.5 percent of available land was under cultivation when the country gained independence in 2011. Now, after over two years of civil war, this percentage has significantly decreased due to widespread insecurity, damage to agricultural assets and limitations in traditional farming methods,” said Tissot.

“Yet crop production is possible in the stable areas within conflict-affected states, and is more important than ever. Communities cannot rely on markets or aid deliveries for food, and therefore need to produce on their own,” he added. “FAO is working with farmers, fishers and herders, providing them with emergency livelihood kits, seeds, tools, animal health support and training.”

Bridging the food gap

The report makes a series of recommendations for immediate action to address hunger, strengthen domestic food production and reduce the food gap in 2016 and into next year.

Most urgent is the need for an immediate improvement of security across the country. In addition, agencies like WFP, FAO and partner organizations need sustained access and resources to provide targeted food and livelihood assistance to the very vulnerable households in areas with the highest levels of food insecurity, especially in parts of Greater Upper Nile and Eastern Equatoria. Where appropriate, provision of livelihoods assistance – such as seeds or tools – that allow communities to produce their own food is required to withstand market disruptions. Improving people’s access to micronutrient- and protein-rich food could be achieved through the distribution of fishing kits and use of nutrition vouchers to be traded for locally sourced vegetables, fish and milk.

Other recommendations include: supporting the 2016 cropping season across all of South Sudan by ensuring access to agricultural and fisheries inputs; strengthening farmer and pastoral field schools; expanding veterinary campaigns aimed at keeping people’s livestock healthy; and, in conflict-affected areas, assisting in re-establishing livelihoods whenever possible by helping in land preparation and access to inputs.

In 2016, FAO and WFP, together with their partners, will support efforts that aim to increase food availability, strengthen livelihoods and build resilience.

Under the 2016 Humanitarian Appeal, FAO appealed for $45 million to assist 2.8 million people with seeds, tools and other inputs to produce food and keep their livestock healthy, and strengthen the Government’s efforts to boost food security. The current funding gap is 16.1 million to meet this goal.

WFP plans to provide food assistance and specialized nutrition support for about 3 million people in South Sudan in 2016, but has a funding gap of 241 million for the next six months.

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

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Source:: Food Gap Widens In Conflict-Stricken South Sudan

Categories: AFRICA

Orange invests in African e-commerce leader Africa Internet Group

Orange (www.Orange.com) announces the acquisition of a 75 million-euro equity interest in Africa Internet Group, joining AXA, Goldman Sachs and longstanding investors MTN Group, Millicom and Rocket Internet. Through this investment, which will be accompanied by a series of strategic partnerships between the subsidiaries of the two groups, Orange will help Jumia and other websites run by Africa Internet Group to accelerate their growth and seize development opportunities in Africa.

Since Jumia’s creation in Nigeria in 2012, Africa Internet Group has seen significant and continuous growth with ten online consumer businesses operating today in 23 African countries, enabling more than 50,000 local and international companies to do business with African consumers.

Jumia, the original platform, allows businesses to market their products and services online to Africa’s emerging middle class. Other services offered by Africa Internet Group include an e-commerce marketplace (Kaymu), websites offering food delivery (Hellofood) and hotel booking (Jovago), as well as online classified ads for general merchandise (Vendito), real estate (Lamudi), jobs (Everjobs) and vehicles (Carmudi).

This investment underscores Orange’s commitment to Africa, a high-growth territory where nearly one in ten inhabitants is an Orange customer, and confirms the Group’s determination to provide the best digital services to its customers.

Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO of Orange, stated: “We are particularly pleased to announce our entry into the capital of Africa Internet Group. With this strategic investment, Orange now has the capacity to play a leading role in the fast-growing e-commerce market in Africa. This acquisition is combined with the signature of several important partnership agreements that will create value for all parties. In particular, across the twelve countries where we have a common presence, this investment will enable us to significantly develop our ability to market products and services developed by Orange Middle East & Africa over the Internet. This operation, initiated by our corporate investment fund Orange Digital Ventures, is fully aligned with our strategic plan, Essentiels2020, particularly with regards to our ambition to reinvent customer service, develop the digital channels and services offered to customers as well as our ambition to develop our activities in Africa and the Middle East.”

Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara, founders and co-CEOs of Jumia and Africa Internet Group, commented: “We are thrilled by Orange’s equity investment and are eager to translate our strategic partnership into unique offers for our customers. Jumia and our other online consumer services give millions of African consumers an opportunity to access and transact with local companies in a new and very convenient way. With Orange’s support and expertise, combined with that of our existing long-standing shareholders, we will be able to further improve our service offerings and the customer experience while continuing to invest in our infrastructure”.

