Oct 102014

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, October 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, will sign today the National Indicative Programmes (NIP) for development cooperation with Belize, Lesotho, Togo and Zambia in the 2014-2020 period, which amount to €869 million. The signing ceremony with representatives of those countries will take place in the margins of the annual meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington. Commissioner Piebalgs said: “The programmes that we will sign are the fruit of close cooperation with the four partner countries and reflect their own policies, strategies, and needs as they have defined them. I am particularly pleased to see that energy and governance are key priorities for these countries, as clear drivers for sustainable development and growth. Our support will target EU resources where they are most needed and most effective.”

Oct 102014

GENEVA, Switzerland, October 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Comorian Foreign and Cooperation Ministry and the ICRC have signed an agreement on humanitarian work for detainees. The agreement, which was signed in Moroni on 10 October,…

Oct 102014

GENEVA, Switzerland, October 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — This week, over 450 Ethiopian migrants held in Tanzanian prisons for immigration offenses will take a step closer to returning home to their families with the help of IOM and the Government of Japan.

The operation, in close cooperation with the Tanzanian Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is part of IOM’s Japanese-funded ‘Voluntary Return Assistance to Migrants in Tanzania’ project.

Over the next two weeks, representatives of IOM Dar es Salaam and IOM Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian Consulate-General in Tanzania and Tanzania’s Prisons and Immigration Departments will visit six prisons in Tanzania’s Pwani, Tanga, Morogoro, Iringa, Mbeya and Kilimanjaro regions. At the prisons, the team will verify the nationality of detained Ethiopian migrants.

Following verification, the migrants will be issued with travel documents that will allow them to return home by air with IOM at the end of this month. Japanese embassy officials will join the verification visit to Pwani to assess conditions in the prison.

Since 2009, over 2,500 Ethiopian detainees have been helped to return home from Tanzania under the IOM project. This year 220 departed in April, 450 will depart later this month and a further 130 are expected to leave by year end.

IOM Tanzania Chief of Mission Damien Thuriaux hopes that the migrants, most of whom were trying to reach South Africa, will talk to family and friends about their experiences and warn them of the risks associated with irregular migration.

“The risks are enormous – injuries, disease, exploitation and detention are just some of the hazards that these migrants face when they leave home without proper travel documents,” said Mr. Thuriaux. “We are happy that, at least for this group, the suffering is over and they can return to their families.”

Every year thousands of Ethiopian irregular migrants risk their lives trying to enter South Africa through the southern corridor. Most are transported by well-paid smugglers, who benefit from the fact that there are few legal migration options. Tanzania has become a transit country to Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia, en route to South Africa.

Due to limited reception capacity, migrants who are caught in Tanzania often end up in overcrowded prisons, where they are locked up with common criminals, often for as long as two years.

Although most are young men looking for job opportunities in South Africa, a growing number are women, children and unaccompanied minors.

Last month IOM Tanzania assisted an Ethiopian mother and her three children to return home after they had been refused entry into Mozambique and repatriated back to Tanzania.

Oct 102014

PARIS, France, October 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Today at the Gala event of The 11th Annual International Business Awards held at the Westin Vendôme Hotel in Paris, France, Movitel (http://movitel.co.mz/en)- subsidiary of Viettel Group in Mozambique is presented to be the Gold Winner of “Fastest Growing of the Year in Middle-East and Africa” Award.

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

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1429

Movitel, SA – joint venture between of Viettel in Mozambiuqe gains its second honorable international prize in the year by winning Golden Globe of “Fastest Growing of the Year in Middle-East and Africa” at the International Business Award 2014.

The Award is attributed to Movitel for its outstanding development and achievements in Mozambique and the area.

Within only one year, Movitel has increased its coverage area from 60% to 80% and doubled the number of covered people from 35% to 85%. Nearly 600,000 people in at least 5 rural districts in Mozambique have been covered and served telecom services for the first time in life. Movitel has had over 5 million users, taking the leading position in the mobile market.

By the end of 2012, only 6 months from launching, Movitel made total revenue of USD 69.7 million. The next year saw significant rise in revenue, USD 154.5 million, of which, USD 102.3 million was recorded in the second half of the year, which was an increase of 65.8% year-on-year.

Movitel has improved its successful business strategy as a caring and innovative network for every Mozambican. Especially, Movitel is becoming the favorite operator among the youth and urbanites.

