Oct 292014

NAIROBI, Kenya, October 29, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — H.E President Kenyatta and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to Inaugurate First Ministerial Forum on Sustainable Transport in Africa And Launch Pioneering Global Media Campaign to End Female Genital Mutilation

Thursday 30 October 8.45 am EAT – Journalists are requested to arrive by 8.15am

UN Compound, Gigiri,

**Bus will pick up journalists at 7.15am from Chester House, Nairobi CBD**

H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will inaugurate on Thursday the first Africa Sustainable Transport Forum – and the largest gathering of African Ministers of Transport and Environment at the United Nations Complex in Nairobi, Kenya.

Air pollution, rapid urbanization, road safety and sustainable fuels are just some of the issues that will be addressed by ministers and senior delegates from 42 African countries, as they draft an historic framework that is set to tackle Africa’s escalating transport crisis and chart new green pathways to sustainable transport.

The event, hosted by the Kenyan Government, is organized by the UN Environment Programme in corporation with UN-Habitat and the World Bank

There will be a Photo Opportunity with Ban Ki-moon, President Kenyatta, and 42 African Ministers/Heads of Delegations at 10am – at the main delegates’ staircase.

Following that, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will launch a pioneering global media campaign entitled End Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), accompanied by Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and Planning, Anne Waiguru.

Joining the inauguration will also be Maggie O’Kane from the Guardian Newspaper, a lead campaign partner and FGM survivor Kakenya Ntaiya .

The campaign recognizes the crucial role of the media in raising awareness about this serious issue.

Oct 282014

WASHINGTON, October 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Remarks

Anne C. Richard

Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration

Remarks at the First Regional Conference Dedicated to the Protection of Refugee Children and Adolescents

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

October 15, 2014

I would like to thank His Royal Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Al Qasimi, and High Commissioner Guterres for hosting this very important conference.

Children in the region confront horrors and hardships that almost defy belief. They have been blown apart by bombs at elementary schools, sold as sex slaves and forced to fight.

Millions of children have been driven from their homes in Syria. Recently hundreds of thousands have fled their homes in Iraq. I have met refugee children in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, and heard their harrowing stories.

I have also seen hundreds of refugee children who were bound for North Africa. They had walked from Eritrea to a camp in Ethiopia. Many were utterly alone. They had fled ruthless repression, hopelessness, and military service without end. But were about to continue northward, where smugglers and traffickers could easily kidnap, rob, rape them or send them off aboard unseaworthy boats to drown.

By cooperating more effectively, I believe we can offer more and better protection to these vulnerable refugee children and adolescents. So I am very pleased that we have gathered for this conference.

Meeting refugees’ basic needs – providing shelter, health care, and nutrition – is not enough. Children and adolescents need targeted aid that is tailored to their ages and needs, recognizes how vulnerable they are and how resilient they can be. These programs can change the trajectory of their lives.

The U.S. government supports the goals outlined in UNHCR’s 2012 Framework for the Protection of Children. Today I will focus on one of these goals, safety, and on the related issues of protecting girls, providing quality, education and proper documentation for refugee children.

Children continue to face danger, long after they flee from the bullets and the bombs. Often refugee children and adolescents shoulder burdens that they should not, because families are fractured, or because years of exile have stripped them of their money, their dignity, and their patience.

More and more children are working, often in jobs that jeopardize their health or their futures because their families need the cash.

Refugee girls and adolescents face sexual exploitation and abuse. Some of those who wield power over refugees have reportedly extorted sexual favors. Land lords, camp leaders, and as in crises elsewhere, even some of those charged with delivering aid.

Many Syrian refugee girls are not allowed to attend school or even leave their homes because it’s considered too dangerous. Women and girls may be reluctant to seek help when they are harassed. Adolescent girls who are harassed may themselves be blamed and punished by relatives for shaming their families. In part, because sexual abuse is such a danger, and in part because families are running out of money, girls are being forced to marry.

Studies show that in two years, the rate of child marriages among Syrian refugees in Jordan has doubled, and nearly half of these marriages pair girls with men at least a decade older. Child brides are more likely to drop out of school, have risky early pregnancies, and face domestic abuse, which endangers both them and their children.

Donors, aid agencies, and host governments can work together to help children be and feel safer. Specialized training can help aid workers care for and counsel children. Most aid groups know that we should not create redundant structures that run parallel to existing government institutions, but instead, improve government services to protect all children.

As humanitarians and donors, we must hold ourselves to the highest possible standard. Aid workers and others who are supposed to be helping refugees should NEVER – not ever – get away with sexually exploiting or abusing them. This is why codes of conduct and respect for the core principles of Preventing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse are so important. We can improve safeguards and mechanisms for reporting abuse and work together to bring perpetrators to justice.

Countries hosting refugee children can also consider tightening certain laws or stepping up enforcement of existing laws to prevent forced early marriage and the worst forms of child labor. Governments could ease the financial pressures on families that put children at risk. For instance, granting temporary work permits to adults – can make an enormous difference to children.

Access to good schools can insulate refugee children from all sorts of hazards. Parents who believe their children are learning something useful are less likely to urge them to drop out and go to work or get married. Being in school lowers the risk that children will be recruited to fight.

