Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Guinea

NEW YORK, February 11, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Secretary-General condemns, in the strongest terms, the killing of Thierno Aliou Diaoune, National Coordinator for the UN Peacebuilding Fund, in Conakry, Guinea, on 6 February 2015.

Mr. Diaoune was a trusted United Nations partner and a tireless advocate for the construction of peace, democracy and human rights in Guinea.

The Secretary-General welcomes the announcement by the Government of a full investigation into Mr. Diaoune’s death. The Secretary-General presents his sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Diaoune.

Source:: Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Guinea

Categories: African Press Organization

Dr Harold Roy-Macauley appointed as new Director General of AfricaRice

COTONOU, Benin, February 11, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Dr Harold Roy-Macauley, a Sierra Leonean national, was appointed as the new Director General of the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) at an Extraordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of AfricaRice held on 6 February 2015, in Kampala, Uganda.

The announcement was made by the Honorable Cabinet Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Republic of Uganda, Tress Bucyanayandi, in his capacity as the Chair of the AfricaRice Council of Ministers, which is the Center’s highest oversight body. The current Chairmanship is held by Uganda.

Dr Roy-Macauley has nearly 30 years of experience in agricultural research with extensive leadership and management expertise. He is currently the Executive Director of the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD) – a leading sub-regional organization, which coordinates and facilitates agricultural R&D activities in 22 countries in West and Central Africa.

Dr Roy-Macauley is no stranger to CGIAR, having served previously as the Regional Director for the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in West and Central Africa. He has consulted for numerous international and bilateral organizations on biosafety and biotechnology and was the Managing Director for the Regional Center for Improving Adaptation to Drought (CERAAS) in Senegal, a research and training center of CORAF/WECARD.

Dr Roy-Macauley is fluently bilingual in English and French. He obtained his PhD degree in tropical plant biology in 1993 from the Université Denis Diderot, France, his MSc in tropical plant biology in 1988 from the Université de Pierre et Marie Curie, France, and his BSc with Honors in Botany in 1982 from the University of Sierra Leone.

During the Extraordinary Session, the National Experts Committee (NEC), under the chairmanship of Dr Ambrose Agona, Acting Director General of the Uganda National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO), carefully examined the Board’s report on the selection process and recommended to the Council of Ministers that Dr Roy-Macauley be appointed. The NEC comprises the Directors General of the national agricultural research institutions of AfricaRice member countries and serves as the technical arm of the AfricaRice Council of Ministers.

“We are pleased with the transparent and rigorous selection process adopted by the AfricaRice Board of Trustees,” stated Hon. Tress Bucyanayandi, thanking the Board Chair DrPeter Matlon. “We have full confidence that Dr Roy-Macauley has the leadership experience, skills and vision needed to advance the noble mission of AfricaRice.”

Thanking the Council of Ministers and the Board, Dr Roy-Macauley said, “I am honored to accept this very important challenge with a great sense of responsibility.” He added that his vision for the Center is to help position rice, which he referred to as ‘the next gold’, as key in driving the economies of rice-producing countries in Africa and contributing to industrial development and livelihood changes of rural producers, especially women, involved in rice production.

As part of his mandate at AfricaRice, he underlined the importance of “introducing more high-end life science and socioeconomic applications in the Rice Sector Development Hubs, convened by AfricaRice, to help consolidate the already profound and significant changes the rice value chain is undergoing in Africa.”

He also conveyed his commitment to engage with national and regional agricultural research and innovation systems, governments of member States of AfricaRice, regional economic communities, the African Union, and international partners in order to efficiently and effectively respond to and influence national, regional, and continental rice policies.

Paying homage to former Directors General of AfricaRice, Dr Roy-Macauley said that he would further build on the legacies and achievements forged by his predecessors. He highlighted particularly his admiration for the “great dynamism of excellence in AfricaRice,” promoted by Dr Papa Abdoulaye Seck, former Director General of AfricaRice and current Minister of Agriculture and Rural Equipment of Senegal.

The Council of Ministers, the National Experts Committee and the Board took the opportunity to highlight the exceptional contributions made by Dr Seck, which have transformed AfricaRice and taken it to new levels of excellence.

They also conveyed their deep appreciation to the Interim Director General, Dr. Adama Traoré, for steering the Center over the past 18 months with great steadiness, integrity and effectiveness. “We are sure that we can continue to rely on his strong support during the leadership transition.”

Dr Roy-Macauley will assume his post at AfricaRice on 9 March 2015.

Source:: Dr Harold Roy-Macauley appointed as new Director General of AfricaRice

Categories: African Press Organization

Africa: Intervention for South Sudan Pledging Event

WASHINGTON, February 10, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Remarks

Anne C. Richard

Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration

Nairobi, Kenya

February 9, 2015

Good afternoon. I would like to thank the chairs of this meeting for bringing us together in Nairobi to address the ongoing, manmade humanitarian crisis in South Sudan. Thank you also to Minister Amina Mohamed for the welcome, to Toby Lanzer for the very powerful video, and to Forest Whitaker for his personal efforts to help. The American delegation is proud of your very genuine interest and your presence here today.

