news From All Africa
- South Sudan: Weary, frightened displaced civilians in Upper Nile at imminent risk of further violence
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Thursday urged the Government of South Sudan to halt any further military offensives towards Aburoc on the west bank of the River Nile in the Upper Nile region. The town holds between 35,000 and 50,000 people, most of whom arrived in recent weeks after terrifying journeys of up to 150 kilometres on foot, after SPLA* attacks on areas to the south of the town of Aburoc. Civilians in Aburoc now find themselves in areas controlled by the opposition SPLM/A-IO* armed group, facing a military offensive by the SPLA.
There are concerns that the SPLM/A-IO has positioned itself in close proximity to civilian areas, placing civilians clearly in harm’s way in the event of an attack by the SPLA and affiliated forces. The SPLA forces, meanwhile, reportedly include new recruits of Dinka ethnicity from the Western Bahr el-Ghazal area. The civilians in Aburoc are mostly of Shilluk ethnicity.
“Civilians in Aburoc are at serious and imminent risk of gross human rights violations, inter-ethnic violence and re-displacement,” Zeid said. “These are people who fled from towns like Tonga and Kodok to the south in the most horrifying circumstances, forced to walk through the bush for up to 150 kilometres in searing temperatures. Many reportedly died along the way due to dehydration and exhaustion. The rest ended up in Aburoc where, weary and frightened, they face grave violence and shortages of food, water and healthcare.”
“These are women, children and men at the mercy of military commanders, on both sides of the political divide, who have consistently shown little or no regard for the protection of civilians.”
The High Commissioner urged the Government to adhere to the pledges made by President Salva Kiir on 25 March, when he committed to declare a unilateral ceasefire, and to work towards political engagement to bring the conflict to an end. The High Commissioner called on all parties to the conflict to comply with international humanitarian law, including taking all feasible precautions to prevent civilian casualties.
“The civilians in Aboruc have nowhere left to go, with the SPLA closing in from the south and options to flee northwards severely limited and fraught with danger,” Zeid said. “I urge the SPLM/A-IO to ensure that areas containing large numbers of civilians, including Aburoc, are demilitarized and that measures are taken to ensure the protection of civilians under their control.”
The High Commissioner also called on the Government to grant the UN Mission in South Sudan access to Aburoc and Kodok, and to ensure that humanitarian agencies are able to deliver crucial aid to the internally displaced population.
Distributed by APO on behalf of Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
- Top 20 holds, small gains for African minnows
With many club seasons nearing their climax, it was a quiet month on the international front – a fact reflected in the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.
Seeing just seven games played, the top 20 places remained static following April, with a one-place drop for Slovakia (24th) accounting for the only movement among the leading 73 nations. Bolivia (73rd, up 1) caused that small ripple of motion.
Outside of the top 100 there was some notable change. A pair of wins for Madagascar (111th, up 9) over Malawi (114th, down 14) saw them claim the honour of being the month’s biggest movers up and down the table respectively, with South Sudan (146th, up 8) not far behind after similarly twice seeing off Somalia (206th, unchanged).
The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 1 June 2017.
Leader Brazil (unchanged)
Moves into top 10 none
Moves out of top 10 none
Matches played in total 7
Most matches played Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan (2 matches each)
Biggest move by points South Sudan (plus 31 points)
Biggest move by ranks Madagascar (up 9 ranks)
Biggest drop by points Malawi (minus 42 points)
Biggest drop by ranks Malawi (down 14 ranks)
Newly ranked teams none
Teams that are no longer ranked none
Inactive teams, not ranked none
Distributed by APO on behalf of Fédération internationale de football association (FIFA).
- Joint Communiqué Issued During the Official Visit of H.E Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Upon the invitation of H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, H.E. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohammed, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, paid an official visit to Ethiopia from 3 to 5 May 2017.
Upon his arrival at Bole International Airport, H.E. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohammed, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, was accorded a warm welcome by H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, high-ranking government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, and members of the Somalia community.
