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Archive for March, 2014

Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne C. Richard Travels to Switzerland and Chad

Posted by African Press International on March 31, 2014

WASHINGTON, March 31, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson

Washington, DC

March 29, 2014

Assistant Secretary Anne C. Richard travelled to Geneva, Switzerland today Monday, March 31, 2014 for meetings with officials from United Nations and other international humanitarian organizations.€€

On Tuesday, April 1, 2014, Assistant Secretary Richard will travel to Ndjamena, Chad, where she will meet with Chadian government officials and representatives of both international and nongovernmental organizations. Assistant Secretary Richard will also travel to southern Chad with representatives from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to visit refugees from the Central African Republic living in camps as well as Chadians who had been living in the Central African Republic but have had to flee the violence there.€€

In FY 2013, the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) obligated over $43 million for humanitarian activities in Chad. Chad is currently host to well over 500,000 refugees, vulnerable migrants, and other populations of concern from the crises in the Central African Republic and Sudan.

 

SOURCE

US Department of State

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MISCA Head of Mission appalled by Grenade attack on Civilians

Posted by African Press International on March 31, 2014

BANGUI, Central African Republic, March 29, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission and Head of the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA), Gen. Jean Marie Michel Mokoko is appalled by a grenade attack on innocent civilians, which took place last night at a funeral in a Bangui home, killing and injuring several persons. The attackers escaped from the crime scene and have not yet been identified or apprehended.

The Special Representative notes with profound dismay that an increasingly sophisticated arsenal of military-type assault weapons has been used in the recent spate of violence in the Central African Republic (CAR), and reiterates that the use of such weapons on civilians is strictly prohibited under international law and constitutes a War Crime. He calls on the CAR Transitional Authorities to do all in their power to bring to justice the cowardly perpetrators of such atrocious acts.

Furthermore, he strongly urges Community Leaders, Opinion Leaders, Religious Leaders, Political Party Leaders and Leaders of Civil Society Organizations to speak-up and use their influence to help end the current violence in their country. He particularly urges the local and international media to demonstrate a high sense of responsibility in reporting events in the CAR and refrain from further fanning the flames of hatred and animosity among the population.

The Special Representative conveys to the bereaved families the sincere condolences and deepest sympathy of the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, and wishes a prompt and complete recovery to the injured.

 

SOURCE

African Union Commission (AUC)

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Germany willing to provide air transport for the EU military operation in the Central African Republic

Posted by African Press International on March 31, 2014

BERLIN, Germany, March 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – To contribute to the success of today’s (28 March) force generation conference in Brussels for the European Union military bridging operation in the Central African Republic (EUFOR CAR), Germany will additionally make available strategic air transport to the country’s capital, Bangui. This key enabler will help the European partners participating in the EU military operation to rapidly move personnel and materiel to the area of operations. Recently, the operation in this civil-war-torn country threatened to fail, due to a lack of such a capability for strategic deployment, that is, airlifting large and heavy cargo over long distances.

Federal Minister von der Leyen:

The humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic is alarming. This makes it all the more important for the EU military operation to strengthen stability and security, so as to prevent violent conflict in the country from taking root and spreading. Rapid airlift of materiel and personnel is a key enabler. A lack thereof has so far prevented establishment of an EU military operation for the Central African Republic. I am very pleased that Germany can help solve this problem, without overstraining the Federal Armed Forces’ airlift capabilities in other operational areas, such as in connection with Afghanistan redeployment.

Federal Foreign Minister Steinmeier:

We are prepared to support the planned EU military bridging operation in the Central African Republic. France, among others, has requested temporary assistance from European partners, so as to prevent state structures in the Central African Republic from collapsing entirely, and to achieve initial stabilisation. It is our shared European responsibility to pool all of the capabilities that are required for this. That is why Germany will make available more air transport. This will not require any additional German personnel to be deployed to the area of operations.