In addition, school can offer something precious to uprooted children: normalcy and social cohesion. Yet, after more than three years of warfare, three million children in Syria are no longer in school. More than half a million Syrian refugee children in neighboring countries face the same predicament. This includes half of all registered Syrian refugee children in Jordan and 80 percent of those in Lebanon.

Because schools are severely overcrowded, some communities have resorted to double-and even triple-shifts. Syrian children in Turkey and northern Iraq also struggle because they do not understand Turkish or Kurdish. The majority, who do not live in camps, have a much harder time enrolling in school. Some have missed too much school to go back. Some are too traumatized to concentrate and learn.

Education is also under siege in Iraq and Gaza. In parts of Iraq, more than 2,000 schools now house families forced to flee the mayhem unleashed by ISIL extremists. After the recent fighting, many schools in Gaza are either damaged or destroyed or continue to shelter displaced civilians.

Many of your governments are pouring enormous effort and resources into accommodating the huge influx of refugee children. The No Lost Generation initiative has helped to nearly triple the number of Syrian children receiving education in neighboring countries. The United States is committing millions of dollars for education programs through organizations like UNICEF, UNHCR, UNRWA, and international non-governmental organizations.

The international community supports steps to broaden access further by making it easier to register for school or earn certificates or other credentials. Innovative solutions including non-traditional education can fill gaps. For example, UNRWA is broadcasting school lessons on satellite television and YouTube to reach its students in Syria who are unable to attend school.

We can help children feel safer in school and on the way there. Children too emotionally distraught to pay attention may benefit from counseling. Additional training can help teachers to recognize and assist them. Our projects should not only help refugees but also build social cohesion between refugee and host communities by meeting both groups’ needs.

Finally, I would like to talk about my third topic: the legal documents every child needs to be recognized as a person. We are at risk of creating a generation of stateless children. This is because many refugee children are not registered at birth and because nationality laws in several countries in the region bar women from conferring their nationality to their children.

Every year, thousands of Syrian refugee children are born without documentation, and without fathers on hand to help secure their nationality. Without birth registration, these children may not be able to enroll in school or gain access to vital services. Worse still, they become particularly vulnerable to the type of exploitation we’ve already discussed today: to child labor, child marriage, and other forms of gender-based violence. This lack of birth registration can haunt refugee children for the rest of their lives.

In 2011, the U.S. Department of State launched an initiative to promote women’s equal right to nationality. It seeks legal reforms in the 27 countries where women lack this right, and pushes for registration of all children at birth.

Some countries have taken important steps to remove barriers to registration.

Jordan, for example, is establishing satellite offices of its Civil Service Department in major refugee camps, and waiving certain deadlines and fees for birth registration.

We know that children are resilient. If someone stands up for them, protects them, teaches them, while they are still young they can heal, and learn. The demands are so great and the stakes so high that we must not falter, or waste precious resources or miss opportunities to cooperate. I am grateful to be here, to share our perspectives and to hear yours as we work together to help the region’s children.

Thank you very much.

Oct 282014

DUBLIN, Ireland, October 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Africa Ireland Economic Forum takes place from 29 – 30 October 2014. The forum is an opportunity for Irish business to connect with African partners to explore opportunities for mutually-beneficial trade and investment. Total merchandise trade between Ireland and Africa increased by 35% from 2010-2013, from just over €1.7bn to over €2.3bn.

This year the forum will focus on Transformation through Technology and the new business and employment opportunities being created by technology, particularly mobile technology which is transforming the way ideas are communicated and business is conducted across Africa. Among the speakers are Simon Milner, ‎Policy Director, UK, Middle East and Africa, Facebook and Dr. Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa.

You are invited to send a representative.

Wednesday 29 October:

Iveagh House, 80 St Stephens Green, 18.00.

Opening of the Africa Ireland Economic Forum 2014 and the launch of Irish Exporters Association Africa Business Forum.

Thursday 30 October:

UCD School of Business, Blackrock.

Africa Ireland Economic Forum – see full schedule here.

The Africa Ireland Economic Forum is co-hosted by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and the African Diplomatic Corps in Ireland. The forum is an opportunity for Irish business to connect with African partners to explore opportunities for mutually beneficial trade and investment. The AIEF is Ireland’s largest annual Africa-focussed economic event and is in its fourth year.

Ireland’s relations with African countries are becoming much broader, encompassing strong political, economic, and development connections. President Michael D Higgins will travel to Ethiopia, Malawi and South Africa next month.

Trade, investment and business connections between Ireland and Africa are growing.

Current trade between Ireland and Africa:

• Total merchandise trade between Ireland and Africa increased by 35% from 2010-2013, from just over €1.7bn to just over €2.3bn.

• Exports from Ireland increased by approximately 25% while imports from sub-Saharan African countries doubled.

• Total services trade in 2012 was €1.7bn in 2012. (figures for 2013 not yet available).

• African partners identify job creation, foreign direct investment, trade, indigenous enterprise and private sector development as key drivers of development.

