WCC general secretary extends sympathies for those affected by Nigeria mosque attack

GENEVA, Switzerland, December 3, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Following the attack on the Great Mosque of Kano in Nigeria on 28 November resulting in the deaths of over 100 people, the World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit extended sympathies for those bereaved or wounded, offering prayers for Nigerians who, he said, are “so full of potential” yet “wounded by violence and injustice”.

Tveit made these comments in a statement issued on 3 December from the WCC headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

In the statement, Tveit said the attack is a “salutary reminder that both Muslim and Christian communities are threatened by, and suffering from, the extremist violence which is impacting the lives of so many of the people of northern Nigeria”.

“There is a particular evil in any attack on people at a place of worship. My sympathies go to those who have been bereaved or wounded in this shocking attack,” he added.

Tveit extended his support to the Emir of Kano, H.E. Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi, as he seeks to lead his community and nation forward following this tragic event. Recalling his visit to Nigeria in 2012, cosponsored by the WCC and the Jordanian Royal Aal Al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, he said, “We, Christians and Muslims together, had the honour of meeting the Emir’s predecessor H.E. Abo Bayero and were made very aware of the important and constructive role being played by the Emirate of Kano both in inter-religious relations and in challenging corruption in government and society”.

Categories: AFRICA

UN Envoy for Somalia congratulates new leader of Interim South West Administration

MOGADISHU, Somalia, December 3, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, Nicholas Kay, welcomed the inauguration of Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan as the head of the newly formed Interim South West Administration (ISWA). Speaking at a ceremony held in Baidoa SRSG Kay said, “I congratulate Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan on his inauguration. Today is a significant step forward in building a strong, united and federal Somalia as envisaged in Vision 2016. I welcome the importance placed on the need for inclusivity and reconciliation with all local constituents of the ISWA, and I urge all stakeholders to continue these efforts.”

“The establishment of the ISWA paves the way to focus efforts on building a functioning administration that is able to deliver much needed services to local communities,” said SRSG Kay. “I look forward to the establishment of inclusive institutions with participation and representation by women, youth and minority groups.”

“ISWA and other interim regional administrations also have a key role to play in the review and implementation of the Provisional Constitution, including preparation for elections and the establishment of a federal system, as well as the implementation of the New Deal Compact for Somalia. I reiterate the firm commitment of the United Nations to support these processes and to help build peace, stability and prosperity in Somalia and the region.”

Categories: AFRICA

Car Bomb Attack in Mogadishu this Morning

MOGADISHU, Somalia, December 3, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) can confirm that a car bomb detonated at approximately 09.40 am in the vicinity of a UN convoy travelling near Mogadishu International Airport. Thankfully no injuries to UN staff have been reported and all UN personnel have now been accounted for. Sadly, we have had reports of casualties amongst bystanders and security personnel. We are co-operating with the authorities as they investigate this morning’s attack.

Categories: AFRICA

Uganda / Ambassador DeLisi to Host U.S. Trade Delegation

KAMPALA, Uganda, December 3, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — On Monday, December 8, 2014, Ambassador Scott H. DeLisi will host a trade delegation from the U. S. at his residence from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Representatives from more than ten American companies are participating in a ten-day tour of East Africa. The delegation is sponsored by the Corporate Council on Africa and will also visit Kenya and Rwanda as part of a regional tour to explore economic opportunities for American companies.

In addition to the trade delegation, representatives from the Ugandan business community and Ugandan government officials will attend the reception.

The reception will take place from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Ambassador Scott DeLisi’s residence at 13 Hill Lane in Kololo. Ambassador DeLisi will deliver brief remarks.

Journalists interested in attending this event should arrive at Ambassador DeLisi’s residence no later than 5:30 p.m. to clear security. If planning to attend, please RSVP to Peter Eriki by 11:00 a.m. on Friday, December 5, 2014.

Categories: AFRICA

Shop smart online this festive season: Vital tips for consumers when purchasing gifts online

CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, December 3, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — In the lead up to the festive season, consumers are increasingly turning to online shopping portals instead of visiting physical stores.

Oliver Facey, VP Operations for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa (http://www.dpdhl.com), says that shopping online not only offers consumers access to a greater selection of products with easy to compare prices, but also allows individuals to purchase products that may not yet be available in in their own country.

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

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1596 (Oliver Facey, VP Operations for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa)

Although internet penetration in Sub Saharan Africa is still far below the world average of around 30%, the numbers are increasing as Africans become more familiar and comfortable with online shopping. According to figures from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), in South Africa, 51% of individuals with internet access shop online and in Kenya, 18-24% make online purchases and according to a 2014 Phillips Consulting survey, Nigeria’s online shopping sector grew from N68.4 billion in 2011 to N78 billion in 2012, representing a growth of 25%.

