Inaugural Meeting of International Follow-Up and Support Group for the Transition in Burkina Faso

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, January 14, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — 1. The International Follow-up and Support Group for the Transition in Burkina Faso (GISAT-BF), established by the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 468th meeting, which took place on 18 November 2014, held its inaugural meeting in Ouagadougou on 13 January 2015.

Suggested Book: Current Conditions in Burkina Faso

2. The meeting was co-chaired by Ambassador Smaïl Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the AU, Mr. Kadre Désiré Ouedraogo, President of the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS), and Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General for West Africa. It was opened by the President of the Transition, Mr. Michel Kafando. The countries and organisations that participated in the meeting are listed below. (1)

 

3. The meeting afforded the GISAT-BF members the opportunity to discuss and exchange views with the Government of Burkina Faso and other stakeholders, including the Transitional National Council (CNT), political parties and civil society organizations, as well as between them, on the evolution of the situation in Burkina Faso since the event that took place on 31 October 2014, the implementation of the Transition and the mobilisation of the necessary international support to attain its set objectives. The meeting also made it possible to discuss the modalities of the functioning of the GISAT-BF, in order to effectively support the ongoing Transition.

 

4. Participants expressed their deep appreciation to all the stakeholders in the Transition and the people of Burkina Faso for the great political maturity and high sense of responsibility they demonstrated during the recent events that occurred in their country, and which led to a twelve-month Transition. In this regard, they noted with satisfaction the adoption of the Transitional Charter, the consensual appointment of the President of the Transition, the formation of the Government and the establishment of the CNT, as well as the initiatives taken since the beginning of the Transition.

 

5. Participants encouraged the leaders and the people of Burkina Faso to persevere in their efforts and to continue to act in a spirit of inclusive participation and reconciliation among all segments of society, in order to successfully complete the Transition, whose main objective is to organise free, fair and credible elections that will allow the Burkinabe people to choose their leaders. Participants were briefed on the steps envisaged as part of the implementation of the Transition, including those relating to specific issues in response to the expectations of the Burkinabe people, it being understood that it will be up to the democratically-elected authorities at the end of the Transition to pursue and intensify the major reforms which Burkina Faso needs for its long-term stability, and further address issues relating to socio-economic development, justice, reconciliation and healing. They urged the people of Burkina Faso to continue to support the Transition with the same commitment and sense of responsibility.

6. Participants stressed the importance of the scrupulous respect of the Constitution and the Charter of the Transition, including the provisions relating to its duration and the eligibility criteria. In this regard, they took note of the intention announced by the Government to organize the presidential and legislative elections, in simultaneous poll, on 20 September 2015, and the local elections on 8 November 2015. They encouraged the stakeholders of the Transition to seize the opportunity of their forthcoming consultations to agree on a calendar, taking into account the deadline of 17 November 2015 marking the end of the Transition. They urged the various national stakeholders to quickly resolve the outstanding issues in the electoral process, bearing in mind the imperative need to organize free, fair and credible elections within the timeline allotted.

 

7. Participants welcomed the formal announcement by the authorities of the Transition of the first elements relating to the calendar of the elections and the related budget, to facilitate consultations with all the Burkina Faso parties and the early mobilization of the necessary resources. Having commended the Government of Burkina Faso for the mobilization of domestic resources, they made an urgent appeal to African organizations and countries, as well as to the international partners, to provide the necessary financial, technical and logistical support. They noted with satisfaction the deployment, by the United Nations, of a technical assessment mission. They also welcomed the expressed readiness of members of the GISAT-BF to support the Transition, and they agreed to announce, latest at the next meeting of GISAT-BF, the modalities and scope of their respective contributions to the electoral process. They urged the members of the international community concerned to take the necessary measures for the deployment of long and short term observation missions for the presidential and legislative elections.

 

8. Participants reaffirmed the need to establish the required conditions to enable all political and other stakeholders to participate fully in the process and lay the foundation for the necessary reconciliation among all the segments of the Burkinabe society. They called upon the authorities of the Transition to fully shoulder their responsibilities, particularly with respect to the safety and security of all the political actors, in scrupulous respect of the fundamental freedoms and the principles of the rule of law, as well as to continue to discharge their mandate with absolute neutrality.

