Sep 122014

GENEVA, Switzerland, September 12, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — WHO welcomes the commitment from the Government of Cuba to provide 165 health professionals to support Ebola care in West Africa. The newly announced support includes physicians, nurses, epidemiologists, specialists in infection control, intensive care specialists and social mobilization officers, and will be concentrated in Sierra Leone.

“If we are going to go to war with Ebola, we need the resources to fight,” says Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “I am extremely grateful for the generosity of the Cuban government and these health professionals for doing their part to help us contain the worst Ebola outbreak ever known. This will make a significant difference in Sierra Leone.”

The WHO Ebola response roadmap, released on 28 August, highlights the need for a massively scaled response to support affected countries. The commitment from the Cuban government exemplifies the kind of international effort required to intensify response activities and strengthen national capacities.

“Cuba is world-famous for its ability to train outstanding doctors and nurses and for its generosity in helping fellow countries on the route to progress,” says Dr Chan.

The health professionals will deploy to Sierra Leone the first week in October and stay for 6 months. They have all worked previously in Africa.

Sep 122014

GENEVA, Switzerland, September 12, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — FIFA and the United Nations have decided today to join forces in the effort to stop the spread of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

The football field at Monrovia’s Antoinette Tubman Stadium, donated by FIFA to the Liberia Football Association, will serve as the site for two urgently needed large-scale Ebola treatment units.

After the World Health Organization (WHO) identified the FIFA football pitch as the most suitable location in terms of effectiveness and safety, FIFA – one of whose missions is “to build a better future” – immediately expressed its support for the proposed action to convert the pitch into treatment units.

FIFA President Blatter said that, “thanks to the continuous fruitful and fundamental collaboration between FIFA and the United Nations, today we can use the power of football to combat the Ebola epidemic. To allay any concerns regarding the impact of the treatment units on the recently installed pitch, FIFA has also proposed to cover the costs of any damage.”

Wilfried Lemke, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General of the United Nations on Sport for Development and Peace added, “The Ebola outbreak also has a tremendous impact on the sport community, ranging from health treats to the athletes themselves and restrictions of travel affecting competitions and the development of sport. National authorities, the UN and the world of sport need to work closely together in order to halt the spread of the disease. The commitment of sport organizations to support our efforts is very much welcomed and crucial. It is my hope that many will join in this fight. In particular I was very pleased to note FIFA’s pledge to support health-related measures by agreeing to cover potential damages to the football pitch of the Antoinette Tubman stadium in Monrovia, Liberia that has been earmarked for the use for Ebola treatment centres.”

The collaboration will go beyond the lending of the Monrovia pitch. At its next Finance Committee meeting on 25 September, FIFA will propose to use resources from its solidarity fund to support the member associations of the affected countries (Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea) in the fight against Ebola. The additional financial support will have to be spent in solidarity with a local UN initiative.

Sep 112014

GENEVA, Switzerland, September 11, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — With cases of the Ebola virus disease continuing to surface at unprecedented speed in West Africa, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is expanding its emergency operations in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to reach millions more people through increased activities. The IFRC has revised its three emergency appeals for Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to a total of 30.2 million Swiss francs, an increase of 24 million Swiss francs. The aim is to now reach a total of 21.9 million people, more than double the number of beneficiaries originally targeted.

“With dozens of new cases emerging daily, this outbreak is showing no signs of slowing down,” said Alasan Senghore, IFRC Director, Africa. “Affected communities are relying on us. People are dying. If we are serious about stopping Ebola, we cannot afford to delay ramping up our response. But to do that, we need additional resources, and we cannot do it alone. We must all work together to achieve this ambitious goal.”

“Education is key to halting this outbreak,” said Birte Hald, IFRC regional head of emergency operations based in Guinea. “These revised emergency appeals will focus on communication, education, awareness raising, and social mobilization. We will expand the area of our operations to include new districts and counties, and ramp up our activities through the training of more volunteers.”

