IOM Welcomes EU Council Decision on Migrants in Mediterranean

GENEVA, Switzerland, April 24, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM has welcomed the decision of the Special European Council of Heads of State and Government to put saving lives at the heart of the European response to ending the unacceptable loss of lives of migrants in the Mediterranean.

“IOM believes that the primary objective of any action has to be saving lives, and we very much look forward to seeing the strengthening in that direction of current operations at sea, in order to fulfill the international community’s moral obligation to safeguard and protect the fundamental human rights of all migrants,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing.

Calling the situation in the Mediterranean “a tragedy,” the EU said it would “mobilize all efforts at its disposal to prevent further loss of life at sea and to tackle the root causes of the human emergency,” adding “Our immediate priority is to prevent more people from dying at sea.”

Following the unprecedented loss of migrant lives during the month of April – IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (mmp.iom.int) calculates over 1,000 new deaths at sea since April 1st – the organization has appealed to the EU to restore a comprehensive life-saving mission throughout the Mediterranean. IOM believes that ending the Mare Nostrum rescue at sea mission last year was premature and applauds the EU’s conclusions that saving lives must be the priority.

IOM is gratified that the EU Council has specifically identified the organization as its strategic partner and welcomes the recognition that the migration situation goes far beyond border security.

The organization views the EU conclusions as an important initial step towards improving governance of migratory flows towards Europe and looks forward to the development of a bold EU migration agenda.

IOM has declared itself ready to work with EU partners to develop a robust international response to put an end to trafficking and smuggling, undercutting forces that are driving so many migrants to their deaths.

For the fight against smuggling and trafficking to be effective, legal and safe avenues must be identified and put in place for migrants to avoid resorting to transnational criminal organizations.

IOM proposes that a migrant response and resource mechanism be created with immediate effect along the migratory routes in key countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The mechanism will provide a comprehensive range of services to identify persons in need of help, counselling, referral and assistance, including voluntary return for economic migrants, among other solutions.

Successful reintegration of returned migrants in the countries of origin must form part of a strategy to address the root causes of migration. IOM advocates that such assistance should also be placed in a wider context of addressing the needs and concerns of the communities of origin and return, in order to effectively tackle the push factors of irregular migration, as well as avoid creating disadvantages for local, non-migrant populations.

The long term commitment to forge links between effective reintegration schemes and local development potential in communities of return is of paramount importance for any meaningful strategy to govern migratory flows.

IOM welcomes the fact that many elements mentioned above are part of the EU Council conclusions and stands ready to extend its full and committed support to their swift implementation.

Source:: IOM Welcomes EU Council Decision on Migrants in Mediterranean

Categories: African Press Organization

Tigo launches bid to become biggest 4G network in Tanzania

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, April 24, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — TIGO Tanzania (http://www.tigo.co.tz) has today launched a brand new 4G LTE technology that will make it the biggest and fastest Internet network in the country.

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

Photo 1: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1912 (From Left: Tanzanian Socialite Abby Platjes and Musician Vanessa Mdee getting schooled on how 4G LTE technology works by Tigo representatives)

Photo 2: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1911 (Tanzania’s Minister of Communications, Science and Technology Professor Makame Mbarawa (Guest of Honour) addressing stakeholders during the launch of 4GLTE technology by Tigo Tanzania)

Photo 3: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1910 (Ag Tigo Tanzania General Manager Cecile Tiano making her key-note speech during the launch of the fastest Network in Tanzania 4GLTE in Mlimani City, Dar es Salaam)

Speaking at the launch, Tigo Interim General Manager Cecile Tiano said: “This once again demonstrates our company’s commitment to the digital lifestyle transformation and its leadership in delivering cutting edge technology and innovation in this market.”

The 4G LTE network means faster speeds to surf and download content from the Internet and make Skype calls. It also significantly enhances the customer experience for video streaming or conferencing. The new technology is about 5 times faster than the 3G technology currently available in the market.

The 4G LTE technology is a standard for wireless communication of high-speed data. It has the capacity to efficiently transfer large amounts of data at an unparalleled speed. It can also accommodate more applications such as video conferencing, high definition content, video blogs, interactive games and video downloads on social networking sites.

With the surging use of smartphones among the Tanzania population, 4G technology will enable Tigo customers to enjoy a world class experience of increased speed and quality of internet access through the network.

