The ministers of Central African countries are taking a decisive step toward the creation of a green economy, with a focus on the timber industry

KINSHASA, DRC, October 31, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The organizers of the Conference of Ministers of ECCAS (http://www.ceeac-eccas.org) on the Fund for the Green Economy in Central Africa and the structural transformation of the economy of natural resources announced today that the ministers from the region have adopted a text establishing the Fund for the Green Economy in Central Africa.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/CEEAC-1.jpg

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/141030ce.jpg

At the opening of the conference, the Vice Prime Minister of Defense and Veterans of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mr. Tambo Loaba, announced a $3 million contribution from his country to start the Fund for the Green Economy in Central Africa (FEVAC).

“Concerning the financing of FEVAC, the Democratic Republic of Congo supports its creation and commits $3 million for its establishment beginning in 2015,” said Mr. Loaba in his address.

This decision marks a first giant step toward the effective initiation of a global restructuring of the Central African economy, based on the natural resource economy and the timber industry in particular.

“Today, for the first time, Central Africa has placed the environment within the core economic structure of the countries in the region,” emphasized Dr. Honoré Tabuna, Biodiversity Valuation and Environmental Economics expert and the conference coordinator. “We are finally reaching the final stages and practical implementation of a process that began in Rio in 1992. We must now talk about the economy in order to establish a new balance of sustainable development based on a green economy in Central Africa,” he added.

Held from October 27–30 in Kinshasa, the conference brought together the Central African Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs, and Forestry as well as several experts in green economy and the timber industry.

It was hosted by the ECCAS as part of the Program for the Management of Vulnerable Ecosystems in Central Africa (under ECOFAC), the result of a joint effort with the European Union, which provides financial support within the framework of the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan.

“A Shift toward a Green Economy Represents a Positive Economic Turn”

Today, the timber industry serves as an example, showing the true decision makers in the countries of Central Africa that a shift toward a green economy represents a positive economic turn for the region’s economy as a whole.

The joint presence of the Ministers of Forestry and Finance of Central African countries provides a new opportunity to demonstrate that the green economy is not simply a concern for environmental experts, but also for the economists of each government.

It’s key to note that the move of major regional actors to create a new “motor” for the green economy provides support to countries combating illegal logging while also encouraging good forest governance. This important movement for the green economy, which depends on the progressive commitment of the Ministers of Finance, will bring regional changes and attract investments to help the countries working with the FLEGT and which have signed voluntary agreements with the EU.

The Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) are bilateral trade agreements between the EU and a timber-exporting country. The VPA is underpinned by the development and implementation of a timber licensing scheme by the partner country. All of the lumber exported to the EU must abide by the regulations of this scheme. Moreover, each EU country is responsible for keeping unauthorized lumber out of the market.

“The objective is to give a greater voice to the Ministers of the Environment who, thus far, have received only a small share of the budget, far less than the Ministers of Commerce or Energy who benefit from revenue generated by their activities. We must show that natural resources are much more lucrative,” said Aimé Nianogo, IUCN Regional Director for West Africa.

The Timber Industry and the Impact of Market Regulation Programs

Indeed, timber- and forestry-related issues lie naturally at the heart of the implementation of the Green Economy System in Central Africa: the timber industry, which has long represented a gateway to international markets, is currently benefiting from major advances provided by market regulation programs, such as the EU Timber Regulation, but also the Lacey Act in the United States and the Australian Illegal Logging Prohibition Act.

These regulations and agreements, like those of the FLEGT, open new, more reliable, and better-regulated markets, the revenues of which can be better distributed thanks to improved governance. Indeed, changing the economic system to allow for the development of the green economy requires fundamental governmental restructuring. “That is one of the major obstacles that still risks hindering the best intentions and positions of even the most sincere decision makers,” said Aimé Nianogo.

The Ministers of Forestry also had the opportunity to convince their own Ministers of Finance of the importance of paying attention to issues relating to the timber industry and its development. Clearly, these are not simply national but also regional concerns, as regional Ministers of Forestry met to discuss these issues with Ministers of Finance.

Transforming the Economic Model to Address Regional Issues

One of the major objectives for Central African countries is primarily to change an economic model that broadly relies on subsoil natural resources: minerals, oil, and gas.

These resources provide the region with significantly positive growth, at nearly 6%, but this growth does not benefit the entire population. Indeed, some regions are afflicted by a poverty rate of up to 70%.

