Call for Applications from The French Ministry of Culture

09.January.2020 · Posted in APO-OPA

Embassy of France in Accra, Ghana
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This policy responds to the priority objective of promoting cultural diversity that France has set for itself and enables a lasting constitution of exchanges between high-level French and foreign professionals in order to maintain a network of professionals close to France and to initiate cooperative projects.

1. Presentation of Programmes for hosting foreign cultural professionals
The offer of programmes is placed under a common label: “Currents of the World” and comes in the following three categories:

  • The “Culture Itinerary” programme: collective thematic seminar (15 days)
  • The “Culture Stay” programme: a semi-individualised programme aimed at accompanying the setting up of a concrete project (5 to 15 days)
  • The “Residency culture” programme: individual immersion programme in a cultural structure or local authority (1 to 3 months)

2. Programming 2020

2.1 “Culture Itinerary”:

  • For Spanish-speaking professionals: a seminar organised from 8 to 19 June 2020 (application deadline: 14 February 2020) on the theme “Cultural structures at the service of territorial development”.
  • For English-speaking professionals: a seminar organised from 8 to 19 June 2019 (application deadline: 14 February 2020) on the theme “What digital strategy for a cultural structure”.
  • For French-speaking professionals: three seminars organised from 12 to 23 October 2020 (application deadline: 15 May 2020)
  • Culture and Youth in Africa
  • Audience development in cultural structures
  • Library seminar (to be specified).

2.2 “Cultural Stay”:

  • For English-speaking professionals, the stays will take place from 11 to 20 May 2020 (deadline for application: 14 February 2020).
  • For French-speaking professionals, the stays will take place from 16 to 26 November 2020 (application deadline: 15 May 2020).

2.3 “Cultural Residence”:
Internships can take place throughout the year depending on the availability of the host structure (applications closed for the year 2020).
Call for applications and detailed presentation sheets for each programme, specifying their content, objectives and the desired profile of participants, will be distributed for each call for applications.

3. Procedures for submitting applications and support for foreign professionals
The application files, which can be downloaded from the Ministry of Culture website (, must be completed by the candidates and validated (with a detailed opinion) by the French Embassy or Institute of each candidate’s country of residence.
The deadline for the return of applications is set according to each programme as indicated above.

The Ministry of Culture covers the candidates’ living expenses in France (accommodation and meals), internal travel and teaching expenses. Transportation to France will be the responsibility of the candidates, their employers or other partners.

The Ministry of Culture is currently considering how to dematerialize the application procedure as of 2021.

4. Animation of the network of alumni of the Ministry of Culture’s hosting programmes
The Ministry of Culture is particularly attentive to the follow-up of foreign professionals who have benefited from these programmes. An alumni platform was launched in December 2018.
In the future, each participant will be given access codes to this platform upon arrival in France.
The Ministry of Culture invites French Posts and Institutes that wish to promote, on a national scale, the networks of foreign cultural professionals hosted in France, with their indispensable support, to get closer to it. The Ministry of Culture’s leadership of this network, on an international scale, can usefully be supplemented by specific support for the posts and/or follow-up of these professionals in existing Clubs France (or similar initiatives).

The Cooperation and Cultural affairs, Instituts français and Alliances françaises can contact the General Secretariat of the Ministry of Culture through the following address:, for all questions on the offers of hosting and training of foreign professionals or go through the chargés de mission by geographical area, their usual contacts.

The Ministry of Culture once again thanks the Department and the network of cooperation and cultural action for the wide dissemination of this 2020 offer and the presentation of the applications they are willing to make.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Embassy of France in Accra, Ghana.
Source: Apo-Opa

League action returns on 11 January 2020

09.January.2020 · Posted in APO-OPA

Kenya Rugby Union (KRU)

Kenya Cup

Defending champions KCB will be at home to Kenyatta University’s Blak Blad at the KCB Sports Club in Ruaraka while Kenya Harlequin play host to Kisumu at the RFUEA Ground.

Other fixtures will pit Top Fry Nakuru against leaders Kabras Sugar at the Nakuru Athletic Club as cross town rivals Menengai Oilers take on Stanbic Mwamba at Nakuru’s Moi Showground.

Homeboyz will play at home to Resolution Impala Saracens at the Jamhuri Park as Western Bulls host Nondescripts at The Bull Ring in Kakamega.

KRU Championship

Strathmore Leos will play host to Egerton Wasps at The Cage in Madaraka with Mombasa welcoming Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) to the Mombasa Sports Club.

Mean Machine shall face Eldoret at the University of Nairobi with Northern Suburbs tentatively set to play against the University of Eldoret Trojans in the early kickoff at the Catholic University. 

