Nov 142014

LONDON, United-Kingdom, November 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — GSK ( today launched the first call for proposals for its Africa NCD Open Lab, to support much-needed scientific research into non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Africa. Up to £4m will be available in this first funding round, to support successful proposals from researchers in Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Ghana, The Gambia, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Malawi.

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The Africa NCD Open Lab was established by GSK earlier this year, with a commitment of £25m funding over five years, as part of a series of strategic investments in sub-Saharan Africa. In this region, and across developing countries, non-communicable diseases, such as cancer and diabetes, are becoming more prevalent, and we need to learn more about how – and why – these diseases manifest differently in this setting. The Africa NCD Open Lab aims to address this through the creation of an innovative research network that will see GSK scientists collaborate with researchers across Africa on high quality epidemiological, genetic and interventional research, from its hub at GSK’s Stevenage R&D facility in the UK. The aim is that this will specifically inform interventions for the prevention and treatment of five priority diseases – cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease and chronic respiratory disease – while helping build local expertise and creating a new generation of African NCD experts.

This builds on the success of GSK’s Open Lab in Tres Cantos, Spain which provides independent researchers access to GSK facilities, resources and knowledge to help them advance their own research projects into diseases of the developing world such as malaria, tuberculosis and leishmaniasis. Since the Tres Cantos Open Lab was established, 15 projects from world class institutions have been completed, progressing much needed research into diseases of the developing world.

An independent external advisory group, comprising clinical and scientific experts in the field of NCDs, will review applications to the NCD Open Lab, with recommendations for funding based on scientific merit. The group will consist of a majority African membership to ensure that only locally-relevant research is funded.

A second call for proposals in South Africa is planned for early in 2015 which will be launched in collaboration with the Medical Research Councils of South Africa and the UK, with a combined £5m funding.

Dr. Mike Strange, Interim Head of the Africa NCD Open Lab, said: “We believe the highly collaborative research network we’re creating through the Africa NCD Open Lab has the potential to dramatically improve understanding of NCDs in Africa – and could ultimately, accelerate the development of new, better medicines to treat these.

“The launch of our first call for proposals is an important milestone for this initiative, and we encourage researchers working in the field of NCDs who are based in the eight eligible countries to consider applying for the funding and expert support available to them through this.”

For more information, or to submit a research idea for consideration, please visit

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

Notes to editors

• GSK ( has a long history in the developing world, including the development and trial of new vaccines for malaria and Ebola. Its vaccines are included in immunisation campaigns in 170 countries worldwide and of the 862 million vaccine doses delivered in 2013, more than 80% were shipped for use in developing countries.

• In 2015, GSK will donate its five billionth tablet of albendazole to treat intestinal worms and lymphatic filariasis – part of the company’s long-term commitment to tackle neglected tropical diseases which affect people in the world’s poorest countries.

• GSK has formed a ground-breaking five-year partnership with Save the Children, to help save the lives of one million children living in the poorest countries in Africa. The partnership combines the resources and capabilities of two organisations to help bring medicines and vaccines to some of the world’s poorest children, train thousands of healthcare workers, and seek to alleviate child malnutrition.

• In March 2014, GSK announced a series of targeted investments of up to £130m in Africa over the next five years, designed to address pressing health needs and contribute to long-term business growth.

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Nov 142014

GENEVA, Switzerland, November 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM this week organized a two-day national consultative forum to address health challenges facing the migrant community in Kenya.
The workshop, organized in partnership with t…

Nov 142014

GENEVA, Switzerland, November 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM and Mali’s Ministry of Solidarity, Humanitarian Affairs and Reconstruction in the North have signed an agreement to formalize the handover of IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) programme to the government.

Following the 2012 crisis in Mali and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people, IOM started the programme in close collaboration with the government. It was designed to provide up-to-date information on movements of internally displaced people (IDPs) and returnees, as well as on the needs of people affected by the conflict.

At its peak in June 2013, the DTM registered and identified 353,000 IDPs in the country. This has now fallen to 86,000, due to people returning home. A recent survey of IDP households revealed that 69 per cent would now like to return home, while 28 per cent have decided to stay in their place of displacement. Most IDP households (52 per cent) said that they need food aid.