“Today’s launch covers Masaki and Mlimani City areas within Dar es Salaam but our plan is to fully cover the city by end of July, ensuring quality coverage in Kinondoni, Ilala and Temeke in places such as Upanga, Posta, Tegeta, Mbagala, Tabata, Kimara, Mbezi, Ukonga, Salasala, Mikocheni, Msasani, Sinza and so on,” Ms Tiano explained.

“We will also launch 4G in Arusha, Dodoma, Morogoro, Moshi, Mwanza and Tanga by end of August. This will make us by far the biggest 4G network in Tanzania,” she added.

The 4G technology launch is part of Tigo’s commitment to continue improving the quality and coverage of its network and bring world class products and services to Tanzanians.

Tigo recently announced plans to invest US $120 million in 2015 on its network expansion and improvement. The investment includes scaling up its 3G sites and fibre network countrywide to make the internet accessible to more users.

FACT BOX:

• Tigo new 4G technology makes Tigo the fastest Internet network in the country

• The company is investing $ 120 million on network improvement and expansion in 2015

• Network has 8.5million total subscribers

• 4G will increase internet speed by 5 times from the current 3G technology

• 4G launch covers Masaki, Mlimani city areas in Dar

• 4G to cover whole city and six regional capitals by August 2015

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

For further information visit: www.tigo.co.tz or contact:

John Wanyancha – Corporate Communications Manager

Mobile: 0658 123 089

About Tigo:

Tigo Tanzania (http://www.tigo.co.tz) is the leading innovative telecommunication company in the country, distinguished as a fully-fledged digital lifestyle brand. Offering a diverse product portfolio in voice, SMS, high-speed internet and mobile financial services, Tigo has pioneered innovations such as Facebook in Kiswahili, Tigo Pesa App for Android & iOS users, and East Africa’s first cross-border mobile money transfer with currency conversion.

The Tigo 3G network guarantees the best services to its subscriber’s in all regions across the country. Between 2013 and 2014 alone the company launched over 500 new network sites and plans to double its investment by 2017 in terms of coverage and additional capacity networks for deeper penetration in rural areas. With over 8.5 million registered subscribers to their network, Tigo directly and indirectly employs over 100,000 Tanzanians including an extended network of customer service representatives, mobile money merchants, sales agents and distributors.

Tigo is the biggest commercial brand of Millicom, an international company developing the digital lifestyle in 44 countries with commercial operations in Africa and Latin America and corporate offices in Europe and the USA. With the certain knowledge that only constant innovation will keep them on top, Millicom keeps creating greater shareholder value; applying their concept of “demand more” is how they do business and retain their position as digital lifestyle leaders in some of the most unique and challenging markets.

Source:: Tigo launches bid to become biggest 4G network in Tanzania

Categories: African Press Organization

WCC urges South African government to demonstrate leadership after recent xenophobic attacks

GENEVA, Switzerland, April 24, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The World Council of Churches (WCC) has taken a clear stand against recent violent attacks against migrants in South Africa, reaffirming churches’ positions against racist, ethnocentrist and xenophobic acts of violence.

Noting the special vulnerability of migrants and migrant workers, a statement issued in Geneva on 24 April by the general secretary of the WCC urges leaders in South Africa, as well as in other countries in the region, to promote the observance of human rights at all times.

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the WCC, commented that “The spasm of violent attacks against migrants in South Africa has a special poignancy, in light of South Africa’s historic leadership in fighting against racial discrimination and exclusion.”

“The victims of these attacks represent the same neighbouring countries and people who stood with the marginalized majority of South Africans during the dark days of the Apartheid era,” Tveit observed, and he asked, “Where is the recognition of that African solidarity, and the commitment to the philosophy of ‘Ubuntu’?”

“We urge the South African government to demonstrate leadership to bring the situation under control and promote the observance of human rights and adherence to the standards and norms as contained in international human rights instruments,” stated Tveit.

“We are in solidarity with all the affected individuals and their families, and call for their protection, restitution, and for the criminal accountability of those responsible for the attacks against them,” he added.

Source:: WCC urges South African government to demonstrate leadership after recent xenophobic attacks

Categories: African Press Organization

“Ad Limina” visit of the bishops of Lesotho and Namibia: be generous in bringing Christ’s tenderness to those who suffer

VATICAN, Holy See, April 24, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Today Pope Francis received in audience the bishops of Lesotho and Namibia, “lands known for their flourishing Christian faith”, at the end of the “ad Limina” visit. In the written discourse he handed to the prelates, the Pope recalled the labours and sacrifices of many missionaries, who were supported by generations of indigenous companions in lands which have often presented great challenges, both environmental and social, but which are known for their churches and chapels, parishes, mission stations and outstations, “which draw many to a community life centred on prayer and work”.

