Latest News April 20, 2017

news From All Africa

  • Environmental Literacy Key to Inspire Action in Defense of environmental protection

    Earth Day is an annual event celebrated worldwide on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection.

    In connection with Earth Day 2017, the U.S. Embassy will host a half day panel discussion to raise awareness on environment & inspire action in defense of environmental protection tomorrow April 21, 2017. 

    University and high school students; environment club members and YALI Network members will participate in the panel discussion where panelists drawn from government institutions and NGO’s share their experiences on the role of education in creating environmental awareness and as to what should be done to improve environmental awareness.

    Environmental and climate literacy is the engine for not only for advancing environmental and climate laws and policies but also for accelerating green technologies and jobs.

    You are invited to attend the panel discussion: 

    Date: Friday, April 21, 2017 at 9:45 (in the morning)
    Venue: American Embassy, Entoto Road
           
    Please RSVP to Zelalem Befekadu (091-150-9522) or Ali Suleiman (091-150-9510).

    Distributed by APO on behalf of U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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  • The dti to showcase South Africa’s best in goods and services at Zimbabwe International Trade Fair

    The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) will on Monday, 24 April 2017 lead a business delegation of South African companies to the 2017 Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) which will be taking place in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe from 25-30 April 2017.

    South Africa’s participation at the ZITF follows on the heels of a successful participation in 2016 where a reported total of 431 trade leads were secured by exhibitors, with a total of 21 Zimbabwean agents appointed and export sales totalling R10 million recorded through participation.

    The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies says that the ZITF is one of the largest intra-regional trade fair shows in sub-Saharan Africa and that it provides the largest and most convenient trade hub in the region. In addition, an investment seminar will be held on the margins of the ZITF.

    “The ZITF aims to promote intra-Africa trade as well economic integration of the continent,” says Davies.

    The companies that are part of the delegation will be assisted by the dti through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme (EMIA) which aims to develop export markets for South African products and services and to recruit new foreign direct investment into the country.  

    Distributed by APO on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.

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  • UN, African Union sign new partnership framework to better respond to evolving challenges

    United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and the Chairperson of the African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat, today signed a new landmark framework to strengthen partnership between the two organizations on peace and security pillars and better respond to the changing dimensions and evolving challenges of peace operations.

    “We no longer have the traditional peacekeeping operations, where peacekeepers separate two countries or two groups within the same country that have signed an agreement, and a makeshift peace essentially prevails,” Mr. Guterres told the press at a stakeout, alongside Mr. Mahamat, after signing the framework at UN Headquarters in New York.

    “We are witnessing, in Africa, as around the world, changes […] that force us to have a strategic review of the way peace operations take place,” he explained.

    The Joint UN-AU Framework for Enhancing Partnership on Peace and Security is expected to boost the coordination between the two organizations at all levels. It is also anticipated to strengthen cooperation on issues ranging from human rights and good governance, to sustainable and inclusive development.

    The new understanding will also help align the African Union’s Agenda 2063 with the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to ensure that they are both a “success story” in the continent.

    Prior to the stakeout, Mr. Guterres and Mr. Mahamat jointly led the first Joint UN-AU Annual Conference where they discussed the complementarity between the 2030 Agenda and the AU’s Agenda 2063, as well as the fight against terrorism and the financing of operations led by the AU.

    They also discussed situations in several countries, including Libya, Mali, the Central African Republic, and Somalia, and discussed efforts to combat the activities of the Boko Haram terrorist group. 

    Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations (UN).

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  • UNCEF Libya – Child Friendly Municipality Award

    In the framework of UNICEF's program ‘Towards Resilience and Social Inclusion of Adolescents and Young People in Libya’ funded by the European Union, UNICEF is launching a ‘Child Friendly Municipality Award’ The award aims promote the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the municipalities; Recognize the positive contribution and dedication of the municipality to promoting children rights and well-being and and, create positive competition among various municipalities to deliver on the rights of the children.

     Opening word:

    • Dr. Ghassan Khalil, Special Representative of UNICEF;
    • Ms. Maria do Valle Ribeiro, United Nations Deputy SRSG, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya;
    • Her Excellency Ambassador Bettina Moshedt, Ambassador of the European Union in Libya;
    • Mr. Abdelmajid Boughrara, Advisor to the Minister of Local Government.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

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  • UN blue helmets and Malian forces targeted in ‘cowardly’ terrorist attacks

    The head of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali today strongly condemned the “cowardly” attacks that took place against its personnel as well as members of the national armed forces, and voiced deep concern at ongoing insecurity in the northern and central parts of the country.

    Early this morning, a vehicle belonging to the peacekeeping mission (MINUSMA) struck an improvised explosive device or mine about 30 kilometres south of Tessalit in the Kidal region, according to a news release issued by the mission. Two peacekeepers and one civilian were seriously injured; the vehicle, part of an escort of a logistics convoy, was damaged.

    Also today, unidentified armed men targeted positions of the Malian Armed Forces and the National Guard at Gourma Rharous, located about 120 kilometres east of Timbuktu, according to the mission.

