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Archive for February 6th, 2014

Media Advisory – London: South Sudan’s Foreign Affairs Minister to hold a press conference in London on February 12

Posted by African Press International on February 6, 2014

The Foreign Affairs Minister South Sudan will address the international press on the latest development in South Sudan

LONDON, United-Kingdom, February 5, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – South Sudan, the World’s youngest nation is facing some challenging times. The most immediate question is whether the agreement on a cessation of hostilities (http://bit.ly/1bqiwFn), signed on January 23 between the Government of the Republic of South Sudan (GoRSS) (http://www.goss.org) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM/A) in Opposition, will bring an end to the fighting that has killed tens of thousands and has displaced hundreds of thousands of people since mid-December.

But at least as important as the developments on the ground is the way that the conflict in South Sudan is analyzed, framed and acted upon by the South Sudanese themselves, foreign affairs policymakers, international activists, newspapers and the international public. That analysis, those frames and those actions will shape how the conflict is addressed, perpetuated or entrenched.

In this regard, the Foreign Affairs Minister South Sudan Hon Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin will on the 12th of February address the international press on the latest development in South Sudan outlining the next crucial steps for his Government to restore peace and assure investments in South Sudan.

His message will be on:

–    The government’s commitment to reconciliation and healing process as bedrock of stability.

–     perspective on security, legal reforms and nation building

–    Importance of regional and international actors for peace and development for south sudan.

–    Reassuring businesses on security to Investment.

WHO: Foreign Affairs Minister South Sudan Hon Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin

WHEN: 12th February 2013 at 10.00am

WHERE: The Langham, London

1c Portland Place, Regent Street

London W1B 1JA

ALL JOURNALISTS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS SHOULD APPLY HEREhttp://www.apo-opa.com/application/?vc=SSUDAN

———-

SOURCE

Republic of South Sudan

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The “Emerging Equatorial Guinea Symposium”: A Key Turning Point in the Country’s Economic Emergence

Posted by African Press International on February 6, 2014

For two days, the 800 delegates, among which over 200 international investors, shared their expertise and experience

MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, February 5, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – Yesterday ended the International Symposium for Economic diversification in Equatorial Guinea (http://www.emergingeg.com), putting the country back on the agenda of international investment opportunities.  For two days, the 800 delegates, among which over 200 international investors, shared their expertise and experience to shape policy and determine key factors for an attractive business climate together with the launch of significant and concrete, namely a US$ 1 Billion (eq. of 500 Billion FCFA) Co-Investment Fund (CIF) and the signature of investments for over 500 Million Euros.

The “Emerging Equatorial Guinea” Symposium gathered an international assembly of over 800 participants tripling the initial objective, which included business players and prescribers from all over the world. They got an inside look at one of Africa’s most dynamic economies (1) in particular into 5 strategic sectors: Agriculture/Animal Ranching; Fisheries; Petrochemicals &Mining; Tourism and Financial Services.

Among the participants …

4 former Presidents

•          Joaquim Chissano, President of Mozambique (1986-2005)

•          Festus Gontebanye Mogae, President of the Republic of Botswana (1998-2008)

•          Jorge Quiroga, former President, Bolivia

•          Olusegun Obasanjo, former President, Nigeria (1999-2007)

Other key attendees…

•          Otavio Azevedo, CEO, Andrade Gutierrez, Brazil,

•          Ozwald Boateng, Designer and Co-Founder, Made in Africa Foundation, UK,

•          Selim Bora, President of Summa, Turkey

•          Benjamin Bronfman, co-founder of Global Thermostat (USA)

•          Pascal Drouhaud, VP Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, Alstom, France

•          Sala I Martin, Professor of  international economics at Columbia University, USA

•          Mehmet Nazif Günal, Chairman, Board of Directors, MNG Holding, Turkey.

•          Fathallah Oulalou, Mayor of Rabat, former Minister of Economy and Finance, Morocco,

•          Rodrigo de Rato, former Managing Director, International Monetary Fund

•          Moussa Seck, Chair of the Pan-African AgriBusiness and Agro Industries Consortium.