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

Press contacts: +33 1 44 44 93 93
Tom Wright; tom.wright @orange.com
Olivier Emberger; olivier.emberger.@orange.com

About Jumia & Africa Internet Group
Jumia (www.Jumia.com) is Africa’s leading ecommerce platform with a presence in 11 countries. Since launching in 2012, the company has transformed the way that African consumers shop by offering them the opportunity to buy everything from fashion items to consumer electronics to home appliances all online. Jumia is part of a larger ecosystem of online and mobile consumer services which includes Kaymu (shopping community), hellofood (food delivery), Jovago (hotel booking) and classified ads Vendito (general merchandise), Lamudi (real estate), Everjobs (jobs) and Carmudi (vehicles).

About Orange
Orange (www.Orange.com) is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with sales of 40 billion euros in 2015 and 156,000 employees worldwide at December 31, 2015, including 97,000 employees in France. Present in 28 countries, the Group has a total customer base of 263 million customers worldwide at December 31, 2015, including 201 million mobile customers and 18 million fixed broadband customers. Orange is also a leading provider of global IT and telecommunication services to multinational companies, under the brand Orange Business Services. In March 2015, the Group presented its new strategic plan “Essentials2020” which places customer experience at the heart of its strategy with the aim of allowing them to benefit fully from the digital universe and the power of its new generation networks.

Orange is listed on Euronext Paris (symbol ORA) and on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol ORAN).
For more information on the internet and on your mobile: www.orange.com, www.orange-business.com, www.livetv.orange.com or to follow us on Twitter: @presseorange.
Orange and any other Orange product or service names included in this material are trademarks of Orange or Orange Brand Services Limited.

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Source:: Orange invests in African e-commerce leader Africa Internet Group

Categories: AFRICA

New Calculator Shows How Much You Can Earn Per Tweet

Ten years after the first tweet appeared on Twitter (https://twitter.com/jack/status/20), a new, free online calculator tool (https://Webfluential.com/influence-estimator) allows you to see how much money you could earn for every tweet you post.

If you dream of becoming the next Dj Joe Mfalme (http://www.apo.af/3ycKF1), Arther Mandela (https://webfluential.com/xtiandela) or Ameyaw Debrah (https://webfluential.com/ameyaw112) or would like to earn a living from being a social media influencer being paid for posting branded content to your targeted audience, this calculator will tell you how much your tweets are worth.

Created by Webfluential (https://Webfluential.com), the global Influencer Marketing Platform, the calculator uses geo tracking and algorithms to assess the exact monetary value of each tweet, based primarily off the number of followers you have. The tool is freely available to all Twitter users and for those who have 500 or less followers, the tool will send tips on how to raise their influencer status.

For those serious about their influencer strategies, a more accurate estimate on your full influencer score (based on the three Webfluential metrics of reach, resonance and relevance) is available when you register as an influencer on Webfluential.

Webfluential is an online marketplace that provides social media influencers with the technology, security and credibility (for free) that they need to turn collaborating with brands and marketers into a viable income stream.

The calculator has been launched just after Webfluential announced Booked By Webfluential (http://www.apo.af/8DGpOZ). This tool is a WordPress plugin and Media Kit builder, giving existing influencers complete control of their profiles by allowing them to accept campaign offers anywhere, anytime, from any brand, and, importantly, receive secure payment via PayPal.

“‘Booked By Webfluential’ changes the game for Influencers around the world by giving them free technology that simplifies the entire process of working with brands. Handling requests and booking work are two of the most time-intensive activities that influencers deal with. With this new plugin tool, they can finally have complete peace of mind and focus on more important things, like building their own brand,” says Murray Legg (https://www.linkedin.com/in/murraylegg), co-founder of Webfluential.

Kirsty Sharman (https://www.linkedin.com/in/kirstysharman), Head Of Global Operations at Webfluential says, “When Jack Dorsey posted the first tweet in 2006, I doubt even he knew how much of an impact it would have on the world. Its influence has been hugely positive, from giving a voice to those who were previously ignored to making stars out of unknowns. The challenge with social platforms has always been finding a way to evaluate and show a return on investment in measurable ways, and the free online calculator tool (https://webfluential.com/influence-estimator) and Booked By Webfluential (https://wordpress.org/plugins/booked-by-webfluential/) allow influencers to do just that.”

