January 30 Telephonic Press Briefing With Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) Executive Vice President David S. Bohigian

Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, Executive Vice President David S. Bohigian on recent travel to Ghana, Togo, and Cameroon and previewing OPIC’s upcoming women’s initiative and agency priorities.

EVENT:

Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, Executive Vice President David S. Bohigian will provide a readout on his recent travel to Sub-Saharan Africa where he visited OPIC-supported projects in the health, energy, and housing sector as well as met with the Prime Minister of Togo. He will also preview OPIC’s upcoming women’s initiative and agency priorities.

This briefing will be on the record.

The telephonic briefing will take place on Tuesday, January 30 at 8:00AM ET/13:00 UTC. During the briefing, the speakers will make brief opening remarks then take questions from the field.

DETAILS:
Speaker: OPIC Executive Vice President David S. Bohigian
Date: January 30, 2018
Time: 8:00 ET/13:00 UTC
* Please use Time Zone Converter to determine the start time of the event in your time zone.
Language: English. French and Portuguese interpretation will be offered.
Ground rules: On the record.
Dial-in Info: To be provided once you RSVP
RSVP: RSVP to afmediahub@state.gov. Please specify English/French/Portuguese line, or request that we dial out to you (provide the phone number and language to be used).
Twitter: We will use #OPICinAfrica as the hashtag for the call. Follow us on @AfricaMediaHub and @opicgov.

LOGISTICS:

  • Callers should dial-in to the conference call 10-15 minutes early.
  • When an individual journalist dials-in, the operator will collect the caller’s name, press affiliation, and location.
  • The moderator will facilitate the Q and A among the connected callers. Journalists on the conference call will be instructed to press the “*” and “1” buttons on their phones in order to enter the question queue. NOTE: You can press “*1” at any time during the call to join the question queue, even before the moderator begins the Q and A portion. We ask that journalists limit themselves to one question. Journalists can also submit questions in English to afmediahub@state.gov prior to or during the call.

BIO:
DAVID BOHIGIAN

Executive Vice President, Overseas Private Investment Corporation

David Bohigian was appointed by President Donald J. Trump as the Executive Vice President of OPIC and joined the agency in August 2017.
Mr. Bohigian has extensive experience in both the public and private sectors. Before joining OPIC, he served as the Managing Director of Pluribus Ventures, where he advised financial services firms and growth companies. Earlier, he served on the core management team of Bridgewater Associates, and prior to that, he founded E2 Capital Partners, which developed new financing models for energy efficiency projects.

From 2005 to 2009, Mr. Bohigian held several senior positions at the U.S. Department of Commerce under the George W. Bush administration. As the Assistant Secretary for Market Access and Compliance in the International Trade Administration, he worked to ensure that American companies could compete fairly in international markets. Prior to that, he was the Director of the Department of Commerce’s Office of Policy and Strategic Planning, where he advised two Secretaries on economics and energy.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Bohigian worked as Managing Director for Idealab, Founder and Managing Director for VenCatalyst, and Director for Jefferson Partners, LLC. He earned his B.A. in journalism from Washington & Lee University and his J.D. from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Africa Regional Media Hub.

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Source:: January 30 Telephonic Press Briefing With Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) Executive Vice President David S. Bohigian

      

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Africa Prefers Fair Trade to Marshall Plans – VP Osinbajo

Remarks by His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, The Vice President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria, at an Interactive Session Titled “Stabilizing The Mediterranean” at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, 24 January, 2018:

Q: How realistic is Africa replacing China as the factory of the world, how realistic is that? How do you look at the Marshall plan for Africa, is it something you think is credible?

Vice President: Let me begin with the Africa Rising narrative and all of the possibilities around Africa replacing China as the factory of the world. I think that probably is in the natural cause of things. Even now, we see that as wage costs go up in China, Africa is becoming the obvious choice for some certain industries, so it is clear that will happen and there are quite a few initiatives in that direction already; there are a few countries like Ivory Coast, Nigeria, with the development of Special Economic Zones, with partnerships coming from China.