The visit was aimed at further strengthening the already existing fraternal ties during the assumption of office by a new leadership in Somalia. During the visit, the two leaders, accompanied by their respective delegations, held extensive and fruitful discussions on bilateral, regional and international issues of common interest. They also recalled their meetings in Mogadishu during the inauguration of the newly elected President and in Nairobi for the Refugees Summit. The discussions were held in a frank and cordial manner that characterizes the historic friendship existing between the two countries.
Desirous of invigorating the commendable bond of fraternity between the two countries, the two leaders exchanged views on ways and means to further consolidate their cooperation in various fields. Furthermore, the two leaders agreed to forge closer ties based on the principles of good neighborliness, mutual respect and the promotion of mutual interest.
The two leaders committed to fully implement previously signed agreements to revitalize the already existing mechanisms of cooperation. Accordingly, they expressed their readiness to create a high-level joint cooperation committee to further the collaboration between the two countries. They reaffirmed that both countries need to have strong economic cooperation. Accordingly, they expressed the need to encourage free movement of goods and services between their respective countries for mutual benefit.
H.E. Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn congratulated H.E. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed on the recent remarkable achievements in Somalia including the successful conduct of Parliamentary and Presidential elections and the peaceful transfer of power.
H.E. Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn also expressed appreciation for the commitment made by the Federal Government of Somalia and federal member states leaders to tackle the security problems, including through urgent reform of the Somali security sector and a renewed Somalia campaign to defeat al-Shabaab.
The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to bolster their support to AMISOM in the latter’s endeavor to stabilize Somalia. Furthermore, they vowed to take practical measures to avail all necessary resources to develop a well-functioning Somalia National Army that can effectively deal with al-Shabaab and progressively take over from AMISOM.
Both leaders expressed their concern on the return of piracy in the Indian Ocean and urged the international community to redouble efforts to support the Somalia National Coast Guard and to increase the capability of the Somalia Police Forces to enforce the rule of law in order to control the criminal activities both on shore and off shore.
The two leaders expressed their common concerns on the critical humanitarian crises in the Horn of Africa region based on the spirit of the Mogadishu Declaration on Regional Cooperation on the Current Drought, and the Nairobi Declaration on Durable Solutions for Somalia Refugees, and called on national, regional and international collaborative efforts to effectively and timely respond to regional crises including drought, famine and migration.
The two leaders called on the upcoming London Conference on Somalia to recognize Somalia’s ownership of the process, and to accommodate Somalia’s peace and development objectives as well as to consider a New Partnership Agreement between Somalia and the international community. They also urged the countries in the IGAD region to speak with one voice to make the most of the present opportunities for Somalia.
At the end of the visit, H.E Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, expressed his gratitude to H.E Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to him and to members of his delegation since their arrival in Ethiopia and marked the visit as a milestone in enhancing the already existing excellent relations. H.E. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed underlined that Somalia stands ready to invest and develop the fundamental infrastructure necessary to enhance economic cooperation between the two countries.
H.E Hailemariam Dessalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, expressed his thanks to H.E Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, for accepting his invitation to pay an official visit to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The Prime Minister underlined on the importance of the visit to forge a stronger bond between the two fraternal countries.
Distributed by APO on behalf of Federal Republic of Somalia – Office of the President.
- Calling all entrepreneurs and developers of renewable energy projects in Africa
- The 2017 Access Co-Development Facility ‘ACF’ competition will see developers across the continent compete for funding and expertise.
- The ACF 2017 application form and guidelines are available on the Access Power website www.Access-Power.com.
Access Power (www.Access-Power.com), a developer, owner and operator of power projects in emerging markets, and its strategic partner EREN RE today announced an extension to the deadline for applications to the ACF 2017, the third edition of the Company’s funding and support platform for renewable energy projects in Africa.
Renewable energy developers have just over one week left to submit their applications for a chance to win US$7million in ACF prize funding. The deadline for applications is the 12th May 2017.
