#DzAlumni Summit 2019

08.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Embassy of the United States in Algiers, Algeria

The #DzAlumni Summit was a one-day summit that gathered U.S. Embassy Alumni from around Algeria for a full day of speeches, workshops, presentations, and leadership skill trainings. It provided alumni with an opportunity to network with each other, share success stories and lessons learned from the local projects, and brainstorm new ideas for service initiatives. The Summit was an initiative developed by the alumni Steering Committee, and it took place on August 3 in Algiers.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Embassy of the United States in Algiers, Algeria.

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Source: Apo-Opa

Investment on tobacco control has a financial return of eight times over 15 years for Cabo Verde economy

08.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

WHO Regional Office for Africa
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Tobacco-related illnesses cost over 100 lives lost every year in Cabo Verde, as well as CVE 1.62 billion (approximately USD 16 million) to the national economy every year, equivalent to 1.1% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). These costs are due to health care expenditures and ‘hidden’ productivity losses from premature mortality, disabilities and smoking breaks. 

These data was revealed by a new study launched today that looks at the health and economic costs of tobacco use in Cabo Verde. During the launching, the Minister of Health and Social Security, Arlindo do Rosário, acknowledged the strategic partnership that had as a result the publication of the Cabo Verde WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Investment Case.

“This study shows the large economic impact of tobacco consumption and all the costs that involves if no action is taken. It is urgent to tackle it and promote free-smoke policies to fight Non Communicable Diseases in Cabo Verde. We have clear strategies to defeat tobacco and I call on all of you to join this cause”, concluded the Minister.

Likewise, the State Secretary of Finance, Gilberto Barros, conveyed the engagement of the Ministry of Finance in tobacco control measures, including the recent increase of taxes implemented earlier this year. “We fully endorse the intersectorial mechanism for tobacco control and we strongly support the Ministry of Health and Social Security to propose a new tobacco law that contributes to the improvement of the living conditions of all cabo-verdeans”, highlighted.

Other than the health and economic costs of tobacco use, the study also estimates the potential health and economic gains from scaled up implementation of evidence-based tobacco control measures. Scaling up tobacco control measures will save nearly 600 lives and avert CVE 6.9 billion (approximately USD 70 million) in health costs and economic losses by 2033. The return on investment is also significant where for every escudo (national money) invested in tobacco control today, Cabo Verde will receive CVE 8 in economic returns by 2033. 

The Officer in Charge (OIC) of the World Health Organization (WHO) office in Cabo Verde, Tomas Valdez, noted that this research in an opportunity to reflect on the impact of the public policies choices in the Health sector. “The potential social and economic gains showcased by this study are a crucial incentive for decision makers and health workers to reinforce their engagement to fight tobacco nationwide; tobacco is a social and economic burden”, highlighted.

“For WHO smoking is truly global epidemy that causes over 8 million deaths worldwide and if this tendency continues, it is stimated that tobacco will be responsible for over 1 billion casualties in globally in the current century. These figures appeals to urgent and coordinated action agains tobacco”, defended the OIC.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) country representative, Boubou Camara, underscored the engagement of his organization to support the sustainable development of Cabo Verde, including an intersectorial mechanism to coordinate the fight against tobacco and the implementation of a law that guarantee a sustainable future for the country. “Cabo Verde is loosing lives of productive people due to tobacco, with the subsequent financial consequences and their impact to the public health system, and UNDP will be a reliable partner to support the national strategy for tobacco control” added the UNDP Representative.

The findings of the Cabo Verde FCTC Investment Case were presented by a United Nations-led international team, comprised of the Secretariatof the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Health Organization (WHO), and RTI International. The study was conducted in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Security. During the ceremony, the study was officially delivered to the Government of Cabo Verde.

As a Party to the world’s tobacco control international treaty – the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), Cabo Verde has taken important steps to reduce tobacco use, including the enactment of several laws regulating tobacco. 

“While we have seen Cabo Verde make great strides in tobacco control, more can still be done to protect the people from the harms of tobacco. We encourage all government ministries in Cabo Verde to support the full implementation of the WHO FCTC to advance health and sustainable development” said Rodrigo Santos Feijo, Technical Officer, Development Assistance with the WHO FCTC Secretariat. 

Participants of the event included officials from all ministries involved, academia, civil society, UN agencies, local governments and NGOs. The WHO Regional Office for Africa was also represented by the Coordinator of Noncommunicable Diseases Primary Prevention, Jean-Marie Dangou.

