Sep 262014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, September 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The number of displaced people in the Central African Republic (CAR) capital Bangui is declining and sites are closing as more and more people are returning home, according to the recent IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) survey. The families remaining in camps are the poorest and most vulnerable. As their living conditions remain difficult, they need the targeted support of the humanitarian community to be able to return home or relocate.

The DTM is a tool developed by IOM to account for the situation and needs of displaced populations in many countries of the world. The information gathered by the DTM is shared with the authorities as well as with the humanitarian community to allow efficient and timely delivery of relief.

In December 2013 Bangui saw significant displacement with 300,000 people displaced in 46 sites by the end of January 2014. As of the end of August, 67,514 displaced people remain in 37 sites in Bangui.

Most of the people that are still in sites have spent over 8 months living in tents and in poor health and sanitary conditions; the rate at which displacement is decreasing in the capital has significantly lowered since June despite the rainy season. Ninety-one per cent of those interviewed said they intend to leave their site within the next month. The majority of them (77 per cent) said they will go back to their place of origin while others (14 per cent) would prefer to be relocated. Damaged or destroyed houses, lack of financial resources and uncertainty about the political and security situation are the main reasons raised by the displaced people for not having left the sites yet.

“Now that the security situation in the capital is improving, we need to support the 61 per cent of house owners and the 29 per cent of renters still in camps who are willing and able to return, to rehabilitate their houses or find a new place to rent in order to go back to their neighborhoods and restart a normal life,”said Giovanni Cassani, IOM Regional Emergency Specialist.

Living on camp sites has become more and more difficult as the rainy season has furthermore worsened living conditions with leaking shelters and muddy grounds.

Lack of livelihood opportunities is also a great cause of distress. Between May and June a big shift in survival mechanisms has been observed among the displaced population. Tools and belongings sold by displaced people to buy food are rapidly depleting. The majority now reduces the number of meals per day; adults reduce their food consumption to feed children. Adults have reported spending entire days without eating.

“We are working very closely with local and national authorities to have different communities talk to each other and work with each other. We see positive signs every day. This will be the way for a durable and sustainable return home,” said Cassani.

Sep 262014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, September 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Ebola situation assessment 26 September

Background

Ebola virus disease currently has no vaccines or medicines approved by national regulatory authorities for use in humans save for the purpose of compassionate care.

To date, the virus has infected 6242 people and killed 2909 of them. These figures, which are far greater than those from all previous Ebola outbreaks combined, are known by WHO to vastly underestimate the true scale of the epidemic.

The Ebola epidemic ravaging parts of West Africa is the most severe acute public health emergency seen in modern times. Never before in recorded history has a biosafety level four pathogen infected so many people so quickly, over such a broad geographical area, for so long.

On 11 August, a group of experts convened by WHO reached consensus that the use of experimental medicines and vaccines under the exceptional circumstances of the Ebola epidemic is ethically acceptable.

Following that advice, WHO convened (from 4–5 September) a consultation on potential Ebola therapies and vaccines.

The meeting was attended by more than 200 experts from around the world, including West Africa, though bans and restrictions on international flights to and from that region diminished the numbers significantly.

The meeting aimed to identify the most promising candidate vaccines and experimental therapies and map out the next most urgent steps to take.

The experts agreed to prioritize convalescent blood and plasma therapies for further investigation. That decision further stimulated already intense interest, with the result that new knowledge is expected to grow fairly quickly.

This assessment looks at what is known about the efficacy of convalescent therapies and the potential role they might play in improving clinical care and reducing the unacceptably high number of deaths.

The current evidence base: limited data – from 1976 up to now

Convalescent therapy was first used for a young woman infected with Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (then Zaire) in 1976 – the year the virus first emerged. The woman was treated with plasma from a person who survived infection with the closely-related Marburg virus. She had less clinical bleeding than other Ebola patients, but died within days.

During the 1995 Ebola outbreak in Kikwit, Democratic Republic of Congo, whole blood collected from recovered patients was administered to eight patients. Seven of the eight recovered.

However, as the study did not include a control group, no firm conclusions could be reached concerning whether the treatment alone was responsible for the favourable clinical outcome or even contributed to this outcome in some way.

In the current outbreak, convalescent therapies have been used in a few patients. The numbers are too small to support any conclusions about efficacy.

In one well-known case, an American doctor, who became infected while working in Monrovia, Liberia, received whole blood from a recovered patient while still in Monrovia.

