Fighting hunger awards ceremony, 30 November 2014 / Thirteen countries to receive recognition for achieving outstanding progress in fighting hunger

GENEVA, Switzerland, November 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Brazil, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Iran, Kiribati, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Philippines and Uruguay are the latest in a growing list of countries to make great strides in combating undernourishment. This includes the early achievement of the Millennium Development Goal 1 (MDG-1) hunger target – to halve the proportion of hungry people by 2015 – or the more stringent 1996 World Food Summit (WFS) target of halving the absolute number of hungry people by 2015.

FAO Director General, José Graziano da Silva, will recognize the progress made by these 13 countries by awarding diplomas to their representatives at a ceremony scheduled to take place at the UN agency’s Rome headquarters on 30 November, 2014.

Earlier this year FAO recognized the achievements of three countries while in 2013, 38 countries won recognition for having reduced by half either the proportion or the number of people who suffer from hunger ahead of the 2015 deadline-.

According to FAO estimates, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Iran, Kiribati, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico and the Philippines have now reached the MDG-1 hunger target while Brazil, Cameroon and Uruguay have also achieved the more ambitious WFS target of halving the number of hungry by 2015.

WHAT: Awards Ceremony Recognizing Outstanding Progress

in Fighting Hunger

WITH: FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva will award diplomas to representatives from the 13 countries. Expected to attend are: The Gambia’s Vice President Isatou Njie-Saidy, Brazil’s Minister for , Social Development and Fight Against Hunger Tereza Campello, Cameroon’s Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Menye Essimi, Gabon’s Minister for Livestock, Fisheries and Food Security Luc Oyoubi and Mauritania’s Minister for Rural Development Brahim Ould M’Bareck Ould Mohamed el Moctar.

WHEN: Sunday, 30 November 2014, 15.00-17.00h

WHERE: Green Room, FAO headquarters

Rome, Italy | Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, corner with Viale Aventino. Metro stop Circo Massimo.

Accreditation will take place at the main FAO visitor’s entry kiosk. A valid press card or letter of assignment on company stationery, plus picture ID, required.

Website & webcast

Twitterhashtags: #hungerprogress, #UNFAO

Live tweets: @FAOnews, @FAOknowledge, @FAOpost2015

More information: FAO media office, (+39) 06 570 53625,

Categories: AFRICA

Plight of World’s Freshwater Resources Spotlighted And Responses to Climate Change Impacts in Africa Presented

NAIROBI, Kenya, November 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — MEDIA BRIEFING INVITATION

When: 28 November 2014, 12:30 pm

Venue: Conference Room 14, United Nations Office at Nairobi

Session 1

Who: H.E. Mr. Ephraim Kamun Uganda, Minister of Water

Lawrence Simitu, Director of Water Services, Kenya

Charles Biney, Executive Secretary, Volta Basin Authority, Burkina Faso

Lenka Thamae, Executive Secretary, Orange/Senqu River Commission, South Africa

Elizabeth Mrema, Director, Division of Environmental Law and Conventions, UNEP

Over 30 Ministers and experts will identify solutions to a range of freshwater threats at the First International Environment Forum for Basin Organisations which is being held in response to the escalating depletion and pollution of surface and groundwater resources.

Fresh water is a fundamental environmental resource and essential for the sustainability of humanity, and the world’s ecosystems. However, only 2.5 per cent of all the water on Earth is fresh water, and only 1 per cent is easily available for human use.

Existing governance structures provide, in most cases, legal and institutional frameworks for meeting human water demands, but they inadequately address the control of pollution and for the protection of ecosystems key in the provision of water.

The first International Environment Forum for Basin Organizations will identify how legal, policy and institutional arrangements of basin organizations can be strengthened to effectively implement internationally agreed goals, in particular environmental goals and objectives of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs).

The forum will bring together key stakeholders in the management of freshwater basins from all around the world, such as ministers of water and the environment, heads of basins organizations, UN Agencies and other relevant international organizations, financial institutions, MEA Secretariats, civil society and academia.

