Parliamentary Secretary Obhrai Strongly Condemns Violence Perpetrated by Boko Haram in Cameroon

OTTAWA, Canada, February 6, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Honourable Deepak Obhrai, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and for International Human Rights, today issued the following statement in response to reports that the town of Fotokol, on the northern border of Cameroon, suffered a deadly attack at the hands of Boko Haram:

“Canada strongly condemns the despicable attack by Boko Haram that resulted in the death of several dozen Cameroonian and Chadian civilians and soldiers and the destruction of a place of worship.

“We are appalled by this massacre and extend our condolences to the families and friends of the victims.

“Canada has listed Boko Haram as a terrorist organization and will continue to stand in solidarity with the countries that are affected by its violent acts.”

Source:: Parliamentary Secretary Obhrai Strongly Condemns Violence Perpetrated by Boko Haram in Cameroon

Categories: African Press Organization

SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS BINTOU KEITA OF GUINEA EBOLA CRISIS MANAGER FOR SIERRA LEONE

NEW YORK, February 5, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Bintou Keita of Guinea as Ebola Crisis Manager for Sierra Leone for the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER). In her role as Ebola Crisis Manager Ms. Keita will work with the host government and key stakeholders to ensure rapid and effective international emergency response to Ebola continues in Sierra Leone.

Ms. Keita succeeds Amadu Kamara of the United States, who will return to the United Nations Support Office for the African Union Mission in Somalia. The Secretary-General expresses his gratitude to Mr. Kamara for his exceptional work in Sierra Leone and his commitment and dedication to fighting the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Ms. Keita brings to the position a wealth of experience with more than 25 years of service in the United Nations including her most recent work as the Chief of Staff for UNMEER. Previous to this, Ms. Keita served extensively in various senior management and leadership functions with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Chad, Congo, Madagascar, Cape Verde, Rwanda, Burundi and New York. Ms. Keita also served as Deputy Executive Representative of the Secretary General for the United Nations Integrated Office in Burundi (BINUB). She has also worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in Guinea.

Ms. Keita holds a Master’s Degree in Social Economy from the University Paris II, Assas France and a Post Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Paris IX, Dauphine France.

Source:: SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS BINTOU KEITA OF GUINEA EBOLA CRISIS MANAGER FOR SIERRA LEONE

Categories: African Press Organization

Federal Government concerned about further mass sentencing in Egypt

BERLIN, Germany, February 5, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — A Federal Foreign Office spokesperson issued the following statement in Berlin today (5 February) on the decision of an Egyptian court to sentence 230 people to life in prison:

Once again an Egyptian court has handed down a disproportionately harsh mass sentence to hundreds of defendants, a move which is a serious violation of their right to a fair and proper trial. The German Government urgently calls on the authorities in Egypt to revise the sentences.

Citizens’ trust in the judiciary and the rule of law is a central pillar of every democracy and an important condition for stability and security. It is the task of every government to create the necessary framework conditions to guarantee the legal protection of its citizens.

This sentence ramps up the atmosphere of political intimidation and repression. This is a bad sign, especially in the run-up to the parliamentary elections due to take place in March.

Background information:

On 4 February 2015, a court in Cairo handed down life sentences to 230 people. They are accused of taking part in clashes between demonstrators and security forces in December 2011 in which 18 people were killed. 39 minors were also sentenced to ten years in prison.

The only accused present at the trial was well-known democracy activist Ahmed Douma. He is currently serving a three-year sentence for violating the repressive law on public demonstrations. According to Egyptian criminal law, the maximum sentence is imposed automatically if a sentence is handed down in absentia.

Source:: Federal Government concerned about further mass sentencing in Egypt

Categories: African Press Organization

Orange and Ecobank launch money transfer service between Orange Money accounts and bank accounts in Africa

PARIS, France, February 5, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Orange (http://www.orange.com) and pan-African banking group Ecobank have rolled out a service that will enable Orange Money subscribers who also have bank accounts with Ecobank to transfer money between their respective accounts. The service has already been launched in Mali and will be rolled-out in several other African countries, including Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea Conakry, Niger, Senegal and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, during the first half of 2015.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/orange-logo.jpg

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/photo-orange-money.jpg

The partnership aims to facilitate money transfers for both Ecobank and Orange customers by offering them the possibility of topping up their Orange Money e-wallet from their bank account, and vice versa. Customers can use their mobile phones to securely transfer money at any time without the need to go to a distribution point or to have physical cash.