Opportunities for Irish businesses in Africa

• From the Irish perspective, Africa can no longer be viewed as a marginal player in economic terms, with growth rates across the continent for 2013 averaging at 4.8% for 2013 and projections for 2014 at 5.1%.

• Ireland has just re-opened an embassy in Kenya, meaning we are now represented in the strongest economies of West, East and Southern Africa – Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. There are now 12 Embassies in Africa.

• Officers in Embassies in Africa have been designated as Trade Focal Points and these Embassies are working to identify and foster opportunities for Irish businesses to grow expand and grow their business in Africa. Examples include Ethiopia, where the Embassy has assisted companies facing market access issues; Kenya, where the Embassy in Dar-es-Salaam (then accredited to Kenya) was at the forefront of the establishment of the Kenya Irish Business Network; and Uganda, where the Embassy is actively supporting Traidlinks in their work with the private sector in the country.

The Africa Ireland Economic Forum speakers:

Seán Sherlock TD, Minister of State for Development, Trade Promotion and North South Cooperation

Dr. Carlos Lopes Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa http://www.uneca.org/

TMS Ruge, CEO Raintree Farms, Founder remit.ug and Hive Colab

Simon Milner, ‎Policy Director, UK, Middle East and Africa, Facebook

Nora Owen, Chair, Irish Aid Expert Advisory Group, former TD and Minister

Simon McKeever, Chief Executive, Irish Exporters Association

David Butler, Director, Sustainable Food Systems Ireland

More information: https://www.dfa.ie/aief/ #AIEF14

Oct 282014

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, October 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Michael Gahler (EPP, DE), head of the European Parliament delegation observing the parliamentary elections in Tunisia, on Tuesday welcomed the “remarkable success of the Independent High Authority for the Elections, which organised a transparent, professional poll in a very short space of time.”

Speaking in Tunis at Tuesday’s press conference by the head of the EU Election Observation Mission, Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck (ADLE, BE), Mr Gahler praised the

“frank and open” dialogue with the leaders of the main political parties in discussions with the EP delegation. He underlined their commitment to “recognising the legitimacy of the electoral process and the outcome of the poll”.

“On polling day, 26 October, the EP delegation observed that officials from the political parties and national observers were present at the polling stations it visited, which is a key condition for any democratic election,” Mr Gahler said.

“Nonetheless, my colleagues and I had the impression that not many young people turned out to vote despite the fact that there were a number of young people among the observers from the political parties and the national observers,” he added.

The EP delegation noted reports that Tunisians voting abroad experienced some difficulties in some EU countries, although the EU’s election observation mission did not follow polling outside Tunisia.

Mr Gahler concluded: “These parliamentary elections are the first stage and will be followed by presidential elections. It is now up to Tunisia’s new parliament to meet the democratic and social aspirations of the Tunisian people. The new Assembly of People’s Representatives, as well as Tunisian civil society, can count on the continued commitment of the European Union and in particular the European Parliament.”

Mr Gahler headed the seven-member delegation from the European Parliament which also included: Antonio PanzerI (S&D, IT), Elena Valenciano Martínez-Orozco (S&D, ES), Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE/NGL, FR), Jordi Sebastià (Greens/EFA, ES), Fabio Massimo Castaldo (EFDD, IT) and Nicolas Bay (NI, FR).

Tunisie: chef de la délégation du PE salue un processus électoral transparent et professionnel

Michael GAHLER (PPE, DE), chef de la délégation du Parlement européen à la mission d’observation électorale des élections législatives en Tunisie, a salué ce mardi à Tunis le “travail remarquable effectué par l’Instance Supérieure Indépendante pour les Elections qui a réussi à organiser un processus électoral transparent et professionnel, et ce dans des délais très courts.”

S’exprimant lors de la conférence de presse de la chef observatrice de la Mission d’observation des élections de l’Union européenne Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck (ADLE, BE), M. Gahler s’est également réjouit du “dialogue franc et ouvert” établi avec les dirigeants des principaux partis politiques que la délégation du Parlement européen a rencontrés. Il a souligné que ces derniers s’étaient engagés “à reconnaître la légitimité du processus électoral et à respecter le résultat des urnes.”

“Sur le déroulement de la journée électorale du 26 octobre, la délégation du Parlement européen a constaté la présence de délégués des partis politiques et d’observateurs nationaux dans les bureaux de vote qu’elle a visités, ce qui est un élément-clé de toute élection démocratique,” a aussi affirmé M. Gahler.

“Mes collègues parlementaires et moi-même avons cependant eu l’impression de voir peu de jeunes parmi les votants, alors qu’il nous a semblé que les jeunes étaient bien présents parmi les observateurs des partis politiques et les observateurs nationaux,” a-t-il ajouté.

Même si l’Union européenne n’a pas observé le vote des Tunisiens à l’étranger, la délégation du Parlement européen a pris note des informations concernant des difficultés de cet exercice dans certains pays de l’UE.

“Ces élections législatives constituent une première étape et seront suivies par les élections présidentielles. Il appartient à présent aux nouveaux élus de répondre aux aspirations démocratiques et sociales du peuple tunisien. La nouvelle Assemblée des représentants du peuple, mais aussi la société civile tunisienne peuvent compter, pour ce faire, sur l’engagement continu de l’Union européenne et en particulier de son Parlement,” a conclu M. Gahler.