    MINUSMA deployed its attack helicopters to the site in support of the Malian Forces and facilitated the medical evacuation of the wounded by air.

    “There is hardly a day when reports of abominable acts of terrorism committed by the enemies of peace and the enemies of this country and its people are not received,” said Mahamat Saleh Annadif, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of MINUSMA, calling the attacks “cowardly.”

    “Their real target is the failure of the peace process and their goal is to impose the reign of violence and chaos,” he said, adding that the UN remains more committed than ever to support the Malian authorities and the country’s defense and security forces.

    Mr. Annadif also stressed the need for all Malian parties to redouble their efforts to advance the peace process.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations (UN).

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  • Invitation to “Startup Boot Camp” for Tshwane’s Aspiring Engineers

    The U.S Embassy in Pretoria has partnered with Speak Afrika and Charities Aid Foundation Southern Africa (CAFSA) to deliver the first-ever “Desert Start-up Bootcamp” in Tshwane. Chosen from nearly 180 applicants, a select group of 55 aspiring entrepreneurs from Tshwane will hone their skills in a three-month experiential learning program at the American Corner Pretoria. The U.S. Embassy is sponsoring this program as a part of worldwide efforts to support young entrepreneurs who spur growth and promote trade. “Desert Start-up Bootcamp” participants will meet weekly for workshops, pitching sessions, and mentoring and engagement with established business leaders. The “Bootcamp” will culminate in August, 2017 with a pitch competition that will set the foundation for participants to build their client networks and investments in their business.

    Media are invited to a launch at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, April 21, 2017 at American Corner Pretoria, located in Es’kia Mphahlele Community Library in the Sammy Marks Square. All interested media should RSVP to harveycr@state.gov.  

    Speak Afrika is a youth-run education organization established in 2014 by alumni of the U.S. State Department’s Mandela Washington Fellowship. The founders are committed to developing entrepreneurial skills and leadership competencies among young people. Charities Aid Foundation Southern Africa (CAFSA), an organisation which supports socio-economic development through the effective resourcing of the non-profit sector, is supporting the U.S. Embassy to deliver the youth leadership, entrepreneurship and STEM programming at the U.S. Embassy’s American Corner Pretoria and Mae Jemison U.S. Science Reading located at the University of Pretoria, Mamelodi Campus. The American Corner Pretoria, established in 2015 in partnership with the City of Tshwane, is located in Es’kia Mphahlele Community Library in the Sammy Marks Square. The American Corner, which provides high-speed Internet access and state of the art equipment, together with print and digital resources was established to promote research, professional development, and personal enrichment.  In its endeavor to strengthen ties in education and culture with South Africa, the American Corner also serves as a place for collaboration and discussion to foster young leaders and entrepreneurs and create opportunities to build relationships with peers in the United States.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of U.S. Embassy Pretoria, South Africa.

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  • Botswana Most Attractive Investment Destination in Africa

    Botswana is the most attractive economy for investments flowing into the African continent, according to the latest Africa Investment Index 2016 (http://APO.af/sUtRNQ) by Quantum Global’s (www.QuantumGlobalGroup.com) independent research arm, Quantum Global Research Lab.

    According to the Index, Botswana scores highly based on a range of factors that include improved credit rating, current account ratio, import cover and ease of doing business.

    Commenting on the Index, Prof Mthuli Ncube, Head of Quantum Global Research Lab stated: “Despite considerable external challenges and the fall in oil prices, many of the African nations are demonstrating an increased willingness to achieve sustainable growth by diversifying their economies and introducing favourable policies to attract inward investments. Botswana is a case in example – its strategic location, skilled workforce and a politically stable environment have attracted the attention of international investors leading to a significant influx of FDI.”

    According to the report, the top five African investment destinations attracted an overall FDI of $13.6bn. Morocco was ranked second on the Index based on its increasing solid economic growth, strategic geographic positioning, increased foreign direct investment, import cover ratio, and an overall favourable business environment. Egypt was ranked third due to an increased foreign direct investment and real interest rates, and a growing urban population. The fourth country on the list, South Africa, scored well on the growth factor of GDP, ease of doing business in the country and significant population. Whilst Zambia was the fifth country on the list due to its significant domestic investment and access money supply.

    Table: Top 10 and Bottom 10 countries (view the multimedia content section: http://APO.af/1LpDdA).

    Mthuli further commented: “With a population of over one billion people and rapidly growing middle class, Africa clearly offers significant opportunities to invest in the continent’s non-commodities sectors such as financial services, construction and manufacturing amongst others. However, structural reforms and greater private sector involvement are crucial to unlocking Africa’s true potential.”

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Quantum Global Group.