“Our studies show that the timber industry could weigh 3% to 8% in the largest economies in the region and would generate a large number of jobs, which is a major concern for several countries in the region,” Nianogo said.

The conference provides the opportunity to vote on several projects meant to build a foundation for the green economy system to be financed by the new Fund for the Green Economy.

These projects fulfill regional objectives for the development of the natural resource economy in a framework that corresponds to the objectives and recommendations established over the past twenty years by the Rio and Rio+20 conferences. They allow for the development of local, national, regional, and international economic circuits that create job opportunities for populations that have been excluded up until now.

“The projects must be approved and distributed among the countries according to their interest in achieving the set objectives, not just according to their individual desires as a function of their capabilities and hopes of earning profits in the long term,” reminds Aimé Nianogo. “We’ll undoubtedly have to provide support for the less dynamic countries or those lacking the necessary expertise to establish solid projects so that they can also benefit from an evolution that must extend throughout the entire region.”

The text adopted at Kinshasa will be presented at the conference to be held in N’djamena, Chad, where the Heads of State will be able to express their commitment to the precise and concrete measures it contains.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).

Media contact:

Gildas Parfait DIAMONEKA

Communication ECOFAC V – CEEAC

Skype: gdiamoneka

Courriel: gildas_parfait@yahoo.fr

GABON Tel: (+241) 01 44 22 09

The Economic Community of Central African States (http://www.ceeac-eccas.org) is made up of ten member countries: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, and Chad

http://www.ceeac-eccas.org

The ministers of Central African countries are taking a decisive step toward the creation of a green economy, with a focus on the timber industry

KINSHASA, DRC, October 31, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The organizers of the Conference of Ministers of ECCAS (http://www.ceeac-eccas.org) on the Fund for the Green Economy in Central Africa and the structural transformation of the economy of natural resources announced today that the ministers from the region have adopted a text establishing the Fund for the Green Economy in Central Africa.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/CEEAC-1.jpg

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/141030ce.jpg

At the opening of the conference, the Vice Prime Minister of Defense and Veterans of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mr. Tambo Loaba, announced a $3 million contribution from his country to start the Fund for the Green Economy in Central Africa (FEVAC).

“Concerning the financing of FEVAC, the Democratic Republic of Congo supports its creation and commits $3 million for its establishment beginning in 2015,” said Mr. Loaba in his address.

This decision marks a first giant step toward the effective initiation of a global restructuring of the Central African economy, based on the natural resource economy and the timber industry in particular.

“Today, for the first time, Central Africa has placed the environment within the core economic structure of the countries in the region,” emphasized Dr. Honoré Tabuna, Biodiversity Valuation and Environmental Economics expert and the conference coordinator. “We are finally reaching the final stages and practical implementation of a process that began in Rio in 1992. We must now talk about the economy in order to establish a new balance of sustainable development based on a green economy in Central Africa,” he added.

Held from October 27–30 in Kinshasa, the conference brought together the Central African Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs, and Forestry as well as several experts in green economy and the timber industry.

It was hosted by the ECCAS as part of the Program for the Management of Vulnerable Ecosystems in Central Africa (under ECOFAC), the result of a joint effort with the European Union, which provides financial support within the framework of the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan.

“A Shift toward a Green Economy Represents a Positive Economic Turn”

Today, the timber industry serves as an example, showing the true decision makers in the countries of Central Africa that a shift toward a green economy represents a positive economic turn for the region’s economy as a whole.

The joint presence of the Ministers of Forestry and Finance of Central African countries provides a new opportunity to demonstrate that the green economy is not simply a concern for environmental experts, but also for the economists of each government.

It’s key to note that the move of major regional actors to create a new “motor” for the green economy provides support to countries combating illegal logging while also encouraging good forest governance. This important movement for the green economy, which depends on the progressive commitment of the Ministers of Finance, will bring regional changes and attract investments to help the countries working with the FLEGT and which have signed voluntary agreements with the EU.

The Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) are bilateral trade agreements between the EU and a timber-exporting country. The VPA is underpinned by the development and implementation of a timber licensing scheme by the partner country. All of the lumber exported to the EU must abide by the regulations of this scheme. Moreover, each EU country is responsible for keeping unauthorized lumber out of the market.