Session 2

Briefing on Responses to Climate Change Impacts in Africa

Who: Abbas Gullet, Secretary-General, Kenya Red Cross Society

Hon. Dr. Wilbur Ottichilo, Member of Parliament, Kenya and Chair of the Parliamentary Network on Renewable Energy and Climate Change

Guleid Artan, Director, Climate Prediction and Applications Centre, The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)

Richard Munang, Africa Climate Change Coordinator, UNEP

Responses to the increasing threat of major climate change events in Africa – and in particular, to the recently predicted El Nino occurrence in The Horn of Africa – will be presented by a panel of decision makers, scientists, relevant technical experts from across Africa. Appropriate responses to major climate events will improve response to a range of threats and help avoid where possible water and food insecurity, disease, livestock losses, infrastructural damages and a whole range of other potential impacts.

Note: Transport to and from the UN in Gigiri will be provided. A bus will depart from Chester House at 11:30 am

Please RSVP by Thursday morning 27 November 2014 to

Categories: AFRICA

International SMEs not recognizing Africa’s growth potential – Report

CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, November 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ —

• Prefer to trade with other emerging economies

• SMEs expect to generate up to 50% of revenues internationally by 2019

According to an in-depth study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on behalf of DHL Express (, approximately 40% of global SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) do not perceive Africa as a growth opportunity, despite the positive economic growth stories and growing middle class in the regions.


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

The report further reveals that while many multinationals and state-owned companies are actively taking advantage of the opportunities that Africa offers, SMEs still remain apprehensive and are choosing to trade with other emerging markets instead.

Charles Brewer, Managing Director of DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa, says that despite current challenges to attract global SME interest, the findings of the study highlight the untapped potential that still exists in the continent.

“The fact that SMEs expect to generate up to 50% of revenues internationally by 2019 is a massive positive and highlights the vast opportunities for Africa from an investment and job creation perspective.”

Brewer says that according to the study, which surveyed 480 SME executives and experts from business lobbying groups, SMEs are deterred by Africa’s low average consumer spend, cultural and infrastructure challenges, as well as inefficiencies such as corruption and political risk in the region. .

He explains that overcoming different market environments is the biggest hurdle. The quality of a target market´s infrastructure, the stability of its politics, administrative costs for establishing a local presence and cultural differences in doing business were all cited by the executives surveyed as factors that deterred them from entering new markets.

“The unfamiliarity of foreign markets received particular attention, with 84% of respondents describing understanding a target market’s culture or language as important or very important in determining its attractiveness. This also explains why most SMEs often expand into markets that resemble their own.

“This is evident in Africa, as companies looking to expand into the continent, often make use of a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Due to the various cultures, languages and customs on the continent, vast amounts of research need to be done into each region, and the services and products need to be specifically tailored to each country. Africa is not one country,” says Brewer.

In terms of expansion tactics, the survey shows that partnerships are an important consideration for SMEs. The study identified a number of innovative approaches in this area, such as piggybacking on another company’s existing retail network to enter the sub-Saharan market in Africa.

“A number of multinationals and corporates have experience great success in Africa, DHL being a prime example. And the good news for SMEs is that they have the advantage of being more agile to adapt quickly and exploit the opportunities available. An entrepreneurial spirit is vital for the success of small businesses, we ourselves started out as an SME in 1969, and as they say, the rest is history. We too have focused on partnerships in Africa, and now have a retail presence of over 3500 outlets across Africa.

“We work with thousands and thousands of SMEs across Africa and have witnessed how these businesses are able to successfully establish a presence in the region. With the support of the right partners, a well-designed supply chain, clear understanding of their competitive strengths and the right mindset, SMEs can break through any border and make the world their market,” concludes Brewer.

The full EIU and DHL Express report, Breaking borders: From Canada to China, barriers overshadow growth for expanding SMEs, can be accessed at

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

Media Contact:

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

DHL Express

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

DHL – The logistics company for the world

DHL ( is the global market leader in the logistics and transportation industry and “The logistics company for the world”. DHL commits its expertise in international express, national and international parcel delivery, air and ocean freight, road and rail transportation as well as contract and e-commerce related solutions along the entire supply chain. A global network composed of more than 220 countries and territories and around 315,000 employees worldwide offers customers superior service quality and local knowledge to satisfy their shipping and supply chain requirements. DHL accepts its social responsibility by supporting environmental protection, disaster management and education.

For more information:

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Categories: AFRICA

Deeply Concerned by Escalation of Violence in Libya, Secretary-General Urges All Libyans to ‘Take the Brave Decisions Necessary to Spare Their Country’

NEW YORK, November 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary‑General Ban Ki‑moon:

The Secretary‑General is deeply concerned by the recent escalation of violence in Libya, including the air strikes in Tripoli and the Nafousa Mountains in the west, as well as in Benghazi and its environs in the east. He calls on all parties to end these attacks and prevent further escalation and reminds them of their moral and legal obligations to protect civilians and abide by international human rights and humanitarian law.

