NUSOJ protests broadcast journalist’s detention in Mogadishu

MOGADISHU, Somalia, March 31, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) protests today’s arrest of broadcast journalist by the federal police in Mogadishu.

Nuradin Hassan Ibrahim, editor of SkyFM Radio in Mogadishu, has been arrested at the Crimes Investigations Department (CID) headquarters in Mogadishu, following a call to summon him from the officials. Nuradin has been questioned on how his station has obtained news about a passport stolen from an official stationed at the Prime Minister’s office.

Nuradin reportedly answered all the questions satisfactorily, but has been arrested due to the influence of General Abdullahi Gafow, head of Immigration and Naturalization Services who lodged complaint against SkyFM at the CID.

“This amounts to physical intimidation of a journalist and appears to be in direct breach of Somalia’s provisional Constitution. It clearly demonstrates how journalists in Somalia are soft target for the authorities who are supposed to uphold principles of rule of law, and respect for independent media to report without fear from retaliation,” said Omar Faruk Osman, Secretary General of NUSOJ.

NUSOJ call on the Federal Police to immediately release Nuradin Hassan Ibrahim, and allow him to exercise his constitutional freedom as a citizen in general, and as a journalist in particular.

SkyFM is a sister station of Radio Shabelle, which has been subject of systematic abuses for a number of times in the last couple of years.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne C. Richard Travels to Switzerland and Chad

WASHINGTON, March 31, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson

Washington, DC

March 29, 2014

Assistant Secretary Anne C. Richard will travel to Geneva, Switzerland on Monday, March 31, 2014 for meetings with officials from United Nations and other international humanitarian organizations.€€

On Tuesday, April 1, 2014, Assistant Secretary Richard will travel to Ndjamena, Chad, where she will meet with Chadian government officials and representatives of both international and nongovernmental organizations. Assistant Secretary Richard will also travel to southern Chad with representatives from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to visit refugees from the Central African Republic living in camps as well as Chadians who had been living in the Central African Republic but have had to flee the violence there.€€

In FY 2013, the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) obligated over $43 million for humanitarian activities in Chad. Chad is currently host to well over 500,000 refugees, vulnerable migrants, and other populations of concern from the crises in the Central African Republic and Sudan.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

Africa’s Biggest Music Stars & ONE.org Launch ‘Cocoa na Chocolate’ to Revolutionize Agriculture

LAGOS, Nigeria, March 31, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — ONE.org (http://www.one.org) today launched one of the continent’s biggest musical collaborations ever, ‘Cocoa na Chocolate’, in support of a new campaign to boost investments in agriculture: ‘Do Agric, It Pays’ (http://www.one.org/doagric). Nineteen of the top recording artists from across Africa, including D’Banj and Femi Kuti from Nigeria, DR Congo’s Fally Ipupa, Cote d’Ivoire’s Tiken Jah Fakoly, Kenya’s Juliani, and South Africa’s Judith Sephuma, have come together to help rebrand agriculture and tell African youth that their future lies literally beneath their feet—and in their hands.

Download the song: http://www.one.org

Photo 1: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=925

Photo 2: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=924

Photo 3: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=923

Photo 4: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=922

Photo 5: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=921

Photo 6: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=920

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

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

The participating artists are: A.Y. (Tanzania), Bufallo Souljah (Zimbabwe), Dama Do Bling (Mozambique), D’Banj (Nigeria), Diamond (Tanzania), Dontom (Nigeria), Fally Ipupa (DRC), Femi Kuti (Nigeria), Judith Sephuma (South Africa), Juliani (Kenya), Kunle Ayo (Nigeria), Vusi Nova (South Africa), Liz Ogumbo (Kenya), Nancy G (Swaziland), Omawumi (Nigeria), Rachid Taha (Algeria), Tiken Jah Fakoly (Cote d’Ivoire), Victoria Kimani (Kenya) and Wax Dey (Cameroon).

These artists are using their voices to inspire young people to join ONE.org, and tell political leaders ahead of the African Union summit in June that the time has come to adopt better agricultural policies that will help tackle youth unemployment, provide better support to small holder farmers, boost productivity, increase value chains, and help lift millions of Africans out of extreme poverty.