 

9. Participants had an extensive exchange of views on the socio-economic situation in Burkina Faso. They stressed the need for the provision of adequate support, so as to better enhance the socio-economic development efforts, which are an indispensable pillar for the establishment of lasting peace, security and stability in Burkina Faso, in particular, and in the Sahel region, in general. They encouraged the relevant regional and international institutions, including the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Union (EU), the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as well as the United Nations, to take all necessary initiatives to increase economic and financial assistance to Burkina Faso. In this respect, they requested these institutions to provide at the next meeting of the GISAT-BF an update on the initiatives taken.

 

10. Participants stressed the need for a closely coordinated, rapid and effective international action to help the Burkinabe stakeholders address the challenges linked to the conduct of the Transition. They agreed that this action should be based on close articulation of efforts at different levels, within the framework of the GISAT-BF, co-chaired by the AU, ECOWAS and the UN, in close cooperation with the other members of the international community. In this regard, Participants agreed to:

 

(i) meet, at least once every two months, under the auspices of the AU, ECOWAS and the UN, in order to facilitate a concerted and effective international action to support the efforts of the Burkinabe stakeholders;

 

(ii) set up a local representation of the GISAT-BF, which would meet at least once every two weeks, to follow-up the conclusions of the GISAT-BF and prepare its regular meetings;

 

(iii) convene as necessary, at the initiative of the co-Chairs and in-between the regular meetings of the GISAT-BF, restricted meetings, depending on the issues to be considered, in Ouagadougou or at any other venue agreed upon by the co-Chairs; and

 

(iv) encourage the regular conduct of joint assessment missions by the GISAT-BF co-Chairs, with the involvement, as may be required, of other international stakeholders.

 

11. Participants thanked the AU, ECOWAS and the UN for taking the initiative to establish the GISAT-BF and to convene the present meeting. They expressed their gratitude to the Government of the Transition of Burkina Faso for its hospitality and cooperation. They agreed to convene their next meeting in the first half of March 2015, in Ouagadougou, at a date to be determined in consultation with the Government of Burkina Faso.

(1). Algeria, Angola, Benin, Canada, Côte d’Ivoire, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Japan, Libya, Luxemburg, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Russia, Senegal, Togo, Turkey, United States of America, AfDB, AU, CEN-SAD, ECOWAS, IMF, OIC, OIF, UE, UEMOA, UNDP, United Nations and World Bank

Source:: Inaugural Meeting of International Follow-Up and Support Group for the Transition in Burkina Faso

Categories: AFRICA, African Press Organization, Burkina Faso

Minister for Foreign Affairs to visit Maputo, Mozambique

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, January 14, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström will visit Maputo on 15 January to attend the inauguration of Mozambique’s new president, Filipe Jacinto Nyusi.

Sweden and Mozambique have historically enjoyed good relations that go back to the time of Sweden’s support for the liberation movements in Southern Africa before independence. As our second largest recipient of bilateral aid, Mozambique has long been a close partner of Sweden.

This visit will provide Ms Wallström with the opportunity to meet many leading representatives of other countries, especially in this important region.

“Sweden and Mozambique have long-standing and excellent relations. My visit will be an opportunity to consolidate these, but also to look ahead to how we can broaden and develop our relations. Mozambique has a great deal of potential as a growth market in Africa, but it also faces many challenges,” says Ms Wallström.

Source:: Minister for Foreign Affairs to visit Maputo

Categories: AFRICA, African Press Organization, Mozambique

Wang Yi: China and Sudan Support Each Other Not for Their Own Selfish Interests

BEIJING, China, January 14, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — On January 11 local time, Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti of Sudan jointly met the press after a talk.

 

Wang Yi said that China and Sudan are both good friends and sincere friends. Over the past half century, the two countries have always stood together to share weal and woe, and have established profound friendship. We cherish the friendship very much and especially thank for the long-term firm support provided by Sudan on the major issues concerning China’s core interests. Similarly, China stands together with Sudan without hesitation on the issues concerning Sudan’s legitimate rights and reasonable demands. Our mutual supports are neither for our own selfish interests nor for the sole interests of the two countries, but rather be built on the basis of maintaining international justice, basic principles of international relations and legitimate rights of the developing countries.