The investment case was conducted as part of the FCTC 2030 project, generously funded by the Governments of the United Kingdom and Australia.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of WHO Regional Office for Africa.
Source: Apo-Opa

Africa's Key Development Partners formalize their commitment to work jointly to help address food and nutrition security in times of climate change

08.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

The World Bank Group
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In partnership with the African Union, leaders of four multilateral agencies – The African Development Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Bank– called a high-level meeting with development partners on August 5-6 in Kigali, Rwanda at the first Africa Food Security Leadership Dialogue (AFSLD). The event focuses on concrete ways to strengthen and accelerate their support to food security programs in Africa and help African agriculture adapt to climate change through increased partnerships and coordination.

Sub-Saharan Africa's farming sector has grown faster than anywhere else in the world with a 4.6 percent agriculture GDP growth rate from 2000 to 2018. But about 20 percent of Africa's population (256 million people) are facing severe food insecurity. The situation is getting worse because of the negative impacts of climate change and conflicts. Extreme weather events such as droughts and floods have become more frequent and prolonged, leading to diminished productive capacity of the land and loss of natural capital.  In addition to that, farmers face several significant climate risks, especially in rainfed agriculture and pastoral production systems. The net effect is that per-capita food production is declining given a rapidly growing population, making food less available and accessible to a significant portion of the population.

The number of undernourished people in most sub-regions has been on the rise again since 2014 and if this trend continues the hard-won gains of previous years will be lost. 

Attended by more than 250 high-level decision makers including 28 Ministers from across the continent, Nobel laureates, leading technical specialists in Africa and high-level representatives from international organizations such as the African Union, the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), United Nations' agencies, the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR),  bilateral development partners, and eminent personalities, the AFSLD concluded with a joint Communiqué, urging development partners to strengthen their coordination efforts to better support countries to accelerate progress towards their collective food and nutrition security goals as envisioned in the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP). 

Acknowledging the urgency of the situation, the AFSLD partners agree to scale-up their collaboration, including joint planning and programming, co-financing and parallel-financing, and joint analytical and advisory activities in addressing African food security issues in the context of climate change. They also agree to commit financial and technical support that is commensurate to the size of the food security challenge, to use their convening power to leverage financing for adaptation of Africa's agriculture and food systems to climate change, and to conduct regular joint portfolio reviews to assess progress on the agreed technical, institutional, and policy actions.

At technical level, they will help adapt Africa's agriculture to climate change, expand farmers' access to climate-smart technologies and formal markets for food commodities and products, and support investments in agribusiness and build effective food systems that can mitigate hunger and provide inclusive income and livelihood opportunities. At institutional level, they agreed to deepen collaboration with the AU, the RECs, national governments, the private sector, civil society organizations and the science and knowledge communities to help harmonize approaches and outputs, reduce duplication, and increase impact at scale. Finally, at policy level, they will help African countries to align national agricultural policies with climate change adaptation targets and will support them to implement climate-smart policies and programs for food and nutrition security.

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

Canada welcomes peace agreement in Mozambique

08.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Global Affairs Canada
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Global Affairs Canada today issued the following statement on the signing of the Maputo Peace and Reconciliation Agreement in Mozambique:

“This is a historic moment for the people of Mozambique. Canada applauds the signing of the Maputo Peace and Reconciliation Agreement by the President of the Republic of Mozambique, Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, and Renamo leader, Ossufo Momade. This peace agreement is an important milestone in the generations-long pursuit of sustainable peace.

“Canada commends these positive steps and is proud to contribute $1.5 million to support the implementation of the peace process, including reconciliation and disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration. The next step is free and fair elections and we stand ready to assist the people of Mozambique in building the peaceful future they deserve.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Global Affairs Canada.
Source: Apo-Opa

A Massage from the AU-UN Joint Special Representative /Joint Chief Mediator

08.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)
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By Jeremiah Mamabolo, AU-UN Joint Special Representative /Joint Chief Mediator

On behalf of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur, I wish the people of Sudan a peaceful and joyous Eid Al-Adha. We also stand in awe for the brave men and women who gave their lives for the cause of the glorious and peaceful Sudanese revolution. Our thoughts are with their families and our sincerest wishes of a speedy recovery for those injured.

We also congratulate all the parties of the Sudanese revolution, both military and civilian, on their recent agreement on the governance structures for the transitional period and shall do our utmost to work with the Sovereign Council, the new Cabinet and the Legislative in facilitating the achievement of peace in Darfur as part of the new ear heralded in by the Sudanese revolution.