The DTM team is composed of 120 members of the National Directorate for Social Development (Direction Nationale du Développement Social), the General Directorate of Civil Protection (Direction Générale de la Protection Civile) and IOM, who are deployed in all regions of Mali.

The DTM assessments include the registration of IDPs in the south, location assessments for IDPs and returnees in the north, return intention surveys, and needs assessments in areas of return. In addition, flow monitoring points in Bamako, Mopti, Gao and Timbuktu track IDP movements throughout the country and identify the most vulnerable people.

The handover of the DTM programme consists of transferring the data collection process and analysis to the National Directorate for Social Development, together with the DTM equipment. The programme received support from USAID, ECHO, the Government of Japan and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

Nov 142014

GENEVA, Switzerland, November 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM and the Institute for International Co-operation and Development will tomorrow (15/11) organize a youth dialogue on child migration to raise awareness of child trafficking…

Nov 142014

GENEVA, Switzerland, November 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM has opened its fourth Niger transit and assistance center for migrants in the Saharan city of Agadez. The new center will normally accommodate up to 400 people, but will be able to host up to 1,000 in periods of crisis.

Agadez is one of the main migratory crossroads for irregular migrants from sub-Saharan Africa trying to reach Europe through Libya or Algeria.

An estimated 40,000 and 80,000 migrants transit annually through Niger, including Niger nationals and migrants from other West African countries including Gambia, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire.

Sub-Saharan migrants expelled from Libya and Algeria are also often sent back home through Niger. In 2013, over 18,000 expelled migrants arrived in northern Niger. IOM Niger assisted 9,300 of the most vulnerable.

In Niger IOM has provided emergency and life-saving humanitarian assistance to expelled migrants, including registration, accommodation, food, medical care, psychological support, basic non-food items and transportation to their place of origin since 2011.

It launched its operations at the peak of the Libyan crisis with funding from the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) and the UN Central Emergency Fund (CERF).

The new Agadez transit center, which is funded by the Italian Ministry of Interior and supported by the Niger government, will reinforce IOM Niger’s capacity to help the most vulnerable stranded migrants.

IOM currently operates transit centers at Dirkou on the Libyan border, Arlit on the Algerian border and in the capital, Niamey, where migrants wait for their documents to travel to their countries of origin.

“This new facility will help us not only to better assist migrants, but also to establish a dialogue on the dangers of irregular migration with the thousands of migrants transiting to Agadez. They are often victims of disinformation,” said IOM Niger Chief of Mission Giuseppe Loprete.

Nov 142014

GENEVA, Switzerland, November 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM, Egypt’s Ministry of Manpower and Emigration and the Governor of Qalyoubia governorate this week inaugurated the country’s first Information Counselling and Referral Service (ICRS).

The ICRS will be part of Egypt’s Public Employment Services Office and aims to bolster youth employment by providing skill enhancement opportunities, job placement services and business start-ups in areas with high levels of outward and irregular migration.

The initiative is part of an ongoing three-year, EUR 9.9 million European Union-funded IOM project: “Stabilizing at-risk communities and enhancing migration management to enable smooth transitions in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya (START).”

Nov 142014

NAIROBI, Kenya, November 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — On the occasion of World Diabetes Day (WDD), Merck is conducting Diabetes awareness camps in India, Kenya and Ghana in collaboration with Maharashtra University and Government in India and with Kenya Ministry of health, Diabetes Management and Information center (DMI) and National Diabetes Association of Ghana.

Merck (, The world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company, has rolled out today its Diabetes awareness and prevention campaign in collaboration with Universities of health sciences, Ministries of health and Diabetes patients associations in Africa and India in order to improve diabetes awareness and community health level.












On the occasion of World Diabetes Day, Merck, the German pharmaceutical and Chemical Company has played a great role to improve access to better diabetes care through supporting Diabetes awareness at 15 medical colleges in Maharashtra and several locations in both Kenya,Ghana and Uganda, aiming to screen and educate more than 19,000 community members across Asia and Africa. Dubbed ‘Get Informed- Get Active- Get Healthier’, the campaign aims to reverse this worrying trend by preventing or delaying the development of diabetes.

This great initiative is part of Merck Diabetes Capacity Advancement Program (CAP) which has been launched in 2012 with a target to reach 30000 community members with free diabetes screening and education by end of 2018. The Merck Diabetes CAP has reached 23000 community members by 2014, which exceeds their initial target for this period.

