BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, November 5, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, today announced further support for Mali totalling EUR 615 million (following approval by the European Parliament and the Council) under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) for 2014 to 2020. This new allocation emphasises the European Union’s determination to maintain its support for building peace and economic and social development in Mali.
The new support package will focus on government reform, food security, education and the construction of a road linking Gao and Kidal to the Algerian border, in line with the priorities drawn up by the Malian authorities in their Plan for the Sustainable Recovery of Mali 2013-2014. The new package was announced during a joint visit to the region by Commissioner Piebalgs, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Nkosozana Dlamini-Zuma, the President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, the President of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka, and the European Union’s Special Representative for the Sahel, Michel Reveyrand-de Menthon.
The Commissioner said: ‘Since the political and military crisis of 2012, we have seen the Malian Government’s determination to overcome instability in order to concentrate on the country’s development. The restoration of security is a vital condition for sustainable development in the region. We stand by the Malian authorities in their efforts to implement poverty reduction programmes.’
This bilateral support for Mali is part of the EUR 5 billion of aid allocated by the European Union for the Sahel (Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania and Senegal) for the same 2014-2020 period.
The EUR 615 million comes on top of the sums pledged at the high-level donor conference for development in Mali held in Brussels on 15 May 2013 at which the Malian authorities unveiled their Plan for the Sustainable Recovery of Mali 2013-2014.
Under the 10th EDF, which covers the 2008-2013 period, Mali has benefited from an allocation which has been raised from an initial EUR 533 million to nearly EUR 728 million. To this amount must be added EUR 34 million in thematic instruments and EUR 55 million for regional cooperation. EUR 54 million has been allocated in 2013 as humanitarian aid.
Results of humanitarian and development aid in Mali and examples of projects
Together these measures have already enabled over 304 000 inhabitants to obtain access to drinking water in the Ségou, Mopti and Kayes regions. This facility should soon be made available to an additional 450 000 or so inhabitants, i.e. 24% of the population of the Koulikoro, Sikasso and Tombouctou regions. By the end of the year, work should also recommence on the road between Niono and Timbuktu.
Project: ‘Water Supply and Sanitation Support Programme for Local Authorities’ (PACTEA 1)
This project, for an amount of EUR 30 million, has enabled over 304 000 inhabitants to obtain access to drinking water in the Ségou, Mopti and Kayes regions. The second phase (EUR 30 million) should make this facility available to an additional 450 000 or so inhabitants, i.e. 24% of the population of the Koulikoro, Sikasso and Tombouctou regions.
Response to the 2012 humanitarian crisis
ECHO (the European Commission’s Humanitarian Office) is in the process of raising its contribution for 2013 to the food aid operations of the World Food Programme (WFP) from EUR 5 million to EUR 10 million. This measure is designed to assist 674 000 people affected by the current humanitarian crisis, principally by distributing food.
After the events which followed on from the Tuareg rebellion in January 2012 and the occupation of two thirds of the country by islamist groups, the EU has rethought its involvement in Mali in order to adapt its cooperation to current conditions and new requirements. This has meant inter alia contributing towards:
promoting the rule of law and the organisation of a legitimate, transparent electoral process
strengthening the authority and presence of the State over the whole country in order to support the redeployment of basic social services
supporting the Malian civil authorities in their efforts to restore law and order and protect civilians
alleviating the impact of the humanitarian crises affecting displaced persons and the regions hit by the food crisis.
GENEVA, Switzerland, November 5, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — On 1st November 2013 IOM Tanzania, under the Capacity Building for Border Management (CBBM) project, rolled-out a biometric enrollment system for residence permits at Immigration Department HQ in Dar es Salaam.
The new system, built on the IOM Border Management Information System and customized to Tanzanian needs, will allow the immigration department to capture biometric samples from the applicants and to register the applicants’ data in an electronic database.
The system will speed up the delivery process, reduce human error and provide more transparency during the process, with the final objective of having an automated and paperless permit application process.
“Tanzania immigration department has been waiting for a long time to have such a system, which will considerably improve our ability to deliver an efficient and fast service to our customers,” said the Principal Commissioner of Immigration Service.
