Namibian Vice President pays courtesy call on AU Commission Chairperson

The Vice President of the Republic of Namibia, H.E. Dr. Nickey Iyambo, has paid a courtesy call on the African Union Commission Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, on Monday, 4 April 2016, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Namibian Vice President said that he had been following very closely the steps being taken by the AU Commission, particularly in putting a straightforward development agenda amidst challenges of conflict on the continent. He came to congratulate the Chairperson for her leadership and to pledge Namibia’s continued support to achieve Africa’s Agenda.

On her part, the AU Commission Chairperson expressed her appreciation for the support from the Namibian government, both past and present. She congratulated Namibia for the progress that it is making, encouraging them to continue for good of the people of Namibia as well as the rest of the continent. They also discussed the challenge that the drought has been posing on the region.

The AU Commission Chairperson and the Vice President of Namibia met on the margins of the 9th Joint Annual Meetings of the African Union Specialised Technical Committee on Finance, Monetary Affairs, Economic Planning and Integration and the Economic Commission of Africa Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

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

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Categories: AFRICA

Moroyok PHCU project handover ceremony

You are kindly invited to attend a handover ceremony of an UNMISS-funded primary health care unit (PHCU) project that has been constructed by the Nepalese Battalion or NEPBATT-II and coordinated by UNMISS RRP (Relief, Reintegration and Protection) section.

The project will be handed over to Moroyok community and State Ministry of Health starting from 09:00am until 11:00am on Friday, 8 April 2016. Please find below a map on how to reach the location of the event as well as a detailed ceremony program.

Program for the handover ceremony of primary health care unit at Moroyok, South Sudan on 8th April 2016

TIME

PROGRAM

0900

ARRIVAL OF CHIEF GUEST HONOURABLE STATE MINISTER OF HEALTH

0905-0915

FLAG RAISING PROGRAM BY CHIEF GUEST

0915-0925

WELCOMING SONG BY SCHOOL CHILDREN OF MOROYOK

0925-0930

WELCOME ADDRESS BY MOROYOK COMMUNITY LEADER

0930-0935

REMARKS BY CHIEF OF TOKIMAN COMMUNITY

0935-0945

BRIEFING ON QUICK IMPACT PROJECTS IN SOUTH SUDAN BY HEAD OF RRP SECTION, UNMISS

0945-0950

REMARKS BY COMMANDING OFFICER NEPBATT-II

0950-0955

REMARKS BY COMMANDER SECTOR SOUTH

0955-1000

REMARKS BY UNMISS HEAD OF FIELD OFFICE

1000-1010

CULTURAL PERFORMANCES BY NEPBATT-II

1010-1015

REMARKS BY HEAD OF COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT

1015-1025

REMARKS BY DG, STATE MINISTRY OF HEALTH

1025-1030

REMARKS BY COUNTY COMMISSIONER

1030-1040

CULTURAL PERFORMANCES BY MOROYOK COMMUNITY

1040-1045

CLOSING REMARKS BY CHIEF GUEST

1045-1055

INAUGURATION OF PHCU, & HANDING OVER THE KEYS OF PHCU TO CHIEF GUEST

1055-1100

GROUP PHOTO SESSION

1100-1115

REFRESHMENT

1115

DEPARTURE OF CHIEF GUEST

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

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Categories: AFRICA

Message on the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda

In 1994, more than 800,000 people were systematically murdered throughout Rwanda. The vast majority were Tutsi, but moderate Hutu, Twa and others were also targeted. On this Day, we remember all who perished in the genocide and renew our resolve to prevent such atrocities from ever being repeated, anywhere in the world.

We should all be inspired by the survivors’ courage in showing that reconciliation is possible even after such a tragedy. With the Great Lakes region still facing serious threats to peace and security, healing and reconstruction remain essential.

Honouring the victims of the genocide in Rwanda also means working for justice and accountability. I commend United Nations Member States in the region and beyond for their continued efforts to arrest and hand over remaining fugitives and end impunity. The best way to ensure that genocide and other egregious violations of human rights and international law can never occur again is to acknowledge shared responsibility and commit to shared action to protect those at risk.

Genocide is not a single event. It is a process that takes time and preparation. History has repeatedly demonstrated that no part of the world is immune. One of the key warning signs is the spread of hate speech in public discourse and the media that targets particular communities.

The theme of this year’s observance is “Fighting Genocide Ideology”. It is essential that Governments, the judiciary and civil society stand firm against hate speech and those who incite division and violence. We must promote inclusion, dialogue and the rule of law to establish peaceful and just societies.

