Southern region: Encouraging results in adult education progress

17.April.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Embassy of the State of Eritrea in Sweden
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Owing to the active participation of administrations encouraging adult education program was registered in the Southern region in the past five years. The report was made at an activity assessment meeting conducted on 11 and 12 April in Mendefera city.

At the meeting in which representatives from administrations, Ministry of Education, regional assembly, PFDJ and national associations attended, Mr. Belay Nurhussien, head of Adult Education Supervision stated that from 2014-2018 over 20 thousand or 76% of those enrolled have successfully concluded their education.

Pointing out that illiteracy rate is declining in the Southern region Mr. Belay said that nomadic lifestyle and other reasons are impeding several nationals from attending school and called for integrated effort on the part of Government and Front bodies. Mr. Belay also called on the public to take advantage of the 22 community libraries put in place throughout the region and tackle the resurgence of illiteracy.

Participants on their part discussed on the effective implementation of illiteracy eradication programs, on the role and integration effort of government bodies in the program, on the significance of community libraries as well as the challenges encountered and possible solutions among others.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Gebrezgi Demam, D.G. of Adult Education and Media in the Ministry of Education, pointing out that illiteracy is the cause of poverty and underdevelopment, indicated that owing to the huge investment theGovernment has made in eradicating illiteracy encouraging results are being registered and called for increased effort to that end.

Mr. Efrem Gebrekiristos, Governor of the Southern region, on his part expressed the administrations readiness to play its part in creating educational opportunities to all citizens.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Embassy of the State of Eritrea in Sweden.
Source: Apo-Opa

Thirty-seven young women from across Africa graduate from "Women in African Power" Program

17.April.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Africa Regional Media Hub
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After a month-long intensive training, 37 hand-picked women from 22 countries across Africa will graduate from the Women in African Power (WiAP) Program.  This training equips a new generation of women leaders to contribute to Africa’s energy sector.

This prestigious graduation will be attended by the Minister in the Presidency Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Vice Chancellor of UNISA Prof. Mandla Makhanya, and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Deputy Mission Director Rebecca Krzywda, as well as senior representatives of Power Africa and the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Regional Leadership Centers (RLCs).

Launched by Power Africa, the Women in African Power network promotes leadership among women in Africa’s energy sector.  WiAP includes a diverse group of current and emerging women leaders, representing government, private sector, civil society, and academia.  The network provides a regional platform for networking, information exchange, mentorship, and exposure to new business opportunities.  WiAP is sponsored by Power Africa and hosted by the University of South Africa’s Graduate School of Business Leadership (UNISA SBL).

YALI is a signature U.S. government effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders.  YALI RLCs, based in Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, and South Africa, empower young people aged 18-35 to harness their leadership potential in Business and Entrepreneurship, Civic Leadership, and Public Management.  Since 2015, the RLCs have transformed the lives of over 13,000 young African leaders directly, while alumni initiatives have influenced thousands more.  This event also will include the launch of YALI AFRICA, an umbrella organization to coordinate and support the four RLCs.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Africa Regional Media Hub.
Source: Apo-Opa

Women can change face of Africa with enough access to finance

17.April.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)

Access to finance by women in Africa is critical if the continent is to attain the sustainable development goals, Economic Commission for Africa’s (ECA) Deputy Executive Secretary, Giovanie Biha said Tuesday.

Speaking at an event to discuss the African Women Leadership Fund (AWLF) in Marrakesh, Morocco, ahead of the fifth Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD), Ms. Biha said adopting the right actions to integrate gender in Africa’s economies will result in financial inclusion, guarantee women’s economic empowerment and achievement of the SDGs, thereby helping change the face of the continent.

According to the ECA’s Women’s Report (2013), failure to integrate gender equality and women’s empowerment into national economies has cost African countries a combined $95 billion in lost productivity annually.

“This is an indicator that financial exclusion of women is not an option for our continent,” said Ms. Biha, adding the African Women Leadership Fund was an impact fund that aims to strengthen economic empowerment of women and accelerate the emergence of African women fund managers who in turn will invest in and develop African women-led businesses and micro-businesses.

Over the next decade the fund is envisaged to have made an investment of up to $500 million in African owned and women-led companies.