“Renowned too are your numerous schools at every level, your clinics and hospitals, built with love and faithfulness from the materials of Namibia’s soil and Lesotho’s mountains. I encourage you to continue supporting and nurturing these great blessings, even when resources are sparse, for the Lord promises that he will not fail to bless us”.

He continued, “I know that your communities face many challenges daily, and I am sure that this weighs heavily on your hearts. Strengthen them in love to overcome selfishness in private or public life; be generous in bringing them the tenderness of Christ where threats to human life occur, from the womb to old age – and I think particularly of those suffering with HIV and AIDS”. He encouraged them to “not only win them to the cause of Christ but also make them protagonists of a renewed African society”.

The Pope goes on to mention Christian families that are fragmented due to employment far away from home, or because of separation or divorce and urged the bishops to continue offering them help and guidance, preparing couples for Christian marriage, and constantly sustaining families by offering generously the Church’s Sacraments, especially the Sacrament of mercy. “I thank you for your efforts in promoting healthy family life in the face of distorted views that emerge in contemporary society. … The family is the best setting for learning and applying the culture of forgiveness, peace and reconciliation. … From healthy families will come numerous priestly vocations, families where men have learned to love inasmuch as they have been unconditionally loved …having learned respect, justice, the role of authority expressed by parents and loving concern”.

“In a time of an apparent decrease in vocations to the priesthood and to religious life, it is important to speak openly about the fulfilling and joyful experience of offering one’s life to Christ”, continues the Holy Father. “For when your Christian communities are built up by your own continued example of ‘living in truth and joy your priestly commitments, celibacy in chastity and detachment from material possessions’, then vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life will most certainly abound”. He thanks God for “the continued witness and service of so many communities of religious brothers and sisters who are vital to the praying heart of the Church, along with the many committed sodalities and other lay associations of the Church in Lesotho and Namibia”. He also notes, when developing pastoral plans, in paying careful spiritual attention to the poorest in society. “I ask you to be particularly mindful of those most in need in your Churches, entrusting all your initiatives to God’s care”.

Finally, he exhorts the bishops to “persevere as men of deep and constant prayer, in the way of Blessed Joseph Gerard, who listened to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in all matters. Prayer precedes and leads to authentic evangelisation. As you know from experience, when the Church summons all Christians to constantly take up anew the task of evangelising the world, ‘she is simply pointing to the source of authentic personal fulfilment'; that is, she is showing us the path to our deepest happiness”.

Source:: “Ad Limina” visit of the bishops of Lesotho and Namibia: be generous in bringing Christ’s tenderness to those who suffer

Categories: African Press Organization

“Merck More Than A Mother “ a new initiative in partnership with Nairobi university and university of Indonesia to address the social suffering of infertile women in Indonesia , Kenya and rest of Africa as part of Merck Capacity Advancement Pro

NAIROBI, Kenya, April 24, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Merck in collaboration with University of Indonesia kicked off two important initiatives “More than A Mother” and “Fertility is a Shared Responsibility” to address the social suffering and stigmatization of infertile women as part of Merck Capacity Advancement program (CAP) in fertility management in Indonesia. Same program will be launched in Kenya in partnership with University of Nairobi.

These two initiatives will not only provide medical education and awareness for medical students and general practitioners in Indonesia but will also address the social perception of infertile women and raise awareness about male infertility and the necessity for a team approach to family building among couples.

The 5-year program is accredited by European Council of Continuous Medical Education (EACCME). The classes will be taught by fertility experts from Germany, Canada and Indonesia.

As one of the most populous countries in the world, Indonesia is facing a heavy burden of health problems in addition to this; there is an issue in the area of infertility. This became a major concern due to the high infertility rate and the limited number of infertile couples who have access to proper health facilities as well as the cultural value of parenthood in Indonesia.

“Access to adequate comprehensive reproductive health services, including infertility care, is a basic right regardless of the economic circumstances in which individuals are born into. Therefore, Merck Fertility Capacity Advancement Program will contribute to identifying and implementing strategies to improve access to high quality biomedical fertility care in Indonesia and through the initiative of “More than a Mother” interventions to decrease social suffering from infertility and childlessness will be defined” said Rasha Kelej, Head of Global Business Responsibility and Market Development at Merck’s biopharmaceutical business Merck Serono.