Dr. Stefan Oschmann, Member of the Executive Board of Merck and CEO Pharma said: “By partnering with universities, Ministries of Health, patients associations and local research institutes , we hope to quickly achieve our objective of advancing healthcare capacities and contributing to social and economic development of Africa and Asia. Our goal is to improve the healthcare sector in those continents through educating and empowering those affected by diabetes on how to manage and prevent it.”

Rasha Kelej, Vice President, Head of Global Business Responsibility and Market Development of Merck Serono said at their awareness campaign in India “This is only a start, more awareness campaigns and outreach programs in cooperation with Academia and Ministries of Health will be supported by Merck as part of our long term commitment to the social and economic development of Africa, Asia and Latin America in the near future”.

She emphasized “We are pleased to join Ministries of Health and Universities to celebrate the World Diabetes Day (WDD) focusing on “Healthy Living and Diabetes” in order to improve access to better Diabetes. Supporting Diabetes education and Diabetes community outreach programs of Academia will contribute significantly to improving awareness, early diagnosis and prevention of the disease across developing countries and underserved population”.

The Cabinet Secretary of Kenya Ministry of Health James Macharia has applauded Merck for its Capacity Advancement Program that was launched successfully in 2012 in Kenya. “The Ministry of Health is supporting private public partnership with reputable companies like Merck to promote key health guidelines and raise awareness about diabetes so that people learn how to prevent it” .he added.

After the successful Merck Diabetes CME tour in 10 medical and pharmacy colleges, in 8 universities in 7 Sub-Saharan countries which just ended on the 7th of November in University of Ghana, this initiative is a natural evolution of the education program for medical and pharmacy students who will be the future healthcare providers. “It is time to focus on community and support the universities outreach programs and Patents association’s activities”. Kelej added on the celebration event of WDD.

Macharia emphasized “The cost of managing diabetes is enormous and places a huge burden on already strained healthcare system. The lack of awareness on disease symptoms makes many diabetes patients to be diagnosed late when they have already developed complications such as blindness, foot ulcers or gangrene, heart diseases among others”.

Merck has provided the necessary support to conduct Diabetes free screening and education to each of the 15 medical colleges in Maharashtra University during the week of the WDD to raise awareness about diabetes and empower community members on how to better manage and prevent the disease. Aiming to screen more than 15,000 person across the state.

While in both Kenya and Ghana Merck supported 4000 free diabetes screening on the same day and they are aiming to triple this number in 2015

Dr Pravin Shingare, Director of Medical Education and Research, Government of Maharashtra, India emphasized “The cost of managing diabetes is enormous and places a huge burden on already strained healthcare system. The lack of awareness on disease symptoms makes many diabetes patients to be diagnosed late when they have already developed complications such as blindness, foot ulcers or gangrene, heart diseases among others. There is a strong, new argument that by combining screening to find pre-diabetes and early diabetes, along with management aimed to keep glucose levels as close to normal as possible, we can change the natural history of the disease and improve the lives of our patients. Hence, I urge all Indians to get screened and be active in order to get healthier”.

Merck plays a great role in building healthcare capacity in Africa with special focus on diabetes and chronic diseases.

“The lack of financial means is not the only challenge in Africa, but a scarcity of trained health care personnel capable to tackle the prevention, diagnosis and management of diabetes at all levels of the health care systems. It was clear for us from the start that if not addressed as a matter of urgency, diabetes, will soon threaten the economic viability of Africa. And sadly, many people who survive HIV and AIDS may die of diabetes” Kelej added

The 5 year program was kicked off in India last month and has been implemented successfully in 7 sub- Saharan countries which are Kenya, Uganda, Namibia Angola, Ghana, Tanzania and Mozambique and will further expand to other Sub-Saharan and Asian countries in 2014.

As part of the Merck Capacity Advancement Program (CAP), by end of 2015, more than 3,000 medical students from the Maharashtra University of Health sciences will benefit from European-accredited clinical diabetes and chronic diseases management training, which is seeking to equip them with skills to avert the diabetes epidemic. Merck is planning to target more than 12,000 students and 60,000 community members by the end of 2018 expanding to more African and Asian countries.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Merck KGaA.