The fund is anchored on six pillars;

  • Providing African women entrepreneurs access to sustainable capital
  • Providing African cooperatives access to sustainable capital
  • Lowering barriers to entry for capable women asset managers focused on investing in women-owned and women-led companies
  • Providing technical assistance to accelerate the fund management learning curve and supporting growth and expansion
  • Providing seed capital to develop a track record and accelerate fundraising and scale
  • Focus on sustainability and scalability of the platform

The ECA is supporting the operationalization of the innovative fund, a brainchild of the United Nations Deputy Secretary General, Amina J. Mohammed, African Union Commission Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat and the AWLN.

Speaker after speaker praised the formation for the fund saying it will address the fundamental gap in the access of women to finance architecture.

Djibouti’s Women and Family Affairs Minister, Moumina Houmed, said the story of women and finance was similar to that of every other African country. She shared efforts being undertaken by her country, including capacity building of associations and cooperatives; partnerships with the private sector to train women entrepreneurs and getting banks to give women more access to finance.

“We know that even in family-owned businesses women have a much lower share. We have very few women entrepreneurs on the continent because of the hurdle of access to finance. As such, the fund seeks to lower these hurdles faced by women-owned businesses, promote investments in micro enterprises and take women’s cooperatives to the next level,” said Nabila Freidji, a Moroccan entrepreneur and member of the AWLF committee.

Thoko Ruzvidzo, ECA’s Gender, Poverty and Social Policy Division Director, spoke about the AWLF and what it is expected to achieve. “Failure is not an option,” she said, adding women’s financial inclusion in African economies was a must.

She said funds will be earmarked for each of the five regions of North Africa, East Africa, Central Africa, West Africa, and Southern Africa with a strategy being established for each region to address unique elements of the markets, or to reflect priorities for each region.

Priority would be given to women-led businesses. At least 65 percent of capital will be invested in women-led companies.

Ms. Leila Rhiwi, a representative of UN Women in Morocco, emphasized the importance of women accessing finance to bolster their businesses saying they have already proven themselves as entrepreneurs and drivers of the economy.

The high-level meeting was attended by representatives of the Moroccan business and financial ecosystem, government officials, senior women executives and young women entrepreneurs, among others.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

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Readout of Senior Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump’s Meeting with Vice President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire Daniel Kablan Duncan

17.April.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

U.S. Embassy in Cote d'Ivoire

Today, Senior Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump and USAID Administrator Mark Green met with His Excellency Vice President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire Daniel Kablan Duncan and other officials at the Presidential Palace.

Ms. Trump and Administrator Green gave their condolences for the passing of Louise Ouattara, President Alassane Ouattara’s daughter-in-law. The meeting focused on the importance of maintaining Côte d’Ivoire’s political and economic reform process, while strengthening efforts to ensure Ivoirians, especially women, are able to actively participate in, and benefit from, the country’s strong economy.

Vice President Duncan reaffirmed the Government of Cote d’Ivoire’s commitment to passing 20 out of 20 indicators on the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) scorecard by 2020, including indicators regarding girls' education and women's economic empowerment.

They discussed legal and cultural barriers to women’s economic empowerment in Côte d’Ivoire, and the work that remains to be done. Ivanka Trump reaffirmed the United States commitment to partner with Côte d’Ivoire to achieve these reforms. The two also discussed ways to boost trade between the two countries and the importance of cocoa and cashews to Côte d’Ivoire’s economy.

Ms. Trump and Administrator Green also joined the Ivoirian Minister of National Education and Technical Training, Mrs. Kandia Camara, as she signed an arrêté (Ministerial Order) for the operationalization of a new high-level gender unit within Côte d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Education.

They were accompanied for the signing ceremony by MCC Vice President Karen Sessions, U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Katherine Brucker, and Ivoirian officials including Secretary General of the Presidency Mr. Patrick Achi, Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcel Amon-Tanoh, and Minister Women, Family and Children Ramata Ly-Bakayoko.

The signing of the order and establishment of the Gender Unit is a key condition for unlocking funding under the $524.7 million Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact in Cote d'Ivoire.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Embassy in Cote d’Ivoire.