M. Gahler s’est exprimé au nom des sept membres de la délégation du Parlement européen, composée de Antonio PANZERI (S&D, IT), Elena VALENCIANO MARTÍNEZ-OROZCO (S&D, ES), Marie-Christine VERGIAT (GUE/NGL, FR), Jordi SEBASTIÀ (Verts/ALE, ES), Fabio Massimo CASTALDO (EFDD, IT) et Nicolas BAY (NI, FR).

Oct 282014

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, October 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Secretary-General’s remarks to the press

I am pleased to be here with the African Union Commission to discuss an issue of national, regional and global concerns to us all — the world’s response to Ebola.

With Dr. Zumba and President Kim and other partner organizations, we had extensive discussions on how our three organizations our three organizations – the United Nations, AU and the World Bank — and other partners organizations and multilateral banks, development banks can help the international community’s efforts to address the Ebola outbreak.

We are also here this week to discuss regional economic and social development issues, the important role being played by the Horn of Africa Development Initiative and regional security issues.

I thank Chairperson Dr. Zuma for convening this important meeting to exchange views on the Ebola epidemic, especially in light of her recent return from the region. I commend her initiative in visiting the three affected countries and am keen to hear her impressions and recommendations on the way forward.

Let me begin by offering my condolences for those whose lives have been taken by this unforgiving disease.

The world is facing an unprecedented Ebola outbreak.

Although your region remains unaffected, there have been more than 10,000 cases and 4,900 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Transmission of the virus continues to outpace the response effort of the international community.

Ebola is a major global crisis that demands a massive and immediate global response.

No country or organization can defeat Ebola alone. We all have a role to play.

This is why effective regional partnerships are so vital in this battle.

I was also very heartened to learn of the recent pledges by African nations, most recently Ethiopia, Burundi and Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to deploy medical personnel. Regional solidarity is crucial, and I salute their courage and dedication.

I am particularly encouraged by the decision of Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to deploy medical personnel, and of Senegal to serve as a logistics hub for the response, following success in containing their own outbreaks.

We have much to learn from their experience.

I thank the Chairperson for her leadership in galvanizing efforts in the region, including through the deployment of the African Union Support to the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa mission. I encourage this mission to coordinate closely with the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response, or UNMEER.

I assure you of the UN’s support to the success of your mission.

The affected countries have demonstrated great resilience. But they have asked the United Nations for assistance.

We are mobilizing rapidly to deploy resources and personnel.

I have established UNMEER to coordinate and augment the response, under the leadership of my Special Representative, Mr. Banbury. I am most grateful to Ghana for its willingness to host UNMEER.

My Special Envoy, Dr. David Nabarro, is working to galvanize international action. He is here with me today and will have additional consultations with African Union Chairperson.

The United Nations has a clear plan and is executing it in cooperation with its partners, such as the African Union, and in support of the governments of affected countries.

The gravity of the outbreak deserves our full attention.

However, it is also critical to remain calm.

We must convey a sense of urgency without inciting panic.

Some countries have imposed travel bans or closed their borders.

But this will only isolate the affected countries, and obstruct our response efforts. The only way to stop Ebola is to stop it at its source.

Yesterday, I issued a strong statement about quarantines which are not based on scientific evidence. And this will only hamper our efforts and will also undermine such a strong commitment by many health workers who are willing ready to visit and help the people on the ground.

I thank the African Union for its strong and consistent position on this point. I ask you continue to appeal to your member states not to impose travel restrictions or close their borders, but rather to deploy the essential human resources that will help to contain the outbreak.

We urgently need more trained foreign medical teams to deploy to the region.

I am in constant contact with world leaders to help us create dedicated medical facilities for in-country treatment of responders and to put in place medical evacuation mechanisms. These measures will further encourage qualified medical personnel to deploy to the region.

We have a long way ahead to contain and curb the Ebola outbreak and to help the affected countries rebuild their health systems to better withstand future shocks.

The longer the epidemic rages, the greater the risk of spread to other countries. Mali is the latest example in this regard. The importance of bolstering the preparedness of other countries in the region cannot be overstated.

I will continue to count on the African Union’s leadership.

I look forward to discussing how the United Nations can help.

Thank you very much.

Q: I am the CCTV Correspondent. Two questions. In principle, every country in the world or the UN or everyone else understands that there is an aggressive demand for health workers in West Africa. But in response that is not happening. What is keeping countries to do that? Second question: this is a wake up call for everyone that the countries have poor infrastructures. Are you preparing yourself to prevent this kind of catastrophe in the future by helping African countries?

SG: Let me add to this eloquent, passionate commitment by the President of the World Bank. I fully agreed with what Dr. Kim just said and also I am very much encouraged that the African Union is now showing solidarity for all this African crisis. But this is more than an African crisis. It has become a global crisis which requires a global response, a massive global response. That is why I am here – to work with the African Union, to show my strong solidarity. I am very much encouraged by what Dr. Zuma has just said – that in addition to sending an African Union mission to the affected countries, they are going to have the mobilization of business leadership of Africa. Of course, the United Nations, World Bank and other international development banks like the African development bank, the Islamic Development Bank and other partners like the European Union will continue to mobilize resources, financial and logistic[al]. But it is very important to show that solidarity by the African leaders, political and business and civil society.