I think those sorts of arrangements will very quickly absorb labour because obviously, you are looking at growing populations in Africa, the projections as you know are in the next 20 years or so, we are looking at the youth population… probably 70% of Africa’s population would be young people and Africa would probably about be the third largest population.

I think that the critical thing is to see that we cannot deal with this in any quick way, there are no quick fixes to this, we have got to look at this long term, because clearly there’s no way that African economies will ramp off quickly enough to be able to meet all of the expectations, especially all of the projections around population. So this is going to be a long walk and I think that it is important for all of us to see this as such.

The idea of the Marshall Plan is to me, in some sense, bringing old solutions to what really is a dynamic problem. I think that what Africa needs and what a lot of the southern neighbours of the Europeans need are fairer trade policies and a cocktail of policies that centre on job creation in those locations, more investments, but I think more thinking through those ideas and policies that creates more opportunities, partnership between Europe and Africa.

I don’t think that aid has worked through the years. I think that there’s a need for possibly just much more commitment to the whole process. I mean there have been multi-processes, several of them, but I certainly think that if we look at this as a major global problem and when you look around and look at extremism, terrorism and all of the various things that are exported along with illegal migration, it is a global problem and we really does deserve a global solution and the way to look at that is by coming together to reason these things through, but frankly it is not by those Marshal Plans off the shelf, I think it is more nuanced than that.

Q: Do you feel that values of human rights are being compromised in order for Europe to have tactical immediate solutions?

Vice President: I certainly agree that it was a great shock to see actual slave dealings in this century; it was absolutely horrifying to see that. What we are seeing is a degeneration of criminal activities where you find that state capacity is unable to maintain international human rights norms.

One of the crucial things is to encourage repatriation. Nigerian government for example is working with the Libyan government in repatriating everyone who is in the camps. It is a slow process because there are those who claim nationalities because they see a way out of the camps. There is also a great deal of willingness on the part of those who are in the camps to go back because it is entirely voluntary. There is pressure where there is no state capacity or inadequate state capacity to maintain law and order and international human rights norms. The pressure is a bit too much for the Libyan authorities, so what you find is that the criminal gangs and all of these asymmetric type organizations dominate the space and we may not be able to do much without relieving the Libyan authorities of a lot of the illegal migrants in their custody or their country.

Q: With a Yes or No, 5 years from now, are we still going to be seating here having the same discussion?

Vice President: Would you give us a chance to say, “I hope not?” (Laughter). I really suspect yes.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Office of the Vice President of Nigeria.

Released by
Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity)
Office of the Vice President
January 25, 2018

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Source:: Africa Prefers Fair Trade to Marshall Plans – VP Osinbajo

      

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Statement attributable to Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Libya

Statement attributable to Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Libya:

The Secretary-General condemns the double bombing in Al-Salmani district of the Libyan city of Benghazi on 24 January 2018 and deplores the loss of civilian life, including children. The Secretary-General expresses his deepest condolences to the bereaved families and wishes the injured swift recovery.

The Secretary-General is also alarmed by reports of summary executions being carried out in Benghazi in retaliation for the attack.

The Secretary-General reiterates that there can be no military solution to the Libyan crisis. The perpetrators of the attack in Al-Salmani, and of any criminal acts carried out in retaliation, must be brought to justice.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

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Source:: Statement attributable to Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Libya

      

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Statement by Ambassador Jonathan Allen, Chargé d’Affaires, at the Security Council Meeting on South Sudan

Statement by Ambassador Jonathan Allen, Chargé d’Affaires, at the Security Council Meeting on South Sudan:

Thank you Mr President,

And thank you also to our briefers Undersecretary La Croix, ASG Mueller and Chairperson Mogae for updating us today.

As we are all aware, the long term stability of South Sudan is dependent on securing a political agreement.

To that end, we welcome IGAD and the Joint Monitoring Evaluation Commission (JMEC)’s work on the High Level Revitalisation Forum, and in particular the agreement of a Cessation of Hostilities. I would like to thank and pay tribute to IGAD and Ambassador Ismail Wais, who have led efforts to bring the parties to the negotiating table.

