Attacks against LGBTIs in Africa: an evidence of the backlash against human rights

PARIS, France, March 31, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — An FIDH delegation met with the French President, François Hollande, who invited the group on 27 March 2014 to discuss repression of LGBTI persons throughout the world, and especially in Africa.

In some countries, homophobic stigma has reached a peak with politicians rushing to outdo each other. Reasons connected to the elections and popularism have generated a multiplication of laws punishing homosexuality and encouraging denunciation of LGBTI persons and their defenders.

“The French authorities should close ranks with the defenders of LGBTI rights. Repression does not occur per happenstance. It is part of a broad context marked by increased violations of human rights and restrictions on various freedoms in countries like Uganda, Nigeria, Sudan and Russia” said Karim Lahidji, FIDH President.

French President, François Hollande, meeting with Alice Mogwe from Botswana (FIDH Deputy Secretary General)

The French President stressed the need to “consider attacks against the rights of LGBTI persons as a global problem of attacks on human rights.”

FIDH called for French support and solidarity with the African peoples and their legitimate hopes to strengthen their independence, their collective safety and their role in international bodies, but without forgetting that a greater role in international relations carries responsibility and requires exemplary conduct, and that it must be based on shared universal values, including respect for human rights, non-discrimination and equality for all.

François Hollande said that he was ready “to build South-North alliances” but gave a word of caution on “the conditionality of aid which might add further punishment for people who are already the victims of violence and discrimination”. He highlighted the “use of all the international fora, the diplomatic and cultural networks and the economic leaders to advance the comprehension, tolerance and respect of the rights of each person”. He felt it was especially important to “support the efforts of NGOs and the civil society to protect and promote rights and tolerance.”

“Because of their history, and the discrimination they still now suffer, Africans, more than anyone else, should be aware of the effects of intolerance. They have the moral and historical duty not to penalise the difference,” said Sheila Muwanga, FIDH Vice President at the end of the meeting.

“It is up to Africa, more than anyone else, to fight for equal rights across the African continent,” added Dismas Kitenge, FIDH Vice President.

This meeting coincided with the quarterly meeting in Paris of the FIDH International Board, which was represented at this meeting by Mr Karim Lahidji (FIDH President), Mrs Sheila Muwanga from Uganda (Vice President), Mr Dismas Kitenge from the DRC (Vice President), and Mrs Alice Mogwe from Botswana (Deputy Secretary General). Mr Antoine Bernard, FIDH CEO, accompanied the delegation.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization | Leave a comment

Somali Journalists call for the release of Somali Journalist Held for the Second Day in Mogadishu

MOGADISHU, Somalia, March 31, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The National Union of Somali Journalists NUSOJ condemns the arrest of the Somali journalist Nuradiin Shardi, a news presenter of a privately owned Radio SkyFM in Mogadishu, held at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for the second day.

CID Chief Inspector, Mohamed Khalif Farah known as “Shanliire” invited Shardi to the CID for questioning on Sunday where Nuradin Shardi was arrested upon arrival on Sunday 30 March 2014, according to SkyFM management who spoke with NUSOJ.

It is not yet clear the reason behind the arrest and there is no official comment from the CID with regard to the arrest.

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemns the arrest of Shardi and calls for his unconditional release.

“The Unjustified arbitrary arrests against the media workers is a direct threat to the freedom of the expression, guaranteed under the federal constitution of Somalia.” Mohamed Ibrahim, Secretary General of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) said, “We call upon the unconditional release of the journalist.”

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization | Leave a comment

UAP Holdings Limited Profit Hits KeS 2.2 Billion Mark

NAIROBI, Kenya, March 31, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — UAP Group (http://www.uap-group.com) posted strong financial performance in 2013 driven by profitable growth of its core insurance business and execution of its regional diversification strategy.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/uap-2.png

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=933 (UAP Holdings Group Managing Director – Mr. Dominic Kiarie, during the announcement)

Download 2013 Annual Review: http://www.apo-mail.org/140331.pdf

Speaking during a press briefing, UAP’s Group Managing Director, Mr Dominic Kiarie, said that the impressive results and ongoing performance improvement demonstrated that the Group’s strategy of enhancing performance of its businesses and growth into new markets is continuing to bear positive results.