The history of Rwanda teaches us an essential lesson. While the capacity for the deepest evil resides in all societies, so too do the qualities of understanding, generosity and reconciliation. Let us nurture these hallmarks of our common humanity to help build a life of dignity and security for all.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations Information Service Vienna (UNIS).

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Categories: AFRICA

Facebook launches Agency Ambassador programme for Africa

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) (http://www.Facebook.com) has launched an Agency Ambassador Programme for Africa as part of its drive to equip its agency partners with the skills and information they need to make the most of Facebook as a marketing and advertising platform. Agency Ambassadors have a direct line to Facebook and receive extensive training to help them become their agency’s expert in Facebook’s tools, technologies and solutions.

Delegates representing 32 top media agencies from four countries (Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa) gathered at a three-day summit in Johannesburg from 29 March to 1 April, where a Facebook team from around the world trained them to become Africa’s first Facebook Agency Ambassadors. The collaborative training equipped participants with the resources they need to understand how to drive real business results through digital marketing, and in turn share this knowledge within their organizations. The forum also afforded an opportunity for the agency representatives to provide feedback to Facebook.

The launch of the program follows within a year after the opening of Facebook’s first office in Africa—based in Johannesburg, South Africa— when Facebook committed to supporting and up-skilling businesses across the continent.

“We’re so excited to launch the Facebook Agency Ambassador Program, a first for Africa,” says Nunu Ntshingila, Head of Africa for Facebook. “As media transcends to digital, it’s of crucial importance that these Ambassadors are equipped to take their learnings back to their agencies – both digital and traditional – so that they can make the most of the digital opportunity, and ultimately grow brands and businesses.”

The programme incorporates Facebook Blueprint, an education program that trains agencies, partners and marketers on how to use Facebook. Combining online courses, in-person training and certification, Blueprint trains marketers on everything from campaign optimization and how to use video on Facebook to effective ad measurement solutions. The foundation of Blueprint is its eLearning center, which features more than 50 online courses and has tracks organized by category, such as direct response marketing, as well as tracks designed for specific roles, such as digital buying.

According to Elizma Nolte, Head of Business Marketing for Facebook Sub-Saharan Africa, “Our goal with the Agency Ambassador Programme is to empower agencies to help their clients make the most of our platforms. It’s also a way for us to listen to agencies and learn more about what they need in their specific markets, so that we can improve offerings across the Facebook family of services. Facebook is a partnership company at heart, and this kick-off summit is simply the beginning of a long-term partnership with agencies across the continent.”

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

Source:: Facebook launches Agency Ambassador programme for Africa

Categories: AFRICA

Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner’s Remarks on Nigeria during Daily Press Briefing

Mark C. Toner

Deputy Spokesperson

Daily Press Briefing

Washington, DC

April 6, 2016

(Excerpt – Nigeria):

QUESTION: — regarding the Chibok girls. What has the U.S. Government done since 2014 to help facilitate their return?

MR TONER: Right. You’re talking about the – right, the Chibok girls from Nigeria. Well, it’s the second anniversary, I think, coming up on that. And of course, we call for all hostages, including these young women and girls who’ve been held by Boko Haram, to be released immediately without preconditions. We support Nigerian efforts to bring about the safe recovery of those kidnapped and we continue to advise them on their response to this, as well as on general counterterrorism and counter-Boko Haram efforts.

And that assistance takes a number of – or is – there’s a number of forms, I guess. One is intelligence training – one is intelligence, of course, training, advice on strategic communications, but also victim support services and assistance to those who have been – who have suffered under Boko Haram. I think we’ve given upwards of 198 million in humanitarian assistance to the populations in Nigeria that have been affected by Boko Haram’s continued attacks, terrorist activity.

But it’s a heartbreaking story, the situation of these young women who, as I said, were kidnapped. We continue to work and provide any assistance we can to obtain their eventual release.

QUESTION: As you said, it’s been two years. Has there been any – is there any plans to ramp up efforts?

MR TONER: Ramp up efforts in this particular regard? I mean, look, we – we’re working closely. I mean, this is obviously a Nigerian Government-led effort. I would say we’ve continued to ramp up efforts over the past couple of years, not only because of this incident but because of repeated ongoing Boko Haram terrorist activity attacks on innocent civilians across Nigeria. I think, certainly, we recognize – and this terrible kidnapping was just a very vivid and heartbreaking example of it – but we realize that there’s an urgency here, that Boko Haram is exerting a terrible influence and is really a scourge on the Nigerian population.

