UNMISS declines IGAD request to transport opposition leaders to consultative conference in Pagak

JUBA, South Sudan, November 27, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) wishes to correct erroneous media reports claiming that the Mission has sought the consent of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan (GRSS) to use the Mission’! s aircraft to transport delegates of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) from locations inside the country to a consultative conference in Pagak, South Sudan.

UNMISS received a written request dated 17 November 2014 from the Office of the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Special Envoys for South Sudan to provide air transportation to SPLM/A-IO delegates based in Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei states who are planning to attend this conference on the IGAD-sponsored peace talks in Ethiopia.

The Mission declined the IGAD request in writing on 19 November, citing security and practical reasons. Earlier this week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation forwarded a written communication to the Office of the IGAD Special Envoys for South Sudan advising that the Government of South Sudan has no objection to the facilitation of transportation of participants of SPLM/A-IO from locations in Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei states to Pagak and back to their respective destinations after the completion of their consultations.

The GRSS communication did not refer to UNMISS as a facilitating organization in this regard, and the UNMISS decision that it is not in a position to provide air transportation for the delegates remains unchanged.

The Mission has accordingly sent a formal communication to the Government conveying this position and setting the record straight, in view of the continuing erroneous press reports.

UNMISS takes this opportunity to reiterate its full support for the IGAD-led peace process and will continue to strictly implement its mandate in an impartial manner.

Categories: AFRICA

ViiV Healthcare announces new grants in support of ending mother to child transmission of HIV

London, United Kingdom, November 27, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Positive Action for Children Fund (PACF) is proud to announce 103 grants for 2015 totalling £5 million. 54 new grants and 49 extensions will be funded to support community responses to help end mother to child transmission of HIV thereby delivering crucial services to mothers, children and HIV affected families.

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

PACF partners with local organisations working to improve the health and wellbeing of women and children affected by HIV, and the communities they live in. All PACF projects work to strengthen ties between these communities, local health systems and governments, so that more families have access to information, prevention measures, testing and care for HIV. Together these interventions safeguard women’s and their families’ health in an effort to meet the targets set out in the Global Plan (http://goo.gl/jDZfVi) towards the elimination of new infections among children by 2015 and keeping their mothers alive.

PACF partners address a range of factors related to mother to child transmission of HIV in their community, ranging from promoting women’s and girls’ access to education and health services, to testing infants early for HIV, to improving retention of mothers in local HIV services. According to the Global Plan statistics, the total number of new HIV infections in children was halved between 2009 and 2011 in low- and middle-income countries. The Global Plan predicts that by 2015, the number of children acquiring HIV infection can be reduced by 90% from the baseline year of 2009.

In 2015, more than 50 organisations will be partnering with PACF for the first time. Thanks to these new partnerships, PACF will be reaching into previously unsupported countries, including Togo, Angola and Colombia. Their work will extend into 25 countries.

“It has been a rewarding year for PACF in terms of the quality, number and geographical coverage of grants awarded with increased focus on the support of small scale projects,” said PACF Board Chair Catherine Peckham.

Of the 103 new and extended partnerships announced for 2015, almost 90 partners are community based organisations focused on smaller initiatives, showing an ever stronger trend towards supporting localized projects. PACF aims to reach key populations that are often in rural areas and are underserved by health facilities.

For those community based organisations in need of support to sustain their work, PACF provides unique capacity-building assistance through one-on-one mentorship with experts in the HIV sector. This special attention enables community based organisations to strengthen and sustain their programming, as well as extend HIV prevention and treatment services, and antenatal care to more people who need it.

“Supporting projects that bring real change for HIV-affected communities is the reason ViiV founded PACF in the first place,” said ViiV CEO Dominique Limet, “We are proud to be partnering with such groups across the world that are bringing this to fruition. They can really play an essential role into the mission we share. ViiV Healthcare is absolutely committed to communities affected by HIV and AIDS.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of ViiV Healthcare.

About the Global Plan and women and children living with HIV.

The Global Plan, launched by UNAIDS and the United States Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, includes two ambitious targets for 2015: reduce the number of children newly infected with HIV by 90%; and reduce the number of pregnancy-related deaths among women living with HIV by 50%.

According to the Global Plan, about 199,000 children were newly infected with HIV in 2013, less than half the number in 2003, when the number of children acquiring HIV infection peaked at 570,000. In addition, approximately 70% of pregnant women living with HIV received antiretroviral medicines to prevent mother-to child transmission of HIV in 2013, compared to 33% in 2009. With accelerated efforts, the Global Plan predicts the number of children acquiring HIV infection can be reduced by 90% by 2015 from the baseline year of 2009.

Without treatment, up to 40% of babies born to HIV-positive mothers will start life infected, and almost half of them will die before they are two years old.

