Inception Workshop for the African Union- FAO Technical Cooperation Project (TCP) on Ending Hunger in the Horn of Africa: Moving from Rhetoric to Action

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INVITATION TO REPRESENTATIVES OF THE MEDIA

What: Inception Workshop for the African Union- FAO Technical Cooperation Project (TCP) on Ending Hunger in the Horn of Africa: Moving from Rhetoric to Action.

When: 28 – 29th June, 2016

Who: African Union Commission and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations

Where: African Union Commission New Conference Centre, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Background: In the Horn of Africa, the recurring and severe droughts and other natural disasters have over the years caused widespread famine, ecological degradation and economic hardship. Although individual countries made substantial efforts to cope with the situation and received support from the international community, there are still signs that the problem is still far from over. Some researchers and experts in disaster analysis and early warning have argued strongly for a regional approach to supplement national efforts. The attention given to the 2011 humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa led to a reassessment of intent and priorities among governments, donors and implementing partners so that more emphasis would be given to addressing the underlying causes of food insecurity and malnutrition in the entire Horn of Africa.

Subsequently, in June 2014, the African Union Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, endorsed the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods. One of the main tenets of the Declaration is the “Commitment to Ending Hunger in Africa by 2025.”

Furthermore, FAO’s regional initiative on Africa’s Renewed Commitment to End Hunger by 2025 aims to support and capacitate governments to engage in multi-sectoral planning, coordinated implementation, monitoring and evaluation of financial commitments to food security and nutrition policies and programmes under the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).

As a result of these and other efforts to end hunger and build resilience in the Horn of Africa and the need to translate these commitments into action on the ground, the African Union Commission and the FAO Sub-regional Office for Eastern Africa (SFE) through FAO’s Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP), have developed a project titled, Ending Hunger in the Horn of Africa: Moving from Rhetoric to Action. This is a one year project aimed at catalyzing concrete action on the ground to end hunger and domesticate the Malabo Declaration in six (6) Horn of Africa countries, namely; Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda.

Objectives: The overall workshop objectives will be to introduce the project on Ending Hunger in the Horn of Africa: Moving from Rhetoric to Action and also to discuss and review the project work plan and key activities to ensure smooth implementation in the target countries and across the Horn of Africa.

Participants: The participants will be drawn from the AUC, FAO, Regional Economic Communities, representatives from Ministries of Agriculture in the Horn of Africa and other technical and development organizations.

Journalists are invited to cover the opening ceremony on June 28, 2016 at 09:00 a.m.

Distributed by APO on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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AU Launches Kenya Internet Exchange Point of Presence in Mombasa: “Keeping intra-regional internet traffic within the region”

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The African Union Commission (AUC), through the Infrastructure and Energy Department, in collaboration with the Ministry of Information, Communications & Technology of Kenya launched the Kenya Internet Exchange Point of Presence in Mombasa on 23rd June 2016.

Through the African Internet Exchange System (AXIS) project of the African Union Commission, Member States with internet exchange points have increased from eighteen to thirty two. The Commission has further provided grants to six internet exchange points to be supported to become regional internet exchange points.

Under the grant awarded to the Kenya Internet Exchange point, the following four areas are to be supported; Capacity Building, the KIXP Site in Mombasa, the GSM Regional Exchange (GRX) and promotion of KIXP as a regional internet exchange “In the context of celebrating 50 years, the AU Heads of State and Government agreed to develop a Continental Agenda 2063. The overall objective of Agenda 2063 is to chart Africa’s development trajectory over the next 50 years. One of the envisaged activities is putting in place an intra-African broad band terrestrial infrastructure, Said H.E. Dr. Elham M.A. Ibrahim, AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy.”

“As access to information and knowledge is a prerequisite to achieving development goals set by Africa, I call upon the public sector, private sector and civil society to partner and find effective and innovative ways to put the potential of ICT at the service of African citizens, Added H.E. Dr. Elham Ibrahim, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy.”

Africa is currently paying overseas carriers to exchange intra- continental traffic on our behalf. This is both costly as well as an inefficient way of handling exchange of local Internet traffic.