UNAMID shall continue to work hardest for sustainable peace and development for the people of Darfur in the spirit of the key symbolic messages of peace and sacrifice during Eid Al-Adha. We remain motivated to redouble our efforts ensuring that the people of Darfur are on a firm path to lasting peace and stability along with all other areas of conflict in Sudan.

I am optimistic that the combined efforts of all stakeholders, when imbued with goodwill and the appropriate level of resolve, can contribute to a sustainable peace for Darfur and the whole of Sudan.

Eid Mubarak!

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).
Source: Apo-Opa

Putting viral hepatitis high on the national agenda

08.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

WHO Regional Office for Africa

Tanzania, like many other countries, has risen to the occasion to address viral hepatitis with the country having a costed Viral Hepatitis National Strategic Plan (2018 – 2023) as well as draft guidelines in preparation for the introduction and scaling up of viral hepatitis diagnosis and treatment services. However, data on viral hepatitis is limited. To that effect, the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children with technical and financial support from WHO conducted a Viral Hepatitis National Strategic Information Workshop review existing data systems and put forward recommendations on how to improve strategic information for viral hepatitis in Tanzania.

Viral hepatitis is inflammation of the liver caused by five hepatitis viruses namely A, B, C, D and E. Globally 257 million people were estimated to be living with hepatitis B virus (HBV), while another 130 – 150 million were living with hepatitis C virus (HCV). Annually about 1.4 million people die annually from acute viral hepatitis infections as well as from complications due to chronic infection with the viruses in particular hepatitis B and C viruses. This death toll due to viral hepatitis is comparable to TB (1.2 million) and HIV (940,000) and malaria (719,000).

In response to this global public health problem, in 2010, the World Health Assembly (WHA) adopted resolution WHA63.18 on viral hepatitis, urging Member States to recognize and address the issue of viral hepatitis through improved prevention and control efforts. This was followed in May 2016, with endorsement by the WHA of the Global Health Sector Strategy (2016-2021) that proposes to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030.

The WHO Representative in Tanzania Dr T Ketsela in her opening remarks gave a brief overview of the global picture on viral hepatitis B and C and emphasized the importance of data and setting baselines as these are essential to monitor progress towards achieving the elimination of hepatitis by 2030. Dr J Mghamba the Assistant Director, Epidemiology and Disease Control officially opened the workshop. She indicated that the country was committed to the elimination agenda and information and evidence was required by the government to prioritize the interventions for viral hepatitis B and C given the scarcity of resources.

During the mission and the workshop, the existing data systems were assessed in view of the information that is required to generate data to monitor the ten core global indicators. Utilizing methods proposed in the WHO consolidated strategic information guidelines of 2017; the best sources of information possible to estimate the baseline value of the core indicators were selected. Lastly, gaps in the data systems were reviewed with stakeholders to the workshop and recommendations (immediate, medium and long term) were put forward on how to improve strategic information for viral hepatitis in Tanzania.

The following major recommendations were put forward for consideration by the MOH:

  1. Complete the development of the hepatitis policies and treatment guidelines for hepatitis B and C aligned with WHO recommendations and disseminate
  2. Develop and standardize recording and reporting for viral hepatitis by incorporating hepatitis B and C into routine surveillance and establishing standardized clinical reporting
  3. Scale up hepatitis testing and treatment in mainland Tanzania by providing viral hepatitis test kits and commodities at major tertiary, referral and district centres as a first step
  4. Implement other important prevention strategies including hepatitis B Birth dose within 24 hours of birth, and scaling up harm reduction programs, and
  5. Monitor and report hepatitis mortality caused by liver cirrhosis and liver cancers through establishing sequelae surveillance at sentinel sites

WHO will continue working closely with the MOH, Tanzania, partners, civil societies and communities as the country moves towards elimination of viral hepatitis by 2030.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of WHO Regional Office for Africa.

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Addis Ababa leads Africa in hotel room rates

08.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Bench Events

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, posted Africa’s highest average daily rate (ADR), according to the most recent 12-month data from STR (https://STR.com/). The market will play host to the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) (https://www.AHIF.com/) on 23-25 September at the Sheraton Addis.

From July 2018 through June 2019, Addis Ababa registered an absolute ADR of US$163.79 when measured in constant currency, which removes the effects of inflation. That figure was a 1.1% increase year over year. The next closest STR-defined markets in Africa were Accra Area, Ghana (US$160.34) and Lagos Area, Nigeria (US$132.51).

“Addis Ababa continues to maintain high ADR levels when compared internationally,” said Thomas Emanuel, a director for STR. “The city has multiple demand drivers, such as a growing economy, successful airline and its status as the diplomatic capital for Africa. Air connections and ease of access compared with other cities also factor in the equation for strong demand, which provides hoteliers with the confidence to maintain rate levels.