This fixture will be followed by the Catholic Monks-USIU Martials clash at the same venue. South Coast Pirates are set to take on Kisii at the St. Joseph’s Primary School in Ukunda.

Nationwide & Eric Shirley Shield 

With the exception of the Nairobi Universities category and the Coast region which return to action on Saturday 18 January 2019, all other regional leagues will resume this weekend following the break for the festive season.

Nairobi Clubs
Swara v Hurricanes 12pm Impala
Shamas vs Ngong 3pm Cooperative
Vandals v Masaku 12pm RFUEA (tbc)
Stingers v Stormers 2pm UON
Comras v Bulldogs 3pm KIHBT

Zetech v Muranga 1pm JKUAT
Nanyuki v MKU Thika 3pm Nanyuki
JKUAT v Embu 3pm JKUAT Juja
Kiambu v Chuka 3pm KU

Rift Valley
KPA Eldoret v Nakuru Kiti 3pm KPA
MAVU v Laikipia Uni 3pm
Kitale v Nandi 3pm Kitale
Moi Uni v Kabarak 3pm Moi Uni

Jaramogi Uni v MMUST II 3pm JOOST
Bungoma v Maseno 3pm Bungoma
Citam Kisumu v Vihiga Granites 3pm Maseno
Mbale v Webuye 3pm Kaimosi
Siaya v Sheywe 3pm Siaya

*kick off times may change due to weather conditions

Coast and Nairobi Universities competitions resume on 18 Jan 2020

KCB II v Blad II 2pm Ruaraka
Quins II v Kisumu II 2pm RFUEA
Nakuru II v Kabras II 2pm NAC
Oilers II v Mwamba II 2pm Nakuru
Homeboyz II v Impala II 2pm Jamhuri
Bulls II v Nondies II 2pm Kakamega

*kickoff times may change due to weather conditions


Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Kenya Rugby Union (KRU).

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Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) Ghassan Salame welcomes international calls for ceasefire in Libya, urges immediate cessation of military operations across Libya

09.January.2020 · Posted in APO-OPA

United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL)
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The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, Ghassan Salame, welcomes recent calls for a ceasefire in Libya by a number of countries and international and regional organisations, the most recent of which is the joint call today by the Presidents of Turkey and Russian.

SRSG Salame urges international and Libyan parties to respond positively to these calls and cease all military operations across Libya immediately to spare the country further bloodshed and provide relief to its people who are suffering the woes of this war.

The Special Representative encourages the international community, especially countries concerned with the Libyan crisis, to seize the current momentum and push the Berlin Process forward in order to reach an international consensus. The success of the Berlin Process will secure an international umbrella to provide support and protection for the three-track intra-Libyan process, launched by UNSMIL and aimed at addressing the Libyan crisis in all its aspects, economic and financial, military and security, and political.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).
Source: Apo-Opa

Global Growth: Modest Pickup to 2.5% in 2020 amid Mounting Debt and Slowing Productivity Growth

09.January.2020 · Posted in APO-OPA

The World Bank Group
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Global economic growth is forecast to edge up to 2.5% in 2020 as investment and trade gradually recover from last year’s significant weakness but downward risks persist, the World Bank says in its January 2020 Global Economic Prospects.

Growth among advanced economies as a group is anticipated to slip to 1.4% in 2020 in part due to continued softness in manufacturing. Growth in emerging market and developing economies is expected to accelerate this year to 4.1%. This rebound is not broad-based; instead, it assumes improved performance of a small group of large economies, some of which are emerging from a period of substantial weakness. About a third of emerging market and developing economies are projected to decelerate this year due to weaker-than-expected exports and investment. 

 “With growth in emerging and developing economies likely to remain slow, policymakers should seize the opportunity to undertake structural reforms that boost broad-based growth, which is essential to poverty reduction,” said World Bank Group Vice President for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu. “Steps to improve the business climate, the rule of law, debt management, and productivity can help achieve sustained growth.”

Download the January 2020 Global Economic Prospects report.

U.S. growth is forecast to slow to 1.8% this year, reflecting the negative impact of earlier tariff increases and elevated uncertainty. Euro Area growth is projected to slip to a downwardly revised 1% in 2020 amid weak industrial activity.

Downside risks to the global outlook predominate, and their materialization could slow growth substantially. These risks include a re-escalation of trade tensions and trade policy uncertainty, a sharper-than expected downturn in major economies, and financial turmoil in emerging market and developing economies. Even if the recovery in emerging and developing economy growth takes place as expected, per capita growth would remain well below long-term averages and well below levels necessary to achieve poverty alleviation goals.

“Low global interest rates provide only a precarious protection against financial crises,” said World Bank Prospects Group Director Ayhan Kose. “The history of past waves of debt accumulation shows that these waves tend to have unhappy endings. In a fragile global environment, policy improvements are critical to minimize the risks associated with the current debt wave.”

