“By Africa, for Africa?” Industrialisation and Integration for Inclusive Growth14TH International Economic Forum on Africa 6 October 2014 – OECD Conference Centre

19.September.2014 · Posted in APO-OPA

PARIS, France, September 19, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Reaching an average growth rate of about 4% in 2013, compared to the 3% growth of the global economy, Africa proved again its dynamism and resilience to regional and international turmoil. Africa´s average growth is projected to accelerate to close to 5% in 2014 and 5%-6% in 2015, particularly enhanced by the vitality of West and East African economies. A fabulous window of opportunity, this solid growth must be more inclusive to achieve Africa’s economic transformation as well as political and social stability, better using the regional and global value chains to its benefits, and addressing future challenges such as the fast pace of urbanisation bringing along necessary changes in territorial policies.

The Africa Forum is the annual gathering where OECD and African policy-makers meet private sector representatives, academics and civil society leaders working on and with Africa to discuss the region’s main challenges and opportunities. Organised by the OECD development Centre in partnership with the African Union Commission, the 2014 edition will focus on the achievements and limits of the current transformation of African economies, notably through Africa’s insertion into the global and regional value chains, as well as the new challenges that territorial development policies and the growing discrepancy between rural and urban areas represent, in Africa

With the participation of:

• Macky Sall, President, Senegal

• Moussa Mara, Prime Minister, Mali

• Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson, African Union Commission (AU)

• Angel Gurría, Secretary General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

• Sufian Ahmed, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Ethiopia

• Kordje Bedoumra, Minister of Finance and Budget, Chad

• Mo Ibrahim, Founder and President, Mo Ibrahim Foundation

• Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary, Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)

• Aboulaye Mar Dieye, Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

• Mario Pezzini, Director, OECD Development Centre

• Romano Prodi, Former UN Special Envoy for Sahel

This debates will benefit from the 2014 African Economic Outlook jointly produced by the African Development Bank, the OECD Development Centre and the United Nations Development Programme.

Media are requested to register here by 3 October. A press card will requested to enter the Forum.

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First Shipment of the Ramped Up U.S. Military Response to Ebola Arrives in Liberia

19.September.2014 · Posted in APO-OPA

MONROVIA, Liberia, September 19, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — A C-17 U.S. military aircraft arrived in Liberia Thursday with the first shipment of increased U.S. military equipment and personnel for the anti-Ebola fight, which was promised by President Barack Obama in a speech September 16 at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia.

The cargo included a heavy duty forklift, a drill set and generator and a team of 7 military personnel, including engineers and airfield specialists. The personnel are here to quickly assess the payload and stability of the airport runways. The forklift will be used to offload incoming supplies.

Additional large military aircraft, transporting more personnel and supplies, are expected to arrive in Monrovia in the coming days.

Major General Darryl Williams, in his capacity as Commander of U.S. Army Africa and Operation United Assistance, has been in Liberia since Tuesday, meeting with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and other senior Liberian government officials to discuss the stepped up U.S. response to the Ebola crisis.

On Thursday, Maj. Gen. Williams and U.S. Ambassador Deborah Malac toured several sites where more Ebola Treatment Units are being constructed. The sites include the Defense Ministry building in Congo Town and Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex.

On Tuesday, President Obama announced Operation United Assistance, saying: “Our forces are going to bring their expertise in command and control, in logistics, in engineering. And our Department of Defense is better at that, our armed services are better at that, than any organization on Earth. We’re going to create an air bridge to get health workers and medical supplies into West Africa faster.”

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Africa / New ambassadors of Switzerland

19.September.2014 · Posted in APO-OPA

BERN, Switzerland, September 19, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — A number of staff changes have been announced for several Swiss representations abroad and at the head office of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. The changes will take place in 2015 as part of the usual transfer rotation and on the basis of appointments made by the Federal Council. The appointment of heads of mission becomes effective following approval by the respective host state. The Federal Council thanks those ambassadors entering retirement for their services.