The roll-out of the e-system is one of the final activities of the CBBM project. The project, “Capacity Building for Border Management” is a cross-border approach to combat irregular migration and establish a border management information system along the borders of Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia.
The project was funded by the European Union and co-funded by United Nations Tanzania (One UN Fund), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the US State Department’s Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) and Servico de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF).
Under the two-year project, the immigration departments of the participating countries were provided with trainings on counter trafficking, migration and health, security documents, identity and data management.
In addition they were trained on border management information system and on Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs.) Two workshops were conducted on the One Stop Border Post (OSBP) concept.
KIGALI, Rwanda, November 5, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The recently operational East Africa Exchange (EAX) (http://www.africaexchange.com) concluded the first regional trade auction from its Rwanda head office, successfully selling 50 metric tons of maize at 398 USD per metric ton between a Ugandan seller and Rwanda buyer. The auction took EAX one step closer to its ambition to create “one African market” and has given further credence to the importance of regional commodity trading.
Logo Heirs Holdings: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/heirs-holdings.jpg
Photo Tony Elumelu: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/tony-elumelu.jpg
EAX is owned by African Exchange Holdings (AFEX) which was formed by Tony Elumelu’s Heirs Holdings (http://www.heirsholdings.com), Berggruen Holdings and 50 Ventures to develop a network of commodity exchanges across Africa to transform trade dynamics and ensure higher incomes for the rural poor. EAX, the first AFEX exchange is the first regional commodities exchange established to link smallholder farmers with agricultural and financial markets, secure competitive prices for their products and facilitate access to financing opportunities.
AFEX Chairman Tony O. Elumelu, CON, said, “East Africa Exchange’s successful first auction is a powerful demonstration of the tremendous value that can be unlocked through this platform. EAX will continue to advance the competitiveness and integration of East Africa’s agricultural markets, as well as bringing tangible improvements to the lives of the region’s farmers. We are looking to replicate this impact in many countries across Africa.”
With a brand new trading platform, powered by NASDAQ, the East Africa Exchange (EAX) has big plans to transform the way small farmers and traders do business within the East African region and beyond. It will provide global market access to local farmers through proven technology.
In the days prior to this first auction, local traders were required to visit EAX offices and undergo training on the NASDAQ OMX electronic trading platform. Over the past four months, the EAX has trained over 50 local and regional traders on the new technology.
The exchange will be a marketplace offering price transparency and wider market access to farmers from across East Africa and beyond.
Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Heirs Holdings.
EAX Rwanda is the first part of a regional exchange intended to increase transparency in the region’s commodity markets. It is a subsidiary of Africa Exchange Holdings Ltd (AFEX), a holding company co-founded by Heirs Holdings (http://www.heirsholdings.com) and Berggruen Holdings (http://www.berggruenholdings.com), in partnership with The Tony Elumelu Foundation ((http://www.tonyelumelufoundation.org), and 50 Ventures, which seeks to develop a network of commodity exchanges across Africa to transform trade dynamics and ensure higher incomes for the rural poor.
Through private-sector-led investment and under the terms of an agreement signed with the Government of Rwanda, the East Africa Exchange aims to increase regional market efficiency and liquidity as well as giving the region’s population of 130 million, especially smallholder farmers, better access to markets. Powered by NASDAQ OMX, the exchange will initially focus on establishing an auction facility and spot trading for agriculture and non-agriculture commodities, but will also develop futures trading across East Africa. Its investors are Heirs Holdings, The Tony Elumelu Foundation, Berggruen Holdings (a part of the Nicolas Berggruen Charitable Trust and advised by the Berggruen Institute on Governance (http://berggruen.org), 50 Ventures and Rwandan-led Ngali Holdings (http://www.ngali.com).
EAX will complement the East Africa Community’s (EAC) goal of regional economic integration as set out by the Common Market Protocol, increasing liquidity and sustainability of regional financial and commodity markets, supporting the EAC’s competitiveness globally. EAX will also uplift national and regional economies by reducing market barriers to trading, providing a transparent regional economy through a secure mechanism that facilitates financing to farmers and traders.
GENEVA, Switzerland, November 5, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM Uganda, in coordination with the government and civil society partners, has safely returned 21 child victims of trafficking to their communities of origin.