Media contact:

Elizabeth Mwai

Nov 142014

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, November 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — 1. The International Contact Group on the Central African Republic (ICG-RCA) held its 6th meeting in Bangui, on 11 November 2014, under the co-chairmanship of Mr. Basile Ikouebe, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Congo, and Ambassador Smail Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union (AU). The list of the countries and organizations that participated in the meeting is indicated below[1].

[1] Algeria, Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, China, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, France, Georgia, Germany, Holy See, Japan, Luxemburg, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa, Sudan, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America, AU, ECCAS, ICRC, IMF, OCHA, OIC, OIF, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNHCR, United Nations, USAID, and World Bank

2. The opening ceremony was marked by the statements made by the Head of State of the Transition, Catherine Samba-Panza; the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security; the Special Representative of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General and Head of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the CAR (MINUSCA); the Representative of the Secretary-General of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS); the Minister of Foreign Affairs and African Integration of the Republic of Chad, representing the current Chairman of ECCAS; and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Congo.

3. Participants noted that the 6th meeting of the ICG-CAR was following on from the high-level meeting on the CAR held under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General in New York, on 26 September 2014, and would be followed, on 24 and 25 November 2014, in N’Djamena, by the ECCAS 16th Ordinary Summit, which will review the situation in the CAR. They took the opportunity of their meeting to reiterate their gratitude to all the leaders of the region, particularly President Idriss Deby Itno of the Republic of Chad, Chairman of the ECCAS, and Denis Sassou-Nguesso of the Republic of Congo, Mediator in the CAR crisis, for their continued commitment. They urged the CAR stakeholders to take full advantage of this international mobilization to accelerate the process of ending the crisis facing their country.

4. Participants discussed the developments in the CAR since the 5th meeting of the ICG-CAR held in Addis Ababa, on 7 July 2014, on the basis of the statements made by the CAR Prime Minister and other members of his delegation, the presentations by the AU, UN and ECCAS Special Representatives in the CAR, the representative of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), on behalf of the Coordination Group for the Preparation and Follow-up of the ICG-CAR meetings (G8-CAR), as well as the interventions of other international actors involved in the management of the CAR crisis.

I. On security and justice

5. Participants noted that the 6th meeting of the ICG-CAR took place a little less than two months following the successful transfer of authority from the African-led International Support Mission in the CAR (MISCA) to MINUSCA. They commended MISCA for the work done, with the support of the Sangaris and EUFOR RCA Operations, which made it possible to complete the initial stabilization phase of the situation in the CAR. They expressed appreciation to the AU and the UN for having ensured a smooth transition. Participants expressed their support for MINUSCA in the implementation of its mandate, in accordance with Security Council resolution 2149 (2014). They encouraged the UN to continue and to accelerate the ongoing efforts to reach full operational capability for the Mission. They called for the mobilization of all the necessary support to MINUSCA to enable it effectively discharge its mandate over the entire national territory.

6. Participants noted that, despite improvements, the security situation remains precarious, as evidenced by the incidents that took place in Bangui in October 2014. They strongly condemned the acts of violence that were committed and the attacks against MINUSCA, encouraging the Mission to take, within its mandate, all necessary measures to ensure the effective protection of the civilian population and the restoration of lasting security. They warned spoilers that they would be held accountable for their acts, in accordance with the sanctions regime provided for in Security Council resolutions 2127 (2013), 2134 (2014) and 2149 (2014) and the relevant communiqués of the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC). They urged the CAR authorities to prosecute those responsible for these criminal acts in the relevant national and international courts.

7. Participants reminded the signatories to the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities of 23 July 2014 of the importance of implementing the provisions contained therein, in order to end the crisis in the CAR in a consensual manner. In particular, they called for the implementation of articles 4 and 8 of the Agreement, including the establishment of the monitoring mechanism provided for in the Brazzaville Conclusions and the cantonment of all ex-combatants and armed elements of the signatory groups. To this end, they appealed to the bilateral and multilateral partners to contribute expeditiously to the operationalization of the monitoring mechanism. They requested the International Mediation to facilitate the early conclusion of an agreement on the disarmament of the armed groups.