Key Performance Highlights:

• Gross Insurance Premium revenue grew by 41% to KeS 12.7bn

• Life Insurance business grew by 55% to Kes 1.4bn

• General Insurance business grew by 39%

• Investment income grew by 10%

• Total income increased by 35% to 12.7bn

• Property business revenues grew by 30%

• Expense growth contained at 21%

• Profit before tax increased by 27% to KeS 2.2bn

• Dividend payment up 13% from KeS 317mn to KeS 359mn

Gross insurance premium revenue grew by 41% to KeS 12.7bn as a result of significant investment in customer experience, product innovation and expanded distribution across the region. General Insurance business grew by 39% and Life Insurance business had a 55% growth to Kes 1.4bn. Investment income grew by 10% on the back of execution of a robust investment strategy.

Total income increased by 35% to 12.7bn due to strong performance by the insurance and property businesses. Property business revenues grew by 30% following the completion of UAP Nakawa Business Park in Kampala, Uganda.

Profit before tax increased by 27% to KeS 2.2bn. “This is the highest profit ever reported by UAP, which evidences that our growth and diversification strategy is bearing results. Consequently, the Board will recommend to shareholders the payment of a first and final dividend of KeS 1.70 per share from KeS 1.50 paid in 2012” he added.

The regional business demonstrated marked improvement with a strong performance of 27% income growth year-on-year from KeS 2.5bn in December 2012 to KeS 3.5bn in December 2013, thus contributing 28% of the Group’s revenues. “We expanded our geographical coverage from 5 to 6 countries through the acquisition of a 60% stake in Century Insurance Tanzania Ltd and the business has since been rebranded to UAP Insurance Tanzania Ltd” said the Group Managing Director.

Year 2013 Achievements

UAP invested significantly in talent management for both Group and operating subsidiaries. In 2013, the Group launched a regional Graduate Development Program to provide a pipeline of future UAP business leaders. Other initiatives included strengthening of control processes and governance functions across the Group and expansion of the Group’s board to 12 members from the previous 7, to bring in additional skills and to support business growth and expansion.

UAP also enhanced its business distribution networks to improve convenience to its customers and also launched the UAP Information Centre. In our dedicated community outreach, UAP sponsored Ndakaini Marathon for the 10th year running to support UAPs conservation agenda.

Year 2014 Objectives

The strategy going forward in 2014 is to leverage on technology driven products and services to enhance customer experience. We see significant opportunities in the markets UAP operates in, and have invested in highly experienced management teams to enable UAP businesses design customer solutions that take advantage of these opportunities.

Key aspects of our strategy include: Continuously improving the efficiency of processes to enhance customer experience. This will be achieved through technology investments and business process simplification. Continuous investment in future UAP leaders through the GDP, MDP and LDP programs and completion of property projects across the various markets where we operate.

In concussion Mr. Kiarie said, “Despite a challenging business environment, the Group has achieved strong growth in revenues and profitability. We look forward to offering our current and future customers innovative products and services that will deliver peace of mind and financial freedom.”

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

For further information please contact

Pauline Ndirango

Group Communications and Corporate Affairs Manager

Email: pndirango@uap-group.com

About UAP Group

UAP Group (http://www.uap-group.com) is a pan-African Financial Services company with interests in Insurance, Investment Management, Property Investment, Financial Advisory and Securities Brokerage. Currently, UAP has 12 businesses operating in Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda, Tanzania and DRC. UAP Holdings is the holding company for the various UAP businesses.

Achievements in 2013

• UAP Holdings Ltd – FiRE Award winner for best presented accounts.