For these transport flights to Bangui, the Federal Armed Forces will use Antonov An-124-100 aircraft leased from the Strategic Airlift Interim Solution (SALIS). Since 2006, Germany has been a party to the contract between the NATO Support Agency (NSPA) and RUSLAN SALIS GmbH, which is headquartered in Leipzig. This will put at the full disposal of the 14 participating nations two aircraft, each with a maximum payload of 150 tons. Germany is currently employing this capability intensively, primarily for follow-on supply to, and redeployment of, the German ISAF contingent in Afghanistan. This cooperation has proven its worth over a long period of time.

Germany remains willing to participate in the EU military bridging operation in the Central African Republic by making available strategic MEDEVAC capabilities, and by providing personnel for the Operation Headquarters (OHQ) in Larissa, as well as for the Force Headquarters (FHQ) in Bangui.

Beyond the air transport that Germany is providing within the framework of the ISAF mission, Germany is already making such a capability available to the UN’s MINUSMA peacekeeping mission in Mali, as well as, on a bilateral level, to France for its national SANGARIS operation in the Central African Republic.

On 10 February 2014, European Union Foreign Ministers decided to establish an EU military bridging operation in the Central African Republic (EUFOR CAR). The aim, in coordination with international organisations (United Nations, African Union) and other actors, is to mitigate the threat posed by armed groups to the civilian population, and to ease civilian suffering, as well as to help the Central African Republic return to constitutional order. The EUFOR CAR operation plan and rules of engagement were approved on 17 March 2014.

 

SOURCE

Germany – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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TO THE BISHOPS OF MADAGASCAR: THERE IS A CLOSE CONNECTION BETWEEN EVANGELISATION AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT

Posted by African Press International on March 31, 2014

VATICAN, Holy See, March 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ The vitality of the Church in Madagascar despite the difficult circumstances in which this country finds itself and the commitment of the dioceses to human development were some of the central issues in the message Pope Francis addressed to the bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Madagascar at the end of their five-yearly “ad limina” visit.

The Pope thanks the prelates for their “courageous and tenacious work of evangelisation” and acknowledged the serious socio-economic problems encountered in Madagascar, mentioning at the same time that the bishops have urged all of society to contribute to building a new future”. He encouraged them to take their rightful place in the “task of reconstruction, with respect for the rights and duties of each person”. He writes, “It is important to maintain constructive relationships with the authorities of your country. You must search for unity, justice and peace to better serve your people, refusing any involvement in political disputes at the expense of the common good”.

“In this context, I wish to acknowledge the invaluable commitment of your dioceses in social work”, he continues. “Indeed, there is an intimate connection between evangelisation and human development. … I encourage you to persevere in your attention to the poor and materially and spiritually supporting those who devote themselves to them, especially religious congregations, whom I thank with all my heart for their dedication and for their authentic witness to Christ’s love for all men. I also invite you to call out without fear to all Malagasy society, and especially its leaders, with regard to the issue of poverty, which is largely due to corruption and lack of attention to the common good”.

Education is field in which the Church is very active in Madagascar. Therefore, the Pope asks the prelates to do everything in their power to “ensure that the greatest number of children, including those from the poorest families, have access to education, since as a result of economic difficulties many parents no longer have the economic means”. He also urges them to guarantee a Christian presence in public schools, so that Christians occupied in the field of education may “contribute to forming the Gospel and human values in the young generations that will be the leaders of the society to come”.

He goes on to mention that in their message for the end of the Year of Faith the bishops complained of the loss of the true “fihavanana”, a way of life typical of Malgasy culture, which promotes harmony and solidarity, and in relation to this he affirms that “the values that the Creator has instilled in your culture must continue to be transmitted, illuminated from within by the message of the Gospel. The dignity of the human person and the culture of peace, dialogue and reconciliation will find their place in society, leading to a better future”.