Now in its third year, the ACF is an innovative US$7 million financial support mechanism designed to provide local power project developers and originators with project development support, technical experience, expertise and funding required to bring their renewable energy projects to life.
The winners of ACF 2017 will be announced during a live final evaluation panel on June 7th 2017 during the Africa Energy Forum in Copenhagen. This year’s finalists will once again be evaluated and scored by an independent panel of industry experts comprised of senior representatives from Power Africa, InfraCo Africa, Proparco, the Dutch Development Bank (FMO) and Access Power who will provide Access Power with recommendations on the commercial, technical, social and environmental viability of each project based on a host of market, regulatory, environmental and economic factors.
The top three finalists will subsequently enter into direct Joint Development Agreement (JDA) discussions with Access Power. Once these are successfully concluded, Access Power will take an equity stake in those projects and commence independently funding their third-party development costs such as feasibility studies, grid studies, environmental and social impact assessments and due diligence fees.
Reda El Chaar, Executive Chairman, Access Power commented, “The submissions to this year’s ACF are a true representation of the amazing potential of Africa’s growing renewable energy industry and the capable entrepreneurs driving it forward. It remains Access Power’s mission to provide these important projects with a fast route to market, no matter what the location.”
“Last year’s ACF set the bar high as we received nearly 100 submissions from over 25 countries across the full spectrum of renewable technologies, a 75 percent increase on the previous edition. We encourage all renewable energy entrepreneurs to submit their projects for a chance to partner with us, and join us in progressing Africa’s energy revolution.”
The ACF 2017 application form and guidelines are available on the Access Power website www.Access-Power.com.
Distributed by APO on behalf of Access Power.
Notes to Editors:
The ACF 2017 is a financial support mechanism designed to provide local developers and entrepreneurs with the technical expertise and funding required to bring their renewable energy projects to life.
• Applications for the ACF 2017 opened in March 2017.
• The submission period runs from March to May, 2017.
• An independent judging panel will include industry and legal experts as well as representatives from multilateral development banks.
• Following a pre-selection process, a shortlist of applicants will be chosen to present their projects to a panel of judges at the Africa Energy Forum in Copenhagen, June 2017 (http://Africa-Energy-Forum.com).
• Applicants must present their projects to the judging panel during the Forum within a given time and take questions from panel members.
• Panel members will score each project based on the evaluation criteria, using weighted percentages.
• The winners will enter a Joint Development Agreement with Access Power, which will take an equity stake in the winning projects and fund third-party development costs such as feasibility studies, grid studies, environmental and social impact assessments and due diligence fees. Access Power will also provide technical support, financial structuring and development process management.
For more information, please contact
Ana Parker, AParker@Access-Power.com or call +971 4 453 9508
Francesca Boothby or Emerson Clarke at AccessPower@FTIConsulting.com or call +44(0)203 727 1885
About Access Power:
Access Power is a fast growing developer owner and operator of power assets in emerging and frontier markets and is currently developing power projects worth over US$1 billion in 23 countries across Africa and Asia. In late 2016, Access commissioned East Africa’s largest solar power plant, in Soroti, Uganda. That facility is today providing clean energy for 40,000 homes, schools and small businesses. Our development team has a depth of experience in developing and building large portfolios of renewable energy projects, with a collective track record of financially closing 30 GW of power projects across the globe.
For more information: www.Access-Power.com
Follow at @Access_Power
About EREN RE:
EREN RE, member of EREN Groupe, was founded in 2012 by Pâris Mouratoglou and David Corchia, both with significant experience in the renewable energy sector. EREN RE develops projects in countries where renewable energy provides an economically viable response to growing power demand. Through partnerships established with local developers, EREN RE has accumulated a portfolio of 450 MW (gross) of renewable energy assets in operation and under construction, and over 1.5 GW of assets under development. For more information: www.EREN-Groupe.com.
