Sep 012014
 

MOGADISHU, Somalia, September 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The United Nations, Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and European Union (EU) welcomed the agreement by Col Barre Adan Shire (Barre Hiiraale) to participate in a reconciliation process and for his irregular military forces to present themselves for screening and potential integration into the Somali National Army (SNA) with the support of the Federal Government of Somalia.

“We welcome this agreement between Col Barre Hiiraale and the Interim Jubba Administration brokered by the Federal Government of Somalia. It is an important step forward in the path towards peace- and state-building for all Somalis. We stand ready to support a reconciliation conference in the coming weeks and urge all parties to engage in constructive consultation and reconciliation involving all stakeholders, ensuring that the interests of all communities are protected. Somalia’s international partners remain committed to supporting the nation’s peace and state-building agenda”.

Sep 012014
 

MAPUTO, Mozambique, September 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Antonio Edmundo, 23 years old, is currently the director of the Movitel’s district center island Ilha de Mozambique, Nampula province. Just two years ago, he was only a house helper in the office this business center of Movitel, SA – a joint venture between Vietnamese company Viettel and Mozambique’s SPI Company. Antonio’s journey from a house helper to a master might surprise many people; it’s just like a dream coming true!

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Starting to work for Movitel from January 2012 as a house helper since the company opened stores in the district of Namialo, Antonio was highly appreciated by the district director of Namialo – Mr. Khanh, who hired him due to his enthusiasm, hard work and loyalty. Khanh had an intention to train him to be a store staff as working in the house, Antonio could capture all daily operations of the store, knowing where and how to store the merchandise, and understanding the work of each staff.

After some time, noticing the extremely agile and quick understanding of the “house helper”, Director Khanh assigned Antonio to manage a mobile sales team. Every morning, after a decent cleaning the entire store, from 8am, Antonio led the team to go out selling goods in remote areas. Until September 2012, Antonio was promoted as a salesman of the shop; however, he still took care of the house cleaning at the same time. But from that time on, Antonio’s work expanded. In addition to leading mobile teams, he was also in charge of managing and delivery goods to points of sale.

Step by step, Antonio had gained experience and raised up his dream of changing life until it coming true in February 2014, when he officially took over Mr.Khanh’s position as the director of the Ilha island. He is now a “real boss”, managing the entire business of the district center with 9 staffs and 01 technical team. So far, Ilha district ranks the second highest in term of mobile penetration in the branch with 21.5% (11 237 subscribers out of 52 202 people).

The story of Antoino is one among many other interesting stories in Movitel about the changes it brings to the staffs and people where it runs business.

After 2 years entering Mozambique’s telecom market, Movitel has achieved significant successful business and with a rapid revenue and subscriber growth rate over 120%/year to reach nearly US$155 revenue and 5 million subscribers in 2013, making up 32% market share. However, what people impressed most by this operator is its contribution to the society. Movitel has popularized telecom services in rural and underserved areas, significantly changing the communication landscape in Mozambique and contributing in various ways to enhance life of people here through many of its social programs.

In order to enable telecom services including mobile, fixed phone and Internet accessible to rural population, Movitel has invested in a network of 2,800 towers, 25,000km fiber optic cable covering 100% districts and highways, 80% population and a distribution channel to every village. Besides, it also provides service support and social programs including free Internet to schools, subsidizing handset cost for rural users, offering special package designed to support low-income users such as farmers or students. Movitel has provided free Internet to 2,500 schools, supported Mozambican government to implement e-government program. Nearly 600,000 people in at least 5rural districts have been covered and served telecom services for the first time in life. With Movitel, telecom services are now available to everyone, giving them opportunities to improve their living standard.

With a philosophy of integrating business development with social responsibility, Movitel has considerably took part in the sustainable development Mozambique and helped changing the life of people here, particularly the poor and the rural population. It has generated nearly 20,000 jobs in rural areas. After employing local people, the company will train them until they can independently handle the work themselves. After that, expert managers from headquarter shall be retreated, leaving the positions for the local people to take over. By doing this way, Movitel not only gives the people a means of living but also a dream to pursue. Antonio – District Director of Ilha de Mozambique is one such person.