So of course we’re looking at ways that we can ramp up our support for Nigeria’s security services. But as I said, also the other aspect of this is assistance – any assistance that we can provide to help the victims of these attacks, whether they’re from the terrorist attacks or kidnap victims as well.

QUESTION: And —

MR TONER: Please, go ahead and finish. Yeah.

QUESTION: Sorry, one final.

MR TONER: No, that’s okay.

QUESTION: And have these efforts been unilateral or have you been working with other governments outside of the Nigerian Government as well?

MR TONER: We have been working with other governments in the region as well as, I believe, some other governments. I don’t have a list in front of me, but —

QUESTION: Can I get that later?

MR TONER: — I think it’s been a joint effort. We can certainly get that for you, of course.

QUESTION: Great. Thank you.

QUESTION: On the same topic – on the same topic —

MR TONER: Yes, sir. Yeah.

QUESTION: Yeah. Why is Boko Haram not getting the proper attention like, let’s say, ISIL and so on? Is it something that’s – does it seem real far away, is it out of the public eye? Although it was the First Lady herself that basically carried a sign that said, “Bring our girls home.” Why is that? Why in your opinion?

MR TONER: So I would – just circling back to her question – I will get to you – but we do actually – another aspect of our efforts to assist in the – in – is that we do have a team in Abuja who consists of specialists on temporary assignment from a variety of U.S. Government agencies who are trying to work on assisting the Nigerian Government on this particular case.

So your question, sorry, is just —

QUESTION: My question is —

MR TONER: Yeah.

QUESTION: — it seems off the radar screen, Boko Haram. Although there was at the beginning a great deal of spotlighting of the issue, but then it seems to have faded away. Why is that?

MR TONER: I mean, we do speak publicly about these attacks when they take place – condemning them, obviously, very strongly. I think, as we’re doing even in – against ISIL, part of the challenge in all of these is trying to build the capacity of local government and local security forces to take the fight to these terrorist groups, because that’s the ultimate solution, right? I mean, we’ve seen it in Iraq as well is – the ultimate endgame here is to build the capacity of local authorities to deal with these terrorists. And I think that requires a lot of effort, a longer period of training and assistance, but ultimately, as I said, is the better long-term outcome – to build that capability, that capacity. And we’ve been doing that. That’s – as I said, we’ve been working with the Nigerian Government over the past years.

I certainly don’t want to give the impression that it’s somehow off the radar screen, because they have consistently carried out, as you note, a series of terrible attacks on innocent civilians – attacking churches, attacking villages, attacking innocent civilians in a variety of circumstances – and they need to be stopped.

Please, sir.

QUESTION: And last time President Buhari of Nigeria was in Washington, or the last time he was here bilaterally – I think he attended the nuclear summit. The last time he was here bilaterally, he complained that the degree to which he received direct military assistance from the U.S. is curtailed by the Leahy Act because Nigerian security forces are not regarded as proper partners because of their human rights record. Given who else you’re working with around the world – I’m thinking about the Middle East – is it still the case that you can’t give as much military assistance to Nigeria as Nigeria would want, and is it in fact the case that it’s the Leahy Act that restrains that, that there are concerns about the human rights records of the Nigerian forces?

MR TONER: I mean, to be perfectly honest, I’d have to – and candid, I’d have to look into those – his alleged – or his remarks about that. I can say that, just as they are in the Middle East, any military equipment or assistance we have – or we give, rather, whether – as I said, to whatever country, whether it’s in the Middle East or elsewhere in Africa, is subject to Leahy vetting. That’s just something that we’re required by law to do, for good reason. We cannot, obviously, give military equipment to units, battalions, what have you, that have been allegedly carrying out human rights abuses. That’s just something we have to do for any of this stuff.

That said, there are ways that we can still – and I believe we are working effectively with the Nigerian Government to provide them with the support they need.

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

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Source:: Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner’s Remarks on Nigeria during Daily Press Briefing

Categories: AFRICA

USAID Joins Nespresso and TechnoServe to Support South Sudan’s Coffee Farmers

Today the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced it will invest $3.18 million to strengthen efforts to rebuild the coffee industry in South Sudan and improve coffee farmer livelihoods.