The Stevie Awards is the second prize presented to Movitel in 2014 after the first one in July: “Best Mobile Innovation Award”. In 2012, Movitel won the Rural Telecom Award of the AfricaCom Awards. In 2013, it was presented the Competitive Strategy Leadership award by The American Research and Consulting firm Frost and Sullivan.

Viettel has been granted telecommunications in 9 countries with total population of over 160 millions, total investment value of USD 1.5 billions. 5 subsidiary companies in Cambodia, Laos, Haiti, Mozambique and Timor have provided services. 2 companies in Peru and Cameroon is going having official launching on October 2014. The other 2 in Burundi and Tanzania are under infrastructure deployment of their networks.

Total revenue from overseas business of Viettel reached USD 1 billion in 2013 with around 11.5 million subscribers, bringing in more than USD 180.5 million accumulated profits.

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

Media Contact:

Bui Thi Phuong Thao (Ms)

Communications Executive

Email: thaobtp@viettel.com.vn/ buithaoiir@gmail.com

Tel: +84 979438100

Uganda National Day

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Oct 102014

WASHINGTON, October 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
October 9, 2014

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Uganda as yo…

Oct 092014

GENEVA, Switzerland, October 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — A new wave of violence has engulfed the capital Bangui, causing many casualties. In addition, houses and businesses have been ransacked and set on fire. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is calling for respect and protection for the lives and dignity of civilians.

Yesterday, Central African Red Cross volunteers and emergency services were subjected to direct threats, stemming from a misunderstanding by some people of their activities recovering bodies, thereby blocking their work.

During these very difficult times for the people in the capital, the Central African Red Cross, with support from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other partners, is doing its utmost to recover the mortal remains of people killed in the violence, as no public services are in a position to do so, in order to ensure that the families will be able to bury the remains with proper respect and dignity and that rituals will be kept. The injured are being transferred to medical centres for treatment.

The Red Cross is extremely concerned about the threats that were made, which are hampering its emergency relief activities. This means that many victims throughout the capital are left to their fate. “It’s truly regrettable that such actions can jeopardize any attempt to help the wounded,” said Antoine Mbao Bogo, the national president of the Central African Red Cross.

The Red Cross is calling on all weapon bearers and on everyone directly participating in the violence to refrain from interfering with the impartial and neutral humanitarian work of its personnel. “Without security, we cannot do our work and save lives,” said Jean-François Sangsue, the head of the ICRC delegation in Bangui. “The threats must stop. We are asking the population to facilitate the work of Red Cross volunteers. If the threats continue we will be obliged to cease all relief activities, leaving many victims to fend for themselves.”

Oct 092014

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, October 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Brigadier General Alfonso García-Vaquero Pradal was today appointed Mission Commander for the EU training mission in Mali (EUTM Mali).

Alfonso García-Vaquero Pradal, from Spain, will take up his duties on 24 October 2014. He will succeed Brigadier General Marc Rudkiewicz, who had been in the position since 18 March 2014.

EUTM Mali, launched in February 2013, supports the training and reorganisation of the Malian Armed Forces. It aims to help improve the military capacity of the Malian Armed Forces in order to allow, under civilian authority, the restoration of the country’s territorial integrity. The mission’s personnel is around 560 staff at its headquarters in Bamako and its training camp in Koulikoro. The mandate currently runs until 18 May 2016.

Today’s decision was taken by the EU’s Political and Security Committee.

Annex: Curriculum vitae of Brigadier General Alfonso García-Vaquero Pradal


Brigadier General Alfonso García-Vaquero Pradal was born on 20 March 1958 in Madrid and joined the Spanish Army in 1976. He was graduated from the Spanish Military Academy as an Infantry Lieutenant in 1981. He then joined the Spanish Legion and served as Platoon Leader in Infantry and Special Operations Units.

He was promoted to Captain in 1984 and served as Company Commander in Special Operations, Mountain and Legion Units. On promotion to Major in 1993, he was selected for the two-years General Staff Course in the Spanish Army War College.

After his graduation from the War College, he was appointed to the

Spanish Rapid Reaction Force HQ and posted as intelligence analyst. This period included a tour in the Implementation Force (IFOR) HQ (Sarajevo 1996) as intelligence operations, working closely with different national intelligence cells.