The song is available for download for free at http://www.one.org after signing the ‘Do Agric’ petition that tells African leaders to invest in our farmers, our food, and our futures.

Dr. Sipho S. Moyo, ONE.org Africa Executive Director, said:

“These brilliant artists are role models who connect with African youths. Their voices, in support of African agriculture, are sending a powerful message to the young generation: it’s time for African leaders to scale up public investments in agriculture and ensure policy interventions are targeted to benefit smalholder farmers who provide 80% of the food we eat on the continent.

According to the UN-FAO, agricultural growth is 11 times more effective at reducing poverty than growth in other sectors like mining and utilities. Do Agric is a continent-wide push to appeal to African governments to commit to spending at least 10% of national budgets on effective agriculture investments—a commitment they originally made in Maputo in 2003—and to do so through transparent and accountable budgets. We are indeed proud and greatly privileged to be partnering with such an inspiring group of individuals to spread the message that not only can Africa feed itself, but it can help to feed the world.”

Nigerian music superstar D’banj said:

“As African musicians, agriculture is the single most important cause we could champion together and I am proud to say we are doing it with ONE voice. Here in Nigeria alone, while 70% of Nigerians depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, the federal agriculture budget has been trending downwards, and is now at just 1.47%. This is a serious concern, especially because Nigeria spends billions of Naira importing food every year.

Through this song, we are calling on youths to go online and join ONE.org, to get more involved in agriculture, and to ask our governments to step up and improve agricultural investments, so that the youths can have a better chance of succeeding in it.”

These artists are joining ONE.org to show the current generation of young people that not only can agriculture be cool, but it is also a great way to earn a living. But without strong political will and public support for agriculture, African youth will not be able to take advantage of the potential that agriculture presents. ONE.org is partnering with the popular voices of African artists in calling on political leaders, private sector investors and the youth to “do agric”— because “it pays”.

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

For further information, or interview requests, please contact:

ONE Africa Media Manager, Nde Ndifonka: nde.ndifonka@one.org / +234 81 00 55 00 76

ONE France Media Manager, Annabel Hervieu: annabel.hervieu@one.org

About Do Agric:

The collaboration is part of Do Agric, It Pays, (http://www.one.org/doagric) a ONE.org campaign, launched on 29 January in Addis Ababa with civil society partners including the Pan African Farmers Association (PAFO), ActionAid International, Acord International, Oxfam AU, East and Southern African Farmers Forum, ROPPA, Southern African Confederation of Agriculture Unions, the Africa Union Commission, Becho Welisho and the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). ONE has alos partnered with several grassroots organizations across the continent including Agricultural Non-State Actors Forum (ANSAF) of Tanzania, East and Southern African Small Scale Farmers (ESAFF), National Association of Nigerian Traders

(NANTS), BudgIT, and YPAED.

In 2003, African governments committed to spend 10% of their national budgets on agriculture. To date only 8 countries have consistently kept that promise and as a result, agriculture productivity in Africa is stuck at 1961 levels. To change that, ONE.org launched Do Agric, It Pays to pressure African governments to commit to spending at least 10% of national budgets on effective agriculture investments, through transparent and accountable budgets. At the heart of the Do Agric campaign is an effort to push political leaders to adopt better policies that will boost productivity, increase incomes and help lift millions of Africans out of extreme poverty.

For more information on Do Agric, It Pays, visit the website: http://www.one.org/doagric.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

• ‘Cocoa na Chocolate’ was co-produced by Cobhams Asuquo and DeeVee of DB Records. Godfather Productions directed the music video that will launch April 3 on Trace, MTV, Channel O, Soundcity and Canal France International. The verses were written by each participating artist, and the hook was written by D’Banj, whose company, DKM Media partnered with ONE to undertake the project.

• There are 19 artists from 11 different countries in the song: Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Mozambique, DRC, Cote d’Ivoire, Algeria & Cameroon.

• The song and music video were recorded and shot over three days in Johannesburg, South Africa in support of ONE.org’s ‘Do Agric, It Pays’ Campaign.

• Each participating artist wrote his or her own verse.

• There are 10 different languages in the song: English, Arabic (Algerian), Malinke, Lingala (DRC), French, Swahili, Shona (Zimbabwe), Pidgin (Nigeria), Portuguese, & Xhosa (South Africa).

