Latest News April 27, 2017

news From All Africa

  • The European Union Delegation issues the following statement jointly with the EU Missions in Somalia

    The EU Delegation regrets the news on the recent execution of several people in Somalia, and notes with growing concern the recurrent use of military courts in Somalia.

    On Monday 24 April 2017, four alleged Al Shabab members were executed in Baidoa. The four were accused of carrying out a bomb attack in Baidoa, Southwest state and sentenced by the Somalia Military Court. There have also been several security personnel executed for killing civilians, including two police officers for murders that took place in Afgoye and Hudur respectively, and a soldier for a murder committed in Burhakabo. This is the second spate of executions in the month of April.

    While the EU condemns in the strongest terms all acts of terror and supports the application of robust sentences that follow due process, the EU also opposes on principle grounds the death penalty in all circumstances. The European Union considers the death penalty to be a cruel and inhumane punishment, which fails to provide deterrence to criminal behaviour and represents a denial of human dignity and integrity. Any miscarriage or failure of justice – which can occur in any legal system – is irreversible and irreparable.

    The EU Delegation calls upon the authorities of Southwest and the Federal Government of Somalia to instate a moratorium on the death penalty in accordance with UNGA Resolution 71/187 – Moratorium on the use of the death penalty, which Somalia supported. We also call upon the Somali authorities to ensure that civilians are tried before civilian courts.  

    The EU is committed to strengthening the Somali judicial system and the promotion of rule of law and justice for the Somali citizens. We look forward to supporting the Somali authorities in adopting appropriate legislation to abolish the use of the death penalty.   

    Distributed by APO on behalf of EU Delegation to Somalia.

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  • IPCC outreach event set for Addis Ababa

    A two-day event to raise awareness of work done by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been scheduled for 29-30 April 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

    The event, dubbed “Outreach Event on the IPCC Role, Activities and Findings,” will feature a presentation of IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) findings, as well as the Panel’s work in the coming years –  in line with the Paris Agreement and other international sustainability efforts.

    Policymakers, civil society organizations and the media are amongst the targeted audience, as explained by James Murombedzi, Officer in charge of the of the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) at ECA.

    “This event intends to raise awareness, especially among policymakers, about the outcomes of AR5 and highlight solutions to the challenges of climate change. It is also an opportunity to foster a better understanding among students, civil society organizations and the news media about climate science, solutions to climate change and the IPCC process.”

    Mr. Murombedzi added that, “We want to enlist the participation of the local science and research community and encourage regional contribution to the AR6 cycle.”

    The event will also bring together international and intergovernmental organizations, climate and disaster risk management community members, business leaders, national and international media, students and youth groups.

    IPCC is the lead¬ing body for the assessment of climate change, established by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme. Its main activity is to prepare comprehensive assessment reports about climate change at regular intervals, typically of about five to seven years.

    The event is organized in cooperation with the Economic Commission for Africa.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

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  • Day of Muslim-Christian dialogue unfolds in Egypt

    The second meeting of a delegation of the Muslim Council of Elders led by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, His Eminence Professor Dr Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, and a delegation of the World Council of Churches (WCC) led by Dr Agnes Abuom, Moderator of the Central Committee of the WCC and Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary, took place at Al Azhar, Cairo, Egypt, 26 April. Dr Al-Tayyeb opened the gathering by welcoming the World Council of Churches to this important meeting which was taking place at a critical time in the history of the Middle East and the world.

    The WCC general secretary offered public remarks, along with Bishop Angaelos, general bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, and Prof. Dr Heidi Hadsell, president of Hartford Seminary, Connecticut, United States.

    Tveit reflected that, together, Christians and Muslims represent about half the world’s population. “So as we are here, we are not talking about only ourselves,” he said. “We are talking about humanity in many ways. We should address these questions from a basic theological perspective. What does it mean to believe today in one God that created the one humanity?”

    He also emphasized that, because we are accountable to God, we have to see how that leads to an accountability to every human being. “This is our mutual accountability to one another, to every human being, whatever belief or non-belief we have,” he said. “I think this is a very important reflection, working jointly toward equal citizenship. It is not only a political or a legal principle; it is also a principle that expresses our deepest faith in one God creating the one humanity.”

