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Archive for March 18th, 2014

Monday Special: Is Campus Life Fun or Stress Part 1

Posted by African Press International on March 18, 2014

Monday Special: Is Campus Life Fun or Stress Part 1

Monday Special: Is Campus Life Fun or Stress Part 2

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Invitation to 2014 SEED South Africa Symposium 19 – 20 March Pretoria – South Africa

Posted by African Press International on March 18, 2014

PRETORIA, South-Africa, March 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The SEED Initiative cordially invites you to the forthcoming 2014 SEED South Africa Symposium.

Date & Time: March 19, from 4.00 pm to 8.00 pm and March 20, from 8.00 am to 1.00 pm

Venue: CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria (Meiring Naude Road, Brummeria)

Focus topic: Advancing the Green Economy in South Africa: creating jobs and opportunities for innovative green enterprises

SEED focuses on supporting small-scale social and environmental entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs offer innovative business solutions at a local level that are key in leading towards a Green Economy transition. They also are a key contributor to the creation of employment opportunities in South Africa.

SEED has been running its Global Awards Scheme for social and environmental entrepreneurs since 2005 and launched the first dedicated national programme in South Africa in 2010. The aim was to promote sustainable resource use, income generation and social equity through supporting Small and Medium size Enterprises in line with the South African government policies on Green Economy, New Growth Path and the National Development Plan.

As part of its efforts to foster the Green Economy, the SEED Initiative is organising this high-level Symposium in close cooperation with the Government of Flanders, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), and with the generous support of SEED’s Corporate Partner, Hisense. The event aims at showcasing efforts by small-scale enterprises in creating green jobs. The event will bring together around 100 participants from government, private sector, academia, development organisations and civil society.

You will have the opportunity:

•    to interview high level speakers including Derek Hanekom, Minister of Science and Technology (See Annex 1 for detailed programme and the speakers). If you are interested in interviewing specific speakers, please send us your requests before 18 March to symposium2014@seedinit.org

•    to participate in the launch of the Social Enterprises Fund by the Industrial Corporation Agency (IDC) and in cooperation with the Government of Flanders. The launch is taking place on March 19 from 7 pm.

•    to view green solutions and to interview innovative South African entrepreneurs who won the SEED Awards (see Annex 2 for the profiles of the winners).

Please confirm your attendance before March 18 to the SEED Team per email at symposium2014@seedinit.org. You can also request bilateral interviews in advance.

SOURCE

UNITED NATIONS

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Mrs Bangura visits the CAR to follow-up on commitments made in the fight against sexual violence in conflict

Posted by African Press International on March 18, 2014

BANGUI, Central African Republic, March 17, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Mrs. Zainab Hawa Bangura, arrived in Bangui on 17 March for a 3 day visit. Among other goals, she will interact with the transition authorities on matters relating to the prevention of sexual violence in conflict.

In the CAR, Mrs Bangura will also monitor the implementation of two communiqués jointly signed in December 2012 by the United Nations and the CAR Authorities, through which the Government had made a number of commitments including “the adoption of legislation on protection of women from violence (Law N0. 06.032); revision of the Penal Code and Penal Procedure Act to recognize sexual violence, including rape, as a crime; incorporating provisions of the Protocol on the Prevention and Suppression of Sexual violence against women and children of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) into national legislation; and preparing a draft national plan for implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000)”.

“My visit is also intended to send a strong and clear message towards the perpetrators: wherever they are, they will be prosecuted and punished,” said Mrs. Zainab Hawa Bangura, stressing that “the protection of populations, especially women and children, are among the priorities of the United Nations. “

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General is paying a second visit of to the CAR to lend support to the efforts of national and international partners to address the crisis. In addition to the highest authorities of the Transition, She will meet with political and religious leaders, civil society, including women’s groups and youth groups, as well as international and diplomatic representations and international forces, MISCA and Sangaris. Mrs Zainab Hawa Bangura’s agenda also includes a visit to Bossangoa (East).

The SRSG is mandated to provide coherent and strategic leadership to address sexual violence in armed conflict; engage in advocacy efforts with governments, including military and judicial representatives, all parties to armed conflict and civil society; and strengthen existing UN coordination mechanisms, and promote cooperation and coordination of efforts among all relevant stakeholders, primarily through UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict (UN Action).

The Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict (OSRSG-SVC) was established in 2009 pursuant to Security Council resolution 1888, which seeks to strengthen the response to conflict-related sexual violence by assigning high-level leadership, building judicial response expertise, strengthening service provision for victims and building reporting mechanisms.

