Egypt’s Second Annual Maker Faire Kicks off Saturday

On Saturday March 26, The GrEEK Campus in downtown Cairo will be the site of the second annual Maker Faire, a festival that brings together thousands of enthusiasts of the international movement of “Makers,” individuals or groups who use new technology to make useful items from unused or discarded material.

Sponsored by the U.S. Embassy and hosted by FabLab Egypt, the Faire invites talented “Makers” from Egypt and the region who display their creations and discuss how they combine creativity with emerging technologies. Described as “The Greatest Show and Tell on Earth – a showcase of invention and resourcefulness,” the Faire will also feature talks by international leaders of the Maker movement.

Some of the technology on display will be a wearable device to help blind people navigate around streets and buildings, and a portable, solar-powered energy source for powering mobile devices. Dale Dougherty, who helped launch the first Maker Faire, held in 2006 near San Francisco, California, will be among the expert speakers.

This is the second year that FabLab and the U.S. Embassy have partnered to bring the Maker Faire to Cairo. Last year’s Faire drew more than 5000 people to see nearly 100 inventions. This year, FabLab has reached beyond Egypt to invite Makers from across the Middle East, making this the largest Maker Faire event in the region.

The Maker Faire will be held from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm at the GrEEK Campus in downtown Cairo. Tickets can be purchased online or at the event itself. For full information on the event, including a description of the projects and a schedule of speakers, visit makerfairecairo.com or visit FabLab’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/fablab.egypt/

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of U.S. Embassy – Cairo.

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Source:: Egypt’s Second Annual Maker Faire Kicks off Saturday

Categories: AFRICA

Cabo Verde’s Parliamentary Elections

Press Statement

Mark C. Toner

Deputy Department Spokesperson

Washington, DC

March 24, 2016

The United States congratulates Cabo Verde for its successful parliamentary elections, held on March 20, that were once again free and fair. The elections and the peaceful transfer of power they brought about reaffirm Cabo Verde’s position as a model of democracy in Africa.

I congratulate Ulisses Correia e Silva on the historic victory of the Movement for Democracy (MpD) party. The United States looks forward to continuing our partnership with Cabo Verde to strengthen governance, promote economic growth and development, and build enduring cooperation on regional security.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Africa Regional Media Hub.

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Categories: AFRICA

Presidential Elections in Niger

Press Statement

Mark C. Toner

Deputy Department Spokesperson

Washington, D.C.

March 24, 2016

The United States welcomes the peaceful conduct of the March 20 presidential run-off election in Niger. We are disappointed that differences among some of the parties concerning the conduct of the election were not resolved in advance. As a result of those disagreements, some voters and political parties chose not to participate in the runoff election.

The United States calls on all stakeholders to resolve differences peacefully through dialogue and existing legal processes. We call on the government and people of Niger to continue working to unify the country and strengthen Niger’s democratic institutions.

The United States was proud to support the people of Niger throughout the electoral process, and we remain committed to supporting the Nigerian people through our security cooperation, development assistance, and governance partnership.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Africa Regional Media Hub.

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Categories: AFRICA

Announcement of Electoral Results in the Republic of Congo

Press Statement

Mark C. Toner

Deputy Department Spokesperson

Washington, DC

March 24, 2016

The United States takes note of the presidential election results announced by the Minister of Interior in the Republic of Congo.

Pending the proclamation of the definitive results by the Constitutional Court, we appeal to all candidates and their supporters to remain calm. The United States expects any challenge to the results to be done in accordance with the Republic of Congo’s laws and calls upon the Constitutional Court to act with independence, impartiality, and accountability to the citizens of the Republic of Congo. The United States remains concerned about the transparency and credibility of the electoral process, including reports of irregularities, and the prolonged communications blackout.

In the wake of the March 23 assault on journalists from Le Monde and Agence France-Presse, we also call upon the Government of the Republic of Congo to ensure respect for freedom of expression, assembly, and movement, and we urge security forces to remain professional and continue to exercise restraint.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Africa Regional Media Hub.

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Categories: AFRICA

International University of Rabat

On March 23rd, United States Ambassador Dwight L. Bush, Sr. visited the International University of Rabat for its 2016 America Day, where he met with the university’s president Noureddine Mouaddib, toured the campus and held a roundtable with UIR students and faculty. Nearly 200 students took part America Day to learn more about studying in the U.S. through presentations from EducationUSA, The Moroccan-American Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange and representatives from the U.S. Consulate in Casablanca and U.S. Embassy in Rabat. In his meeting with the President Mouaddib, Ambassador Bush applauded UIR for launching a new Center of U.S. Studies within the political science department and for forging successful university partnerships with Mississippi State University and Georgia Tech.