As Valerie Amos knows very well, we currently face a long list of global disasters, conflicts, and disease outbreaks. Yet none fills us with as much frustration and despair as the crisis in South Sudan. Why? Because this crisis should never have happened.

The warring parties share the full responsibility for the violence that has engulfed much of the country and for the suffering of their fellow South Sudanese. We call on all parties to the conflict to end the fighting. Now.

We are disappointed and dismayed that the government and opposition failed to reach a meaningful agreement during the latest negotiations at the African Union Summit. Although the parties pledged to resume talks in late February, that is already too late for the people of South Sudan. And even as we seek to save lives and ease suffering while demanding a peaceful resolution, it is already clear that the conflict will have long-term effects on livelihoods, food security, and South Sudanese institutions.

The United States and other donors are here to try to help the people of South Sudan, who continue to suffer and die unnecessarily, because their leaders have been unwilling to do what it takes to restore peace to their country.

South Sudan is the most food insecure country in the world with parts of the country teetering on the brink of famine. Nearly half of the people in the states most affected by conflict face Crisis and Emergency levels of food security. In areas ravaged by violence, farmers cannot plant or harvest their crops.

Over 500,000 South Sudanese are now living as refugees here in Kenya and in Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda. The willingness of these countries to take them in has saved many lives.

Aid workers are doing all they can to help millions of people. Their efforts, supported by the U.S. Government, other governments and aid donors, have helped stave off famine, saved lives and provided food, shelter, safe drinking water, health care and psychological support. But resources are limited and many victims of South Sudan’s violence are struggling – living in terrible conditions and hardship.

The United Nations and IGAD were right to call us to this important event to highlight urgent humanitarian needs and to keep our attention focused on the plight of the South Sudanese people.

To underscore the U.S. government’s longstanding commitment to the people of South Sudan, I am announcing today that my government is providing an additional $273 million in humanitarian assistance for those uprooted and imperiled by the conflict in South Sudan.

With this additional contribution, U.S. assistance to the people affected by this crisis – inside South Sudan and in neighboring countries – has reached nearly $1 billion. Imagine if that kind of money had been spent on developing the new nation of South Sudan. Instead we are simply seeking to keep people alive, too often in miserable conditions.

The programs these new funds support will be implemented by neutral and impartial UN agencies, and other international and non-governmental organizations.

The additional money is needed because, as we have heard from so many already this afternoon, the situation and the needs are dire.

Our commitment to the people of South Sudan remains steadfast, but we know that aid alone cannot address the underlying political problems that are preventing peace and stability. This aid can only be effective if South Sudan’s leaders end their intransigence and promote the wellbeing of their people, rather than their own rivalries and political machinations.

We share the vision and ardent hopes of South Sudan’s people for a peaceful, unified, democratic state. They have suffered too much and deserve, at last to have their rights protected and to live free of fear and violence.

Source:: Africa: Intervention for South Sudan Pledging Event

Categories: African Press Organization

Creating Shared Value Prize – final call for nominations

VEVEY, Switzerland, February 10, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Creating Shared Value Prize – final call for nominations

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Source:: Creating Shared Value Prize – final call for nominations

Categories: African Press Organization

Ireland pledges €3 million to the UN’s Humanitarian Fund for South Sudan

DUBLIN, Ireland, February 10, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Minister of State for Development, Trade Promotion and North South Co-operation, Seán Sherlock, TD, announced today that the Government is to contribute €3 million to provide food, medicines, education and vital supplies to thousands of families in South Sudan who have been forced to flee their homes as a result of conflict.

Widespread violence from the civil war in South Sudan has forced almost 2 million people to flee their homes, the majority of whom have been displaced within South Sudan, while almost half a million people have taken refuge in neighbouring countries.

Announcing the funding, which is drawn from Irish Aid’s humanitarian budget, Minister Seán Sherlock said:

“More than a year after the outbreak of conflict in South Sudan, the political situation remains fragile and the humanitarian outlook is grim.

“The world’s youngest country stands on the brink of famine and the needs of refugees and host communities in the region continue to increase. Almost 6.5 million people are at risk of not being able to feed themselves and 2.5 million people are facing dire hunger right now.”

South Sudanese refugees in camps in the Gambella region of western Ethiopia provide shelter to many of the almost 200,000 South Sudanese who have fled to Ethiopia as a result of the conflict. The vast majority of South Sudanese refugees arriving in Ethiopia are women and children, often malnourished and in poor health.

