Leila Zerrougui takes up her duties as Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Following the announcement of her appointment in late December 2017, Ms. Leila Zerrougui has arrived in Kinshasa and has officially taken up her duties as Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO).

In the coming days, Ms. Zerrougui will be meeting and participating in working sessions with the Congolese authorities and United Nations personnel and partners in the DRC.

Under the leadership of the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, MONUSCO will continue to implement its mandate as set out in Security Council Resolution 2348. This includes good offices in support of the political process and protecting civilian populations. In line with its mandate and in conformity with the Congolese Constitution, MONUSCO remains committed to supporting the full implementation of the 31 December Agreement, which contains the guiding principles for the holding of elections, the peaceful transfer of power and the consolidation of stability in the DRC.

In her capacity as Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, Ms. Zerrougui is the most senior United Nations representative in the country and has overall authority over United Nations activities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Mission de l’Organisation des Nations unies en République démocratique du Congo (MONUSCO).

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Source:: Leila Zerrougui takes up her duties as Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

      

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Kenya’s HydroIQ wins “Startup of the year Africa 2018”

Startup.Info (https://Startup.info) has announced the winners of the “Startup of the Year 2018 competition” following an awards ceremony which took place in Casablanca at the end of last month.

Following the success of the first edition of “Startup of the year Africa”, the collaborative startup magazine Startup.Info has reiterated its commitment to supporting African innovation. With the support of major international groups such as OCP, ENGIE, QWANT, FINANCE INNOVATION, PwC, Labs-NS-Avocats, Holmarcom Group, Royal Air Maroc, as well as 70 media and ecosystem partners, Startup.Info launched the 2nd edition of the contest “Startup of the year Africa”.

This year, more than 600 startups from 52 different countries took part, more than 12 000 online votes were gathered, and 41 million people reached on social media.

The jury of experts of the competition ” Startup of the year Africa 2018 on January 24, 2018 to choose the winners of the following awards:

Startup of the Year Africa 2018: HydroIQ (Kenya) (https://Startup.info/hydroiq)

Founded by Brian Bosire & Victor Shikoli, HydroIQ is a virtual Water Network Operator. It brings intelligence in water distribution by preventing leakages on the network and automatic (mobile) billing a payment.

QWANT PUBLIC CHOICE Award: Ecodome (Maroc) (https://Startup.info/fr/ecodomemaroc)

Founded by Youness Ouazri, Ecodome Maroc produces ecotouristic housing made of natural soil in the form of domes.

OCP – AGRITECH Special Prize: GRACE AGRICOLE DE COTE D’IVOIRE (Côte d’Ivoire) (https://Startup.info/fr/graci)

Founded by Brou Kouame Yves Laurent, GRACI is a startup aiming at the development of rice production in Ivory Coast. It proposes a program of production, certification and distribution of Improved Certified Seeds of rice.

ENGIE Special Prize STARTUP OF THE YEAR Award : Peachwater Consulting (Nigeria) (https://Startup.info/powerstove)

Founded by Okey Ibekwe Esse, Peachwater Consulting designs, manufactures and markets Powerstove clean cookstove that is smokeless and generates electricity with 70% less biomass fuel than competitors.

FINANCE INNOVATION – FINTECH DESTINATION AFRICA &

ROYAL AIR MAROC – AFRICA DIASPORA Award : Semoa (France) (https://Startup.info/fr/semoa)

Founded by Edem ADJAMAGBO, SEMOA proposes a solution to the development of e-commerce in Africa by installing payment terminals throughout the continent.

Holmarcom Group Special Prize: THEA (France)

Founded by Dr. Eloi MONKAM, THEA is a medical mobile app that connects patients to doctors for a first diagnosis.

PwC – JURY CHOICE AWARD: Priyo (South Africa) (https://Startup.info/priyo)

Founded by Palesa Mahlatji, PRIYO has developed a portable solar digital smart computer lab to train youth from underprivileged, under-resourced schools and communities in rural and peri-urban areas on how to use the computer. Priyo trains them in IT: End user computing, ICT, Digital Marketing and E-Learning and links job seekers to online employment opportunities.

COMMUNITY MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Project Alpha (Madagascar) (https://Startup.info/fr/projectalpha)

Founded by Muriel RANDRIAMASIMANANA, Project Alpha is an event agency. Its principal activity is based on video games and e-sport phenomena.

