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Securing over €7million in new export sales to Sub-Saharan Africa a major boost for Irish companies

Posted by African Press International on November 17, 2013

DUBLIN, Ireland, November 15, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ Minister Costello welcomes the success of Irish companies on Enterprise Ireland trade mission to South Africa and Nigeria

Irish companies participating in this week’s Enterprise Ireland trade mission to South Africa and Nigeria, led by Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello T.D., have secured new contracts totalling over €7m and agreed significant business alliances across the financial services, telecommunications and education sectors. These announcements underline the growing opportunities for Irish companies in the developing sub-Saharan Africa region.

The five-day trade mission, which involved 37 Irish companies, was organised by Enterprise Ireland in close cooperation with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Embassies of Ireland in Pretoria and Abuja, and focused on Financial Services in Johannesburg, Telecommunications in Cape Town and Financial Services and Education in Lagos.

Minister Costello described the trade mission as very important in terms of deepening Ireland’s trade and economic ties in the region, as well as supporting the aims of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Africa Strategy. Speaking from Lagos Minister Costello said:

“This was a highly successful mission both in terms of business secured and introductions and connections made. It is truly encouraging to see Irish companies continuing to win new business in South Africa, and deeply satisfying to watch Enterprise Ireland working with innovative Irish companies to help them break into developing markets like Nigeria.

“Enterprise Ireland’s new office in Johannesburg will act as a hub for supporting Irish companies in growing their trade relationships and export sales, not just in South Africa but also in other key economic growth areas in the wider Sub-Saharan Africa market of over 900 million people. This is the first time Enterprise Ireland has organised a trade mission to Nigeria which is the most populous country in Africa. Based on the initial success of Irish companies in this enormous market I have no doubt that a second trade mission to the region will quickly follow.

“My Department, the Embassy network and the State Agencies are working closely together to ensure that Irish exports to these increasingly important markets continue to grow – sustaining and creating jobs in Ireland”.

The Minister’s intensive five-day schedule included seven major networking events with South African, Nigerian and Irish businesses and other key contacts, as well as 12 individual company meetings with Irish companies and their sub-Saharan Africa partners and customers. Minister Costello also took part in high-level meetings with major international companies and participated in numerous media interviews. All activities were aimed at promoting the capabilities and strengths of Irish companies in key sectors and highlighting the opportunities for bilateral trade between Ireland and Southern Africa.

In South Africa Minister Costello opened Enterprise Ireland and ESB International’s new offices which are co-located in Johannesburg, and visited the Ireland Pavilion at the Africa Com expo where six Irish companies were participating for the second consecutive year.

While in Nigeria the Minister opened Wexford company Chevron Training and Recruitment’s new training centre, and Kerry Group’s new Nigerian office, and launched Enterprise Ireland’s “Access Nigeria” Guide.

Among the contracts and alliances agreed during the trade mission were: (Cork) signed a development and agency agreement with Discover Digital (South Africa). The Discover Digital and program promotes OTT (Over The Top) Video supporting the distribution of TVOD educational and entertainment content in hard to reach and less connected environments. will manage this development effort from their headquarters in Cork.

Sentinel Fuel Products (Mayo) signed an initial contract worth €500k with South African company Lebone Engineering (Pty) Ltd. Lebone will distribute Sentinel’s Oilguard 9000 product range and provide front-line support across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. Sentinel Fuel Products is a start-up business targeting global markets for the manufacture and supply of fuel anti-theft devices and fuel management systems.

SourceDogg (Galway) signed a partnership agreement with Resolve Solution Partners (South Africa) to deliver their cutting-edge e-procurement solution to the South African market. Resolve Solution Partners, a subsidiary of the Imperial Logistics Group, has identified a strong need for effective e-procurement among public and private organisations in South Africa where uncompetitive procurement practices and non-compliance are longstanding problems.