He warns though that while there are many motivators of why to shop online, consumers must be aware of the do’s and don’ts of online shopping to avoid possible drawbacks. Consumers should also be aware of the regulations involved with purchasing from international retailers, in order to avoid incurring additional expenses, thereby making the product less of an attractive buy.

Facey offers advice to consumer on what to consider when buying from international e-retailers:

Be conscious of Customs’ import duties and taxes:

Consumers are often caught off-guard when their shipments arrive from international retailers with unexpected additional charges. It is therefore imperative for consumers to be aware that they may have to pay customs duty for their online purchases, depending on the country that they are buying the goods from.

All shipments transported across international borders must be cleared through Customs, where, depending on the type of goods being shipped, they may also be subject to additional charges. Import duties and taxes differ in each country and are usually calculated as a percentage of the item value. Import shipments may also be subject to interventions by Customs where the price, contents and country of manufacture are often investigated to mitigate a wide range of risks. This could result in delivery delays as well as additional costs.

There are also e-retailers that offer Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) terms which clearly communicates that all costs, inclusive of the duties, taxes and clearance costs, are payable at checkout, to avoid any surprise costs at destination.

Regulations/restrictions on certain products:

Some products are prohibited or have certain limitations when imported. These could be aviation restrictions – for example, flammable liquids are categorized as dangerous goods, therefore importing of perfume would be restricted. There may also be country specific restrictions – for example, on certain food or animal by-products.

Gifts are not necessarily exempted from duties and taxes:

When purchasing online products as a gift, check on the receiving country’s regulations to avoid the recipient being held liable for additional charges. For example, Customs Bureaus in Angola have legislated tax-free exemptions for gifts to an individual as long as the value is less than USD 350. In Zimbabwe, the limit is USD 50. This shows the varying limits for exemptions and demonstrates the importance of checking local regulations prior to making your online purchases.

Check delivery options and costs:

Most websites offer a variety of delivery options, with associated costs. Make your decision by taking into account the cost of shipping, the expected transit times and the value of your order. For peace of mind, it is advisable to select a premium courier delivery option, where the delivery process can be tracked from dispatch to final delivery.

Use reputable e-retailer websites:

Be sure to only make online purchases from websites that are well-known and reputable. Do not be fooled by websites with offers that may look enticing – if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

“Online shopping is definitely the way to go, from a convenience and cost saving point of view, so once consumers become familiar with their local regulations, they can really reap the rewards. We have seen a steady increase over the past couple of weeks as consumers took advantage of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals available online.

The build up to the festive season is always peak season for parcel shipments within the express industry, and this year is no different. We recognize and welcome the influx of volumes and our ongoing investment in our people and extensive infrastructure across Africa ensures that we are well positioned to continue to exceed our customers’ service expectations,” concludes Facey.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Deutsche Post DHL.

Media Contact:

Megan Collinicos. Head: Advertising & Public Relations, Sub-Saharan Africa

DHL Express

Tel +27 21 409 3613 Mobile +27 76 411 8570

megan.collinicos@dhl.com

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For more information: www.dpdhl.com

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Categories: AFRICA

Migrants and the Mediterranean – UN rights expert visits Malta to follow up EU border management study

GENEVA, Switzerland, December 3, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, will visit Malta from 6 to 10 December 2014 as follow-up to his 2012 year-long study on the management of the external borders of the European Union.

“Given Malta’s proximity to North Africa, Malta is a key entry point for those wishing to reach Europe,” Mr. Crépeau said. “Understanding how this maritime border is managed, and their impact on the human rights of migrants, will be an essential part of the visit to Malta.”

During his four-day country visit to Malta, the independent expert will meet with a range of Government officials responsible for border management, EU institutions present in the country, international organisations, and migrants themselves, to discuss the complex management of the Malta maritime border.

Mr. Crépeau’s visit to Malta is the second stage in his follow-up study on the management of the EU external borders. He is currently on an official visit to Italy, as another key entry point for migrants to Europe.

At the end of the mission, the UN Special Rapporteur will share his preliminary conclusions at a press conference on 10 December 2014 at 10am, at the Grand Excelsior Hotel, Great Siege Road, Floriana FRN1810.

The follow-up study, launched by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants will result in a country mission report and a thematic report on EU border management which will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2015.

Categories: AFRICA