Statement from the Archbishop Tutu Fellows to African Heads of State and the International Private Sector, Civil Society and Multilateral Organisations on the Great Stain of Slavery in Libya

Statement from the Archbishop Tutu Fellows to African Heads of State and the International Private Sector, Civil Society and Multilateral Organisations on the Great Stain of Slavery in Libya:

Your Excellencies, leaders of private sector and civil society organisations, policy makers at the United Nations and the African Union and fellow Africans,

Slavery in Libya is a crime against humanity and immediate action is required by all stakeholders, including African governments, to put an end to this outrageous practice and hold responsible parties accountable.

There are three Great Stains on humanity; War, Genocide and Slavery.

They are the Great Stains not only because they are the fertile soil for many other debasing evils; they are Great Stains because they are assaults and crimes against humanity.

The prevalence of war, genocide and slavery historically is by no means the measure by which we as humanity can accept such behavior as normative, then or now.

Slavery has spawned intergenerational social and economic disruption to the Continent of Africa and other areas; and has stolen the liberties and lives of people for the commoditization of their bodies against their will.

The slave trade is a crime against Humanity.

It is abhorrent to humanity.

It is monstrous.

It is an assault on the dignity of all.

Slavery can and must be stopped.

We, Archbishop Tutu Fellows, call upon the United Nations Security Council and its related organs to urgently declare the practice of Slavery – particularly in Libya- a threat against humanity and to work closely with civil society and member states to arrest the slave trade and create an effective punitive framework to combat against the slave trade globally.

We call upon the Africa Union to demonstrate continental leadership in aggregating national voices on ensuring slavery remains a historical footnote.

We call upon all African heads of State to take action to hold each other accountable, and to engage with other states beyond the continent who can make a contribution toward eradicating the Slave trade, and to stanch the capital flows and lack of consequence which makes this vile economy thrive.

We call upon businesses invested in countries such as Libya- which have failed to abide by the unwritten laws of humanity- to divest and support the removal of the Great Stain.

We call upon the NGO community invested in the fight against human trafficking, forced labor, involuntary migration, social justice and the betterment of the planet to support the removal of the Great Stain.

We call upon all Africans, in particular the nations of the African North, to support the removal of the Great Stain in all its forms.

We call upon the instruments of justice– national and international- to charge beneficiaries of the slave trade as Enemies of humanity.

As Archbishop Tutu Fellows and as Africans, we request the following immediate course of action:

  1. All African countries to recall their ambassadors and diplomatic representatives from Libya, as some have already done.
  2. Appropriate, responsible and action-oriented responses from the countries of origin of our enslaved African brothers and sisters in Libya, with a clear request for support from the international community where needed.
  3. Firm action against Libya from the African Union, of which the country is a member, such as suspension from the multilateral organization once investigations have been concluded.
  4. Other African countries to follow Rwanda’s lead and accept African brothers and sisters who are caught in the slave trade in Libya, and pan-African support for these African host countries.

As a network of more than 300 emerging young African leaders, we, the Archbishop Tutu Fellows, are willing and able to assist where such assistance is needed. We are deeply aware that it is pertinent upon the conscience and humanity of every member of the international community to act against the evils to which our fellow human beings are subject to in Libya. The urgency of the situation is such that we need to act now. Our ancestors fought slavery over hundreds of years and we cannot bear witness to its evils today and do nothing.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Leadership Institute (AFLI).

For media enquiries, contact:
Mimi Kalinda
E: MKalinda@AfricaCommunicationsGroup.com

About the Archbishop Tutu Fellows
The Archbishop Tutu Fellows, of the African Leadership Institute (https://ALInstitute.org), are a diverse group of leading professionals from 42 African countries working at the forefront of positive change on the African continent and representing various sectors – civil society, government, business, the arts, education, healthcare, media and more. Tutu Fellows have undergone the Institute’s flagship programme, the Archbishop Tutu Leadership Programme, which is widely considered the premier leadership training programme on the continent. The goal of the programme is to impact the future of Africa through building and nurturing the capability of future leaders of the continent, drawing upon the globally-respected leadership values of ther Patron, Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Since the inaugural class of 2006, the network now boasts 300+ Tutu Fellows.