8. Participants expressed satisfaction at the efforts of the transitional authorities, with the support of the international community, to ensure the resumption of the activities of the judicial system, in order to combat impunity. To this end, and in accordance with resolution 2149 (2014), they welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Temporary Emergency Measures in August 2014, which provides, in particular, for the establishment of a Special Criminal Court in charge of investigating and prosecuting the serious crimes committed in the CAR, and called for the implementation of this MoU without delay.

9. Participants recalled that the stabilization of the security situation is first and foremost the responsibility of the CAR stakeholders. In this regard, they reiterated their appeal to all parties, particularity the leaders of the ex-Seleka and anti-Balaka groups, as well as all other armed groups signatory to the Brazzaville Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities, to embark upon the path of dialogue as the only viable means towards achieving lasting reconciliation and peace, and an essential condition for the successful implementation of MINUSCA’s mandate, with the support of the international forces. They welcomed the consultations held by the Government, supported by the G8-CAR, with the different components of the ex-Seleka, and requested that similar consultations be undertaken with the anti-Balaka.

10. Participants stressed the important role of the CAR internal security forces (police and gendarmerie) in the restoration of security, in coordination with MINUSCA. They called for the enhancement of their capacity and their professionalization as soon as possible. They once again requested the CAR authorities to initiate, without delay, the reform process of the CAR Armed Forces (FACA), in order to put in place a professional, representative and balanced army, including the adoption of measures to absorb elements of the armed groups meeting rigorous selection criteria, as well as those concerning the retraining of part of the FACA. To this end, participants appealed to the international community to extend a coordinated and concerted support for the gradual reorganization of the FACA, including through training and advice, along the lines of the support being implemented by the European Union (EU) in Mali and Somalia – EU/Training Mission.

II. On humanitarian aspects

11. Participants expressed their concern about the precarious humanitarian situation in the CAR and condemned unequivocally the serious violations of International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law, especially the use of civilians, women and children as human shields by political/military groups, as well as the attacks and looting targeting humanitarian personnel and their property.

12. Participants expressed concern about the impact of insecurity on humanitarian access to vulnerable populations. They appealed to the transitional authorities and the international forces to promote the respect of the humanitarian space in the CAR. They also appealed to the armed groups to cease acts of violence against humanitarian actors and civilians, and to refrain from impeding access to civilian populations by humanitarian workers, in accordance with international humanitarian law.

13. Participants noted with satisfaction the efforts made by the humanitarian actors, and reiterated their appreciation to the neighboring countries, which are still hosting approximately 420,000 CAR refugees. They made an urgent appeal to the international community to mobilize additional resources, noting in this regard that a total amount of $229 million is required to cover the needs identified within the framework of the Strategic Response Plan 2014, to alleviate the humanitarian crisis.

14. Participants urged the transitional authorities to establish favorable conditions for the return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees, build the capacity of the basic social services, and implement specific projects for women and children. In this context, they requested that more sustained efforts be made by all concerned actors, including the transitional Government and the humanitarian agencies, to establish the conditions for the dismantling of the IDP camp located presently at the Bangui International Airport and find a lasting solution for the concerned populations. They expressed the wish that this objective be attained before the next meeting of the ICG-CAR. The participants also requested that urgent measures be taken to open up the PK5 area in Bangui and to secure it.

III. On political issues and the electoral process

15. Participants welcomed the convening, from 21 to 23 July 2014, of the Brazzaville Forum. They reiterated their appreciation to the International Mediation led by President Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of the Congo and comprising Mr. Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga, on behalf of the AU, and Abdoulaye Bathily, on behalf of the United Nations, as well as ECCAS as rapporteur, and encouraged it to continue its efforts. They stressed the need for renewed efforts by the CAR stakeholders to ensure an effective follow-up of the Conclusions of Brazzaville Forum.

16. Participants took note of the formation of the transitional Government on 22 August 2014. They urged all the components of the CAR nation to act in the supreme interest of their country by ensuring cohesion between the transitional institutions, and to work steadfastly towards the implementation of the transitional Roadmap. Within this framework, they welcomed the commitment of the transitional authorities to orient the action of the state towards the restoration of security as a prerequisite for the success of the inclusive dialogue and reconciliation process, as well as the smooth holding of the elections.