Ralf Heckner, currently ambassador and head of the Crisis Management Centre in the State Secretariat of the FDFA in Bern, will become the new ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the Republic of Kenya, the Republic of Burundi, the Republic of Uganda, the Republic of Rwanda and permanent representative to the United Nations Environment Programme, based in Nairobi.

Helene Budliger Artieda, currently ambassador and director-general of the Directorate for Resources in Bern, will become the new ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the Republic of South Africa, the Republic of Botswana, the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Republic of Mauritius, the Republic of Namibia and the Kingdom of Swaziland, based in Pretoria.

Eric Mayoraz, currently head of mission in Antananarivo, will also be accredited to the Republic of Seychelles, in addition to his existing accreditations to the Republic of Madagascar and the Union of the Comoros.

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EU EOM deployed in Tunisia

19.September.2014 · Posted in APO-OPA

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, September 19, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — In response to an invitation by the Tunisian authorities, the European Union has deployed its

Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to observe the upcoming elections in Tunisia.

Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, appointed as Chief Observer Mrs Annemie Neyts-

Uyttebroek, a Member of the European Parliament.

“The EU has received an invitation by the Tunisian authorities”, said Chief Observer Annemie Neyts. “The EU deployed an Election Observation Mission to Tunisia in 2011 and has been invited again to observe the upcoming elections in Tunisia. We are here to observe the elections and we will not interfere in the process in any way. I trust that this EU Observation Mission will be able to provide an important contribution to enhancing the inclusiveness and transparency of the election process in Tunisia. The mission complements the overall support of the EU to Tunisia in order to successfully advance its democratic transition”.

The EU EOM arrived with a Core Team of eight experts on 17 September in Tunis. A second group of 28 long-term observers will join EU EOM on 29 September and another 28 shortterm observers will be deployed on 21 October throughout the country together with a delegation of the European Parliament for the election days. Additionally, a significant number of locally recruited short-term observers from diplomatic representations of EU

Member States in Tunisia will also take part in the observation plus observers from Canada, Norway and Switzerland.

The EU EOM will conduct a comprehensive analysis of the entire electoral process based on a long-term observation in line with domestic law as well as regional and international standards. This analysis will include aspects such as the legal framework, the performance of the election administration, the campaign activities of the candidates and political parties, the respect of fundamental freedoms, the conduct of the media, the voting and the counting, the complaints and appeals process, and the announcement of the results.

The EU EOM is bound by a code of conduct which does not allow any interference in the process. The EU EOM will publish its initial findings in a Preliminary Statement, which will be presented in a press conference about two days after the election days but prior to the completion of the entire electoral process. A final report will be published at a later stage, and will include recommendations, for consideration to the authorities, for possible improvements of future elections.

Note to Editors:

The EU provides substantial financial and technical assistance to Tunisia to support its transition in all domains. In the recent past months, to support the whole electoral process, the EU has also completed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Independent electoral commission (ISIE) and the independent High Authority for Information and audio-visual Communication (HAICA) and provided technical expertise to support the ISIE in its institutional and operational capabilities as well as HAICA in creating a media component of the electoral process. The EU also supports civil society in general and in its domestic observation and monitoring activities for future elections.

The European Union has signed Memoranda of Understanding with the Government and the ISIE, guaranteeing freedom of movement to all EU EOM members and access to all polling stations and related sites and bodies and to all relevant information. This Mission is independent from any EU institutions or Member States and is obliged to remain neutral and abide by the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and the Code of Conduct, as well as laws of Tunisia.

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Mali National Day Message

19.September.2014 · Posted in APO-OPA

WASHINGTON, September 19, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Press Statement

John Kerry

Secretary of State

Washington, DC

September 19, 2014

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States of America, I send our best wishes to the people of Mali as you celebrate your Independence Day on September 22.

The United States commends the Malian people for your peaceful return to democracy and support for the ongoing peace and reconciliation processes.

Building on the progress of the past year, we look forward to working with President Keita as he promotes national reconciliation, strengthens Mali’s democratic institutions, and undertakes security sector reform.

On the 54th anniversary of your independence, the United States stands with all Malians as you work towards a durable peace agreement and national reconciliation.