The two companies have launched the service following the signature of a memorandum of understanding. The partnership comes as part of a joint strategy to enhance mobile financial services and to increase access to banking services across Africa.

In sub-Saharan Africa, where less than 24 percent of the population has a bank account and over 60 percent have a mobile phone, Orange Money offers easy-to-use mobile financial services that allow transactions to be made remotely and securely, avoiding the need to carry money around. With Orange Money, customers can transfer money from their mobile phones to any other customer in the country and, in some countries, internationally. They can also pay their water, electricity and television bills and top up their telephone airtime remotely. Depending on the country, they may also benefit from savings and insurance solutions.

This type of partnership with banks allows a customer to link a bank account with his or her Orange Money account. Notably, it is a service that facilitates exchanges between persons with bank accounts and those without. Ecobank customers can also view bank account balance and obtain mini-statements by SMS via the service.

With more than 12 million customers and 4.5 billion euros exchanged in 13 countries in 2014, Orange Money has delivered considerable success.

Laurent Paillassot, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Orange in charge of Customer Experience and Mobile Banking, said: “This partnership between Orange and Ecobank will further enrich customer experience. By facilitating exchanges between Ecobank and Orange Money accounts, our customers will be able to conduct financial transactions quickly and in complete security, bringing them the best of both worlds. We want to offer this service wherever it makes sense.”

Patrick Akinwuntan, Ecobank’s Group Executive in charge of Domestic Banking, said “This roll-out further demonstrates Ecobank’s commitment to make branchless banking a reality by activating multiple service channels in every country in which we operate. Our unique pan-African footprint also enables us to be at the forefront of efforts to develop the market for cross-border mobile financial services in Africa.”

Learn more about Orange Money: http://www.orange.com/en/content/download/26739/594752/version/6/file/PressKit_Orange_Money_28nov2014_EN.pdf

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

Contacts presse :

Orange:

+33 1 44 44 93 93

Tom Wright, tom.wright@orange.com

Caroline Simeoni, caroline.simeoni@orange.com

Ecobank:

+288 22 21 03 03

Richard Uku, ruku@ecobank.com

Edgar Andagalu, eandagalu@ecobank.com

about Orange

Orange (http://www.orange.com) is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with sales of 41 billion euros in 2013 and has 159,000 employees worldwide at September 30, 2014, including 99,800 employees in France. Present in 30 countries, the Group served 240 million customers worldwide as of 30 September 2014, including 182 million mobile customers and 16 million broadband internet customers. Under the Orange Business Services brand, Orange is also one of the world leaders in providing telecommunication services to multinational companies.

Orange is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris (ORA) and on the New York Stock Exchange (ORAN).

For more information (on the web and on your mobile): www.orange.com, www.orange-business.com, www.livetv.orange.com or follow us on Twitter: @presseorange.

Orange and any other Orange product or service cited in this press release are trademarks held by Orange or Orange Brand Services Limited.

About Ecobank

Incorporated in Lomé, Togo, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) is the parent company of the leading independent pan-African banking group, Ecobank. It currently has a presence in 36 African countries, namely: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Democratic Republic), Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Ecobank Group is also represented in France through its affiliate EBI SA in Paris. ETI also has representative offices in Dubai-United Arab Emirates, London-UK and Beijing-China. The Group employs over 20,000 people in 40 different countries in over 1,200 branches and offices. Ecobank is a full-service bank providing wholesale, retail, investment and transaction banking services and products to governments, financial institutions, multinationals, international organisations, medium, small and micro businesses and individuals. Additional information may be found at ecobank.com.

Source:: Orange and Ecobank launch money transfer service between Orange Money accounts and bank accounts in Africa

Categories: African Press Organization

Countries in the region should remain united in efforts to neutralise all negative forces in eastern DRC and support military action against the FDLR – UN Special Envoy Said Djinnit

KIGALI, Rwanda, February 5, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region, Said Djinnit, concluded on Wednesday a visit to Kigali with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo; Minister of Defense, James Kabarebe; and other senior defense and security officials, to discuss ongoing peace and security developments in the region. He also met with the Chairman of the Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission (RDRC).