In Sierra Leone, the revised emergency appeal also covers a new 60-bed Ebola treatment centre in Kenema district, one of the worst affected districts. An extraordinary allocation of the IFRC’s disaster relief emergency fund (DREF) of one million Swiss francs, also allowed for the deployment of an emergency response unit to Kenema to facilitate the start-up of the treatment centre.

Since the outbreak was first declared in Guinea in March and throughout its spread to neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone, thousands of Red Cross volunteers have been trained and deployed to support the response in all three countries. Their roles include body management, contact tracing, psychosocial support, sensitization and surveillance. These activities will be scaled up under the revised emergency appeals, and more than 5,600 volunteers will be trained to ensure larger geographical areas can be reached.

“Communities have an opportunity here to assist in determining their own fate,” added Senghore. “Engaging communities through our trained volunteers will have an immediate and large pay off, as messages of prevention will be shared by community members themselves, the people who have the most interest in ensuring this outbreak is stopped.”

Following an Ebola outbreak in Nigeria, the IFRC has also launched an emergency appeal of 1.6 million Swiss francs to support the Nigerian Red Cross Society in assisting 5 million people over the next nine months. To date, there have been 17 confirmed Ebola cases in Nigeria and 6 confirmed deaths.

Sep 112014

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, September 11, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 452nd meeting held on 22 August 2014, adopted the following decision on the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Region:


1. Takes note of the presentations made by the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission in the Great Lakes Region and the Deputy Executive Secretary of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), as well as by the representatives of the United Nations and the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), on the implementation of the PSC Framework. Council also takes note of the statements made by the representatives of the DRC and of Angola, in its capacity as Chairman of the ICGLR and the European Union (EU), as well as Rwanda, Nigeria, France, the United States of America, the United Kingdom and the Russian Federation as members of the UN Security Council;

2. Recalls its previous communiqués and press statements on the implementation of the PSC Framework;

3. Welcomes the continued implementation of the PSC Framework, and encourages all the signatory parties to scrupulously honour their commitments thereunder;

4. Stresses that despite the progress already made, many challenges are still to be overcome, notably: (i) the continued presence of negative forces in eastern DRC, including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR); (ii) the delay in the implementation of the Conclusions of the Kampala Direct Dialogue between the DRC Government and the M23, as contained in their statements adopted in Nairobi on 12 December 2013; (iii) the illegal exploitation of natural resources in eastern DRC; and (iv) the persistence of impunity despite the reforms that the Congolese Government is endeavouring to bring about;

5. Encourages, once again, the Congolese Government and the other signatories to the PSC Framework to intensify their efforts to honour, in good faith, all their commitments. Council expresses its appreciation particularly to the Congolese Government for the results already obtained in this regard, and urges it to expedite the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR), as well as the Disarmament, Demobilization, Repatriation, Reintegration and Resettlement (DDRRR) processes;

6. Calls upon the international community to continue to support the efforts of the countries of the region to implement the PSC Framework, as well as the recommendations of the 2nd Joint ICGLR/SADC ministerial meeting, held in Luanda, on 2 July 2014, on the surrender and disarmament of the FDLR. In this regard, Council recalls the ultimatum contained in the Final Communiqué of the Second mini-Summit of Heads of State and Government of the ICGLR on the Security Situation in the DRC and the Great Lakes Region, held in Luanda, on 14 August 2014;

7. Welcomes the appointment of Mr. Said Djinnit as the new Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to the Great Lakes Region. Council welcomes him to the Region and pledges to support him. Council encourages him to pursue the efforts towards the implementation of the PSC Framework, and calls upon the Commission and the countries of the Region to give him all the support he needs to carry out his mandate;

8. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Sep 112014

LAGOS, Nigeria, September 11, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Well-known global business leader and chairman of Heirs Holdings Tony Elumelu says the group “has the ambition to generate at least a quarter of Nigeria’s power consumption needs in the next five years.” Heirs Holdings’ interests in the power sector include Transcorp Ughelli Power, a gas-fired, thermal power generating plant which was acquired under the privatisation of Nigeria’s power sector.