JURY and EXPERTS ” STARTUP OF THE YEAR AFRICA 2018

The finalists of the competition have been selected by a jury of experts, DGs of big international groups and successful startuppers:

  • Selma Bennis, OCP Entrepreneurship Network, Head of Partnership and Finance
  • Amine Homman, Regional director, ENGIE North Africa
  • Eric Leandri, Chairman, QWANT
  • Stéphane Quéré, Director, ENGIE
  • Joëlle Durieux, Executive Director, FINANCE INNOVATION
  • Kossi Adzo, Founder, Startup.Info
  • Bernard Gainnier, Chairman, PwC France and Francophone Africa
  • Fortuné Ahoulouma, Lawyer at Paris bar, PhD, LABS-NS AVOCATS
  • Noël Albertus, Executive Director, PwC Advisory Maghreb and Francophone Africa
  • Kosi Vuti, Executive Director, Midrange Consulting
  • Bruno Pennel, CIO, Bernis Investissement
  • Cécile Saint Jean, Director, PwC France
  • Zouhair Mouhib, Royal Air Maroc, Innovation & Digital partnerships manager
  • Mohamed Laraqui, Holmarcom Group, Project Manager
  • Cyril Armange, Directeur des Partenariats, FINANCE INNOVATION

The Awards Ceremony has been broadcast live (videos & live tweets) during its entire duration. You can have an overview on Facebook and Twitter pages with the hashtag #StartupAfro

The winners will receive the following awards:

Jury Prizes ” Startup of the Year Africa 2018:

The following rewards will correspond to different kinds of prizes:

The Jury Award ” Startup of the Year Africa 2018:

  • Main prize: African startup of the year : 10,000€ in Cash and a 10,000€ Visibility Pack (Startup.info website background with 100,000+ views, mention in press campaign, banner in emailing), integration into our partners’ business network.
  • PwC – Jury-s choice award: Visibility Pack with 50,000 views and integration into our partners’ business network.

Special Partner Awards:

In addition to the jury and the public awards, our partners will grant special awards accompanied with a Startup.Info communication pack :

  • OCP – AGRITECH Special PRIZE: 10000€ visibility Pack offered by Startup.info, visibility in OCP internal network, integration into entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem of OCP Entrepreneurship Network
  • engie – SPECIAL PRIZE : 10,000€ Visibility Pack offered by Startup.info, visibility in ENGIE internal network, integration into entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem of ENGIE
  • FINANCE INNOVATION Fintech destination Africa Award : 10,000€ Visibility Pack offered by Startup.info, a year membership of FINANCE INNOVATION international cluster, integration into FINANCE INNOVATION Business Network
  • Startup.Info Africa diaspora startup of the year : 10,000€ Visibility Pack offered by Startup.info, integration into our partners’ business network.

Public choice awards:

  • QWANT Public choice award : (N1 of public voting top 100) : 2,000€ in cash offered by Qwant, 10000€ Visibility Pack offered by Startup.info, Branding of Qwant’s homepage
  • N 2 to 5 of public voting top 100 : visibility pack with 20,000 views and integration into our partners’ business network.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Startup.Info.

Press contacts
• Souad Fejri-Gojif / PR manager Souad.Gojif@SFG-presse.fr /+33 (0)6 36 79 65 32
• Kossi ADZO, founder of Startup.Info : Kossi@Startup.info

For more information on the competition
Competition page: https://Startup.info/fr/startupafro
Hashtag of the competition: #StartupAfro (https://goo.gl/pn5Yed)
Follow us on:
Twitter: @StartupInfoFr (https://goo.gl/ZxbthN)
Facebook: fb.me/startupinfos (https://goo.gl/deQ51N)

About Startup.Info
Started in 2011 by Kossi ADZO (https://goo.gl/MTFkhW) (Software engineer, Ex Nokia), Startup.Info (https://Startup.info) has become the first collaborative magazine dedicated to the promotion of startups.
Startup.Info aims at :
• Making startups known to the innovative startup ecosystem, journalists, investors and early adopters
• Allowing major groups meet startups necessary for their transformation, via application calls, competitions and tailor made events

Startup.Info is also a database of 12 000 startups, 3000 of which are available in free access. 100 new startups shared every month, 90 000 subscribed users and more than 100 000 unique visitors per month. Our competition and application calls have already attracted 12000+ startups candidates from 58 countries and more than 150 000 public votes.
To know more: https://Startup.info