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Captains Ready Rugby Africa Group U20 Barthés Cup in Harare

16.April.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU)

All four captains of the participating nations in Group B of the Rugby Africa Barthés Cup are upbeat ahead of the opening round of matches at the Jubilee Field, Prince Edward High School in Harare, Zimbabwe on Wednesday (April 17).

Zimbabwe this year hosts the group comprising of Ivory Coast, Madagascar and Morocco.

This is a crucial stage for all four teams as this will determine which team is promoted into Group A.

Speaking at the captain’s press conference at the match venue Zimbabwe captain Tonderai Chiwambutsa said the Young Sables are relishing the opportunity to play in Rugby Africa’s only junior competition:

“I am honoured to play in such a competition and as a team we are grateful be hosting and we would like to thank our sponsors SeedCo and Old Mutual for making this possible.”

This year’s edition is composed of three ranking-based groups in which each team will play two matches, Loser 1 and 2 will play in the first match while the winners play in the second match.

Morocco's Captain Aayoub Jalli is upbeat about a positive result as they face Madagascar in the second Group B match tomorrow.

“We are going to give a good performance that will keep us in this competition. This competition is a good platform for young players from Morocco to show case our talent and show the world what we can do,” said Jalli.

Madagascar had a chance to practise at Prince Edward on Monday and were in high spirits, they relish the platform to perform against some of Africa’s biggest teams through the Barthés Cup.

“Our objective is to give our best and play to our strengths. We have a good team and it will compete well against the guys in our group,” said Madagascan captain Raoelinirina Jean Marc.

All eyes will be on the Ivorian match up against hosts Zimbabwe as the opening Group B match tomorrow, Ivory Coast skipper Cheick Diallo promised to bring a forceful game to the hosts.

“This is a very important tournament for Ivory Coast, it will be a tough one against these teams but we will give a good game tomorrow and try to top the group. We are here to taker this cup,” said Cheick.

Group B Fixtures Tomorrow:
17 April Zimbabwe v Ivory Coast  13:30 hrs
17 April Madagascar v Morocco 15:30 hrs
20 April Loser 1 v Loser 2  10:00 hrs
20 April Winner 1 v Winner 2  12:00 hrs

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU).

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U.S. Ambassador Visits School of Midwifery in Makeni

16.April.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

U.S. Embassy in Sierra Leone

U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Maria E. Brewer, announced the opening of a new skills lab, library and computer lab at the School of Midwifery (SOMM) in Makeni. The U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration ( with support from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS relief (PEPFAR) carried out the necessary renovations, procurement and installation of equipment, training, policy development, and integration of skills-based learning into the curriculum.

The Ambassador was joined by Dr. Alpha T. Wurie, Minister of Health, and was welcomed by the Head of the School, Ms. Francess Fornah.

The new skills lab at the School of Midwifery Makeni provides simulation-based education and training. This complements other, more traditional forms of training. It provides the advantage of teaching and assessing competence in management of rare yet life threatening events such as post-partum hemorrhage, pre-eclampsia, and birth asphyxia. Through simulation, students are able to become adept at clinical service delivery in a safe and supportive environment.

The School of Midwifery Makeni (SOMM) is an institution established in 2010 by Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS). Since its inception in 2010, the school has enrolled 712 students and graduated 467 midwives, who were deployed by MOHS to various districts; 97 students are awaiting graduation by May 2019. The School trains State Certified Midwives (SCM), which is a two (2) year upgrading program of State Enrolled Community Health Nurses (SECHN) to SCM.

Midwifery training programs aim to produce competent and multi-skilled midwives who will in turn provide high quality and safe reproductive services to pregnant women, the unborn child, and neonate, throughout pregnancy, through childbirth, and the postnatal period, in any setting. The focus of the educational program is to provide Skilled-Birth Attendants (Midwives) who will provide quality, comprehensive midwifery services to individuals and families.

In addition to the basic theoretical instruction received in the classroom, students receive clinical instructions in the clinical lab and practice settings in maternity units.

The Sierra Leone Nurses and Midwives Board accredited SOMM to train professional SECHN with 2-year post-enrolment experience as State Certified Midwives. The course duration is 24 months. SOMM also trains obstetric nurses (SRNs and SECHNs) from St. John of God-Faith based nursing training school for a period of 3 to 5 months, on basic obstetrics and Midwifery, which are critical component of their curriculum.