Addressing the second question about the infrastructures, if you look at the current health systems of those three countries, you will immediately understand why Ebola has taken place [as] an outbreak in these three countries. Those countries have either just graduated from many years of long civil strife, civil war and political instability, or in the case of Liberia, we still have one of the big peacekeeping missions still there. In the course of this political instability and civil war, they couldn’t invest in strengthening their capacity in health systems. The sheer numbers of medical doctors in those countries is just unbelievably low. Therefore, while as Dr. Kim said, we have to put out this fire, burning fire, we have to think about the mid and longer term views, perspectives to strengthen their health systems, their capacity. This is what the United Nations is going to work [on], together with WHO and others. This should be much more important. But at this time, we have to treat the patients and we have to stop this virus and prevent the further spread of this virus — going to neighboring countries or other parts of the world. This is what UNMEER [the United Nations Mission for Emergency Ebola response] is now doing. As you now, the General Assembly of the United Nations has taken an unprecedented way of establishing UNMEER. This mission will coordinate and cooperate with the African Union mission on the ground and also coordinate and cooperate with all our partners who will support from outside the region and inside the region. You can count on the United Nations’ strong commitment to eliminate this virus as soon as possible. Thank you.

Q: [inaudible on China's contribution and on a possible visit to West Africa]

SG: Thank you, I will try to answer these two questions. For the first part of your question, Dr. Kim and I have explained at length. The basic priority proposal is that our mission, UNMEER, first stops this virus, second, treat the affected persons, thirdly, ensure that essential services will be provided, fourth, preserve the security and the stability of the countries affected, fifth, to prevent further spread of this Ebola to neighboring countries and outside of the continent. On all those five priorities, the United Nations is exerting all possible efforts whether it is financial or logistical support. I deeply appreciate many countries who have shown such strong support for humanity. Since you have asked about China’s support, I have discussed at length with Chinese President and Chinese Premier on several occasions. Even just few days [ago], I had a telephone call with Premier ???. I met twice and discussed Ebola with President ??. They have send hundreds – a minimum of 200 I think—health workers. China was one of the first countries to have dispatched all this logistical support, including medical equipment. And I count on China’s continued support. We need much much more [inaudible] support at this time. When this Ebola outbreak happened, I and Dr. Nabarro were emphasizing that we needed really 20-fold assistance. Now with all these immediate and urgent actions we have taken, I think our missions are now up and running. I have deployed, in addition to UNMEER in Accra which will work as a regional headquarter, I have also deployed three missions in the countries affected, with an Assistant Secretary-General level in charge. And we will continue to do that.

[On the] second question about my visit to West Africa, indeed I planed to visit West Africa around this time but I decided to postpone a little bit to find a better timing.

As you know, UNMEER was established less than a month ago and they are overburdened. The first priority is to coordinate and support the people who need our support. Had I been there, at this time, there would be lots of logistics, logistics would be taken and their very valuable time and energy will be distracted and will have to be diverted. And more importantly, I really wanted to have some closer coordination with the African Union first and other international multilateral development banks who are joining here – and I really appreciate your strong support. And now I am discussing this matter with Special Envoy, Dr. Nabarro, and Tony Banbury — when would be the most opportune timing for me to visit and meet the people and leaders of the three countries. As you may now, even before going there, I had been in constant contact with the leaders of these three counties. I have convened a summit meeting on Ebola at the United Nations on 25 September. All the leaders participated either via video or in the person. And World Bank convened another such meeting, high level meeting, in Washington, D.C. I am constant contact daily with all world leaders, including the leadership of the affected countries. I will continue to do that and I will try to set a date at an appropriate time.

Thank you.

Oct 282014

GENEVA, Switzerland, October 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Since the beginning of the Ebola crisis in West Africa, FIFA has been in regular contact with the World Health Organisation (WHO) reviewing the impact of Ebola Virus Disease (E…

Oct 282014

CONAKRY, Guinea, October 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — SkyVision Global Networks Ltd. (http://www.skyvision.net), a global leader in communications has announced today that it has made a generous donation to the National Commission against Ebola in Guinea.

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

Photo 1: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/141028.jpg

Photo 2: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1448 (Ori Watermann, SkyVision CEO)

“We have strong ties across the African continent, with partners and regional offices throughout the region, including an office in Guinea, making this cause particularly close to our hearts. It is a troubling time for our customers and businesses alike, therefore, SkyVision stepped forward and took the opportunity to help.” Commented SkyVision CEO, Ori Watermann.

This commission was set up by the Guinean government, in order to respond to the threat of the Ebola outbreak across the region. Guinea, which has been one of the worst hit areas from this spreading virus, has dealt with the outbreak in a number of ways. Initially flights were cancelled temporarily to surrounding areas, in order to stem the flow of the virus. The Commission also set up emergency units across hospitals in the area and trained rapid response staff to be able to manage the patients and also reach out to those people that had come in to contact with the infected people during the 21 day incubation process, in order to test and isolate them.

