BRVM Investment Days: West Africa’s financial centre meets the London Stock Exchange

LONDON, United-Kingdom, April 22, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Bourse régionale des valeurs mobilières (BRVM) (http://www.brvm.org) is to hold a high-level meeting at the London Stock Exchange on 28 April 2015. The conference, which will be attended, amongst others, by Ms Nialé Kaba, Côte d’Ivoire’s Minister of Economy and Finance, will provide an opportunity to present the financial centre of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) to international, and especially British, investors. The London Stock Exchange is Europe’s premier financial centre.

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

“Following the success of the BRVM Investment Days in Paris in October 2014 (http://www.brvminvestmentdays.org), the British capital was the natural choice for the second round. The London Stock Exchange is developing cooperation with African finance and constitutes a real springboard for growth for the BRVM,” explains Gabriel Fal, Chairman of the BRVM’s Board of Directors.

With market capitalisation having doubled in three years – standing at 7458 billion CFA francs (around USD 13.8 billion) on 31 December 2014 – and transaction volumes growing constantly, the BRVM is becoming a destination of choice for many international investors, eager to diversify their asset portfolio while simultaneously contributing to the development of African economies. “Along with Johannesburg, Lagos, Casablanca and Nairobi, our regional exchange embodies this new frontier of finance that offers safe investments with high returns,” says Edoh Kossi Amenounve, CEO of the BRVM.

After a record 2013, which saw the BRVM 10 and BRVM Composite indices swell by 33.85% and 39.28% respectively, that growth was consolidated in 2014, as the BRVM 10 rose by 8.60% and the BRVM Composite by 11.23%. With two new entrants in recent months (Bank of Africa Senegal in December 2014 and Total Senegal in February 2015), the BRVM now has 39 listed companies. The last company to be floated on the exchange had been Bank of Africa Côte d’Ivoire back in April 2010.

“If we add to that our inclusion in the S&P and MSCI international indices, we can see that the BRVM is now moving in a direction that is beneficial for everyone. The region’s companies are raising finance, while investors are increasing the value of savings in the UEMOA zone. Lastly, more and more citizens are becoming shareholders, which is the best way for our people to take ownership of our growth drivers and means of production,” says Edoh Kossi Amenounve.

“To speed up this process, the BRVM has to attract international investors in search of emerging or pioneering financial centres. That is how we are going to deepen the market and increase its liquidity. To this end, the BRVM has brought itself into line with international standards: our market is monitored and regulated, and what is more, it is offering returns that you can’t find in the North at present,” explains Gabriel Fal.

The role of the banking and finance sector in accelerating African growth, technological innovation and telecommunications as a driver of development, the rise of the middle class and the changing retail sector, and private and sovereign debt in the face of infrastructure financing challenges will be the main topics addressed at this second round of “BRVM Investment Days”. Top executives from several BRVM-listed companies (BMCE Bank, a shareholder in Bank of Africa, Ecobank, Orange, a shareholder in Sonatel, Total Senegal, Palmci, SAPH, and CFAO, a shareholder in CFAO Motors Côte d’Ivoire) will be taking part in this second round of “BRVM Investment Days”.

For further information: http://www.brvminvestmentdays.org

Distribué par APO (African Press Organization) pour la Bourse régionale des valeurs mobilières (BRVM).

Contacts:

Corinne Ormon (BRVM Communications Officer): + 225 57 59 14 74; chormon@brvm.org

Philippe Perdrix (35°Nord communications agency): + 33 (0)6 84 24 62 96; pp@35nord.com

About the BRVM:

Launched on 16 September 1998, the Bourse régionale des valeurs mobilières (BRVM) (http://www.brvm.org) is a regional stock exchange for the eight countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA): Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. It is headquartered in Abidjan. The BRVM comprises 39 listed companies, the three biggest stocks being Sonatel, Ecobank and Solibra. The BRVM also offers extensive bond market activity (both private and sovereign). Since 1998, more than 280 transactions have been completed, raising 3887.1 billion CFA francs (USD 7.2 billion): 644,054 billion CFA francs (USD 1.2 billion) in capital transactions and 3243.55 billion CFA francs (USD 6 billion) in bond issues.