Since April 1999 he served in ARRC HQ (UK framework nation), in Rheindahlen as G2 current operations officer and training and exercises. He deployed initially to KOSOVO, (Pristina, 1999) within the Forward ARRC HQ, where he worked as theatre collection manager in G2 CCIRM.

During his appointment in AARC HQ, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in July 2001.

Returning to Spain in August 2002, he was appointed to the Spanish Army Staff in Madrid, working in the intelligence branch. He returned to the Spanish Legion as Commander of 10 Bandera* in the 4 Tercio* from March 2005 to March 2008. In September 2006 he was in Marjayoun for a new operational tour as Commander of the first Spanish Battle Group in the United Nation Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) deployed along the Blue Line. He took operational control over the Nepalese, Indonesian and Malaysian Battalions until their full operational capability.

After completion of his duties in the Spanish Legion, he was posted as Chief of Staff in the Armed Forces Intelligence Centre (CIFAS) in Madrid. He was the point of contact for NATO Intelligence Board and Deputy Head of delegation for intelligence matters. During this assignment he was promoted to Colonel in July 2008. After this period in the CIFAS, he came back to the Legion in June 2010 and assumed command of 2 Tercio* in Ceuta.

He was promoted to Brigadier General in February 2012. Thereafter, he assumed command of

16 Light Infantry Brigade in Canary Islands, and also the role of Military Commander of the Province of Las Palmas.

General García-Vaquero speaks English and is bilingual in French. He is married to Nieves and they have two daughters Nieves (28) and Pilar (22). He enjoys skiing, running and reading.

*’Bandera and Tercio are Spanish historic names of the Legion Units. They are equivalent to Battalion and Regiment, respectively.

Oct 092014

CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, October 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — DHL Express SSA (http://www.dpdhl.com) has been certified as a Top Employer in Africa for its outstanding employee offerings across the region. This is in addition to six African countries – South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Ghana that were also certified Top Employers in their local markets.

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Photo Charles Brewer: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/charles-brewer-1.jpg (Charles Brewer, Managing Director for DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa)

Independent research by the Top Employers Institute shows the company looks after its people exceptionally well and DHL Express is one of the select few companies to achieve the exclusive Top Employers Africa 2015 certification in various African regions in which they operate.

According to Charles Brewer, MD of DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa, this achievement is an acknowledgement of the business’s strong focus on employee engagement, development and training on the African continent.

Top Employers is a global and annual programme that certifies organizations which successfully demonstrate exceptional HR environments and employee offerings. The programme is an audited and research based process that assesses employee offerings as well as the conditions employers create for staff to develop.

Brewer says that this accolade is testament to their dedication of having motivated employees, which is a key focus pillar of their strategy. “Understanding the need to drive a common culture across 220 countries, we launched a Certified International Specialists training program for all 3,500 staff in Africa. Everyone from the Global CEO to a Courier in any country has gone through this training program reinforcing our core competencies as an organization. CIS training has been central to our staff retention and development globally.”

The Top Employers Institute assessed DHL Express’ employee offerings on various criteria, including talent strategy, workforce planning, employee on, learning & development, performance management, leadership development, career & succession management, compensation & benefits and company culture.

Crucial to the Top Employers process is that participating companies must meet the required high standard in the research in order to achieve the certification. Only organizations that achieve certification in at least four countries within the region deserve the special Top Employers Africa 2015 recognition. The independent research has verified DHL Express’ outstanding employee conditions in all certified countries.

Judith Oude Sogtoen, Director of International Business Development for the Top Employers Institute: “Our extensive research concluded that DHL Express forms part of a select group of employers that advance employee conditions worldwide. Their people are well taken care of. Now that they have received the Top Employers Africa 2015 certification, they can truly consider themselves at the top of an exclusive group of the world’s best employers. A reason to celebrate!”

“We truly value external recognition and believe that it affirms our position as the International Specialists in Africa,” concludes Brewer.

To learn more about the Top Employers Institute and the Top Employers certification visit: http://www.top-employers.com.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Deutsche Post DHL.

Media Contact:

Megan Collinicos. Head: Advertising & Public Relations, Sub-Saharan Africa

DHL Express

Tel +27 21 409 3613 Mobile +27 76 411 8570


DHL – The logistics company for the world

DHL (http://www.dpdhl.com) is the global market leader in the logistics and transportation industry and “The logistics company for the world”. DHL commits its expertise in international express, national and international parcel delivery, air and ocean freight, road and rail transportation as well as contract and e-commerce related solutions along the entire supply chain. A global network composed of more than 220 countries and territories and around 315,000 employees worldwide offers customers superior service quality and local knowledge to satisfy their shipping and supply chain requirements. DHL accepts its social responsibility by supporting environmental protection, disaster management and education.