According to the Chairman of the Commission, Mr Bangoura, “We are most grateful for the invaluable help that SkyVision has given to assist the fight against Ebola. The fund will be used to cover expenses and the needs of Ebola patients and affected families. News of this generous donation has also been featured on local news in Guinea.”

“This donation is proof of our commitment to providing wellness to communities across Africa. Our Corporate Social Responsibility engages us to create and sustain positive values in areas we operate in. We hope the affected areas by the Ebola virus will soon recover from this epidemic” said Mr Aboubacar Kourouma, General Manager, SkyVision Guinea office.

Emergency equipment became an absolute necessity as the commission invested in ambulances, hospital equipment and even detection units for airports, capable of detecting fever in passengers that passed through.

Unfortunately there is currently no known cure or vaccine to protect against Ebola and no known treatment once someone has caught it, so the emphasis lies on the isolation of known carriers and the immediate testing of potential victims. However these victims that do manage to get to a special treatment center as soon as possible have a much greater chance of survival.

With a strong local presence across Africa and despite the Ebola outbreak, SkyVision is determined to continue serving the African nation and to do everything in its power to assist local businesses and their well-being.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of SkyVision Global Networks Ltd.

For more information, contact:

Iris Tovim

Marketing Communications Director

SkyVision Global Networks

+44 20 8387 1750


About SkyVision

SkyVision (http://www.skyvision.net) is a global communications service provider, offering comprehensive, integrated solutions to meet all corporate, government and telco market requirements. With an emphasis on its customers’ local or regional requirements, SkyVision offers superior network connectivity solutions. Known for its innovative approach, the company offers an extensive suite of both customized solutions and industry-standard services for end-to-end IP connectivity (http://www.skyvision.net/enterprise-solutions), managed from its international gateways and selected local hubs. SkyVision’s global-reaching network connects its customers to the Internet backbone with more than ten satellite platforms and a network of high-capacity fiber optic cables, via its gateways in Africa, Europe, North America and the Middle East as well as multiple points of presence (POPs) in Africa. SkyVision currently commands a satellite and fiber network IP connectivity spanning 100 countries (http://www.skyvision.net/service/fiber-solutions). The company’s C-Band and Ku-Band VSAT network solutions (http://www.skyvision.net/services/lobby2/Internet%20Connectivity) draw on SkyVision’s extensive space segment inventory from leading satellite providers and its capacity is carefully tailored to customers’ individual needs for optimal cost-effectiveness. Visit http://www.skyvision.net.

Oct 282014

GENEVA, Switzerland, October 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM Zambia, with support from the IOM Development Fund, is building the capacity of the Zambia Prisons Service to protect the rights of migrants in detention.

Estimates indicate that Zambian prisons currently host more than 260 men, women and children who are detained on a broad range of immigration-related offenses.

Irregular migrants are often placed in detention alongside convicted criminals and many immigration detainees who have served the entirety of their sentence are forced to remain in detention due to limited resources for their return to countries of origin.

Beyond this abuse of their human rights, these practices contribute to congestion in Zambia’s already overcrowded detention facilities.

The Zambia Prisons Service asked for IOM’s help to build the capacity of its officers to implement a set of “Tools for the Protection of Vulnerable Migrants”. These tools – produced with support from IOM, UNICEF and UNHCR in 2014 – set out standards for improved identification, referral and overall management of “vulnerable migrant” cases.

IOM has now trained 22 prison officers from across Zambia who work directly with vulnerable migrants in the course of their duties. The training – aimed at creating awareness and providing practical guidance for prison officers on international and national legislative provisions related to the protection of vulnerable migrants in Zambia – took place in Lusaka this month.

“With technical and material support from IOM, the Zambia Prisons Service will be better placed to manage data on migrants in detention and to identify, assess and refer vulnerable migrants to protective services,” said Zambia Prisons Service Commissioner Percy K. Chato

Oct 282014

GENEVA, Switzerland, October 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM Zambia, with support from the IOM Development Fund, is building the capacity of the Zambia Prisons Service to protect the rights of migrants in detention.

Estimates indicate that Zambian prisons currently host more than 260 men, women and children who are detained on a broad range of immigration-related offenses.

Irregular migrants are often placed in detention alongside convicted criminals and many immigration detainees who have served the entirety of their sentence are forced to remain in detention due to limited resources for their return to countries of origin.

Beyond this abuse of their human rights, these practices contribute to congestion in Zambia’s already overcrowded detention facilities.

The Zambia Prisons Service asked for IOM’s help to build the capacity of its officers to implement a set of “Tools for the Protection of Vulnerable Migrants”. These tools – produced with support from IOM, UNICEF and UNHCR in 2014 – set out standards for improved identification, referral and overall management of “vulnerable migrant” cases.

IOM has now trained 22 prison officers from across Zambia who work directly with vulnerable migrants in the course of their duties. The training – aimed at creating awareness and providing practical guidance for prison officers on international and national legislative provisions related to the protection of vulnerable migrants in Zambia – took place in Lusaka this month.