USAID is partnering with Nespresso and TechnoServe, a non-profit development organization, in this joint effort. The country’s coffee industry was decimated after years of civil war, and oil now comprises the majority of its exports. Since 2011, Nespresso and TechnoServe have worked directly with local farmers to revive high-quality coffee production in South Sudan, while developing commercial channels to enable its sale and export. Nespresso has already invested over $1.5 million in the project.

USAID will invest $3.18 million over three years to help revive South Sudan’s coffee industry, diversify its export market and raise the household incomes of smallholder coffee farmers.

To date, more than 700 farmers have been integrated into the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality Program, which provides support, training and technical assistance to improve sustainability and productivity, while maintaining the highest quality coffee. South Sudan’s first wet mills (equipment to process coffee cherries into coffee beans) have been established, and the first coffee export was sold as a Nespresso Limited Edition variety in France last year.

“In a severely conflict-affected country like South Sudan, it’s important that we invest in people to help improve livelihoods, reduce extreme poverty and give people hope about the future,” said USAID Assistant Administrator for Africa Linda Etim. “By helping expand the success that Nespresso and TechnoServe have already achieved in improving the livelihoods of South Sudan’s coffee farmers, USAID is planting seeds of hope at a very fragile and uncertain time for the people of South Sudan.We’re encouraged to see a company like Nespresso investing in long-term growth in South Sudan and look forward to working together to expand economic growth and opportunity in the country.”

George Clooney, NespressoBrand Ambassador commented,”Coffee is a much-needed source of income for farmers in South Sudan – a country still ravaged by war. Investing in grassroots development and empowerment of local farming communities will help provide the foundation for sustainable economic development. This commitment by USAID is a strong signal of the relevance of the program that Nespresso and TechnoServe have built up with these communities, allowing it to reach even more farmers in more areas of the country.”

USAID’s contribution will help expand the existing initiative to support a thriving and inclusive coffee sector in South Sudan by increasing scale and ensuring lasting impact. The funding injection will also enable the program to be extended to new communities, allowing more farmers in South Sudan to benefit from the revival of South Sudan’s coffee industry.

The initiative aims to triple coffee incomes and improve household resilience. By 2019, the program will have trained 1,500 South Sudanese farmers, of whom at least 25 percent will be women, and helped establish nine cooperative-owned wet mills.

“The existence of the programme in South Sudan has helped us recover the coffee trees we had lost during the war; and since we started maintaining our trees and delivering to the wet mills our lives have completely changed,” said South Sudanese coffee farmer Daniel Lomoro. “We can now afford to take our children to good schools and meet the basic needs of the family. This wouldn’t have been possible without that technical support. Nespresso and TechnoServe have strengthened us and taught us to be self-reliant.”

“We can also see that it can lift the family, lift the nation and can bring good things,” added South Sudanese farmer Nicholas Taban Solomon. “One will not be poor as before. The poverty is reducing, and you will have a better life. So we advise that everyone should plant coffee for the future to uplift the nation.”

“This new partnership with USAID will be instrumental to accelerate the progress Nespresso and TechnoServe have already made, working directly with South Sudanese farmers,” said Jean-Marc Duvoisin, CEO of Nestlé Nespresso. “This funding injection will allow us to scale up the project and help an even greater number of farmers grow and sell high quality coffee for international export at a higher price, thus creating a better quality of life for farmers and their families.”

“Despite great difficulties, the coffee farmers of South Sudan have shown extraordinary determination to improve the future for their children, their communities, and ultimately, their country,” said William Warshauer, President and CEO of TechnoServe. “Working with us and Nespresso, they have been proud to share their unique coffee with the world and to contribute to a more sustainable economic base for their country. With increased funding from USAID, coffee has the potential to eventually become one of the biggest non-oil exports for South Sudan, which could have important positive economic and political implications down the road.”

Through its focus on improving smallholder livelihoods, this partnership also complements the goals of the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future, helping to reduce poverty and malnutrition through agricultural development.

Nespresso Sustainable Innovation Fund

Nespresso has also launched its Nespresso Sustainability Innovation Fund, which has been established to facilitate investment from Nespresso in coffee origin revival and coffee supply chain resilience projects that go beyond the usual business operations of the company. The structure will also enable transparent reporting on the investments made.Nespresso is committing an initial $10 million in specific innovative coffee value chain initiatives in the coming three years (2016-2018). These announcements come as part of the fourth annual meeting of the Nespresso Sustainability Advisory Board.

About Nestlé Nespresso SA
Nestlé Nespresso SA is the pioneer and reference for highest-quality portioned coffee. Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, Nespresso operates in 64 countries and has more than 12,000 employees. In 2015, it operated a global retail network of over 450 exclusive boutiques. For more information, visit the Nespresso corporate website: www.nestle-nespresso.com.