Photo Tony Elumelu:

Mr Elumelu will deliver the keynote address at this year’s West African Power Industry Convention (WAPIC) ( in Lagos from 18-19 November. The 11th edition of this long running, high-level energy conference and expo will once again gather government, utilities, consultants and investors to discuss the challenges of local markets, capacity building and investment.

Experience at Ughelli

According to the Heirs Holdings chairman “the power industry is a catalytic sector and the development of our country and our continent cannot happen without fixing it.”

He describes the USA’s Power Africa Initiative as “an amazing opportunity to democratize access to power for Africans, and the $2.5 billion investment commitment we have made reflects exactly how excited I am about it. The present administration made a bold decision when it decided to affect the changes envisaged by the Power Sector Reform Act — legislation that had been on the books since 2005. And that bold step was reinforced during President Barack Obama’s last visit to Africa. We felt more strongly than ever, the need to help power Africa.”

He continues: “our experience so far at Ughelli power plant is testimony to the size of the opportunity; our amazing team has taken that plant from 150MW capacity when we took over in November 2013, to 450MW today; we expect it to increase 700MW by October and to achieve 1000MW by the second quarter of 2015. At that rate, we’ll be contributing 20 per cent of Nigeria’s total power generation.“ Furthermore, he says they are working on a greenfield project that will expand the capacity of Ughelli by an additional 1000MW in the next three to five years and they have signed an MOU with GE and Symbion Power to facilitate this.

Challenges in Nigerian power sector

Mr Elumelu lists three main challenges in the Nigerian power sector, namely unreliable transmission infrastructure, access to uninterrupted gas supply and timely settlement of invoiced payments.

He adds: “in Nigeria, one of the biggest challenges to power generation is transmission and in fact, while Ughelli Power Plant generated at full capacity for the first time in July, we’ve been asked to scale down generation because of the outdated transmission systems; for every 100MW generated and sent to transmission companies, 40 per cent is lost, in part because of this infrastructure issue.”

While regulation is not a key challenge, says the Heirs Holdings chairman, it is an issue within the sector that if addressed, has the potential to speed sector growth exponentially. “We need pragmatic regulation that recognizes that within Nigeria, the sector is nascent and so policies must be designed to encourage growth. In fairness, the federal government is confronting these challenges head on.”

Africapitalism creating social wealth

Mr Elumelu has termed his economic philosophy as “Africapitalism”, which he says places more weight on long-term investments in key sectors that drive growth. He explains: “my personal experience also suggests that sustained economic prosperity must be inclusive and must create social wealth. Africapitalism is my attempt to advocate and promote what has worked for me. We as Africans are uniquely qualified to take the lead and develop Africa. I think we need to be more self-confident in order to create the sort of future our children deserve. All the ingredients for success are here in Africa and investing for the long term in key sectors, our people, and processes, will help to solve our problems and retain wealth within the continent.”


During his keynote address at WAPIC in Lagos in November, Tony Elumelu says he will “discuss the opportunities that I have discovered in the power space and the efforts of African power sector leaders through the West African Energy Leaders Forum to improve access to electricity across West Africa.”

The event is organised by Spintelligent, leading Cape Town-based trade exhibition and conference organiser, and the African office of Clarion Events Ltd in the UK.

WAPIC dates and venue:

Conference days: 18-19 November 2014

Pre-conference workshops: 17 November 2014

West African Power Industry Awards: 18 November 2014

Site visits: 20 November 2014

Venue: Eko Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the West African Power Industry Convention (WAPIC).




Communications manager: Annemarie Roodbol

Telephone : +27 21 700 3558

Mobile: +27 82 562 7844


Sep 112014

GENEVA, Switzerland, September 11, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Disease outbreak news
10 September 2014

Epidemiological situation

Between 2 and 9 September 2014, there have been 31 more cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported in t…

Sep 112014

DAKAR, Senegal, September 11, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Aerocomm Ltd has named APO (African Press Organization) ( the official wire service of Aviation Africa 2015 (, a 2-day Summit & Exhibition, which takes place 10-11 May 2015 in Dubai, UAE.

