Digital tracking of environmental risks offers insights to humanitarian actors

09.July.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Download logo

By the end of this day many people will have made life-changing decisions, relying on their best guess or their instinct. Some will yield great results while others will imperil individuals, corporations and communities.

Humanitarian crises require that we make difficult choices. As they increasingly become complex, as are their impact on the environment, the choices we make must be the right ones. And to make sound, informed decisions, we need data.

Thankfully today, all those who work in the environmental field have at their fingertips a combination of global environmental data, technologies and data science tools and techniques. These have the potential to create insights that can underpin a sustainable future and profoundly transform our relationship with our planet.

For decades, the UN Environment Programme has been working with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and partners such as the UN Refugee Agency, to make sense of environmental data for improved humanitarian planning.

In December last year, UN Environment with support from the UN Refugee Agency piloted an innovative tool for environmental data gathering and risk assessment, the Nexus Environmental Assessment Tool (NEAT+). The tool was deployed in the Mantapala refugee settlement in northern Zambia.

Built around existing farmland, Mantapala refugee settlement, near Nchelenge in northern Zambia, was built in 2018 for up to 20,000 people. It was designed to enable refugees to make a living while contributing to local development. The surrounding humid sub-tropical Mantapala Forest Reserve—an area characterized by rich biodiversity—includes the productive Wet Miombo Woodland.

According to the UN Refugee agency, Zambia hosts at least 41,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mantapala refugee settlement is home to around 13,000 of them.

Daily life isn’t easy. Flash floods can be common during the long rainy seasons when rainfalls are particularly heavy. In addition, less than 20 per cent of Nchelenge district’s households have access to electricity, and even when they do, it is so expensive that people prefer to use firewood and charcoal as their primary cooking fuels.

“With pressure mounting on natural resources throughout the world, we are exploring how to support humanitarian actors in collecting, sharing and processing environmental data for better decision-making using innovative digital environmental tools such as the Nexus Environmental Assessment Tool (NEAT+) and MapX—a United Nations-backed platform—in Mantapala settlement and beyond,” says David Jensen, UN Environment’s Head of Environmental Cooperation for Peacebuilding and Co-Director of MapX.

What makes NEAT+ so appealing is its simplicity. It is a user-friendly environmental screening tool for humanitarian contexts, which combines environmental data with site-specific questions to automatically analyse and flag priority environmental risks. The tool was developed by eight humanitarian and environmental organizations as part of the Joint Initiative, a multi-stakeholder project aimed at improving collaboration between environmental and humanitarian actors. NEAT+ supports humanitarian actors in quickly identifying issues of concern to increase the efficiency, accountability and sustainability of emergency or recovery interventions.

“NEAT+ answers the demand of a simple process to assess the sensitivity of the environment in displacement settings. It overlays environmental realities with a proposed humanitarian intervention, identifying risk and mitigation measures,” says Emilia Wahlstrom, Programme Officer, UN Environment / Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Joint Unit.

NEAT+ runs on KoBo—a free, open source data collection platform—built by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative—that allows data to be collected through phone, tablet or computer. Once the data is recorded, the programme automatically generates a report in Excel, categorizing risk into high, medium and low, and providing information that can help mitigate the risk.

As a next step, NEAT+ will draw increasingly on MapX, an online, open-source, fully-customizable platform for accessing and visualizing geospatial environmental data. It offers various tools to highlight different environmental risks such as deforestation, natural hazards and flood risks. NEAT will use MapX to gather and vizualise data.

In the Mantapala settlement, the NEAT+ assessment tool was used to identify negative environmental and livelihoods impacts in the settlement, where MapX spatial data highlighted nearby areas of environmental concern.

The results showed opportunities for environmental action. Where there was risk of deforestation, alternative livelihoods and agroforestry programmes could be supported. Agricultural plots vulnerable to flood damage are undergoing modification to prevent further deforestation and to reduce flood risks.

“Developing a digital ecosystem for the environment offers the possibility to access the best available data for decision-making. Tools such as MapX and NEAT+ are critical in mitigating the effects of sudden-onset natural disasters and slow-onset environmental change and degradation,” says Jensen.