About the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program
The Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program, launched in 2003 in collaboration with the NGO The Rainforest Alliance, empowers coffee farmers by investing in community infrastructures, paying cash premiums for superior coffee and best agricultural practices, and providing farmers with training, financing and technical assistance to continuously improve quality, sustainability and productivity – the three pillars represented by the “triple As” in the program’s name. This approach drives improvements in social, environmental and economic conditions for coffee farmers and farming communities. http://www.nestle-nespresso.com/sustainability/the-positive-cup/coffee

About TechnoServe
TechnoServe is a leader in harnessing the power of the private sector to help people lift themselves out of poverty. A nonprofit organization operating in 30 countries, we work with enterprising men and women in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses and industries. By linking people to information, capital and markets, we have helped millions to create lasting prosperity for their families and communities. TechnoServe has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for the last 10 years, placing us in the top 1 percent of all its rated nonprofits. With nearly 50 years of proven results, TechnoServe believes in the power of private enterprise to transform lives. www.technoserve.org

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

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Categories: AFRICA

What is permissible and what is not when countering terrorism? UN experts welcome new African guidelines

A group of eighteen United Nations independent experts* has welcomed the new Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights while Countering Terrorism in Africa launched this year by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR).

Speaking ahead of an upcoming ACHPR’s panel discussion in Banjul, The Gambia (11 April), in which Member States will be briefed on the new Principles and Guidelines, the UN experts called on all African governments to fully implement the Commission’s recommendations in order to respect human rights in the context of fighting terrorism.

“We commend the ACHPR’s effort to draw a clear line of demarcation between what is permissible and what is not, when countering terrorism.

Against a growing trend of countries moving away from international legal norms and standards on a global scale and at a time when terrorist groups, such as ISIS, Boko Haram or less known ones, are bringing harm and suffering to countless people in Africa, this document represents a principled stand on human rights and the rule of law in the Continent.

The essence of lawful State action, when countering terrorism, requires States to protect national security and public safety in full respect of individuals’ human rights and fundamental freedoms, while recognizing that many rights are absolute and that human rights abuses often lead to or exacerbate pre-existing tension and instability.

All strategies and policies adopted by States to counter terrorism must be firmly grounded in and comply with international law, in particular human rights law, refugee law and international humanitarian law. It also remains a priority that the death penalty is not used for terrorism-related cases.

In the exceptional circumstances when rights-limiting measures are considered, their potential impact on women, children, migrants, ethnic and religious communities or any other specific group must also be considered. All measures must be subject to effective parliamentary and judicial scrutiny.

Particular attention should be paid to any impact on freedom of expression, privacy, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, as well as on the legitimate work of human rights defenders. Measures that specifically target individuals or groups, whether in law or practice, must be necessary, proportionally applied and not discriminatory on any basis, including religion, ethnicity, nationality or migratory status. When individuals are subjected to human rights abuses, they must have access to an effective remedy.

We hope that the ACHPR Principles and Guidelines will help to bring additional coherence among national endeavors in Africa to promote and protect human rights while adding value to international efforts relating to the prevention and combating of terrorism.

The effective implementation of these Principles and Guidelines in accordance with United Nations counter-terrorism norms and standards can give Africa a welcome opportunity to further enhance its role as a key partner in the international community towards upholding international law and safeguarding human rights and global security.

Initiatives such as the Principles and Guidelines are undoubtedly steps in the right direction. However, while acknowledging the efforts made in the regional context in attempting to define terrorism, achieving an international consensus on what constitutes terrorism remains equally important.”

NOTE TO EDITORS: The ACHPR Principles and Guidelines outline the fundamental human rights principles, norms and standards applicable in the African region that are most commonly engaged when countering terrorism.

These include the right to life; the absolute prohibition of torture, refoulement, enforced disappearances and discrimination; the independence of justice; the prohibition on arbitrary arrest and detention; the right to due process and fair trial; the protection of civil society actors, including human rights defenders and journalists, as well as the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, and the right to participate in public life; the need to ensure accountability of private security contractors; and people’s right to truth and privacy. The Principles and Guidelines also specifically address the human rights of the victims of terrorism and the corresponding obligations of States.

