Nov 182014
 

NEW YORK, November 18, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The members of the Security Council welcomed the signing on 16 November 2014 of a Charter for the Transition in Burkina Faso, which provides the legal framework for a civilian-led transi…

Nov 182014
 

CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, November 18, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — UNHCR and the University of Cape Town today launched the inaugural session of the Cape Town Programme in International Refugee Law. This Programme seeks to improve the protection of refugees and asylum seekers in Southern Africa by fostering constructive dialogue between policymakers, academics and civil society.

Senior government officials from Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe are attending the four day programme where they will be encouraged to explore the legal and policy changes required to bring the region closer to international standards of refugee protection.

Governments in the region are concerned about national security, trafficking, human smuggling and abuses of the asylum system. This has resulted in stricter border controls. Identifying people in need of international protection is difficult due to the severe capacity constraints faced by the national asylum systems. While nearly all countries are party to the 1951 Refugee Convention, its 1967 Protocol, and the 1969 OAU Convention, most have done so with reservations regarding freedom of movement and access to employment. All of the countries, with the exception of Angola and South Africa, have encampment policies that restrict freedom of movement and limit possibilities for self-reliance. Populations in the camps have lived there for decades finding it difficult to envision a better future. With this training, UNHCR hopes to encourage governments to look at refugees from the point of view of the positive contributions they can make to their new host communities and with a view to ensuring their human rights are respected.

“UNHCR provides training to government officials all the time, but what is unique about this programme is that we will focus on the specific challenges of refuge protection in Africa and how to strengthen refugee protection as provided for in the various refugee conventions,”said UNHCR’s Regional Representative for Southern Africa, Clementine Nkweta-Salami.

The 1969 OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa which came into force 40 years ago will be reviewed in depth, along with the protection regime enshrined in 1981 OAU African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and on regional traditions and values concerning the protection and assistance to others.

“We are excited to be partnering with UNHCR on this programme and to have such distinguished African scholars and experts present to discuss this important issue of our time with government officials who can make an impact on improving the rights of refugees,” states Fatima Khan, Director of the Refugee Rights Programme at the University of Cape Town.

Southern Africa currently hosts some 415,000 refugees and asylum seekers mostly originating from the Great Lakes and the Horn of Africa.

Nov 182014
 

RABAT, Morocco, November 18, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — An International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff team led by Jean-François Dauphin visited Morocco during November 5-17, 2014 to conduct discussions with the Moroccan authorities on the 2014 Article IV consultation, as well as on the first review of economic performance under the Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL) arrangement approved in July 2014. The discussions focused on policies to consolidate recent gains in macroeconomic stabilization, and build the foundation for stronger and more inclusive growth.

At the conclusion of the visit, Mr. Dauphin issued the following statement:

“Sound economic fundamentals and strong policy implementation have helped stabilize the economy, in spite of the headwinds it has faced. After a bumper crop in 2013, agriculture output has come down and is expected to bring down GDP growth in 2014 to around 3 percent, despite a recent pick-up of non-agricultural activity. Inflation remains low. The external current account deficit is narrowing and should reach about 6 percent of GDP. International reserves have also improved. This performance reflects in part the rise in exports from newly developed industries as well as lower capital good and energy imports, the latter mainly because of the recent fall in oil prices. The fiscal deficit has been contracting since its 2012 peak owing in particular to measures taken by the government. Public debt has increased but remains sustainable. Progress was made over the last decade in reducing poverty, but more needs to be done to increase employment, reduce inequalities, and improve education and access to basic infrastructure. In this context, it is important that the authorities continue the reforms undertaken to stabilize the economy, strengthen competitiveness, and build the foundation for stronger and more inclusive growth.

“Growth is expected close to 4½ percent in 2015, as non-agricultural sectors continue to improve and the agriculture sector returns to a normal trend. However, the Moroccan economy still faces important downside external risks, including in relation with growth in Europe.

“The pace of strengthening public finances, notably as reflected in the 2015 draft budget that targets a deficit of 4.3 percent of GDP, is appropriate. Fiscal reforms that help sustain these efforts, reduce fiscal vulnerabilities, and create space for investment in infrastructure, health, education, and social protection are crucial to fostering higher and more inclusive growth. In that respect, the significant progress achieved in reforming the subsidy system is commendable. The reform of the pension system is urgent to maintain its viability. The adoption of a new organic budget law is also expected to strengthen and modernize the fiscal framework.