    To the editor:
    Construction of the Index:
    The AII is constructed from macroeconomic and financial indicators and the World Bank Group’s Ease of Doing Business Indicators (DBI). The DBI ranks countries in terms of a regulatory environment conducive to business operation. The AII focuses on 6 pillars or factors from a wider range of investment indicators, which include the share of domestic investment in GDP, the share of Africa’s total FDI net inflow, GDP growth rate forecast, population augmented GDP growth factor, real interest rate, the difference of broad money growth to the GDP growth rates, inflation differential, credit rating, import cover, the share of the country’s external debt in its GNI, current account ratio, ease of doing business and the country’s population size. The AII indicators are based on secondary data collected from World Bank Development Indicators, IMF World Economic Outlook, UNCTAD Data Centre and own estimates.

    The AII is a combination of individual indicator’s rank into a single numerical ranking. It averages the country’s macroeconomic and financial indicators rankings on the six different factors. Each indicator, and hence factors, receives an equal weight. Their rank score is then averaged to produce the total average score which is consequently ranked from 1 to 54. The lower the value of the ranking, the better the implied business investment climate. 

    To produce an index score that captures medium-term changing aspects, individual country’s ranking is scaled relative to a benchmark or reference value (i.e., the past 3-year rolling average ranking). See Table 1A. In addition to the intended measurement, this approach enables us to avoid periods of structural changes (which may compromise the index) that may be present in a longer time span, whether we consider a change from a reference average value or a historical reference period.

    Enquiries:
    Linda Martin
    + 41 41 560 2900
    media@QuantumGlobalGroup.com 

    About Quantum Global:
    Quantum Global (www.QuantumGlobalGroup.com) is an international group of companies active in the areas of private equity investments, investment management as well as macroeconomic research and econometric modelling. Quantum Global’s private equity arm manages a family of funds targeting direct investments in Africa in the sectors of Agriculture, Healthcare, Hotels, Infrastructure, Mining and Timber – as well as a sector agnostic Structured Equity fund. Our team combines a solid track record and proven expertise to identify and execute unique investment opportunities with focus on Africa. 

  • High Level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism (PPEM) Between South Africa and the People’s Republic of China

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee on the in-coming visit for the High level People to People Exchange Mechanism (PPEM), will brief the media on the state of readiness for this visit. The Minister of Arts and Culture Mr Nathi Mthethwa will lead the media briefing supported by the Deputy Minister in the Presidency responsible for Monitoring and Evaluation Mr Buti Manamela. 

    The purpose of the High-Level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism is to deepen mutual understanding between the peoples of South Africa and China and to enhance People-to-People exchanges and cooperation in areas of, amongst others, culture, education, communications, health, science and technology, sports, tourism, women affairs and youth. 

    Members of the media are invited to cover the state of readiness briefing scheduled as follows: 
    Date: 20 APRIL 2017.
    Time: 14h30.
    Venue: Tshedimosetso House, GCIS, PRETORIA WITH VIDEO LINK TO CAPE TOWN (Imbizo Media Centre).

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of Government Communication and Information.

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  • UK-Sudan Strategic Dialogue

    The third meeting of the biannual UK-Sudan Strategic Dialogue was hosted by the Government of Sudan in Khartoum on 29th March 2017, co-chaired by Undersecretary Abdulghani Al Naim, from the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Sudan, and Neil Wigan, Director for Africa at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom, accompanied by delegations from both countries.

    The meetings covered bilateral issues, culture, the peace process, human rights, development, trade and investment, migration, defence engagement, counter-terrorism and countering violent extremism, and regional issues.

    Both sides welcomed the steps taken since the last Strategic Dialogue meeting in London and agreed to continue their joint work over the coming months. They welcomed the visit to Sudan of the Permanent Undersecretaries of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development, and a recent visit by a trade delegation from Sudan to the UK, as well as recent agreements on increasing cultural co-operation.

    Both parties discussed recent political developments and the peace process in Darfur and the Two Areas. The United Kingdom welcomed the recent HAC directives to improve humanitarian access to Darfur and the Two Areas, in particular the decision to open a humanitarian corridor into South Sudan. Both sides agreed to continue the regular dialogue on human rights between the two governments at all levels, including on the subject of trafficking in people.

    The UK provided briefing on recent political developments in the UK, including its decision to leave the European Union and the way forward after triggering Article 50 of Lisbon Treaty.

    Both sides also affirmed their strong commitment to continuing to cooperate on education and the importance of cultural exchanges. These continue to be an important opportunity to build on our shared history and values, and engage the next generation. Both sides exchanged views on recent political developments in the region, including Libya and South Sudan, and agreed to continue an open dialogue on these issues. Both sides expressed strong concern about the current situation in South Sudan, and agreed on the importance of providing humanitarian assistance to those in need in the South, as well as supporting Sudan’s efforts in receiving South Sudanese refugees.

    The two parties also agreed to continue working together on countering terrorism and violent extremism. They welcomed the recent exchanges of visits to share expertise and agreed to continue and broaden these exchanges in future.

    The UK and Sudan reaffirmed the importance of continued progress towards our joint goals, and a continued broadening of the bilateral relationship, and agreed to hold another Strategic Dialogue in London in six months’ time.

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

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    United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office
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