“We are keen on enhancing local and regional connectivity to make Africa technologically competitive, said Mr. Victor Kyalo, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology of Kenya.”

The launch was officiated by H.E. Dr. Elham Ibrahim, African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy and Mr. Victor Kyalo, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology and attended by leaders of the Industry.

For more information on the African Internet Exchange System Project of the African Union, visit www.au.int/axis

Distributed by APO on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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African Union Commission and ZTE Corporation strive to lead road to digital transformation

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The African Union Commission (AUC) and the China based technologies company, ZTE Corporation on 24 June 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance cooperation in the a of ICT and the smart digital [IMG_5206] transformation of the continent.

The Agreement was signed at the ZTE headquarters in Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China, between H.E Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) and Dr. Pang Shengqing, Senior Vice President & Head of Enterprise Business. The signing ceremony under ZTE’s slogan: “Tomorrow Waits”, is aimed at cooperating with the world’s top two optical network product and solution provider, ZTE to bring super smart, synergetic ICT network to contribute in the development agenda of Africa, notably Agenda 2063 and its Ten Year Implementation Plan.

ZTE and AUC mutually agreed to be partners in the areas of the Africa Center for Disease Control (CDC) and ICT development. As an international leading ICT solution provider, ZTE has agreed to create opportunities within the framework of the MoU for trainings in ICT capabilities to Africans in general and to the AUC staff in particular.

Deputy Chairperson Mwencha expressed the hope that the cooperation with ZTE will among other things, help the AUC to improve the lives of the African population in all areas including health, education, environment, agriculture, transportation, through smart businesses aimed at facilitating the day to day activities. He said the ZTE undertook a smart approach to cooperate with the AUC at continental level as this will contribute to the transformation of the continent in line with the Aspiration of the Africa Agenda 2063.

According to ZTE’s Dr. Pang, most African countries strive to establish smart cities given the advance technology now available worldwide. He reiterated his company’s commitment to cooperate with the AU Commission in the enhancement of renewable energy, provide solar systems and smart transportation means including the High Speed Train project of the African Union, smart street lights solutions and telecommunication services at affordable rates to facilitate interaction and communications between the African populations.

ZTE Corporation is a major international provider of telecommunications, enterprise and consumer technology solutions for the Mobile Internet and a Chinese multinational telecommunications equipment and systems company headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong.The AUC Deputy Chairperson commended China for the overall development support China provides to Africa in general, and to capacity building of the continent in information and communication technology (ICT) sector in particular. He stated that the two sides have been cooperating in development programs under the Forum for China- Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

Prior to the signing ceremony, the AUC delegation led by Deputy Chairperson Mwencha were introduced to the ZTE most updated technologies and inventions. The AUC delegation also visited the Shenzhen CDC where they met with the Director of the Center, Prof. Xia Junjie, and different Chinese highly qualified doctors responsible for various disease controls including HIV / AIDs known as the “Red Ribbon Center”.

Distributed by APO on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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3rd Forum on China-Africa Media issues Joint Statement to Strengthen Cooperation ties

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In a joint statement issued on 21 June 2016 at the closing of the 3rd Forum on China-Africa Media Cooperation in Beijing, the document with inputs from the AUC delegation led by H.E Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) was read by the Chief Executive Officer of the African Union of Broadcasting (AUB), Mr Grégoire Ndjaka. It stated that the media cooperation will safeguard international equity and justice and facilitate China-Africa Cooperation in the fields of media and international communication to win more say and increase influence in the arena of international public opinions so as to provide favorable support for the two sides to realize common development and shared dreams.

According to the declaration, Chinese and African media will encourage more personnel and information exchanges to contribute to the China-Africa comprehensive strategic partnership. This falls in line with the three areas of focus underscored by AUC Deputy [DSCN5307] Chairperson Mwencha as critical to enable the media play its rightful role in bridging the gaps between the people of Africa and China. They are: building the capacity of the media through training programs, infrastructure development and institution building; enhance industrialization through transfer technology; and cooperation in cyber security and digitalization. He said the African media must be skilled to generate the African narrative in a way that will promote the development agenda of the continent and to fully contribute in the implementation of the Africa Agenda 2063.