About the Positive Action for Children Fund

In 2009, ViiV Healthcare committed to invest £50 million in the PACF over ten years. Now entering its fifth year, PACF has contributed more than £24 million to support families in HIV-affected communities. Today PACF funds over 200 projects on four continents.

PACF’s efforts align to UNAIDS’ Global Plan and the World Health Organisation’s prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) Strategy, both of which aim to eliminate new HIV infections among children and keep their mothers alive. PACF also aims to alleviate the impact of HIV and AIDS on women and children’s health by supporting interventions that engage affected communities, developing their capacity to participate and lead.

About ViiV Healthcare

ViiV Healthcare (http://www.viivhealthcare.com) is a global specialist HIV company established in November 2009 by GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) dedicated to delivering advances in treatment and care for people living with HIV. Shionogi joined as a 10% shareholder in October 2012. The company’s aim is to take a deeper and broader interest in HIV/AIDS than any company has done before and take a new approach to deliver effective and new HIV medicines, as well as support communities affected by HIV. For more information on the company, its management, portfolio, pipeline, and commitment, please visit www.viivhealthcare.com.

Contacts:

ViiV UK/US Media enquiries: Sebastien Desprez +44 7920 567 707

Marc Meachem +1 919 483 8756

GSK Global Media enquiries: David Daley +44 (0) 20 8047 5502

Melinda Stubbee +1 919 483 2510

GSK Analyst/Investor enquiries: Ziba Shamsi +44 (0) 20 8047 5543

Kirsty Collins (SRI & CG) +44 (0) 20 8047 5534

Tom Curry + 1 215 751 5419

Gary Davies +44 (0) 20 8047 5503

James Dodwell +44 (0) 20 8047 2406

Jeff McLaughlin +1 215 751 7002

Lucy Singah 44 (0) 20 8047 2248

GlaxoSmithKline cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements: GSK cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by GSK, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Factors that may affect GSK’s operations are described under Item 3.D “Risk factors” in the company’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2013.

References

1. Website link to Global Plan 2014 Progress Report: http://www.zero-hiv.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/UNAIDS-Global-Plan-Report-2014.pdf

Categories: AFRICA

Botswana – UN cultural rights expert calls for a renewed “nation-building” to celebrate rich diversity

GABORONE, Botswana, November 27, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — At the end of a 13-day official visit to Botswana, the UN Special Rapporteur on cultural rights Farida Shaheed called on the country to embark on a “second phase of nation building that reflects, builds on and celebrates the rich cultural diversity of the country.”

Shaheed shared her observations on cultural rights issues ranging from the recognition of tribes, to language rights, to land rights, to the need to involve and engage with communities affected by Government policies. Shaheed identified a number of good practices and potential obstacles relating to the promotion and protection of cultural rights in the country.

The Special Rapporteur, who is mandated to monitor the enjoyment of cultural rights, stressed that issues relating to the recognition of communities as tribes under the Bogosi Act of 2008 needed to be addressed.

“Unlike the eight Tswana tribes who have a guaranteed seat in the House of Chiefs, other communities do not,” she said. Shaheed expressed further concern that the adjudication system based on the Kgosis (chiefs) often leads to the dominant tribe imposing its customary law on all groups in a particular tribal territory in civil matters.

Shaheed also identified language diversity as a possible area for improvement.

“While the use of Setswana as the national language has enabled most people in the country to communicate with each other, mother tongue education in the first years of schooling is certainly a way forward,” she said. “The risk of further disadvantage incurred upon children in remote areas who have no or minimal exposure to Setswana in their families and communities, in particular those residing in hostels without family support systems, is significant.”

Shaheed congratulated Botswana for its success in having the Okavango Delta included on the World Heritage List of UNESCO. She specifically welcomed the Government for its consultative process prior to the listing, as well as the recognition of the small numbers of people who have inhabited the Delta for centuries without any significant ecological impact.

“I have been assured by the government that there will be no fencing off of the area, no eviction of local communities, and no disruption of their rights of access to natural resources,” she said. The Special Rapporteur hoped that such steps would help to establish good practices both in this area, and in other parts of Botswana.

However, in many of the places she visited, Shaheed heard the frustration, anger, and fears expressed by community members, particularly of the San, Hambukushu, and Wayeyi communities. She stressed that many of these feelings stem from a lack of clear information and communication about policy and future plans, especially with regard to human/wildlife conflicts.

“The legacy of past violations of human rights needs to be acknowledged and addressed if the authorities wish to engage in meaningful consultations with communities for future projects,” she said.