The Pope praises the implementation in dioceses throughout Madagascar of “an ambitious and very dynamic programme of formation for life and love”, and emphasises that the family “needs to be protected and defended so that it so that it may offer society the service expected of it, that of providing men and women capable of building a social fabric of peace and harmony”. With regard to challenges in the field of interreligious dialogue, he repeats that it is “urgent to develop, and also at times to initiate, a lucid and constructive dialogue in order to maintain peace between communities and to promote the common good”. He urges the prelates “never to doubt the strength of the Gospel, nor its ability to convert hearts to the resurrected Christ”, reiterating that for this to happen, “it is necessary that Christians bear daily witness to the faith they proclaim”, and for this witness to be credible, “life must be consistent with faith”.

“This invitation”, he continues, “is directed mainly at the clergy and consecrated persons. The priesthood, like consecrated life, is not a means of social climbing, but rather a service to God and to man”. Likewise, he remarks that chastity and obedience are essential virtues for priests and concludes, “The same applies with respect to temporal goods and prudence in their management. Offering a poor example in this area is particularly disastrous because of the scandal it causes, especially before a population that lives in poverty”.

 

SOURCE

Vatican Information Service (VIS)

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Conclusions of the 9th Meeting of the International Contact Group on Madagascar (ICG-M) Antananarivo, 28 march 2014

Posted by African Press International on March 31, 2014

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, March 29, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – Conclusions of the 9th Meeting of the International Contact Group on Madagascar (ICG-M) Antananarivo, 28 march 2014

1. At the initiative of the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the International Contact Group on Madagascar (ICG-M) held its 9th meeting in Antananarivo, Madagascar, on 28 March 2014, under the chairmanship of the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui. The list of countries and institutions which participated in the meeting is indicated below [1].

2. The opening ceremony of the meeting was graced by the presence of His Excellency Hery Rajaonarimampianana, President of the Republic. In the address he made on this occasion, he outlined the broad outlines of his priorities and informed the members of the Group about the steps that are being taken for the appointment of a new Prime Minister and the formation of a new Government. He thanked the ICG-M for its sustained support to the process for ending the crisis in Madagascar.

3. The meeting afforded the opportunity to take stock of the evolution of the situation in Madagascar since the 8th meeting of the Group, held in Addis Ababa, on 6 September 2013, and to agree on the modalities for the pursuit of the support of the international community and the future of the ICG-M. The Group’s deliberations were based on the updates provided by the Malagasy Prime Minister, Mr. Jean Omer Beriziky, and other members of the Government, as well as on the ensuing exchanges.

4. Participants, stressing the highly symbolic nature of the convening of their meeting in Antananarivo, welcomed the continued positive evolution of the situation since the eighth meeting of the Group. In this regard, they pointed out the organization, as planned and in the required conditions of transparency and fairness, of the presidential and legislative elections: on 25 October 2013, for the first round of the presidential election, and on 20 December 2013, for the second round of the presidential election, coupled with parliamentary elections. Participants commended Hery Rajaonarimampianina for his election as President of the Republic of Madagascar. They praised the sense of responsibility of Dr. Jean Louis Robinson, who was a candidate in the second round, for having recognized the victory of his opponent, allowing Madagascar to successfully complete this crucial phase of the process for ending the crisis. Participants also acknowledged the role of the former President of the Transition, Andry Rajoelina, and his decisive contribution to the success of the electoral process. In general, Participants welcomed the patriotism and commitment of all the political and social stakeholders and of the Malagasy people, which made it possible to successfully conclude the process for ending the crisis.

5. Participants noted with satisfaction the commitment of the new President of the Republic and his Government to spare no effort, in order to consolidate the remarkable progress made in recent months and to address the root causes of the recurring crises in Madagascar, particularly by affording equal opportunities for development for all the regions of the country. Within this framework, Participants recalled the measures envisaged for the implementation of the outstanding aspects of the Roadmap to end the crisis in Madagascar, especially the continuation and completion of the reconciliation process, including the return of political exiles and compensation for victims of the political events of 2002 and 2009, and the organization of local elections. They stressed the crucial importance of these provisions of the Roadmap and that of their diligent implementation. They also urged all political and social actors in the country to continue to demonstrate the necessary spirit of responsibility in this phase devoted to the consolidation of the gains made. They requested them to place the interests of Madagascar and of its people above partisan and individual considerations.