He likewise fully recovered, though it is not possible to determine whether that recovery can be attributed to convalescent therapy, the administration of the experimental medicine, ZMapp, or the excellent supportive care he received in the United States.

In another well-documented case, a foreign medical doctor, who was infected in Sierra Leone, has been improving following outstanding supportive care. He did not receive treatment with any experimental therapy.

In yet another case, an American doctor, who became infected while working in Liberia, was subsequently treated in the US. As part of that treatment, he received a transfusion of convalescent plasma from blood donated by the first case mentioned above. The infusion was well-tolerated.

Yesterday, he was declared by his attending physicians and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to be “virus-free”. He is weak but fully recovered.

Again, as he also received the experimental medicine TKM-EBV, together with outstanding supportive care, it is impossible to know which component of care contributed most – or at all – to his recovery.

The hospital where he was treated will share clinical lessons learned with doctors working in West Africa.

As the epidemic worsens, interest in convalescent therapies grows

WHO has been encouraged by the growth of interest in convalescent therapies as an already bad epidemic gets worse.

In the three hardest-hit countries, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, health systems have begun to buckle under the pressure of closed or overflowing hospitals, the difficulties of staffing newly opened treatment centres, and the exceptionally large number of Ebola deaths among health care workers.

The number of cases continues to grow exponentially. The number of treatment beds is grossly and visibly inadequate. Good supportive clinical care is becoming increasingly difficult to implement.

The need to expand the current very limited arsenal of clinical tools is self-evident.

WHO has been approached by several donors, foundations, public health agencies, and development partners seeking guidance and advice.

Major questions need to be answered about the safety and efficacy of convalescent therapies, and the feasibility of implementation in countries with shattered health systems and an acute shortage of medical staff.

WHO is also being asked to assess whether rapid scaling up of convalescent therapy is feasible to an extent that could begin to reduce the estimated 70.8% case fatality rate seen consistently across the three outbreak sites.

Some partners and donors are asking for rough estimates of what needs to be in place to support rapid implementation on the largest possible scale. They have questions about the number of staff needed and their training requirements, safety risks and how to manage them, laboratory capacities and how to enhance them, specific needs for equipment and supplies, and what all of this might cost.

As initial supplies of these therapies will inevitably be limited, questions about which groups should have priority access also need to be addressed.

WHO is currently holding discussions with health experts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. These discussions aim to identify practical needs for implementation and potential bottlenecks that could stand in the way.

One great appeal of this drive to assess and introduce convalescent therapies is the opportunity to strengthen basic public health infrastructures by helping these countries develop good quality blood services.

The list of common and severe health problems that could benefit from safe and well-functioning blood services is long – ranging from malaria, dengue, Lassa fever, and yellow fever to complications of childbirth and injuries following accidents and traffic crashes.

The current situation is so dire that, in several areas that include capital cities, many of these common diseases and health conditions are barely being managed at all.

Technical guidance for experts

Early next week, WHO is issuing new interim guidance on Use of convalescent whole blood or plasma collected from patients recovered from Ebola virus disease for transfusion during outbreaks.

The document is addressed to national health authorities and blood transfusion services.

Sep 262014
 

NEW YORK, September 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Remarks by the African Union Commission Chairperson, HE Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma

Your Excellency, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia,

Your Excellency, Mr. Ban ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations,

Excellencies, Heads of State and Government

Commissioner for Peace and Security, Sergui Smail

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me begin by thanking you, Mr. President for your leadership of the Federal Government, and for the progress recorded in our march towards a more secure and peaceful Somalia. We are pleased with the progress being made in the implementation of Vision 2016. We are also well aware of the challenges that still need to be addressed.

In particular, let me underline that inclusive political processes, especially in the formation of the federal states, as well as the unity of Somalia’s political institutions, both within the Executive and between the Executive, the legislature and the nascent judiciary, are critical to maintain the progress achieved to date and to making further progress.

I would also like to underscore the place of women and other marginalized groups. Women must be properly included at all levels and empowered to help shape Somalia’s future, and all groups must be made to feel fully a part of Somalia.

As we all recognize, it is important to liberate the towns and cities, and to provide those liberated with the necessary peace dividends. We can do so if we ensure their protection, including the establishment of inclusive interim local administration, local security institutions as well as the provision of much needed humanitarian relief and basic services such as education, water, sanitation and health. This requires concerted effort by the Federal Government, IGAD, the continent and all partners.