Analytical sections in this edition of Global Economic Prospects address key current topics:

  • The Fourth Wave: Recent Debt Buildup in Emerging and Developing Economies: There have been four waves of debt accumulation in the last 50 years. The latest wave, which started in 2010, has seen the largest, fastest, and most broad-based increase in debt among the four. While current low levels of interest rates mitigate some of the risks associated with high debt, previous waves of broad-based debt accumulation ended with widespread financial crises. Policy options to reduce the likelihood of crises and lessen their impact should they materialize include building resilient monetary and fiscal frameworks, instituting robust supervisory and regulatory regimes, and following transparent debt management practices.
  • Fading Promise: How to Rekindle Productivity Growth: Productivity growth, a primary source of income growth and driver of poverty reduction, has slowed more broadly and steeply since the global financial crisis than at any time in four decades. In emerging market and developing economies, the slowdown has reflected weakness in investment and moderating efficiency gains as well as dwindling resource reallocation between sectors. The pace of improvements in many key drivers of labor productivity—including education and institutions—has slowed or stagnated since the global financial crisis.
  • Price Controls: Good Intentions, Bad Outcomes: The use of price controls is widespread in emerging market and developing economies. While sometimes used as a tool for social policy, price controls can dampen investment and growth, worsen poverty outcomes, cause countries to incur heavy fiscal burdens, and complicate the effective conduct of monetary policy. Replacing price controls with expanded and better-targeted social safety nets, reforms to encourage competition and a sound regulatory environment can be pro-poor and pro-growth.
  • Low for How Much Longer? Inflation in Low-Income Countries: Inflation in low-income countries has tumbled to a median of 3% in mid-2019 from 25% in 1994. The decline has been supported by more flexible exchange rate regimes, greater central bank independence, lower government debt, and a more benign external environment. However, to maintain low and stable inflation amid mounting fiscal pressures and the risk of exchange rate shocks, policymakers need to strengthen monetary policy frameworks and central bank capacity and replace price controls with more efficient policies.

Regional Outlooks:

East Asia and Pacific: Growth in the region is projected to ease to 5.7% in 2020, reflecting a further moderate slowdown in China to 5.9% this year amid continued domestic and external headwinds, including the lingering impact of trade tensions. Regional growth excluding China is projected to slightly recover to 4.9%, as domestic demand benefits from generally supportive financial conditions amid low inflation and robust capital flows in some countries (Cambodia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam), and as large public infrastructure projects come onstream (the Philippines and Thailand). Regional growth will also benefit from the reduced global trade policy uncertainty and a moderate, even if still subdued, recovery of global trade.

Europe and Central Asia:  Regional growth is expected to firm to 2.6% in 2020, assuming stabilization of key commodity prices and Euro Area growth and recovery in Turkey (to 3%) and Russia (to 1.6%). Economies in Central Europe are anticipated to slow to 3.4% as fiscal support wanes and as demographic pressures persist, while countries in Central Asia are projected to grow at a robust pace on the back of structural reform progress. Growth is projected to firm in the Western Balkans to 3.6% — although the aftermath of devastating earthquakes could weigh on the outlook — and decelerate in the South Caucasus to 3.1%.

Latin America and the Caribbean: Regional growth is expected to rise to 1.8% in 2020, as growth in the largest economies strengthens and domestic demand picks up at the regional level. In Brazil, more robust investor confidence, together with a gradual easing of lending and labor market conditions, is expected to support an acceleration in growth to 2%. Growth in Mexico is seen rising to 1.2% as less policy uncertainty contributes to a pickup in investment, while Argentina is anticipated to contract by a slower 1.3%. In Colombia, progress on infrastructure projects is forecast to help support a rise in growth to 3.6%. Growth in Central America is projected to firm to 3% thanks to easing credit conditions in Costa Rica and relief from setbacks to construction projects in Panama. Growth in the Caribbean is expected to accelerate to 5.6%, predominantly due to offshore oil production developments in Guyana.

Middle East and North Africa: Regional growth is projected to accelerate to a modest 2.4% in 2020, largely on higher investment and stronger business climates. Among oil exporters, growth is expected to pick up to 2%. Infrastructure investment and business climate reforms are seen advancing growth among the Gulf Cooperation Council economies to 2.2%. Iran’s economy is expected to stabilize after a contractionary year as the impact of US sanctions tapers and oil production and exports stabilize, while Algeria’s growth is anticipated to rise to 1.9% as policy uncertainty abates and investment picks up. Growth in oil importers is expected to rise to 4.4%. Higher investment and private consumption are expected to support a rise to 5.8% in FY2020 growth in Egypt.