“Developing and applying the NEAT+ tool has showed us the added value the environmental community can bring to the frontlines of humanitarian response. By taking the time to understand the environmental context they operate in, humanitarian actors are designing programmes that are saving money, contributing to a healthy environment, and supporting the dignity, livelihoods and health of affected people. This is critical for an increasingly complex and protracted global humanitarian crisis panorama,” comments Wahlstrom.

In 2019, the same actors who developed the NEAT+ tool, the Joint Initiative partners, launched the Environment and Humanitarian Action Connect website. Environment and Humanitarian Action Connect is a unique digital tool spanning the humanitarian-environment nexus and represents the first comprehensive online repository of environmental and humanitarian action tools and guidance. It is easily searchable and readily accessible, whether at the office, at home, or in the field. The content aligns with the humanitarian programme cycle with specific guidance available for humanitarian clusters and themes.

Environment and Humanitarian Action Connect is administered and updated by the United Nations Environment / Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Joint Unit. Through the Joint Unit, UN Environment and OCHA respond as one to the environmental dimensions of emergencies. The partnership assists countries affected by disasters and crises and works to enhance the sustainability of humanitarian action. The partnership has supported almost 100 countries and conducted over 200 missions, and celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Source: Apo-Opa

South Sudan National Day

09.July.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

U.S. Department of State
Download logo

On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I congratulate the people of South Sudan on the 8th anniversary of your independence.

On this day, we reflect on the aspirations of all South Sudanese for a better future. The September 2018 peace agreement provides an opportunity to promote reconciliation, improve human rights, strengthen the rule of law, and foster economic growth. We urge South Sudan to productively use the next four months to form a new government.

In observance of your National Day, the American people wish the people of South Sudan peace, prosperity, and freedom in the year ahead.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Department of State.
Source: Apo-Opa

The National Basketball Association (NBA), International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and Senegalese Basketball Federation to host 17th edition of Basketball without Borders Africa in Senegal

09.July.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

National Basketball Association (NBA)

The National Basketball Association (NBA) (www.NBA.com), the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) (FIBA.basketball) and the Senegalese Basketball Federation today announced that Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Africa 2019 will take place Sunday, July 28 – Wednesday, July 31 in Senegal.  The 17th edition of BWB Africa will be held at The NBA Academy Africa in Saly (https://on.nba.com/2LIlq4d) and at the Dakar Arena in Dakar.

BWB Africa 2019 will bring together the top male and female players ages 17 and under from throughout Africa to learn directly from current and former NBA and FIBA players, coaches and legends and to compete against the best young players from the continent.  BWB Africa will also include NBA Cares and Jr. NBA outreach efforts in partnership with local community organizations.

“Bringing the 17th edition of the Basketball Without Borders Africa camp to Senegal speaks to our commitment to expanding our footprint across the continent,” said NBA Africa Managing Director and Basketball Africa League President, Amadou Gallo Fall.  “With grassroots basketball development remaining at the core of our strategy to grow the game across Africa, BWB remains our flagship development and community outreach initiative where Africa’s most talented youth have an opportunity to develop as players and learn important life skills they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.”

“FIBA and the NBA have teamed up for several years to organize activities to boost the development of youth basketball in Africa. Those initiatives are very important for the continent,” said FIBA Africa Executive Director, Alphonse Bilé.  “I hope that some of the participants in this BWB camp will one day play in the new jointly created Basketball Africa League and benefit from this fantastic opportunity to showcase their talents in this continental league.”

“We are excited to host this year’s Basketball Without Borders Africa camp and welcome FIBA and the NBA back to Senegal,” said Senegal Basketball Federation President, Babacar Ndiaye.  “We look forward to the great week of basketball and to showcasing our city and the state-of-the-art Dakar Arena.”