The Forum was jointly organised by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of the People’s Republic of China and the AUB with the view to implement one of the outcomes reached during the Johannesburg FOCAC Summit held in December 2015 as a follow-up of the China-Africa Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

Meanwhile, participants at the Media Forum, in the spirit of equality and mutual trust, sincerity and friendship, win-win cooperation and common development, after an extensive and profound exchange of views on “Media policies, cooperation and capacity building as well as digitalization and development of new media to promote cultural exchanges between sides and promote their reach economic growth, resolved to work closely for the best interest of their both populations.

The participants further reiterated their commitment to enhance their achievements by playing and important role in promoting the understanding of Africa by China, and of China by China; and of both Africa and China by the rest of the world. “We unanimously believe that media in developing countries shall serve national development and social progress, and become a driving force behind national modernization. They shall promote traditional culture, build national consensus, serve public interests and safeguard social stability. They shall join hands to push forward the establishment of a new model of international relations with win-win cooperation at the core, and jointly safeguard and promote international equity and justice.” Underlined the Joint Beijing Declaration as a way of towards establishing a solid foundation of the China-Africa cooperation.

Holding under the theme: “Win-win cooperation, common development”, the forum which brought together close to 350 high level media professionals and Government Members in Charge of Communication from some 45 African countries, was aimed to deepen cooperation in the media sector and boost the development of Africa- China ties.

[DSCN5303]

Deputy Chairperson Mwencha expressed appreciation to the Government of China for organizing the forum. He said the media forum provides a platform to explore opportunities for future mutual development, and to contribute to promoting world peace, stability and the development of Africa and China. “Indeed we need to strengthen our dialogue, consolidate Africa-China traditional friendship, deepen strategic collaboration and enhance the mechanism of practical cooperation between us,” Mr. Mwencha said before granting several press interviews to both the local and international media present at the forum.

Also speaking to the press, the Minister of China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, Mr. Cai Fuchao, said the media cooperation serves as a bridge and bond that connect the heart of the Chinese and African people. Minister Cai said: “It is an important foundation of the China-Africa relations as well as a key component to and a powerful driving force behind China-Africa Cooperation.”

Looking into the future, Minister Cai said China will continue to adhere to the principles of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith, uphold the values of friendship, justice and shared interests, join hands with African media colleagues build on the past and prepare for the future. He said his country will engage in practical innovation so as to increase the breadth and depth of cooperation.

Distributed by APO on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Seychelles human rights report adopted at the UN Human Rights Council

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Seychelles’ second cycle report under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) was adopted at the 32nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland on the 24th of June, 2016. This follows Seychelles’ review under the UPR mechanism in January 2016, where Seychelles received 150 recommendations from 60 States, and is a demonstration of Seychelles’ continued support and cooperation with the UN’s human rights mechanisms, and willingness to have open and constructive dialogues on human rights issues.

During the session, Seychelles presented its positions on each recommendation, based on consultations held at the national level over the past months with relevant stakeholders from governmental agencies, civil society, judiciary and the National Assembly. Seychelles accepted 142 recommendations in view of implementing them, covering a myriad of issues such as the rights of the child, gender based violence, ratification of all core UN human rights instruments, strengthening our National Human Rights Institutions, and decriminalizing sodomy. Seychelles did not support eight recommendations regarding Seychelles’ ratification of international instruments and raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility. Seychelles will now have approximately four years until its third cycle under the UPR to implement the recommendations it has accepted.

Seychelles’ delegation was led by the Secretary of State at the Foreign Affairs Department, Ambassador Barry Faure, and was further composed of Ambassador Selby Pillay, Seychelles’ Permanent Representative to the UNOG based in Brussels, Ms Gayethri Murugaiyan from the Foreign Affairs Department and Ms Audrina Dine from Seychelles’ Mission in Geneva.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Seychelles.

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FAO reaches milestone in food safety in Nigeria

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A critical stakeholder meeting took place in Abuja, Nigeria, from 6 to 10 June 2016, to validate a new proposed Food Safety and Quality Bill and an institutional reform for the management of food safety in Nigeria.