“With healthy performance comes interest in investment. The market’s pipeline is strong with 22 hotels and 4,820 rooms in active development. We will continue to monitor these new openings to see how the market reacts once these additional rooms open.”

Emanuel will present the latest hotel performance and development insights on the Tuesday (24 September) of AHIF.

“Hosting high-profile international meetings like AHIF is one factor that has helped Addis to maintain its position as the city with the most expensive hotel accommodation in Africa,” said Matthew Weihs, Managing Director, Bench Events (http://www.BenchEvents.com) (AHIF organiser). “Our delegates will be looking carefully to see if the addition of a lot more high-quality accommodation and meeting space will depress room rates or help Addis become even more attractive as a destination.”

Addis Ababa’s occupancy over the same 12-month time period was 58.4%, up 6.5% year over year. Cairo & Giza was the continent’s occupancy leader at 74.5%. Cape Town Centre, South Africa (65.0%), ranked second in the metric followed by Accra Area (59.7%).

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Bench Events.

Media Contact:
Email: media@str.com

Editors Note:
All references to STR data and analysis should cite “STR” as the source. Please refrain from citing “STR, Inc.” “Smith Travel Research” or “STR Global” in sourcing.

Additional Performance Data:
Are you a member of the media looking for performance data for a hotel market not included in this release? STR’s sample comprises more than 65,000 hotels and 8.8 million hotel rooms around the globe. Please refer to the contacts listed below for additional data requests.

About STR:
STR (https://STR.com/) provides premium data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights for global hospitality sectors. Founded in 1985, STR maintains a presence in 15 countries with a corporate North American headquarters in Hendersonville, Tennessee, an international headquarters in London, and an Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore. For more information, please visit https://STR.com/.

About the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF):
AHIF (https://www.AHIF.com/) is the premier hotel investment conference in Africa, attracting many prominent international hotel owners, investors, financiers, management companies and their advisers. It is organised by Bench Events (http://www.BenchEvents.com), who have a long track record of delivering multiple premium hotel investment conferences and forums across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America. Bench Events’ mission is enabling prosperity by facilitating growth, networking and thought leadership in the hospitality industry worldwide.

Sponsors of AHIF are: Platinum Sponsors: Accor, Hilton, Marriott International and Radisson Hotel Group; Gold Sponsors: Aleph Hospitality, Ascentis, Best Western Hotels and Resorts, Cabo International Partners, Calibra, CityBlue Hotels, Citymax Hotels, Drawlink, Drees & Sommer, febc, Hotel Partners Africa, Insignia, IHG, JLL, Louvre Hotels Group, Munich RE, PrideInn, STR, Stuart and Partners and TIME Hotels.

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Source: Apo-Opa

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General – on Mozambique

07.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

United Nations - Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
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The Secretary-General welcomes the signing of the Peace and Reconciliation Accord in Maputo on 6 August. He applauds President Filipe Nyusi and RENAMO President Ossufo Momade for their pursuit of direct talks and for their commitment to finalizing the peace process.

The Secretary-General calls on all national stakeholders to contribute to durable peace, reconciliation and stability in the country. He reiterates the commitment of the United Nations to supporting the implementation of the peace agreements and bringing about a process of genuine and lasting reconciliation and sustainable development in Mozambique.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
Source: Apo-Opa

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed receives Foreign Minister of Burkina Faso

07.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Coperation
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H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, received Alpha Barry, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Burkina Faso.

During the meeting, held at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Abu Dhabi, both sides discussed ways of enhancing the bilateral relations and overall cooperation between the UAE and Burkina Faso, especially in the areas of economic trade, investment, tourism, military and defence.

They also exchanged views on the latest regional developments and discussed several regional and international issues of common interest.

Sheikh Abdullah welcomed Barry's visit while highlighting the growing relations between the two countries and their keenness to strengthen their overall cooperation.

Barry highlighted the importance of enhancing the bilateral relations between the two countries, as well as their overall cooperation, while praising the UAE's leading regional and international stature.

The meeting was attended by Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Coperation.
Source: Apo-Opa

Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs Receives Copy of Credentials of Qatari Ambassador

07.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The State of Qatar
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HE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Morocco, Nasser Bourita, received a copy of the credentials of HE Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Qatar to Morocco, Fahad bin Ibrahim Al Mana.

HE the Minister wished HE Qatar's Ambassador success in his mission, and bilateral relations further development and prosperity. 

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