“Regarding the external sector, the continued improvement of the current account, external reserves and the resilience of the economy to external shocks, is welcome. This improvement owes in part to the emergence of new export industries, which has mitigated the impact of shocks to traditional exports. Stepped up efforts to improve the business environment, transparency, competition and governance are important to support competitiveness and potential growth. Greater flexibility in the exchange rate regime, in coordination with other macroeconomic and structural policies, would also help support competitiveness and enhance the economy’s capacity to absorb shocks.

“The financial sector remains sound overall. We support the efforts of Bank Al-Maghrib to strengthen supervision, including of Moroccan banks’ cross-border activities in light of the rapid expansion of some banks in sub-Saharan Africa. The adoption of new banking and central bank laws is expected to help strengthen the financial sector. The authorities’ efforts to improve financial inclusion and access to credit are also welcome.

“The mission would like to thank the Moroccan authorities and all those with whom it had the opportunity to meet, including representatives of the private sector and civil society, for their excellent cooperation and productive discussions.”

Background information:

The IMF Executive Board approved a 24-month arrangement under the Precautionary and Liquidity Line in an amount equivalent to about US$5 billion (550 percent of Morocco’s quota) in July 2014 (See Press Release No. 14/368).

Nov 172014
 

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, November 17, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Foreign Affairs Council meeting
Brussels, 17 November 2014
The Council adopted the following conclusions:
“1. The European Union (EU) remains deeply concerned abou…

Nov 172014
 

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, November 17, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, welcomes the significant progress made in Burkina Faso towards the establishment of a civilian-led transition, in conformity with the aspirations of the people of Burkina Faso for change and the consolidation of democracy.

In this regard, the Chairperson of the Commission welcomes the restoration of the Constitution and the signing, yesterday, 16 November 2014 in Ouagadougou, by all Burkinabe stakeholders, of the Transitional Constitutional Charter, in the presence of the AU Special Envoy for Burkina Faso, Mr. Edem Kodjo. She also notes with satisfaction the appointment of a civilian, Michel Kafando, as President of the Transition. She notes that these measures are in line with the communiqué of the 465th meeting of the Peace and Security Council (PSC), held on 3 November 2014. The Chairperson of the Commission expresses her deep appreciation to all the stakeholders and the Burkinabe people for their political maturity and sense of responsibility, which made it possible to take these crucial steps. She encourages them to persevere in their efforts to ensure a civilian-led transition, in accordance with the aspirations of the people of Burkina Faso and the PSC communiqué.

The Chairperson of the Commission also expresses her appreciation to the AU current Chairman, President Mohamed Ould Abel Aziz of Mauritania, as well as to Presidents Macky Sall of Senegal, Chair of the Contact Group on Burkina Faso of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), John Dramani Mahama of Ghana, current Chairman of ECOWAS, Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, and Faure Gnassingbe of Togo, for their important role in supporting the Burkinabe people and stakeholders. She also welcomes the contribution of the joint AU/ECOWAS/United Nations (UN) missions, comprising the AU Special Envoy, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, and the UN Special Representative for West Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas.

The Chairperson of the Commission reiterates the AU’s commitment, in close cooperation with ECOWAS and the UN, to continue to support the efforts of the Burkinabe stakeholders for the completion of the Transition within the agreed timeframe. She calls on the larger international community to support these efforts and to mobilize the necessary support in favor of Burkina Faso.

Nov 172014
 

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, November 17, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, welcomes the significant progress made in Burkina Faso towards the establishment of a civilian-led transition, in conformity with the aspirations of the people of Burkina Faso for change and the consolidation of democracy.

In this regard, the Chairperson of the Commission welcomes the restoration of the Constitution and the signing, yesterday, 16 November 2014 in Ouagadougou, by all Burkinabe stakeholders, of the Transitional Constitutional Charter, in the presence of the AU Special Envoy for Burkina Faso, Mr. Edem Kodjo. She also notes with satisfaction the appointment of a civilian, Michel Kafando, as President of the Transition. She notes that these measures are in line with the communiqué of the 465th meeting of the Peace and Security Council (PSC), held on 3 November 2014. The Chairperson of the Commission expresses her deep appreciation to all the stakeholders and the Burkinabe people for their political maturity and sense of responsibility, which made it possible to take these crucial steps. She encourages them to persevere in their efforts to ensure a civilian-led transition, in accordance with the aspirations of the people of Burkina Faso and the PSC communiqué.

The Chairperson of the Commission also expresses her appreciation to the AU current Chairman, President Mohamed Ould Abel Aziz of Mauritania, as well as to Presidents Macky Sall of Senegal, Chair of the Contact Group on Burkina Faso of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), John Dramani Mahama of Ghana, current Chairman of ECOWAS, Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, and Faure Gnassingbe of Togo, for their important role in supporting the Burkinabe people and stakeholders. She also welcomes the contribution of the joint AU/ECOWAS/United Nations (UN) missions, comprising the AU Special Envoy, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, and the UN Special Representative for West Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas.