6. Participants were informed of the priorities of the Government of Madagascar in terms of governance and socio-economic development. These relate in particular to the enhancement of the authority of the State, the fight against corruption, insecurity and poverty, the promotion of the rule of law, education and health, as well as the establishment of an enabling environment for Malagasy and foreign investment. Participants, having welcomed the pro-activeness of the new authorities and the measures they have already taken, expressed the support of their respective countries and organizations to the ongoing efforts. They supported the convening of the envisaged Donors’ Conference, as proposed by the Malagasy authorities, once the new Government is established. They urged all international partners to actively participate in this Conference and to seize the opportunity to provide Madagascar with all the financial, technical and economic support that the country needs.

7. Participants welcomed the lifting by the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the suspension that had been imposed on Madagascar after the unconstitutional change of government in March 2009, as well as all other sanctions adopted by the AU, SADC, the OIF and other actors. In this context, and given the importance to respond quickly to the expectations of the Malagasy people, who had paid a heavy price for the crisis, Participants urged the international partners to fully resume their cooperation with the country. Participants welcomed the pledges made, in this regard, by some international partners of Madagascar at the meeting.

8. Participants recalled that the ICG-M was established in the context of serious political and institutional crisis that affected Madagascar, to serve as a structure monitoring the situation and coordinating the action of the international community, with a view to accelerating the search for a consensual and lasting solution. They noted that with the imminent completion of the process to end the crisis and the restoration of constitutional order, the Group had attained its main objectives. In this regard, Participants paid tribute to SADC and its Mediator, former President Joaquim Chissano, for their determined, patient and persevering support to the process to end the crisis. They expressed their gratitude to the AU and, through it, to former Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra, for having coordinated the action of the Group and for its crucial support to the process for ending the crisis. They also expressed their gratitude to all the other members of the Group, both the bilateral and multilateral actors, for their coordinated and continued support to the Mediation, which made it possible for the international community to speak with one voice and to use effectively its influence to facilitate and speed up the resolution of the crisis. Participants also expressed their deep appreciation to bilateral and multilateral partners for their financial support to the process to end the crisis, including the organization of the elections.

9. In view of the imminent completion of the process to end the crisis and the fact that no international mediation was henceforth required, Participants agreed on the need for the Group to adapt its modus operandi to take into account the new situation. More specifically, they stressed that emphasis should be laid on supporting the efforts of the Government of Madagascar, especially in the socio-economic areas and the different aspects of governance, on the basis of its needs and priorities and within the framework of national ownership and leadership. They decided to transform the ICG-M into an International Support Group for Madagascar (ISG-M), which will be co-chaired by the AU and Madagascar and will meet at least twice a year. To ensure an effective follow up of the conclusions of the ordinary meetings of the ISG-M, Participants agreed to establish, in Antananarivo, a local branch of ISG-M, which will meet as often as necessary and will keep all members of the ISG-M informed about its activities.

10. Participants expressed their sincere gratitude to the President of the Republic and the Government of Madagascar for the warm welcome accorded to the members of the ICG-M, their availability and cooperation, as well as for the excellent facilities made available for the smooth conduct of the meeting.

[1] China, France, Japan, Madagascar, Mauritius, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Unites States of America, AU, COMESA, EU, IOC, OIF, SADC (Namibia in its capacity as Chair of the SADC Troika Organ, and the representative of the former SADC Mediator) and UN.

 

SOURCE

African Union Commission (AUC)

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Rebel Bullets Part 1 and 2 – Congo (DRC)

Posted by African Press International on March 30, 2014

Rebel Bullets

Part 1

Part 2:  The rape generation – Rebel bullets

End

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Kenyans dominate World Half Marathon Championship

Posted by African Press International on March 30, 2014

It was double delight for Kenya at the World Half Marathon Championship on Saturday as Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor took the men’s title and Gladys Cherono won the women’s race

End

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Rotary documentary spotlights HIV/AIDS prevention and health care in Africa

Posted by African Press International on March 30, 2014

Film will air on SABC ahead of Rotary Family Health Days 2014; a project that brings free health services into underserved communities in six countries over three days

JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, March 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) will air a 24-minute documentary about a project that brings free health care to African families on Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 9 a.m. (SABC3) and 12.30 p.m. (SABC1) in South Africa. It will be rebroadcast in April on affiliate stations throughout Africa.

