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Posts Tagged ‘African Union Commission’

The imperative of the restoration of public order and the protection of the civilian populations in the Central African Republic

Posted by African Press International on December 8, 2013

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, December 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, continues to closely monitor, with utmost concern, the evolution of the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR). She reiterates the strong condemnation by the AU of the abuses and other massive violations of human rights that continue to be committed against the civilian populations. She stresses the urgent need to do everything necessary to bring this unacceptable situation to an end.

The Chairperson of the Commission encourages the Peace Consolidation Mission of the Economic Community of Central African States in the CAR (MICOPAX), which will transition into the African-led International Support Mission in the CAR (MISCA), on 19 December 2013, to intensify its efforts, in order to contribute to the speedy restoration of public order and the effective protection of the civilian populations, and to take all necessary steps to this end.

She welcomes the initiatives taken by her Special Representative in the CAR, Hawa Ahmed Youssouf, including the sustained and continued consultations with the transitional authorities, the military command of MICOPAX, the religious leaders and key representatives of the international community in Bangui, in order to address the prevailing situation on the ground. She appeals to the French forces deployed in the CAR to extend all the necessary support to MICOPAX.

 

SOURCE

African Union Commission (AUC)

 

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STRENGTHENING COLLABORATION – Regional Economic Communities

Posted by African Press International on November 23, 2013

ABUJA, Nigeria, November 21, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ Senior officials from the African Union Commission (AUC), Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Regional Mechanisms (RMs) are meeting in Abuja on the effective implementation of legal and policy instruments towards the strengthening of their cooperation.

The consultative meeting, which opened on Tuesday, 19th November, 2013 will also discuss the implementation of the AU Peace and Security Council (AU-PSC) Protocol and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), defining the modalities for strengthening relations among the institutions.

It is also expected to make recommendations to enhance collaboration on evolving issues of common interest, new configurations and arrangements in the implementation of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), which comprises the Continental Early Warning System, the Panel of the Wise, the African Standby Force and the Peace fund.

Participants will also discuss cross-cutting issues including the AU’s Programme on Counterterrorism, Border Programme, and Security Reform Strategy, among others.

In an opening remark, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mrs. Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman reaffirmed ECOWAS’ commitment to collaborating with the AU and the rest of the international community in regional and international efforts to stabilize the security and political situation in the ECOWAS space.

The Commissioner’s address was read by the Head of ECOWAS Liaison Office to AUC, Ms. Raheemat Momodu,

The AU-PSC Secretary, Dr. Admore Kambudzi emphasized the importance of the Council as the pillar of the APSA which has asserted itself on several peace and security challenges on the continent. He therefore called on participants to ensure “we achieve desired results, in accordance with the MoU signed between the AU and the RECs/RMs.”

The workshop themed: “Towards Enhanced Partnership between the AU and RECs/RMs on Peace and Security,” is part of week-long back-to-back high-level meetings on collaboration involving the AUC, the eight RECs/RMs and key developing partners.

SOURCE

Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS)

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AMISOM and Partners conclude a three-day Workshop

Posted by African Press International on November 14, 2013

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, November 11, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in collaboration with its partners has today concluded a workshop on the development of a Gender Mainstreaming Strategy.

The workshop which aimed at undertaking a comprehensive reflection to develop a mission-specific strategy that addresses the critical gender gaps, was attended by representatives from the Federal Government of Somalia, the African Union, AMISOM, UN missions as well as representatives from research and civil society organizations.

The workshop was officially opened by the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, Ambassador Mahamat Saleh Annadif. In his opening remarks, Ambassador Annadif praised the organizers of the workshop which comes at a time when the mission is undergoing different phases of transformation.

“In its operations, AMISOM will always safeguard human rights and integrate gender perspectives into its work in compliance with the United Nations Charter, international human rights instruments and the UN Security Council Resolutions including resolution 1325 on women, peace and security,” he said.

“I have great expectations and I am confident that your discussions on Gender and its mainstreaming across the mission will lead to a concrete Gender Strategy that will guide the mission in current and future operations,” he added.

The Director of Women, Gender and Development Directorate of the African Union Commisssion-Ms. Litha Musyimi-Ongana, reiterated the AU’s full support to AMISOM in the implementation of the strategy once it has been adopted. She thanked the participants and ACCORD on behalf of the Chairperson of the African Union for the fruitful deliberations which resulted in the draft strategy. The position was appreciated by Ambassador NTAMWANA-AMISOM Chief of Staff who represented the SRCC during the closing of the workshop.

The workshop highlighted key areas of achievement and lessons learned from other similar peacekeeping missions, and identified priorities that informed a draft strategy to be submitted to the mission’s leadership for endorsement.