The Chairperson of the Commission reiterates the AU’s commitment, in close cooperation with ECOWAS and the UN, to continue to support the efforts of the Burkinabe stakeholders for the completion of the Transition within the agreed timeframe. She calls on the larger international community to support these efforts and to mobilize the necessary support in favor of Burkina Faso.

Nov 172014
 

MOGADISHU, Somalia, November 17, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) Nicholas Kay met with Somali political leaders on 16 November 2014. He was joined by Danish Ambassador Geert Aagaard Andersen, European Union (EU) Special Representative for the Horn of Africa Alex Rondos, EU Special Envoy to Somalia Michele Cervone d’Urso, Italian Ambassador Fabrizio Marcelli, Swedish Ambassador Mikael Lindvall and UK Ambassador Neil Wigan for meetings with His Excellency President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, His Excellency Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed and His Excellency Speaker of the Federal Parliament Mohamed Osman Jawari. They discussed the ongoing political crisis and urged the leaders to find a solution that would allow the Federal Government to implement the Vision 2016 plan for Somalia’s political transformation in a timely manner. Their meetings came as the Federal Government and Somalia’s international partners prepare for the first Ministerial-level High Level Partnership Forum (HLPF) in Copenhagen on 19 and 20 November.

“The HLPF will be a critical opportunity to review progress and chart the way ahead for the implementation of the New Deal Somali Compact. The Compact brings together national priorities agreed amongst the Somali people, the Federal Government and the international community. Much has been achieved, particularly through the concerted and joint efforts of the Federal Government. But significant challenges remain. The ongoing political crisis in Somalia is a serious risk to further progress. I call on all parties to find a way to resolve their differences quickly so that the business of statebuilding and peacebuilding can resume and accelerate.” said SRSG Kay.

Nov 172014
 

CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, November 17, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ —

• O Índice de Conetividade Global da DHL para 2014 destaca a melhoria geral da conetividade na região entre 2011 e 2013

• O Burundi foi o país que mais evoluiu nas classificações

De acordo com o recentemente divulgado Índice de Conetividade Global (ICG) da DHL (http://www.dpdhl.com), uma análise detalhada do nível de globalização em todo o mundo realizada pela DHL, líder mundial de logística, a região da África Subsariana registou, em média, o terceiro maior aumento em conetividade de 2011 a 2013 entre todas as regiões globais. Além disso, cinco dos países que apresentam o maior aumento nas suas pontuações (Burundi, Moçambique, Madagáscar, Mali e Costa do Marfim) localizam-se nesta região. A posição do Burundi, como o país com o maior aumento registado na pontuação de conetividade global (elevando-o da 140.a posição para a 137.a), foi impulsionada por um alargamento substancial das suas interações internacionais.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/dhl_logo2.jpg

Photo Charles Brewer: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/charles-brewer-1.jpg (Charles Brewer, Diretor-Geral da DHL Express da África Subsariana)

A globalização refere-se ao processo pelo qual as empresas ou outras organizações estabelecem uma influência internacional ou começam a operar a uma escala internacional. Segundo Charles Brewer, Diretor-Geral da DHL Express da África Subsariana, “a globalização é uma das forças que mais tem moldado o crescimento económico do continente e possui um grande potencial inexplorado para melhorar o nível de vida dos africanos. Os cidadãos de países globalizados desfrutam de um melhor acesso a uma vasta gama de bens e serviços, preços mais reduzidos e trabalhos melhor remunerados. A conetividade e a prosperidade estão intimamente ligadas e são ambas consequências da globalização. O aumento da conetividade na África Subsariana, indicado no ICG, demonstra que a região está no caminho certo relativamente ao comércio e conetividade globais.”

A terceira edição do ICG classifica 140 países relativamente aos seus níveis de conetividade global, com base nos fluxos internacionais de comércio, capital, informação e população. Uma das principais conclusões do relatório é que a conetividade global, avaliada pelos fluxos transfronteiriços de comércio, capital, informação e população, recuperou da maioria das perdas sofridas durante a crise financeira de 2008. O relatório também destaca o facto de as economias emergentes estarem a reformular a conetividade global e de estarem presentemente envolvidas na maioria das interações internacionais.

Segundo o ICG, o aumento nos níveis de conetividade na África Subsariana foi impulsionado pelas categorias de informação e população. O aumento na categoria de informação é particularmente notável, pois esta é a categoria na qual África se encontra a uma maior distância das outras regiões.