BWB Africa has previously been held in South Africa (2003-2009; 2011-2015; 2017-2018), Senegal (2010) and Angola (2016).  More than 1,100 players from more than 30 African countries have participated in the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program, with 10 former BWB Africa campers drafted into the NBA, including 2019 NBA Champion Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2012), two-time NBA All-Star Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2011), Luc Mbah a Moute (formerly of the LA Clippers; Cameroon, BWB Africa 2003) and Gorgui Dieng (Minnesota Timberwolves; Senegal; BWB Africa 2009).

NIKE, a global partner of BWB since 2002, will outfit the campers and coaches with NIKE apparel and footwear. 

The NBA and FIBA have staged 59 BWB camps in 38 cities in 30 countries on six continents.  BWB has hosted more than 3,500 participants from 129 countries and territories.  More than 290 current and former NBA and WNBA players have joined more than 240 NBA team personnel from all 30 NBA teams, with 68 former BWB campers drafted into the NBA or signed as free agents. 

In February, the NBA and FIBA announced their plan to launch the Basketball Africa League (https://on.nba.com/2Lblfz8), a new professional league featuring 12 club teams from across Africa scheduled to begin play next year.

The NBA has a long history in Africa and opened its African headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2010.  Opening-night rosters for the 2018-19 season featured 13 African-born players, and there are more than 80 current and former NBA players from Africa or with direct family ties to the continent, including Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famers Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria) and Dikembe Mutombo (Democratic Republic of the Congo). 

This year, the NBA plans to reach more than 2.5 million boys and girls ages 16 and under through Jr. NBA programs in 21 African countries.  Since The NBA Academy Africa opened in May 2017 (https://on.nba.com/2YH6G9u), 25 elite male prospects ages 14-20 have received scholarships and training after scouting programs conducted with local federations across the continent.  Four NBA Academy Africa graduates have gone on to commit to NCAA Division 1 schools.

The NBA has held three sold-out Africa Games, in Johannesburg in 2015 and 2017 and in Pretoria in 2018, in support of charities including UNICEF, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and SOS Children’s Villages South Africa (SOSCVSA).  Through NBA Cares, the NBA has created 89 places for children and families to live, learn and play in nine African countries.

Follow BWB using the hashtag #BWBAfrica on Facebook and Twitter.  BWB Africa campers and coaches will be announced at a later date.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of National Basketball Association (NBA).

Media Contact:
Pawel Weszka
NBA Africa
Phone: +27 100072666
Email: pweszka@nba.com

Patrick Koller
FIBA
Phone: +41 22 545 00 00
Email: communications@fiba.basketball

About the NBA:
The NBA (www.NBA.com) is a global sports and media business built around four professional sports leagues: the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association, the NBA G League and the NBA 2K League.  The NBA has established a major international presence with games and programming in 215 countries and territories in 50 languages, and merchandise for sale in more than 100,000 stores in 100 countries on six continents.  NBA rosters at the start of the 2018-19 season featured 108 international players from 42 countries and territories.  NBA Digital’s assets include NBA TV, NBA.com, the NBA App and NBA League Pass.  The NBA has created one of the largest social media communities in the world, with 1.6 billion likes and followers globally across all league, team, and player platforms.  Through NBA Cares, the league addresses important social issues by working with internationally recognized youth-serving organizations that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes.

About FIBA:
FIBA (FIBA.basketball) – the world governing body for basketball – is an independent association formed by 213 National Basketball Federations throughout the world. It is recognized as the sole competent authority in basketball by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

For further information about FIBA, visit FIBA.basketball or follow FIBA on Facebook.com/fiba, twitter.com/fiba, Instagram.com/fiba and YouTube.com/fiba.

Media files
National Basketball Association (NBA)
Download logo

Source: Apo-Opa

Printronix announces partnership with Tri-Continental to distribute printers in Central, East and West Africa

09.July.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Printronix Inc.

Printronix (www.Printronix.com), pioneer of line matrix technology, has recently signed a distribution agreement with Tri-Continental Ltd.

Under the agreement, Tri-Continental, one of the largest and most prominent IT distributors in the African market, will distribute Printronix and TallyGenicom line matrix printers as well as its desktop serial dot matrix models, the S809 and S828. Through this partnership, Tri-Continental and Printronix will broaden their reseller base and strengthen their presence and market penetration in this important region.