Source:: Wang Yi: China and Sudan Support Each Other Not for Their Own Selfish Interests

Categories: AFRICA, African Press Organization, Sudan

Tigo subscribers to enjoy 36m music tracks on their smartphones

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, January 14, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Tigo (http://www.tigo.co.tz) today announced the launch of Tigo Music through a partnership with Deezer, the international music streaming service that will provide Tanzanians with unlimited music experience.

 

Logo Tigo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/tigo-1.jpg

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1662

 

Announcing the launch of the new service in Dar es Salaam, Tigo Brand Manager, William Mpinga said through pre-paid data bundles from January 24, Tigo customers will be able to access more than 36 million tracks, including African and Tanzanian artistes, on their phones and tablets.

 

Additionally, Tigo will also be sourcing exciting new and local content through a new venture with the digital music company, Africa Music Rights, which funds, acquires and manages music rights across the African continent. Mpinga said.

 

There will be a launch ceremony for Tigo Music at Dar es Salaam’s Leaders Club grounds on January 24 where members of the public will be treated to live performances by leading local musicians such as Diamond Platinum, Ali Kiba, Professor J, Vanessa Mdee, Ben Paul, Isha Mashauzi, Malaika Band, Khadija Kopa, Yamoto Band, Msondo, Sikinde among others.

 

Apart from giving Tigo customers unlimited access to local and international music, Tigo Music, according to Mr. Mpinga, will accord local artists with an opportunity earn extra payment from their songs listened to through the service. Tigo will provide them training on how to use and benefit from the service, he said.

 

“Tigo Tanzania is a company built on innovation. We are excited to be the first telecommunication company in Tanzania to give our customers such access to unlimited music.

 

“As a digital lifestyle brand, our goal is to impact the music industry by providing a platform that not only allows for easy access to content by local artists, but also train our musicians on important issues such as intellectual property rights and marketing. This is our way of supporting local talent and growing the local music industry.” he added.

 

Tigo will introduce a variety of music service packages which will allow customers access through *148*00#.

 

The introduction of Tigo Music in Tanzania follows the success of its launch in Ghana in 2014 and Latin America in 2013. It has since become an integral part of people’s daily digital lives and synonymous with live music events headlined by some of the world’s best-known artists as well as with close-up studio recordings.

 

Music streaming is the fastest growing area for the global music industry and music content is already the second most popular mobile phone feature in sub-Saharan Africa.

 

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

 

 

For further information visit: www.tigo.co.tz or contact:

John Wanyancha – Corporate Communications Manager

Mobile: 0658 123 089

john.wanyancha@tigo.co.tz

 

About Tigo:

 

Tigo Tanzania (http://www.tigo.co.tz) is the leading innovative telecommunication company in the country, distinguished as a fully-fledged digital lifestyle brand. Offering a diverse product portfolio in voice, SMS, high-speed internet and mobile financial services, Tigo has pioneered innovations such as Facebook in Kiswahili, Tigo Pesa App for Android & iOS users, and East Africa’s first cross-border mobile money transfer with currency conversion.

 

The Tigo 3G network guarantees the best services to its subscriber’s in all regions across the country. Between 2013 and 2014 alone the company launched over 500 new network sites and plans to double its investment by 2017 in terms of coverage and additional capacity networks for deeper penetration in rural areas. With over eight (8) million registered subscribers to their network, Tigo directly and indirectly employs over 100,000 Tanzanians including an extended network of customer service representatives, mobile money merchants, sales agents and distributors.

 

Tigo is the biggest commercial brand of Millicom, an international company developing the digital lifestyle in 44 countries with commercial operations in Africa and Latin America and corporate offices in Europe and the USA. With the certain knowledge that only constant innovation will keep them on top, Millicom keeps creating greater shareholder value; applying their concept of “demand more” is how they do business and retain their position as digital lifestyle leaders in some of the most unique and challenging markets.