“The objective is to give a greater voice to the Ministers of the Environment who, thus far, have received only a small share of the budget, far less than the Ministers of Commerce or Energy who benefit from revenue generated by their activities. We must show that natural resources are much more lucrative,” said Aimé Nianogo, IUCN Regional Director for West Africa.

The Timber Industry and the Impact of Market Regulation Programs

Indeed, timber- and forestry-related issues lie naturally at the heart of the implementation of the Green Economy System in Central Africa: the timber industry, which has long represented a gateway to international markets, is currently benefiting from major advances provided by market regulation programs, such as the EU Timber Regulation, but also the Lacey Act in the United States and the Australian Illegal Logging Prohibition Act.

These regulations and agreements, like those of the FLEGT, open new, more reliable, and better-regulated markets, the revenues of which can be better distributed thanks to improved governance. Indeed, changing the economic system to allow for the development of the green economy requires fundamental governmental restructuring. “That is one of the major obstacles that still risks hindering the best intentions and positions of even the most sincere decision makers,” said Aimé Nianogo.

The Ministers of Forestry also had the opportunity to convince their own Ministers of Finance of the importance of paying attention to issues relating to the timber industry and its development. Clearly, these are not simply national but also regional concerns, as regional Ministers of Forestry met to discuss these issues with Ministers of Finance.

Transforming the Economic Model to Address Regional Issues

One of the major objectives for Central African countries is primarily to change an economic model that broadly relies on subsoil natural resources: minerals, oil, and gas.

These resources provide the region with significantly positive growth, at nearly 6%, but this growth does not benefit the entire population. Indeed, some regions are afflicted by a poverty rate of up to 70%.

“Our studies show that the timber industry could weigh 3% to 8% in the largest economies in the region and would generate a large number of jobs, which is a major concern for several countries in the region,” Nianogo said.

The conference provides the opportunity to vote on several projects meant to build a foundation for the green economy system to be financed by the new Fund for the Green Economy.

These projects fulfill regional objectives for the development of the natural resource economy in a framework that corresponds to the objectives and recommendations established over the past twenty years by the Rio and Rio+20 conferences. They allow for the development of local, national, regional, and international economic circuits that create job opportunities for populations that have been excluded up until now.

“The projects must be approved and distributed among the countries according to their interest in achieving the set objectives, not just according to their individual desires as a function of their capabilities and hopes of earning profits in the long term,” reminds Aimé Nianogo. “We’ll undoubtedly have to provide support for the less dynamic countries or those lacking the necessary expertise to establish solid projects so that they can also benefit from an evolution that must extend throughout the entire region.”

The text adopted at Kinshasa will be presented at the conference to be held in N’djamena, Chad, where the Heads of State will be able to express their commitment to the precise and concrete measures it contains.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).

Media contact:

Gildas Parfait DIAMONEKA

Communication ECOFAC V – CEEAC

Skype: gdiamoneka

Courriel: gildas_parfait@yahoo.fr

GABON Tel: (+241) 01 44 22 09

The Economic Community of Central African States (http://www.ceeac-eccas.org) is made up of ten member countries: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, and Chad

http://www.ceeac-eccas.org

Ebola response: Belgium-US coordination

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, October 30, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo, the Minister of Social Affairs and Public Health Maggie De Block and Ebola coordinator Dr. Erika Vlieghe met on Thursday 30 October with Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations.

Ambassador Samantha Power conducted the past few days a field visit to the three West African countries most affected by Ebola: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. She shared her experiences with the two Belgian ministers. Ambassador Power also praised and thanked Belgium for its efforts in providing humanitarian aid to the affected countries and for the preventive measures Belgium has taken to face the Ebola epidemic.

The meeting took place at the residence of the American ambassador in Brussels.

In recent months and recent weeks, our country has allocated over 35 million euros for the necessary humanitarian assistance. “The Ebola crisis is not only a sanitary but also a humanitarian crisis. The epidemic decimates entire communities in West Africa. The US ambassador to the United Nationsconfirmed this during our exchange. Infected people have little chance of survival, hospitals are no longer able to cope with the influx of patients,schools are closed and a food crisis looms. We cannot close our eyes to this humanitarian tragedy,” said the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo. He stated that “the Belgian development cooperation strongly supports aid organisations that can act directly on the ground, organisations which possess the expertise and experience needed in the affected countries. Last week, our country released additional funds, thus bringing our commitment to more than 35 million euros. This effort is also clearly appreciated at the international level.”