“With technical and material support from IOM, the Zambia Prisons Service will be better placed to manage data on migrants in detention and to identify, assess and refer vulnerable migrants to protective services,” said Zambia Prisons Service Commissioner Percy K. Chato

Oct 282014

GENEVA, Switzerland, October 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Regional Committee on Mixed Migration for the Horn of Africa and Yemen is today holding its 4th annual meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The two-day meeting, hosted by Ethiopia, aims to improve multi-state collaboration to make and endorse recommendations that will serve as a roadmap for influencing policies affecting migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in the region.

“The Regional Committee provides a unique platform for government actors to discuss cross-border issues related to migration, at a time when coordinated action is needed to save lives,” said IOM’s Regional Project Coordinator for Mixed Migration Craig Murphy.

Based on recommendations from the 2013 committee meeting held in Nairobi, Kenya, 2014’s meeting focuses on three key areas: Migration & Health, Migration Data Analysis, and Environmental Migration.

Committee members at the Addis Ababa meeting will include Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, Somaliland, Puntland and Yemen. Observers will include the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union (AU).

Observer state embassies including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Sudan, South Sudan and Egypt also will attend, together with IOM, UNHCR, the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat (RMMS), ILO, and other partner organizations and donors.

The Horn of Africa has unique migration challenges. Every month thousands of irregular migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers cross borders to escape conflict, drought and economic difficulties.

Migrants make the journey from their places of origin through Puntland and Somaliland to Djibouti and across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen and the Gulf States. En route many perish, disappear or face grave human rights violations.

Between January and September 2014, 61,224 migrants arrived in Yemen from the Horn of Africa via the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. This year there have been 215 migrant deaths in the Red Sea, more than during the past three years combined.

The Regional Committee continues to place emphasis on strategic regional governmental initiatives that will ensure increased protection of migrants’ rights and a reduction in the number of lives lost.

Oct 282014

GENEVA, Switzerland, October 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Following the outbreak of large-scale violence in early 2013, most schools throughout the Central African Republic (CAR) were closed. They have remained closed now for well over a year, but the Ministry of Education and the UNICEF-led education cluster plan to gradually reopen them across the country starting next month.

IOM is actively supporting the return to school project through activities funded by the European Union (EU) as part of the project entitled: “Community stabilization and early recovery for at-risk communities in Bangui”. This project supports activities including cash-for-work schemes targeting the most vulnerable people across the capital.

IOM this week established work teams in the 1st and 2nd districts to clean classrooms and school yards of debris and overgrowth. The teams are also doing small-scale repairs, including fixing front gates, doors, roofs and guttering as needed and in coordination with the education-cluster actors.

The work teams consist of 50 people for each school, recruited in close coordination with local authorities. They include vulnerable people from each district with a special focus on people who either graduated or left the schools being reopened. Team members will work in 10-day rotations earning roughly USD 50 per rotation.

While the work will start in the 1st and 2nd districts, it will gradually expand to all schools identified by the Ministry of Education as suitable and safe for reopening.

“I used to come to this school until it was closed in February 2012. Now I am glad to see that classes are scheduled to restart,” said Beatrice, 27, a mother of three, who is helping to prepare the Ecole Centre Fille in Bangui’s 1st district for the return of students.

Since its inception in March 2014, IOM’s EU-funded community stabilization project has supported over 6,200 beneficiaries through its cash-for-work project activities. Cash-for-work rotations support community-based infrastructure rehabilitation projects identified by communities and local or national administration. To date, cash-for-work teams have facilitated the cleaning and closure of several displacement sites, hospitals, markets, canals and more than 14km of rain gutters in the 3rd and 5th districts.

The initiative to reopen the schools follows three weeks of increased tension in Bangui, which has displaced some 4,000 people. Due to the volatile situation, schools will only be reopened based on individual evaluations of each school and the local security situation. All of IOM’s activities are being closely coordinated with the local authorities, the security sector and the UNICEF-led education cluster.

Oct 282014

LAGOS, Nigeria, October 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) (http://www.alcatel-lucent.com) is opening up Africa’s most populous nation to the benefits of ultra-broadband connectivity by launching a superfast, 100 gigabit-per-second fiber-optic network with MTN Nigeria, a subsidiary of Dubai-based MTN Group and the leading service provider in Africa.

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

MTN Nigeria, which covers more than almost 90 percent of Nigeria’s land mass, will deploy a 100G network that re-uses existing 10G optical assets thereby preserving MTN past investments while ensuring future proof and state of art solution.

Nigeria’s growing economy is fueling a proliferation of mobile subscribers, which number about 275 to every one landline in the country. As a result, Nigeria has a significant need for reliable, mobile broadband access to support growing demand for bandwidth hungry services such as streaming video plus the ever-increasing need from enterprises for storage and data center connections. The new network also gives MTN the capacity and flexibility to offer wholesale services to other service providers in the region.

Key Facts:

• MTN Nigeria is the biggest mobile operator in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, and West Africa region with more than 58 million subscribers and also is the largest subsidiary in the MTN Group – a multinational telecommunications group offering world-class cellular network access and business solutions to more than 210 million subscribers in 22 countries across Africa and the Middle East.