 

“SMILE, YOU’RE WITH TIGO.”

Source:: Tigo subscribers to enjoy 36m music tracks on their smartphones

Categories: AFRICA, African Press Organization, MEDIA, Tanzania | Tags: ,

Wang Yi: China’s Mediation on the South Sudanese Issue Is Entirely Driven by International Responsibilities and Obligations

BEIJING, China, January 14, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — On January 11 local time, when answering journalists’ questions that whether China’s mediation on Sudan-related issues is aimed at oil interests, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that China’s mediation on the Sudanese issue and the South Sudanese issue is driven by responsibilities and obligations which China, as a responsible major country, should undertake rather than seek self-interest.

Suggested Book: China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa

Wang Yi said, in recent years, China has played a positive role in solving disputes related to the Sudanese issue at the request of Sudan and in accordance with consensus reached by the international community, including relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council. We have specially appointed Ambassador Zhong Jianhua as the Special Representative of the Chinese Government on African Affairs. He has shuttled back and forth between China and Sudan in recent years, and sometimes shuttled constantly between all parties, so as to actively advance reconciliation between South Sudan and Sudan and resolve the conflict in South Sudan. Because of these, Ambassador Zhong’s hair has turned white. I should say that we have done what we need to do for Africa.

Wang Yi said, the cooperation in oil between China and both Sudan and South Sudan is quite sound, which is beneficial to both sides. But if war and chaos affect the oil industry, it is the peoples in Sudan and South Sudan who are the first to be affected, which China surely doesn’t want to see. China’s mediation on the South Sudanese issue is entirely driven by responsibilities and obligations which China, as a responsible major country, should undertake rather than seek self-interest. As a good friend of Sudan and South Sudan, we will continue to make our due efforts towards this goal.

Source:: Wang Yi: China’s Mediation on the South Sudanese Issue Is Entirely Driven by International Responsibilities and Obligations

Categories: AFRICA, AFRICAN COUNTRIES, African Press Organization, South Sudan, Sudan | Tags: ,

The peopling of Africa: a blind spot in development policymaking?

 

 

PARIS, France, January 14, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Open to the media / Within the “DEV TALKS” Series You are invited to A conversation with Jean-Marie Cour on “The peopling of Africa: a blind spot in development policymaking?”

 

Friday, 16 January 2015

 

10:00 to 12:00

 

OECD Headquarters – Room D

 

Languages: English and French (with simultaneous interpretation)

 

 

Development economics was essentially designed in countries already populated and equipped, where issues of settlement and land use no longer had much importance. According to Jean-Marie Cour, it is both utopian, i.e. ignorant of the spatial dimension and regardless of people (aggregates from lead macroeconomic models are practically independent from population and its distribution) and “demo-static” (peopling is considered as a given rather than a variable). Thus, for example, development cooperation agencies tend to ignore the extent and consequences of demographic and territorial changes underway in sub Saharan Africa.

Suggested Book: Development Economics (The Pearson Series in Economics)

Based on his experience in “countries in their peopling years”, at the World Bank and at the OECD, JM Cour considers that improving our knowledge and the effectiveness of public policies will require more than increasing the number of indicators, devoting more resources on investigations, or introducing ever more sophistication in the statistical treatment of existing data. The only answer is a paradigm shift. Proposals have been made, which aim to take account of space, interactions between population dynamics and behavior of actors, and the operating logic of the “informal sector”: the demo-economic and spatial model developed in the context of the WALTPS and Ecoloc programmes of the Sahel and West Africa Club is one example.

 

This meeting with a key thinker and actor of this issue takes place in the context of the preparation of the African Economic Outlook 2015 edition by the OECD Development Centre, the African Development Bank and the UNDP, in partnership with CIRAD, on the theme “Spatial inclusion in Africa” (to be published in May 2015).

 

Participants will have ample opportunity to engage in a frank and interactive discussion with Jean-Marie Cour, following his presentation. To attend this event, journalists are kindly invited to register with bochra.kriout@oecd.org.

Source:: “The peopling of Africa: a blind spot in development policymaking?”

Categories: AFRICA, African Press Organization, POLITICS | Tags: ,