As a result of their tireless effort, on July 8th 2014, Movitel was granted the “Best Mobile Innovations Award” – the most notable prize among the 18 others of the Mobile Innovations Awards for business across the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and became the only telecom operator in Africa winning 3 reputable prizes from prestigious and leading international organizations within only 2 years of business. Formerly, it won the Rural Telecom Award of the AfricaCom Awards in 2012 and the Competitive Strategy Leadership award by The American Research and Consulting firm Frost and Sullivan in 2013.

*Author: Dang Phuong – Reporter of Youth Newspapers – Vietnam.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Youth Newspapers – Vietnam.

Sep 012014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, September 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Epidemiology and surveillance

On 30 August 2014, Senegal’s Ministry of Public Health and Social Affairs provided WHO with details about a case of Ebola virus disease (EVD) an…

Sep 012014
 

WASHINGTON, September 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Press Statement
Jen Psaki
Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC
August 30, 2014

The United States is deeply concerned by clashes between security forces today in Lesotho, and calls …

Sep 012014
 

TUNIS, Tunisia, September 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today completed the fourth review of Tunisia’s economic performance under a 24-month program supported by a Stand-By Arrangement (SBA). The completion of the review enables an immediate disbursement of SDR 143.25 million (about US$217.5 million), bringing total disbursements to SDR 716.25 million (about US$1.1 billion).

The two-year SBA in the amount of SDR 1.146 billion (about US$1.74 billion, or 400 percent of Tunisia’s quota at the IMF) was approved by the Executive Board on June 7, 2013 (See Press Release No. 13/202).

In completing the fourth review, the Executive Board approved the authorities’ request for modification of the end of September 2014 performance criteria.

Following the Executive Board discussion on Tunisia Mr. Naoyuki Shinohara, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, said:

“Tunisia is set to complete its political transition with the advent of elections in the last quarter of 2014. Progress in the transition is helping galvanize support from development partners.

“Nonetheless, the economic situation remains difficult. Growth is timid, unemployment remains high, and rising external imbalances are putting pressures on the exchange rate and reserves.

“Program implementation has been strong. All quantitative performance criteria have been met. In spite of the challenging domestic and regional environment, structural reforms have been progressing, and the authorities have made up for earlier delays in some areas.

“Fiscal performance for the first half of the year has been strong, and continued fiscal consolidation remains essential to anchor macroeconomic stabilization. Fiscal measures to offset spending pressures are welcome, and recent increases in energy prices—together with the implementation of new programs to protect the poor— will help reduce vulnerabilities. Energy subsidy reform and a strict control of the wage bill will improve budget composition, which will also benefit from increased social and investment expenditures. Comprehensive revenue reforms, strengthened public financial management, and reform of public enterprises will support fiscal consolidation and help generate more inclusive growth.

“A tighter monetary policy would help counter inflationary pressures and reduce exchange rate pressures. Further exchange rate flexibility would help rebuild foreign reserve buffers, correct large external imbalances, and improve competitiveness.

“Important steps have been taken to reduce financial sector vulnerabilities, including through the historic adoption of public bank restructuring plans, which should be quickly implemented. Banking sector fragilities will be reduced further through the establishment of an asset management company, adoption of the bankruptcy law, completion of public bank audits, and upgrade of the regulatory framework.

“Accelerated implementation of structural reforms is needed to improve the investment climate and generate a stronger and more inclusive growth. Moving ahead with the competition law and the public private partnerships framework will help foster private sector development. The upcoming “Invest in Tunisia” conference should play an important role in this regard.”

Sep 012014
 

COTONOU, Benin, September 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Innovative R&D products, tools and approaches developed by the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) and its partners to boost productivity in Africa’s rice farming will be showcased at the first ‘Rice Innovations Fair of Scalable Technologies’, 1-2 September 2014, in Cotonou, Benin.