• Agriculture in Africa is an economic game changer: agriculture is up to 11 times more effective at reducing poverty than other sectors such as mining.

• Cocoa na Chocolate marks one of the largest Pan-African music collaboration ever on the continent.

• The collaboration was co-produced by Cobhams Asuquo and DeeVee of DB Records. Godfather Productions directed the music video. The executive producers were Sipho Moyo, Jeff Davidoff, and Nde Ndifonka of ONE.org.

• The song, ‘Cocoa na Chocolate’, refers to the importance of agriculture both to Africa’s future and in the fight against extreme poverty. The example of cocoa is illustrative: while Africa produces tons of cocoa, which it exports it for processing at prices far insignificant relative to the price of the finished product—chocolate—Africa then has to import the chocolate at exorbitant prices. It is clear that Africa is missing a key economic opportunity in processing and marketing the final product. This must be the future of African agriculture: creating a prosperous value chain that will create more jobs and viable business opportunities, generate better incomes for farmers, and attain productive efficiency that will lead to reduced food prices.

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS AVAILABLE FOR MEDIA INTERVIEWS

3/31 – 4/4

LAGOS, NIGERIA

D’banj

Femi Kuti

Diamond

Omawumi

Dama do Bling

Dontom

Vusi Nova

Wax Dey

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

Judith Sephuma

Liz Ogumbo

Nancy G

Buffalo Souljah

NAIROBI, KENYA

Juliani

Victoria Kumani

DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA

AY

LIBREVILLE, GABON

Fally Ipupa

PARIS

Tiken Jah Fakoly

Rachid Taha

LONDON

Kunle Ayo

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS QUOTES

D’Banj

“As African musicians, agriculture is the single most important cause we could champion together and I am proud to say we are doing it with ONE voice. Here in Nigeria alone, while 70% of Nigerians depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, the federal agriculture budget has been trending downwards, and is now at just 1.47%. This is a serious concern, especially because Nigeria spends billions of Naira importing food every year.

Through this song, we are calling on youths to go online and join ONE.org, to get more involved in agriculture, and to ask our governments to step up and improve agricultural investments, so that the youths can have a better chance of succeeding in it.”

Femi Kuti

“I think this is the most important project I’ve done in my life because agriculture for me is the most important thing for human beings, so I’m very proud to be part of this and I hope it’s going to be successful. I think our lives, everything, our future depends on this, so I think we all need to put all our resources, all our energy into this to make it a success.”

Fally Ipupa

“It is a very important project. It is important for us to tell the African youth to grow hectares so we can have good and organic food. And so we can maybe one day export, pondu, saka saka and other African dishes the same way we export music.”

” C’est une projet très important. C’est important pour nous d’inciter la jeunesse africaine d’aller cultiver des hectares pour avoir de la bonne nourriture bio. Et comme ça, peut-être qu’un jour, on exportera le pondu, saka saka ou autre plat africain, de la même manière qu’on exporte la musique.

Categories: African Press Organization

4th EU – Africa Summit 2-3 April 2014, Brussels Third media advisory

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, March 29, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — 1. INDICATIVE MEDIA PROGRAMME

Wednesday 2 April 2014

12.30 – 14.00 Arrival of Heads of delegations at the Justus Lipsius building

(not in protocol order)

(2 VIP entrances: level 02 + Rue de la Loi 175 main entrance

– photo/TV opportunity)

14.30 – 15.00 Opening session – roundtable before the meeting

(host broadcaster + photo/TV – Group A*)

15.00 – 18.30 Working sessions

18.30 Family photo

(host broadcaster + photo/TV – Group B*)

19.00 – 21.00 Dinner

Thursday 3 April 2014

VIP entrances: level 02 + Rue de la Loi 175 – main entrance

– photo/TV opportunity)

10.00 – 12.00 Working session – roundtable before the meeting

(host broadcaster + photo/TV – Group C*)

12.00 – 12.30 Closing ceremony

+/- 13.00 Press conference by the President of the European Council, the

President of the European Commission, the Chairperson of the African Union

and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission

(Press room – press centre, level 00)

Possible delegations press briefings will be announced in the press centre

* Pool cards are attributed via national delegations.