HRSA’s Resilient and Responsive Health Systems (RRHS) Initiative is a 5-year, US$ 9.5 million grant which includes a heavy emphasis on achieving improved maternal health and HIV outcomes through strengthened midwifery education. The prime recipient of the RRHS grant is ICAP at Columbia University.

Following the ribbon cutting, there was a discussion about the importance of skills-based education and training followed by a demonstration of the high fidelity mannequins.

In 2017, the Health Resources & Services Administration (or HRSA) became the seventh U.S. government agency to join the U.S. Mission in Sierra Leone. HRSA, like U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

In May 2018, Ambassador Brewer also commissioned a skills lab, library and computer lab at the National School of Midwifery in Freetown.

George Tidwell, Country Office Director for HRSA, and Dr. Susan Michaels-Strasser, Principal Investigator, ICAP at Columbia University, accompanied Ambassador Brewer to Makeni.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Embassy in Sierra Leone.

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USA Congratulates Oyster Pickers for Successful Closed Season

16.April.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Embassy of the United States - Accra - Ghana

On April 15, the United States of America congratulated the Densu Oyster Pickers’ Association (DOPA) and the Development Action Association (DAA) for the successful completion of the second annual oyster harvesting closed season. Located in the Tsokomey community of the Ga South Municipal Assembly, both are local, community-led, non-governmental organizations committed to protecting Ghana’s oyster stock.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) supported the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development’s efforts to facilitate the Densu Estuary Community Co-Management Plan for oyster resources. As a result, DOPA, DAA, and other stakeholders, successfully implemented the annual, five-month closed season to boost oyster yields. This Densu Estuary closed season is one of three pilot projects in Ghana to demonstrate the viability of coastal fisheries collaborative management. USAID also supported the Ministry to develop a National Co-Management Policy, currently under review by the Ministry.

Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, the Honorable Elizabeth Naa Afoley Quaye; Municipal Planning Officer of the Ga South Municipal Assembly, Mr. Dela Sasu; and USAID/Ghana Economic Growth Acting Team Leader, James G. Lykos delivered remarks at the event lauding the successful partnership between the Government of Ghana, DOPA, DAA, and the Tsokomey community.

In his remarks, Mr. Lykos said, “The successful closed season proves that when the responsibility for decision-making is shared between government, citizens, and other stakeholders, resource management is more effective and sustainable.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Embassy of the United States – Accra – Ghana.

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Detained refugees in Libya moved to safety in second UNHCR relocation

16.April.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
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UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, today relocated another 150 refugees who were detained in the Abu Selim detention centre in south Tripoli to UNHCR’s Gathering and Departure Facility (GDF) in the centre of Libya’s capital, safe from hostilities.

The Abu Selim detention centre is one of several in Libya that has been impacted by hostilities since clashes erupted in the capital almost a fortnight ago.

Refugees at the centre told UNHCR that they were petrified and traumatised by the fighting, fearing for their lives.

UNHCR staff who were present and organizing the relocation today reported that clashes were around 10 kilometres away from the centre and were clearly audible.

While UNHCR intended to relocate more refugees, due to a rapid escalation of fighting in the area this was not possible. UNHCR hopes to resume this life-saving effort as soon as conditions on the ground allow.

“It is a race against time to move people out of harm’s way. Conflict and deteriorating security conditions hamper how much we can do,” said UNHCR’s Assistant Chief of Mission in Libya, Lucie Gagne.

“We urgently need solutions for people trapped in Libya, including humanitarian evacuations to transfer those most vulnerable out of the country.”

Refugees who were relocated today were among those most vulnerable and in need and included women and children. The relocation was conducted with the support of UNHCR’s partner, International Medical Corps and the Libyan Ministry of Interior.

This relocation is the second UNHCR-organized transfer since the recent escalation of the conflict in Libya.

Last week UNHCR relocated more than 150 refugees from the Ain Zara detention centre also in south Tripoli to the GDF, bringing the total number of refugees currently hosted at the GDF to more than 400.