Nigeria, one of the most populous and the first economic powerhouse of the African Continent, has reached a decisive milestone in improving food safety and protecting African consumers from foodborne diseases.

The feat adds to the many activities undertaken by FAO to provide technical support and capacitate African countries for food security.

This development constitutes good and promising news on the improvement of food safety on the continent to share with the international community, as it prepares for the Codex Alimentarius Commission meeting where delegates from 188 countries will converge in Rome to discuss food safety and food standards, from June 27 to July 1, 2016.

The Abuja meeting included 95 senior government representatives from all important federal Ministries involved in food safety, representatives of States’ governments and representatives of the private sector, of consumer organizations and of the civil society.

With the new proposed Food Safety and Quality Bill and Institutional reform, mandates of all organizations involved in food safety will be better clarified, better coordinated, avoid overlaps and duplications for a more effective and efficient national food control system.

The National Food Safety Management Committee (NFSMC) will be responsible for the coordination of food safety. It comprises representatives of the federal government, the states, the private sector, academia and the consumer organizations would participate.

The work is the result of a two-year work of intense consultations undertaken by a team of Nigerian and FAO experts with the financial support of the FAO Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP).

“Effective national food control systems are essential to protect consumers. They are also critical in enabling countries to increase country food and agriculture commodity trade in regional and international trade by enforcing their compliance with safety and quality standards and to ensure that imported food stuffs conform to national requirements”, said Jean Kamanzi, FAO Regional Food Safety and Quality Officer for Africa.

The Nigerian Food and Drug Authority (NAFDAC) will provide the Secretariat to this Committee which will report at the highest level authority to a Council. The Council would be composed of the five most important federal Ministers for food safety: the Ministers for Health, Agriculture and Rural Development, for Industry, Trade and Investment, for Environment and for Science. The Council also includes one representative of the private sector and one representative of consumer associations.

Without undermining the lead role played by the Minister of Health who will remain the custodian of the Food Safety and Quality Bill, it has been decided that the Council will be chaired by the Vice-President to ensure that food safety is coordinated at the highest level and receives the necessary attention to policy and legal matters.

If passed, the proposed standalone new Food Safety and Quality Bill and the institutional reform will bring fundamental changes in the way food safety is managed in Nigeria and will lay down the foundation for a modern, efficient and effective national food control system for Nigeria. In future this may lead to a National Food Safety Commission.

The proposed changes will bring better protection for the 180 millions of Nigerians against foodborne diseases and will ensure that Nigerians and populations of neighbouring countries engaged in close food trade with the economic powerhouse of the continent will have access to quality food that is safe and nutritious to allow them to live a healthy and productive live.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

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FAO reaches milestone in food safety in Nigeria

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A critical stakeholder meeting took place in Abuja, Nigeria, from 6 to 10 June 2016, to validate a new proposed Food Safety and Quality Bill and an institutional reform for the management of food safety in Nigeria.

Nigeria, one of the most populous and the first economic powerhouse of the African Continent, has reached a decisive milestone in improving food safety and protecting African consumers from foodborne diseases.

The feat adds to the many activities undertaken by FAO to provide technical support and capacitate African countries for food security.

This development constitutes good and promising news on the improvement of food safety on the continent to share with the international community, as it prepares for the Codex Alimentarius Commission meeting where delegates from 188 countries will converge in Rome to discuss food safety and food standards, from June 27 to July 1, 2016.

The Abuja meeting included 95 senior government representatives from all important federal Ministries involved in food safety, representatives of States’ governments and representatives of the private sector, of consumer organizations and of the civil society.

With the new proposed Food Safety and Quality Bill and Institutional reform, mandates of all organizations involved in food safety will be better clarified, better coordinated, avoid overlaps and duplications for a more effective and efficient national food control system.

The National Food Safety Management Committee (NFSMC) will be responsible for the coordination of food safety. It comprises representatives of the federal government, the states, the private sector, academia and the consumer organizations would participate.