“Countries in the region should remain united in efforts to neutralise all negative forces in eastern DRC and support military action against the FDLR”, stressed UN Special Envoy Said Djinnit. In this regard, he stated his commitment to continue to encourage the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, supported by MONUSCO, to ensure tangible progress on military action against this group, which has caused untold suffering to innocent people. Special Envoy Djinnit also encouraged the Government of Rwanda to remain engaged on the Peace, Security, and Cooperation (PSC) Framework process for the DRC and the region, signed in Addis Ababa on 24 February 2013.

The UN Envoy further expressed his appreciation for the cooperation between the Governments of the DRC and Rwanda on the repatriation of the ex-M23 combatants, as per the Declarations signed in Nairobi on 12 December 2013. “I welcome the joint Communiqué signed on 3 February by representatives of the Governments of the DRC and Rwanda, in which they agreed on steps for the repatriation of the ex-M23 combatants and the handing-over of military equipment to the DRC as soon as possible. The UN fully supports the repatriation process of the ex-M23 combatants involving DRC, Rwanda and Uganda, and I stand ready to offer any assistance required, in line with the Nairobi Declarations,” noted Special Envoy Djinnit.

In his meeting with the Chairman of the RDRC, he was briefed on the arrangements that have been in place for the demobilisation and reintegration of former combatants. The Chairman reaffirmed the RDRC’s continued readiness to receive former combatants for their demobilsation and reintegration, including FDLR elements.

During the various meetings, Mr. Djinnit stressed the importance of addressing the root causes of conflict and instability in the region including socio-economic and governance challenges.

Special Envoy Djinnit further highlighted the importance to promote confidence-building and economic cooperation between the countries in the region, two critical objectives of the PSC Framework. In this regard, he encouraged ongoing efforts towards convening the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL) Summit that is expected to bring together the Heads of State of Burundi, DRC and Rwanda. He also encouraged Rwanda to continue to play its role, together with other countries in the region, in the preparation of the Great Lakes Private Investment Conference which is planned for 2015.

Source:: Countries in the region should remain united in efforts to neutralise all negative forces in eastern DRC and support military action against the FDLR – UN Special Envoy Said Djinnit

Categories: African Press Organization

Louis Berger wins €2.36 million road maintenance contract in Gabon

LIBREVILLE, Gabon, February 5, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — An international consortium, which includes Louis Berger (http://www.louisberger.com), was recently awarded a €2.36 million ($2.71 million) European Union-funded technical assistance contract for road maintenance in Gabon. As part of the contract, Louis Berger will train approximately 20 Gabon-based small- and medium-sized businesses by providing the knowledge and capabilities needed to maintain and monitor the country’s roads long term.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/louis-berger.png

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1701

The contract, part of Gabon’s Sector Governance Support Program, is the second that Louis Berger has won in the last eight years. Between 2007 and 2012, the company also was involved in the program’s previous phase, providing institutional capacity building for public and private sector organizations working to improve the maintenance of Gabon’s road network.

“It is critical that long-term sustainability and viability considerations be taken into account for these types of projects,” said Jean-Pierre Dupacq, head of Louis Berger’s operations in Africa. “Through training, knowledge sharing and coaching with the Gabonese public and private sectors, Louis Berger is promoting lower total cost of ownership and equipping local actors to be vendors of choice for future road construction and maintenance in the country.”

The Sector Governance Support Program is a near €1 billion ($1.15 billion) partnership between the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to improve the management of strategic sectors in Gabon, such as public finance, mining, biodiversity and road maintenance. Gabon’s General Directorate of Road and Airfield Maintenance is leading the program’s implementation. The international joint venture is tasked with helping the General Directorate improve overall policy formulation and implementation as well as project and finance management. In addition, the consortium will prepare a series of technical audits to enhance the governance and performance of the second generation Road Fund.

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

Media contact:

Regine de la Cruz

+1.202.303.2791

rdelacruz@louisberger.com

About Louis Berger

Louis Berger (http://www.louisberger.com) is a $1 billion global professional services corporation that helps infrastructure and development clients solve their most complex challenges. We are a trusted partner to national, state and local government agencies; multilateral institutions; and commercial industry clients worldwide. By focusing on client needs to deliver quality, safe, financially-successful projects with integrity, we are committed to deliver on our promise to provide Solutions for a better world.

Louis Berger operates on every habitable continent. We have a long-standing presence in more than 50 nations, represented by the multidisciplinary expertise of 6,000 engineers, economists, scientists, managers and planners.

Source:: Louis Berger wins €2.36 million road maintenance contract in Gabon

Categories: African Press Organization