 

SOURCE

African Union Commission (AUC)

 

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Donald Kaberuka named 2013 African of the Year in recognition of his role in spearheading the Africa50 Fund

Posted by African Press International on November 11, 2013

TUNIS, Tunisia, November 8, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ African Development Bank Group President Donald Kaberuka has been named 2013 African of the Year in recognition of his role in spearheading the Africa50 Fund to mobilize the financing of infrastructure projects on the continent.

The $50,000 award was announced Thursday evening in Addis Ababa during the African Media Leaders Forum. The prize is sponsored by Nigeria’s Daily Trust newspaper.

“[This award] is for his bringing to fruition the idea of domestically financed development,” Salim Ahmed Salim, Tanzania’s erstwhile foreign minister and former Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity (current African Union), said at the forum.

The Africa50 Fund seeks to leverage infrastructure financing for transformational development projects from African central bank reserves, pension and sovereign wealth funds; the African diaspora; and high net worth individuals on the continent.

The Fund was endorsed in May 2013 by African Finance Ministers during the Bank’s Annual Meetings in Marrakech, where Kaberuka underscored the critical role of infrastructure in Africa’s development. “The one thing which can really slow down the recent performance in its tracks is infrastructure,” he said. “No country in the world has been able to maintain 7% GPD growth and above (sustainably) unless the infrastructure bottleneck is overcome.”

In July, African institutions including the African Union Commission, UN Economic Commission for Africa, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), regional Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency endorsed the Africa50 Fund as the continent’s vehicle for facilitating large-scale mobilization of resources to unlock international private financing with a view to addressing Africa’s $45-billion infrastructure gap, according to some estimates.

The African Development Bank will play a lead role in the Fund, said Kaberuka: “It will be a vehicle which can build on the AfDB track record and financial strength as investor, financial engineer, attract local and international pools of savings, utilize smart aid and leverage that to up our funding of infrastructure. It will be a strongly rated instrument able to issue a bond of significance – a bond attractive to investors.”

The Africa50 Fund is a game-changer in the delivery of infrastructure, Slim Ahmed said Thursday, adding that Africa must take ownership of its development.

“We are proud to honour an idea whose time has come. Dr. Kaberuka has shown what Africa should do,” he said.

The award will be presented at a ceremony slated for January 15 in Abuja.

Last year’s African of the Year award went to former South African president Thabo Mbeki.

 

SOURCE

African Development Bank (AfDB)

 

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A high-level political meeting on increased domestic funding for AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, in Addis Ababa from November 11-12, 2013

Posted by African Press International on November 10, 2013

 

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, November 8, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The African Union Commission (AUC) in collaboration with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and the African Development Bank (AfDB) will convene a high-level political meeting on increased domestic funding for AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, in Addis Ababa from November 11-12, 2013.

The meeting will advocate for increased innovative domestic resource mobilization following renewed commitments in Abuja by Heads of State and Government this year in July and pledges to support the Global Fund’s fourth replenishment.

The response to AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria over the last three decades has mobilized unprecedented resources, commitment and action at the national, regional and global levels. However the results achieved and the progress made over the years in responding to these epidemics is not sustainable. African countries have relied heavily on external financing, leaving them vulnerable to the unpredictability of donor funds and often considerably weakening national ownership. Sub-Saharan Africa’s dependency on international funding has been especially stark, with over 60 per cent of investment coming from external sources. More innovative domestic resource mobilization is vital in effectively implementing the African Union Roadmap for Shared Responsibility and Global Solidarity on AIDS, TB and malaria (2012-2015) and related continental commitments.

The commitment of implementing countries to the fight against the diseases in the form of investing increasing amounts of domestic resources in their national health and disease programs is crucial for demonstrating country ownership and for the long-term sustainability of programs. It also demonstrates accountability and sends a strong message to donors that implementing countries are taking action to address their countries health and development challenges.

Pledges from African Union Member States can provide an opportunity to help secure a fully funded Global Fund, which in turn is a guarantee for implementing countries to receive sufficient and predictable funding in order to reach the Millennium Development Goals and win the fight against the three pandemics.

These commitments are all the more crucial as we stand at a key historic moment: it is now within our grasp to turn the three epidemics into low-level epidemics, virtually control them, and remove them as threats to public health if we intensify our efforts. The global community has secured the science, acquired the requisite experience and understands the high impact interventions that will sustain the results.

The African Union spearheads Africa’s development and integration in close collaboration with African Union Member States, the Regional Economic Communities and African citizens. AU Vision: An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena. 