The work is the result of a two-year work of intense consultations undertaken by a team of Nigerian and FAO experts with the financial support of the FAO Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP).

“Effective national food control systems are essential to protect consumers. They are also critical in enabling countries to increase country food and agriculture commodity trade in regional and international trade by enforcing their compliance with safety and quality standards and to ensure that imported food stuffs conform to national requirements”, said Jean Kamanzi, FAO Regional Food Safety and Quality Officer for Africa.

The Nigerian Food and Drug Authority (NAFDAC) will provide the Secretariat to this Committee which will report at the highest level authority to a Council. The Council would be composed of the five most important federal Ministers for food safety: the Ministers for Health, Agriculture and Rural Development, for Industry, Trade and Investment, for Environment and for Science. The Council also includes one representative of the private sector and one representative of consumer associations.

Without undermining the lead role played by the Minister of Health who will remain the custodian of the Food Safety and Quality Bill, it has been decided that the Council will be chaired by the Vice-President to ensure that food safety is coordinated at the highest level and receives the necessary attention to policy and legal matters.

If passed, the proposed standalone new Food Safety and Quality Bill and the institutional reform will bring fundamental changes in the way food safety is managed in Nigeria and will lay down the foundation for a modern, efficient and effective national food control system for Nigeria. In future this may lead to a National Food Safety Commission.

The proposed changes will bring better protection for the 180 millions of Nigerians against foodborne diseases and will ensure that Nigerians and populations of neighbouring countries engaged in close food trade with the economic powerhouse of the continent will have access to quality food that is safe and nutritious to allow them to live a healthy and productive live.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

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New Permanent Representative of South Africa

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Nozipho Joyce Mxakato-Diseko, the new Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations Office at Geneva, today presented her credentials to Michael Møller, the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva.

Prior to her appointment to Geneva, Ms. Mxakato-Diseko had been the Deputy Director General for Global Governance and Continental Agenda at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation since 2012. In 2015 and 2016, she was also the chair of the Group 77 and China, and South Africa’s lead negotiator, in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations, which had resulted in the Paris Agreement. Between 2012 and 2016, Ms. Mxakato-Diseko served as sherpa for the Post-2015 Development Agenda, G20, and the Nuclear Security Summit. She had been an Ambassador at Large for climate change since 2011.

Between 2009 and 2012, Ms. Mxakato-Diseko worked as the Deputy Director General for the Americas and the Caribbean at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation. Prior to that, from 2004 to 2009, she was the National Commissioner to the Public Service Commission. Between 2000 and 2003, she performed the roles of the Chief Commissioner of the International Trade Administration Commission and the Vice Chairperson of the Board of the National Nuclear Regulatory Authority. From 1996 to 2000, Ms. Mxakato-Diseko concurrently served as the South African Ambassador to Austria, the United Nations Office at Vienna, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization. Between 1994 and 1996, she was the Chief Director for Policy Planning at the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Before the 1994 elections in South Africa, Ms. Mxakato-Diseko worked with Thabo Mbeki, the then National Chairman of the African National Congress. From 1989 to 1991, she was the Chairperson of the African National Congress for the United Kingdom and Ireland. In 1986 and 1987, Ms. Mxakato-Diseko worked as the Director of the Oxford Development Education Centre, and between 1980 and 1988 she served as an Executive Committee Member at the South African Congress of Trade Unions. Ms. Mxakato-Diseko started her career as a secondary school teacher in Johannesburg in 1975.

Born on 1 November 1956 in Johannesburg, Ms. Mxakato-Diseko holds graduate and post graduate degrees from Oxford University.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations (UN).

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New Permanent Representative of South Africa

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Nozipho Joyce Mxakato-Diseko, the new Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations Office at Geneva, today presented her credentials to Michael Møller, the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva.

Prior to her appointment to Geneva, Ms. Mxakato-Diseko had been the Deputy Director General for Global Governance and Continental Agenda at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation since 2012. In 2015 and 2016, she was also the chair of the Group 77 and China, and South Africa’s lead negotiator, in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations, which had resulted in the Paris Agreement. Between 2012 and 2016, Ms. Mxakato-Diseko served as sherpa for the Post-2015 Development Agenda, G20, and the Nuclear Security Summit. She had been an Ambassador at Large for climate change since 2011.