Source:: BRVM Investment Days: West Africa’s financial centre meets the London Stock Exchange

Categories: African Press Organization | Leave a comment

Win the APO Energy Media Awards and travel to Dubai to attend the Africa Energy Forum

DAKAR, Senegal, April 22, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — APO (African Press Organization) (http://www.apo-opa.com), the sole press release wire in Africa and the global leader in media relations relating to Africa, announced today that entry is now open for the 2015 APO Energy Media Awards (#APOEnergyMediaAward).

APO will offer transport, accommodation and perdiem for the first-place winner to attend the Africa Energy Forum (http://www.africa-energy-forum.com) held in Dubai from 8-11 June 2015, as well as one year of access to over 600 airport VIP lounges worldwide.

The Africa Energy Forum (AEF) is the only international Forum focused on power generation for Africa with attendance restricted to stakeholders (investors, consultants, developers, ministries, utilities, regulators etc.) from the power sector.

Logo APO: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/apo-african-press-organization-small.png

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

APO Energy Media Awards celebrates brilliant and inspiring stories about Energy in Africa. The subject matter may comprise a single topic or a variety of subjects, including – but not limited to – oil, gas, electricity, geothermal energy, hydropower, solar energy, wind power, nuclear, coal, biomass and more.

APO Energy Media Awards is open to African journalists and bloggers, whether directly employed or freelancers, working in the continent of Africa who have produced a story that has been broadcast or published in English, French, Portuguese or Arabic in the form of a printed publication, a television feature, a radio story, a website or a blog whose primary audience is based in Africa.

Stories are judged on content, writing, analysis, creativity, human interest and community impact.

Stories must have been broadcast or published between January 1, and April 30, 2015.

All stories must be submitted in electronic format:

a) Print: upload the scan(s) of the published article.

b) Radio: upload the SoundCloud link (SoundCloud is an online audio distribution platform that enables its users to upload and share sounds they have created themselves – https://soundcloud.com).

c) Website: upload the URL.

d) TV: upload the YouTube link.

TV material must first be uploaded to YouTube (www.youtube.com) and radio material to SoundCloud (www.soundcloud.com). If you are not a member of these sites, you will need to sign up in order to upload the video or radio material. Once you have obtained the link, you must enter it in this online entry form when inputting your story details.

Online Entry Form is available here:

http://www.apo-opa.com/apo_energy_media_award.php?L=E&vc=EMA

The deadline for entries is 1 May 2015.

The finalists will be announced on 6 May 2015.

The winners will be announced during the Africa Energy Forum in Dubai.

Follow APO on Twitter: https://twitter.com/apo_source

Follow the hashtag: #APOEnergyMediaAward

Source:: Win the APO Energy Media Awards and travel to Dubai to attend the Africa Energy Forum

Categories: African Press Organization | Leave a comment

Commissioner for Peace and Security meets with the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, April 22, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The African Union (AU) Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail Chergui, met yesterday with the European Union (EU) High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-president of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini. The meeting, which took place on the margins of the AU Commission and European Commission College-to-College meeting in Brussels, was attended by other officials from the External Action Services (EEAS), including Alain Le Roy, Secretary-General of the EEAS.

The meeting provided an opportunity for the two to discuss a number of issues of common concern in particular the prevailing situation in Libya, which is characterized by continued insecurity, political polarization and the increasing presence of terrorist groups, some of which affiliated to the Islamic State. They noted that the collapse of state authority in Libya has contributed to the aggravation of human trafficking and the flow of illegal migrants departing from Libya to Europe, with the attendant humanitarian disasters, as shown by the recent drowning of hundreds of people in the Mediterranean Sea.

Other issues also discussed include the situation in Somalia and the impact of the conflict in Yemen on that country and the larger Horn of Africa region; the ongoing peace efforts in Mali and other recent developments in the Sahel region; the fight against the Boko Haram terrorist group; and efforts towards the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes.

Commissioner Chergui and High Representative Mogherini reiterated the commitment of both the AU and the EU to deepen their partnership in the area of peace and security. In this respect, they agreed to work together to ensure strategic coherence on all issues of common concern and closer coordination of the efforts of their envoys on the ground.

