IMF Executive Board Concludes the Second Post-Program Monitoring with Angola

LUANDA, Angola, March 19, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — On March 5, 2014, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Second Post-Program Monitoring with Angola.

Macroeconomic performance in 2013 reflected a marginal increase in oil production and a moderation of non-oil growth compared to previous years’ growth rates. Overall real GDP growth is estimated to have decelerated to 4.1 percent, down from 5.2 percent in 2012. Growth in the non-oil sector was held down by the agricultural sector’s slow recovery from the drought that affected large parts of the country in 2012, but is still expected to have reached 5.8 percent in 2013 due to government spending bolstering performance in the construction and power sectors. Inflation, after reaching single digits for the first time in decades at end-2012, declined to 7.7 percent by end-2013, comfortably below the authorities’ 9 percent target. The favorable inflation performance allowed the Monetary Policy Committee of the National Bank of Angola (BNA) to reduce its policy rate by 100 basis points cumulatively throughout 2013, a bit less than the decline in inflation. Gross international reserves stood at US$33.2 billion at end-December 2013, the equivalent of about 7 months of projected 2014 imports.2

Preliminary fiscal data indicate that Angola returned to a fiscal deficit for the first time since 2009, reflecting a sharp decline in oil revenue, while non-oil revenue and investment expenditure fell short of their targets. The fiscal surplus, which had reached 5.1 percent of GDP in 2012, is expected to have turned to a deficit of about 1

Categories: African Press Organization

Signing of host agreement between the AUC and Equatorial Guinea for the third session of the Conference of African Ministers of Transport

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, March 19, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Government of Equatorial Guinea and the African Union Commission have signed an agreement to host the third session of the Conference of African Ministers of Transport in the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. The agreement was signed at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, between the Ambassador of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, H.E. Mr. Simeon Oyono Esono and the Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union Commission, H.E. Dr. Elham Mahmud Ahmed Ibrahim

The main objectives of the conference are to review the implementation of the various sub-sector plans of action, target specific outcomes, and identify constraints as well as new challenges to facilitate rapid implementation of transport development activities. The conference will provide strategic direction to the AU Commission and all stakeholders on the appropriate actions to take for a coherent development of the transport sector on the continent.

Participation is expected from African Ministers responsible for transport, senior officials of ministries and agencies responsible for transport regulation of Member States of the African Union, heads of African regional and continental transport specialized institutions, CEOs of national authorities of road, port facilities, airports and railways, African Union Commission, NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency, regional and international financial, technical and social organizations and communities.

The third session of the Conference of African Ministers of Transport will take place on the 10th and 11th April 2014 in Equatorial Guinea. It will be preceded by a preparatory meeting of experts from the 7th to 9th April 2014.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

South Sudan / Press conference with visiting Emergency Directors of eight agencies on Friday 21 March

JUBA, South Sudan, March 19, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Press invitation

You are warmly invited to a press conference with the Emergency Directors of eight leading humanitarian agencies (DRC, FAO, IOM, OCHA, UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP and WHO) who are currently in South Sudan on a three-day mission to raise awareness of the crisis and boost the response to life-threatening needs.

During the visit, the Emergency Directors will travel to Bor in Jonglei State, Mingkaman in Lakes State and Nyal in Panyijar County, Unity State. They will also visit displaced people sheltering in Protection of Civilians sites in the two main UN peacekeeping bases in Juba.

The press conference with the Emergency Directors will take place at 12.30 on Friday 21 March, in the main conference room in the OCHA compound in Juba.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

10th CAADP Partnership Platform opens with a call to African leaders to own and recommit to the CAADP process

JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, March 19, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Yesterday, the 10th Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Partnership Platform officially opened in Durban at the International Convention Centre. On the 10th anniversary of CAADP inception, this meeting is a pivotal moment, asking members to objectively reflect on previous goals and actions and call upon African Heads of State and government to enhance their ownership and commitment to CAADP.

The meeting brought together Africa and global leaders from a number of international organisations, African Governments including ministers, private agribusiness firms, financial institutions, farmers, NGOs and civil society organizations to discuss and develop concrete investment plans for scaling agricultural development success in Africa.

As a proven engine for growth, the conference emphasised that, agriculture is essential to Africa’s long-term and sustainable economic growth, and a solution to most of the continent’s most pressing challenges, such as youth employment and climate change.

The meeting was officially opened by Mr. James Nxumalo, Mayor of Durban, who acknowledged CAADP’s success over the last decade saying, ‘’this meeting will foster a spirit of mutual learning and growth for Africa.”

Addressing the meeting on behalf of the AUC Chairperson, H.E Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, AUC Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, H.E Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, said tremendous progress had been achieved in the last decade of CAADP implementation.

“The deeper we commit to the CAADP process, the greater the level of coordination, harmonisation and alignment to the strategy and priorities of Africa’s agricultural transformation, “she said.

Commissioner Tumusiime said the agenda of agricultural transformation was strategically positioned to provide enormous opportunities for inclusive and sustainable development in Africa. (The complete speech is available on www.au.int).

Giving a keynote presentation during the opening, Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, CEO of NEPAD said, “CAADP has now become a recognised and irreversible ‘’brand” throughout Africa and the rest of the world.” “It has been a catalyst for African leadership in driving agriculture at all levels, as well as for the process of Africans regaining control of the dialogue with technical and financial partners.” (The full speech is available on www.au.int).

Other speakers at the opening event included Mr. Stephen Muchiri, representative of the Pan African Farmers Organisation, Ms. Abby Mgugu Mhene representing civil society organizations and Mr. Roberto Ridolfi representing the development partners, who all reiterated their support of CAADP.

The four day meeting will encompass numerous discussions, pledges, and ultimately, goals, actions and targets with clarity on execution strategies, for the next decade of CAADP in line with the thrust of the AU Agenda 2063, a huge part of which is agricultural transformation.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

UN Special Representative for Somalia welcomes progress on military operations, announces UN support to stabilisation efforts

MOGADISHU, Somalia, March 19, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Nicholas Kay, has welcomed the military progress made by the Somali National Army (SNA) and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in south-central Somalia.

“I congratulate the SNA and AMISOM forces on regaining control of key towns and areas from Al Shabaab. I pay tribute to the commitment and sacrifices made by Somali soldiers and their African brothers and sisters,” SRSG Kay said. “The UN will continue to support the joint operations in line with Security Council Resolution 2124 and the Secretary-General’s Human Rights Due Diligence Policy. It is important that international humanitarian law and human rights are fully respected.”

“Fighting has affected civilian populations. The UN and international partners have begun addressing humanitarian needs where access is possible and needs are assessed,” he added.

“Somalis living in areas now under Government control should quickly receive what they need: better security and justice, services such as health and education and a decent livelihood,” SRSG Kay noted.

He welcomed contributions made by international partners to the Government’s efforts to ensure Somalis benefit from peace and stability, and called for more international support.

“The United Nations is supporting these stabilisation efforts, including by immediately making available $3 million from the United Nations’ Peace-Building Fund,” he said.

“This is a turning point in Somalia’s struggle to bring lasting peace to all its people. Its friends and partners need to act quickly and generously.”

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

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