The technologies on display will include, among others, new climate-smart ARICA rice varieties; SMART-valleys, a low-cost participatory and sustainable approach to develop inland valleys in sub-Saharan Africa for rice-based systems; mechanical weeders; power tillers; an energy-efficient rice parboiler; and RiceAdvice, a decision-support app for providing farmers with field-specific management guidelines.

The main objectives of the ‘Rice Innovations Fair’ are to raise awareness about the latest innovations as well as to identify with development partners, donors and researchers promising scalable technologies and define dissemination pathways.

The first day of the event will focus on the presentation of a set of eleven technologies, followed by discussions to define dissemination pathways for each innovation.

The second day will include a visit to the Ouinhi district in Benin, to see inland valleys that have been developed using the Smart-valleys participatory approach. These achievements are the result of AfricaRice’s partnership with the Benin extension agency called Cellule Bas-Fonds, under the Rural Engineering Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries.

The 2-days event is expected to be highly interactive in order to maximize knowledge exchange among participants and establish new contacts between researchers and representatives of the development sector.

Editor’s Notes:

AfricaRice is one of the 15 international agricultural research Centers that are members of the CGIAR Consortium. It is also an intergovernmental association of African member countries.

The Center was created in 1971 by 11 African countries. Today its membership comprises 25 countries, covering West, Central, East and North African regions, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Gabon, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo and Uganda.

AfricaRice temporary headquarters is based in Cotonou, Benin; research staff are also based in Senegal, Nigeria, Tanzania, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

For more information visit: www.AfricaRice.org

 Uncategorized
Aug 292014
 

ARUSHA, Tanzania, August 29, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the East African Community (EAC) this week launched a collaborative program to improve the compilation and dissemination of Government Finance Statistics (GFS) for Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. The inaugural workshop was held in Arusha, Tanzania, from August 25-29, 2014.

The workshop provided an opportunity for statisticians and economists from the EAC region to identify the needs for technical assistance (TA) to strengthen GFS to be provided by the IMF. The program will assist the EAC Partner States to meet the fiscal data requirements associated with the East African Community Monetary Union (EAMU) protocol, signed by EAC Heads of State in November 2013.

Dr. Enos Bukuku, EAC Deputy Secretary in charge of Planning and Infrastructure, welcomed the opportunity to host the workshop and launch the GFS program. “The intervention is timely in facilitating production of robust statistical data required for the establishment of EAMU and transition to EAC single currency by 2024,” noted Dr. Bukuku. He added that GFS compiled in accordance with internationally agreed methodological standards would not only provide the EAC region with an important framework for comparing, analyzing and evaluating fiscal policy, but also an opportunity to improve government and public sector performance.

Mr.Barredo Capelot, Director of the Government Finance Statistics and Quality Directorate in Eurostat, said “solid and comprehensive fiscal statistics are essential for regional integration and preserving macroeconomic stability.”

Mr. Sukhwinder Singh, Coordinator at the IMF’s East Africa Regional Technical Assistance Center (East AFRITAC), noted that “as part of the collaboration program, the IMF will provide TA through hands-on sessions during visits by experts to participating countries, as well as regular workshops to provide practical training and allow countries to share experiences.”

During this inaugural workshop, country representatives from the EAC discussed their national fiscal data development plans that will guide the work of improving compilation and dissemination of regionally comparable GFS data in accordance with international standards. This is to be done by 2018, which is within the timeline of the EAMU protocol.

IMF staff shared their expertise in developing systems for compiling GFS and government debt statistics. TA needs were drawn up based on national priorities and work plans are also already underway. This work reflects the initiative and migration to the use of the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014 (GFSM 2014) methodology in reporting fiscal data related to the EAMU macroeconomic convergence criteria, which would be compatible with international standards and best practices and consistent with other macroeconomic statistical systems.

Background

East AFRITAC, located in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, is one of nine regional IMF technical assistance centers around the world, serving Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. It provides capacity-building assistance in core areas of expertise of the IMF such as: revenue administration; public financial management; macro-fiscal analysis; financial sector regulation; monetary policy and operations; and economic and financial statistics. Its Steering Committee, composed of the member countries, the IMF and representatives of the donors, oversees and provides guidance on the Center’s operations.