Within the framework of the Principles and Guidelines, States must also cooperate on strengthening and implementing counter-terrorism strategies and measures while always respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

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Categories: AFRICA

February Demand Growth Stays Strong

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic results for February showing continuing strong demand growth for domestic and international travel. Total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose 8.6%, compared to the same month last year. Monthly capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 9.6%, and load factor declined 0.7 percentage points to 77.8%.

“In the first two months of 2016, demand for passenger connectivity is off to its strongest start in eight years. However, February was the first month since the middle of 2015 in which capacity growth exceeded demand, which caused the global load factor to decline. It is unclear whether this signals the start of a generalized downward trend in load factor, but it bears watching,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

February 2016
(% year-on-year)

World share¹

RPK

ASK


PLF
(%-pt)²

PLF
(level)³

Total Market

100.0%

8.6%

9.6%

-0.7%

77.8%

Africa

2.2%

11.6%

11.9%

-0.1%

65.7%

Asia Pacific

31.5%

9.8%

9.6%

0.1%

79.0%

Europe

26.7%

7.5%

7.3%

0.2%

77.7%

Latin America

5.4%

7.2%

7.3%

-0.1%

79.5%

Middle East

9.4%

11.0%

16.7%

-3.8%

73.3%

North America

24.7%

7.1%

9.0%

-1.4%

79.1%

¹% of industry RPKs in 2015 ²Year-on-year change in load factor ³Load factor level

International Passenger Markets

February international passenger demand rose 9.1% compared to February 2015, which was an increase over the 7.3% yearly increase recorded in January. Airlines in all regions recorded growth. Total capacity climbed 9.9%, causing load factor to slip 0.6% percentage points to 76.6%.

  • European carriers saw February demand increase by 7.7% compared to a year ago. Traffic has recovered following disruptions in the 2015 fourth quarter related to airline strikes and the shutdown of Transaero in Russia. Capacity climbed 7.8% and load factor dipped 0.1 percentage points to 78.3%.
  • Asia-Pacific airlines’ February traffic rose 11.2% compared to the year-ago period. Capacity increased 10.3% and load factor climbed 0.7 percentage points to 78.3%. Comparisons with 2015 are distorted by the timing of the Lunar New Year celebrations, which took place in February this year. Slower economic growth in many of the region’s economies has been at least partly offset by the 7.3% increase in the number of direct airport connections within the region, which has helped to stimulate passenger demand.
  • North American airlines’ traffic climbed 3.6%, which was the slowest among the regions and was exceeded by a capacity expansion of 4.8%. In turn, this caused load factor to fall 0.9 percentage points to 75.9%. US airlines have been focusing on the larger and more robust domestic market, although that market is showing signs of slowing in recent months.
  • Middle East carriers had an 11.3% demand increase in February compared to a year ago. This was exceeded, however, by a 16.9% rise in capacity that caused load factor to drop 3.7 percentage points to 73%. Traffic growth has now lagged capacity growth for six consecutive months.
  • Latin American airlines saw February traffic jump 10.4% compared to February 2015. Capacity increased by 10.1%, boosting load factor 0.2 percentage points to 79.8%, highest among the regions. Domestic passenger demand remains under pressure from economic difficulties in the region’s biggest economies, but this seems not to be affecting business-related international travel.
  • African airlines posted the strongest demand growth among the regions with February traffic up 12.7% compared to a year ago. The pick-up indicates that carriers here are regaining market share through efforts to rationalize networks and enhance revenue management systems, after several difficult years. It also aligns with a jump in exports from Africa. Capacity rose 13.4%, and load factor slipped 0.4 percentage points to 63.7%.

Domestic Passenger Markets

Domestic travel demand rose 7.9% in February compared to February 2015, which was an increase over growth of 6.9% in January. All markets except Brazil showed growth, with the strongest increases occurring in India, the US and China. Domestic capacity climbed 9.0%, and load factor fell back.0.8 percentage points to 79.7%.

February 2016
(% year-on-year)

World share¹

RPK

ASK

PLF
(%-pt)²

PLF
(level)³

Domestic

36.4%

7.9%

9.0%

-0.8%

79.7%

Australia

1.1%

4.6%

5.2%

-0.4%

74.3%

Brazil

1.4%

-3.1%

-1.0%

-1.6%

78.5%

China P.R

8.4%

8.2%

9.5%

-1.0%

82.0%

India

1.2%

24.6%

27.4%

-1.9%

85.2%

Japan

1.2%

1.4%

-0.6%

1.3%

66.8%

Russia Fed.