One of the highlight of the visit was roundtable with university students, where Ambassador Bush shared his views on the importance of being a global citizen, and applauded the students for attending a university that promotes international education. The Ambassador also discussed the importance of learning English to communicate across borders and the International University of Rabat’s many achievements.

The U.S. Ambassador told students that “as a student at an international university you are exposed to various cultural perspectives, which will help you keep an open mind as you face the world’s greatest political, economic and social challenges with diverse individuals, opinions and experiences.” He advised the students that as future leaders, the path to success in solving the world’s most challenging issues is to “collaborate with your peers across the globe.”

UIR students also had the opportunity to ask the Ambassador questions, which ranged from what it means to be a successful leader today to how the impending change of U.S. presidency might affect foreign policy in the Middle East and North Africa.

Founded in 2010, the International University of Rabat is a public university that is privately managed, the first of its kind in Morocco. Instruction is in French and English. With nearly 2,000 students, the university has eight main departments offering bachelors and masters degrees. With one of the strongest renewable energy programs in Morocco, the International University of Rabat is the only Moroccan university using solar and currently obtains 30% of its energy from renewable resources.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Ambassade des Etats-Unis d’Amérique au Maroc.

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Categories: AFRICA

The L’Oréal Foundation in Partnership with UNESCO Launches a Manifesto to Promote the Role of Women in Science

Five leading women scientists and 15 promising young researchers were honoured yesterday at the 18th edition of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Ceremony at the Maison de la Mutualité in Paris. Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO and Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and CEO of L’Oréal and Chairman of the L’Oréal Foundation took the opportunity to launch the For Women in Science Manifesto. Already signed by numerous guests of the ceremony, this Manifesto aims to take a stand against the under-representation of women in the sciences. It is available on http://www.ForWomenInScience.com so that everyone can, in turn, support this cause.

A LONG-TERM COMMITMENT TO EMPOWER WOMEN IN SCIENCE

For the past 18 years, the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science program has encouraged, promoted and honoured women scientists all over the world. More than 2,500 researchers from 112 countries have been distinguished for their extraordinary discoveries and supported at key moments in their careers.

Every year, five eminent women scientists and 15 young researchers from all continents are recognized by their peers and awarded before the general public at the international L’Oréal-UNESCO Ceremony. The 18th edition of the For Women in Science Awards Ceremony was held at the Maison de la Mutualité.

“Our changing world has never been in greater need of women and their discoveries. With the For Women in Science program, the L’Oréal Foundation is committed to promoting these women in science who will change the world. We are determined to fight for science and to build a more beautiful world together,” stated Jean-Paul Agon.

AN AMBITION EXPRESSED IN A MANIFESTO

Since its foundation, the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science programme has worked to ensure that women are fairly represented at all levels in science. However, the current situation indicates that much remains to be done with regard to gender balance in science. Most tellingly, women account for only 30% of the world’s researchers(*).

“The UNESCO Science Report shows that the gender disparity is still very evident, particularly in the natural sciences. More equality and parity in the sciences means more opportunities to achieve scientific excellence, which is UNESCO’s mission,” explained Irina Bokova.

The 18th edition of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards concluded with the launch of the For Women in Science Manifesto: a true opinion campaign aimed at engaging the scientific community, the institutional and the general public to step up the pace of change for women in the sciences. Jean-Paul Agon, Irina Bokova, and this year’s President of the Jury, former Laureate and Nobel Prize winner, Elizabeth Blackburn, all took the stage to sign the Manifesto. Each of the Laureates and International Rising Talents, as well as the numerous guests in attendance also signed their names to ensure the visibility and public support necessary, so that everyone involved can work together towards gender equality in the sciences.

THE 6 COMMITMENTS OF THE #FORWOMENINSCIENCE MANIFESTO

1/ Encourage girls to explore scientific career paths

2/ Break down the barriers that prevent women scientists from pursuing long term careers in research

3/ Prioritise women’s access to senior positions and leadership positions in the sciences

4/ Celebrate with the general public the contribution that women scientists make to scientific progress and to society

5/ Ensure gender equality through participation and leadership in symposiums and scientific commissions, such as conferences, committees and board meetings

6/ Promote mentoring and networking for young scientists to enable them to plan and develop careers that meet their expectations

To join the movement and sign the Manifesto, visit www.ForWomenInScience.com

(*) Source: Boston Consulting Group in 2013, based on an average of the results obtained in France, Germany, Spain, UK, USA, Japan, and urban China.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of L’Oréal Group.