South Asia: Growth in the region is expected to rise to 5.5% in 2020, assuming a modest rebound in domestic demand and as economic activity benefits from policy accommodation in India and Sri Lanka and improved business confidence and support from infrastructure investments in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. In India, where weakness in credit from non-bank financial companies is expected to linger, growth is projected to slow to 5% in FY 2019/20, which ends March 31 and recover to 5.8% the following fiscal year. In Pakistan’s growth is expected to rise to 3% in the next fiscal year after bottoming out at 2.4% in FY2019/20, which ends June 30. In Bangladesh, growth is expected to ease to 7.2% in FY2019/2020, which ends June 30, and edge up to 7.3% the following fiscal year. Growth in Sri Lanka is forecast to rise to 3.3%.  

Sub-Saharan Africa: Regional growth is expected to pick up to 2.9% in 2020, assuming investor confidence improves in some large economies, energy bottlenecks ease, a pickup in oil production contributes to recovery in oil exporters and robust growth continues among agricultural commodity exporters. The forecast is weaker than previously expected reflecting softer demand from key trading partners, lower commodity prices, and adverse domestic developments in several countries. In South Africa, growth is expected to pick up to 0.9%, assuming the new administration’s reform agenda gathers pace, policy uncertainty wanes, and investment gradually recovers. Growth in Nigeria expected to edge up to 2.1% as the macroeconomic framework is not conducive to confidence. Growth in Angola is anticipated to accelerate to 1.5%, assuming that ongoing reforms provide greater macroeconomic stability, improve the business environment, and bolster private investment. In the West African Economic and Monetary Union, growth is expected to hold steady at 6.4%. In Kenya, growth is seen edging up to 6%.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The World Bank Group.
Source: Apo-Opa

Boon for African Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) as African Guarantee Fund receives USD 33 Million Capital Increase

09.January.2020 · Posted in APO-OPA

African Guarantee Fund

Africa’s leading Guarantee Institution, African Guarantee Fund (AGF) ( has received an additional USD 33M financing from German lender KfW Development Bank , in a move that will catapult AGF’s efforts to enable African SMEs continue to play their critical role in driving Africa’s economy.

This new financing comes at a time when the continent's SME sector has been singled out as a key driver of growth. This now places AGF firmly on the driver’s seat as the champion that eases access to financing for SMEs across the continent.

The African Guarantee Fund is focused on its goal to provide financial guarantees for over 10,000 SMEs annually through partner financial institutions and as a trickledown effect, create 30,000 jobs per year.

“We are excited about the confidence our shareholders and partners have in what we are doing in Africa. This capital injection will go a long way in ensuring that we continue to make a positive impact in the continent. So far, we have cumulatively issued more than USD 1 B worth of guarantees making available about USD 1.7 billion for SME financing through our Partner Financial Institutions. This has led to the creation of more than 100,000 additional jobs,” says Felix Bikpo, Group CEO of African Guarantee Fund.

Out of the 20,000 African SMEs from various economic sectors that have so far benefited from AGF guarantees, the institution is very proud that 60% of these SMEs are owned by youth who are the majority in Africa today, and 30% owned by women, both being demographics that heavily impact Africa’s economy. 

“Our experience traversing Africa has shown us that Women in Africa are tenacious entrepreneurs, even though they face a gender financing gap of USD 42 billion. The capital increase from KfW will largely be used to increase financing of women owned or led businesses. This is in addition to our partnership with the African Development Bank through the recently launched Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) which currently has a USD 251 million commitment from G7 countries.” added Mr. Bikpo.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Guarantee Fund.

Media Contact:
Diana Aluga
Group Communication & Public Relations Assistant
Tel: +254732148000

Joyce Wanjiru
PR Manager, Scarlet Digital Limited
Tel: +254 720051202

About African Guarantee Fund:
African Guarantee Fund ( is a non-bank financial institution whose objective is to promote economic development, increase employment and reduce poverty in Africa by providing financial institutions with guarantee products and capacity development assistance specifically intended to support SMEs in Africa.

African Guarantee Fund was founded by the government of Denmark through the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), the government of Spain through the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID) and the African Development Bank (AfDB). Other shareholders include: French Development Agency (AFD), Nordic Development Fund (NDF), Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) and KfW Development Bank (KfW).

AGF has a rating of AA- by Fitch Ratings Agency. 

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Ghana Rugby Extends Board Nominations Deadline Ahead of Critical General Meeting

09.January.2020 · Posted in APO-OPA

Ghana Rugby Football Union

The Ghana Rugby Football Union ( has announced that nominations for Board positions have been extended to 15 January 2020 ahead of a critical Special Elective General Meeting (SGM) of the Union that was forced by the announcement of the incumbent President and Board Chairman, Mr Herbert Mensah, that he may step down.