The AU remains fully committed to conducting joint operations with the Somali National Army to recover and secure more towns and cities from Al Shabaab. In the long term however, this responsibility will have to be primarily that of the Somali National Army, with the AU and partners in a supportive role. It is therefore imperative that we sustain our collective efforts to professionalize the Somali National Army, as well as continue providing an enhanced and flexible logistical support.

Let me make a few comments on the Human Rights Watch (HRW) Report which contains allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse in Somalia. The AU, which reacted to this report, takes seriously any such allegations, and has already embarked on a process to carry out a thorough investigation. I would also underline the AU’s condemnation of any such acts and that we maintain a ‘Zero-tolerance’ policy on misconduct and indiscipline.

Let me conclude my remarks by once again expressing the AU’s appreciation to all our partners including the UN, the EU and its member states, notably the UK, the USA, and other bilateral partners for the sustained support to AMISOM.

We are proud of our men and women of Amisom, and the sacrifices they made and continue to make to ensure that Somali can be peaceful and stable. We remain grateful to our troop and police contributing Member states as well as to IGAD for its pivotal role in Somalia. The AU will continue to stand with the people and Federal Government of Somalia as they shape a more secure, stable and peaceful country, which is at peace with itself and its neighbours.

When we gathered here in a similar meeting last year in the margins of the General Assembly, at the time when you were just assuming office, we welcomed you, Mr. President with much hope and expectation. Our hopes and expectations have not been dashed. I hope that by this time next year, we will have recorded even more progress for the betterment of Somalia. We have listen very careful to what you said, Mr. President, we’ve take note of the issues you raised and will do our best to continue to support the efforts of your government and that of the peoples of Somalia.

Sep 262014
 

NEW YORK, September 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Remarks by the African Union Commission Chairperson, HE Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma

Your Excellency, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia,

Your Excellency, Mr. Ban ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations,

Excellencies, Heads of State and Government

Commissioner for Peace and Security, Sergui Smail

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me begin by thanking you, Mr. President for your leadership of the Federal Government, and for the progress recorded in our march towards a more secure and peaceful Somalia. We are pleased with the progress being made in the implementation of Vision 2016. We are also well aware of the challenges that still need to be addressed.

In particular, let me underline that inclusive political processes, especially in the formation of the federal states, as well as the unity of Somalia’s political institutions, both within the Executive and between the Executive, the legislature and the nascent judiciary, are critical to maintain the progress achieved to date and to making further progress.

I would also like to underscore the place of women and other marginalized groups. Women must be properly included at all levels and empowered to help shape Somalia’s future, and all groups must be made to feel fully a part of Somalia.

As we all recognize, it is important to liberate the towns and cities, and to provide those liberated with the necessary peace dividends. We can do so if we ensure their protection, including the establishment of inclusive interim local administration, local security institutions as well as the provision of much needed humanitarian relief and basic services such as education, water, sanitation and health. This requires concerted effort by the Federal Government, IGAD, the continent and all partners.

The AU remains fully committed to conducting joint operations with the Somali National Army to recover and secure more towns and cities from Al Shabaab. In the long term however, this responsibility will have to be primarily that of the Somali National Army, with the AU and partners in a supportive role. It is therefore imperative that we sustain our collective efforts to professionalize the Somali National Army, as well as continue providing an enhanced and flexible logistical support.

Let me make a few comments on the Human Rights Watch (HRW) Report which contains allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse in Somalia. The AU, which reacted to this report, takes seriously any such allegations, and has already embarked on a process to carry out a thorough investigation. I would also underline the AU’s condemnation of any such acts and that we maintain a ‘Zero-tolerance’ policy on misconduct and indiscipline.

Let me conclude my remarks by once again expressing the AU’s appreciation to all our partners including the UN, the EU and its member states, notably the UK, the USA, and other bilateral partners for the sustained support to AMISOM.

We are proud of our men and women of Amisom, and the sacrifices they made and continue to make to ensure that Somali can be peaceful and stable. We remain grateful to our troop and police contributing Member states as well as to IGAD for its pivotal role in Somalia. The AU will continue to stand with the people and Federal Government of Somalia as they shape a more secure, stable and peaceful country, which is at peace with itself and its neighbours.