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Foreign Minister Steinmeier: We mustn’t leave the people of West Africa on their own! / Federal Foreign Office provides another five million euros for the fight against Ebola

19.September.2014 · Posted in APO-OPA

BERLIN, Germany, September 19, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has decided to increase Federal Foreign Office aid for the countries affected by the Ebola virus by another five million euros.

He issued the following statement in Berlin on 18 September:

The situation in the countries affected by Ebola is dramatic. The Ebola virus is spreading even further in West Africa. We must expect a continuing rise in the number of people infected. There is no end to the emergency in sight. The countries of the region, in particular Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, are overwhelmed by the burden.

We mustn’t leave those affected on their own in this situation!

We therefore have a responsibility, along with the international community, to provide comprehensive assistance.

Tomorrow the State Secretaries of the various Federal Ministries with an interest in the matter will be meeting at the Federal Foreign Office to coordinate all the Federal Government’s next moves in the fight against Ebola.

Background information:

So far the Federal Government has made available around 12 million euros of aid, including approx. 1.8 million in Federal Foreign Office funding to support various measures in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. The money has gone to help finance projects run by Médecins Sans Frontières, Welthungerhilfe, Humedica, the Bernhard Nocht Institute and the WHO.

The Federal Government will also be putting Ebola on the agenda for the G7 Foreign Ministerial in New York on 25 September under the German G7 presidency.

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Human rights mission to Zambia seeks to make progress on cases

19.September.2014 · Posted in APO-OPA

GENEVA, Switzerland, September 19, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — An on-site mission to Zambia on 22-25 September led by the President of IPU´s Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians Juan Pablo Letelier will complete investigations on 18 cases involving opposition members of the National Assembly.

The cases followed the rise to power of the Patriotic Front in 2011. IPU is concerned by incidents of alleged police harassment, including the arbitrary detention of parliamentarians and allegations that opposition MPs cannot fully exercise their right to freedom of assembly.

In a resolution adopted in March 2014, IPU highlighted the cases of opposition MPs Kenneth Konga and Garry Nkombo. Konga allegedly collapsed during prolonged interrogation by law enforcers and suffered a stroke as a result whilst Nkombo, was reportedly attacked by a government minister in full view of the police.

The IPU mission will also seek clarification on the situation of three opposition MPs – Dora Siliya, Maxwell Mwale and Hastings Sililo – who were disqualified from parliament on grounds of corrupt or illegal practices.

The mission will meet relevant parliamentary, executive and judicial authorities in Zambia, as well as the 18 opposition MPs. It will submit its preliminary conclusions to the Committee when it meets in October during IPU’s 131st Assembly in Geneva.

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IOM South Sudan Bentiu Medical Clinic Opens Amid Flooding

19.September.2014 · Posted in APO-OPA

GENEVA, Switzerland, September 19, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — An IOM health clinic built in August and now fully operational is making a huge difference for the 47,000 displaced Sudanese by the fighting who have found refuge in the UN compound of Bentiu in South Sudan. The maternity unit is of particular value as the continuous flooding increases the likelihood of waterborne diseases for new born babies.

Even before the recent crisis, South Sudan had some of the worst health indicators in the world and a health care system reaching only 20 per cent of the country’s population. The heavy rains which started in June and are still going on worsened the already dire conditions of the displaced population in Bentiu and their access to life-saving health care. Health services to reduce preventable maternal and infant mortality were flooded by 70 centimetres of standing water.

The new clinic is critical as flooding has made access to the main hospital difficult. It is only accessible by foot. Furthermore, the continued presence of standing water raises many public health concerns in a highly concentrated population area. Respiratory tract infections, malaria and water borne illnesses remain the most common illnesses and IOM’s health team conducts on average over 600 consultations per week.

The new clinic provides the community with primary health care, including a larger space for confidential preventative and curative consultations, an immunization room, a laboratory and a more secure storage area for drugs and vaccines.

In addition to the new clinic building, a separate maternity wing allows IOM to provide a comprehensive package of reproductive health services, including facility based deliveries, pre- and post-natal care, as well as awareness on topics related to nutrition, child immunizations and family planning for mothers.