Source:: Commissioner for Peace and Security meets with the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

Categories: African Press Organization | Leave a comment

South Africa: Surge in xenophobic violence requires human rights-based immigration policy

PARIS, France, April 22, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — In the face of violence that has targeted foreign nationals across South Africa over the past few weeks, Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) recognises the duty of authorities to adopt an effective national strategy aimed at aligning their immigration policy with regional and international human rights provisions in order to prevent and redress human rights violations against migrants. The first steps being taken in this regard are welcomed.

Our organisations are encouraged by the government’s latest efforts to curb the tide of violence. While more needs to be done in stemming these attacks, the government’s actions are a step in the right direction. These include the swift reaction by police to both deter and arrest perpetrators. The prosecution of alleged perpetrators is also a welcome development – most recently in the arrest of suspects in the murder of Emmanuel Sithole (they will appear in court today). We welcome Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s announcement of a national campaign to battle “afrophobia” and hope that he will ensure strict adherence to this campaign to find long-lasting solutions to the problem.

Without continuing these measures, xenophobia and violence against foreign nationals will continue to spread.

“The deaths and thousands of foreign nationals displaced in South Africa draw attention to the need for urgent, effective and comprehensive actions from authorities to address systemic deficiencies in the current immigration policy,” said the FIDH’s Deputy Secretary General, Alice Mogwe.

Last week, in scenes reminiscent of 2008, xenophobic violence spread across Durban when thousands of South African began attacking foreign nationals and looting their shops. The violence has led to the death of at least six people so far and the displacement of thousands more. According to UNHCR figures, approximately 2 400 people who fled the Durban attacks are taking refuge in three camps in the area. Inflammatory and hateful statements by traditional leaders and government officials are likely to have fuelled the violence. On 21 March, Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini told the media that foreigners should “go home” and on 15 April, Edward Zuma, the President’s son, echoed inaccurate and discriminatory views in the media.

“South African public figures have to change mind sets and send messages of integration, cohesion and understanding. Instead of using their position of influence to make damaging statements, they must seize opportunities to encourage positive social change,” said LHR’s Patricia Erasmus.

Our organisations further acknowledge King Goodwill Zwelithini’s lukewarm address a few days ago that was intended to clarify the statements he made in March. We do however lament the fact that no unequivocal retraction or apology was made and call on the King to take responsibility for the damaging consequences his statements have had.

Several government officials have blamed the violence on criminality rather than xenophobia. In response to the violence, they suggested the establishment of refugee camps which LHR and FIDH strongly oppose.

Claims that South Africa is “flooded” by “illegal immigrants” are based on misinformation and misconceptions of South Africa’s refugee system. Many factors contribute to a person being without the appropriate administrative papers and few of these are within their control. These include the tightening of immigration laws that increase administrative hurdles, serious corruption at refugee reception offices and the unlawful closure of reception offices without sufficient contingencies in place, as well as the non-compliance by the Department of Home Affairs with court orders. Such situations are further caused by an asylum system in crisis, plagued by poor decision-making, inefficiencies and severe backlogs.

LHR and FIDH call upon the authorities of South Africa to reinforce their human rights-based legal framework in order to prevent and redress human rights violations against migrants. Authorities must address systemic deficiencies in the asylum system that prevent access to regular status. They must provide widespread training on the human rights of migrants and the prohibition on discrimination to police services, immigration services, public health and education services and local administrations. As a sign of this human-rights base approach, South Africa should take this occasion to announce ratification of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families.

Our organisations call upon the African Union and the Southern African Development Community to echo the recommendations made by our organisations. LHR and FIDH also call on the current sitting of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to support these recommendations through the adoption of a Resolution which firmly and publicly condemns the violence, which calls upon the authorities of South Africa to abide by their obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and requires a promotion mission to South Africa with its Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers.

Source:: South Africa: Surge in xenophobic violence requires human rights-based immigration policy

Categories: African Press Organization | Leave a comment

Terrorist Designations of Ahmed Diriye and Mahad Karate

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The U.S. Department of State has designated Ahmed Diriye and Mahad Karate under Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. As a result of this designation, all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which Diriye or Karate has any interest is blocked and any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen. U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with Diriye or Karate, or to their benefit.