    Prof. Al Tayyeb said “Citizenship and peaceful co-existence are the greatest challenges that have to be focused on and built upon to counter fanaticism, terrorism and baseless theological claims and conceptualizations. He added “Citizenship is the major guarantee for achieving absolute equality in rights and duties.”

    Al-Tayyeb was chosen as Grand Imam of the Al Azhar mosque in Cairo 2010 and is an outspoken advocate for religious dialogue and peace as well as a strong critic of religious extremism.

    Bishop Angaelos noted the difference between reactive and proactive leadership. “We ourselves are being very reactive,” he said, “and reactive leadership is good in times of crisis. It is good to solve problems: we have a crisis, we have an attack, we try to solve it. But what we need is a proactive leadership – a leadership that looks beyond the problem and tries to address the future.”

    Bishop Angaelos  asked: “Where would we like to be in five years, 10 years, the next generation? Let us address the whole world together instead of just speaking to ourselves.”

    Prof. Hadsell discussed ways leaders can promote citizenship and co-existence from a Christian perspective.

    “God’s vision of what should be in our human social world has been described and understood in many ways,” she said.

    “The moral nature of the vision includes a shared sense of the dignity of every being; just relations within communities and between communities and peoples; the recognition of the intrinsic worth of every human being so that all human beings are viewed as ends in themselves, created by God, and not as means to an end.”

    The capacity to cross borders and boundaries, including especially the boundaries of religious communities, has been one of the most important attributes of leadership in the histories of our communities and remains so today, she continued.

    “For without the capacity to see commonalities in the other, and to cross boundaries to build relationships with the other, one cannot construct peaceful interactions and co-existence between peoples of different communities.”

    Representatives of each of the WCC member churches in Egypt also attended the day of dialouge, which precedes an International Conference on Peace organised by Al Azhar. Participants also visited the Coptic Cathedral and the Anglican Church in the heart of Old Cairo. Pope Francis is expected to address the conference on 28 April.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of World Council of Churches (WCC).

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  • German Embassy and AGDS Provide Scholarships to Namibian Students Studying for a Bachelor of Education
    The lack of qualified teachers is one of the main challenges faced by the Namibian education system. For many years, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Namibia and the AGDS (Arbeits- und Fördergemeinschaft der Deutschen Schulvereine in Namibia) have therefore provided scholarships to Namibian students studying for a Bachelor of Education for primary and secondary school in order to make this study course more attractive. 
    On 24 April 2017, Ambassador Christian Schlaga of the German Embassy Windhoek, handed over a cheque to the amount of 107.550,00 N$ to the AGDS. With this sum, the Embassy is financing the tuition fees for three to four students this year.  
    Last year Bianca Menne, Svea Oestlund and Ilze Schumann received the scholarship from the German Embassy. With the financial contribution of the Federal Republic of Germany, the AGDS is able to support six new students in 2017 with a scholarship.  
    “I would like to thank you for your support for the teachers in Namibia. Without the support of the AGDS and the German Embassy, my dream to become a teacher would have to be postponed for several years.” said Janka Mosich, one of the scholarship holders present at the handing over. Ambassador Schlaga emphasized the importance of the teaching profession and encouraged students to teach in rural areas for some years after the completion of their studies, since a lack of teachers is most pronounced there.  
    The AGDS is the umbrella organisation for seven parents’ boards, representing ten schools where German as a First Language is taught. Currently, 14 students are provided with bursaries, who in exchange agree to teach German as a mother tongue or German as a Foreign Language at one of the AGDS schools for some years once they have completed their education. 
    The AGDS, supported by the German Embassy, makes an important contribution to the support and education of new teachers in Namibia. 

    Distributed by APO on behalf of The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany – Windhoek.

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  • Forbes Woman Africa Launches First Television Show, “Against the Odds with Peace Hyde”

    FORBES WOMAN AFRICA (www.ForbesAfrica.com), the continent’s first-ever women’s interest magazine from the highly-successful FORBES stable, launches its very first television show through FORBES AFRICA TV, in partnership with Ecobank.