DHL is part of Deutsche Post DHL. The Group generated revenues of more than 55 billion euros in 2013.

For more information: www.dpdhl.com

Stock images available: http://www.dpdhl.com/en/media_relations/media_library.html

Oct 092014

ROME, Italy, October 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Food markets are more stable and prices for most agricultural commodities are sharply lower than they have been in recent years, according to the latest edition of FAO’s biannual Food Outlook report and a new update to the Organization’s monthly Food Price Index, both out today.

Bumper harvests and abundant stockpiles are key factors helping drive down international cereal prices, according to the report.

World wheat production in 2014 is forecast to reach a new record, it says.

For coarse grains, prospects for near-record production levels, combined with already-high inventories point to a very comfortable world supply and demand balance in 2014/15, especially for maize.

While rice outputs could decline slightly this year, stockpiles remain “huge” and are sufficient to cover over one-third of projected consumption during the 2015-16 period.

All told, world cereal production in 2014 is anticipated to reach 2 523 million tonnes (2.5 billion tonnes) — an upward revision of 65 million tonnes from FAO’s initial forecast in May. World cereal stocks should hit their highest level in 15 years by the end of the cropping season in 2015.

Global output of oilseeds is also forecast to exceed last season’s record due to further expansion of soybean production.

Meanwhile, world production of cassava looks to be on track to achieving another record high, driven by sustained growth in Africa, where the tuber is a strategic crop for food security and poverty alleviation.

Today’s Food Outlook anticipates that world sugar production will increase in 2015-16, as well.

Meat production is set to grow moderately in 2014, but not enough to ease prices from their current high levels, while milk production continues to grow steadily in many countries.

Production of fish is also on the rise, driven largely by aquaculture and less-than-expected El Niño impacts.

Price drops across the board – almost

The FAO Food Price Index (FPI), also released today, has registered its sixth consecutive monthly drop — the longest period of continuous decline in the value of the index since the late 1990s — averaging 191.5 points in September 2014.

Among the FPI sub-indices, sugar and dairy fell most sharply, followed by cereals and oils, while meat remained firm (more).

Although meat prices remain high they could be stabilizing: the September Meat Price index remains 22 points up versus the same time last year, a historic high, but registered only a slight increase over August (0.3 of a point) after months of steady hikes.

High meat prices and large trade volumes for products in the animal protein category, including meat, dairy and fish, mean that the global food import bill — that is, the aggregate amount that all countries spend on imported foodstuffs — will surpass $1 trillion again this year, for the fifth year in a row.

The FAO FPI is a trade-weighted index that measures prices of five major food commodities on international markets.

While price trends for these commodities at the macro level are a useful indicator of global trends and can signal when consumer food prices might be at risk, they are not always directly mirrored in national, regional and local markets.

Regional differences highlighted in second report

To help spot food price spikes affecting consumers in the developing world, particularly in low-income food-deficit countries (LIFDCs), FAO recently launched a new website that reports abnormally high prices of staple foods in markets in 85 different countries.

Additionally, the Organization produces a quarterly report, Crop Prospects and Food Situation, that focuses on developments affecting food security in developing countries and LIFDCs.

The latest edition, published today alongside Food Outlook and the October FPI, highlights a number of hot-spots of particular concern.

The Ebola virus disease outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone has disrupted markets, farming activities and livelihoods, seriously affecting the food security of large numbers of people, it says. And irregular rains in several areas of the Sahelian belt will result in mixed production prospects.

Food crop production in the Central African Republic is up from 2013’s sharply reduced output, but still remains well below average due to the impact of widespread civil insecurity, the report adds.

In Eastern Africa, the overall food security situation is improving as harvesting has started in several countries. But while food prices in the region are generally stable or declining, they are at record high levels in Somalia and the Sudan.

Meanwhile, drought conditions in Central America have significantly reduced the 2014 main first season harvest in key producing countries.

Drought conditions have also been a problem in the Near East, leading to a below-average cereal harvest for the region, while the conflicts in Syria and Iraq continue to significantly degrade food security.