Recalling his visit to Gambella, Minister Sherlock said:

“I saw for myself the devastating impact of the crisis in South Sudan when I accompanied President Higgins on a visit to the refugee camp in Gambella, in Ethiopia, last November.

“It is vital that we keep global attention on this severe humanitarian crisis and its impact on the region.

“Ireland is playing its part in this. We are working hard to support our UN and NGO partners working on the ground to protect vulnerable women and children, and to meet their food, nutrition and health needs.

“The funding we have announced today brings our total funding to the South Sudan crisis to €14 million since the outbreak of hostilities almost 14 months ago.”

The funding of €3 million is being provided to the United Nations Common Humanitarian Fund for South Sudan, which plays a key role in providing fast, flexible funding to a wide range of partners, including the World Food Programme, the World Health Organisation, UNICEF, and NGOs to continue their life-saving work.

Members of Ireland’s Rapid Response Corps are currently deployed to South Sudan, working with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Juba; with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the Gambella refugee camps. The Rapid Response Corps is a register of highly skilled individuals who deploy at short notice to assist in emergency relief efforts.

Ireland’s funding pledge was made at an international donor’s conference in Nairobi, which was attended by Dr. Vincent O’Neill, Ambassador of Ireland to Kenya.

Source:: Ireland pledges €3 million to the UN’s Humanitarian Fund for South Sudan

Categories: African Press Organization

Ambitious DHL Africa As One Team completes one third of the journey across Africa

CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, February 10, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ —

• 15 countries visited in 102 days covering 23,000 kilometers

• 127,000 units of stationery distributed to children in need

The DHL Africa as One team (, who departed from Cape Town in October 2014 in three Land Rover Discoveries, have completed almost a third of their journey, covering 15 countries in 102 days. During this period, they have crossed 40 border posts, travelled 23,000 kilometers and spent over 350 hours on the road – with the longest uninterrupted stretch of continuous driving lasting 17 hours.


Photo Charles Brewer: (Charles Brewer, Managing Director for DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa)

As the Official Logistics Partner of Rugby World Cup 2015, DHL ( embarked on this journey to deliver the concept of rugby to the African continent, while passing a single rugby ball from hand to hand, across 45 countries, and to ultimately deliver the ball and the beauty of Africa to Rugby World Cup 2015.

The journey incorporates various social responsibility and DHL customer engagements along the way, and to date, DHL has hosted 1,558 adults and 1,510 children at DHL Africa As One rugby fairs, where children are taught basic rugby skills and entertained for the day. In each country, free eye tests are provided through DHL’s partnership with Mercy Ships, a global charity and so far, 1,230 eye tests have been conducted and over 845 pairs of eye glasses have been distributed.

During the course of the journey, the team will distribute over half a million units of stationery to young children, including pens, notebooks and activity books, of which, 127,000 units have already been distributed.

Charles Brewer, Managing Director of DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa, says that apart from delivering the concept of rugby to Africa, a continent synonymous with the game of soccer, the tour is also about showcasing Africa to the rest of the world. “In addition to the rugby fairs and CSR activities, we are focused on capturing the true beauty of Africa via videos, spectacular images and candid blog posts, to share and celebrate Africa and all it has to offer – to showcase a little bit of Africa that many people may not get the chance to experience first-hand.”

Speaking on the rugby fairs, Louise Otter, DHL Africa as One team leader, says that Tag / Touch Rugby is introduced to first familiarize attendees with the sport before full contact rugby is taught to the older children and adults. “Many of these children have grown up playing soccer with a round ball, and for the first few minutes of the game, they scramble around the field as the ball evades their attempts to grab it, but soon enough though, they work it out. The enthusiasm we witness as they chase each other up and down the field is inspiring to watch and it’s incredible to see strokes of raw talent shining through in some of the youngsters,” says Otter.

The team has experienced some incredible things along the way, from the local music and great ruins of Zimbabwe, snorkeling in Lake Malawi, learning about coffee and the Black Pharaohs in Ethiopia and Sudan and the flavors of Kenya to name a few. One of the many highlights of the trip so far, was the opportunity for the team to roam freely with a wild troop of gorillas in Rwanda. “After a two hour hike through a bamboo forest, we were in the presence of these majestic creatures as they groomed, ate and communed all around us.”

“Four vehicle windscreen repairs, five tyre changes, two air suspensions, three air filters later, and another 30 countries to visit, we’re rearing to go – next stop, Mauritius,” concludes Otter.

To follow the journey, and receive the latest updates, please visit:

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

Note to editor:

For additional information regarding the DHL Africa as One journey:

The DHL Africa As One seven-strong team:

Latest images and video:

Journey blog with the latest updates of the experiences:

The DHL Africa as One route map:

Media Contact:

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

DHL Express

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

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Source:: Ambitious DHL Africa As One Team completes one third of the journey across Africa

Categories: African Press Organization