To view the trailer, click here: https://vimeo.com/84725512

The film, produced by Rotary International (http://www.rotary.org), documents the tremendous burden HIV/AIDS has had on African families and communities, and covers the journeys of two women: South African grandmother Me Maria, who is raising her two grandsons after their parents died of AIDS; and Marion Bunch, an American woman who drew strength from personal tragedy after losing her son to AIDS to become a global advocate and the inspiration behind the creation of Rotary Family Health Days. The project, now in its fourth year and supported by Rotary clubs throughout Africa, delivers free basic health care – including HIV/AIDS screening and other preventive services — to families in underserved communities.

The documentary captures an emotional meeting between Bunch and Me Maria as the women reflect on how the disease has impacted their lives and families and the steps they are taking to fight it.

“The tremendous burden on the families of those infected by HIV/AIDS – particularly for older people caring for their terminally ill children and raising their grandchildren, and for children orphaned by this disease is incalculable,” said Bunch. “This is a story of people coming together to help fight this global killer and other preventable diseases.”

The film will air ahead of Rotary Family Health Days 2014, which will take place in Uganda, Ghana, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho and Nigeria throughout the month of April. To view the trailer, click here:https://vimeo.com/84725512.

In addition to airing the documentary, SABC will broadcast messages and information across Africa on SABC television channels and radio stations in eleven languages to promote participation in Rotary Family Health Days in April 2014.

About Rotary Family Health Days 2014

Rotary Family Health Days – an innovative international campaign providing free health care to underserved families — launches its fourth edition in April 2014, aiming to reach 350,000 people in Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho. The program addresses Africa’s most pressing health challenges, including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and reproductive health, as well as diabetes and hypertension. An important component is immunizing children against polio, measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho

April 2 – 4       160 sites

Ghana

April 10 – 12     30 sites

Uganda

April 10 – 12    120 sites

Nigeria

April 24 – 26    150 sites

———————————————–

About Rotary

Rotary (http://www.rotary.org) brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. For more information, visit http://www.rotary.org.

 

SOURCE

Rotary International

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Tánaiste at unveiling of plaque commemorating South Africa’s Bill of Rights

Posted by African Press International on March 29, 2014

DUBLIN, Ireland, March 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore TD, paid tribute to the late Kader Asmal at the unveiling of a plaque at the house in Foxrock, Dublin, where South Africa’s Bill of Rights was written more than 20 years ago.

The Tánaiste was joined yesterday by the Bill’s co-author, retired South African Justice Albie Sachs, who is visiting Ireland for a legal rights conference. The Tánaiste also welcomed Louise Asmal, the widow of Kader Asmal, to the unveiling:

“In this house in 1988 an essential element in South Africa’s peace process was created. South Africa’s Bill of Rights served as the bedrock of the subsequent Constitution of South Africa. Now, 20 years later, we see a free and democratic South Africa – a testament to the work of the late Kader Asmal and his wife, Louise, Justice Albie Sachs and, indeed, all those who struggled against the evil and inhuman apartheid system.”

Addressing Louise Asmal, he said: “You shared with Kader the ultimate vindication of that struggle in the first democratic election in South Africa, and in his appointment as a Minister in President Mandela’s first government.”

Representing South Africa was Mr Livingstone Vukile Mdlalo of the Embassy and two young South African students who are studying in Ireland under the Kader Asmal Fellowship Programme, which is funded by Irish Aid. The Tánaiste welcomed them to Ireland, saying:

“We here in Ireland are proud of Kader Asmal’s life and work for South Africa and indeed for his adopted country, Ireland. This fellowship programme is a fitting tribute to his memory. He valued education so much – and he was himself such a good teacher. These young African students coming here to study will help to strengthen the bonds which bind us so much to Africa, and to commemorate and celebrate the life of Kader Asmal and the principles which guided his work.”