Brewer prossegue: “Na perspetiva da DHL Express da África Subsariana, existem algumas indústrias que contribuem significativamente para o nosso crescimento. Temos assistido a um crescimento sólido no setor energético, especialmente graças à mobilização de novas campanhas por parte de empresas exploradoras em países como os Camarões, Congo e Gabão. O setor tecnológico continua a oferecer oportunidades para a DHL fornecer soluções inovadoras, especialmente através da colaboração transversal de unidades de negócio, à medida que os clientes procuram organizar os seus requisitos internos no sentido de atingir eficácia e limitação de custos. Apesar de estarem sujeitos a pressão regulamentar e da concorrência, os serviços financeiros continuaram a crescer motivados principalmente pela necessidade de fornecer instrumentos financeiros aos seus clientes de forma rápida e eficaz. De uma perspetiva do mercado de consumo, a classe média emergente irá, entretanto, impulsionar a procura por bens de grande consumo, produtos de cuidados de saúde, assim como aumentar a procura nas áreas de retalho, alimentação, telecomunicações e outros bens necessários para os consumidores.”

O ICG mede a globalização em 3D: analisando o alcance, a direção (fluxos para o exterior vs. fluxos para o interior) e a distribuição geográfica (extensão) das interações transfronteiriças dos países.

“As conclusões do relatório confirmam que o comércio intra-africano e o comércio internacional estão a recuperar. Continuamos a estar otimistas em relação a África e o futuro só pode ser excelente. Está na altura da África se concentrar, ligar e crescer”, termina Brewer.

Distribuído pela APO (African Press Organization) em nome da Deutsche Post DHL.

Nota para os editores:

O ICG de 2014 conta com os perfis de 140 países e mapas personalizados dos seus fluxos comerciais. Também inclui visualizações inovadoras de fluxos globais, desenvolvidas em parceria com especialistas do Georgia Institute of Technology.

O relatório e as informações de contexto adicionais podem ser transferidos em www.dhl.com/GCI

Contacto para os meios de comunicação social:

Megan Collinicos. Diretora: Publicidade e Relações Públicas, África Subsariana

DHL Express

Tel.: +27 21 409 3613 Telemóvel: +27 76 411 8570

megan.collinicos@dhl.com

DHL – A empresa de logística para o mundo

A DHL (http://www.dpdhl.com) é a líder mundial de mercado na indústria logística e de transportes e “A empresa de logística para o mundo”. A DHL aplica os seus conhecimentos especializados sobre transporte expresso internacional, entrega de encomendas nacional e internacional, frete aéreo e marítimo, transporte rodoviário e ferroviário, bem como sobre soluções relacionadas com contratos e comércio eletrónico em toda a cadeia de abastecimento. Uma rede global composta por mais de 220 países e territórios e com cerca de 315 000 colaboradores em todo o mundo que disponibiliza aos consumidores a melhor qualidade de serviço e conhecimento local para satisfazer os seus requisitos de expedição e da cadeia de abastecimento. A DHL aceita a sua responsabilidade social ao apoiar a proteção ambiental, a gestão de catástrofes e a educação.

Nov 172014
 

WASHINGTON, November 17, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — For the first time, this year’s crop in the U.S. White House kitchen garden included orange sweet potato (OSP), a root vegetable rich in vitamin A, that is becoming popular in Africa. The sweet potato was chosen to highlight its role in improving the nutrition and health of millions of children and women throughout sub-Saharan Africa by providing essential vitamin A.

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

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/141115.png

Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is a major public health problem in many countries. It impairs immunity, increases the risk of illnesses such as diarrheal disease, and causes eye damage that can lead to blindness and even death. Annually, up to 500,000 preschool children go blind from VAD, and about two-thirds will die within months of going blind. In Africa, VAD prevalence is estimated at 42 percent among children under five.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is now funding efforts to provide 285,000 Ugandan farming households not only with orange sweet potato but also beans that are richer in iron, as part of the US Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future.

“Through Feed the Future, President Obama’s landmark food security initiative, we are scaling up the use of orange sweet potatoes in thousands of communities vulnerable to undernutrition and stunting,” said USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah. “In the last year alone, we have helped seven million farmers boost their harvests with new technologies like this, and reached 12.5 million children to tackle undernutrition—one of the leading contributors to child death that also undermines global growth.”