2. SECURITY MEASURES / ACCESS TO THE SUMMIT

The Belgian federal police will establish a security cordon around the Justus Lipsius building (see www.polbru.be) and will deny access to anyone without an accreditation badge and identity document.

Access to the Justus Lipsius building will be through a dedicated security point located on the

corner of the JL building next to rond-point Schuman and on presentation of the nominative

accreditation badge and proof of identity. All participants will undergo a security check.

Please note that during official arrival and departure times of Heads of delegations, access to the Justus Lipsius may be more difficult or even temporarily closed. Media representatives are

therefore advised to arrive/depart outside of those hours.

3. AUDIOVISUAL – ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

For all the information related to audiovisual, read the second media advisory.

• Satellite vehicle parking

Parking spaces for satellite vehicles are foreseen on Place Jean Rey, behind the Justus Lipsius

building (please note that no satellite vehicles will be allowed around Schuman Square).

1. Parking places for satellite TV and radio broadcasting vehicles

a) In order to park, you must send your request for a parking permit to:

presse.standup@consilium.europa.eu by 17.00 on Monday 31 March at the latest and

include the following information: registration number, name of driver, telephone number.

Permits for satellite vans will be issued by the security service, not by the press service,

and any changes to the above information after the deadline could result in difficulties or

delays in gaining access.

b) Please note also that it is preferable that satellite vans park in the zone before the beginning of the Summit.

2. Technical questions

Fibre connections with the matrix room in the Council’s Justus Lipsius building will be available.

• booking of stand-up positions

Connections will be provided for a very limited number of stand-ups outside the Justus Lipsius building, at the entrance on the side of the rue de la Loi, in a dedicated press zone.

Enquiries and reservations should be sent to presse.standup@consilium.europa.eu

Deadline: 12.00 on Tuesday 1 April 2014.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

Conclusions of the 9th Meeting of the International Contact Group on Madagascar (ICG-M) Antananarivo, 28 march 2014

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, March 29, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Conclusions of the 9th Meeting of the International Contact Group on Madagascar (ICG-M) Antananarivo, 28 march 2014

1. At the initiative of the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the International Contact Group on Madagascar (ICG-M) held its 9th meeting in Antananarivo, Madagascar, on 28 March 2014, under the chairmanship of the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui. The list of countries and institutions which participated in the meeting is indicated below [1].

2. The opening ceremony of the meeting was graced by the presence of His Excellency Hery Rajaonarimampianana, President of the Republic. In the address he made on this occasion, he outlined the broad outlines of his priorities and informed the members of the Group about the steps that are being taken for the appointment of a new Prime Minister and the formation of a new Government. He thanked the ICG-M for its sustained support to the process for ending the crisis in Madagascar.

3. The meeting afforded the opportunity to take stock of the evolution of the situation in Madagascar since the 8th meeting of the Group, held in Addis Ababa, on 6 September 2013, and to agree on the modalities for the pursuit of the support of the international community and the future of the ICG-M. The Group’s deliberations were based on the updates provided by the Malagasy Prime Minister, Mr. Jean Omer Beriziky, and other members of the Government, as well as on the ensuing exchanges.

4. Participants, stressing the highly symbolic nature of the convening of their meeting in Antananarivo, welcomed the continued positive evolution of the situation since the eighth meeting of the Group. In this regard, they pointed out the organization, as planned and in the required conditions of transparency and fairness, of the presidential and legislative elections: on 25 October 2013, for the first round of the presidential election, and on 20 December 2013, for the second round of the presidential election, coupled with parliamentary elections. Participants commended Hery Rajaonarimampianina for his election as President of the Republic of Madagascar. They praised the sense of responsibility of Dr. Jean Louis Robinson, who was a candidate in the second round, for having recognized the victory of his opponent, allowing Madagascar to successfully complete this crucial phase of the process for ending the crisis. Participants also acknowledged the role of the former President of the Transition, Andry Rajoelina, and his decisive contribution to the success of the electoral process. In general, Participants welcomed the patriotism and commitment of all the political and social stakeholders and of the Malagasy people, which made it possible to successfully conclude the process for ending the crisis.