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Source:: Statement from the Archbishop Tutu Fellows to African Heads of State and the International Private Sector, Civil Society and Multilateral Organisations on the Great Stain of Slavery in Libya

      

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Johnson & Johnson and Partners Announce First Efficacy Study for Investigational Mosaic HIV-1 Preventive Vaccine

On the eve of World AIDS Day (December 1) Johnson & Johnson (www.JnJ.com) announced that its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies (www.Janssen.com) together with a consortium of global partners have initiated the first efficacy study for an investigational mosaic HIV-1 preventive vaccine. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (www.GatesFoundation.org) and National Institutes of Health are joining forces with Johnson & Johnson to advance the potential prevention option, which is designed to be a “global vaccine” that could prevent a wide range of viral strains responsible for the HIV pandemic.

“Developing a vaccine against HIV is a top priority and our best hope for a world without AIDS. Finding an effective HIV vaccine to protect people at risk has been a major scientific challenge, but today there is new optimism that we can get there,” said Paul Stoffels, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson. “That’s why we’re joining forces with the world’s leading HIV researchers and global health advocates to help advance our experimental vaccine. Working together, our ultimate goal is to support efforts to make HIV history.”

The new, large-scale study (HVTN 705/HPX2008), also known as “Imbokodo”, will evaluate whether the investigational Janssen vaccine regimen is safe and able to reduce the incidence of HIV infection among 2,600 women in sub-Saharan Africa. Although there have been great advances in HIV treatment and prevention in recent years, nearly two million people still become infected with HIV every year. According to UNAIDS, women and girls account for nearly 60 percent of people living with HIV in eastern and southern Africa.[1]

“The Imbokodo study is a result of an undeterred public-private partnership committed to responding to our formidable foe HIV,” said Professor Glenda Gray, CEO and President of the South African Medical Research Council and chair of the Imbokodo study. “Africa’s leadership role in bringing an end to the epidemic is documented in its ground breaking scientific research and evident in the dedicated contribution of its people.”

The initiation of Imbokodo means that, for the first time in over a decade, two vaccine efficacy studies are taking place at the same time. Another study, HVTN 702, is currently underway in South Africa to evaluate a different vaccine candidate. Historically, the search for an HIV vaccine has been challenging due in part to the unique properties of the virus – including its ability to mutate rapidly and its global genetic diversity with multiple strains and subtypes prevalent in different parts of the world.

“Having a preventive vaccine would be a vital tool in a comprehensive global strategy to end the HIV pandemic,” said Johan Van Hoof, M.D., Janssen Vaccines & Prevention B.V. and Therapeutic Area Head, R&D, Infectious Diseases & Vaccines. “Our investigational vaccine is based on mosaic antigens that have been engineered using genes from a wide range of different HIV subtypes. The ultimate goal is to deliver a ‘global vaccine’ that could be deployed in any geographic region to help protect vulnerable populations at risk of infection.”

HIV/AIDS continues to be one of the world’s most pressing global health challenges. In 2016, an estimated 37 million people were living with HIV-1 globally, and 1.8 million people became newly infected with the virus. An estimated 790,000 new HIV infections occurred in eastern and southern Africa in 2016, where the new efficacy study is being conducted. In the United States, an estimated 1.1 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2014, and nearly 40,000 people were diagnosed with HIV in 2015.

About Imbokodo (HVTN 705/HPX2008)

The proof-of-concept efficacy study will evaluate the mosaic-based vaccine’s safety and efficacy, compared to placebo, in preventing HIV-1 infection. The study aims to enroll 2,600 sexually-active women aged 18-35 in five southern African countries. The first participants have begun receiving vaccinations at clinical research sites in South Africa. Regulatory approvals are being sought to conduct the study at additional sites in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe. “Imbokodo” is the Zulu word for “rock” which is part of a well-known proverb in South Africa that refers to the strength of women and their importance in the community.