1.3%

3.4%

-0.8%

2.9%

72.6%

US

15.4%

8.9%

11.5%

-1.9%

80.7%

¹% of industry RPKs in 2015 ²Year-on-year change in load factor ³Load factor level
*Note: the seven domestic passenger markets for which broken-down data are available account for 30% of global total RPKs and approximately 82% of total domestic RPKs

  • India led all domestic markets again with a 24.6% year-on-year growth, supported by the strong economic backdrop, as well as notable increases in services. This trend is expected to continue with flight frequencies in 2016 scheduled to increase by 11.5% year-on-year.
  • Brazil’s domestic market decline may be starting to bottom out but the highly uncertain economic and political outlook could pose challenges for airlines in the near-term.

The Bottom Line

“On March 22 we had a grim reminder that transportation—including aviation—remains a target for terrorism. The attacks in Brussels were an attack on humanity—a terrible tragedy—that was met with resilience. The subway is back in operation. And the airport is working hard to return to normal operations that will reconnect Europe’s capital with the world. Aviation is a force for good. And we are once again proving that terrorists will never succeed in destroying the fundamental urge of people to travel, explore and learn about the world,” said Tyler

Notes for Editors:

  • IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents nearly 260 airlines comprising 83% of global air traffic.
  • All figures are provisional and represent total reporting at time of publication plus estimates for missing data. Historic figures February be revised.
  • Domestic RPKs accounted for about 36% of the total market. It is most important for North American airlines as it is about 66% of their operations. In Latin America, domestic travel accounts for 46% of operations, primarily owing to the large Brazilian market. For Asia-Pacific carriers, the large markets in India, China and Japan mean that domestic travel accounts for 45% of the region’s operations. It is less important for Europe and most of Africa where domestic travel represents just 11% and 14% of operations, respectively. And it is negligible for Middle Eastern carriers for whom domestic travel represents just 4% of operations.
  • Explanation of measurement terms:
    • RPK: Revenue Passenger Kilometers measures actual passenger traffic
    • ASK: Available Seat Kilometers measures available passenger capacity
    • PLF: Passenger Load Factor is % of ASKs used.
  • IATA statistics cover international and domestic scheduled air traffic for IATA member and non-member airlines.

Total passenger traffic market shares by region of carriers in terms of RPK are: Asia-Pacific 31.5%, Europe 26.7%, North America 24.7%, Middle East 9.4%, Latin America 5.4%, and Africa 2.2%.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of International Air Transport Association (IATA).

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Source:: February Demand Growth Stays Strong

Categories: AFRICA

Orange completes the acquisition of the Liberian mobile operator Cellcom

Orange (www.Orange.com) announced today that it has completed the acquisition of 100% of Cellcom, Liberia’s leading mobile operator(1), through its subsidiary Orange Côte d’Ivoire.

Less than three months after signing the agreement with Cellcom Telecommunications Limited for the acquisition of its Liberian subsidiary, Orange has obtained all the official approbations necessary to complete the transaction. Cellcom Liberia has 1.4 million customers.

Liberia will now become the 20th country in Africa and the Middle East to join the Orange group. With a population of 4.3 million people and relatively low mobile penetration rate (66% of the population), the country has a high-growth potential for Orange.

Over the next few months, Liberian customers will benefit from the arrival of Orange, one of Africa’s leading players in the telecoms’ industry. Orange will provide its marketing expertise and world-class technical capability to further strengthen the operator’s established network and enhance customer service.

This acquisition is part of the international development strategy of Orange, which aims to accelerate growth by entering new emerging markets with high potential. This will enable Orange to strengthen its positions in Africa, where almost one in ten people are already customers.

(1) Based on the number of subscribers at end December 2015

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

Press contact: +33 1 44 44 93 93
Tom Wright; tom.wright@orange.com
Caroline Simeoni ; caroline.simeoni@orange.com

About Orange
Orange (www.Orange.com) is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with sales of 39 billion euros in 2014 and 157,000 employees worldwide at 30 September 2015, including 98,000 employees in France. Present in 28 countries, the Group has a total customer base of 263 million customers worldwide at 30 September 2015, including 200 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: @orangegrouppr.
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 completes the acquisition of the Liberian mobile operator Cellcom

Categories: AFRICA

Orange completes the acquisition of the Liberian mobile operator Cellcom

Orange (www.Orange.com) announced today that it has completed the acquisition of 100% of Cellcom, Liberia’s leading mobile operator(1), through its subsidiary Orange Côte d’Ivoire.