- UN Humanitarian Coordinator and WHO condemn attack on Sebha Medical Center, Libya
The UN Humanitarian Coordinator and the World Health Organization (WHO) condemn the armed attack occurring on 30 April in Sabha Medical Center in the South of Libya. While no hospital staff or patients were injured, the incident took place in a ward with women and children, causing fear and undue stress for those seeking medical treatment. Amidst the ongoing tension and escalation of conflict in southern Libya, it is of utmost importance that health services can be delivered safely.
Repeated attacks on health facilities can lead to closure of health facilities, add to the sufferring of Libyan people, and further deprive the already limited access people have to medical care.
Sabha Medical Centre is working under very challenging conditions with limited supplies and resources to save lives and provide medical services to the whole South of Libya. In continuing their work to provide health care, they deserve greater protection.
Across Libya, almost 75% of all health facilities are closed or only partially functioning and face vast shortages in health staff. Southern Libya is particularly affected and repeated attacks on health facilities will deprive thousands of people in the South of Libya of urgently needed life-saving health care.
WHO once again urges all parties in the conflict to respect the safety and neutrality of health workers and health facilities in line with International Humanitarian Law. All necessary precautionary measures should be taken to ensure that people’s basic right to health is protected, regardless of political affiliation or geographic location. The integrity and neutrality of health must be safeguarded for all.
A preliminary humanitarian assessment further indicates that 350 people have left their homes in the area of escalating hostilities near Tamanhint airbase. Their main needs are safe shelter, food and non-food items, and medical services.
Humanitarian actors, including the health sector continue monitoring the situation in Sabha and will continue to provide emergency assistance, as required.
Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).
- Kenya: 2017 elections: broken promises put human rights defenders at risk
The abduction, torture and killing of renowned Kenyan human rights lawyer Willie Kimani in June 2016 shocked the entire world, provoking a wave of outrage at national and international level. This is only the tip of the iceberg of a widespread pattern of violence and harassment aimed at silencing dissenting voices and perpetuating impunity, the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (OMCT-FIDH partnership) has concluded after a recently conducted mission.
Kenya, a country that in 2010 voted a very progressive Constitution strengthening the country’s human rights framework in compliance with international standards, has in recent years chosen a different path. Unfortunately, so far the freedoms enshrined in the constitutional Bill of Rights have not been fully incorporated into domestic legislation, and, most importantly, are not upheld or implemented in practice.
“To date, the effective implementation of this progressive framework unfortunately remains a mirage and still needs substantial improvement”, declared OMCT Secretary General Gerald Staberock. “With all the right instruments put in place to bring about change, lack of implementation and political will appear to be the main reasons for such disillusionment”.
On the contrary, a report published today by the Observatory accounts for high levels of police and security forces’ violence, especially against human rights defenders involved in the fight against impunity for human rights violations. The mission report compiles several testimonies of incidents of violence, including cases of harassment, threats, torture, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings.
Moreover, human rights defenders are often criminalised on the basis of trumped-up charges, which aim at intimidating them through episodes of frequent arrests, detentions in police stations, long trials and punitive bail and bond terms. This inevitably prevents them from pursuing their legitimate human rights activities.
Adding to this, the lack of a clear legal framework regulating the civil society sector due to the failure to commence implementation of the Public Benefit Organisations (PBO) Act 2013 creates a legal limbo which obliges NGOs to operate in a hostile environment, characterised by the threat of arbitrary de-registration and asset freezes, continuous attacks and smearing campaigns.
“In such a context, and ahead of the upcoming general elections, it is urgent that Kenyan authorities publicly recognise the crucial role of human rights defenders as pillars of democracy and watchdogs of the rule of law. They must improve their safety, truly implement the police and security sector reforms, hold perpetrators accountable, acknowledge the misuse of criminal law to harass defenders, and finally commence the PBO Act of 2013”, concluded FIDH President Dimitris Christopoulos.
Distributed by APO on behalf of International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH).