Coordinator

Belgium has taken in recent months a series of preventive measures, issued recommendations and established procedures among companies and services that may come in contact with people who have sojourned in the three affected countries. Since the spring of 2014, the Federal Public Service (FPS) Public Health has been providing information and has led consultations with all concerned sectors, among others the FPS Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence, the Scientific Institute of Public Health, the Communities and the Regions, the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain, SN Brussels Airlines, Brussels Airport, the Port of Antwerp, hospitals and doctors (general practitioners), etc.” The risk that an infected person enters our country is tenuous, but we must take all possible measures to ensure that our specialists and our specialised teams are able toprovide the correct and best care to patients, without this affecting the daily operations of hospitals and of the entire health sector,” indicated Maggie De Block, Minister of Social Affairs and Public Health.

On October 17, 2014, Maggie De Block appointed Dr. Erika Vlieghe, specialised in infectious diseases, as Ebola coordinator and Dr. Daniel Reynders as her deputy in order to support all initiatives in this area, to assess them, and adapt and complete them where necessary. Since October 20,Brussels Airport imposes temperature controls for passengers coming from the three countries at risk as an additional security measure to dispel the numerous fears from airport personnel. These controls are part of a much larger Ebola strategy, which contains ten measures in addition to the temperature controls carried out in the countries of origin.

Human Rights Commissioner concerned about the detention of civil rights activists in Egypt

BERLIN, Germany, October 30, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Christoph Strässer, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, issued the following statement on 29 October 2014 on the re-arrest of 23 human rights defenders in Egypt, including prominent activists such as Alaa Abdel Fattah:

I am very concerned about the re-arrest of 23 civil rights activists in Egypt. We are of the opinion that these actions highlight the seriously misguided approach to human rights in Egypt, which includes restrictive provisions on the freedom of assembly, association and opinion. I therefore call on the Egyptian Government to implement the rights guaranteed in the Egyptian constitution in compliance with their international human rights obligations and appeal for the activists to be treated in accordance with international standards. I would also like to call to mind the many other civil rights activists and members of the opposition, some of whom have been detained for months without formal charges having been brought against them.

DHL invests over EUR 30.5 million in new South Africa facilities

JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, October 30, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ —

• Investments by DHL Global Forwarding and DHL Supply Chain entities underscore long term growth plans for the region

• Investment is key in developing South Africa as a logistics hub for the region

DHL (http://www.dpdhl.com), the global market leader in the logistics and transportation industry today announced investments totalling EUR 30.5 million by both its Supply Chain and Global Forwarding divisions in South Africa. The investments signal the group’s long-term growth plans for the region as it brings state-of-the-art infrastructure, IT systems and world-class services to support businesses operating in Africa.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/dhl_logo2.jpg

Photo 1: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1493

Photo 2: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1492

The company launched two new facilities located in Plumbago, located in close proximity to the OR Tambo International Airport east of Johannesburg. An excellent location for logistics services, the facilities offer the twin benefit of both freeway access and high visibility.

Reinforcing the importance of Africa and the emerging economies for the Group’s future, Roger Crook, CEO, DHL Global Forwarding and Freight, Member of the Board of Management, Deutsche Post AG, said “Part of our global three pillar Strategy 2020 is to focus on further expansion of logistics services in the world’s emerging markets. Today, emerging market revenues contribute just over 20 percent of the Group’s revenues; by 2020, the Group expects this figure to climb to 30 percent(1).”

EUR 16 Million boost for DHL Global Forwarding’s Operations

For DHL Global Forwarding, the leading provider of air, sea and road freight services, the EUR 16 million new facility located at the Plumbago Business Park boasts 12,000 square meters of warehouse space and 5,500 sq meters of office space. The efficient layout of the new facility greatly improves cargo handling with an enhanced flow of goods in and out of the facility. The new facility also increases the company’s ability to offer customers a full range of Value-Added-Services (VAS) such as bonded storage and re-packing, and further grow its Airfreight and Ocean Freight export handling capabilities.

A TAPA ‘A’ certified warehouse, the new premises are a world class facility in South Africa, strengthening the country’s growth capabilities as the hub for distribution into the region. Twine Mtya, CEO, DHL Global Forwarding, Southern Africa, said, “Our new investments are necessary to support our growth and expansion plans in South Africa. In addition to our established Air and Ocean freight services, we have seen particular growth in our robust intermodal road network, spanning 12 African countries – road freight volumes have more than doubled in the past year, spurred by increasing demand and economic growth on the continent.”