Less than three months after signing the agreement with Cellcom Telecommunications Limited for the acquisition of its Liberian subsidiary, Orange has obtained all the official approbations necessary to complete the transaction. Cellcom Liberia has 1.4 million customers.

Liberia will now become the 20th country in Africa and the Middle East to join the Orange group. With a population of 4.3 million people and relatively low mobile penetration rate (66% of the population), the country has a high-growth potential for Orange.

Over the next few months, Liberian customers will benefit from the arrival of Orange, one of Africa’s leading players in the telecoms’ industry. Orange will provide its marketing expertise and world-class technical capability to further strengthen the operator’s established network and enhance customer service.

This acquisition is part of the international development strategy of Orange, which aims to accelerate growth by entering new emerging markets with high potential. This will enable Orange to strengthen its positions in Africa, where almost one in ten people are already customers.

(1) Based on the number of subscribers at end December 2015

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

Press contact: +33 1 44 44 93 93
Tom Wright; tom.wright@orange.com
Caroline Simeoni ; caroline.simeoni@orange.com

About Orange
Orange (www.Orange.com) is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with sales of 39 billion euros in 2014 and 157,000 employees worldwide at 30 September 2015, including 98,000 employees in France. Present in 28 countries, the Group has a total customer base of 263 million customers worldwide at 30 September 2015, including 200 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: @orangegrouppr.
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 completes the acquisition of the Liberian mobile operator Cellcom

Categories: AFRICA

MSF criticises humanitarian community for severe lack of medicine in South Sudan

International donors and the broader humanitarian community must take immediate action to address widespread shortages of essential medicines in South Sudan, the international medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) warned today in an open letter from MSF international president Dr. Joanne Liu.

“The conflict in South Sudan has now continued for over two years, heavily impacting its population,” writes Dr. Liu, calling the worsening drug shortages “an additional and preventable medical emergency.”

Until June 2015, international donors provided for the funding, procurement and provision of essential medicines in South Sudan through a mechanism called the Emergency Medicines Fund (EMF). Although MSF warned that withdrawing this support would lead to a dramatic reduction in access to health care, donors decided not to renew the mechanism without implementing an adequate alternative.

MSF now witnesses shortages of medicines in primary health care centres in a majority of the locations where the organisation works in South Sudan, even in places less affected by conflict. The medical consequences became evident last year when MSF treated more patients than ever before for severe malaria, Dr. Liu wrote. Many sought treatment from MSF after becoming extremely sick because of the lack of access to medicine at the local level.

Specifically MSF has witnessed:

More patients than ever before for severe malaria at our clinics, as people are forced to travel long distances to reach our clinics due to a lack of drugs locally;
In the North West of the country, around Aweil 35 out of the 42 health centres visited by MSF recently were compromised – 12 closed completely, 23 experienced intermittent closures due to shortages.
In the South West of the country, in Ezo and Mundri, every medical facility MSF witnessed experienced drug shortages or ruptures.
Around the town of Pibor, in Jonglei, health centres across the entire region had been closed due to staff and drug shortages, and MSF’s medical centre was looted in February.

Hundreds of thousands of people remain displaced by conflict in South Sudan, and the drug shortages are compounding the humanitarian needs. Recent years have been marked by major outbreaks of disease, including malaria and waterborne illnesses, putting thousands of lives at risk. Even prior to the outbreak of hostilities in December 2013, most health care in the country was provided by aid organisations.

“A new rainy season is approaching fast, promising new outbreaks as well as complicated logistics,” Dr. Liu wrote. “It is not a situation that one actor can resolve on their own, but concerted efforts seem to be lacking. We are therefore calling upon all donors, actors and authorities again to come together to avert a complete medical crisis which adds to an already dire humanitarian situation.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Médecins sans frontières (MSF).

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Source:: MSF criticises humanitarian community for severe lack of medicine in South Sudan

Categories: AFRICA

U.S. Speaker of the House Visits Egypt

The U.S. Embassy in Cairo is pleased to welcome to Egypt the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, who is leading a delegation from the U.S. Congress for meetings with Egyptian officials on April 7.

Speaker Ryan and the delegation plan to meet with President Sisi to discuss shared interests related to security, stability, and the fight against terrorism.

They also plan to meet with Speaker of the Egyptian Parliament, Ali Abdel-Al, and to explore opportunities for cooperation between the Egyptian Parliament and the United States House of Representatives.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of U.S. Embassy – Cairo.

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Source:: U.S. Speaker of the House Visits Egypt

Categories: AFRICA