The IOM health team is also providing on-the-job trainings on safe deliveries to midwives and traditional birth attendants. Many women still give birth at home, but IOM is working with women’s groups and community leaders to encourage deliveries at the new clinic where women can be attended by trained midwives. Once fully operational, the maternity unit will be available for deliveries 24 hours a day.

IOM activities in Bentiu for displaced people include as well water and sanitation services, health programming, Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) and registration of displaced people.

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World Must Vigorously Pursue Criminal Gangs Who Doomed Hundreds of Migrants in the Mediterranean

19.September.2014 · Posted in APO-OPA

GENEVA, Switzerland, September 19, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — News of up to 500 seaborne migrants being tossed to their doom near Malta — deliberately, according to eyewitness accounts — is merely the latest chapter in a horrible story unfolding on Europe’s doorstep.

Criminality, on top of desperation, has been this summer’s recipe for death — even murder, according to eyewitness accounts.

This also is a tale of impunity. As lawlessness spreads across lands already beset by civil war, disease and economic hardship, criminal organizations rush in to fill an authority vacuum left by weak governments. Libya may be the most prominent example of what happens next: criminals ply a vicious trade to prey upon vulnerable migrants.

Consider the grisly details emerging from Italy, Greece and Malta. Survivors interviewed this week by investigators of the International Organization for Migration describe smugglers charging up to $4000 apiece to board an overcrowded, creaky boat leaving Egypt, and then forcing them to switch boats in mid-sea numerous times.

According to the survivors, up to 300 migrants — perhaps as many as 100 of them children under age 10 — were stuffed into one of these crafts’ lower decks, while 200 more crowded a top deck exposed to a brutal summer sun.

On the fifth day of the journey witnesses say smugglers shadowed their vessel from what has been described as a tugboat. They came alongside the migrants’ craft and demanded they switch yet again to a smaller, less sea-worthy vessel. After the skipper of the migrants’ craft, an Egyptian, balked he was threatened that his family would be killed unless he complied. Chaos soon ensued.

Migrants began jumping to the smugglers’ boat only to be forced into the water, witnesses told IOM’s investigators. Survivors say that was when the smugglers’ boat rammed their vessel.

“After they hit our boat they waited to be sure that it had sunk completely before leaving. They were laughing,” one survivor told IOM. A week later, only 11 survivors have been found.

The rest join a growing list. IOM’s Missing Migrants Project, an effort to count everyone killed annually during “irregular” journeys, calculates that already in 2014 over 2,200 migrants have died attempting to reach Europe via the Mediterranean Sea. That’s three times 2013′s total.

In the coming weeks IOM now expects the death toll to pass 3,000 — with a quarter of the year remaining.

How can this be avoided? First, by forging policies to enable refugees’ legal, safe migration to Europe. There, many victims of the recent Mediterranean tragedies reportedly had family members waiting to receive them.

Second, nations must join forces to vigorously prosecute offenders — an effort international law already provides tools for.

Egypt, Libya, Italy and Malta are all state parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, as well its 2000 “Palermo Protocols,” which address smuggling of migrants by sea and the trafficking in persons, especially women and children.

These international instruments provide for prosecution by many authorities: not only States of the flagship vessels may prosecute, but also States of nationality of the perpetrators and their victims. Equally empowered as prosecutors are States where criminals conspire to commit their crimes — Italy, say, or Greece, if that’s where smugglers plot to drop their victims.

A principle of universal jurisdiction applies, too.

In view of the atrocious nature of the crimes, which are so grave they harm the entire international community, prosecutors have a duty to ensure no safe havens be available for those who commit them.

In international rhetoric, politicians typically show little sympathy for smuggled migrants — who they see as economic opportunists, even willing participants in their own fate. Of course by definition, migrant smuggling involves one person helping another to travel without authorization in return for payment.

Moreover, all countries have a right to control their borders. But the fact that someone has sought to evade migration controls shouldn’t put them outside the protection of law — especially if they’re being subjected to criminal coercion.

Today the overlap between smuggling and trafficking can’t be ignored. While we don’t yet know exactly what happened to those migrants found dead off Italy and Malta, evidence indicates that their deaths involved deception, extortion and extreme violence.