Between 2009 and 2012, Ms. Mxakato-Diseko worked as the Deputy Director General for the Americas and the Caribbean at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation. Prior to that, from 2004 to 2009, she was the National Commissioner to the Public Service Commission. Between 2000 and 2003, she performed the roles of the Chief Commissioner of the International Trade Administration Commission and the Vice Chairperson of the Board of the National Nuclear Regulatory Authority. From 1996 to 2000, Ms. Mxakato-Diseko concurrently served as the South African Ambassador to Austria, the United Nations Office at Vienna, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization. Between 1994 and 1996, she was the Chief Director for Policy Planning at the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Before the 1994 elections in South Africa, Ms. Mxakato-Diseko worked with Thabo Mbeki, the then National Chairman of the African National Congress. From 1989 to 1991, she was the Chairperson of the African National Congress for the United Kingdom and Ireland. In 1986 and 1987, Ms. Mxakato-Diseko worked as the Director of the Oxford Development Education Centre, and between 1980 and 1988 she served as an Executive Committee Member at the South African Congress of Trade Unions. Ms. Mxakato-Diseko started her career as a secondary school teacher in Johannesburg in 1975.

Born on 1 November 1956 in Johannesburg, Ms. Mxakato-Diseko holds graduate and post graduate degrees from Oxford University.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations (UN).

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U.S. Embassy Sponsors Voluntary Principles and Human Rights Workshop

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Thirty participants from 13 Ghanaian government ministries and agencies spent this week in a four-day Voluntary Principles and Human Rights Workshop sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Accra, U.S. AFRICOM, and the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). The training is designed to help government establish best practices in the extractive industries.

During the workshop participants gained tools that can be used to implement a multi-faceted security sector response to conflict that arises in communities around the extractive industries. Participants also visited Newmont Ghana’s Akyem mine site to learn how the company implements the Voluntary Principles in practice. The participants will take the knowledge acquired from the workshop and implement it into the strategic plans of their respective ministries and agencies, which will help further Ghana’s comprehensive Voluntary Principles National Action Plan.

Established in 2000, the Voluntary Principles are the only human rights guidelines designed specifically for oil, gas and mining companies. The Voluntary Principles guide companies in conducting a comprehensive human rights risk assessment in their engagement with public and private security providers to ensure human rights are respected in the protection of company facilities and premises. Participants in the Voluntary Principles Initiative—including governments, companies, and NGOs—agree to proactively implement or assist in the implementation of the Voluntary Principles.

Ghana became the first African country to sign on to the Voluntary Principles in 2014; subsequently, government worked closely with civil society and the private sector to develop a Voluntary Principles National Action Plan.

“The Voluntary Principles have been recognized as a global standard in the oil, gas, and mining industries,” said U.S. Ambassador Robert Jackson, speaking at the workshop opening. “The initiative has led to better security and safety for people living in countries that have extractive industries. Since the 2014 signing, the government of Ghana has made significant progress in this area. Further progress, however, will require more hard work and collaboration. The U.S. Embassy has pledged its support to help Ghana achieve the goals stated in its National Action Plan. We look forward to the continued partnership with the Government of Ghana in implementing better security and human rights protections across the country.”

Learn more about the Voluntary Principles at http://www.state.gov/j/drl/vp/.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Embassy of the United States – Accra – Ghana.

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U.S. Embassy Sponsors Voluntary Principles and Human Rights Workshop

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Thirty participants from 13 Ghanaian government ministries and agencies spent this week in a four-day Voluntary Principles and Human Rights Workshop sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Accra, U.S. AFRICOM, and the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). The training is designed to help government establish best practices in the extractive industries.

During the workshop participants gained tools that can be used to implement a multi-faceted security sector response to conflict that arises in communities around the extractive industries. Participants also visited Newmont Ghana’s Akyem mine site to learn how the company implements the Voluntary Principles in practice. The participants will take the knowledge acquired from the workshop and implement it into the strategic plans of their respective ministries and agencies, which will help further Ghana’s comprehensive Voluntary Principles National Action Plan.