“The Central Kalahari Game Reserve has been at the centre of considerable controversy since the Government decided to relocate all people residing there to settlements outside the Reserve,” said Shaheed. Despite a Court ruling confirming the right of the petitioners to return to the Reserve, concerns remain regarding an overly restrictive interpretation of the ruling and the right of offspring to remain on the reserve upon attaining the age of majority at 18. “I would like the Government to clarify the matter,” the expert said.

Shaheed also called for more alternative spaces for people, besides the traditional spaces offered by kgotlas governed by chiefs, to engage in sports and creative activities in both rural and urban centres. “I welcome the increased number of cultural activities being promoted by the Government, through numerous festivals and competitions across the country,” she said. “I encourage the Government to expand its support to non-traditional forms of cultural expression and to consider the establishment of a national arts council for the promotion and further development of art and creative industries.”

The Special Rapporteur visited Gaborone, Maun, Ghanzi / Dkar, Old Xade, New Xade, Shakawe, and the Tsodilo Hills, as well as several villages in the Okavango Delta, and Ramotswa. She met with Government officials, chiefs, artists, academics, and representatives of civil society.

The Special Rapporteur will present her assessment and recommendations in a report to the 28th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in March 2015 in Geneva.

Categories: AFRICA

Tigo Pesa returns TZS 3 Billion to customers as first quarterly payment

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, November 27, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Tigo (http://www.tigo.co.tz) announced today the first of its regular quarterly payments worth 3bn/- (US $ 1.8 million) to Tigo Pesa users.

Logo Tigo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/tigo-1.jpg

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1065 (Tigo Tanzania General Manager, Diego Gutierrez)

This payment comes three months after the company paid a staggering profit of TZS 14.25 billion (US $ 8.64 million) accumulated in the Tigo Pesa Trust Account to become the first mobile money service in the world to pay profit to its users. Tigo Pesa has a subscriber base of 3.6 million customers.

Tigo General Manager Diego Gutierrez said “This second round of profit disbursement shows the company’s continued commitment to benefit and improve the lives of Tanzanians. The payment goes to all Tigo Pesa users including super agents, retail agents and individual users of the service.”

“The first payment was bigger due to the fact that the profit had been accumulated over a period of three and a half years. This second payment is the profit accumulated from funds held in trust in commercial banks for three months in the quarter July to September 2014,” the General Manager said.

Mr Gutierrez explained that, as before, the average return to a customer will vary based on their average daily balance in their Tigo Pesa e-wallet. This applies to super-agents, retail agents and individual customers.

The next installment for the quarter of October to December 2014 will be paid out in February 2015.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Tigo Tanzania.

For further information visit: www.tigo.co.tz or contact:

John Wanyancha – Corporate Communications Manager

Mobile: 0658 123 089

john.wanyancha@tigo.co.tz

About Tigo:

Tigo Tanzania (http://www.tigo.co.tz) is the leading innovative telecommunication company in the country, distinguished as a fully-fledged digital lifestyle brand. Offering a diverse product portfolio in voice, SMS, high-speed internet and mobile financial services, Tigo has pioneered innovations such as Facebook in Kiswahili, Tigo Pesa App for Android & iOS users, and East Africa’s first cross-border mobile money transfer with currency conversion.

The Tigo 3G network guarantees the best services to its subscriber’s in all regions across the country. Between 2013 and 2014 alone the company launched over 500 new network sites and plans to double its investment by 2017 in terms of coverage and additional capacity networks for deeper penetration in rural areas. With over 7 million registered subscribers to their network, Tigo directly and indirectly employs over 100,000 Tanzanians including an extended network of customer service representatives, mobile money merchants, sales agents and distributors.

Tigo is the biggest commercial brand of Millicom, an international company developing the digital lifestyle in 14 countries with commercial operations in Africa and Latin America and corporate offices in Europe and the USA. With the certain knowledge that only constant innovation will keep them on top, Millicom keeps creating greater shareholder value; applying their concept of “demand more” is how they do business and retain their position as digital lifestyle leaders in some of the most unique and challenging markets.

“SMILE, YOU’RE WITH TIGO”

Categories: AFRICA

The Government of Switzerland contributes more than one million US dollars to the Sudan Common Humanitarian Fund in 2014

KHARTOUM, Sudan, November 27, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — To help address growing humanitarian needs in Sudan, the Government of Switzerland has contributed an additionalUS $523,013 to the Sudan Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF), making the total Swiss contribution to the CHF US $1,092,916 in 2014.

“Taking into consideration the fact that the number of people in need remains at a very high level, Switzerland decided to release still before the end 2014 a second contribution to the CHF in order to help for appropriate and well-coordinated humanitarian response,”said the Ambassador of Switzerland, Mr. Martin Strub.