The Secretary‑General is also deeply concerned by the violation of the United Nations premises in Tripoli that took place on 24 November. Such actions and incitement cannot be tolerated and must cease immediately.

The Secretary‑General remains convinced that the only way to resolve the current crisis is through dialogue. In this regard, he has full confidence in his Special Representative, Bernardino León, and in his efforts to facilitate dialogue among Libyans to address the challenges facing the country and to bring about a return to an inclusive political process.

He calls on all Libyans to recommit themselves to the goals of the revolution and take the brave decisions necessary to spare their country and people further strife and suffering, in particular by talking to one another in an environment of mutual respect and inclusiveness.

Categories: AFRICA

Minister Paradis Supports Education and Employability in Morocco / The Government of Canada is contributing to helping the most vulnerable Moroccan youth enter the labour market

OTTAWA, Canada, November 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — During an official visit to Morocco, the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, opened the new Canadian Embassy in Rabat in the presence of Ms. Mbarka Bouaida, Minister Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Morocco. Minister Paradis also took this opportunity to meet with the Moroccan Minister of Industry, Trade, Investment and the Digital Economy, Mr. Moulay Hafid Elalamy, to highlight the contribution of Canadian trade and investment in Morocco’s economic development.

Furthermore, Minister Paradis gave a speech at the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University’s School of Governance and Economics in Rabat. He announced Canadian support worth $8 million for a UNICEF project whose goal is to increase the employability of the most vulnerable Moroccan youth.

“I am here in Rabat to reiterate the importance of the ties between Canada and Morocco,” said Minister Paradis. “Canada is, and will continue to be, a key partner of Morocco in its sustainable development efforts through skills training and job creation programs for youth, as well as through increased trade between our countries. The Government of Canada, and Canadian businesses and organizations are Morocco’s true allies in viable and shared economic growth. We strongly believe that the development of Morocco depends first and foremost on greater prosperity and better youth employability.”

Minister Paradis was visiting Morocco as part of a tour of Africa, where he will be attending the Summit of La Francophonie in Dakar, Senegal.

Quick Facts

• Morocco is a key partner for Canada in La Francophonie and in the Middle East and North Africa region. It is also a key partner in the Global Counterterrorism Forum.

• Canada’s development assistance to Morocco dates from 1963. A particularly close partnership has been established in the areas of educational reform, professional development and youth employability, which is the subject of the project announced today.

• In 2013, bilateral trade between our two countries totalled nearly $635.2 million.

• Canada’s commercial activity in Morocco is diversified, focusing not only on exporting merchandise and mining assets, but also on establishing partnerships with teaching institutions and setting up franchises and other global value chain activities.

• Canada and Morocco are engaged in free trade negotiations, and such an agreement would strengthen our trade and investment links. Morocco is a gateway to Africa for Canada, and we invite them to fast-track these negotiations.

• Morocco is one of the priority countries identified in Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan and Canada’s International Education Strategy.

• Approximately 72,000 Canadians are of Moroccan origin, which makes it the second-largest North African diaspora community in Canada.

Categories: AFRICA

Sakharov Prize 2014 to be awarded to Dr Denis Mukwege today

STRASBOURG, France, November 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Dr Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynaecologist who specialises in treating victims of rape and extreme sexual violence, is this year’s laureate of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Dr Mukwege will receive his prize in Strasbourg in a ceremony on Wednesday at noon. A joint press conference with President Schulz will take place immediately after the ceremony, at 12.30.

Dr Mukwege, is one of the world’s leading experts in treating victims of rape and violent sexual aggression, and has founded the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he works and trains surgeons. He also pioneered arrangements for the social and moral reintegration of victims while they are recovering.

The shortlisted pro-European Ukrainian movement EuroMaidan will be represented at the ceremony by Yelyzaveta Schepetylnykova, a student representative in the EuroMaidan Council Presidium and Mustafa Nayem, an independent blogger and journalist. Dinara Yunus, daughter of Leyla Yunus, also shortlisted nominee will be present in the award ceremony.

You can watch the plenary ceremony and the press conference via EP Live and EbS+

EP Live


Sakharov prize page

Categories: AFRICA