Established in 2000, the Voluntary Principles are the only human rights guidelines designed specifically for oil, gas and mining companies. The Voluntary Principles guide companies in conducting a comprehensive human rights risk assessment in their engagement with public and private security providers to ensure human rights are respected in the protection of company facilities and premises. Participants in the Voluntary Principles Initiative—including governments, companies, and NGOs—agree to proactively implement or assist in the implementation of the Voluntary Principles.

Ghana became the first African country to sign on to the Voluntary Principles in 2014; subsequently, government worked closely with civil society and the private sector to develop a Voluntary Principles National Action Plan.

“The Voluntary Principles have been recognized as a global standard in the oil, gas, and mining industries,” said U.S. Ambassador Robert Jackson, speaking at the workshop opening. “The initiative has led to better security and safety for people living in countries that have extractive industries. Since the 2014 signing, the government of Ghana has made significant progress in this area. Further progress, however, will require more hard work and collaboration. The U.S. Embassy has pledged its support to help Ghana achieve the goals stated in its National Action Plan. We look forward to the continued partnership with the Government of Ghana in implementing better security and human rights protections across the country.”

Learn more about the Voluntary Principles at http://www.state.gov/j/drl/vp/.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Embassy of the United States – Accra – Ghana.

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Jumia Becomes the One Stop Online Destination in Africa

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Africa Internet Group is today connecting its companies into Jumia’s (www.JUMIA.com.ng) ecosystem with a new vision, “Expand your horizons”. The new Jumia ecosystem will give access to products and services from its 8 leading platforms.

After 4 years of successfully establishing and growing its online services as leaders in their markets, Africa Internet Group, now Jumia, has become the N°1 E-commerce platform in Africa.

“We founded our companies with a very strong belief: Internet can improve people’s lives in Africa. Uniting all services allows us to better help our customers fulfill their daily aspirations. This is all possible because people connect to our platform to access those services and products in an environment that we have designed for them, addressing their needs and expectations on quality, choice, price, trust and convenience.” said Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara, founders and co-CEOs of Jumia.

People can now find on Jumia all their needs ; branded products with Jumia, local sellers with Jumia Market (prev. Kaymu), hotel booking with Jumia Travel (Jovago), food delivery with Jumia Food (Hellofood), classifieds with Jumia Deals (Vendito), Jumia House (Lamudi) and Jumia Car (Carmudi), and lastly logistics services with Jumia Services (AIGX).

Furthermore, sellers will also benefit from this move, by getting access to more traffic and to a greater world of opportunities. Every day, Jumia helps and encourages restaurants, hotels, local sellers, brands, real estate agents, car dealers, large companies and logistic companies to become better, bigger, more performant, thus creating positive impact for Africa.

The founders reiterated that, “Operating under the same brand name reinforces the legitimacy of proposing other services to our customers and to our sellers. We want to have one strong brand that is trusted and loved by our customers across Africa”.

Jumia’s new vision, “Expand your horizons”, expresses the group’s ambition to transform people’s lives through internet, overcoming the ground market challenges of the continent and giving all Africans the opportunity to access high quality services and products everywhere.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Jumia.

Media Contact:
Bertille GUITTON
Head of Communication & Public Relations JUMIA Group
Phone NG: +234.817.223.5608 | FR: +33.629.832.731
[email protected]

About Jumia:
Jumia (www.JUMIA.com.ng) aims at creating a connected digital Africa to improve people’s lives on the continent, thanks to the Internet. Therefore, Jumia’s mission is to connect African consumers and entrepreneurs to do better business together. Founded in 2012, with a presence all over Africa, the group has MTN, Rocket Internet, Millicom, Orange & Axa as investors. Jumia has been creating a sustainable ecosystem of digital services and infrastructures through online and mobile marketplaces and classifieds to expand your horizons.

Source:: Jumia Becomes the One Stop Online Destination in Africa

Categories: AFRICA | Leave a comment