Based in West London, Tri-Continental has expanded its operation to span 36 countries in Central, East and West Africa, and has been IBM’s strongest performing channel partner there for almost 30 years. The company has a strong reputation for providing the right solutions for its customers and adding value to the supply chain. It has been working with global brands such as IBM, NetApp, Epson and Canon.

Joseph Musisi, Tri-Continental Director and General Manager, says he is confident that the expanding range of reliable quality printers from Printronix is ideal for Africa’s many applications, its demanding environments and multiple vertical markets. “Printronix is well known for its reliable quality printers. The devices are globally recognised for their unrivalled performance in mission critical applications where downtime is not an option and cost effectiveness is a priority.  Printronix is a trusted supplier with a long list of high profile global customers, many of whom have a presence in Africa. We can add new local customers to that list, as well as expand the usage of Printronix printers across all the countries where we are present,” explains Joseph.

With over 40 years of success to build on, Printronix offers a wide range of printing solutions and applications for various industries, as well as ongoing support, sales training, and service to its channel partners. Regional Sales Manager for Sub-Sahara and South Africa at Printronix, Lareen Kohler says: “Tri-Continental is firmly positioned as a leading Pan-African distributor of world-class technology products, and, as an additional partner in the region, it will help us expand our channel base and reach end customers in Africa that we are not currently engaged with. This is an important market for Printronix so Tri-Continental is an ideal choice to contribute to our business growth plans for the region.”

Rosemarie Zito, Printronix Vice-President of EMEA Sales & Marketing, adds: “Printronix is looking forward to working with Tri-Continental. Its team has a great track record for building reseller channels throughout Africa, which will greatly support our solutions. Printronix is the OEM supplier of former IBM 6400 and 6500 line printers and, as such, we are partnering with Tri-Continental as it has such extensive knowledge of the corporate IBM customers in the region. We are sure that Tri-Continental will help us better serve them and upgrade legacy line and serial dot matrix printers. In addition, we believe Tri-Continental is complementary to our existing distribution channel in the region.”

Reliable line matrix and serial dot matrix printers

The Printronix P8000 and TallyGenicom 6800 line matrix series with Pedestal, Zero Tear and Enclosed Cabinet models, and the S809/S828 serial dot matrix printers, deliver flexible design, adaptable functionality and manageable savings. Line and serial dot matrix printers are designed for users in manufacturing, distribution and logistics, government, banking and food & beverage. They can be used to print invoices, shipment and transportation documentation, bank and customer statements and product labels. Users can expect maximum uptime, low cost of ownership, and maximum reliability in demanding environments.

To view the complete Printronix series and learn more, visit www.Printronix.com

To view the complete TallyGenicom series and learn more, visit www.TallyGenicom.com

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Printronix Inc..

Social Media:
Facebook: PrintronixPrinters (https://bit.ly/2S40XrO)
Twitter: printronix (https://bit.ly/2XR5pzh)

Media Contact:
Lareen Kohler
Regional Sales Manager for Sub-Sahara and South Africa
RSA Mobile:  +27 76 012 0660
UK Mobile:     +44 787 654 8607
Email:  lkohler@printronix.com

Xavier Nicolaï
EMEA Marketing Manager
Tel: +33 1 46 25 19 01
E-mail: xnicolai@printronix.com 

Tri-Continental contact details:
Joy Lwanga, Director
Braintree Road,
South Ruislip Middlesex, HA40EJ,
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8842 4644,
E-mail: joy_Lwanga@triconti.com

About Printronix
Printronix (www.Printronix.com) is a global leader in industrial printing solutions, offering the most-trusted selection of ultra-reliable printers, supplies, service and parts for demanding environments, high reliability and low-cost printing. The company offers two of the most-trusted brands in industrial printing, Printronix and TallyGenicom, known throughout manufacturing, distribution, retail, food & beverage, banking, government and other enterprises across the globe. The combined portfolios include the highest quality line matrix and serial dot matrix printers. Printronix was founded in 1974 and is headquartered in Irvine, California.