The announcement by Mensah came as a surprise to many people within the Ghana Rugby Family as well as by the broader rugby community in light of the commendable achievements by Ghana Rugby since Mensah and his administration took over the governance of the Union in June 2014.

Some members of the Board who prefered to stay anonymous, however, said that the announcement did not come as such a big surprise to them in light of the levels of financial commitments involved in recent successes coupled with resistance against his progressive ideas.

“Anybody who is risking his families’ money in such vast amounts as Mr Mensah has been doing since 2014 and to be confronted with resistance to such a degree will, at some stage, question whether it is all worth it,” one of the Board Members said. 

The Special Elective General Meeting will be held in Accra on 4 February 2020 and two Officers and seven Board Members will be up for election.

The Officers are the positions of President and Vice President represent Ghana Rugby and Ghana at important functions and events, locally and overseas. The President and Vice President are entitled to attend Ghana Rugby Board Meetings, although they are not considered Board Members and may not vote on Board matters.

The Ghana Rugby Board consists of seven elected Board Members who must be nominated and seconded and endorsed by one of the Members, the Regional Rugby Associations. Anybody may submit a nomination to the Regional Associations for their endorsement.

Four more Directors or Board Members can be appointed by the Chairman of the Board. The Board Chairman gets appointed by a closed session of the newly elected Board as the first matter of business after the results of the elections are known and declared valid and legal.

All nominees will be subject to scrutiny by the Ghana Rugby Appointments and Remuneration Committee based on an approved Skills and Competency Framework.

Ghana Rugby changed its Constitution in 2017 (with the approval of Africa Rugby and in the presence of the NSA) and used the New Zealand Rugby Constitution as the basis for the adoption of a new constitution. At the time of adoption in 2017, it was acknowledged that the new Constitution will be very suitable for a “mature” Ghana Rugby but that certain changes may be required as time goes by. It is expected that some minor changes will be tabled to the SGM for approval.

Besides for the election, it is also expected that two new Member Applications will be tabled for approval. These include Ghana Deaf Rugby and the newly established Northern Regional Association.

Ghana Rugby has adopted a Zonal approach whereby Regions are grouped in Zones. The current Zones consist of Zone 1 (Greater Accra, Volta, Eastern), Zone 2 (Western, Central), Zone 3 (Ashanti, Brong Ahafo) and Zone 4 (Northern, Upper East, Upper West). These Zones will be reviewed in light of the new regional dispensation in Ghana but it is not expected that there will be major changes.

The extension of the nomination deadline followed a recommendation by the Appointments and Remuneration Committee. According to the Chairman of the Committee, Mr James Nana Akwandoh Nunoo, it was felt that in light of the subversive activities and elements the election process must be seen as an open and transparent process and those who feel that they can do better than the incumbent Board must be given the opportunity to come forward and to put their hands up.

“If Mr Mensah indeed steps back a void will be created that must be filled by those who have been advocating for his demise. Irrespective of what happens every new Board Member will have to commit themselves to play a substantial role in overcoming Ghana Rugby’s major challenge which is and will always be the funding of the Unions ambitious plans,” Nunoo said.

Mr Nunoo also said that the needs of Ghana Rugby at Board level should as far as possible be matched to the abilities and resources that new Board Members can and will bring to the table. According to him, the needs vary from people who can take charge and drive certain portfolios that include governance and administration, management of Regional development, management of performance of Ghana’s national teams, management of women’s rugby, management of the youth development programme, management of tournaments and events, liaison with sponsors and corporate Ghana, training and education and communication and marketing.

Nominations must be sent to the Ghana Rugby Secretariat through its email address at

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Ghana Rugby Football Union.

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About Ghana Rugby:
Ghana Rugby (Ghana.Rugby) is the official full member of both World Rugby (2017) and Rugby Africa in Ghana-West Africa and is responsible for the management and development of the Game Rugby Union in the country. The Union is governed by a Constitution and administers five KPAs (Key Performance Areas) namely: (1) Youth Development & Growth through the World Rugby “Get Into Rugby” Programme, (2) Women in Ghana Rugby, (3) Training & Education, (4) Domestic Competitions and (5) International Performance.

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Chipu begin Barthes Cup preparations

09.January.2020 · Posted in APO-OPA

Kenya Rugby Union (KRU)

A 43 man Kenya national U20 squad has been selected by Head Coach Paul Odera ahead of this year's Africa U20 Championship, The Barthes Cup, whose dates and venue will be announced by Rugby Africa in due course.

The squad began training on Tuesday 7 January 2020. It was selected after a series of trials conducted by Odera and his technical team. 

Speaking after the final trials in Nairobi on Sunday 5 January 2020, Odera said, “It is good to see that we have a lot of talent across the country and what is very exciting is that the boys are keen and ready to learn. Today’s goal is to see which of the players we saw during the regions can step up and fulfill the potential we saw.”