The Global Fund is a unique global public/private partnership dedicated to attracting and disbursing additional resources to prevent and treat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. This partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities represents a new approach to international health financing. The Global Fund works in close collaboration with other bilateral and multilateral organisations to supplement existing efforts in dealing with the three diseases.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) spurs sustainable economic development and social progress in its 54 regional member countries (RMCs), thus contributing to poverty reduction through mobilizing and allocating resources for investment in RMCs; and providing policy advice and technical assistance to support development efforts. The AfDB’s Human Development Department supports RMCs in areas of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Health, Social Protection and Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship. The AfDB recently approved a new Strategy for 2013-2022.

SOURCE

African Development Bank (AfDB)

 

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Hunger in Uganda: Getting more nutritious food on the table

Posted by African Press International on June 21, 2013

Malnutrition costs millions (file photo)

KAMPALA,  – Malnutrition costs Uganda an estimated US$899 million annually – as much as 5.6 percent of its GDP – according to findings of a new report.

The report, part of a wider paper dubbed The Cost of Hunger in Africa, launched on 18 June in the capital, Kampala, was conducted by the Ugandan government with the support of the African Union Commission, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the UN World Food Programme (WFP). Similar reports are planned for Egypt, Ethiopia and Swaziland.

“Hunger and under-nutrition are both a cause and effect of poverty,” Sory Ouane, WFP’s country director, said at the report’s launch. “Cutting hunger and achieving food and nutrition security in Africa is not only one of the most effective means of reducing vulnerability and enhancing the resilience of national economies, it also produces high returns for social and economic development.”

Using data from 2009, the report estimated that child mortality associated with under-nutrition reduced Uganda’s labour force by 3.8 percent. This represents over 943 million working hours lost due to an absent workforce, costing the country nearly $317 million. In the educational sector, the study estimated that 7 percent of repeated school years in Uganda are associated with stunting, representing 134,000 repetitions and an estimated cost of $9.5 million to the government and families.

The study found that treating diarrhoea, anaemia, respiratory infections and other clinical conditions related to malnutrition cost Uganda $254 million, while losses in productivity reached $201 million in manual sectors like agriculture and $116 million in non-manual activities.

People affected by stunting – which results from poor nutrition in the first five years of life – are more likely to be sickly, to perform poorly at school or drop out, to be less productive at work, and to die early.

“When the child is undernourished, that child’s brain is less likely to develop at healthy rates, and that child is more likely to have cognitive delays,” the authors noted.

One out of every three children in Uganda are stunted, according to the report, while as many as 82 percent of all cases of child under-nutrition and related conditions go untreated. Some 15 percent of all child mortality cases in Uganda are associated with under-nutrition, and 54 percent of the adult population in Uganda suffered from stunting as children.

An estimated 110,220 cases of child mortality associated with child under-nutrition were reported in Uganda from 2004 to 2009.

Ugandan Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi called for urgent intervention. “The findings provide us with the evidence base for building a case for food security, communication, advocacy and policy discourse on nutrition,” he said at the report’s launch. “We can no longer afford to have high prevalence rates of under-nutrition… [The report] has given the justification for increasing investment in scaling-up nutrition interventions and ensuring the availability of food and good nutrition.”

Urgent action needed

Mbabazi said the findings would be a guide for Uganda’s future nutrition policies to “prevent unnecessary losses of human and economic potential”.

“The study calls for urgent moves from governments in Africa. It encourages countries to set aggressive targets in Africa for the reduction of stunting,” said Carlos Costa, one of the authors of the report. “To have a decisive impact, a comprehensive multi-sectoral policy must be put in place, with strong political commitment and allocation of adequate resources.”

John Kakitahi, a public health and nutritionist specialist at Uganda’s Makerere University, told IRIN that some practical measures to reduce stunting included scaling-up the provision of fortified foods to schoolchildren and introducing fortified products – such as micronutrient powders – to improve food quality at home.

Getting more nutritious food on the table (file photo)

“There is need for increased awareness campaigns on good food nutrition. The government needs to support sectors like agriculture for improving food production and promoting food diversification so that people eat a variety of food,” said Elizabeth Madraa, fortification advisor with the US government’s Strengthening Partnerships, Results in Innovations in Nutrition Globally (SPRING) project.

She also urged the government to boost funding and human resources to support the Uganda Nutrition Action Plan (UNAP), which aims to reduce child malnutrition and stunting and boost exclusive breastfeeding by 2016.

Food shortages bite

Yet parts of the country are currently grappling with food shortages that caused deaths and malnutrition.

Uganda’s first rainy season – traditionally between March and July – has been very heavy in parts of the country, causing crop-destroying floods, while other parts of the country saw little rain. A recently concluded disaster risk and food insecurity assessment undertaken by the government showed that crops, including staples like maize, beans and millet, had failed during the first rains.