For additional information, visit www.Printronix.com.

About Tri-Continental Ltd.
Tri-Continental (http://www.Triconti.com) has been in operation for over 33 years, spanning 29 countries in Central, East, North and West Africa including SADC countries.  The organisation has an established and extensive network of credible, complementary partners, represented locally, throughout Africa and Southern Africa. These include traditional IT Dealers and Resellers, Value Added Resellers, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), Consultancy Organisations and Service Providers.
Tri-Continental has the backing of globally recognised IT Suppliers, which together with its partner network, are ready to provide customers with complete, comprehensive, and cost effective world-class IT solutions.

Media files
Printronix Inc.
Download logo

Source: Apo-Opa

African Development Bank, Portugal and Cabo Verde sign compact to accelerate diversification, private sector development

09.July.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

African Development Bank Group (AfDB)
Download logo

The African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) and the governments of Cabo Verde and Portugal have signed a country specific memorandum of understanding for the implementation of the Lusophone Compact, which aims to accelerate private sector development in Portuguese-speaking countries of Africa.

The signing took place on Sal Island on 1 July, between Olavo Correia, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Cabo Verde, Helena de Paiva, Portugal’s Ambassador to Cabo Verde; and Moono Mupotola, the Bank’s Director for Regional Integration. It was witnessed by over 200 Cabo Verdean and international investors and lenders.

Correia described the occasion as “an important day for Cabo Verde,” noting that it demonstrated the country’s commitment to press forward with private sector growth, which is key for our country.

“We are confident that the Compact will assist us in diversifying and strengthening Cabo Verde’s economy in the coming years,” Correia added.

The Lusophone Compact is a financing platform, involving the African Development Bank, Portugal, and the six Portuguese-speaking countries of Africa (PALOPs): Angola, Cabo Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Sao Tome and Principe. It provides risk mitigation, investment products and technical assistance to accelerate private sector development in Lusophone African countries.

Following the signing of the general Lusophone Compact at the Africa Investment Forum in November 2018, the Bank and Portugal are signing country specific agreements with each PALOP, focusing on the needs of each country. Mozambique’s was signed in March 2019, and an agreement with Angola will be signed on 10 July.

According to Moono, “the Compact will help address Cabo Verde’s infrastructure bottlenecks that limit private sector development and diversification. That will transform sectors such as agriculture transformation, the blue economy and small industry to support inclusive growth and formal job creation for the youth and women of Cabo Verde.”

The Portuguese Government allocated Euro 400m in guarantees and other risk sharing mechanisms in the 2019 national budget to support the implementation of the Compact, de Paiva said.

Projects eligible under the Compact are expected to align with the Bank’s development priorities, relevant country strategy papers and national development plans and involve the host country and at least two other Compact signatories. Focus will primary be on renewable energies, agribusiness and agricultural value chains, water and sanitation, infrastructures, tourism, financing and ICT.

The Cabo Verde MOU identifies a list of potential investment projects worth around $470 million, which will be analysed by the Lusophone Compact country focal points from the Bank, Cabo Verde and Portugal and prioritized for further support.

The MOU also provides for technical assistance projects to accelerate private sector and PPP growth.  In Cabo Verde and elsewhere, project preparation has been identified as one of the main impediments to making projects bankable.

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

Media Contact:
Emeka Anuforo
Communication and External Relations Department
African Development Bank
Email: e.anuforo@afdb.org

About the African Development Bank Group:
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) (www.AfDB.org) 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: www.AfDB.org

Source: Apo-Opa

Agreement towards the establishment of a transitional administrative authority in Sudan

09.July.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
Download logo

On July 5, 2019, the representatives of the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the representatives of the Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change (DFC) agreed to establish a transitional administrative authority with both military and civilian participation during the transitional period.