Nasctech (Dublin), the leading provider of Field Operation Support Systems for Communication Service Providers (CSPs) announced that its STREAMLINE™ solution has been deployed by Vodacom in the Democratic Republic of Congo. STREAMLINE™ is a unique solution that enables CSPs to reduce their network field OPEX spend while increasing visibility and control over their field operations, including fuel management.

Chevron Training and Recruitment (Wexford), specialists in the provision of construction skills training to international learners, officially opened their new Training Centre in Lagos. In February 2013 Chevron Training & Recruitment partnered with Nigerian company ETIWA Vocational Training to provide construction workers in Nigeria with international best-practise training. The partnership will see Chevron Training and Recruitment train 1000 constructions workers in Nigeria in a deal worth €3m over three years.

Hybrid Energy Solutions Ltd. (HES) announced details of a deal with Airtel Nigeria – the world’s 3rd largest mobile phone provider – to improve its network availability and massively reduce operating costs. HES and Airtel, along with HES’ local partner on the ground – ‘Eureka Power’ will invest up to $50m to upgrade and optimize the power supply to Airtel’s Nigerian network over the next 24 months.

Dublin International Foundation College (DIFC) and Professional Global Training Institute (PGTI) (or Greenville Schools) signed an agreement to run education programmes in Nigeria and Ireland for Nigerian students who want to progress to Irish and other EU universities to study Medicine, Business and Engineering. The first programme will concentrate on Medicine and will start in Lagos in January 2014 with an initial intake of 50–100 students. These students will transfer to DIFC Dublin in September 2014 to complete their Foundation Course and then progress on to medical-related courses in Ireland, the UK and Central European universities.

Waterford Institute of Technology announced a MOU with Yaba-Tech University in Lagos.

Brendan Flood, Divisional Manager with Enterprise Ireland, who is accompanying Minister Costello on the trade mission, commented:

“The trade mission has been a significant success for the participating Irish companies. They are carving out a strong reputation for Irish products and services, confirming that there are significant opportunities for increased trade and partnerships between Irish and Sub-Saharan Africa companies. The market growth is in sectors where Enterprise Ireland’s client companies are particularly strong performers – financial services, telecommunications and education. Enterprise Ireland will continue to provide every support to Irish companies to secure more business in this developing region”.



Ireland – Ministry of Foreign Affairs


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DUBLIN: New Ambassador present Credentials

Posted by African Press International on November 15, 2013

DUBLIN, Ireland, November 14, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ His Excellency, the Ambassador of the Republic of Sudan presented its Letters of Credence to the President at Áras an Uachtaráin today.

H.E. Mr. Abdullahi Hamad Ali AlAzreg, Ambassador of the Republic of Sudan, was accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Maha Babikir, their daughter, Israa, and by Mr. Mohamed Akasha Mohamed, Counsellor at the Embassy.

Mr. Dinny McGinley, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, represented the Government at the ceremony.

The following were also present: Mr. Loughlin Quinn, Deputy Secretary-General to the President; Mr. James Kingston, Assistant Secretary at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Ms. Orla O’Hanrahan, Chief of Protocol and Mr. Joe Brennan, Protocol, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The Ambassadors were escorted to and from Áras an Uachtaráin by an Escort of Honour consisting of a motorcycle detachment drawn from the 2nd Cavalry Squadron, Cathal Brugha Barracks, Dublin, under the command of Lieutenant Grattan O’Hagan.

A Guard of Honour was provided at Áras an Uachtaráin by the 1st Infantry Battalion, Renmore Barracks, Co. Galway, under the command of Lieutenant Michael Jennings.

Captain Fergal Carroll conducted the Army No. 1 Band.



Ireland – Ministry of Foreign Affairs


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Global Journalists Congress begins in Ireland

Posted by African Press International on June 7, 2013

  • By Maurice Alal, API Kenya

More than 200 journalists and leaders of journalists unions and associations have converged in Dublin, Ireland for the 28th World Congress of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) which is expected to focus attention on media freedom, the safety of journalists and job security amid growing austerity measures in many countries.