Orange fruits and vegetables, dark leafy greens, and animal products are good sources of vitamin A but are not always available, or may be too expensive in some regions. In many part of sub-Saharan Africa, people eat large amounts of staple foods like sweet potatoes. However, the types commonly eaten are yellow and white in color and a poor source of vitamin A. The orange varieties are extremely rich in vitamin A and have been adapted to growing conditions in Africa, and to local tastes. In addition to being a rich source of vitamin A, orange sweet potato is also high yielding, virus resistant, and drought tolerant. In Africa, the crop is also referred to as orange-fleshed sweet potato.

Farming communities in Uganda, where orange sweet potato is now being grown on a large scale as a result of US Government assistance, have substituted more than one-third of their traditional white and yellow sweet potatoes with orange varieties. This has helped to ensure that large numbers of children and women receive their daily needs for vitamin A. One study found that in these communities orange sweet potato contributed to more than half of the vitamin A intakes of young children aged 6 months to 3 years old. This is notable because the first 1,000 days of a child’s life, counted from the start of a woman’s pregnancy until the child is two years old, is the most critical period of growth and development. All it takes is one ice-cream scoop’s worth of orange sweet potato to provide a young child with his or her daily vitamin A requirement. Farmers are also able to sell their surplus crop to earn extra income.

Agnes Amony, a Ugandan farmer who is part of this project, says: “I began feeding my child on these nutritious foods following the knowledge I attained in the recommended feeding practices for children under five. My child began gaining weight steadily and I am in no doubt that these foods have saved my child’s life. I am forever grateful and will never stop feeding my child on these food crops.”

In the mid-1990s, USAID played a seminal role in convincing agricultural scientists that improving yields of staple food crops was not enough—they also had to make them more nutritious. Vitamin A-rich OSP emerged as one of the first nutritionally-enhanced—and most successful—staple food crops to date.

Under First Lady Michelle Obama, the White House kitchen garden has been expanded and reinvigorated to include a wide range of herbs, fruits, and vegetables. It serves to educate people, especially children, on the importance of good nutrition and the role that vegetables and fruits can play in improving health. The sweet potatoes that were planted in the garden were provided by North Carolina State University (NCSU) and include Covington, a variety developed at NCSU, and Beauregard, a variety developed at Louisiana State University. Beauregard has become one of the most popular OSP varieties, and is being grown as far afield as northern Brazil.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of HarvestPlus.

Media Contact:

Yassir Islam, HarvestPlus, Washington D.C.y.islam@cgiar.org Tel: +1 202-862-5602

Photos:

White House Garden Fall Harvest, 2014: https://www.flickr.com/photos/feedthefuture/sets/72157648364029539/

HarvestPlus Sweet Potato Project Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/harvestplus/sets/72157628028196093/

Farmers Speak: OSP (video): http://bit.ly/OSPFarmersSpeak

Resources:

10 Reasons We’re Sweet on Sweet Potatoes and Why You Should Be Too!: http://feedthefuture.gov/article/10-reasons-we%E2%80%99re-sweet-sweet-potatoes-and-why-you-should-be-too

Orange Sweet Potato Makes the Case that Biofortification Works: http://www.harvestplus.org/content/orange-sweet-potato-makes-case-biofortification-works

Orange Sweet Potato Reduces Risk of Vitamin A Deficiency among Children and Women in Mozambique: http://www.harvestplus.org/content/orange-sweet-potato-reduces-risk-vitamin-deficiency-among-children-and-women-mozambique

Infographic: Rooting out Hunger: http://www.harvestplus.org/sites/default/files/HarvestPlus_OFSP_Infographic_web(withlinks).pdf

More about Feed the Future:

Feed the Future is the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative. With a focus on smallholder farmers, particularly women, Feed the Future supports partner countries in developing their agriculture sectors to spur economic growth and trade that increase incomes and reduce hunger, poverty and undernutrition. More information: www.feedthefuture.gov.

More about HarvestPlus:

HarvestPlus (http://www.harvestplus.org) leads a global effort to improve nutrition and public health by developing and deploying staple food crops that are rich in vitamins and minerals. These crops have all been conventionally bred. HarvestPlus is part of the CGIAR (http://www.cgiar.org) Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) (http://www.a4nh.cgiar.org). CGIAR is a global agricultural research partnership for a food secure future. Its science is carried out by its 15 research centers in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations. The HarvestPlus program is coordinated by two of these centers – the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) (http://ciat.cgiar.org) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) (http://www.ifpri.org).

More about CIP:

The International Potato Center (http://cipotato.org), known by its Spanish acronym CIP, provides locally acceptable varieties of biofortified OSP in Africa, and is now responding to increasing global demand through a phased scaling-up program in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean (Haiti). CIP is a research center of the CGIAR.