About our partners
About OCP

OCP (www.OCPgroup.ma) is proud to play an important role in feeding a growing global population, by providing essential elements for soil fertility and plants growth.
With almost a century of experience, OCP Group is a leader in the phosphate rock and derivate markets. OCP provides a wide range of well-adapted fertilizer products to enhance soil, increase agricultural yields, and help feeding the planet in a sustainable and affordable way.
Headquartered in Morocco, OCP works in a close partnership with more than 160 customers over 5 continents.
For more information visit: www.OCPgroup.ma

About ENGIE Group
ENGIE (www.ENGIE-africa.com) is committed to taking on the major challenges of the energy revolution, towards a world more decarbonised, decentralised and digitalised. The Group aims to become the leader of this new energy world by focusing on three key activities for the future: low carbon generation in particular from natural gas and renewable energy, energy infrastructure and efficient solutions adapted to all its customers (individuals, businesses, territories, etc.). Innovation, digital solutions and customer satisfaction are the guiding principles of ENGIE’s development. ENGIE is active in around 70 countries, employs 150,000 people worldwide and achieved revenues of €66.6 billion in 2016.
For over 50 years, ENGIE has been active in many African countries through its energy engineering business, its natural gas purchase agreements with Algeria, Egypt and Nigeria and more recently as an independent power producer in South Africa and Morocco with a total capacity of 3,000 MW either in operation or under construction. By 2025, ENGIE aims to become a reference partner in about ten African countries for power plants, energy services to businesses and decentralized solutions for off-grid customers – communities, companies and households.
For more information, visit www.ENGIE-africa.com

About QWANT
QWANT (www.QWANT.com) is the European search engine that respects the privacy of its users. It enables web users to quickly access information and find the content they wish (web pages, news, videos, photos, products, music…) in a pleasant and intuitive user interface, without collecting any personal data when they search. Thus, Qwant guarantees to the user the right to search without being tracked. It delivers non-biased results, not modified according to a commercial profile. With Qwant Junior, it offers a secure and educational search engine for kids.
Based in France, with subsidiaries in Germany and Italy, Qwant was launched in 2013 by individual entrepreneurs who own the majority of the capital and manage the company. The search engine is also supported by strategic stakeholders, Axel Springer and the Groupe Caisse des Dépôts, as well as by the European Investment Bank.
For more information visit: www.QWANT.com

About FINANCE INNOVATION
Founded in 2007 with the support of public authorities, FINANCE INNOVATION (https://Finance-Innovation.org) aims to accelerate the French position in the global financial services sector by directly supporting the next era technology led financial services innovators from start-ups to institutions.
FINANCE INNOVATION is the unique cluster for innovation in the French financial sector, has directed concrete actions to accelerate the creation and development of innovative projects devoted to economic, societal and environmental challenges in the service of growth and employment.
With over 500 members (our members are primarily innovative SMEs, bank and insurance corporation but also major universities, research labs, public authorities), through its programmes and events, ongoing policy and research and promotion FINANCE INNOVATION seeks to address the key barriers and opportunities in the financial ecosystem :
• Champion France as the principal European hub for FinTech
• Advocate for a democratic and inclusive financial services industry
• Support SMEs of the territory in their search for capital and funding
• Attracting greater investment
• Promoting Innovation in financial services

For more information visit: https://Finance-Innovation.org

About PwC France and Francophone Africa
PwC (www.PwC.fr) is developing its advisory, audit and accounting services in France and Francophone Africa by leveraging an industry-specific approach. More than 223,000 people in 157 countries belonging to the PwC international network share their ideas, expertise and innovative views to deliver high-quality service to clients and partner companies.
Implanted in Africa for nearly 40 years, PwC is located in 34 countries including 23 Francophone countries that gather more than 1,000 people. Being committed in the development of the continent, PwC provides services throughout Africa to private companies, financial institutions, governments and public institutions.
By working every day to advise clients and support them in their success, PwC actively contributes to the development of the French economy. Through its studies and expert analyses, PwC is also committed to preparing for the economies of the future and developing new technological applications. Lastly, by providing solutions for risk management, PwC creates trust among stakeholders and helps maintain a secure environment at the heart of the economy.
“PwC” refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity.
For more information, visit www.PwC.fr