Two early-stage, Phase 1/2a clinical trials (APPROACH and TRAVERSE) (http://APO.af/2i8s16 and http://APO.af/A74Xzn) have evaluated mosaic-based HIV vaccines. The ongoing TRAVERSE study compares two regimens containing adenovirus 26 (Ad26) vectored vaccines delivering either three (trivalent) or four (quadrivalent) mosaic antigens. Preliminary data suggest that both types of mosaic-based vaccine appear to be well-tolerated and able to elicit anti-HIV immune responses. Based on these studies, a lead vaccine regimen comprising the 4-component Ad26 mosaic candidate and a Clade C gp140 soluble protein will be evaluated in HVTN 705/HPX2008 to see if it actually reduces HIV infections.

HVTN 705/HPX2008 is being sponsored by Janssen Vaccines & Prevention B.V., part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, with co-funding from two primary partners, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Additional partners providing support include the U.S. Military HIV Research Program at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity, and the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard. The study will be conducted at clinical sites coordinated by the NIAID-funded HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN). The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) is helping to implement HVTN 705/HPX2008 in South Africa.

More information about the study is available at www.Imbokodo.org.za or www.ClinicalTrials.gov using identifier NCT03060629 (http://APO.af/g5jWxR).

About Janssen’s HIV Preventive Vaccine

The investigational HIV-1 preventive vaccine regimen utilizes Janssen’s AdVac® adenovirus vector platform and PER.C6® production cell line technology. The regimen is comprised of a 4-component (quadrivalent) mosaic-based adenovirus serotype 26 vector (Ad26.Mos4.HIV) and a soluble protein (Clade C gp140, adjuvanted with aluminum phosphate).

Since 2005, Janssen Vaccines & Prevention B.V. has been participating in the NIH-supported Integrated Preclinical/Clinical AIDS Vaccine Development (IPCAVD) program under grants AI066305, AI078526 and AI096040, in collaboration with Professor Dan Barouch at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC).

Janssen’s HIV vaccine program has also received funding or support from the United States Military HIV Research Program (MHRP) at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), with the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine (HJF); the Ragon Institute; and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI).

Visit www.JnJ.com/HIV for further details on the breadth of HIV science and collaboration being undertaken by the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies and its partners.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc..

Press Contacts
Ronan Collins, +47 488 425 00
Corina Ramers-Verhoeven, +31 615 300 086
Seema Kumar, +1 (908) 405-1144
Ntaga Mojapelo (South Africa), +27 (78) 8008546

Investor Contacts
Lesley Fishman, +1 732-524-3922
Joseph J. Wolk, +1 732-524-1142

About Johnson & Johnson
Caring for the world one person at a time inspires and unites the people of Johnson & Johnson (www.JnJ.com). We embrace research and science – bringing innovative ideas, products and services to advance the health and well-being of people. Our approximately 132,500 employees at more than 250 Johnson & Johnson operating companies work with partners in health care to touch the lives of over a billion people every day, throughout the world.

About the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies
At the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies (www.Janssen.com) of Johnson & Johnson, we are working to create a world without disease. Transforming lives by finding new and better ways to prevent, intercept, treat and cure disease inspires us. We bring together the best minds and pursue the most promising science. We are Janssen. We collaborate with the world for the health of everyone in it. Learn more at www.Janssen.com. Follow us at @JanssenGlobal.

Cautions Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, regarding development of a potential preventive vaccine for HIV. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from the expectations and projections of Janssen Vaccines & Prevention B.V., any of the other Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies and/or Johnson & Johnson. Risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: challenges and uncertainties inherent in product research and development, including the uncertainty of clinical success and of obtaining regulatory approvals; uncertainty of commercial success; manufacturing difficulties and delays; competition, including technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges to patents; product efficacy or safety concerns resulting in product recalls or regulatory action; changes in behavior and spending patterns of purchasers of health care products and services; changes to applicable laws and regulations, including global health care reforms; and trends toward health care cost containment. A further list and descriptions of these risks, uncertainties and other factors can be found in Johnson & Johnson’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 1, 2017, including under “Item 1A. Risk Factors,” its most recently filed Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, including under the caption “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements,” and the company’s subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Copies of these filings are available online at www.SEC.gov, www.JnJ.com or on request from Johnson & Johnson. Neither of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies nor Johnson & Johnson undertakes to update any forward-looking statement as a result of new information or future events or developments.