- Equatorial Guinea, Saudi Arabia Will Strengthen Relations with Economic Forum in Jeddah
The governments of Equatorial Guinea and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will gather in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on May 10, 2017 for the first ever Equatorial Guinea-Saudi Arabia Economic Forum. H.E. President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo will travel to Jeddah with a government delegation of key cabinet members to meet His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to discuss joint areas of cooperation. The economic forum seeks to identify investment opportunities and bolster trade ties between the two nations in core economic sectors such as mining, hydrocarbons, agriculture and fisheries.
The Equatorial Guinea-Saudi Arabia Economic Forum capitalizes on the success of the Fourth Arab-Africa Summit, which was organized by the African Union and held in Sipopo, Equatorial Guinea in November 2016 under the patronage of H.E. the President. The summit attracted heads of state and political leaders from the African continent and Middle East. As proud host of the Arab-Africa Summit, Equatorial Guinea has been successfully strengthening ties with the Arab world. In October 2016, it signed a memorandum of understanding with the Government of Kuwait regulating bilateral relations between the two countries.
The forum is organized by the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea, with the participation of Centurion Law Group and Africa Oil & Power. H.E. the President will make the opening speech at the forum in Jeddah. He will be introduced by former Benin President Thomas Boni Yayi, who has served as an important ambassador of relations between Equatorial Guinea and Saudi Arabia. H.E. Agapito Mba Mokuy, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, will speak on Africa-Arab cooperation. H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, will present the key projects taking place in the petroleum and mining sectors. Also making presentations will be Mrs. Mariola Bindang Obiang, General Director of Holding GE 2020, a government agency charged with financing diverse projects and complementing and facilitating the Horizon 2020 economic diversification plan.
“There is already a strong foundation for a great relationship between Equatorial Guinea and the Saudi Arabia, one that is grounded in mutual respect and admiration,” said H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima. “We look forward to building on that foundation and fostering even better ties through new trade and investment opportunities.”
Distributed by APO on behalf of Equatorial Guinea-Saudi Arabia Economic Forum.
+27 76 586 7717Media files
- NJ Ayuk's Big Barrels Leads the Way forward to Africa oil and gas 2.0
As an exemplary African entrepreneur, NJ Ayuk has intimately witnessed the transformative impact of the oil and gas industry on the continent, being an active player in building countries, shaping economies and its societies. The launch of, Big Barrels: African Oil and Gas and the Quest for Prosperity (http://APO.af/1ogcte), co-written with João Marques, is long awaited; confronting the misinterpreted view that energy-rich countries undeniably suffer from and often victimized by the effects of the ‘resource curse’. The reality, the book argues, could not be further from it.
Big Barrels reads in the introduction: “The evidence makes it clear that the responsible and sustainable development of these resources is not only possible, but may be the quickest and most effective route to peace and prosperity for many of these nations. The question of how this can be done is central to this book.” Through nine chapters detailing case studies of what countries like Gabon, Ghana, Nigeria and Tanzania have done right, readers gain an alternative view of how developing petroleum resources positively impacts the continent.
Big Barrels (http://APO.af/1ogcte) lends a silver lining on Africa's petroleum sector and how their fates are inextricably linked. Mr. Ayuk and Mr. Marques emerge through this powerful depiction as a seminal voice for how Africa charters its course and manages its natural resources. Mr. Ayuk, the founder and CEO of the pan-African Centurion Law Group (CenturionLawFirm.com) and an outspoken champion of African entrepreneurship and leadership, describes the need to change the narrative on energy in Africa. “The simple fact is oil and gas provide African countries with the fastest route to prosperity,” he says, “Natural resources are a pedestal for building nations, building economies and building wealth.”
He added: “In 2017, we are forging our own ways of winning in this complex industry. Africa is not just a source of raw materials for the world. This book demonstrates the Why and How true value of oil and gas in Africa is a source of innovation and wealth (job) creation.”