17. Participants took note of the proposal made to the CAR political stakeholders to combine phases 2 and 3 of the political process. In conformity with the Conclusions of the 5th meeting of the ICG-CAR, they requested the transitional Government to organize the Bangui Forum by no later than January 2015. This Forum should focus on the following issues: dialogue, truth, justice, fight against impunity and national reconciliation; security aspects, including DDR and SSR, as well as the use of child soldiers; general principles that would guide the preparation of the new Constitution and electoral issues; and governance and assistance to affected populations.

18. In order to guarantee the convening of the Bangui Forum as soon as possible, Participants requested the establishment by the transitional Government, in close consultation with the International Mediation and with the support of the G8-CAR, of a Preparatory Committee to prepare the said Forum, including aspects related to participation, which should be as inclusive as possible. They welcomed the commitment of the transitional Government to organizing dialogue at the level of the prefectures through the Resident Ministers, especially on the occasion of the celebration of the national Independence Day on 1 December 2014. They requested the members of the ICG-CAR to contribute to the financing of the Bangui Forum and to avail the necessary expertise.

19. Participants took note of the fact that the election date of February 2015 was no longer technically feasible. Thus, and in conformity with Article 102 of the Transitional Constitutional Charter, they requested the International Mediator in the CAR crisis, President Denis Sassou Nguesso, to extend the transition by six months (up to August 2015).

20. Participants requested the transitional authorities, as well as the National Elections Authority (ANE), urgently to take the necessary political, legal, financial and logistical steps required to speed up the electoral process and facilitate the organization, by August 2015 at the latest, of free, fair and credible elections, which will mark the end of the transition. They stressed that the implementation of these steps would greatly facilitate the mobilization of the necessary financial and logistical support, noting with satisfaction in this regard the Government’s contribution of one billion CFA francs. They requested that the issue of voting by IDPs and refugees, including their registration in the voter’s list, be a priority. They recalled the imperative for respecting the clause relating to the ineligibility of all the transitional authorities, as stipulated in the Transitional Constitutional Charter and in conformity with the relevant AU instruments. In this regard, they welcomed the reaffirmation by the Head of State of the Transition of her commitment to respecting the ineligibility clause, and look forward to all the concerned CAR stakeholders making a similar commitment. They strongly emphasized that the international community would neither support the holding of elections in violation of this clause, nor would it recognize its results.

21. Participants noted with satisfaction the efforts made by the Government regarding the deployment of the decentralized and territorial administration and the strengthening of the central administration, for the purpose of supporting the organization of the elections. They encouraged the Government to continue and enhance these efforts.

22. Participants recognized the crucial importance of the process to elaborate the new Constitution, which should seal the desire of the different components of the CAR people to live together and the rebirth of the CAR nation. In this context, they stressed the need for an inclusive participation of all components and active forces of the nation. Consequently, they urged all the CAR partners to provide the necessary support for the successful conclusion of this process.

IV. On the economic and financial situation

23. Participants expressed concern about the precarious economic and financial situation in the CAR and recalled the inseparable link between political stability and security, on the one hand, and the reactivation of the key sectors of the economy, on the other. They encouraged the transitional authorities to continue their efforts to mobilize domestic resources, particularly customs revenues, in full respect of financial best practice, in order to meet the expenses related to the functioning of the State.

24. Participants stressed that the restoration of lasting peace and stability in the CAR is contingent upon economic recovery, with concrete prospects for youth employment. In this context, they welcomed the pursuit, particularly in Bangui, of employment generating projects and their extension to other locations, inside the country. They also called for the multiplication of projects in the countryside, notably in the East and North East regions, which have an acute need of development.

25. Participants called upon the transitional authorities to further promote financial and economic governance, which is key to the restoration of confidence by the economic actors, the mobilization of new private investment, economic recovery, as well as the mobilization of the necessary international financial assistance. To this end, they requested the transitional authorities to implement the reforms related to economic and financial governance, including those aimed at the operationalization of the National Committee for the Strategic Coordination of Aid, the reestablishment of the Permanent Consultation Framework (CPC) between the public and private sectors, as well as the implementation of emergency and lasting recovery programmes.

26. Participants noted with satisfaction the external budget support provided to the CAR in 2014. They encouraged the friends and partners of the CAR, as well as the regional and international financial institutions, to pursue their support for the functioning and stability of the CAR State, in particular by ensuring that the 2015 financial needs are covered.