CONTACTS

L’Oréal Foundation
Ludivine DESMONTS-MORNET / ludivine.desmonts-mornet@loreal.com/ +33 (0)1 47 56 77 47

UNESCO
Vincent DEFOURNY / v.defourny@unesco.org / +33 (0)1 45 68 12 11

Agence MATRIOCHKA for the L’Oréal Foundation
Delphine HILAIRE / delphine.hilaire@mtrchk.com / +33 (0)6 22 68 29 64
Carly NEWMAN / carly.newman@mtrchk.com / +33 (0)6 65 00 41 66

Manifesto video

English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjQJo9TaPBE

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/75892775@N08/albums/with/72157651547663832

Laureates’ video portrait:

English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIovcumrmGo&list=PLUaofLG3eRjOIrJG81ziBin2wteaOoseB

Video of the For Women in Science Daily below

English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDxQOVTXzX0&list=PLUaofLG3eRjMEmHTow4Oio2dgjh7xWsmZ

About the L’Oréal Foundation

Accompany. Value. Communicate. Support. Move boundaries. The convictions, the core values which drive the L’Oréal Foundation’s commitment to women everyday. A commitment divided into two main areas – science and beauty.

Through its’ For Women in Science program, a worldwide partnership with UNESCO, the L’Oréal Foundation motivates girls in High School to pursue scientific careers, supports women researchers and rewards excellence in a field where women remain underrepresented.

Through its beauty programs, the Foundation assists women affected by illness, who are economically disadvantaged or isolated, to recover their sense of self-esteem and femininity in order to feel better and to fare better. Its’ actions also include providing training programs for beauty industry professions.

About UNESCO

Since its creation in 1945, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization supports international scientific cooperation as a catalyst for sustainable development and for peace between people. UNESCO assists countries in the development of their public policies and in building their capabilities in the fields of science, technology, innovation and scientific education. In addition, UNESCO leads several intergovernmental programs for the sustainable management of freshwater, ocean and terrestrial resources, for biodiversity protection and to promote science’s role in combating climate change and natural disasters. To meet these goals, UNESCO is committed to ending discrimination of all kinds and to promoting equality between women and men.

Source:: The L’Oréal Foundation in Partnership with UNESCO Launches a Manifesto to Promote the Role of Women in Science

Categories: AFRICA

The L’Oréal Foundation in Partnership with UNESCO Launches a Manifesto to Promote the Role of Women in Science

Five leading women scientists and 15 promising young researchers were honoured yesterday at the 18th edition of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Ceremony at the Maison de la Mutualité in Paris. Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO and Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and CEO of L’Oréal and Chairman of the L’Oréal Foundation took the opportunity to launch the For Women in Science Manifesto. Already signed by numerous guests of the ceremony, this Manifesto aims to take a stand against the under-representation of women in the sciences. It is available on http://www.ForWomenInScience.com so that everyone can, in turn, support this cause.

A LONG-TERM COMMITMENT TO EMPOWER WOMEN IN SCIENCE

For the past 18 years, the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science program has encouraged, promoted and honoured women scientists all over the world. More than 2,500 researchers from 112 countries have been distinguished for their extraordinary discoveries and supported at key moments in their careers.

Every year, five eminent women scientists and 15 young researchers from all continents are recognized by their peers and awarded before the general public at the international L’Oréal-UNESCO Ceremony. The 18th edition of the For Women in Science Awards Ceremony was held at the Maison de la Mutualité.

“Our changing world has never been in greater need of women and their discoveries. With the For Women in Science program, the L’Oréal Foundation is committed to promoting these women in science who will change the world. We are determined to fight for science and to build a more beautiful world together,” stated Jean-Paul Agon.

AN AMBITION EXPRESSED IN A MANIFESTO

Since its foundation, the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science programme has worked to ensure that women are fairly represented at all levels in science. However, the current situation indicates that much remains to be done with regard to gender balance in science. Most tellingly, women account for only 30% of the world’s researchers(*).

“The UNESCO Science Report shows that the gender disparity is still very evident, particularly in the natural sciences. More equality and parity in the sciences means more opportunities to achieve scientific excellence, which is UNESCO’s mission,” explained Irina Bokova.