 

SOURCE

Ireland – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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IMF East AFRITAC Holds its 16th Steering Committee Meeting in Arusha, Tanzania

Posted by African Press International on March 29, 2014

RUSHA, Tanzania, March 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ The Steering Committee of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s Regional Technical Assistance Center for East Africa (East AFRITAC) endorsed the Center’s work plan for 2015. This envisages a substantial scaling up of technical assistance and training activities. Steering Committee members also welcomed the achievements in 2014, which included strengthened public financial management, support for better fiscal analysis and bank supervision, improved tax administration and significant progress towards disseminating revised GDP data across the region.

The Steering Committee met in Arusha, Tanzania from March 27-28, 2014 to review activities over the year since May 2013 (fiscal year 2014), and discuss a number of strategic and operational issues in the Center’s work. Officials from six of the seven member countries attended, 1 together with representatives of donors (DfID, EU, EIB, Germany, and Switzerland), the East African Community and IMF staff, as well as the Executive Director representing the United Kingdom at the IMF.

In his opening remarks on behalf of Governor Ndulu of the Bank of Tanzania, the Chair of the Steering Committee (Deputy Governor Juma Reli) praised East AFRITAC for technical assistance which was of high quality, relevant and strongly owned by its member countries. He also emphasized the importance of peer-to-peer learning and encouraged the Fund to explore further ways it can foster this between sub-Saharan African countries.

During the discussions, Steering Committee members commended East AFRITAC’s capacity building activities and the successful execution of the work plan in 2014. They applauded the Center for its work on regional activities in support of integration in the East African Community. In that context, they welcomed the new initiatives at the Center in

2015 to support the region’s central banks modernize their monetary policy frameworks, as well as help strengthen government finance statistics to improve the monitoring of macroeconomic convergence criteria for regional integration.

The meeting focused on a number of key strategic issues. Steering Committee members were pleased with progress made at the Center on reporting the results of its technical assistance and training activities, dissemination of technical assistance reports, and efforts at improved budgeting, outreach and donor coordination. There was extensive discussion of the IMF’s plans to implement the recommendations of the mid-term external evaluation of the Center, including steps to further improve monitoring and reporting of results, efficiency, the effectiveness of training and RTAC governance. The meeting also extended the current Phase of East AFRITAC operations to April 2015 and discussed preparations for the next Phase (IV), including emerging capacity building topics that could be covered, process, timing, and financial sustainability aspects.

Background

East AFRITAC, located in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, is one of nine regional IMF technical assistance centers around the world and serves Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. It provides capacity-building assistance in core areas of expertise of the International Monetary Fund such as: revenue administration; public financial management; macro-fiscal analysis; financial sector regulation; monetary policy and operations; and economic and financial statistics. Its Steering Committee, composed of the member countries, the IMF and representatives of the donors, oversees and provides guidance on the Center’s operations.

 

SOURCE

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

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ICC Appeals Chamber to hold hearings in the Lubanga case on 14-15 April 2014

Posted by African Press International on March 28, 2014

The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has scheduled a hearing on 14 and 15 April 2014 in the case The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo. The hearing will be held to allow the parties and participants to orally address the Appeals Chamber and for the Judges to hear the testimony of two additional witnesses.