5. Participants noted with satisfaction the commitment of the new President of the Republic and his Government to spare no effort, in order to consolidate the remarkable progress made in recent months and to address the root causes of the recurring crises in Madagascar, particularly by affording equal opportunities for development for all the regions of the country. Within this framework, Participants recalled the measures envisaged for the implementation of the outstanding aspects of the Roadmap to end the crisis in Madagascar, especially the continuation and completion of the reconciliation process, including the return of political exiles and compensation for victims of the political events of 2002 and 2009, and the organization of local elections. They stressed the crucial importance of these provisions of the Roadmap and that of their diligent implementation. They also urged all political and social actors in the country to continue to demonstrate the necessary spirit of responsibility in this phase devoted to the consolidation of the gains made. They requested them to place the interests of Madagascar and of its people above partisan and individual considerations.

6. Participants were informed of the priorities of the Government of Madagascar in terms of governance and socio-economic development. These relate in particular to the enhancement of the authority of the State, the fight against corruption, insecurity and poverty, the promotion of the rule of law, education and health, as well as the establishment of an enabling environment for Malagasy and foreign investment. Participants, having welcomed the pro-activeness of the new authorities and the measures they have already taken, expressed the support of their respective countries and organizations to the ongoing efforts. They supported the convening of the envisaged Donors’ Conference, as proposed by the Malagasy authorities, once the new Government is established. They urged all international partners to actively participate in this Conference and to seize the opportunity to provide Madagascar with all the financial, technical and economic support that the country needs.

7. Participants welcomed the lifting by the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the suspension that had been imposed on Madagascar after the unconstitutional change of government in March 2009, as well as all other sanctions adopted by the AU, SADC, the OIF and other actors. In this context, and given the importance to respond quickly to the expectations of the Malagasy people, who had paid a heavy price for the crisis, Participants urged the international partners to fully resume their cooperation with the country. Participants welcomed the pledges made, in this regard, by some international partners of Madagascar at the meeting.

8. Participants recalled that the ICG-M was established in the context of serious political and institutional crisis that affected Madagascar, to serve as a structure monitoring the situation and coordinating the action of the international community, with a view to accelerating the search for a consensual and lasting solution. They noted that with the imminent completion of the process to end the crisis and the restoration of constitutional order, the Group had attained its main objectives. In this regard, Participants paid tribute to SADC and its Mediator, former President Joaquim Chissano, for their determined, patient and persevering support to the process to end the crisis. They expressed their gratitude to the AU and, through it, to former Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra, for having coordinated the action of the Group and for its crucial support to the process for ending the crisis. They also expressed their gratitude to all the other members of the Group, both the bilateral and multilateral actors, for their coordinated and continued support to the Mediation, which made it possible for the international community to speak with one voice and to use effectively its influence to facilitate and speed up the resolution of the crisis. Participants also expressed their deep appreciation to bilateral and multilateral partners for their financial support to the process to end the crisis, including the organization of the elections.

9. In view of the imminent completion of the process to end the crisis and the fact that no international mediation was henceforth required, Participants agreed on the need for the Group to adapt its modus operandi to take into account the new situation. More specifically, they stressed that emphasis should be laid on supporting the efforts of the Government of Madagascar, especially in the socio-economic areas and the different aspects of governance, on the basis of its needs and priorities and within the framework of national ownership and leadership. They decided to transform the ICG-M into an International Support Group for Madagascar (ISG-M), which will be co-chaired by the AU and Madagascar and will meet at least twice a year. To ensure an effective follow up of the conclusions of the ordinary meetings of the ISG-M, Participants agreed to establish, in Antananarivo, a local branch of ISG-M, which will meet as often as necessary and will keep all members of the ISG-M informed about its activities.

10. Participants expressed their sincere gratitude to the President of the Republic and the Government of Madagascar for the warm welcome accorded to the members of the ICG-M, their availability and cooperation, as well as for the excellent facilities made available for the smooth conduct of the meeting.

[1] China, France, Japan, Madagascar, Mauritius, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Unites States of America, AU, COMESA, EU, IOC, OIF, SADC (Namibia in its capacity as Chair of the SADC Troika Organ, and the representative of the former SADC Mediator) and UN.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

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