• UAP Insurance Kenya –

o General Insurer of the Year (Kenya)

o Innovation Award (Kilimo Salama)

o Distribution Award (Salama Sure)

o Ft/IFC Innovation Wainner (Kilimo Salama)

• UAP Life Assurance Kenya

o Group Life Best Practices Winner – AKI Awards.

o Customer Satisfaction Award Winner – Think Business

o First insurance company to be ISO 9000 certified

• UAP Insurance Uganda

o Overall winners category for the year 2013

o Winner basic service delivery 2013

o Winner technical development 2013

o 2nd runner up claims handling and settlement 2013

o 2nd runner up product development 2013

• UAP Insurance Rwanda – Best Service Exhibitor Award at the Rwanda International Trade Fair

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization | Leave a comment

Central African Republic: “One year of escalating violence”

GENEVA, Switzerland, March 31, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — To mark the 12 months of extreme and unacceptable violence that has gripped the Central African Republic (CAR) since a coup d’état last March, MSF has brought together testimonies from its teams and patients in a report: ‘One year of escalating violence’

The full copy of the report is available here: http://www.msf.org.uk/article/central-african-republic-%E2%80%9Cone-year-escalating-violence%E2%80%9D

Our teams on the ground – which are 2,300 strong – speak out about the atrocities that have taken place in the CAR over the past year. These include massacres, killings, torture and displacements which have shocked even our most hardened and experienced colleagues. The report also features harrowing testimonies from people in CAR, which brings to life the horrific violence that has become a daily reality in the country.

“What is happening in CAR is absolutely shocking. We are used to operating in very violent situations but in this case even our most hardened members have rarely seen such levels of violence,” says Marie-Noëlle Rodrigue, the head of MSF operations, on her return from CAR.

Twelve months ago, on 24 March 2013, armed members of the former Séléka rebel coalition seized Bangui, the capital of the Central African Capital (CAR). Since then, this already battered and under developed country has been going through a major political and military crisis that has had tragic and unprecedented implications for the entire population.

This major crisis has broken out against the background of the extremely fragile health situation in the country for several years now. CAR’s health indicators are amongst the lowest in the world.

Huge numbers of the minority Muslim population have been forced into exile in neighbouring countries in recent months. While they are now bearing the brunt of the instability, no one in the country has been left unscathed.

“The humanitarian and medical situation was already horrendous before the coup d’état but it has been getting even worse over the past 12 months. We know the crisis in the CAR is set to continue for some time. However, on the ground, today, there are still not enough of us to address the many urgent needs.” stresses Marie-Noëlle Rodrigue.

Since the escalation of the conflict last December, MSF has treated 4,000 injured people in the CAR. More than 2,200 MSF staff are working in sixteen projects throughout the country, to complement regular health care initiatives in the capital Bangui and in the rest of the country. Teams have also been dispatched to Chad, Cameroon and the DRC, where nearly 300,000 Central African nationals have fled.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization | Leave a comment

GSK announces new strategic investments in Africa to increase access to medicines, build capacity and deliver sustainable growth

LONDON, United-Kingdom, March 31, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ —

- Creates world’s first R&D Open Lab to increase understanding of non-communicable diseases and support development of new medicines for Africa

- Significantly increases African manufacturing presence to build capacity and enhance regional self sufficiency

- Establishes 25 academic Chairs at African universities to support development of local skills and capabilities in science, engineering, public health and other related areas

- Commits to train an additional 10,000 community healthworkers across sub-Saharan Africa

GSK (http://www.gsk.com) today announced a series of new investments in sub-Saharan Africa designed to address pressing health needs and contribute to long-term business growth. Speaking at the 5th EU-Africa Business Forum in Brussels, GSK CEO Sir Andrew Witty set out the company’s intent to partner with governments of African countries to help stimulate more research into chronic diseases, increase capacity by localising medicines supply and strengthen healthcare infrastructure.