 The hearing will be a public hearing held in the presence of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, his Defence Counsel, the Prosecution and the Legal Representatives of the Victims.  Mr Lubanga Dyilo may address the Appeals Chamber at the closure of the hearing. An order setting out a precise timetable for the hearing, including for the hearing of witnesses D-0040 and D-0041, will be issued in due course.
The Appeals Chamber in this appeal is composed of Judge Erkki Kourula (Presiding Judge in this appeal), Judge Sang-Hyun Song, Judge Sanji Mmasenono Monageng, Judge Anita Ušacka, and Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova.
Background: The Trial Chamber rendered the conviction decision in the Lubanga case on 14 March 2012. It was subsequently appealed by the Defence. The decision sentencing Mr Lubanga to 14 years imprisonment was rendered on 10 July 2012 and subsequently appealed by the Defence and the Office of the Prosecutor.  Following the two-day hearing, the Judges will make their decision on these appeals in due course.
Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, founder of the Union des patriotes congolais [Union of Congolese Patriots] (UPC) and the Force patriotiques pour la libération du Congo [Patriotic Force for the Liberation of Congo] (FPLC), former Commander-in-Chief of the FPLC and president of the UPC, was found guilty on 14 March 2012 by Trial Chamber I, as co-perpetrator, of committing the war crimes of the enlistment and conscription of children under the age of 15 into the FPLC and using them to participate actively in hostilities between September 2002 and August 2003. On 10 July 2012, he was sentenced to a total period of 14 years of imprisonment. On 7 August 2012, Trial Chamber I issued a decision on the principles to be applied for reparations to victims in the case. All three decisions are currently subject to appeals. Mr Lubanga Dyilo remains in the Court’s custody.
Webstreaming of the hearing
The hearing can be followed with 30 minutes delay on the ICC website at:
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Source ICC –  ICC-CPI-20140326-MA156

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Charles Blé Goudé makes first appearance before the ICC

Posted by African Press International on March 27, 2014

 ICC-CPI-20140327-PR990

Charles Blé Goudé at his first appearance hearing on 27 March 2014 at the International Criminal Court in The Hague ©ICC-CPI
Charles Blé Goudé at his first appearance hearing on 27 March 2014 at the International Criminal Court in The Hague ©ICC-CPI

On 27 March 2014, Charles Blé Goudé appeared before the Single Judge of Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, at the seat of the ICC in The Hague (The Netherlands). The Single Judge set the date of the beginning of the confirmation of charges hearing in the case for 18 August 2014.

The hearing was held in the presence of the Prosecution and the Defence. Charles Blé Goudé was represented by his Defence counsel Nicholas Kaufman. The Single Judge verified the identity of the suspect and ensured that he was clearly informed of the charges brought against him and of his rights under the Rome Statute of the ICC.

The Chamber will soon set a calendar for proceedings leading to the confirmation of charges hearing, including for upcoming status conferences and for the disclosure of evidence. The confirmation of charges hearing is scheduled to open on 18 August 2014.

With a confirmation of charges hearing, Judges will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that the person committed each of the crimes charged. If the charges are confirmed, the Pre-Trial Chamber commits the case for trial before a Trial Chamber, which will conduct the subsequent phase of the proceedings: the trial.

Background: On 22 March 2014, Charles Blé Goudé was surrendered to the ICC by the national authorities of Côte d´Ivoire on the basis of a warrant of arrest issued by ICC judges on 21 December 2011 and unsealed on 30 September 2013.

Charles Blé Goudé, national of Côte d’Ivoire, 42 years of age, allegedly bears individual criminal responsibility, as indirect co-perpetrator, for four counts of crimes against humanity, namely murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, persecution, and other inhuman acts, allegedly committed in the territory of Côte d’Ivoire between 16 December 2010 and 12 April 2011.

 

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Source:ICC

 

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Poaching in Kenya: The inside story: Civil servants behind rhino,elephant slaughter

Posted by African Press International on March 27, 2014

 

Source KTN

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Saving President Ronald Reagan

Posted by African Press International on March 27, 2014

End

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Is youth entrepreneurship lagging in North and Central Africa?

Posted by African Press International on March 27, 2014

The $75,000 Anzisha Prize awards young African entrepreneurs between the ages of 15 and 22

JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, March 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – Data from this year’s Anzisha Prize (http://www.anzishaprize.org) applications reveal a potential shortage of young entrepreneurs who are women, are from North and Central Africa or involved in renewable energy ventures.