    On Friday, April 28th, FORBES WOMAN AFRICA’s “Against the Odds with Peace Hyde” will premieres on CNBC Africa, adding another thought-provoking and inspirational lifestyle show to their arsenal. The show will feature women who are trailblazers in their respective fields of business and who inspire younger women to be bold and break boundaries, contributing to the narrative of growing female power on the African continent.

    FORBES WOMAN AFRICA has teamed up with leading Pan African bank, Ecobank to launch the 12-part series celebrating the achievement of exceptional women in business.

    Award-winning Presenter and Journalist, Peace Hyde, joins Editor of FORBES WOMAN AFRICA, Methil Renuka, in the premiere episode to discuss the vision behind the series.

    Commenting on the importance of having a strong platform like FORBES WOMAN AFRICA translated from a print to a television platform Renuka noted that: “Why only talk about the glass ceiling when you have ceiling-crashers who have done it all and can show the way. They may be very few, but they have had significant successes and a discerning show like this will be lessons from those who made it, to those who would like to scale those same heights and more, very much in line with FORBES WOMAN AFRICA’s own rich content philosophy.” 

    “The essence of the show is to really celebrate exceptional women. It’s about women who have tapped into their courage and persistence, and chosen to keep going in spite of all the hurdles. I think that in order for you to do that you need to have a very strong understanding of your purpose…” explains Peace Hyde.

    “Against the Odds with Peace Hyde” premieres on CNBC Africa, Canal Plus Channel 171DStv Channel 410 and StarTimes Channel 309 later this year.

    To find out more about “Against the Odds with Peace Hyde” visit: http://APO.af/kCTJuN

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Forbes Woman Africa.

    For Further Media Requests Contact: 
    Frederic Van De Vyver 
    Head: West Africa 
    O: +234 (1) 279 8034 
    E: Frederic.VandeVyver@ABN360.com  
    W: www.CNBCAfrica.com   
    Twitter: www.Twitter.com/CNBCAfrica 

    About ABN:    
    ABN offers a holistic approach to telling Africa's business story – first. With much-esteemed international brands such as CNBC Africa and Forbes Africa providing a broadcast and print platform respectively, the ABN conglomerate also offers resources to organize world-class events across the African continent, through ABN Event Productions. The recently-launched ABN Training Institute boasts state-of-the-art facilities to provide media training among many other courses, while ABN Digital is the company's online presence for your up-to-date business and markets news. Through its sub-brands, ABN aims to be Africa's leading aggregator and distributor of business and economic.    

    About CNBC Africa:    
    CNBC Africa is Africa’s most powerful multiplatform business media brand; owned by Africa Business News and headquartered in Johannesburg, is part of the global CNBC family, reaching audiences in over 100 countries. Together with its companion site www.CNBCAfrica.com, CNBC Africa focuses on business, money, finance and economic news originating from Sub Saharan Africa. CNBC is available in 90% of Sub Saharan Africa through DTH and Satellite TV operator, MultiChoice Africa, DStv, StarTimes Nigeria and Canal Plus. You can also access CNBC Africa through our digital live stream. CNBC has bureaus in over 15 cities, including, Lagos, Abuja, Johannesburg, Nairobi, Accra, Kigali. CNBC currently has an estimated patronage of over 500,000 viewers in South Africa. Viewership data in other markets is not currently available.    

    About FORBES WOMAN AFRICA:
    FORBES WOMAN AFRICA (www.ForbesAfrica.com) is the continent’s first-ever women’s interest magazine from the highly-successful FORBES stable. Launched in October 2013 and published in Johannesburg, FORBES WOMAN AFRICA has exponentially grown its readership over the years, reaching new markets on a continuous basis. The publication targets business tycoons and trailblazers in politics, society and life who are inspiring the next cadre of leadership on the continent. FORBES WOMAN AFRICA is published on a bi-monthly basis. FORBES WOMAN AFRICA is distributed across Africa from Southern Africa to East and West Africa and is also available as a digital version on Magzter and Zino.    