When we gathered here in a similar meeting last year in the margins of the General Assembly, at the time when you were just assuming office, we welcomed you, Mr. President with much hope and expectation. Our hopes and expectations have not been dashed. I hope that by this time next year, we will have recorded even more progress for the betterment of Somalia. We have listen very careful to what you said, Mr. President, we’ve take note of the issues you raised and will do our best to continue to support the efforts of your government and that of the peoples of Somalia.

Sep 262014
 

NEW YORK, September 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — United Nations Building

New York City, New York

11:15 A.M. EDT

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Mr. Secretary-General, thank you for bringing us together today to address an urgent threat to the people of West Africa, but also a potential threat to the world. Dr. Chan, heads of state and government, especially our African partners, ladies and gentlemen: As we gather here today, the people of Liberia and Sierra Leone and Guinea are in crisis. As Secretary-General Ban and Dr. Chan have already indicated, the Ebola virus is spreading at alarming speed. Thousands of men, women and children have died. Thousands more are infected. If unchecked, this epidemic could kill hundreds of thousands of people in the coming months. Hundreds of thousands.

Ebola is a horrific disease. It’s wiping out entire families. It has turned simple acts of love and comfort and kindness — like holding a sick friend’s hand, or embracing a dying child — into potentially fatal acts. If ever there were a public health emergency deserving an urgent, strong and coordinated international response, this is it.

But this is also more than a health crisis. This is a growing threat to regional and global security. In Liberia, in Guinea, in Sierra Leone, public health systems have collapsed. Economic growth is slowing dramatically. If this epidemic is not stopped, this disease could cause a humanitarian catastrophe across the region. And in an era where regional crises can quickly become global threats, stopping Ebola is in the interest of all of us.

The courageous men and women fighting on the front lines of this disease have told us what they need. They need more beds, they need more supplies, they need more health workers, and they need all of this as fast as possible. Right now, patients are being left to die in the streets because there’s nowhere to put them and there’s nobody to help them. One health worker in Sierra Leone compared fighting this outbreak to “fighting a forest fire with spray bottles.” But with our help, they can put out the blaze.

Last week, I visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is mounting the largest international response in its history. I said that the world could count on America to lead, and that we will provide the capabilities that only we have, and mobilize the world the way we have done in the past in crises of similar magnitude. And I announced that, in addition to the civilian response, the United States would establish a military command in Liberia to support civilian efforts across the region.

Today, that command is up and it is running. Our commander is on the ground in Monrovia, and our teams are working as fast as they can to move in personnel, equipment and supplies. We’re working with Senegal to stand up an air bridge to get health workers and medical supplies into West Africa faster. We’re setting up a field hospital, which will be staffed by personnel from the U.S. Public Health Service, and a training facility, where we’re getting ready to train thousands of health workers from around the world. We’re distributing supplies and information kits to hundreds of thousands of families so they can better protect themselves. And together with our partners, we’ll quickly build new treatment units across Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, where thousands will be able to receive care.

Meanwhile, in just the past week, more countries and organizations have stepped up their efforts — and so has the United Nations. Mr. Secretary-General, the new UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response that you announced last week will bring all of the U.N.’s resources to bear in fighting the epidemic. We thank you for your leadership.

So this is all progress, and it is encouraging. But I want us to be clear: We are not moving fast enough. We are not doing enough. Right now, everybody has the best of intentions, but people are not putting in the kinds of resources that are necessary to put a stop to this epidemic. There is still a significant gap between where we are and where we need to be. We know from experience that the response to an outbreak of this magnitude has to be fast and it has to be sustained. It’s a marathon, but you have to run it like a sprint. And that’s only possible if everybody chips in, if every nation and every organization takes this seriously. Everybody here has to do more.

International organizations have to move faster, and cut through red tape and mobilize partners on the ground as only they can. More nations need to contribute critical assets and capabilities — whether it is air transport, or medical evacuation, or health care workers, or equipment, or treatment. More foundations can tap into the networks of support that they have, to raise funds and awareness. More businesses, especially those who already have a presence in the region, can quickly provide their own expertise and resources, from access to critical supply chains to telecommunications. And more citizens — of all nations — can educate themselves on this crisis, contribute to relief efforts, and call on their leaders to act. So everybody can do something. That’s why we’re here today.

And even as we meet the urgent threat of Ebola, it’s clear that our nations have to do more to prevent, detect and respond to future biological threats — before they erupt into full-blown crises. Tomorrow, in Washington, I’ll host 44 nations to advance our Global Health Security Agenda, and we are interested in working with any country that shares this commitment.