Logo :

Photo: (Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Founder and CEO of APO (African Press Organization)

As the official newswire, APO is offering exhibitors a 20 percent discount off news release distribution

Aviation Africa 2015’s press releases will be distributed via Africa Wire®, the newswire service for press release distribution and monitoring in Africa. This reaches over 50,000 media outlets, bloggers and social networks, and redistributes content to more than 50 African websites, as well as to Bloomberg Terminal, Thomson Reuters, Lexis Nexis, Dow Jones Factiva, 250 million mobile subscribers in 30 countries, and more.

Used by some of the world’s largest companies, PR agencies, institutions and organizations, APO Africa Wire® has a potential reach of 600 million and guarantees the most extensive outreach in Africa, acting as a channel that allows APO’s clients to target audiences in all parts of the continent and also the world.

“Better connected African countries and regions through a viable air transport industry could be the catalyst that can boost intra-African business, trade, tourism as well as cultural exchange. We at APO feel that connectivity starts with communication hence we look forward to supporting the Aviation Africa 2015 in Dubai; where we have opened our latest office,”, said Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, APO Founder and CEO.

More information about Africa Wire®, the service for newswire press release distribution in Africa, is available at


Aïssatou Diallo

+41 22 534 96 97

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Sep 112014

JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, September 11, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — CEOs in Africa are optimistic about their company’s prospects for revenue growth over the medium term, according to PwC’s ‘Africa Business Agenda, 2014′ report issued today ( Suresh Kana, Senior Partner for PwC Africa, says: “CEOs in Africa feel more positive about their ability to generate revenue growth and about prospects for the economy now that they are emerging from the global financial recession.”


Photo: (Suresh Kana, Senior Partner for PwC Africa)

“It is interesting to note however that CEOs are slightly more anxious about their prospects for growth over the short-term,” adds Kana. Although 84% remain confident overall, only 40% say they are ‘very confident’. “CEOs acknowledge that a lot more needs to be done in terms of transforming the continent’s potential for exponential growth into tangible business opportunities,” he says. “CEOs are looking on multiple fronts for growth opportunities – for many, the search for growth will not be an easy task.”

‘The Agenda’ compiles results from 260 CEOs in Africa and includes insights from business and public sector leaders from 18 countries. The report shows that most CEOs in Africa feel confident about their approach to managing risk, despite some volatility and uncertainty.

The pace of change in the world is speeding up with a series of transitions, known as global megatrends that will transform business and society. African CEOs rank technological advances (69%), urbanisation (67%) and demographic shifts (63%) as the top three defining trends that will transform their businesses over the next five years. They are aware of the implications of these changes for their businesses, as well as the outlook for Africa. Many have recognised the need for change or are making changes to their businesses.

“Every day breakthroughs in frontiers of research and development are opening up new opportunities for businesses. As technologies progress, they will generate more improvements in efficiency and productivity. In turn, these advances are expected to trigger a strong acceleration in economic growth towards the end of the coming decade,” comments Kana.

The growth agenda

Confidence is on the rise among Africa’s CEOs. In general, they are more confident about their own company’s growth than they are about their industry’s prospects. While less than half are ‘very confident’ about their company’s growth prospects in the short term, less than a third (26%) are ‘very confident’ about industry growth. CEOs in Africa say that their desire to create something is what drives their organisation’s strategic planning. They rank products/service innovation (31%), increased share in existing markets (27%), followed by new geographic markets (20%) as opportunities for growth but are equally concerned about shifts in consumer spending and behaviours.

Going forward, African CEOs say that they will be more actively looking for partners, while keeping an eye on costs. Almost half of them plan to initiate a new strategic alliance or joint venture in the next 12 months, and nearly a third are anticipating an acquisition, mainly in their home country or elsewhere in Africa. China is emerging as a key for consideration for growth prospects, followed by the US and South Africa, respectively. This is an indication of overall better economic prospects, higher availability of finance, and the growing presence of potential local and international partners attracted by the continent’s potential.