Aug 292014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, August 29, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — In Bangui’s Third District a community association “Tournons la Page” (“Turn the Page”) is helping people displaced by the Central African Republic (CAR) crisis to return to their homes, supported by a pilot initiative of IOM’s EU-funded Community Stabilization Unit.

“Turn the Page” is working with IOM to provide cleaning and tool kits to displaced people who want to return to their homes in the Third District. The kits include shovels, wheelbarrows, rakes, cleaning and disinfectant products, carpentry equipment, and tools to trim overgrowth.

By receiving the kits, displaced people commit to returning home. Fifty kits are available each week. After one week people are expected to return them to the association in order to allow them to be given to other returnees.

The Third District was the site of some of the most intense violence in the CAR crisis. The situation has since improved, but continues to be unstable, as demonstrated by the widespread violence of August 20th, 2014. Hundreds of houses in the area have been damaged and many homes have been deserted for several months.

The most recent IOM return intention survey in July found that 50% of displaced people stated that “destruction of their homes” was the main reason for their displacement. Some 68% cited “lack of means” as the primary reason preventing them from leaving displacement sites.

Now in its second week, the programme has assisted 47 households to rehabilitate their houses in order to be able to return home. In total, the project aims to assist more than 200 households to clean and rehabilitate their homes.

“Turn the Page” also organizes communal street cleaning twice a week to encourage returned families to engage with their neighbours, and coordinates group transport from displacement sites back to homes in the Third District.

Recently, there has been a gradual return from displacement sites to homes in the Third District. Residents hope that support from IOM and “Turn the Page” will accelerate the process.

The president of “Turn the Page” Mansour Mangui said: “The process is going very well. We work together with all communities. The majority of displaced people from the Third District are at the Ledger [Mpoko airport displacement site]. Our dream is to be finished with the Ledger and end the conflict so we can live together in peace. IOM helped us with the return kits. Through these activities everyone can to return to the Third District in security to work on their houses. Our work motivates other people to come home.”

The two-month pilot initiative will continue through mid-October. IOM provides funding and technical advice for the community cleaning projects. The initiative is IOM’s first effort to facilitate durable return solutions for continuously displaced populations. IOM is actively seeking funding support for projects related to return solutions.

IOM’s EU-funded Community Stabilization Unit project: “Support to early recovery and community stabilization for communities at risk in Bangui” supports social cohesion and peaceful cohabitation among communities through economic revitalization, infrastructure rehabilitation, and grassroots events to promote reconciliation. The project is focused on Bangui’s Third and Fifth Districts.

Aug 292014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, August 29, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM is concerned that the number of migrants trying to reach Italy from Libya by sea could increase in the coming weeks, as more people decide to opt for the dangerous Mediterranean crossing to escape ongoing fighting in the Libyan capital.

For the last six weeks, Tripoli has seen fighting between rival militias, including indiscriminate shelling of the main airport and surrounding areas. The increasing use of heavy artillery and missiles have caused an unknown number of casualties, many of them civilians.

The Libyan capital lacks petrol, diesel, electricity and gas, and the price of basic commodities is skyrocketing. Insecurity is preventing movement in the western part of the city and on roads to the Tunisian border, which many Libyans and foreign nationals are trying to reach. There are checkpoints along the main roads.

Insecurity is also preventing IOM’s 25 staff in Tripoli from moving freely. Many frequently have to work from home.

The Libyan authorities report that some 50,000 people have been forced to leave their homes and to move on safer areas in and around Tripoli. Many displaced families are living with local communities or in shelters provided by the Libyan Red Crescent.

Their most pressing needs include medicine, food and hygiene kits. If the situation continues to deteriorate, they will also need shelter, cooking utensils and sanitation facilities, according to IOM Tripoli staff.

IOM psychosocial experts have also highlighted the need for psychosocial support and protection for vulnerable groups, including children and migrants. Trainers are working with the Libyan NGOs and local councils to provide an intensive 6-day training course for some 40 frontline social workers helping displaced people and migrants.