Just to emphasize this issue of speed again. When I was down at the CDC — and perhaps this has already been discussed, but I want to emphasize this — the outbreak is such where at this point more people will die. But the slope of the curve, how fast we can arrest the spread of this disease, how quickly we can contain it is within our control. And if we move fast, even if imperfectly, then that could mean the difference between 10,000, 20,000, 30,000 deaths versus hundreds of thousands or even a million deaths. So this is not one where there should be a lot of wrangling and people waiting to see who else is doing what. Everybody has got to move fast in order for us to make a difference. And if we do, we’ll save hundreds of thousands of lives.

Stopping Ebola is a priority for the United States. I’ve said that this is as important a national security priority for my team as anything else that’s out there. We’ll do our part. We will continue to lead, but this has to be a priority for everybody else. We cannot do this alone. We don’t have the capacity to do all of this by ourselves. We don’t have enough health workers by ourselves. We can build the infrastructure and the architecture to get help in, but we’re going to need others to contribute.

To my fellow leaders from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, to the people of West Africa, to the heroic health workers who are on the ground as we speak, in some cases, putting themselves at risk — I want you to know that you are not alone. We’re working urgently to get you the help you need. And we will not stop, we will not relent until we halt this epidemic once and for all.

So I want to thank all of you for the efforts that are made. But I hope that I’m properly communicating a sense of urgency here. Do not stand by, thinking that somehow, because of what we’ve done, that it’s taken care of. It’s not. And if we don’t take care of this now we are going to see fallout effects and secondary effects from this that will have ramifications for a long time, above and beyond the lives that will have been lost.

I urge all of you, particularly those who have direct access to your heads of state, to make sure that they are making this a top priority in the next several weeks and months.

Thank you very much. (Applause.)

Sep 262014
 

PARIS, France, September 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Winners of the first Media Awards on Electrical Counterfeiting in Africa on Thursday received their awards during a special ceremony held in Grenoble (France) in the presence of Mrs Tracy Garner, Global Anti-counterfeiting Manager at Schneider Electric (http://www.schneider-electric.com).

Photo 1: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1402

Photo2: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1403 (Adedeji Ademigbuji, senior correspondent at The Nation newspaper (Nigeria) and Tracy Garner, Global Anti-counterfeiting Manager at Schneider Electric)

Photo 3: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1404 (Birame Faye, reporter at Le Quotidien newspaper in Senegal and Tracy Garner, Global Anti-counterfeiting Manager at Schneider Electric)

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

The Media Awards on Electrical Counterfeiting in Africa was established by Schneider Electric (http://www.schneider-electric.com), the global specialist in energy management. It recognises African journalists who publish or broadcast outstanding investigative reports on issues relating to electrical counterfeiting in Africa.

The first Media Awards on Electrical Counterfeiting in Africa was won by Adedeji Ademigbuji, senior correspondent at The Nation newspaper (Nigeria), for his piece entitled “Checking the menace of fake electrical products” and by Birame Faye, reporter at Le Quotidien newspaper in Senegal, for his piece entitled “Electricité – Usage des produits contrefaits : De l’insécurité dans notre confort domestique”.

“Schneider Electric is extremely proud to award the very first Media Awards on Electrical Counterfeiting in Africa. I would like to express my warmest congratulations to these two very talented journalists,” said Tracy Garner, Global Anti-counterfeiting Manager at Schneider Electric.

Adedeji Ademigbuji started his journalism career in 2001 as an intern after completing a National Diploma Programme from The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Oyo State (Nigeria).

In 2006, Adedeji joined the National Standard news magazine. Later that year, he left the National Standard as a senior correspondent to work as a freelance writer for The Sun newspaper. In 2011, Adedeji joined the National Mirror as a business correspondent. After winning the 2013 Social Enterprise Reporting Award (SERA) in the CSR category and the Nigerian Media Merit Awards (NMMA) Coca-Cola Prize in the Brands & Marketing category, setting records in the Newspaper Reporter of the Year and Telecom Reporter of the Year categories, he was sought out by The Nation newspaper to handle the paper’s Brands & Marketing pages.