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

This will see GSK make targeted investments of up to £130 million in Africa over the next five years, creating at least 500 jobs and contributing to the development of home-grown capabilities and skills in Africa. This builds on GSK’s existing business base in sub-Saharan Africa, which currently employs around 1,500 people in over 40 countries, including at three existing local manufacturing sites in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

Speaking at the meeting, Andrew Witty said: “Today, we are setting out further steps to tackle Africa’s dual health burden of infectious and emerging non-communicable diseases and help build crucial capacity to underpin the development of the healthcare sector in the region. We have a unique opportunity to deliver meaningful social and economic value to all of the communities we work in – using our scientific expertise and our global reach to develop innovative medicines and deliver them to people who need them around the world.

“With global attention focused on how we support development beyond 2015, now is the moment for business to play a more active role in contributing to a more prosperous future in Africa, investing in infrastructure, building skills and capability to unlock human potential and create jobs. Our long-term goal is to equip Africa to discover, develop and produce the medicines required for Africa.”

Supporting the development of new medicines for Africa

GSK will invest £25 million to create the world’s first R&D Open Lab for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Africa. This builds on the success of GSK’s Open Lab in Tres Cantos, Spain which gives independent researchers access to GSK facilities, resources and knowledge to help them advance their own research projects into diseases of the developing world such as malaria, tuberculosis and leishmaniasis.

The new R&D Open Lab for NCDs in Africa will see GSK scientists collaborate with research and scientific centres across Africa from its hub at GSK’s Stevenage R&D facility in the UK to conduct high quality epidemiological, genetic and interventional research to increase understanding of NCDs in Africa. An independent governing board of leading scientists and clinicians will oversee the implementation of NCD research projects within a dynamic and networked open innovation environment.

The open lab aims to improve understanding of NCD variations seen in the Africa setting, which could include for example the apparent higher prevalence of treatment-resistant hypertension and aggressive breast cancers in younger women. It is hoped that these insights will inform prevention and treatment strategies and will enable researchers across academia and industry to discover and develop new medicines to address the specific needs of African patients.

The open lab will directly support the training and education of African scientific researchers who will participate in a portfolio of projects, building local expertise, creating a new generation of African NCD experts while instilling a deep vein of ‘African thinking’ within GSK’s own R&D organisation.

Forming innovative partnerships to transform medicines supply in Africa

Over the next five years, GSK will look to partner with a number of African countries to develop domestic manufacturing capacity and capability. This will see GSK invest up to £100m to expand its existing manufacturing capability in Nigeria and Kenya and build up to five new factories in Africa. The company is currently reviewing possible locations in countries including Rwanda, Ghana and Ethiopia and the selected sites will be announced in due course and subject to Government agreement.

The new facilities will be built to globally recognised good manufacturing practice (GMP) standards and will make locally relevant products such as antibiotics and respiratory and HIV medicines (on behalf of ViiV Healthcare). The initial focus will be on secondary manufacture with the aim to transfer the technology, skills and knowledge needed to enable the local manufacture of more complex products over time. The factories will create a network of localised industry and local employment for a highly skilled workforce drawn from surrounding communities.

To support the scale-up of domestic manufacturing and supply, GSK will establish up to 25 academic Chairs at local African universities in related areas such as pharmaceutical sciences, public health, engineering and logistics. These roles will facilitate the development of new courses as well as internships and student exchanges, and will be pivotal to ensuring manufacturing capability is locked into the continent to help attract further manufacturing investment.

GSK is also taking steps to improve and simplify its supply chain with the creation of regional supply hubs that will help to reduce stock shortages and local supply partnerships to enable more GSK products and medicines to reach under-served rural communities in Africa. These steps will help reduce Africa’s reliance on imported medicines, improving the security of supply and reducing production costs and transportation which in time should help contribute to lower prices.

Creating a tailored portfolio of medicines to address Africa-specific health needs

GSK will also optimise its portfolio of medicines for NCDs by working in collaboration with its local partner, Aspen, and with regulators to increase the registration of medicines and vaccines in its existing portfolio, such as its Amoxil antibiotic and its Ventolin respiratory medicine, where not already available.