The 18th edition of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards concluded with the launch of the For Women in Science Manifesto: a true opinion campaign aimed at engaging the scientific community, the institutional and the general public to step up the pace of change for women in the sciences. Jean-Paul Agon, Irina Bokova, and this year’s President of the Jury, former Laureate and Nobel Prize winner, Elizabeth Blackburn, all took the stage to sign the Manifesto. Each of the Laureates and International Rising Talents, as well as the numerous guests in attendance also signed their names to ensure the visibility and public support necessary, so that everyone involved can work together towards gender equality in the sciences.

THE 6 COMMITMENTS OF THE #FORWOMENINSCIENCE MANIFESTO

1/ Encourage girls to explore scientific career paths

2/ Break down the barriers that prevent women scientists from pursuing long term careers in research

3/ Prioritise women’s access to senior positions and leadership positions in the sciences

4/ Celebrate with the general public the contribution that women scientists make to scientific progress and to society

5/ Ensure gender equality through participation and leadership in symposiums and scientific commissions, such as conferences, committees and board meetings

6/ Promote mentoring and networking for young scientists to enable them to plan and develop careers that meet their expectations

To join the movement and sign the Manifesto, visit www.ForWomenInScience.com

(*) Source: Boston Consulting Group in 2013, based on an average of the results obtained in France, Germany, Spain, UK, USA, Japan, and urban China.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of L’Oréal Group.

CONTACTS

L’Oréal Foundation
Ludivine DESMONTS-MORNET / ludivine.desmonts-mornet@loreal.com/ +33 (0)1 47 56 77 47

UNESCO
Vincent DEFOURNY / v.defourny@unesco.org / +33 (0)1 45 68 12 11

Agence MATRIOCHKA for the L’Oréal Foundation
Delphine HILAIRE / delphine.hilaire@mtrchk.com / +33 (0)6 22 68 29 64
Carly NEWMAN / carly.newman@mtrchk.com / +33 (0)6 65 00 41 66

Manifesto video

English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjQJo9TaPBE

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/75892775@N08/albums/with/72157651547663832

Laureates’ video portrait:

English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIovcumrmGo&list=PLUaofLG3eRjOIrJG81ziBin2wteaOoseB

Video of the For Women in Science Daily below

English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDxQOVTXzX0&list=PLUaofLG3eRjMEmHTow4Oio2dgjh7xWsmZ

About the L’Oréal Foundation

Accompany. Value. Communicate. Support. Move boundaries. The convictions, the core values which drive the L’Oréal Foundation’s commitment to women everyday. A commitment divided into two main areas – science and beauty.

Through its’ For Women in Science program, a worldwide partnership with UNESCO, the L’Oréal Foundation motivates girls in High School to pursue scientific careers, supports women researchers and rewards excellence in a field where women remain underrepresented.

Through its beauty programs, the Foundation assists women affected by illness, who are economically disadvantaged or isolated, to recover their sense of self-esteem and femininity in order to feel better and to fare better. Its’ actions also include providing training programs for beauty industry professions.

About UNESCO

Since its creation in 1945, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization supports international scientific cooperation as a catalyst for sustainable development and for peace between people. UNESCO assists countries in the development of their public policies and in building their capabilities in the fields of science, technology, innovation and scientific education. In addition, UNESCO leads several intergovernmental programs for the sustainable management of freshwater, ocean and terrestrial resources, for biodiversity protection and to promote science’s role in combating climate change and natural disasters. To meet these goals, UNESCO is committed to ending discrimination of all kinds and to promoting equality between women and men.

Source:: The L’Oréal Foundation in Partnership with UNESCO Launches a Manifesto to Promote the Role of Women in Science

EU and FAO extend support to long-term seed production in Somalia

The European Union, the Federal Government of Somalia and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations today jointly launched a new project that will provide important and much-needed support to the long-term development of Somalia’s agriculture sector.

“Any farmer in the world knows the value of high-quality locally-adapted seeds. They boost production and reduce vulnerabilities to diseases, pests and climate-related changes. Somalia is no exception” said Richard Trenchard, FAO’s Representative to Somalia. For many years,

Somali farmers have had to rely on higher cost imported seeds. “This is now changing thanks to generous support from the European Union” added Trenchard.

The “Somaseeds – Improving the genetic quality of seeds in Somalia” project is receiving €2.5 million from the European Union (approximately USD2.8 million). These resources will help ensure that Somali farmers have far better access to high-quality, locally adapted seeds each time they plant major food crops, vital for a country in which 40% of the total population faces food insecurity on a daily basis.