A graduate of the Institute of Science and Information Technology (CESTI) at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar (Senegal), Birame Faye joined Le Quotidien newspaper immediately after completing his studies. Birame specialised in Online Journalism at the Berlin International Institute, before being assigned to his newspaper’s political section. He then took part in two training courses in Economic and Financial Journalism at the Thomson Reuters Foundation. In 2012, he also attended a training course in Investigative Journalism organised by the Panos Institute in West Africa (IPAO). On two occasions, he was awarded the First Prize for Investigative Journalism launched by the IPAO. Birame Faye holds a Master’s degree in Media and Communication, as well as a Master’s degree in Project Management.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Schneider Electric SA.

Contact:

APO (African Press Organization)

schneider@apo-opa.org

+41 22 534 96 97

About Schneider Electric

As a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric (http://www.schneider-electric.com) offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in Utilities & Infrastructure, Industries & Machines Manufacturers, Non-residential Building, Data Centres & Networks and Residential. Focused on making energy safe, reliable, efficient, productive and green, the Group’s 140,000 plus employees achieved sales of €24 billion in 2012 through an active commitment to help individuals and organisations make the most of their energy.

Sep 262014
 

PARIS, France, September 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Winners of the first Media Awards on Electrical Counterfeiting in Africa on Thursday received their awards during a special ceremony held in Grenoble (France) in the presence of Mrs Tracy Garner, Global Anti-counterfeiting Manager at Schneider Electric (http://www.schneider-electric.com).

Photo 1: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1402

Photo2: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1403 (Adedeji Ademigbuji, senior correspondent at The Nation newspaper (Nigeria) and Tracy Garner, Global Anti-counterfeiting Manager at Schneider Electric)

Photo 3: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1404 (Birame Faye, reporter at Le Quotidien newspaper in Senegal and Tracy Garner, Global Anti-counterfeiting Manager at Schneider Electric)

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

The Media Awards on Electrical Counterfeiting in Africa was established by Schneider Electric (http://www.schneider-electric.com), the global specialist in energy management. It recognises African journalists who publish or broadcast outstanding investigative reports on issues relating to electrical counterfeiting in Africa.

The first Media Awards on Electrical Counterfeiting in Africa was won by Adedeji Ademigbuji, senior correspondent at The Nation newspaper (Nigeria), for his piece entitled “Checking the menace of fake electrical products” and by Birame Faye, reporter at Le Quotidien newspaper in Senegal, for his piece entitled “Electricité – Usage des produits contrefaits : De l’insécurité dans notre confort domestique”.

“Schneider Electric is extremely proud to award the very first Media Awards on Electrical Counterfeiting in Africa. I would like to express my warmest congratulations to these two very talented journalists,” said Tracy Garner, Global Anti-counterfeiting Manager at Schneider Electric.

Adedeji Ademigbuji started his journalism career in 2001 as an intern after completing a National Diploma Programme from The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Oyo State (Nigeria).

In 2006, Adedeji joined the National Standard news magazine. Later that year, he left the National Standard as a senior correspondent to work as a freelance writer for The Sun newspaper. In 2011, Adedeji joined the National Mirror as a business correspondent. After winning the 2013 Social Enterprise Reporting Award (SERA) in the CSR category and the Nigerian Media Merit Awards (NMMA) Coca-Cola Prize in the Brands & Marketing category, setting records in the Newspaper Reporter of the Year and Telecom Reporter of the Year categories, he was sought out by The Nation newspaper to handle the paper’s Brands & Marketing pages.

A graduate of the Institute of Science and Information Technology (CESTI) at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar (Senegal), Birame Faye joined Le Quotidien newspaper immediately after completing his studies. Birame specialised in Online Journalism at the Berlin International Institute, before being assigned to his newspaper’s political section. He then took part in two training courses in Economic and Financial Journalism at the Thomson Reuters Foundation. In 2012, he also attended a training course in Investigative Journalism organised by the Panos Institute in West Africa (IPAO). On two occasions, he was awarded the First Prize for Investigative Journalism launched by the IPAO. Birame Faye holds a Master’s degree in Media and Communication, as well as a Master’s degree in Project Management.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Schneider Electric SA.

Contact:

APO (African Press Organization)

schneider@apo-opa.org

+41 22 534 96 97

About Schneider Electric

As a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric (http://www.schneider-electric.com) offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in Utilities & Infrastructure, Industries & Machines Manufacturers, Non-residential Building, Data Centres & Networks and Residential. Focused on making energy safe, reliable, efficient, productive and green, the Group’s 140,000 plus employees achieved sales of €24 billion in 2012 through an active commitment to help individuals and organisations make the most of their energy.