The children had been trafficked from Karamoja, a remote region in remote northeastern Uganda, to Kampala for the purpose of street begging.
“My aunty told me: ‘There is no money so you must go to Kampala to look for money on the street’. In Kampala big boys beat me, bullied me and snatched my money until the authorities took me to a rehabilitation center,” explained a nine year old trafficked child.
Before the return process, the children received various services in Kampala, including medical assistance, nutritional feeding, and shelter.
“Counseling is a main component of the assistance that we provide. These children have been forced to work on the streets and have suffered and seen many terrible things,” said Martin Koriang Naburri, an NGO caseworker.
IOM and its NGO partners worked in Karamoja to locate the families of the children and determine if it was in the children’s best interest to return.
Simultaneously, IOM offered training in sustainable agriculture and integrated animal management to the children’s families and communities.
“By providing livelihood support we are working to ensure that families have the necessary resources to financially support their children. This way we are working towards preventing re-trafficking,” said Bosco Okwonga, IOM’s senior caseworker in Karamoja.
A mother explained her worry after learning that her son had been trafficked: “My child disappeared in June last year. I was told that my child was in Kampala. I was very worried and I wanted him back,” she said.
The children will now undergo a three-week reintegration programme led by an IOM implementing partner in Karamoja before returning to their families and enrolling in school.
Since November 2011, IOM has assisted with the rehabilitation of 179 children from Karamoja, who were trafficked to Kampala for labour exploitation. 163 of these children are under the age of 14, and 98 are girls. In addition, IOM Uganda has assisted 30 children under five years old.
IOM is planning to publish its research into the causes and mechanisms of trafficking of children from Karamoja to urban centres to assist stakeholders to develop evidence-based policies.
Return and reintegration assistance to trafficked children is one of the key components of the Coordinated Response to Human Trafficking in Uganda (CRTU) project funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Kampala. IOM Uganda works closely with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, as well as the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the provision of direct assistance to trafficking victims.
GENEVA, Switzerland, November 5, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — According to IOM’s latest Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) report published by IOM Mali, 45,526 households (283,726 individuals) are still internally displaced as consequence of the 2012 crisis in the country’s north.
This means the number of the internally displaced people (IDPs) in Mali has decreased by 50,824 from 334,550 reported by the DTM three months ago.
The report indicates that Bamako, the capital, hosts the largest number of IDPs (67,250), followed by the northern regions of Gao (47, 562), Tombouctou (45,082) and Kidal (36,800.)
In addition to Bamako, other southern regions continue to host smaller numbers of IDPs: Mopti (29, 722), Ségou (24,442), Koulikoro (23,500), Sikasso (7,257) and Kayes (2,111).
The vast majority of IDPs registered in the southern regions come from Tombouctou (49%) and Gao (38%) – the regions most affected by the crisis in the north.
The data show that the decrease is due to people returning home. This was observed during verification exercises carried out in the field by IOM, in coordination with the General Directorate for Civil Protection (DGPC) and the National Directorate for Social Development.
In order to better understand the IDP’s return intentions, IOM recently conducted a return intention survey in the southern regions of Ségou, Koulikoro and Bamako. Out of the total of 1,486 households surveyed, 84% said that they were willing to return to their places of origin.
The return trend has also been confirmed by data collected at flow monitoring points (FMPs) established in January this year at the main crossroads of Bamako, Mopti, Gao and Tombouctou cities.
The FMP data shows that more individuals are traveling north than south. Between January and September this year, 78,012 IDPs travelled from the south to the north, while 39,309 travelled from the north to the south.
The improvement of security conditions in the north is the main reason for return, according to 78% of the households surveyed in the FMP. Additionally, most of the returning IDPs said that they needed financial support (47%), and food assistance (33%), according to the report.
Although the movement of IDPs to the south is lower than the movement to the north, some IDPs continue to go to south because of violence in their regions (25% of households surveyed) or the difficult economic situation caused by the crisis (25% of the households surveyed.)
The forthcoming results of the needs assessment carried out by IOM in coordination with the government and local NGOs will provide a clearer understanding of the needs of the displaced population, returnees (IDPs and refugees) and host communities in the northern regions of Mali.