At the same time, the company continues to work to develop new products designed to meet the specific needs of Africa, for example through its ongoing work with partners to develop the world’s first vaccine against malaria and to create new nutritional products fortified with micro-nutrients to tackle childhood malnourishment.

Playing a part in strengthening healthcare systems

GSK will also increase its support for community health worker training, in recognition of the vital role they play in delivering basic healthcare to many communities. As part of its initiative to reinvest 20% of any profits generated in LDCs back into strengthening healthcare infrastructure in those countries, GSK is already supporting the training of 15,000 healthcare workers with its NGO partners by the end of 2014.

GSK’s commitment to healthcare worker training will now be expanded to include low- and middle-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Over the next three years, GSK will partner with charities to help train and upskill 10,000 community healthcare workers across Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria under the umbrella of the One Million Community Health Worker campaign, a UN-led initiative directed by Professor Jeffrey Sachs. The investment will be targeted at supporting the most remote and marginalised communities to help address healthcare inequalities that exist even in fast-growing countries.

These changes build on steps taken by GSK over the past six years to modernise its business model and help improve access to medicines in developing countries. This has seen the company cap the prices of its patented medicines at no more than 25% of developed world prices and reinvest 20% of any profit made back into training healthcare workers in the world’s poorest countries and pursue open innovation models for diseases of the developing world.

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

Notes to editors

• GSK has a long history in the developing world. Its vaccines are included in immunisation campaigns in 170 countries worldwide and of the 862 million vaccine doses delivered in 2013, more than 80% were shipped for use in developing countries.

• In 2013, GSK donated its four billionth tablet of albendazole to treat intestinal worms and lymphatic filariasis – part of the company’s long-term commitment to tackle neglected tropical diseases which affect people in the world’s poorest countries.

• GSK has formed a ground-breaking five-year partnership with Save the Children, to help save the lives of one million children living in the poorest countries in Africa. The partnership combines the resources and capabilities of two organisations to help bring medicines and vaccines to some of the world’s poorest children, train thousands of healthcare workers, and seek to alleviate child malnutrition.

GSK (http://www.gsk.com) – one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For further information please visit http://www.gsk.com.

GSK enquiries:

UK Media enquiries: David Mawdsley +44 (0) 20 8047 5502 (London)

Catherine Hartley +44 (0) 20 8047 5502 (London)

David Daley +44 (0) 20 8047 5502 (London)

Simon Steel +44 (0) 20 8047 5502 (London)

US Media enquiries: Stephen Rea +1 215 751 4394 (Philadelphia)

Melinda Stubbee +1 919 483 2510 (North Carolina)

Mary Anne Rhyne +1 919 483 0492 (North Carolina)

Emily Beamer +1 215 751 6622 (Philadelphia)

Jennifer Armstrong +1 215 751 5664 (Philadelphia)

Analyst/Investor enquiries: Sally Jackson +44 (0) 20 8047 5543 (London)

Kirsty Collins (SRI & CG) +44 (0) 20 8047 5534 (London)

Tom Curry + 1 215 751 5419 (Philadelphia)

Gary Davies +44 (0) 20 8047 5503 (London)

James Dodwell +44 (0) 20 8047 2406 (London)

Jeff McLaughlin +1 215 751 7002 (Philadelphia)

Ziba Shamsi +44 (0) 20 8047 3289 (London)

Lucy Singah +44 (0) 20 8047 2248 (London)

Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements

GSK cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by GSK, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Such factors include, but are not limited to, those described under Item 3.D ‘Risk factors’ in the company’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2013.

Registered in England & Wales:

No. 3888792

Registered Office:

980 Great West Road

Brentford, Middlesex

TW8 9GS

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization | Leave a comment

Proudly powered by WordPress Theme: Adventure Journal by Contexture International.