 

SOURCE

UNITED NATIONS

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The European Union confirms new support for trade in West Africa

Posted by African Press International on March 18, 2014

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, March 17, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – European Commissioners Andris Piebalgs, for Development policy, and Karel De Gucht, for Trade policy, welcome today’s Foreign Affairs Council conclusions confirming new EU support of at least €6.5 billion for the Economic Partnership Agreement Development Program (PAPED) for West Africa1 during the period 2015-2020. The funds will greatly enhance trade and investment flows to West African countries, thus contributing to their development, sustainable growth and poverty reduction.

The PAPED is an essential element of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiated with West Africa, and will provide funding for projects linked to trade, industry, transport and energy infrastructure in the region, as well as through support to civil society.

This substantial new commitment from the European Commission and the EU Member States, demonstrates EU’s continuous support to West Africa’s regional integration, which is the most advanced of the African continent.

Commissioner Piebalgs said: “EU’s commitment responds to the needs expressed by West Africa and will allow the region to take advantage of all the opportunities of the Economic Partnership Agreement. The implementation of the EPA will be instrumental in creating favourable conditions to boost trade in the region and stimulate growth and job creation. The development of the region will also contribute to increase peace and stability in West Africa.”

In 2010, the EU already pledged to provide €6.5 billion to support the PAPED for the period 2010-2014. This pledge was eventually increased and the EU has funded projects worth €8.2 billion (through the European instruments, Member States’ bilateral cooperation and the European Investment Bank).

Background

The region of West Africa1 includes Benin, Burkina Faso, Cap Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo and Mauritania.

In today’s Foreign Affairs Council conclusions, the European Union acknowledges the importance of the PAPED developed by West Africa during the negotiations of the EPA between the 16 states in the region and the European Union.

The PAPED has five objectives:

• Promoting diversification and growth in production capacity

• Development of trade within the region and improved access to internal markets

• Improvement and reinforcement of regional and national infrastructure linked to trade

• Fiscal, social and economic reforms, and other trade-related issues

• Implementation of EPA monitoring and evaluation

The PAPED is an essential step in the process towards the implementation of the future EPA. The EPA represents a new kind of partnership between West Africa and the EU in the sense that although it is a trade agreement, it has a specific development objective. It is designed to strengthen West-African economies via the production and export of a wider range of goods, and by increasing trade between the countries in the region.

The negotiations for an Economic Partnership Agreement between West Africa and the European Union have recently been concluded and endorsement at political level is expected in due course.

Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are trade and development agreements negotiated between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific regions engaged in a regional economic integration process. The EPAs were put in place to help ACP countries integrate into the world economy and share in the opportunities offered by globalisation.

 

SOURCE

European Commission

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MISCA empowers CAR women to promote social cohesion, conflict resolution and a culture of peace

Posted by African Press International on March 18, 2014

BANGUI, Central African Republic, March 17, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – As the security situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) continues to improve, the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA) and the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) have launched an initiative to empower CAR women to promote social cohesion, conflict resolution and a culture of peace. As part of the initiative, MISCA’s Human Rights Protection and Gender Unit, under the auspices of CAR’s Minister of Health, Social Affairs, Gender and Humanitarian Action, Dr. Marguerite Samba, co-organized with UNFPA a workshop for 50 leaders from 26 CAR women’s groups. The workshop, which took place at the Bangui Faculty of Evangelical Theology, from 12 to 14 March 2014, aimed to build the capacity of CAR women and empower them to lead the post-conflict reconciliation and reconstruction efforts in the country.

The MISCA Human Rights Officer for Gender explained to the women the fundamental tenets and principles of UN Resolution 1325 and related African Union instruments, such as the relevant provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, the economic and sociopolitical dynamics of conflicts in Africa, AU efforts to prevent, manage and resolve conflicts, and progress and challenges of peacekeeping in Africa as informed by the experience of Liberian women. Participants expressed appreciation for the AU’s ongoing efforts to resolve the CAR crises and stressed the need for MISCA to continue supporting CAR women in the difficult post-conflict process of rebuilding their livelihoods and communities. The women leaders also emphasized the need to create and support opportunities for more women to participate in the governance of the country, adding that the history of the CAR might have been different had women been in charge.

MISCA’s mandate includes a human rights component and the Mission currently has two Human Rights Officers for Gender. The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission to the CAR and Head of MISCA, Gen. Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, on 8 March 2014, commended CAR women for their resilience, and paid tribute to their important contribution to international efforts to resolve the country’s current crises.

 

SOURCE

African Union Commission (AUC)

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