The 5 day event, which runs to June 7, kicked off yesterday with a meeting of the Gender Council, which discussed strategies for improving gender parity in journalists unions and associations at the national, regional and global levels.

The Congress, which will today focus attention on job security for journalists under the themes “Decent Jobs, not Austerity’’, will  officially be opened by the President of the Republic of Ireland,  Michael D. Higgins.

Kenya Correspondents Association (KCA), an affiliate of IFJ, is represented at the Congress by its National Chairman William Oloo Janak who is expected to speak about media freedom, safety and security of journalists and the uncertainty of jobs facing Kenyans journalists.

“This is an important platform to discuss challenges facing journalists and we will highlight the case of Kenya given the problems journalists face, including increasing safety and security concerns and violation of journalists labour rights by employers,” said Janak in a statement from Dublin.

The Congress is expected to discuss the killings of journalists in Somalia and other hot spots, the continued threats, intimidation, arrests and detentions of journalists in a number of countries including in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan, among others.

On Wednesday June 5, the Executive Council of the Irish National Union of Journalists (NUJ) will lead the delegates in a “Freedom Walk” to remember the those journalists killed since the last World Congress in Cadiz, Spain in June 2010.

The Congress, which has representatives from over 110 countries, has a strong African delegation drawn from more than 40 journalists unions and associations under the continental grouping of the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) which seeks to play an important role within the global journalists’ body.

During the Congress, the delegates will elect a new leadership to steer the IFJ for the next two years till the next congress in 2015.






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President of Ireland Speaks of Need to Protect Media Diversity at IFJ World Congress Launch

Posted by African Press International on June 6, 2013

  • By  Dickens Wasonga.

The President of Ireland, Mr Michael D Higgins, has stressed the need to protect media diversity and pluralism at the opening ceremony of the International Federation of Journalists’ World Congress in Dublin last evening.

Opening the World Congress, President Higgins warned of the dangers of “identifiable news organizations chasing the same narrow commercial ground” and emphasized the importance of a free press to democratic society.

“Pluralism, real diversity and choice are critical and should never be reduced to a false choice between partisan media arrayed on ideological grounds, and identified news organizations chasing the same narrow commercial ground,” President Higgins told over 300 delegates gathered at the opening ceremony in Dublin’s historic Royal Hospital Kilmainham.

The President said that real pluralism “occurs at a granular level, within countries as much as within regions, reflecting religious and ethnic diversity, and the views and needs of rich and poor alike. Governments and civil society need to keep this issue at the forefront of media policy – democracy, freedom, even economic growth depend on it.”

The President of Ireland was welcomed at the opening by IFJ President, Jim Boumelha, who endorsed his call for free and democratic media across the world. The theme of the IFJ Congress, which is hosted by the National Union of Journalists of Great Britain and Ireland is Leading the Global Fightback.

President Higgins said the recent reiteration of the principles of World Press Freedom Day on 3 May by the member countries of UNESCO was an important act of solidarity.

President Higgins stated that if the commitment was to be of real value there must also be a commitment “to turn human rights aspirations in this area from aspirations into guarantees”.

He outlined the challenges facing journalists including  the concentration of ownership, the convergence of technologies, the fragmentation of audiences, the com-modification of experience, are all elements of the changed circumstances in which journalism is, and will, be practiced.

“Journalists attempting to investigate and provide information on political and corporate corruption can often be hindered and intimidated by those with vested interests, including by use of violent means; which, if acceded to, would lead to a dangerous misrepresentation or even falsification of information which would not be in the interests of individual citizens and would obviously be detrimental to society at large,” said President Higgins.

“The principle of diversity and pluralism which lies at the heart of the media must be protected if we are to promote a free flow of ideas and information and strengthen the exercise of freedom of expression around the world.”



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