•          John Shields, Mission chief, Equatorial Guinea, Horizon 2020 Programme

Major global corporations’ representatives, successful entrepreneurs, emerging and frontier market investors, industry experts, representatives of international institutions, namely World Bank and IMF, head of States exchanged directly with 100 Equatoguinean officials, including the Head of State, H.E President Obiang Nguema MBasogo along with 8 of his key Ministers.

“We are very pleased to showcase how Equatorial Guinea is at a turning point to building an Emerging Equatorial Guinea, via economic diversification and its industrialization plan, PEGI 2020. Our overall ambition is to ensure long-term sustainability at a level capable of generating enough jobs for our current and future generations through concrete and business friendly initiatives,” concluded Marcelino Owono Edu, Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Finance and Budgets.

Over the 2 days of the meeting, the participants addressed many issues with very concrete discussions on how to develop a business welcoming environment including governance, transparency, rule of law, acknowledging the government and the President’s visible commitment to receive and incorporate their input and move forward with a very ambitious plan.

As a result of the discussions, investments contracts were signed for a total amount of 500 Million Euros and agreements for above 1 Billion Euros investments in the fishery, agricultural, energy, mines and tourisms sectors.

In addition, several initiatives will be implemented following the Symposium:

–          The creation of a “one-stop shop” where potential investors will get all the necessary input to start a business in the country, from the information about investment law to the construction permit

–          A goal to facilitate business creation and reduce time to open a business up to two days

–          The launch of a Co-Investment Fund (CIF) of 500 Billion CFA francs (eq. of US$ 1 Billion), which represents almost 1/4 of the country’s yearly capital expenditure to fuel the state’s overall strategy to diversify the economy beyond oil and gas, on which its recent growth has been relying upon (2), for a more balanced economic system.

All of this would not have been possible without a sound macroeconomic policy framework. This subject was also addressed ahead of the Symposium, in a Policy Dialogue meeting on January 31st, held with the Equatoguinean government, experts from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

UNDER THE HIGH AUTHORITY OF H.E. PRESIDENT OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO OF THE REPUBLIC OF EQUATORIAL GUINEA

(1) Over the last decade, Equatorial Guinea has gone from being one of the poorest countries in Africa to having the highest GDP per capita income across the entire continent.

(2)   Hydrocarbons, Mining and Quarrying represent over 75% of the total country GDP in 2012 –

Source AfDB (African Development Bank 2012 report)

 

About the EEG forum

Located in Malabo, February 3-4 2014, the forum convenes representatives of business and investment groups from the national, regional and international communities. This aims at offering the most valuable opportunity for international investors to learn about Equatorial Guinea’s potential and strategize directly with government officials.

 

SOURCE

Emerging Equatorial Guinea

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Kenya to Host African Institute for Remittances Secretariat: Institute to be fully operational in 2015

Posted by African Press International on February 6, 2014

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, February 3, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The African Union (AU) Executive Council, has selected the Republic of Kenya to host the African Institute for Remittances (AIR). The Council asked the African Union Commission to conclude the Host Agreement with the Republic of Kenya so as to ensure the formal take-off of the Institute this year. It also asked the World Bank and other development partners to support the Institute. The Institute is scheduled to be fully operational by 2015.

“I am delighted that the Executive Council has decided that the Republic of Kenya will host the AIR. The establishment of AIR, the first of its kind in the world, is a cornerstone in harnessing Diaspora resources for social and economic development in Africa”, said Dr. Mustapha S. Kaloko, Commissioner of Social Affairs of the African Union Commission. He also called upon development partners to continue supporting the Institute.

Kenya is one of four member countries that had expressed interest in hosting the AIR secretariat. The decision to select Kenya was made during the 24th Ordinary Session of the AU Executive Council which met from 27 to 28 January 2014 at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

AIR project partners agreed to the need for sustained collaboration and coordination of efforts in support of the Institute to achieve the planned improvement in the market for remittances, and to leverage their impact on development in the continent. The partners are African Union Commission, World Bank, European Commission, African Development Bank, and the International Organization for Migration.