The Revitalisation Forum is the best opportunity to secure a political agreement. It must be truly inclusive to deliver an agreement that is accepted and supported by the people of South Sudan. Women, youth, and broader South Sudanese civil society must all be allowed to participate meaningfully.

Mr President,

We made this Council’s expectations clear in last month’s PRST. An end to hostilities. “Cost and consequences” for those who obstruct the Revitalisation Forum process. And unimpeded humanitarian access.

Let us now take stock of the progress that has been made.

First, hostilities have not ended. The Cessation of Hostilities was violated almost immediately after it was signed and fighting continues across the country today.

We are particularly concerned by the fighting in Koch. The significant military build-ups by the government and opposition groups in the Malakal-Tonga corridor are also extremely worrying. As are potential offensives in Yei and Akobo.

We are also concerned by First Vice President Taban Deng and his 500 troops’ movements in Jonglei state, which is both a violation of the Cessation of Hostilities and an inflammatory action in the build-up to peace talks.

We therefore welcome the Chairperson of the IGAD Council of Ministers statement on the 29 December, which strongly condemned the violations and called for those responsible to be held to account.

Which brings me to our second expectation: Consequences for those who obstruct the negotiations process, which includes violations of the Cessation of Hostilities.

And we would call on IGAD to use their Council of Ministers meeting on 27 January to set out defined consequences for violators. IGAD can identify these individuals and collectively we take action against them. This Council must be ready to support IGAD using all the measures at our disposal.

We welcome the joint statement by the UN and the AU on the 12 January and fully support South Sudanese Civil Society who are calling for accountability for violating the ceasefire.

We are concerned by recent threats against civil society as they comment on the Cessation of Hostilities, which, as signatories to the Agreement, they have every right to do.

We also welcome the efforts of the new Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM) Chairman to increase the timeliness of reporting. There have been marked improvements in the short time he has been in position. We hope he will build on these, including reporting on gender-based violence.

An effective Cessation of Hostilities monitoring body is crucial if we are to prevent further violence. CTSAMM has a difficult job to do and we call on the Government and opposition groups to stop impeding and criticising them. We welcome JMEC’s recent statement on this.

Mr President,

The consequences of the conflict are known all too well by the people of South Sudan who are victims of the dire and deteriorating humanitarian situation. Two thirds of the population are in need of humanitarian assistance in what is a manmade disaster. We condemn unreservedly sexual violence in South Sudan.

In November, despite the President’s decree calling for unimpeded access, nine aid workers were killed and aid was obstructed over 100 times. All parties to the conflict bare responsibility for this, but the Government alone is responsible for the bureaucratic impediments, such as $4,000 work permit fees, which continue to hinder the relief agencies’ efforts to save lives.

Mr President,

This Council visited Addis Ababa last September for our annual meeting with the AUPSC. At that meeting, we talked about supporting the African Union and its sub-regional organisations. Today, Chairperson Mogae citing IGAD statements, has asked to make clear the consequences for those who violate, spoil, or derail the peace agreement. Undersecretary General La Croix urged us to show that there were real consequences for violators.

We therefore reiterate our call for an arms embargo. It would apply equally to all parties, not singling anyone out for blame. It would send a strong message to those who undermine the Revitalisation Forum and strengthen those in the region trying to bring South Sudanese parties to peace. It is in line with what the region has called for: clear consequences for violators.

Mr President,

The parties in South Sudan must start putting the people of South Sudan first. They must fully engage with the Revitalisation Forum and refrain from violence. They must allow humanitarian access to all who need it. And we, as the Security Council, must also do our part to make the consequence of inaction clear, including those of us around this table, because make no mistake: inaction is a decision, too. It is a decision to let people be attacked and to die. We must hold those responsible to account, and we must do this now. The people of South Sudan can wait no longer. Let us not protect the warmongers and abusers. Let this not be a stain on this Council’s conscience.

Thank you Mr President.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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Source:: Statement by Ambassador Jonathan Allen, Chargé d’Affaires, at the Security Council Meeting on South Sudan

      

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