Switzerland’s second allocation for 2014 comes at a time where humanitarian agencies are addressing critical needs of affected people across Sudan. Since the beginning of 2014, armed conflict has left 430,000 people newly displaced in Darfur. Moreover, many parts of Sudan are facing alarming levels of malnutrition, particularly affecting children under five. Meanwhile, the ongoing conflict in South Sudan has led to over 105,000 people crossing the border into Sudan.

“A second Swiss allocation to the CHF helps agencies continue projects that address pressing and critical humanitarian needs in Sudan,” said Ali Al-Za’tari, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator. “This funding will benefit those who are most vulnerable, such as women and children, for whom healthcare and other life-saving assistance is often lacking.”

This year, the Sudan CHF has received support from Denmark, Ireland,the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The UK, Norway and Switzerland have provided second allocations, bringing cumulative contributions in 2014 to US $58 million.

Categories: AFRICA

Célestin Monga from Cameroon appointed Managing Director of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

GENEVA, Switzerland, November 27, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — A leading member of Swiss based Quantum Global group’s Advisory Board (http://www.quantumglobal.ch) has today accepted a key UN post based in Vienna.

Célestin Monga, a Cameroonian national, an internationally recognized economist and currently Director of the Oxford University Press Handbook of Africa and Economics, has accepted the post of Managing Director at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) (http://www.unido.org), the UN body mandated to promote and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development in developing countries and economies in transition.

Photo Célestin Monga: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/141127.jpg

Logo Quantum Global group: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/quantumglobal.png

Appointed last year as a pro bono member to the Advisory Board of Quantum Global group, whose work targets African private equity, investment and infrastructure interests, Mr Monga has served with great distinction.

Welcoming the appointment, Quantum Global group Founder, Jean Claude Bastos De Morais, said,

“Célestin is a distinguished international figure who has brought tremendous vision and wisdom to our work and I know that he will continue to make a remarkable contribution to global development in everything he does. We warmly congratulate him on his appointment to this crucial UN post and we are delighted that he has agreed to retain his place on the Quantum Global group Advisory Board where we benefit greatly from his intellect, experience and insights. All my colleagues here at Quantum Global group are immensely proud to be associated with Célestin.”

Célestin Monga responded saying,

“I am humbled that UNIDO’s Director-General Li Yong offered me this new opportunity. For more than two centuries, industrialization has been the main engine of growth and prosperity in the world and has helped lift out of poverty hundreds of millions of people.

However, the realization that current modes of industrialization are neither inclusive nor properly sustainable has led the Member States of UNIDO to adopt the December 2013 Lima Declaration in which they agreed to promote Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development. I thank Jean-Claude for the strong support he provided to the Oxford Handbook of Africa and Economics and the Young African Scholars Program, which have given visibility and exposure to the work of many bright African researchers.

I am grateful to my Advisory Board colleagues at Quantum Global group for their support and I look forward to continuing working with them to foster synergies between the private sector and development institutions, and advance the global agenda of employment generation and social peace.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of The Quantum Global Group.

For media enquiries please contact:

Group Head of Communications, Mark Morley Tel: +41 798707039

About Quantum Global

The Quantum Global Group (http://www.quantumglobal.ch) is an international investment partner and asset manager providing access to specialist advice and unique investment opportunities and consists of the following entities, Quantum Global Investment Management, Quantum Global Private Wealth, Quantum Global Alternative Investments, Quantum Global Research Lab and Quantum Global Corporate Services. For more information, visit www.quantumglobal.ch.

Célestin Monga

A Cameroonian national, Mr. Monga is currently the Director of the Oxford University Press Handbook of Africa and Economics and has held various Board and senior executive positions in academia, financial services and international development.

Among a host of professional achievements gained during a stellar career, he served on the Board of Directors of the internationally acclaimed Sloan School of Management – specifically its Fellows Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – meanwhile he has also held teaching posts at both Boston University and the University of Bordeaux.

An author, scholar and academic, he was the Economics editor for the 5-volume New Encyclopedia of Africa (Charles Scribner’s, 2007) and his published works have been translated into multiple languages. Elsewhere he has co-authored academic articles and policy reports with many of the world’s economists including Joseph Stiglitz, Robert Solow (both Nobel Prize winners), Justin Yifu Lin, Robert Barro, Olivier Blanchard, and John Kenneth Galbraith.

Célestin Monga is currently leading the Oxford Handbook project, whose contributors include Roger Myerson (Nobel Prize), Joseph Stiglitz, Jeffrey Sachs, Paul Collier, Benno Ndulu, Ernest Aryeetey, Kaushik Basu, Justin Yifu Lin, and dozens of others.

A graduate of MIT, Harvard, and the universities of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Bordeaux and Pau, Mr Monga began his career as a senior executive with Banque Nationale de Paris group.

Categories: AFRICA