The project builds on the successful results of two previous EU funded interventions that have helped lay the foundations for seed sector development in Somalia. . The new project will be implemented by FAO working in close partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, a number of regional Ministries of Agriculture across the country, International Centres of Excellence and the private sector.

“This project will provide an important boost to agricultural development and promote better livelihoods in Somalia but at the same time will greatly contribute to build resilience especially in a context progressively and constantly affected by climate change. Thanks to this project, farmers will be able to produce seeds better adapted to local conditions, increase productivity and access to market with products of better quality” said Daria Fane, Head of the Cooperation of the EU.

“Somaseeds” is a National Project that has been put in place to enhance core capacities in the Ministries of Agriculture and farmers’ organizations. The programme will build the skills needed for plant testing, plant breeding, basic seed production and in establishing a seed certification system that conforms to international standards. This will diversify the seed market in Somalia and make locally produced improved and certified seeds available to farmers. In turn this will reduce dependency on imports and responds to both the demand of the agriculture sector and emergency situations.

“The project will also put in place the requisite mechanisms for public, private sector and civil society to form partnerships and mitigate and adapt better to the circumstances of climate change” said Richard Trenchard, FAO’s Representative to Somalia.

Two Research Stations will be developed to ensure the effective implementation of planned activities; one in Dollow in Jubbaland and the other in Aburiin in Somaliland. Field plots for testing seeds will be established in Jowhar and Burao.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of EU Delegation to Somalia.

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Categories: AFRICA

Creating Synergies between CIDO and Mozambique

The Citizens and Diaspora Directorate (CIDO) met with a delegation from the Republic of Mozambique to discuss the different modalities and means of diaspora engagement.

On the Mozambican side the delegation was led by the Director of the National Institute of Mozambican Communities Abroad (INACE). The delegation also comprised of the representatives from each of the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Justice, and Ministry of International Cooperation. The delegation was accompanied by the Programme manager of Labour Migration and Development programme of the International Organization of Migration (IOM) in Mozambique, in addition to IOM Ethiopia.

CIDO was led by the Head of the Diaspora Division and Acting director Mr. Ahmed El-Basheer, and the Regional Diaspora Policy Officers, Ms. Eiman Kheir and Mr. Kyeretwie Osei in addition to the NGO Desk Officer Ms. Betty Mupenda.

The meeting started with an overview of the Mozambican diaspora engagement policy and the mandate and programmes of CIDO. Predominantly the focus was on (1) Diaspora engagement strategies in the development agenda, and (2) Means of supporting the diaspora abroad. (3) Exchanging knowledge on the good and comparable practices of diaspora engagement in countries with a similar history to Mozambique. (4) Discuss ways of harmonizing the national and continental diaspora policies.

The meeting was a reminder of the positive change visible in the continent and the southern region particularly on the importance of diaspora engagement strategies and policies. The meeting was also an opportunity to renew the commitment of CIDO in supporting member states create effective diaspora policies and in harmonizing the national and continental diaspora policies.

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

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Source:: Creating Synergies between CIDO and Mozambique

Categories: AFRICA

Creating Synergies between CIDO and Mozambique

The Citizens and Diaspora Directorate (CIDO) met with a delegation from the Republic of Mozambique to discuss the different modalities and means of diaspora engagement.

On the Mozambican side the delegation was led by the Director of the National Institute of Mozambican Communities Abroad (INACE). The delegation also comprised of the representatives from each of the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Justice, and Ministry of International Cooperation. The delegation was accompanied by the Programme manager of Labour Migration and Development programme of the International Organization of Migration (IOM) in Mozambique, in addition to IOM Ethiopia.

CIDO was led by the Head of the Diaspora Division and Acting director Mr. Ahmed El-Basheer, and the Regional Diaspora Policy Officers, Ms. Eiman Kheir and Mr. Kyeretwie Osei in addition to the NGO Desk Officer Ms. Betty Mupenda.

The meeting started with an overview of the Mozambican diaspora engagement policy and the mandate and programmes of CIDO. Predominantly the focus was on (1) Diaspora engagement strategies in the development agenda, and (2) Means of supporting the diaspora abroad. (3) Exchanging knowledge on the good and comparable practices of diaspora engagement in countries with a similar history to Mozambique. (4) Discuss ways of harmonizing the national and continental diaspora policies.