Ahmed Diriye became the leader of al-Shabaab following the death of the group’s former leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, in September 2014. Prior to replacing Godane, Diriye served in several positions within al-Shabaab, including as Godane’s assistant, the deputy governor of Lower Juba region in 2008, and al-Shabaab’s governor of Bay and Bakool regions in 2009. By 2013, he was a senior adviser to Godane, and served in al-Shabaab’s “Interior Department,” where he oversaw the group’s domestic activity. He shares Godane’s vision for al-Shabaab’s terrorist attacks in Somalia as an element of al-Qa’ida’s greater global aspirations.

Mahad Karate, also known as Abdirahim Mohamed Warsame, played a key role in the Amniyat, the wing of al-Shabaab responsible for the recent attack on Garissa University College in Kenya that resulted in nearly 150 deaths. The Amniyat is al-Shabaab’s intelligence wing, which plays a key role in the execution of suicide attacks and assassinations in Somalia, Kenya, and other countries in the region, and provides logistics and support for al-Shabaab’s terrorist activities.

Al-Shabaab was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the U.S. Department of State on March 18, 2008. The group is responsible for numerous terrorist activities, including several mass-casualty attacks on civilians, like the 2010 Kampala bombing attacks in Uganda, the 2013 Westgate attack in Nairobi, and the recent massacre at Garissa University College in Kenya, which resulted in the deaths of 148 individuals, mostly students.

The Department of State took this action in consultation with the Departments of Justice and Treasury.

Source:: Terrorist Designations of Ahmed Diriye and Mahad Karate

Categories: African Press Organization | Leave a comment

WFP WORRIED ABOUT MISSING STAFF IN SOUTH SUDAN, WARNS DETERIORATING SECURITY WILL WORSEN HUNGER

ROME, Italy, April 22, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) says it is deeply concerned about the fate of three staff members who disappeared in South Sudan’s Upper Nile State earlier this month.

“We are extremely worried about the fate of our missing colleagues and are working hard for their safe return,” said WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin. “Our staff take enormous risks every day to bring vital aid to people in critical need.”

The three WFP staff members disappeared on April 1 en route to a food distribution. They were traveling in a convoy from Malakal to Melut, carrying food intended for thousands of conflict-affected people, when witnesses say intercommunal fighting erupted along the road on which they were traveling. WFP lost contact with the three men and has not heard from them since, despite intense efforts to reach them.

The disappearance comes amid generally deteriorating security and increasing harassment of humanitarian workers throughout the country. WFP fears that worsening insecurity in some parts of South Sudan will make it harder for humanitarian agencies to reach conflict-affected communities with badly needed assistance, just as the lean season is set to begin.

“We are equally concerned about the welfare of innocent people, particularly women and children, who are suffering the consequences of this conflict,” Cousin added. “We are committed to assisting the South Sudanese people the best we can, but we cannot do our lifesaving work unless national and local authorities are willing and able to safeguard humanitarian staff.”

Because of increasing concerns about staff safety, WFP is re-assessing its ability to work in some parts of Upper Nile State. The agency plans to temporarily reduce its operations in those areas where it no longer believes it’s safe to work.

“We regret that we must temporarily suspend food assistance in Akoka and Fashoda counties,” said WFP Deputy Country Director Eddie Rowe, in Juba. “We hope to resume as soon as we have the necessary assurances that our staff and partners can work safely.”

The agency has been working with authorities in Juba, Malakal and Akoka to seek information about the whereabouts of the three missing staff members, to no avail.

The United Nations says 10 humanitarian workers have been killed in Upper Nile State since the start of South Sudan’s conflict more than 16 months ago.

Another WFP colleague, Mark Diang, was abducted at gunpoint in October 2014 from the airport in Malakal, capital of Upper Nile State and hasn’t been heard from since. WFP holds grave concerns for his safety and continues to follow up with the government regarding his status.

In South Sudan, 2.5 million people started this year unsure of where their next meal is coming from. Food security analysts believe this number will increase with the start of the lean season in May. WFP aims to assist roughly 3 million people throughout the country in 2015.

Source:: WFP WORRIED ABOUT MISSING STAFF IN SOUTH SUDAN, WARNS DETERIORATING SECURITY WILL WORSEN HUNGER

Categories: African Press Organization | Leave a comment