Among the nine examples in the book, Big Barrels (http://APO.af/60GDc9) describes the rapid development of Equatorial Guinea from one of the world’s economic backwaters to a leading light in Central Africa; how Ghana turned to its active civic society to deal with its oil windfall only a few years ago; and how Tanzania is being shaped in response to global interest in its massive gas reserves.
Big Barrels: African Oil and Gas and the Quest for Prosperity (http://APO.af/60GDc9) will officially launch at the Africa Oil & Power (www.AfricaOilAndPower.com) conference in Cape Town on June 5-7, 2017. The book can be pre-ordered on Amazon (http://APO.af/60GDc9) for delivery after May 31, 2017. Limited editions signed by the author will be available at the event.
Distributed by APO on behalf of Centurion Law Group.
Chief Executive Officer
M: SA +27 836 669 681
About NJ Ayuk:
A leading energy lawyer and a strong advocate for African entrepreneurs, NJ Ayuk is recognized as one of the foremost figures in African business today. A Global Shaper with the World Economic Forum, one of Forbes’ Top 10 Most Influential Men in Africa in 2015, and a well-known dealmaker in the petroleum and power sectors, NJ has dedicated his career to helping entrepreneurs find success and to building the careers of young African lawyers. As founder and CEO of Centurion Law Group, a pan-African law firm, NJ strives through his work to ensure that business, and especially oil and gas, impacts African societies in a positive way. NJ graduated from University of Maryland College Park and earned a Juris Doctor from William Mitchell College of Law and an MBA from the New York Institute of Technology.
About João Marques:
Energy analyst and editor João Marques is a seasoned Africa specialist with in-the-field reporting experience from Africa’s petroleum hotspots. Now based in Lisbon, Portugal, João writes for numerous international publications and websites on issues of energy, policy and economics. In recent years he has published oil and gas industry reports on Gabon, Angola, Tanzania, Uganda, Madagascar, São Tomé and Principe, and South Africa, covering the full spectrum of Africa’s petroleum markets from frontier exploration to trading and petrochemicals. João holds an Erasmus Mundus Double Master of Arts degree in Journalism and Media within Globalisation.Media files
- Investing in West African mining for sustainable regional development
Over 80 West Africans who have previously attended Australian-funded mining courses met on 27 April in Accra to share knowledge and understanding of current challenges and opportunities in the region on attracting responsible mining investment and sustainable development.
The Honourable John Peter Amewu, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, delivered the keynote speech at the “Investing in West African mining for sustainable regional development,” alongside several other notable speakers including Mr Henry Antwi, Head of Mining and Metals at Oman Oil Company, and Dr Kojo Busia Coordinator African Minerals Development Centre.
The West African Alumni Forum focussed on themes of investment promotion, regulatory frameworks and incentives, political risks, social license to operate, local content, and transparency of information.
Alumni representing governments, civil society, academia and industry from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo were able to network and share experiences on mining investment and sustainable development in West Africa.
The forum was organised by a team of West African alumni and hosted by Australia’s Minerals and Energy for Development Alliance (MEfDA) with support by the Australian Government.
“Australia is pleased to support development of the necessary skills in Ghana through our various scholarship programs and exchanges. Through their studies and experiences in Australia, Australian alumni bring cutting edge knowledge and skills to their jobs in the mining industry to the huge benefit of their countries.” The High Commissioner noted that, “Ghana has much untapped natural resource potential. If well-managed development of these resources could drive employment and growth and set Ghana up for a strong future. That is why we are very encouraged by the Akufo-Addo Government’s commitment to implement the economic and social reforms required to produce jobs and growth.” Mr Andrew Barnes, Australian High Commissioner, said in his opening remarks.
Australia has a long history of providing capacity-building support to countries across Africa. Participants at today’s event have benefitted from courses in mining and mining governance. The Alumni Forum was a significant opportunity to develop and strengthen the partnership between Australia and West Africa in this important sector.
Distributed by APO on behalf of Australian High Commission in Ghana.
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