Japan expresses respect to the mediation efforts made by the African Union (AU) and Ethiopia. Japan positively evaluates this agreement as a progress toward the stabilization of the situation in Sudan. Japan continues to pay close attention to the situation in Sudan and hopes that both parties will comply with the agreement in good faith and that constitutional order will be restored as soon as possible in a democratic manner.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.
Source: Apo-Opa

A graduate at 47, new midwife triumphs over life’s trials (by Arlene Alano)

09.July.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Download logo

At age 47, Angelina Akongo was the oldest of 73 midwifery and nursing students from Juba and Kajo Keji to graduate this year – and she feels like a brand new person. “I am a better person now,” she said.

Her success offers a clear lesson to those in her community: Age should never deter one from pursuing their dreams.

Nor should conflict or tragedy. And Ms. Akongo has experienced more than her share of both.

Loss and resilience

Ms. Akongo first fled conflict during the civil war when South Sudan was still part of Sudan. Her family fled to Uganda, but found that refugee life was just as difficult and uncertain as life back home, so they returned to their community in Nimule in 2002.

“The following year, I went on a 9-month training on maternal and child health, which gave me the opportunity to be employed as a health worker,” she recalled.

The work was rewarding, but life remained harsh.

Even though she was a health worker, health care was often out of reach.

Illness claimed the lives of three of her four children, as well as her husband. She was widowed at age 36.

A new direction

In 2010, as she was still in mourning from her husband’s death two years earlier, Ms. Akongo decided to change the course of her life. She attended a training on community midwifery and, thereafter, went to work for an international NGO as a community midwife in Kapoeta.

Her work was essential.

South Sudan has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. A woman’s lifetime risk of maternal death is 1 in 26, according to United Nations figures from 2015. Many of these deaths could be prevented with access to basic and emergency obstetric care, yet fewer than 1 in 5 births in South Sudan take place under the care of skilled health personnel.

And the country has struggled to improve health services since it gained independence in 2011. Conflict has been ongoing for the last five years, disrupting health systems.

But rather than give up, Ms. Akongo only worked harder.

In July 2016, at age 44, she was admitted to a diploma programme in midwifery at the Juba College of Nursing and Midwifery – a scholarship programme offered by the Strengthening Midwifery Services Project of UNFPA and the Ministry of Health.

Funded by the governments of Canada and Sweden, the project aims to address South Sudan's critical shortage of health professionals, particularly in the field of midwifery.

Ms. Akongo’s prior training, through a short-term certificate course, enabled her to perform basic services. But this programme will enable her to serve as a full-fledged midwife, with skills and training that meet the standards of the International Confederation of Midwives.

Serving her community

South Sudan has increased its number of qualified midwives from fewer than 10 in 2008 to 879 today, Dr. Mary Otieno, UNFPA’s representative in South Sudan, announced at the graduation.

The midwifery project has contributed 444 of these midwives.

Dr. Otieno also called attention to the fact that this year is the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development, a landmark event at which world leaders agreed that reproductive health and rights – including access to family planning and maternal health care – are essential preconditions for national development.

Midwives, Dr. Otieno added, are at the heart of this work.

“Just as the Kajo Keji and Juba colleges have been a community of learning that has served you well, choose always to serve those communities that you call home. Remember, it has been said that service is the rent you pay for the space you occupy on this earth,” she advised.

That is exactly what Ms. Akongo plans to do.

“After graduation I will go back and serve my community in Nimule,” she said.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
Source: Apo-Opa

U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) Regional Director visits Algeria

09.July.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Embassy of the United States in Algiers, Algeria
Download logo

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency’s Worldwide Energy Sector Team Leader and Regional Director for East Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Europe & Eurasia Carl B. Kress visited Algeria June 26-28, 2019, to build on the long partnership between USTDA and Algeria.

Mr. Kress’ visit is part of U.S. efforts to partner with Algerians on economic development.  USTDA supports infrastructure development, job creation, technology transfer and market-oriented reform. It also supports feasibility studies that are tailored to the needs of Algerian authorities and that encourage U.S. companies to bid on projects in Algeria

Sonatrach CEO Rachid Hachichi received Mr. Kress to continue planning a proposed reverse trade mission to the United States to connect Sonatrach leaders with U.S. companies who have equipment, services and technologies that can support Algeria’s energy development goals.