Sharman adds that Webfluential created the Twitter Calculator to help people understand what their ability to reach an audience is actually worth, but also to highlight that the dream of earning a living being a social media influencer isn’t as farfetched as people think.

“Africa is already home to some of the most popular internet stars, but our technology gives those less-well known a chance to launch their careers. Our goal at Webfluential is to give every influencer in the world the tools to turn their passion into a full time career,” Sharman says.

With over 1 000 brands searching for social stars every month, influencers simply need to create a profile on Webfluential.com to come up in these searches, and get access to the free blog plugin or media kit.

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

Media contact:
Karli Stock
Tribeca Public Relations
011 005 1013 / karlis@tribecapr.co.za

Biography for Murray Legg:
Murray is an entrepreneurial and commercial thinker with a track record of starting, growing and exciting technology businesses. Murray holds a Ph.D in biomedical engineering and has four years of experience as a corporate financier. While running a digital content business he co-founded, Murray realised that bloggers, or “digital influencers” would become their own media channels and could be accessed through a global digital platform. Webfluential was then started to address market demand for access to these influencers. Influencer marketing is both an art and a science, and Webfluential looks at content and analyses it statistically and mathematically to determine its impact within an audience.

Biography for Kirsty Sharman:
“Bottled lightning” (http://www.apo.af/qdu1rC) is how one South African media outlet described Kirsty Sharman, Head of Global Operations at Webfluential. Her career as a digital marketer only began in 2012, when she ran her own recruitment campaign that went viral (http://www.apo.af/tJdS8U), and soon after propelled her into the world of online media. Self-taught in the media landscape, she worked with top African brands to plan and execute their online media strategies before merging with Webfluential. She also heads up one of the largest networking events for women in tech in Southern Africa, Girl Geek Dinners (http://girlgeeksofjhb.co.za). She also recently released an eBook to help educate marketers around the strategy behind influencer marketing. She has just released her own eBook ‘How To Write Your First Influencer Marketing Strategy’ (http://www.apo.af/syeFu1).

About Webfluential
Webfluential (https://Webfluential.com) is a global Influencer Marketing platform which provides the smartest marketing technology for brands to connect to social influencers. The platform makes it easy for marketers to create, manage and track campaigns with credible Influencers and provides Influencers with the tools to market their services and monetise their audience. Marketers are able to search for relevant online Influencers, invite them to participate in digital campaigns and measure the results through detailed reporting. Online Influencers are able to link their blogs and/or social channels to the platform showcasing their reach, accept or decline job offers and receive payment. With thousands of Influencers signed up to the platform, Webfluential has embarked on an aggressive growth strategy globally. For more information visit: https://Webfluential.com

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Categories: AFRICA

UK Export Finance unlocks African markets for UK Exporters

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has today announced that it has joined ATI, the pan-African export credit agency (ECA). The move comes as the UK government looks to encourage more UK businesses to trade with African countries as part of the nation-wide Exporting is GREAT campaign.

As an ATI member, UKEF will gain access to information about upcoming opportunities for exporters, as well as local knowledge of firms and projects. ATI will also provide a platform to raise awareness among project sponsors and buyers in African countries of the UKEF support available to importers of UK goods and services.

UKEF will be able to share risk with other ATI-member countries in strategically important markets, increasing risk capacity for projects in African countries sourcing goods and services from the UK.

Witnessing UKEF joining ATI, British High Commissioner to Kenya HE Nic Hailey said:

‘The UK is a global leader in many of the sectors for which Kenya has greatest demand: infrastructure, advanced engineering, energy, ICT and defence and security. In these and other specialist areas, UK expertise can help accelerate Kenya’s development and economic growth’

Louis Taylor, UKEF Chief Executive Officer, said:

‘UKEF’s ATI membership will help UK exporters unlock fast-growing markets in Africa. We will be able to offer even more comprehensive support to help UK companies win contracts in African countries, combining access to export finance with access to the local knowledge needed to enter new markets.’

George Otieno, Chief Executive Officer of ATI, welcomed UKEF’s membership, saying:

‘A close partnership between ATI and UKEF will give African buyers and UK suppliers access to each other. UKEF and ATI will be able to identify and promote real business opportunities where UK and African companies can work together, and to provide the local market knowledge needed to facilitate trade.’

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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Source:: UK Export Finance unlocks African markets for UK Exporters

Categories: AFRICA