  • Democratic Republic of the Congo: Medecins sans frontieres fights measles

    Since November 2016, the international humanitarian organisation, Médecins Sans Frontières, has vaccinated over 675,000 children, and cared for more than 14,000 patients in health zones throughout five of the country’s provinces: Maniema, South Kivu, Tanganyka, Ituri and Equateur.

    MSF teams are currently supporting the Ministry of Health’s fight against measles. “We are facing a serious situation that requires a significant response effort. Time is of the essence for everyone involved: MSF, the Congolese authorities and other partners. We need to react quickly and decisively to prevent the spread of this highly contagious disease,” explains Jeroen Beijnsberger, head of the MSF mission in Kinshasa.

    To guarantee effective immunisation coverage (the vaccination of 95% of children aged 6 months to 14 years) the teams must cover even the most remote areas. In a country as huge as the DRC, which also lacks road infrastructure, this can mean travelling hundreds of kilometres on motorbike, crossing rivers in dugout canoes, or walking for days through an inhospitable forest.

    “To reach the village of Yalombe, I and three colleagues had to walk for six days, there and back, in the Lomami Park forest. We slept outdoors in the middle of the forest and had to ration our food supplies. We had to walk 120km through tall grasses covered in ants that sometimes got into our underwear. Sometimes, we had no choice but to jump over old fallen trees that blocked our route. All of that was necessary to reach the village where our teams had to vaccinate more than 1,600 children,” says Daniel Cibangu, a nurse with one of the MSF teams working in Maniema province.

    Logistics can be particularly challenging in more dangerous regions affected by the presence of armed groups, such as South Kivu and Tanganyka.

    Vaccination: The Best Weapon against Measles

    In addition to immunisation campaigns, MSF teams are delivering medical care to measles patients, mainly children under the age of ten, providing outpatient treatment of symptoms, with a particular focus on malnourished children suffering from measles, as they are particularly vulnerable.

    “When measles arrived in our village, a lot of children died, especially when the parents turned to traditional medicine. But those who rushed to the health centres were able to see that their children were saved,” explains Mwayuma Ramazani in the Kindu general referral hospital in Maniema province, where her child was hospitalised for measles complications. “I learned that MSF was there to help, so when my child got a fever I decided to go to the health centre. When I arrived at the centre, the MSF mobile team took us to the hospital.”

    “In Manono, in Tanganyka province, nearly 900 children were hospitalised in January. Malnutrition is still a problem: malnourished children are weak and particularly susceptible to different illnesses, including measles,” says Gaudia Storni, MSF field manager.

    Since November 2016, MSF teams have cared for more than 14,000 children in the provinces where they work.

    According to official statistics, in recent years the Democratic Republic of Congo has had some success fighting the disease. The number of cases fell by more than 95% between 2011 and 2015.

    However, the country has also suffered from major measles epidemics: between 2011 and 2013, an outbreak affected 300,000 children, 5,000 of whom died. At the time, 13 million children were vaccinated in response, 3 million of them by MSF. In 2017, the epidemic flared up again with more than 13,000 new cases reported. However, the strong international commitments on vaccination from the WHO, the Conference of African Ministers of Health and different partners must be acted upon for there to be any hope of eliminating measles by 2020.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Médecins sans frontières (MSF).

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  • UNWTO Commission for Africa analyses the potential of Chinese tourism in the continent

    The capital city of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, has recently hosted the 59th Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Africa. Held between 18-21 April, the Commission included a High-level Meeting on Chinese Outbound Tourism to Africa, where regional representatives debated the potential that the sector brings to the continent.

    Attended by 21 tourism Ministers from the African continent, the UNWTO Regional Commission for Africa has become the best platform to discuss tourism trends in the continent and the potential that Chinese tourism can induce at regional level. The attendees also included Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, Entertainment of Jamaica and Hongtao Wei, Vice Chairman of the China National Tourism Administration

    The 59th edition of the Commission was complemented by a key interactive session on the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development which is being celebrated worldwide through 2017.

    “We all come out of Africa, and went on to inhabit the world, making Africa the first source market in history. Africa is the future and Ethiopia is the soul and heart of Africa” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai, opening the event. UNWTO Secretary-General received a Recognition Award from H.E. Mr. Muktar Kedir, Minister of Good Governance of Ethiopia to highlight his legacy to promote tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability.