About LABS-NS Avocats
LABS-NS AVOCATS (http://LABS-NS.com) is a Parisian Business Law Firm focus on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Social Business and Innovation issues.
Involved in a digital, social, economic and environmental transformation, LABS-NS AVOCATS provides Legal support to innovating actors as Telecommunication Operators, Incubators/Accelerators, Startups (Fintech, EdTech…) in Africa and in Europe.
For more information, visit http://Labs-NS.com

About Holmarcom Group
Holmarcom (www.Holmarcom.ma) is a Moroccan private group with a privileged role among the major players of Moroccan economy. It operates in several core businesses: Finance, Agro-Industry, Distribution & Logistics and Real Estate.
Driven by an ambitious business project and human resources mobilized around a common vision, the Group consolidated its leadership by pursuing a policy of innovation and an entrepreneurial growth strategy in the wake of the national economic dynamic. Proud of its roots and its history, Holmarcom continues its investment policy in key strategic sectors for the sustainable growth of Morocco and the African continent, with certain daring, unwavering ambition and thoroughness in execution, combining sound growth and long-term profitability objectives.
For more information, visit www.Holmarcom.ma.

Source:: Kenya’s HydroIQ wins “Startup of the year Africa 2018”

      

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The Humanitarian Community Deplores the Impact of the Sociopolitical Crisis in the North-West and South-West Regions in Cameroon on Civilians

The Humanitarian Coordinator, Allegra Baiocchi, accompanied by the Representatives of UNHCR and UNICEF in Cameroon and the Director of Civil Protection of the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization led a fact-finding mission in the NorthWest and South-West Regions from 7-9 February 2017.
The mission was fielded following reports of the deteriorating humanitarian situation of civilian populations due to the socio-political crisis affecting the regions and of the displacement of several thousand, including to neighboring Nigeria.
The mission visited Bamenda and Mamfe and was able to meet with civil, military, religious and traditional leaders, as well as with a number of civil society and non-government organizations operating in the area. The different stake-holders exchanged points of view on the current situation, the humanitarian impact and potential solutions to assist populations in need.
More than 14,000 Cameroonian asylum-seekers have been registered in Nigeria. In addition, the mission was informed of several thousand internally displaced persons who fled following attacks and retaliation measures. “Favorable conditions must be put in place to ensure that all return is voluntary, durable and takes place in the full respect of the dignity and security of populations”, noted Kouassi Etien, UNHCR Representative. “Children must be protected from all forms of violence and be allowed to enjoy their fundamental rights, including their right to education”, added Jacques Boyer, UNICEF Representative.
The Humanitarian Coordinator condemned all acts of violence and reminded of the imperative to protect civilian population caught in the middle. “Open and transparent communication is key to building confidence between populations and the authorities. Lasting solutions can only be found through dialogue”, she reiterated.
Thanking all counterparts, the Humanitarian Coordinator assured of the willingness and commitment of the humanitarian community, and of the UN system, to work towards bringing assistance and finding solutions for populations in need.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations (UN).

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Somali journalist arrested, held without charge

Somali authorities should immediately release Sabir Abdulkadir Warsame, a broadcast journalist with the privately owned Somali Cable TV, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today (February 9, 2018). Sabir was arrested by regional security forces in the semi-autonomous state of Jubbaland on February 8 and has been held without charge in the state capital of Kismayo, according to a report by the Voice of America and Hassan Adde, general director of Somali Cable TV who spoke to CPJ.

Hassan told CPJ that, at the time of his arrest, Sabir was interviewing members of the public about the first anniversary of the election of Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (Farmajo).

“Arresting and detaining Sabir Abdulkadir for simply doing his job as a journalist is outrageous,” said CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Angela Quintal in New York. “He should be immediately released without charge and free to continue reporting in the public interest.”

Speaking to CPJ through a translator, Jubbaland information minister Abdinur Ali Adan said that he had been informed of Sabir’s arrest. He said that the journalist was in “safe hands” and would be produced in court tomorrow morning, though he said he did not have more information about the court proceedings.

While shooting the interviews, the journalist unintentionally filmed a vehicle carrying charcoal, triggering his arrest, according to Sabir’s colleague who spoke to CPJ on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation. Charcoal export from Somalia is illegal, according to a 2012 UN Security Council resolution aimed at cutting funding for al-Shabaab.

Hassan told CPJ that he did not know that the journalist had captured any footage of a vehicle ferrying charcoal.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

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