“We are hoping that our application data reflects weaknesses in our outreach strategy, rather than the reality on the ground. If our sample is a mirror of youth entrepreneur activity across the continent, then we are sitting with a fairly dire situation for youth venture creation outside of some key hubs,” comments Josh Adler, Director for the Centre for Entrepreneurial Leadership at the African Leadership Academy.

“This is a picture that has to change rapidly, and the Anzisha Prize is designed to catalyse this movement. We need to see more meaningful entrepreneur activity amongst teenagers across the continent and within key sectors that we know can create quality jobs and growth.”

The prestigious Anzisha Prize, Africa’s premier award for its youngest entrepreneurs, is encouraging North and Central Africans, young women and those with renewable energy ventures from around the African continent to enter. Application information and in-country support are available in both French and Arabic.

The $75,000 Anzisha Prize – hosted by the African Leadership Academy in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation – awards young African entrepreneurs between the ages of 15 and 22 who have started ventures that are making a real impact in their communities. There is an additional $10,000 grant – courtesy of the Donor Circle for Africa group of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation – that is given to a young entrepreneur who is working on a renewable energy initiative.

With a week to go until the application deadline, over 200 applications have been received from more than 25 countries, with some very fascinating trends.

–          Applications from young female entrepeneurs are waning. While 55% of the African youth population between 15-24 is female, young women only make up 25% of the current Anzisha Prize applicant pool. The Anzisha Prize has made special efforts to reach young women this year through partnering with organisations like the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), yet it appears from our data that the barriers to pursuing entrepreneurship activity for young girls remain prevalent.

–          North African applications are low despite significantly more awareness campaigns for the Anzisha Prize in the region. Of the 33 Anzisha Prize Fellows selected since 2011, only three are from North Africa and all of these are from young men from Egypt. This year massive effort has been made to increase access to the Anzisha Prize in North Africa – official documents are now available in Arabic and French and the Anzisha Prize team met with partners across North Africa in early March.

–          Biogas and green charcoal initiatives look to be more prevalant amongst African youth rather than solar, wind, and other alternative energy initiatives. There is also little evidence of downstream business activity for services that make good use of off-grid power. Of the renewable energy applications received thus far, nearly all deal with biogas and charcoal made from waste material, which begs the question: are there young African entrepreneurs who are leading the way in other alternative energy initiatives?

“We need to enlist the help of the media, gender-focused youth organisations and teachers to encourage candidates they know of for the prize to apply.” Continues Adler: “Our applications team is standing by to support entries and nominations in French, Arabic and English and our country partners in every region are available to engage national media in the debate around youth entrepreneurship in different countries.”

Past award recipients include Best Ayiorwoth, a young woman from Uganda, who  began a small micro-credit services company that invests in and empowers young women in Uganda, and Khaled Shady, inventor of Mubser, a wearable belt for the visually impaired in Egypt (Shady was recently listed by Forbes as amongst the 30 most promising young entrepreneurs under 30). Profiles for all 33 of our past Anzisha Fellows are available online at http://www.anzishaprize.org/fellows

The Anzisha Prize applications are now open and close on April 1, 2014. Application and nomination forms are available online and for download in English, French and Arabic at http://www.anzishaprize.org. Prospective applicants can chat online, see our recent activities and engage with our team on Facebook www.facebook.com/anzishaprize. You can also follow Anzisha Prize on Twitter (@anzishaprize).

Finalists will win an all-expense paid trip to the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa, to attend a week-long entrepreneurship development programme and awards gala. While there, they will be taught by the African Leadership Academy’s renowned Entrepreneurial Leadership faculty, as well as experienced business mentors. They will then enter a life-long support programme as part of the African Leadership Academy’s alumni network with access to unrivaled opportunities for personal development and venture growth.

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About the Anzisha Prize

The Anzisha Prize is managed out of African Leadership Academy’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Leadership, which was established through a multi-year partnership with The MasterCard Foundation. Through the Anzisha Prize, the organisers seek to catalyse innovation and entrepreneurship among youth across the continent.

 

SOURCE

Anzisha Prize

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