The meeting was a reminder of the positive change visible in the continent and the southern region particularly on the importance of diaspora engagement strategies and policies. The meeting was also an opportunity to renew the commitment of CIDO in supporting member states create effective diaspora policies and in harmonizing the national and continental diaspora policies.

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

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Source:: Creating Synergies between CIDO and Mozambique

Categories: AFRICA

IMF Staff Completes Combined 2016 Article IV Consultation and First ECF Review Mission for São Tomé and Príncipe

A team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) led by Maxwell Opoku-Afari, Mission Chief for São Tomé and Príncipe, visited São Tomé from March 9–24, 2016 to conduct the 2016 Article IV Consultation and the first review of São Tomé and Príncipe’s economic program supported by the IMF’s three-year Extended Credit Facility (ECF).[1]

At the end of the mission, Mr. Opoku-Afari issued the following statement:

“São Tomé and Príncipe’s recent economic performance has been favorable, with GDP growth averaging over 4 percent since 2012, faster than many small-island states, but not sufficiently strong to reduce poverty significantly. Economic growth in 2015, however, slowed as public investment projects were kept on hold due to the late approval of the 2015 budget. GDP growth in 2015 is estimated at 4 percent, lower than the projected 5 percent. Inflation fell further to 4 percent at the end of 2015, aided by weakened demand and falling international prices of oil and other commodities.

“Overall performance under the ECF-supported program has been satisfactory. All quantitative performance criteria (PC) for end-December 2015 were met with the exception of the PC on domestic primary deficit which was not observed. The government also made strong progress in implementing structural reforms.

“The macroeconomic outlook is favorable in the near term but challenges remain. GDP is projected to grow by 5 percent in 2016 aided by higher and timely execution of public investments, recovery in cocoa production and increased foreign direct investment in the tourism sector. However, elevated lending risks in an environment marked by rising non-performing loans and highly indebted households and businesses will continue to hold back private sector credit growth. Inflation is expected to remain at about 4 percent on the back of falling international prices of food and petroleum products. Staff’s medium-term projection shows real GDP growth falling short of the authorities’ target of 6 percent; inflation gradually aligning with euro area inflation; and the current account deficit contracting further.

“The mission advised the authorities to continue to maintain fiscal prudence and the reform momentum, especially in an election year, to bring debt down from high levels and also to bring the benefits of reforms to a broader segment of the population.

“Good progress was made in program review discussions. The mission expects to discuss remaining policy issues with the authorities in the coming weeks. The discussions focused on policies to improve domestic revenue mobilization and strengthen public financial management to anchor the debt reduction program, enhance liquidity management, deepen understanding of macro-financial linkages and financial inclusion, and remove impediments to private sector development to support growth, while pursuing a careful debt management strategy. The IMF Executive Board is expected to consider the first ECF review and the 2016 Article IV Consultation in June 2016.

“The mission met with the Minister of Finance and Public Administration Americo d’Oliveira Ramos, the Governor of the Central Bank of São Tomé and Príncipe Maria do Camo Travoada Silveira, Acting President of the autonomous Island of Príncipe Francisco Gula, other ministers and senior government officials, and representatives of the private sector, including banks and other financial institutions, labor unions, civil society, and the international donor community. We are grateful to the authorities for the warm hospitality and for the very constructive discussions.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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Source:: IMF Staff Completes Combined 2016 Article IV Consultation and First ECF Review Mission for São Tomé and Príncipe

Categories: AFRICA

Chad’s Ambassador to the African Union bids farewell

The Ambassador of the Republic of Chad to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union, H.E. Ahmat Awad Sakhine has bid farewell to the African Union Commission Chairperson, H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

The outgoing Ambassador met with the AU Commission Chairperson at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Thursday 24 March 2016. He said that he came to express his joy and admiration of the Chairperson’s leadership. “You have left a great impression on many of us, especially with Agenda 2063, which is going to remain with us for a long time,” he remarked.

On her part, the AU Commission Chairperson, congratulated him for all the work he has done. “We have no doubt that your successor will remain equally active as yourself. Chad has always been very active in the affairs of the Union,” Dr. Dlamini Zuma added, wishing him well on his new assignment.

Ambassador Ahmat Awad Sakhine leaves to South Africa, where he has been appointed to represent his country. He will be replaced by H.E. Mr. Chérif Mahamat Zene, who returns to the same position that he earlier occupied for six years, before being appointed as Chad’s representative to the United Nations in 2013.

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

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Source:: Chad’s Ambassador to the African Union bids farewell

Categories: AFRICA