After today’s relocation, there remain more than 2,700 refugees and migrants detained and trapped in areas where clashes are ongoing. In addition to those remaining at Abu Selim, other detention centres impacted and in proximity to hostilities include the Qasr Bin Ghasheer, Al Sabaa and Tajoura centres.

Current conditions in the country continue to underscore the fact that Libya is a dangerous place for refugees and migrants, and that those rescued and intercepted at sea should not be returned there. UNHCR has repeatedly called for an end to detention for refugees and migrants.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Source: Apo-Opa

Mohamed Ibn Chambas concludes his visit to Côte d'Ivoire, calls on political actors to continue to uphold their commitment to consolidating democracy and preserving peace and stability

16.April.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS)
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Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), concluded today a two-day visit to Côte d'Ivoire.

This visit which is part of UNOWAS's good offices missions in the sub-region aimed at continuing consultations with the authorities and exchanging views with key Ivorian stakeholders on various issues at national and regional levels, and at strengthening United Nations support to Côte d'Ivoire.

During his visit, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations met, inter alia, with the Vice-President of Côte d'Ivoire, Daniel Kablan Duncan, the President of the Senate, Jeannot Kouadio Ahoussou, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Amadou Soumahoro and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marcel Amon Tanoh. Mr. Ibn Chambas also had discussions with representatives of political parties, civil society and the United Nations Country Team, as well as the diplomatic corps.

During his various meetings, Mohamed Ibn Chambas recalled the importance of the position of Côte d'Ivoire in the sub-region and beyond. ” the role that plays Côte d'Ivoire in consolidating peace and stability in the subregion is crucial,” he stressed.

In this regard, he commended Côte d'Ivoire's continued efforts as a non-permanent member of the Security Council and its contribution to United Nations peacekeeping operations.

At the national level, the discussions enabled the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General to measure the efforts made by the Ivorian authorities, as well as political and civil society actors, to further consolidate democracy and development in Cote d’Ivoire.

“The presidential elections scheduled for 2020 are a major step in the consolidation of peace, democracy and development. I encourage all political actors to continue to work together in a calm and peaceful atmosphere to achieve the aspirations of the Ivorian people, ” said Mohamed Ibn Chambas before leaving the capital Abidjan today.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS).
Source: Apo-Opa

Agriculture Fast Track Fund to launch 17 new projects in support of agribusiness Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana and seven other African countries

16.April.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

African Development Bank Group (AfDB)
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Who: The African Development Bank

What: Launch of 17 new grant projects funded by the Agriculture Fast Track Fund (AFT) (

Date: Wednesday, 17 April 2019, from 9:00 – 11:00am

Venue: African Development Bank, Ghana Country Office, Ridge, Accra.

The African Development Bank ( will launch 17 new grant projects funded by the Agriculture Fast Track Fund (AFT) ( in support of agribusiness Small- and Medium-sized Enterprise (SMEs) in eight African countries – Ghana (4), Tanzania (4), Burkina Faso (2), Malawi (2), Mozambique (2), Ethiopia (1), Nigeria (1) and Senegal (1).

The AFT Fund is managed by the Agriculture and Agro-Industry Department of the African Development Bank. It supports the development of a strong pipeline of “bankable” agriculture infrastructure projects and assists African agribusiness SMEs in project preparation activities to ease their take-off. The fund is supported by the governments of the USA (through USAID), Denmark (through DANIDA) and Sweden (through Sida).

The Fund finances the project development cost of a broad range of agriculture infrastructure, spanning the entire value chain: from production to the market. Target projects range from rural feeder roads to irrigation, agro-processing and marketing facilities, and out-grower schemes. The emphasis is on projects that contribute to the food security, income enhancement, job creation, and livelihood of smallholder farmers.

The projects are being implemented in 10 eligible regional member countries (RMEs) of the Bank: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania.

Media are invited to the opening ceremony which will take place from 09.00 am – 11.00 am on Wednesday, 17 April 2019.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).

Media Contact:
Emeka Anuforo
Media Relations Officer
African Development Bank

Technical Contact:
Tabi Karikari
Agric & Natural Resource Mgt. Officer
African Development Bank

About the African Development Bank Group:
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) ( is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 44 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states. For more information:

Source: Apo-Opa