Harper Government Announces New Investment Agreements in Sub-Saharan Africa

OTTAWA, Canada, December 2, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, and the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, today announced that Canada has signed foreign investment promotion and protection agreements (FIPAs) with three sub-Saharan African countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Senegal. The FIPAs were signed by Minister Paradis and his counterparts from the three countries on the margins of the 15th Francophonie Summit and the first Francophonie Economic Forum, taking place in Dakar, Senegal, from November 29 to 30.

FIPAs help ensure fair treatment and create a more predictable and transparent business environment. Specifically, FIPAs set out clear rules governing investment relations, including dispute resolution and protection against discriminatory and arbitrary practices, creating a secure and predictable environment. Improving the business climate by increasing investment and trade will contribute to sustainable economic growth in those countries and to achieving the objectives of the economic strategy for La Francophonie.

Now that these agreements have been signed, countries will proceed with their respective ratification processes.

Categories: AFRICA

Central African Republic National Day Message

WASHINGTON, December 2, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Press Statement

John Kerry

Secretary of State

Washington, DC

December 1, 2014

Central African Republic National Day Message

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of the Central African Republic as you celebrate your independence on December 1.

The United States is proud to stand with the courageous people of the Central African Republic. I commend all of you who are working to promote peace, advance the democratic transition, and promote national reconciliation. The United States shares your vision for a future rooted in security, justice, and prosperity for everyone.

The resumption of operations at our embassy in Bangui this past September is a testament to our commitment. We will continue to support your country as you seek the peace and unity that you so richly deserve.

I wish all people of the Central African Republic a joyous National Day.

Categories: AFRICA

Minister Paradis supports education and training in Senegal / Canada supports basic education and vocational/technical training in Senegal

OTTAWA, Canada, December 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — On the sidelines of the 15th Summit of La Francophonie, the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, the Honourable Christian Paradis, visited a primary school in the Parcelles Assainies neighbourhood of Dakar to announce today a new initiative—Private Sector Growth Through Education for Employment—as well as substantial Canadian funding to help Senegal implement its national education program.

The Canadian support announced today is aimed at greatly improving elementary school teaching conditions as well as to strengthen the training of young women and young men so that they can acquire adequate employment skills.

“Canada is proud to work with Senegal to enable young people, especially girls and young women, to obtain a quality education, and in so doing, transform their future,” said Minister Paradis. ‘‘When well equipped, they can improve the quality of life of their families and become the next generation’s workers and leaders. Canada remains committed to promoting education and training—essential tools for promoting sustainable economic growth and helping to reduce poverty.”

Support for education in the world is one of the core priorities of Canada’s, which has just launched its International Education Strategy. Canada has participated in the international effort to accelerate progress toward meeting the goal of universal education by 2015, and will help meet the objective to “ensure equitable and inclusive quality education and lifelong learning for all by 2030.”

Quick Facts

• Canada is the second-largest donor to, and one of the key pillars of, La Francophonie.

• The Government of Canada funding announced today is helping to achieve the objectives of the Global Partnership for Education, of which Canada is a member.

Categories: AFRICA

U.S. Government Regrets Nigerian Cancellation of Military Training

ABUJA, Nigeria, December 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — At the request of the Nigerian government, the United States will discontinue its training of a Nigerian Army battalion. The first two phases of training were conducted between April and August 2014, and had provided previously untrained civilian personnel with basic soldiering skills. Based on mutual assessment of the Nigerian Army and U.S. trainers, a third iteration of training was agreed upon with the intent of developing the battalion into a unit with advanced infantry skills.

We regret premature termination of this training, as it was to be the first in a larger planned project that would have trained additional units with the goal of helping the Nigerian Army build capacity to counter Boko Haram. The U.S. government will continue other aspects of the extensive bilateral security relationship, as well as all other assistance programs.

Categories: AFRICA

Provision of Personal Protective Equipment and Dispatch of Japan Disaster Relief Team in Response to Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak in West African Countries

TOKYO, Japan, December 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — 1. The outbreak of the Ebola virus disease continues to spread in West Africa, with a total of 15,327 cases and 5,450 deaths reported in four countries, namely Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Mali (As of November 25, WHO) . Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged at the United Nations General Assembly that Japan would provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that is required to secure safety of medical staff. In this regard, upon the request from these four countries, the Government of Japan decided to provide approximately 700,000 sets of PPE.

2. Out of the above, 20,000 sets of PPE will be transported by a Self-Defense Forces airplane (as part of the Japan Disaster Relief Team) within days to Accra, the Republic of Ghana, where the headquarters of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) is based. They will be distributed to the Ebola affected countries through the UNMEER.

3. Furthermore, emergency grant aid will be provided to international organizations in order to transport and distribute these PPE.

                     

[Reference] Japan’s assistance in the wake of the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa

(Total funding to date: Approximately USD 145 million)

(1) Emergency Grant Aid : Approximately USD 42.02 million

(2) Emergency relief goods : Approximately USD 920,000

(3) Disbursement to international organizations : Approximately USD 2.157 million

(4) Dispatch of experts : A total of 10 Japanese experts via the WHO

(5) Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Projects : Approximately USD 800,000

(6) Future Assistance : up to USD 100 million

Categories: AFRICA

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

GENEVA, Switzerland, December 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, will visit Italy from 2 to 5 December 2014 as a follow-up to his 2012 year-long study on the management of the external borders of the European Union, which took him to Tunisia, Turkey, Greece and Brussels where he met with EU Institutions. Crépeau will also visit Malta from 6 to 10 December in this regard.

“This year, we have seen an unprecedented number of migrants and asylum seekers arrive in the Euro-Mediterranean region. Italy’s long coastline, and proximity to North Africa, continues to make it a key point of entry for many migrants seeking to reach Europe,” Crépeau said.

During the mission to Italy, the human rights expert will meet with a range of Government officials responsible for border management, international organisations, migrant organisations, and migrants themselves, to discuss the complex management of the Italian border.

At the end of the mission, the UN Special Rapporteur will share his preliminary conclusions at a press conference on 5 December 2014 at 12pm, at the Italian Society For International Organization, Piazza di San Marco, 51, 00186 Roma. Details of the press conference in Malta will be made available in the coming days.

The Special Rapporteur’s study will result in a follow-up country mission report and a thematic report on EU border management to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2015.

Categories: AFRICA