In Karuma Village, in the northwestern district of Masindi, farmer Cordildo Maya told IRIN that he had lost his entire crop. “I planted them in early April, but the sun didn’t spare my crops this time,” he said.

“It’s a worrying situation, and we have notified [the] agricultural ministry to advise farmers accordingly. Farmers need to plant quick-maturing plants and make full potential of the second rains,” Musa Ecweru, State Minister of Relief and Disaster Preparedness, told IRIN.

Ecweru urged people to limit the amount of food they sold and to use it to cope with the shortages instead.

In the chronically food insecure northeast, food shortages are affecting school attendance and deaths from hunger have been reported. WFP is distributing relief food in the region.

“We expect to reach an estimated 155,000 people, targeting children, [the] elderly, disable[d] and chronically ill,” said country director Ouane in a recentcommuniqué. “However we have a funding gap of $2 million.”

“Karamoja has only one planting season, so when we miss it, it means hunger,” said Adome Lokwii Kotido, chairman of Karamoja’s Kaabong District.

“The children and parents in the region are starving due to lack of food. The parents are struggling to provide food, but can’t,” Peter Aleper, member of parliament for Karamoja’s Moroto Municipality, told IRIN.

so/ca/kr/rz source http://www.irinnews.org

 

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Nepad launches initiatives for post-conflict reconstruction in Africa

Posted by African Press International on October 31, 2012

By Thomas Ochieng,  API Kenya  

 

The African Union Commission (AUC) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency are hosting a three-day high-level meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, to draft a Roadmap for the implementation of the African Solidarity Initiative (ASI) for the mobilization of support for post-conflict reconstruction and development in Africa. The forum which runs from 24 to 26 October is sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is chaired by the Former Prime Minister of the Central African Republic, Mr. Anicet Georges Dologuele.

 

In his welcoming address, the Director of the National Office for the Coordination of Peace Missions in South Africa’s Department of International relations and Cooperation, Ms. N.M Dwabayo, commended the African Union Commission for its tireless efforts towards the implementation of AU decisions, including the organization’s policy on Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) adopted by African Heads of State in Banjul, Gambia, in June 2006. “Launching the ASI was part of the AU’s endeavor to promote African solidarity and mutual assistance and propel the Continent to a higher level of development and self-confidence, driven by the motto: Africa helping Africa. It is time to turn this motto from a slogan to reality. This Initiative needs to be implemented as soon as yesterday,” Ms. Dwabayo stated.

 

Speaking on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer of the NEPAD, Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, the Special Assistant to the NEPAD CEO, Mr. Ibrahim Gourouza, emphasized the need for participants to be precise and concrete in their proposals. Mr. Gourouza emphasised the need for a paradigm shift in Africa’s development philosophy, adding that Africa has everything it needs to pull itself out of poverty: “The ASI is not about charity. It is an initiative grounded in the African social value of solidarity: neighbors helping neighbours.” As the development vehicle of the African Union, he added, NEPAD will work closely with all relevant AUC departments to achieve this goal.

The AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Amb. Ramtane Lamamra, in his remarks presented on his behalf by the Head of the Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development Unit in the Department of Peace and Security, Mr. Takwa Suifon, stated that though the ASI is an African Union initiative, its development and implementation requires the collaboration of relevant AU Partners, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), AU Liaison Offices, NEPAD, the African Development Bank (AfDB), UNDP and the entire United Nations family, NGOs, Civil Society Organizations, as well as other regional and sub-regional organizations. He urged participants to come up with a clear, practical, and realistic roadmap.

Participants at the workshop include senior government officials from various African countries, representatives of African and non-African cooperation and development agencies, representatives of various AUC departments, AU Liaison Offices, RECs, bilateral and multilateral Partners, and experts on several African countries emerging from conflict including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Central African Republic, DRC, Sudan and South Sudan.

 

The African Solidarity Initiative was launched at the 19th African Union Summit, held in Addis Ababa in July 2012, pursuant to a decision by African Heads of State and Government at the 18th AU Summit in January 2012. The initiative aims to mobilize enhanced support within the Continent for post-conflict reconstruction and development in countries emerging from conflict in Africa, with a view to consolidate peace where it has been achieved. The ASI is premised on the fact that despite the progress made towards the achievement of the common objective of a conflict-free Africa, there is a growing need for renewed efforts towards post-conflict reconstruction and peace building, in order to sustain the hope and gains that accrue from the end of violence, in addition to addressing ongoing conflicts and crises.

 

The workshop, which is expected to propose a Roadmap that formulates key activities for implementation over the next three years and put in motion the groundwork for a major African Solidarity Conference (ASC), ends on Friday.

 

Ends.

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