DHL Global Forwarding is also expecting to reduce its CO2 emissions in excess of 700,000 kg per annum from consolidating its Johannesburg operations into one facility. Emission reduction will be achieved from savings on electricity through the use of solar power energy, and savings on petrol through more efficient and effective material handling at the warehouses.

EUR 14.5 mil state-of-the-art Facility to consolidate DHL Supply Chain’s operations

DHL Supply Chain’s 25,000m² multi-user warehouse facility will be used to consolidate its technology client portfolio, as well as some key fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) clients. The facility has been purpose-built for the technology and consumer industries including speciality designs such as high density storage up to 16m in height for FMCG companies; optimised operational flows; a super flat floor necessary for such high-level storage and retrieval; and the latest technology on reach trucks.

“We are implementing international best practices at Plumbago, and this will become the model for other facilities across the country. Our long-term strategy is to develop warehouses in prime locations – with our well-established networks, we provide daily deliveries to almost all retailers across South Africa with 99.8% on-time efficiency,” said Craig Roberts, CEO, DHL Supply Chain – Middle East and Africa.

“The new space gives our clients the advantage of a better location and warehouse design, planned by the best logistics specialists, as well as increased automated throughput. Such investments are long-term in nature, and reflect DHL Supply Chain’s commitment to Africa. We have an ambitious growth strategy for this region and intend to use our South African assets as a springboard into the rest of Africa,” he added.

The facility will offer market leading warehousing management systems, and boasts eco-friendly features including energy efficient lighting system, and rain water harvesting for vehicle washing. The consolidation and relocation nearer to OR Tambo Airport, client distribution centres and retailers, itself considerably reduces carbon emissions.

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

(1) http://goo.gl/6pJ1tw

Media Contact:

DHL Asia Pacific & EEMEA

Corporate Communications and Responsibility

Belinda Tan

Tel: +65 6771 3332

Fax: +65 6771 3322

Email: apeemeamediarelations@dhl.com

http://www.dhl.com/en/press.html

Text100, Johannesburg

Global Communications

Mpho Makhaye

Consultant

Tel: +27 11 775 5708

Email: mpho.makhaye@text100.co.za

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.

U.S. Condemns Violence in South Sudan’s Unity State

WASHINGTON, October 30, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The United States condemns in the strongest terms the latest attacks by Sudan People’s Liberation Movement /Army – In Opposition (SPLM/A – IO) in and around Bentiu, South Sudan. Since last December, thousands of people have been killed and millions have fled their homes due to the senseless man-made conflict in South Sudan. Despite the parties’ recent acceptance of collective responsibility for the crisis, these current attacks demonstrate that the SPLM/A-IO has yet to abandon violence to achieve its goals. We call on both sides – both of whom have committed violations of the agreement that have delayed peace – to ensure their forces refrain from further actions that violate the January 23 Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and undermine the peace process in South Sudan.

As the conflict persists and the humanitarian crisis continues to reach even more appalling levels, it is more urgent than ever to respect previous agreements to end the hostilities, cease the recruitment and mobilization of forces, including that of child soldiers, and engage earnestly in inclusive negotiations. No party should use these latest attacks as an excuse not to engage in the peace process or not to work in good faith to negotiate all necessary elements of a sustainable political transition, achieve a sustainable peace and restore national unity. We remind all parties of the need to guarantee that UNMISS sites and personnel are protected and that UN and other humanitarian agencies have safe, unfettered access to people in need of assistance. The United States remains committed to the people of South Sudan and is determined to hold accountable those who choose violence, standing ready to place sanctions on those who obstruct peace, commit human rights abuses and violations, and block humanitarian assistance.

Trade between Africa and Ireland to reach €24 billion by 2020 – Minister for Development, Trade Promotion and North South Cooperation, Seán Sherlock

DUBLIN, Ireland, October 30, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Trade between Ireland and Africa is expected to reach €24 billion by 2020, Minister for Development, Trade Promotion and North South Cooperation, Seán Sherlock told the Africa-Ireland Economic Forum in UCD’s Smurfit Graduate Business School today.

The forum, organised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, brings Irish businesses together with African partners to explore opportunities for trade and investment. Total merchandise trade between Ireland and Africa increased by 35% from 2010-2013, from just over €1.7bn to over €2.3bn.