Sep 262014
 

NEW YORK, September 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Millions of people hit by conflict and severe food insecurity need urgent help in South Sudan. World leaders, aid chiefs and other senior representatives came together today at the United Nations to raise awareness of the urgency of the humanitarian situation and call for a peaceful solution to the crisis.

Nearly two million people have been forced from their homes by violence since last December. Almost half a million people have crossed borders into neighbouring Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda, while four million people – more than a third of the entire country – are facing alarming food insecurity.

Led by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, keynote speakers at the meeting – including H.E. Dr. Aisha Abdullahi, Commissioner for Political Affairs of the African Union Commission, and the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia and Norway, among others, – called for a sustainable and peaceful solution to the crisis.

“I have told the parties there is no military solution to the conflict. I call today, once again, on the leadership of both sides to find an inclusive and mutually agreed power sharing arrangement to start a transitional phase of governance,” said the Secretary-General. “Those responsible for atrocities must face justice through a mechanism that meets international standards. The leaders must protect civilians, allow humanitarian access and guarantee the safety of aid operations.”

Nearly forty Member States and regional bodies took part, underscoring the high priority this crisis holds for the international community.

Senior representatives of Médecins Sans Frontières, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the UN Peacekeeping Chief and the SG’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict joined Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, in highlighting the appalling situation faced by the most vulnerable South Sudanese, especially women and children.

“Working with our partners we may have managed to avert a famine situation in South Sudan this year. However, the real risk of famine remains for at least 2.5 million people in the coming months, while millions more fear renewed fighting,” warned USG Amos. “It is vital that the political leaders in South Sudan put their people first. Aid organizations cannot solve this man-made crisis – we can only try and help people deal with the dire consequences.”

Humanitarian agencies are seeking to raise US$1.8 billion for South Sudan by the end of 2014 so that aid workers can deliver basic life-saving supplies and services. During the event the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the European Union pledged more than US$106 million in new funding for humanitarian action, and an additional CERF allocation of $60 million was announced.

In conclusion, USG Amos noted that the international community must ensure that the leadership of South Sudan recognizes the seriousness of the situation: “We have to put the people first.”

Sep 262014
 

NEW YORK, September 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Millions of people hit by conflict and severe food insecurity need urgent help in South Sudan. World leaders, aid chiefs and other senior representatives came together today at the United Nations to raise awareness of the urgency of the humanitarian situation and call for a peaceful solution to the crisis.

Nearly two million people have been forced from their homes by violence since last December. Almost half a million people have crossed borders into neighbouring Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda, while four million people – more than a third of the entire country – are facing alarming food insecurity.

Led by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, keynote speakers at the meeting – including H.E. Dr. Aisha Abdullahi, Commissioner for Political Affairs of the African Union Commission, and the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia and Norway, among others, – called for a sustainable and peaceful solution to the crisis.

“I have told the parties there is no military solution to the conflict. I call today, once again, on the leadership of both sides to find an inclusive and mutually agreed power sharing arrangement to start a transitional phase of governance,” said the Secretary-General. “Those responsible for atrocities must face justice through a mechanism that meets international standards. The leaders must protect civilians, allow humanitarian access and guarantee the safety of aid operations.”

Nearly forty Member States and regional bodies took part, underscoring the high priority this crisis holds for the international community.

Senior representatives of Médecins Sans Frontières, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the UN Peacekeeping Chief and the SG’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict joined Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, in highlighting the appalling situation faced by the most vulnerable South Sudanese, especially women and children.

“Working with our partners we may have managed to avert a famine situation in South Sudan this year. However, the real risk of famine remains for at least 2.5 million people in the coming months, while millions more fear renewed fighting,” warned USG Amos. “It is vital that the political leaders in South Sudan put their people first. Aid organizations cannot solve this man-made crisis – we can only try and help people deal with the dire consequences.”

Humanitarian agencies are seeking to raise US$1.8 billion for South Sudan by the end of 2014 so that aid workers can deliver basic life-saving supplies and services. During the event the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the European Union pledged more than US$106 million in new funding for humanitarian action, and an additional CERF allocation of $60 million was announced.

In conclusion, USG Amos noted that the international community must ensure that the leadership of South Sudan recognizes the seriousness of the situation: “We have to put the people first.”