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Bring “Mediterranean mass murderers” to justice – UN Human Rights Chief

19.September.2014 · Posted in APO-OPA

GENEVA, Switzerland, September 19, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Friday urged Egypt and other North African and European States with relevant information to make a concerted effort to bring to justice the people smugglers who allegedly deliberately sank a boat causing the deaths of between 300 and 500 refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean last week.

High Commissioner Zeid stressed that it was crucial to bring to an end the prevailing impunity surrounding such crimes and urged States to do more to address the root causes driving people to make such dangerous journeys.

“This is a truly horrendous incident,” Zeid said. “It is the duty of States to investigate such atrocious crimes, bring the perpetrators to justice, and even more importantly to do more to prevent them from happening in the first place. All the countries in the Mediterranean must make a concerted effort to clamp down on the smugglers who are exploiting one of the most vulnerable groups on the planet and endangering their lives, virtually on a daily basis, purely for financial gain.”

“The callous act of deliberately ramming a boat full of hundreds of defenceless people is a crime that must not go unpunished. If the survivors’ accounts are indeed true – and they appear all too credible – we are looking at what amounts to mass murder in the Mediterranean.”

Similar efforts, he said, should also be made to punish and deter such crimes in other parts of the world, including the Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and Caribbean as well as those carried out against migrants and refugees using land routes.

“All countries would throw the full weight of their police forces and justice systems behind an investigation if the victims were their own citizens and were killed by criminal gangs on their own soil,” Zeid said. “The reaction should not be any less rigorous just because the victims are foreigners and the crime took place on the high seas. Yet very few people who kill, rape or rob migrants during their journeys end up in court.”

According to the 11 survivors interviewed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the migrants and refugees first embarked on a boat in the Egyptian port of Damietta. The passengers included a substantial number of Palestinians, many of them from Gaza, along with Egyptians, Syrians, Sudanese and possibly other nationalities.

All witnesses interviewed so far told IOM staff that the smugglers who deliberately rammed the boat far out to sea between Malta and Greece were either Egyptian or Palestinian. The High Commissioner urged the Greek, Maltese and Italian authorities to share information on the identity of the smugglers with the Egyptian authorities, who he said should immediately also launch a full and thorough investigation. “You cannot transport large quantities of foreigners in buses into a major port and cram them on board a ship without the port authorities and other witnesses being aware of what is going on,” Zeid said.

While recognizing the complexity of modern migration movements, Zeid urged all States to remember that migrants have the same rights as all other human beings. He stressed that the root causes of such tragedies must be tackled by the relevant States and by the international community.

“Far too many refugees and migrants are dying all across the world in an effort to flee conflict, systematic political oppression and human rights violations, including economic deprivation. These root causes in their countries of origin must be tackled in a concerted manner,” Zeid said.

“We also need a renewed effort to find ways to manage refugee and other migratory movements in an orderly manner that reduces the need for people to resort to unscrupulous people smugglers. The European Union, other destination States, transit countries and countries of origin must do more to address the range of factors pushing so many people into the arms of the smugglers. The focus, at every stage of the process needs to be on respect for the rights and inherent dignity of every human being.”

Zeid warned that xenophobia-driven politics continue to undermine Governments’ determination to find real solutions to an increasingly desperate situation in many parts of the world. He stressed that it is essential that refugees are able to escape to safety, and that States do not penalize them for taking irregular routes, as well as taking more robust steps to protect them when they do.

“There were refugees as well as economic migrants on board this boat,” Zeid said. “The largest and fastest-growing group of people claiming asylum in Europe in 2014 are Syrians – a clear manifestation of the deplorable failure to bring that conflict to an end, and of increasing pressures, frustrations and loss of hope on the part of the more than 3 million Syrian refugees, the great majority of whom are still in over-burdened neighbouring States,” the High Commissioner added. Other major groups of asylum seekers that have been rising sharply in Europe over the past year include Iraqis and Eritreans, many of whom are escaping systematic political oppression and forced conscription.

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