Chipu, as the Kenya national U20 squad is referred to, are the reigning Barthes Cup champions after defeating Namibia 21-18 in the final in Nairobi in April last year. This victory earned them the right to represent Africa at the World Rugby Junior Trophy in Brazil where they finished sixth overall.

Final Chipu 2020 Squad






Loose Head Prop




University of Johannesburg

Loose Head Prop




Nondies RFC

Loose Head Prop




Alliance High School





Menengai Oilers RFC





Menengai Oilers RFC

Tighthead Prop




Resolution Impala Saracens

Tighthead Prop





Tighthead Prop




Blackblad RFC

Tighthead Prop




Resolution Impala Saracens

LH Lock




Kabras Sugar RFC

LH Lock




Resolution Impala Saracens

LH Lock




Top Fry Nakuru RFC

TH Lock




Menengai Oilers RFC

TH Lock




Homeboyz RFC

Backrow – 6




Menengai Oilers RFC

Backrow – 6




Muranga RFC

Backrow – 6




Homeboyz RFC

Backrow – 7




Blackblad RFC

Backrow – 7




Kenya Harlequin F.C

Backrow – 7




Kenya Harlequin F.C

Backrow – 7




Kabras Sugar RFC






No. 8





No. 8




Stanbic Mwamba RFC

Scrum half




Nondies RFC

Scrum half




Resolution Impala Saracens





University of Exeter





Cardiff University



Fidens Tony


N.Suburbs RFC





Homeboyz RFC

Inside Centre




Top Fry Nakuru RFC

Inside Centre




N.Suburbs RFC

Inside Centre




Top Fry Nakuru RFC

Inside Centre




Nakuru High School

Outside Center




Kabras Sugar RFC

Outside Center

Myatt – Taylor



Milton Abbey

Outside Center




Top Fry Nakuru RFC

Left Wing




Kenya Harlequin F.C

Left Wing





Right Wing




Mean Machine

Right Wing




Vandals/St. Patrick’s High School Iten





Strathmore Leos





Homeboyz RFC





Strathmore Leos

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Kenya Rugby Union (KRU).

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Malta launches its first strategy for growth and partnership with Africa (2020-2025) for public consultation

09.January.2020 · Posted in APO-OPA

Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion of the Republic of Malta

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela launched the first policy document for public consultation, wherein Africa is being seen by Malta as a vital strategic partner for the coming five years. Focusing on trade, diplomacy and development, this policy document, entitled ‘Malta and Africa: A strategy for partnership 2020-2025’, concentrates on the exchange of wealth and creating opportunity in changing times between Malta and the continent of Africa.

In his opening address, Minister Abela highlighted the message that Africa is an emerging economic force. He remarked that Malta’s national strategy serves as a guide for the development of Malta’s relations with the continent of Africa in the period ahead, ensuring that Malta is not simply a passive player in a changing world, but an active contributor to solutions, and a worthy proponent of policy and opportunities for growth. In the Minister’s words, the strategy responds to the demands of a changing Africa and charts how Malta can deepen relations through the values of trust and the dialogue of partnership.


“To make this a success, we need to be part of the narrative of growth and opportunity in Africa”, stated Minister Abela, as he outlined proposals to build on Malta’s strong existing relationships include a greater role for Maltese business, a role that will help create new investment and trade which will be mutually beneficial to Malta and Africa. “There is a clear message emerging, which we must heed. Africa does not simply want aid. It wants trade, development and growth. More business-to-business contact and the sharing of skills and knowledge. Malta-based enterprises are well-placed to play a greater role in Africa, and we commit ourselves in this strategy to helping with the research, the networking, and the groundwork that can identify and facilitate two-way trade and investment”, said the Minister. On this note, he added that in 2020, his Ministry, which is responsible for Trade Promotion, will be leading trade delegations to Ghana, Ethiopia and Ivory Coast, as well as an exploratory visit to Rwanda, whilst also celebrating the opening of the first Maltese Diplomatic Mission in Africa, in Ghana. 


Minister Carmelo Abela noted that the strategy also highlights the importance of development through the sharing of good practice, to empower a rising Africa by unleashing the potential of every person, irrespective of gender, creed, or orientation. In this regard, Minister Abela highlighted the good work being done by Maltese civil society through the Maltese government’s Overseas Aid programme, which proudly flies Malta’s flag and shares Malta’s values of solidarity. It is to be noted that, in 2018, Malta’s expenditure for development, the majority of which was towards Africa, was over €28,000,000. From 2020, the Official Development Assistance Fund has been increased to reach a total sum of €2,000,000. The Minister announced that a call will soon be issued for projects, encouraging a collaboration between non-governmental organisations and the private sector, in support of international development projects.