“We are also seeing more use of technological innovation and products, with no less than 91% of African CEOs either recognising the need to change their investments or in the process of doing so. Similarly, 85% said the same about data analytics,” says Kana. Following a decade of rapid urbanisation, Africa is undergoing a digital revolution. However, there are still many hurdles and obstacles to overcome to the development of digital economy on the continent – and many of these hurdles are related to the development of a stable political and legal environment for companies, citizens and investors.

Main risks to doing business in Africa

Infrastructure is important in driving economic growth and employment on the continent. However, 45% of African CEOs believe that their governments have been ineffective in improving the country’s basic infrastructure, such as electricity, water supply, transport and housing. CEOs also identified the creation of a skilled workforce (64%), the reduction of poverty and inequality (62%), and creating more jobs for young people (74%) as areas in which governments should be taking more decisive action and creating a business-friendly environment.

“In our view, one of the big challenges is for government to find new ways to form strategic collaborations and partnerships with people from other sectors, such as business. Tomorrow’s public body will need to act differently – governments of the future will need to embrace a lot of private-public partnerships.”

The report shows that for CEOs in Africa, government responses to over-regulation (80%), exchange rate volatility (79%) the fiscal deficit and debt burdens (78%) and adequate infrastructure are key areas of concern, and that governments have their work cut out for them. Other areas of concern are the increasing tax burden, slow or negative growth in developed economies (70%) and the lack of stability in capital markets (65%). But the report does show that 45% of CEOs say that governments have effectively achieved the outcome of ensuring financial sector stability and access to affordable capital.

Kana says that CEOs in South Africa share many of the concerns with their peers on the continent, with the survey showing that they have common worries about high or volatile energy costs (South Africa: 82%, Africa 76%); the availability of key skills (South Africa: 87%; Africa 83%); and new market entrants (South Africa: 63%; Africa: 58%).

Most companies in Africa have some degree of risk management in place. The report shows that 31% of respondents have implemented plans to manage risk more effectively and 37% are strengthening their corporate governance structure. To prevent fraud, many CEOs in Africa are focused on supply chain management. For 83% of CEOs in Africa, bribery and corruption is a significant and frustrating threat to business growth.

Kana adds: “An effective risk management approach requires organisations to think differently and the main challenge is good communication. By setting the tone from the top, boards and management can prioritise risk management and grow stronger, more resilient organisations.”

As governments make strides worldwide to improve their fiscal systems, more than half of African CEOs (53%) say the international tax system hasn’t changed to reflect the way multinationals do business today and is in need of reform. Just 32% of CEOs said their government had been effective in creating a more internationally competitive and efficient tax system.

The skills challenge

CEOs globally remain concerned as ever about the availability of key skills. The survey shows that nowhere is the shortage of skills more acute than in fast-growing markets such as Africa, where CEOs are particularly concerned about skills shortages (83%). Most CEOs expect to maintain or increase their company’s headcount over the next 12 months.

Furthermore, the competitive market for top talent influences compensation, with many companies under significant pressure to match or exceed pay conditions among peer companies to recruit or retain top talent.

African CEOs also report that they are using a range of leadership development programmes intended to develop and grow more diversity within the talent pool. “To be successful, leadership development programmes must work to grow capacity and agility among top talent,” adds Kana.

Adapting to change

“Africa is a complex and diverse continent. Doing business on the continent can be a daunting experience for any organisation as they are faced with a myriad of uncertainties and challenges in different political, economic and legal environments.

“Notwithstanding the difficulties and challenges ahead, many African organisations have learnt to brace themselves and adapt quickly, overcoming many of these challenges, including mitigating the risks – and turning Africa into the next frontier of growth,” concludes Kana.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC).


Suresh Kana, PwC Senior Partner for Africa

Office: +27 11 797 4312



Lindiwe Magana, Media Relations Manager

Office: +27 11 797 5042


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