Sonelgaz CEO Chahar Boulakhras received Mr. Kress as part of the proceedings for technical collaboration between the two parties. Mr. Boulakhras expressed his satisfaction with the previous USTDA-funded training for Sonelgaz staff.  Under an agreement signed during Mr. Kress’s last visit to Algeria, USTDA funded executive and senior management-level training for Sonelgaz, to support “annual management, leadership and business training” to Sonelgaz Group executives and senior leadership staff, through training delivered by General Electric.

Mr. Kress also met with the board of the American Chamber of Commerce in Algiers to discuss how best to promote U.S.-Algerian economic partnership.

The U.S. government hopes such partnerships between the U.S. and Algeria will have an important, long-term, and positive impact on both countries’ economic growth. 

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Embassy of the United States in Algiers, Algeria.
Source: Apo-Opa

Ambassador Mirko Manzoni is appointed the UN Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Mozambique

09.July.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

The Federal Council, Switzerland
Download logo

On 8 July 2019, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres appointed Mirko Manzoni, the Swiss ambassador in Maputo, as his Personal Envoy for Mozambique. The FDFA welcomes this decision which recognises Switzerland’s longstanding commitment to the UN and underlines its active role in the ongoing peace process in Mozambique.

Ambassador Manzoni is entrusted with this mandate in a personal capacity. In his new role he will provide good offices support in facilitating the dialogue between the Government of Mozambique and RENAMO, and towards the signing and subsequent implementation of a peace agreement between the parties. Mirko Manzoni is well acquainted with the situation on the ground, not least due to the fact that he has served as ambassador to Mozambique since 2014. He has also chaired the International Contact Group supporting the peace process in Mozambique since February 2017.

Switzerland sees this appointment as recognition of its engagement as an active and impartial member of the UN. It is firmly committed to the principles set out in the UN Charter, such as peaceful conflict resolution and the prevention of crises and conflicts. The appointment of ambassador Manzoni acknowledges Switzerland’s mediation expertise and reflects the appreciation of its contribution to peace and security. 

Switzerland has played a key role in Mozambique for many years. Working closely with the local population and authorities, it combats poverty, supports the improvement of administration and governance and provides humanitarian aid. Based on the trust established through these efforts, Switzerland has also provided greater support for the peace process financially, logistically and through technical expertise since 2016 and assumed the chairmanship of the International Contact Group in 2017.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Federal Council, Switzerland.
Source: Apo-Opa

Fifty-Two TechGirls from the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia arrive in the United States

09.July.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

U.S. Department of State
Download logo

Secondary school girls from the Middle East, North Africa, and ­Central Asia arrived in Washington D.C. this week to participate in the U.S. Department of State’s TechGirls exchange program. Launched in 2012, this four-week program aims to empower girls in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields to pursue higher education and careers through hands-on skills development training with American technology leaders. Central Asia was added to the program for the first time this year, expanding on the program’s mission to provide more opportunities for girls to improve their STEM skills and positively impact their communities.

The TechGirls exchange strengthens American national and economic security by empowering girls with the technical skills and strategic relationships to lead in a global economy. The program’s centerpiece will be a 12-day Java coding camp with American peers at Virginia Tech’s interactive labs in Blacksburg, Virginia. The TechGirls participants will also visit the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland and experience life with an American family for a weekend in southern Virginia.

Public and private sector organizations will mentor the TechGirls, offering them insights into STEM careers. Legacy International, the Department of State’s implementing partner for this program, has teamed up with a number of partners, including AT&T, Echo & Co, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD), Flatiron School, Islamic Relief, NPR, Vox Media, 1901 Group, Nlock.one, Excella, Ozmo, Qualtrax Inc, and Joba Design.

TechGirls exchange alumnae, now totaling 186, have trained more than 3,500 peers in their home countries and have pursued studies at leading institutions around the world. This network of alumnae supports the U.S. commitment to empower women worldwide through STEM education.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Department of State.
Source: Apo-Opa