Minister Abela remarked that Malta has engaged with the Mediterranean-bordering countries of North Africa since time immemorial. The government is now actively pursuing a wider strategy for Africa beyond its northern shores, consolidating Malta’s links in Africa through its membership of the Commonwealth and within the European Union. The Valletta Summit of 2015, hosted by Malta, sent an important message, namely that migration cannot be addressed as a singular issue. Malta has consistently taken a proactive role in seeking international solutions to the challenges of our times. Minister Abela reiterated Malta’s commitment to Africa, stating that, “through this strategy, Malta will advocate for growth, for dignity, and for empowerment in Africa. We will seek to be true partners through our positions and policies within the European Union, the United Nations, and elsewhere”.

“Malta could be Europe’s bridge to Africa” – EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen

President von der Leyen addressed the event through a recorded message, complimenting Malta’s confident engagement with Africa; “I believe that our continent’s success is linked to that of another continent, a young, dynamic and fast developing continent, the great continent of Africa. Malta could be Europe’s bridge to Africa. I am particularly glad that Malta is presenting a strategy for partnership with Africa. There could be no better way to open this new year and decade. Soon, I will present Europe’s Strategy with Africa, and by the end of the year the leaders of the two continents will meet to discuss the way forward”.

The event was also addressed by Malta’s Non-Resident Ambassador of Malta to Ethiopia and Malta’s Representative to the African Union Ronald Micallef. Through his remarks, he provided a detailed explanation of Malta’s contribution to a more ambitious EU engagement with Africa, which breaks away from an exclusively aid-driven approach to engage effectively through trade, development and diplomacy. Ambassador Micallef emphasised the importance of a cross-ministry approach on selected themes, in which Malta can excel and add value, whilst emphasising the importance of the African Union as an important organisation for change on the continent of Africa, as well as recognising Africa’s diversity as a continent of more than 50 countries.

Throughout the event, a dialogue was held between Minister Carmelo Abela and stakeholder participants representing business, trade and diplomacy in line with the tenets of Malta’s Africa strategy.

The public consultation will remain open till the 29th January 2020. Feedback will be received on

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion of the Republic of Malta.

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Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion of the Republic of Malta
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Source: Apo-Opa

‘Unprecedented terrorist violence’ in West Africa, Sahel region

09.January.2020 · Posted in APO-OPA

UN News

“The region has experienced a devastating surge in terrorist attacks against civilian and military targets,” Mohamed Ibn Chambas, UN Special Representative and Head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), told the Council in its first formal meeting of the year.

“The humanitarian consequences are alarming”, he spelled out.

In presenting his latest report, Mr. Chambas painted a picture of relentless attacks on civilian and military targets that he said, have “shaken public confidence”. 

A surge in casualties

The UNOWAS chief elaborated on terrorist-attack casualties in Burkina Faso Mali and Niger, which have leapt five-fold since 2016 – with more than 4,000 deaths reported in 2019 alone as compared to some 770 three years earlier.

“Most significantly,” he said, “the geographic focus of terrorist attacks has shifted eastwards from Mali to Burkina Faso and is increasingly threatening West African coastal States”.

He also flagged that the number of deaths in Burkina Faso jumped from about 80 in 2016 to over 1,800 last year.

And displacement has grown ten-fold to about half a million, on top of some 25,000 who have sought refuge in other countries. 

Mr. Chambas explained that “terrorist attacks are often deliberate efforts by violent extremists” to engage in illicit activities that include capturing weapons and illegal artisanal mining.

Intertwined challenges

Terrorism, organized crime and intercommunal violence are often intertwined, especially in peripheral areas where the State’s presence is weak.

“In those places, extremists provide safety and protection to populations, as well as social services in exchanged for loyalty”, he informed the Council, echoing the Secretary-General in saying that for these reasons, “counter-terrorism responses must focus on gaining the trust and support of local populations”. 

The Special Representative outlined that governments, local actors, regional organizations and the international community are mobilizing across the region to respond to these challenges.

On 21 December, the ECOWAS Heads of State summit “adopted a 2020-2024 action plan to eradicate terrorism in the sub-region”, he said.

Calling “now” the time for action, Mr. Chambas drew attention to the importance of supporting regional Governments by prioritizing “a cross-pillar approach at all levels and across all sectors”.

Turning to farmer-herder clashes, which he maintained are “some of the most violent local conflicts in the region”, the UNOWAS chief highlighted that 70 per cent of West Africa’s population depend on agriculture and livestock-rearing for a living, underscoring the importance of peaceful coexistence.

The Special Representative also pointed to climate change, among other factors, as increasingly exacerbating farmer-herder conflicts.

