IMF Executive Board Completes Second and Third Reviews of Niger’s Extended Credit Facility and Approves US$34.9 Million Disbursement

NIAMEY, Niger, April 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today completed the second and third reviews of Niger’s economic performance under the program supported by a three-year Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement. The completion of these reviews enables an immediate disbursement of an amount equivalent to SDR 22.56 million (about US$34.9 million), bringing total disbursements under the ECF arrangement to an amount equivalent to SDR 45.12 million (US$69.9 million).

In completing the review, the Executive Board granted the authorities’ request for waivers for the nonobservance of the performance criteria on net domestic financing of the government at end-December 2012 and at end-June 2013 and on domestic arrears at end-December 2012. The Board also approved a request to extend the program until December 31, 2015 and the rephasing of the remaining disbursements under the current ECF arrangement. The ECF arrangement for Niger was approved on March 16, 2012 (see Press Release No. 12/90).

Following the Executive Board’s discussion, Mr. Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair issued the following statement:

“Niger’s recent economic performance has been adversely impacted by below average rainfall in the second half of 2013 and the deterioration in the security situation in the region. Looking forward, macroeconomic prospects appear broadly favorable, with oil and mining projects coming into the production phase after 2015.

“The authorities have shown strong commitment to their program supported under the Extended Credit Facility. Key corrective measures, including strengthened revenue collection, closer spending controls, and improvements to the debt management framework, have brought the program back on track after slippages at end-2012.

“Progress in the implementation of the structural reform agenda has been broadly satisfactory. The production of a comprehensive quarterly budget report and the limitation of exceptional expenditure are welcome. Efforts to move toward establishing a Treasury Single Account and prepare quarterly cash management will significantly improve budget execution. Further enhancing the debt management framework will be important to help ensure debt sustainability while investing in high-return infrastructure and social projects.

“Sound management of natural resources will be critical to ensure higher overall growth and faster poverty reduction. The authorities are encouraged to formulate a comprehensive strategy for the macroeconomic management of these resources. Stepping up efforts to complete the restructuring of the financial sector is also key to ensure that the financial system can support growth.

“Inaccurate data on public sector nonconcessional external debt had resulted in a noncomplying disbursement. In view of the corrective actions taken and planned to strengthen debt management and monitoring, the Executive Board decided to waive the nonobservance of the performance criterion that gave rise to the noncomplying disbursement.”

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

Media e Eleições: Independência-Rigor-Ética (Ora di papia bardadi)

BISSAU, Guinea Bissau, April 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Sob o lema “Os Media e as Eleições: Independência-Rigor- Ética”, decorrerá nos dias 2 e 3 de Abril de

2014, a partir das 09:00H, no Centro Cultural Brasil Guiné-Bissau, a 1

Categories: African Press Organization

The 11th Maghreb, Mediterranean, MidEast Upstream Conference 2014 will be held in Cyprus

NICOSIA, Cyprus, April 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Global Pacific & Partners (http://www.glopac-partners.com) announce the 11th Maghreb, Mediterranean, MidEast Upstream Conference 2014 from 20th to 21st May, at the Hilton Hotel in Nicosia, Cyprus, with the support of the European Rim Policy and Investment Council.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/140401.jpg

Logo PetroAfricanus Club: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/petroafricanus_club.jpg

Logo PetroArabian Club: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/petroarabian_club.jpg

This meeting brings together key Governments, National Oil Companies and leading corporate players, and is the longest and most established upstream meeting on this region of its kind.

Key Focus:

● Building Portfolio: Corporate Players & Strategies

● Regional Government Oil & Gas

● Commercialization & Investment in Emerging Markets

● Frontier Opportunities

● Gas-LNG Outlook & Unconventionals

● Regional Landscapes & Energy Future

Highlights:

● Widely acclaimed 11th Maghreb-MidEast Strategy Briefing 2014 held on the 19th May

● 150+ Senior Executives

● 32+ Presentations

● Cocktail Reception & PetroAfricanus-PetroArabian Dinner held on the 20th May

32+ Confirmed Speakers, including:

ADX Energy Ltd

Barcelona Centre for International Affairs – CIDOB

Botas Petroleum Pipeline Corp

Cygam Energy Inc.

Dana Gas Egypt

Delek Belron International

European Rim Policy and Investment Council (ERPIC)

Global Pacific & Partners International

Hellenic Petroleum S.A.

Habboush Group

International E&P BV

Levant Law Practice

Natural Resources Authority, Jordan

Noble Energy Inc

Northern Petroleum Plc

Petroceltic International

Petroleb

RWE Dea AG

Onhym

Polish Oil & Gas Company

Petra Petroleum

PGS

San Leon Energy plc

Sea Dragon Energy Inc

SPTEC Advisory

The Ministry of Oil, Iraq

White Stream Pipeline Company Ltd

The Global Pacific & Partners’ Clubs connect the corporate and state players, facilitate industry interests and deal flow in Africa’s Upstream, through networking with senior executives from around the world.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Global Pacific & Partners.

Note for the press:

For further information, please contact Global Pacific & Partners:

Babette van Gessel

Tel: +31-70.324.6154

@: babette@glopac.com

Sonika Greyvenstein

Tel: +27-11.880.7052

@: sonika@glopac.com

Please follow our LinkedIn company profile for daily updates on the Upstream Industry: http://tinyurl.com/mq6nekh

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

New EU support to provide access to energy to two million people in Africa

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, April 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The European Commission has today announced the results of the first call for proposals of an innovative programme for providing finance to bring electricity to the world’s poorest citizens. This initiative also shows that the EU has been a leader in the campaign to provide Sustainable Energy for All.