Source:: Johnson & Johnson and Partners Announce First Efficacy Study for Investigational Mosaic HIV-1 Preventive Vaccine

      

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UK Trade Envoy leads oil and gas trade mission to Uganda

The Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Uganda and Rwanda Lord Dolar Popat led a delegation of business representatives from the Energy Industries Council (EIC) on an oil and gas mission to Uganda.

The mission was focused on seeking investment opportunities for UK companies in the oil and gas supply chain. During the 5-day mission that begun on 20 November, the delegates met with ministers, government officials, oil and gas companies and corporate entities that have interests in the industry.

At the start of the visit Lord Popat said:

“As the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Uganda I am delighted to be leading the EIC delegation to Uganda. Britains oil and gas industry has tremendous expertise and Uganda’s growing energy market – with the planned refinery, pipeline and field development project – is a perfect place to engage in opportunities.”

UK-Uganda business breakfast

The delegation was hosted to a business breakfast by the Department for International Trade (DIT) Uganda and Stanbic Bank under the theme ‘Unlocking opportunities in the oil and gas supply chain in Uganda’.

At the breakfast DIT‘s oil and gas expert Phil Haymes gave a presentation on supply chain development. He emphasised the need for Ugandan companies to form joint ventures with international companies experienced in the oil and gas industry for them to benefit from capital, skills and technology transfer so as to participate in the industry.

Trade delegation visits

The delegation also visited the Roofings Limited plant in Namanve, Mukono District. Roofings Limited is a Ugandan steel processing company that is looking to supply world-class steel products for the oil and gas industry.

The team later visited the Albertine oil region in Western Uganda where they toured the proposed oil refinery sites and the site of the proposed Kabaale International Airport. This will be Uganda’s second international airport and will handle both cargo and passenger transport.

The airport will be constructed by UK company Colas in partnership with SBI, a construction company and is funded by a £215 million loan to Uganda from UK Export Finance.

The delegation also met with President Yoweri Museveni where they held further discussions on investment opportunities in the oil and infrastructure sectors in Uganda.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of British High Commission Kampala.

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Manufacturing is a Critical Component for Job Creation – Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Rob Davies

Manufacturing is a critical component of the South African economic policy and also important in creating and ensuring that there are jobs in the economy. This was said by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies during a briefing to the portfolio committee on Trade and Industry on the state of manufacturing, World Trade Organisation and the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) in Parliament.

According to Davies, though the production of digital and changes in manufacturing technologies has led to the decline in the sector, there was still improvement and a very strong linkages and multiplies to the service sectors that still sustain jobs in the economy.

“Though the sector has many challenges and the economy is not performing as well as it ought to be performing, the performance in manufacturing sector is clearly doing a lot better than it would have been if we hadn’t been doing the things we have been doing over the last few years especially the intervention in the automotive sector, clothing and textile, agro-processing, film and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and others,” said Davies.

Davies reiterated that there was a need to bring about change in the structural characteristics of the South African economy, especially in the manufacturing sector, as well as in the patterns of ownership of participation and inclusion in it. He said government will not be able to achieve high level of more inclusive economic growth as long as we are producers and exporters of primary commodities.

“We will need to develop a much more tightly coordinated and supportive environment premised on policy and programmatic certainty, if we are to convince the private sector to invest heavily, create jobs and ignite inclusive growth.,” he said.

He said tools and programmes like the Black Industrialists and Public procurements have addressed some of the weaknesses and challenges in the sector, and seen important gains in manufacturing and localisation.

Minister Davies pointed out that there are many issues that have been cited around the question of investment confidence and growth in the country and how it has been addressed. He said government has been working on sectoral levels and with the sector to try to build confidence particularly with manufactures.

Davies also said the key focus for government moving forward will be localisation, and that the department’s concern is to always try to do what it can to exert influence and not take decision which will undermine localisation.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.

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Source:: Manufacturing is a Critical Component for Job Creation – Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Rob Davies

      

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