“The impact of climate change on security also spawns a negative relationship between climate change, social cohesion, irregular migration and criminality in some places”, he upheld.

Stemming negative security trends

The UNOWAS chief noted that in the months ahead, Togo, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea and Niger would be democratically electing their leaders and maintained that “all-too-worrying” security trends must not distract from political developments.

“Unresolved grievance, incomplete national reconciliation processes and sentiments of manipulation of institutions and processes carry risks of tensions and manifestations of political violence”, he warned.

In the months ahead, Mr. Chambas stressed that UNOWAS would continue to work with partners on the national and regional levels to promote consensus and inclusiveness in the elections. 

“As UNOWAS’ mandate is renewed, we count on the Council’s continued full support”, concluded the Special Representative.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of UN News.

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Signing of Tax Convention between Japan and Morocco

09.January.2020 · Posted in APO-OPA

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
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On January 8 (same day local time), “Convention between Japan and the Kingdom of Morocco for the Elimination of Double Taxation with respect to Taxes on Income and the Prevention of Tax Evasion and Avoidance (hereinafter referred to as the Convention) (English (PDF)/Japanese (PDF)) was signed in Rabat, Morocco by Mr. SUZUKI Keisuke, State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan and H.E. Mr. Mohcine JAZOULI, Minister Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Morocco.

For the purpose of eliminating double taxation arising between the two countries, this Convention clarifies the scope of taxable income in the two countries. In addition, this Convention will enable the tax authorities of the two countries to consult each other on taxation not in accordance with the provisions of this Convention, to exchange information concerning tax matters and to mutually lend assistance in the collection of tax claims. It is expected that, while eliminating double taxation and preventing international tax evasion and tax avoidance, this Convention promotes further mutual investments and economic exchanges between the two countries. At the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7), which was held in August 2019, Prime Minister Abe announced Japan will put forth every possible efforts so that Japanese private investment in Africa, which was worth $20 billion over the past three years, will further (PDF). This Convention is expected to materialize this announcement, achieve closer economic relations between two countries and increase Japan’s investment in Africa.

The following are the key points of the Convention.

(1) Taxation on Business Profits
Where an enterprise of one of the two countries has in the other country a permanent establishment (such as a branch, including the furnishing of services by an enterprise through personnel over a certain period of time) through which the enterprise carries on business, only the profits attributable to the permanent establishment may be taxed in that other country.

(2) Taxation on Investment Income
Taxation on investment income (dividends, interest and royalties) in the source country will be subjected to the maximum rates or exempted as follows:


5% (holding at least 10% of shares)
10% (others)


Exempted (beneficially owned by the Governments etc.)
10% (others)


5% (Equipment)
10% (Others)

  • voting power (where paid by a company of Japan), or capital (where paid by a company of Morocco)

(3) Taxation on Gains from Alienation of Shares
Gains from the alienation of shares representing at least 50 per cent of the capital of a company may be taxed in the source country subjected to the maximum rate at the 5 per cent. However, gains derived from changes of ownership that would directly result from a corporate reorganisation of that company or that alienator will be exempted from tax.

(4) Prevention of Abuse of the Convention
In order to prevent abuse of benefits under this Convention, any benefit under this Convention will not be granted if it is reasonable to conclude that obtaining such a benefit was one of the principal purposes of any transaction.

(5) Mutual Agreement Procedure
Taxation not in accordance with the provisions of this Convention may be resolved by mutual agreement between the tax authorities of the two countries.

(6) Exchange of Information and Assistance in Collection of Tax Claims
In order to effectively prevent international tax evasion and tax avoidance, the exchange of information concerning tax matters and the mutual assistance in the collection of tax claims between the two countries are introduced.

After the completion of the necessary domestic procedures in each of the two countries (in the case of Japan, approval by the Diet is necessary), each of the two countries shall send through diplomatic channels to the other country the notification confirming the completion of its internal procedures. This Convention will enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date of receipt of the latter notification and will have effect:

(1) in Japan:

(a) with respect to taxes levied on the basis of a taxable year, for taxes for any taxable years beginning on or after the first day of January in the calendar year next following that in which this Convention enters into force; and
(b) with respect to taxes levied not on the basis of a taxable year, for taxes levied on or after the first day of January in the calendar year next following that in which this Convention enters into force; and

(2) in Morocco:

(a) with respect to taxes withheld at source, on amounts paid or credited, on or after the first day of January of the calendar year next following that in which this Convention enters into force; and
(b) with respect to other taxes, for any taxable year or period beginning on or after the first day of January of the calendar year next following that in which this Convention enters into force; and

(3) The provisions concerning the exchange of information and the assistance in the collection of taxes have effect from the date of entry into force of this Convention without regard to the date on which the taxes are levied or the taxable year to which the taxes relate.

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