Displaced migrants trapped in Tripoli have been particularly hard hit. Last Friday (22/8), ten Sudanese were killed when a stray missile destroyed a house in Tripoli’s Karmiya district. An estimated 15,000 Sudanese live in the district and the Sunday market area, which are under siege.

The situation of migrants in detention centers is also deteriorating. There are 18 detention centers for migrants, normally hosting between 4,000 to 6,000 people. Most of the centers are operational, but are experiencing shortages of calor gas for cooking, water and food. Some have released migrants, as they can no longer afford to provide adequate food and sanitation.

IOM staff have also identified some 2,000 Pakistanis who have found refuge in a school in central Tripoli. “The place is overcrowded and everyone is anxious to be repatriated. But in the meantime, they urgently need food and medical care,” says IOM Libya Chief of Mission Othman Belbeisi.

IOM and the Libyan Red Crescent is working to improve sanitation at the site and arranging the delivery of food, water and hygiene kits.

IOM is also working with the Ethiopian Embassy in Cairo to provide travel documents and help a number of Ethiopian women detained at the Surman detention center for women to return home.

It has also received requests from Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam to help their citizens to leave Libya.

Aug 282014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, August 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) today signed a newly revised country agreement. The legal document formalizes relatio…

Aug 282014
 

CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, August 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Despite a challenging global economic environment, import and export trade volumes for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa (http://www.dpdhl.com) remain strong and are forecast to grow. This is according to Charles Brewer, Managing Director for DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa, who adds, “The first half of 2014, revealed strong continuing growth for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa’s top three import trade lanes: the United States, France and China while the top three Sub Saharan Africa’s export trade lanes were to Great Britain, the United States and France.”

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

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)

Deutsche Post DHL recently released their second quarter results, which saw the company achieve an increase in operating profit globally of almost 11%, thanks, in part, to increased profitability within its DHL Express business unit.

“Trade in Africa continues to present huge opportunities for both established and emerging markets and as stronger connections and trade relations are forged between SSA and the rest of the world, supported by innovative logistics supply chains, the faster Africa’s economic development will accelerate.”

Even with the accelerated growth that the continent has experienced, Africa is the world’s least connected continent, when considering the ease of moving people, trade, information and finance, according DHL’s Global Connectedness Index.

“Going forward, regional integration will continue to play a key role in unleashing the continent’s growth potential. Some of the areas being talked about and focused on include a continental free trade zone, single customs union, a common currency, etc. all of which should significantly improve intra-regional trade, which presently is less than 20%. A good example of this is the recent and rapid progress made by the East Africa Community (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi) who are working incredibly hard on developing a number of critical and trade boosting areas such as projects to improve the roads, ports, rail and critically, the customs border environment and have recently introduced a common visa for the region.”

“For DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa, the first half of 2014 was characterized by robust growth in the Energy sector – particularly due to exploration companies mobilizing new campaigns in countries such as Cameroon, Congo & Gabon. The Technology sector continues to provide ongoing opportunities for DHL to provide innovative solutions, particularly through cross-business unit collaboration as customers look to align their internal requirements to achieve efficiencies and cost containment. Financial Services, although under competitive & regulatory pressure, has continued to grow – mainly driven by the need to provide customers with financial instruments quickly and effectively.”

“We have an exceptional market position in Africa, one of the world’s leading emerging markets, and whilst we have an unparalleled footprint, we continue to invest in market leading infrastructure across the continent, with planned expansion in 2014 and beyond.”

“SMEs remain an integral part of our growth story and a core focus is to continue making logistics more accessible. To date, DHL Express has over 3 500 retail locations across Africa, with 100’s more planned before the end of the year.”

“As we say within DHL, we have been in Africa for 36 years and the turnaround from the ‘forgotten continent’ to ‘Africa Rising’ has been an amazing journey. The future only looks great. It’s time for Africa to focus, connect and grow.” concludes Brewer.

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

megan.collinicos@dhl.com

DHL – The logistics company for the world

DHL (http://www.dpdhl.com) is the global market leader in the logistics and CEP 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 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

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