Grants of €95 million have been awarded for16 projects across nine African countries to provide access to energy in rural areas, an amount which will be translated into projects costing more than €155 million (through co-financing support by applicants) and bring electricity to more than 2 million people.

Commissioner Piebalgs said: “This shows that real results are being delivered and that the EU is scaling up proven successful projects which have a high impact on poverty reduction through sustainable rural electrification. Energy is fundamental for every area of development; from creating jobs and boosting growth to improving healthcare and enabling people to cook safely. Yet too often, people in rural areas have been left behind – a shocking 84% of those without access to energy now live in the countryside. We need to make sure that our work supports everyone, no matter where they live.”

This is a first step in a new innovative programme to bring electricity to many millions. Over the next 7 years the Commission aims to spend more than €2 billion in supporting energy in Africa. This will, in turn, leverage investments exceeding €10 billion, filling in the gaps for energy infrastructure and therefore allowing businesses, schools, homes and hospitals to get the electricity they require.

In addition, another Call for Proposals targeting rural electrification in fragile states (such as Burundi, Liberia, Somalia and Mali) is currently under evaluation and will deliver more benefits in these countries, where the energy needs are greatest. This will be the next step to ensure that EU’s efforts to provide sustainable energy where it’s most needed bear fruit.

Background

The funding announced today is the result of a ‘Call for Proposals’, which is an EU funding system which enables NGOs, government and private sector organisations to receive a grant for EU Funding based on their proposal for an innovative project.

The countries which will benefit from this initiative are: Madagascar, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Cameroon, Liberia, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Eritrea, Rwanda. The European Commission will promote another 40 proposals received –but not selected – to private and public donors and development agencies. Therefore, the list of countries and the number of rural population benefiting from the Call results could further increase.

In addition, infrastructure projects financed through our innovative blending instruments and the Technical Assistance Facility available for all Sub-Saharan African countries are already delivering results and contribute to the EU support for Sustainable Energy for All objectives.

Worldwide, about 1.3 billion people have no access to electricity. Up to a billion more have access only to unreliable electricity networks. More than 2.6 billion people rely on solid fuels (i.e. traditional biomass and coal) for cooking and heating.

A well-performing energy system that improves efficient access to modern forms of energy would strengthen the opportunities for the poorest people on the planet to escape the worst impacts of poverty. Access to energy provides people with the means to generate income – and that in turn creates wealth and new markets.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

Effective responses to HIV and AIDS addressed in Tanzania

GENEVA, Switzerland, April 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Religious beliefs and traditions in Africa continue to influence the way HIV is spread, especially among young women. There is a great need to understand these issues from a faith-based perspective, so that church leaders may engage in a constructive dialogue to help and support women threatened by the pandemic.

The recent International Training Institute (ITI) on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights and HIV, held from 16 to 22 March, in Arusha, Tanzania, shed light on these issues. The training was organized by the World YWCA, with active participation from the World Council of Churches (WCC).

Addressing HIV and how it affects women in communities responds to the essence of several statements from the churches on HIV, the WCC’s work carried out through its project the Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiative in Africa (EHAIA), as well as the World YWCA’s commitment to women’s rights which prioritized HIV and AIDS among other issues since 1987.

The statements by churches and ecumenical organizations have outlined the key factors that fuel the HIV pandemic, especially among young women. These factors include stigma, discrimination, lack of information and access to Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services and HIV treatment.

Religious beliefs and traditions

One aspect of the situation which was reflected in discussions at the World YWCA training in Arusha was the influence of religious beliefs and traditions.

There are two sets of beliefs, including both “life-giving” and “life-diminishing traditions”. In some situations, these traditions restrict women’s and girls’ access to SRH services and compromise their decision-making abilities. This eventually exposes them to the risk of HIV infection.

Silence in the name of traditions is often maintained on matters related to sexuality. There is a pressing need to question such traditions.

In times of HIV and AIDS, it is important to reconsider the traditional definition of family, comprised of a man, woman and children. In order to respond to households headed by grandmothers, single parents or even children themselves, it is critical to consider that HIV in many ways has impacted and changed our socio-religious settings.

Need for dialogue, engaging religious leaders

Discussions at the Arusha training show that dialogue and advocacy are sorely needed to engage religious leaders in formulating effective responses to HIV and AIDS. This is crucial, as most religious leaders do not have the necessary skills and tools to address major crises related to the HIV pandemic.

Religious leaders must create “safe spaces” where HIV-positive children are supported. Such spaces facilitated by the religious leaders can help HIV-positive children to understand the real possibility of becoming teenagers living with the virus, and can bring positive change in prevention messages.

Churches to listen, with love and compassion

Following the Christian conviction that all people are created in the image of God, churches dealing with the HIV and AIDS threat need to listen with love to sexual minorities. Particular attention must be given to bisexuals, who due to stigma and discrimination are often forced to marry. As a result, they end up putting their partners at risk of HIV infection.

The understanding of churches varies in how to address HIV related issues. There are some churches that need to reject a prevailing mindset which declares HIV a curse and a punishment from God. Such a mindset eventually denies people living with HIV, including women and girls, of their basic rights to life, education and SRH services.

* Ayoko Bahun-Wilson works for the EHAIA based in Togo. Sophie Chirongoma, also engaged with EHAIA, is a member of the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians based in Zimbabwe. They shared these reflections from their participation in the World YWCA training in Tanzania.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

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