Minister Sherlock highlighted the huge potential that Africa presents for Irish businesses and investors:

“Africa collectively is on the rise. It is important now that we grasp opportunities and have the vision to see where they can take us and work toward developing strong and equal trade and investment partnerships with African countries.

“In the last three years we have seen an increase of 25% in Irish goods exports to sub-Saharan Africa and 27% with the entire continent. In return we have seen a more than doubling of our imports from sub-Saharan countries and an increase of well over 45% with the entire continent. Improving our people-to-people links and encouraging initiatives to enable business links is a vital element in developing these relationships.

“This year we have invested in our Embassy network across the continent – upgrading our office in Sierra Leone to a full Embassy and reopening our Embassy in Kenya. We now have eleven Embassies across the continent. Irish Embassies and Ambassadors across the continent are engaging with Irish companies entering markets, selling goods and services, investing in countries and winning tenders. This activity has ranged across many sectors including major energy projects, engineering consultancy, agri-business development and education and learning partnerships.

“We want you to make contact. We are interested in hearing from you and working with you and for you. Our Embassies are developing new initiatives including networking links which you can plus into.”

This year the forum will focus on Transformation through Technology and the new business and employment opportunities being created by technology, particularly mobile technology which is transforming the way ideas are communicated and business is conducted across Africa. Some 350 businesspeople are attending the conference.

Among the speakers are Simon Milner, ‎Policy Director, UK, Middle East and Africa, Facebook and Dr. Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa.

Minister Sherlock said: “Science, technology and innovation have been identified as key pillars for Africa’s development in the post-2015 development agenda. A profound economic transformation to improve livelihoods by harnessing innovation, technology, and the potential of businesses is crucial to delivering on the goal of eradicating extreme poverty.

“Ireland will work to make sure that our strong traditional relationships with African countries are complemented by an increased economic relationship that works to the benefit of all. This does not mean leaving our traditional commitments behind. It does mean inviting new partners to the table. We continue to look for opportunities to build on our tradition of development cooperation and to develop stronger political and economic links with Africa. ”

Etisalat Prize for Literature: Call for Entries for 2014 Flash Fiction Prize Category Announced

LAGOS, Nigeria, October 30, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Nigeria’s most innovative telecommunications company, Etisalat (http://www.etisalat.com.ng), has announced the 2014 Flash Fiction Prize category of the Etisalat Prize for literature. This award category which is in line with the company’s goal of inspiring and encouraging creativity is designed to celebrate the short form of storytelling.

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

Logo Etisalat Prize for Literature: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/etisalat_prize_for_literature.jpg

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1491 (Mr. Enitan Denloye, Director, Brands and Communication of Etisalat Nigeria)

According to the Director, Brands and Communication of Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Enitan Denloye, ‘In today’s fast paced world, communication is right at our finger tips through the use of smart devices; phones, tablets and the likes and people prefer to consume information on-the-go and in small bits. The flash fiction category therefore seeks to marry these concepts thus providing added value to mobile device users across Africa.’ Entry is open to the public, who would also be responsible for reviewing entries and ultimately voting the winner’

The flash fiction prize is awarded to the top three writers in this category. The winning author receives a cash prize of £1,000, a high-end device, with his or her published e-book promoted online and via digital media platforms. The category will also produce two runners up, with each receiving a cash sum of £500 and a smart device for their literary efforts.

Interested writers are encouraged to enter works of not more than 300 words at the Etisalat Prize for Literature Flash Fiction webpage: http://goo.gl/sS2klO. Entries will close on November 4th, 2014 while review and voting will commence from November 5th, 2014 through November 25th, 2014. The top 20 entries would be announced after moderations on December 7, 2014 while the shortlist will be announced in January 2014.

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

Media contact:

EZE Kenneth Obasi

The Quadrant Company

Lagos – Nigeria

Mobile: +234 809 736 8557

Kenneth.eze@quadrantcompany.com

About Etisalat

In just 6 years of operations, Etisalat Nigeria (http://www.etisalat.com.ng) has become a major industry player with a growing subscriber base of 20 million in a highly competitive market. Its portfolio of voice and data-centric products include – easy starter, easycliq, easybusiness, and easyblaze; all tailor-made to meet the needs of its customers.

Etisalat Nigeria is one of the 19 operations of the Etisalat Group that spans across Africa, Middle East and Asia serving over 182 million subscribers; and it is committed to delivering innovative and quality services to its growing subscribers.