Dr. Budi Wiweko , IVF Consultant and Research Manager of Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Indonesia emphasized “Unfortunately, only a very limited number of reproductive couples experiencing infertility have accessed proper health facilities. One of the strategies to increase health service access is to improve the referral system for infertility care and strengthen the links between general practitioners and infertility providers. Medical students as future general practitioners should therefore understand the basics of infertility management. Therefore we believe that our partnership with Merck to implement their Capacity Advancement Program will help us to achieve this goal.”

“This program will also help the participants to understand the cultural, psychological and caring aspects related to fertility management and the model of early stage counseling of couples with fertility problems “he added.

During the scientific program at University of Indonesia, Dr. Klaus Bühler, director of Gynecology, Endocrinology and Reproductive Medicine Ulm and Stuttgart center, Germany explained “Infertility affects men and women equally. Approximately one-third of cases of couple infertility is due to male factors, one-third to female factors and one-third relates to a combination of male and female factors or has no identifiable cause, today together with Merck and University of Indonesia, we launch “ Fertility is a shared Responsibility “ initiative to raise awareness about male infertility and encourage men to acknowledge and openly discuss their infertility issues and strive for a team approach to family building with their partners in order to progress toward Shared Fertility Responsibility among couples”

Dr Sylvia Elvira, Consultant, Indonesian Psychiatric College explained “Women’s reproductive success determines their social status, the roles they play in a given society, and indirectly, the control they can exercise over their own lives and their continued wellbeing, they are also overwhelmingly perceived as being the party responsible for a couple’s infertility, and subsequently the social suffering associated with infertility tends to be greater for them than their husbands. Together with Merck capacity advancement program we will challenge this perception of infertile women, their roles and worth in society, both within and beyond the medical profession in order to achieve any systemic shift in the current culture of gender discrimination in the context of fertility care”.

Merck CAP is a 5 year program aiming to expand the professional capacity in Africa and developing countries in the areas of research and development, advocacy building, supply-chain integrity and efficiency, pharmacovigilance, medical education, and community awareness.

As part of the CAP, by end of 2015, more than 5,000 medical students in partnership with African universities such as University of Nairobi, Makerere University, Namibia University and University of Ghana, in addition to Asian universities such as Maharashtra university, India and University of Indonesia will benefit from European-accredited clinical chronic diseases management training, which is seeking to equip them with skills to avert the diabetes epidemic.

“Merck is planning to target more than 15,000 students by the end of 2018 expanding to more African, Asian, Latin American and Middle Eastern countries with special focus on non –communicable diseases such as Diabetes, cancer and fertility management.

The program will also kick off initiatives on building research capacity and improving supply chain in order to improve patient safety in Africa” Kelej added..

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

Source:: “Merck More Than A Mother “ a new initiative in partnership with Nairobi university and university of Indonesia to address the social suffering of infertile women in Indonesia , Kenya and rest of Africa as part of Merck Capacity Advancement Pro

Categories: African Press Organization

UNAMID peacekeepers repel two attacks in South Darfur

EL FASHER (DARFUR), Sudan, April 24, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — UNAMID peacekeepers have repelled two attacks by unidentified armed men in Kass, 85 kilometers north-west of Nyala, South Darfur. The ensuing exchange of fire resulted in at least four attackers killed and six peacekeepers and one assailant injured.

“I condemn the attacks on the peacekeepers and reiterate the Mission’s resolve to continue to respond decisively and robustly to any acts of this kind,” said African Union-United Nations Acting Joint Special Representative for Darfur, Abiodun Bashua. The Head of the Mission wished the injured a full and speedy recovery.

The first attack took place on 23 April around 18:00 hours when about 40 gunmen on horses and camels opened fire on Nigerian troops protecting a water point. The attackers made off with one of the Mission’s vehicles after shooting the driver. The peacekeepers pursued and recovered the vehicle.

Four attackers were killed and two peacekeepers and one assailant injured during the exchange of gunfire. The Mission handed over the corpses of the four attackers and the injured person to the Government of Sudan Police. The wounded peacekeepers were evacuated to Nyala for medical treatment.

On the morning of 24 April, a UNAMID patrol travelling from Nyala was attacked near the Mission’s base in Kass. Four peacekeepers were injured during the exchange of fire.

Mr. Bashua called on the Government of Sudan to speedily investigate the incidents and bring the perpetrators to book, noting that “the continuing climate of impunity and failure to prosecute those who attack peacekeepers and humanitarian workers have to end.”

Source:: UNAMID peacekeepers repel two attacks in South Darfur

Categories: African Press Organization