Background

The African Union Commission resolved in 2010 to create AIR in the framework of the Africa-European Union partnership on Migration, Mobility and Employment, to leverage the untapped development potential of remittance flows to the African continent. The magnitude of remittances to and within Africa has grown remarkably in recent years, gaining the attention of the international development community due to their positive impact on the living standards of beneficiaries. However, the precise volume of these remittances is unknown and presumed undercounted. Their transfer cost remains unacceptably high by international standards, and their full potential for economic and social development is largely unexploited.

The AIR Project was launched with funding from the European Commission while the World Bank was responsible for overall implementation and execution of the project, in collaboration with the African Development Bank and the International Organization for Migration. The primary objective was to facilitate the AU Member States and the African Union Commission in establishing the Institute of Remittances. The AIR will be anchored within AUC.

 

SOURCE

The World Bank

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FCO Press Release: Sexual violence in DRC: Minister and Archbishops visit Goma

Posted by African Press International on February 6, 2014

DUBLIN, Ireland, February 5, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds visits HEAL Africa in Goma with Archbishop Justin Welby and Archbishop of DRC.

Mr Simmonds visited HEAL Africa in Goma yesterday with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Archbishop of DRC to learn more about the devastating impact of sexual violence in conflict in the DRC, and to see how a UK-funded project will support local communities to end it.

Following on from the Foreign Secretary’s visit to Heal Africa in March last year, Mark Simmonds visited the hospital today to learn about the current situation, and to see how the UK’s Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative is making a difference in eastern DRC.

With the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Archbishop of the DRC, he heard about the important role that faith groups are playing in tackling sexual violence, fighting impunity and supporting survivors. He also saw the work of a groundbreaking UK-funded project called ‘Silent No More’, which is being implemented by the Anglican Church of DRC and the NGO Tearfund. The project works with churches and other faith communities to reduce the incidence and impact of sexual violence in eastern DRC. The project will train faith leaders to tackle sexual violence and promote gender justice, develop and promote ‘Safe Communities’, and launch a campaign to mobilise positive male role models who stand against this violence.

The Minister said:

”I am honoured to be here to launch the UK-funded ‘Silent No More’ project in DRC, which works with local faith groups to reduce the scourge of sexual violence. We cannot succeed in stopping rape and other abuses without local people working at the heart of communities to develop a shared commitment to end this devastating crime. Faith groups are well placed to do this. I am encouraged by the important work they are doing that I have seen today: together we will do everything we can to ensure that sexual violence is no longer a feature of conflict in the 21st Century.

“The UK will host a global Summit on Sexual Violence in Conflict in June. I discussed this with President Kabila yesterday. I welcomed the appointment of a DRC Special Representative on Sexual Violence, and we look forward to working closely together on this critical agenda.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said:

“The terrible suffering of the peoples of eastern DRC is a global tragedy. The most seriously affected are the most vulnerable, women and children. Since my first visit in 2009, I have been seeking to support those locally who tackle the issue of sexual violence. The programme of HEAL Africa is a notable contribution, setting a wonderful example of holistic care, best practice, and deep Christian compassion in partnership with the Anglican Church. It is a privilege to be here today with the Minister for Africa. The FCO programme against sexual violence is of huge significance, and a foundation of reconciliation.”

The Anglican Archbishop of DRC, Henri Isingoma, said:

” I welcome the joint work between the Anglican Church, Tearfund and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to end sexual violence. This is a priority issue for my church and for me personally. Ending the conflict in the region is also crucial, and that is why the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches of Burundi, Rwanda, and the DRC are working together in the pursuit of peace in the Great Lakes region. We encourage these churches to continue their implementation of the programme for peace, which started with the launch of the ‘One Year of Peace’ campaign on 1st December 2013 in Goma. We hope that other churches and Christian organisations as well as civil society will actively take part in more vibrant and concrete advocacy to end the hostilities that have lasted for so long across the Great Lakes region.”

The co-founder of HEAL Africa, Dr Jo Lusi said:

“In this debate, it is important not to neglect men, because although men are most often the perpetrators, they are also a crucial part of prevention and of the solution.”

 

SOURCE

Ireland – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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