• MTN Nigeria’s network covers 88.8 percent of the country’s land mass giving 86.2 percent of the population access to mobile services.

• Alcatel-Lucent is supporting MTN Nigeria’s rapid growth in mobile subscribers by building a 100G DWDM/OTN network using Alcatel-Lucent’s 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) platform, a family of equipment that has been designed according to the latest international SD-FEC zero touch photonics and coherent technology.

Alcatel-Lucent Agile Optical Networking combines WDM, OTN, and GMPLS/ASON control plane intelligence to assure scalable, versatile, reliable and efficient transport at 100G and beyond.Quotes:

Lynda Saint-Nwafor, CTO of MTN Nigeria said: “MTN realized we needed to upgrade our network to meet customer expectations for ultra-broadband connectivity and high reliability within Nigeria’s very competitive marketplace. We wanted a state of the art solution that met three main criteria: increased network reliability, a high degree of scalability to prepare the network for 400G and beyond, and preservation of our existing 10G investment. Alcatel-Lucent’s demonstrations showed that they could meet all of our criteria and we look forward to deploying the network overlay in 2014.”

Hatim Zougari, Country Senior Officer of Alcatel-Lucent in Nigeria, said: “We knew that MTN’s top priority was to provide reliability to their customers but they also wanted to offer ultra-broadband and they wanted to retain usefulness of as much of their legacy network as possible. We were able to show that we can give them a cost-effective solution that accomplishes all of their goals in a way that no one else could.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Alcatel-Lucent.

MTN Press contact:

Fundo Aina, PR and Protocol Manager

M: +234 8032004168

Email : funsoa@mtnnigeria.net


SIMON POULTER simon.poulter@alcatel-lucent.com T : +33 (0)1 40 76 50 84

SHERINE AZIEZ sherine.aziez@alcatel-lucent.com T : +213 770 968 348


MARISA BALDO marisa.baldo@alcatel-lucent.com T : + 33 (0) 1 4076 1120

JACQUES-OLIVIER VALLET jacques-olivier.vallet@alcatel-lucent.com T : +33 (0)1 40 76 12 49

TOM BEVILACQUA thomas.bevilacqua@alcatel-lucent.com T : + 1 908-582-7998

Additional Resources:

• 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS): http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/products/1830-photonic-service-switch

• 1830 PSS Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alcatel-lucent/sets/72157633002583988/with/8560053764/

About MTN Nigeria:

MTN Nigeria is part of the MTN Group, Africa’s leading cellular telecommunications company. On May 16, 2001, MTN became the first GSM network to make a call following the globally lauded Nigerian GSM auction conducted by the Nigerian Communications Commission earlier in the year. Thereafter the company launched full commercial operations beginning with Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. MTN paid $285m for one of four GSM licenses in Nigeria in January 2001. To date, in excess of US$12 billion has been invested building mobile telecommunications infrastructure in Nigeria. Since launch in August 2001, MTN has steadily deployed its services across Nigeria. It now provides services in 223 cities and towns, more than 10,000 villages and communities and a growing number of highways across the country, spanning the 36 states of the Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Many of these villages and communities are being connected to the world of telecommunications for the first time ever. The company’s digital microwave transmission backbone, the 3,400 Kilometre Y’elloBahn was commissioned by President Olusegun Obasanjo in January 2003 and is reputed to be the most extensive digital microwave transmission infrastructure in all of Africa. The Y’elloBahn has significantly helped to enhance call quality on MTN network.

With over 58 million subscribers, MTN Nigeria Communications Limited (MTNN) provides cellular network access and ICT solutions to millions of Nigerians, connecting whole communities with each other and with the rest of the world. It is also the largest subsidiary in the MTN Group – a multinational telecommunications group offering world-class cellular network access and business solutions to over 210 million subscribers in 22 countries across Africa and the Middle East. For more information please visit: http://www.mtnonline.com/


We are at the forefront of global communications, providing products and innovations in IP and cloud networking, as well as ultra-broadband fixed and wireless access to service providers and their customers, and to enterprises and institutions throughout the world. Underpinning us in driving the industrial transformation from voice telephony to high-speed digital delivery of data, video and information is Bell Labs, an integral part of the Group and one of the world’s foremost technology research institutes, responsible for countless breakthroughs that have shaped the networking and communications industry. Our innovations have resulted in our Group being recognized by Thomson Reuters as a Top 100 Global Innovator, as well as being named by MIT Technology Review as amongst 2012’s Top 50 “World’s Most Innovative Companies”. We have also been recognized for innovation in sustainability, being named Industry Group Leader in the Technology Hardware & Equipment sector in the 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices review, for making global communications more sustainable, affordable and accessible, all in pursuit of the Group’s mission to realize the potential of a connected world.

With revenues of Euro 14.4 billion in 2013, Alcatel-Lucent is listed on the Paris and New York stock exchanges (Euronext and NYSE: ALU). The company is incorporated in France and headquartered in Paris.

For more information, visit Alcatel-Lucent on: http://www.alcatel-lucent.com, read the latest posts on the Alcatel-Lucent blog http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/blog and follow the Company on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Alcatel_Lucent.