V. On the follow-up to the ICG-CAR meeting

27. Participants requested the International Mediation, with the support of the G8-CAR, to ensure the follow-up of the relevant provisions of the present Conclusions, particularly with regard to the conclusion of the process launched in Brazzaville, with the organization of the Bangui Forum, the elaboration of the new Constitution and the organization of the elections.

28. Participants requested the G8-CAR to prepare, within one week, a matrix on the implementation of the present Conclusions, for circulation to all the members of the ICG-CAR, as well as to submit monthly information briefs taking stock of the implementation of the agreed decisions.

VI. Thanks and next meeting

29. Participants thanked the CAR authorities for facilitating the smooth convening of the 6th meeting of the ICG-CAR and for the welcome accorded to them. They expressed their appreciation to the G8-CAR for the sound preparation of the meeting.

30. Participants agreed to convene their next meeting in Brazzaville, in February 2015, at a date to be fixed after consultations.

Nov 142014

NEW YORK, November 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist bomb attacks against the embassies of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates in Tripoli, Libya, on 13 Novem…

Nov 142014

NAIROBI, Kenya, November 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — A team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), led by Mauro Mecagni, visited Kenya during October 22−November 9, 2014. The mission reached staff-level agreement on a program that could be supported by the IMF through a Stand-By Arrangement and Stand-By Credit Facility (SBA/SCF).

Mr. Mecagni released the following statement at the end of the mission:

“Kenya’s economy remains robust, supported by strong credit growth and a dynamic investment environment. Inflation has declined in the last two months and remains within the government’s target range. A gradual depreciation of the Kenyan shilling mostly reflects developments in international currency markets, and international reserves stand at 4.9 months of prospective import coverage, boosted by proceeds from the successful June 2014 sovereign bond issuance. Investment in power generation, in particular in geothermal energy, is already translating into lower electricity costs for firms and households. However, difficult security conditions are having a dampening effect on the tourism sector.

“The initiation of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project is a major step for Kenya and for the region. It will boost integration across East Africa by reducing transport costs significantly, bringing down the cost of doing business and improving standards of living for the population, helping Kenya move closer to the medium-term goals outlined in its Vision 2030 plans. The SGR’s initial construction work will contribute to higher real GDP growth, projected to rise to 6.9 in 2015 from 5.3 percent in 2014. Imports of equipment for the SGR project combined with continued investment in oil exploration are expected to keep the external current account deficit relatively high at around 8½ percent of GDP in 2015, albeit a slight decline from a projected 9 percent deficit in 2014 thanks to lower international oil prices.

“Fiscal policy will aim at preserving debt sustainability while providing room for the execution of the SGR project. To accommodate additional investment spending, the government is committed to containing the wage bill over the medium term. Maintaining current spending under control and redoubling tax collection efforts will also release additional resources to bolster national security, expand the social safety net, and reduce the fiscal deficit over the medium term in line with the East African Community convergence criteria for monetary union. Prudent fiscal policies will also contribute to an orderly consolidation of devolution. Meanwhile, monetary policy will continue to aim at maintaining price stability in the context of a further strengthening of the CBK’s monetary framework.

“The mission and the Kenyan authorities reached staff level agreement on an economic program that could be supported by an SBA/SCF arrangement, which the authorities intend to treat as precautionary. This arrangement would serve an insurance purpose, providing Kenya with access to IMF resources in the event of exogenous shocks. The program would accommodate the SGR project and other initiatives launched by the government to remove hurdles to growth, while reducing vulnerabilities and preserving a sustainable debt position. The program builds on Kenya’s ambitious reform agenda by supporting successful fiscal devolution while strengthening fiscal risk assessments; reinforcing the coordination of debt, cash and liquidity management functions between the Treasury and the central bank; strengthening central bank independence; and improving the quality of economic statistics.

“The staff level agreement is subject to review by the IMF’s management and its Executive Board. Consideration by the Executive Board is tentatively scheduled for late January 2015.

“The mission met with Cabinet Secretary to the Treasury Henry Rotich, Principal Secretary to the Treasury Kamau Thugge, Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Njuguna Ndung’u, CBK Deputy Governor Haron Sirima, Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, members of the CBK Monetary Policy Committee, and other senior government officials.

“The mission team wishes to thank the authorities for their warm hospitality, the excellent collaboration, and the high-quality discussions”.