    During his intervention, Mr. Muktar Kedir, described his country ´as a unique land where the earliest ancestors of human beings first walks upright, we honestly expect Ethiopia to be one of the prime choices of tourists in the near future that makes them feel safe and enjoy their stay in this yet un explored land´, he said. The Commission served to motivate African Member States to undersign the African Charter on Sustainable and Responsible Tourism as well supporting the African Caravan on Sustainable and Responsible Tourism led by Morocco through activities to be organized and celebrated during the campaign of the International Year.

    China has become a major investor in the African continent, contributing to infrastructure development and reshaping the economic landscape, and is the world´s largest outbound market since 2012 after recording double digit growth in expenditure every year since 2004. The meeting witnessed a high level of participation not only from African governments but also private sector stakeholders who discussed the dynamics of the Chinese outbound market together with ways to provide guidance for policies and strategies to African Member States, Chinese stakeholders and African businesses. 

    The event was a combination of keynote presentations from UNWTO, IVY Alliance Tourism Consulting, AVIAREPS and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), interactive panels and roundtable discussions.

    The Commission was informed that the 60th CAF will be hosted in Chengdu China within the framework of the 22nd Session of the General Assembly, to be held in September 2017. In addition, members of the Commission unanimously welcomed Nigeria´s expression of interest to host the 61st CAF to be held in 2018.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

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    World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
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  • Secretary's Remarks: On the Occasion of the United Republic of Tanzania's Union Day

    Press Statement by Rex W. Tillerson, Secretary of State:

    On behalf of President Trump and the American people, I congratulate the people of Tanzania as you celebrate the 53rd anniversary of the United Republic of Tanzania.

    Tanzania and the United States have had a strong relationship, marked by a collaborative effort toward shared goals and close cooperation on a variety of programs and initiatives, from health and education, promoting economic growth and democratic governance, and advancing regional security. In the coming year, we look forward to building on our shared accomplishments as we continue with our efforts.

    As Tanzanians gather to celebrate Union Day, I share the hopes of the Tanzanian people for a peaceful, healthy, and productive future.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of U.S. Department of State.

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  • Uganda Celebrates African Vaccination Week

    World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO) has launched the 7th African Vaccination Week (AVW) (www.African-Vaccination-Week.afro.who.int), to raise awareness of the importance of vaccination in reducing child mortality and renew efforts around universal vaccination coverage. Vaccination can save children’s lives, and keep adults, communities and nations, healthy. One in five African children still lacks access to all the necessary and basic vaccinations. Uganda is among the top 10 countries with highest number of un-immunized children in Africa.

    Uganda joined other African Heads of State that endorsed the Addis Declaration on Immunization (ADI), a historic pledge to ensure that everyone in Africa receives the full benefits of immunization. To support Member State implementation of the ADI, a roadmap has been developed in close collaboration with WHO and other immunization partners. Uganda joins other African countries to celebrate AVW 2016 with various country-specific programs including vaccination, provision of a range of life saving health activities, health promotion, community outreach, media activities and more.

    The Ministry of Health (http://Health.go.ug)  through UNEPI (Uganda National Expanded Program on Immunization) has strengthened the immunization system through various initiatives including New Vaccine Introduction, supplementary immunization activities, strengthening vaccine supply chain – buying new equipment, training health workers, enhancing awareness on benefits of immunization, and advocacy and communication including the 2016 immunization act.

    This year, UNEPI has organized a number of activities to celebrate AVW with the following objectives (view the multimedia section here: http://APO.af/sjgamo).

    Find here (http://APO.af/Wcb1lx) a statement from the Hon. Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Acieng on the 7th Africa Vaccination Week – 2017. 

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Ministry of Health – Republic of Uganda.

    Contact:
    Dr. Opar Bernard Toliva 
    Program Manager
    Uganda National Expanded Program on Immunization
    Ministry of Health, Kampala-Uganda
    Tel: +256 772 469323, +256 703 553 553

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