Cote d'Ivoire / Statement by ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo

30.November.2011 · Posted in APO-OPA



Cote d’Ivoire / Statement by ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo


THE HAGUE, Netherland, November 30, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Statement by ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo


“Ivorian victims will see justice for massive crimes: Mr. Gbagbo is the first to be brought to account, there is more to come”


“It is exactly a year since the presidential election that led to one of the worst episodes of violence Cote d’Ivoire has ever known, with ordinary Ivorians suffering immensely, and crimes allegedly committed by both parties.


We have evidence that the violence did not happen by chance: widespread and systematic attacks against civilians perceived as supporting the other candidate were the result of a deliberate policy. In December last year, we put Mr. Gbagbo and the others on notice. Today, we are following up.


Mr. Gbagbo is brought to account for his individual responsibility in the attacks against civilians committed by forces acting on his behalf. He is presumed innocent until proven guilty and will be given full rights and the opportunity to defend himself.


Let me make it clear: investigations continue. We will collect evidence impartially and independently, and bring further cases before the Judges, irrespective of political affiliation.


Leaders must understand that violence is no longer an option to retain or gain power.


The time of impunity for these crimes is over.”



International Criminal Court (ICC)

West Africa / Ericsson and Sony Ericsson partner to run competition for application developers in West Africa

30.November.2011 · Posted in APO-OPA

West Africa / Ericsson and Sony Ericsson partner to run competition for application developers in West Africa

ABUJA, Nigeria, November 30, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ Ericsson Gives West African developers a global stage

•    Ericsson and Sony Ericsson partner to run competition for application developers in West Africa

•    Local developers are invited to submit innovative ideas and mobile applications

•    Application entries will be automatically registered for the global competition with a chance to win a €15,000 cash prize.

Ericsson ( in partnership with Sony Ericsson has announced plans to run a regional competition for application developers on the Android platform. The competition titled ‘Apps for Africa’ is to run under the aegis of the 2012 Ericsson Application Awards (EAA 2012) – an ongoing annual competition for application developers worldwide organized by Ericsson Research.


‘Apps for Africa’ is designed to promote the development of innovative ideas and mobile applications from a variety of environments and situations peculiar to the region. These are expected to enable new opportunities for people to collaborate, innovate, learn, care and participate in more efficient ways that positively impact our environment.

This competition is an amazing opportunity for local talent to showcase their capabilities in the global community of innovators and developers said Gary Dewing, Country Manager of Ericsson Nigeria “It reflects our reflects our ambition to use technology to change lives for the better”

Members of the winning teams in each region will each receive a Sony Ericsson Xperia phone, while teams in second place will receive Business Experience Packs (incl. Sony Ericsson MW600, office pro, McAfee, and a micro USB cable).

Jorgen Berg, Head of Market Unit Africa at Sony Ericsson comments, “Our objective for Sony Ericsson is to be the preferred choice for Android devices by delivering the most entertaining smartphones and adding value to people’s lives. We are thrilled to run this Android Application Competition which will bring about innovative solutions to enrich the user experience of our Xperia handsets.”

The competition is open to students and to small and medium sized enterprises in Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Interested developers in are required to register teams of two to four people online at before February 01, 2012 and submit either a video of idea or an Android based application that addresses the theme and makes use of at least one Ericsson Labs API (e.g. Mobile Location or Text To Speech) before February 28th, 2012.

The competition will be rolled-out across Sub Saharan Africa in November. All application submissions will be automatically entered into the global competition – EAA 2012 – ‘Apps for the Networked Society’, for the chance to win a €15,000 cash prize.

Distributed by the African Press Organization on behalf of Ericsson.

Notes to editors:

About EAA 2012 – Apps for the Networked Society

The EAA 2012 awards themed ‘Apps for the Networked Society’, will run till May 2012, the competition provides a unique opportunity for developers to gain exposure within the telecommunications world and a chance to reach out to customers via Ericsson’s distribution channels in addition to the opportunity to win the latest top of the range Sony Ericsson phones and €15,000 in prize money.

More information on the Ericsson Application Awards:

Guest Blog from one of the 2011 winners:

News release announcing 2011 years winners:

Interviews on Youtube:

What’s in my kitchen application demo:

Our multimedia content is available at the broadcast room:

Ericsson (
is the world’s leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators. Ericsson is the leader in 2G, 3G and 4G mobile technologies, and provides support for networks with over 2 billion subscribers and has the leading position in managed services. The company’s portfolio comprises mobile and fixed network infrastructure, telecom services, software, broadband and multimedia solutions for operators, enterprises and the media industry. The Sony Ericsson and ST-Ericsson joint ventures provide consumers with feature-rich personal mobile devices.

Ericsson is advancing its vision of being the “prime driver in an all-communicating world” through innovation, technology, and sustainable business solutions. Working in 180 countries, more than 90,000 employees generated revenue of SEK 203.3 billion (USD 28.2 billion) in 2010. Founded in 1876 with the headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, Ericsson is listed on NASDAQ OMX, Stockholm and NASDAQ New York.


Ericsson Corporate Public Media Relations

Phone: +46 10 719 69 92


Ericsson Investor Relations

Phone: +46 10 719 00 00




Italy / Cooperation: €73 million for SMEs in Tunisia

29.November.2011 · Posted in APO-OPA



Italy / Cooperation: €73 million for SMEs in Tunisia


ROME, Italy, November 29, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — New Italian projects to help support Tunisia’s economy, with a credit line of €73 million for SMEs. A protocol agreement was signed today in Tunisia by Italian ambassador Pietro Benassi and Tunisian Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Khemaies Jhinaoui. This line of credit, for which the Italian government agreed to make a large donation, is the eighth extended by the Italian Cooperation to SMEs in Tunisia.


Italy – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Incorporating HIV and AIDS into journalism curricula in Africa

29.November.2011 · Posted in APO-OPA



Incorporating HIV and AIDS into journalism curricula in Africa


PARIS, France, November 29, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — When citizens and government talk to each other about HIV and AIDS, what do they say and how the media can catalyse this conversation? Since 2004, Idasa-GAP has been raising awareness of journalists about the link between HIV and AIDS and good governance. Last year UNESCO, with support from Sida and Norad, commissioned an assessment tool on how HIV and AIDS are incorporated into journalism curricula. Interviews with key respondents from South African journalism schools have now been completed as part of this assessment.

On the premise that vibrant conversation between citizens and the government is part of democratic practice, the Governance and AIDS Programme of the African Democracy Institute Idasa (Idasa-GAP) has developed a number of training modules for journalists related to democratic practice and citizenship in the context of HIV and AIDS. These modules are based on evidence from Idasa-GAP’s research on the impact of HIV and AIDS on democratic institutions, budget allocation and expenditure, and participation in democratic processes.

In 2010 UNESCO asked Idasa-GAP to develop a tool that could be used to assess how HIV and AIDS, as well as other development issues, are incorporated into curricula at journalism schools. The four journalism schools that are part of the current pilot assessment have all been identified by UNESCO as potential centres of excellence in journalism education in Africa – Rhodes University, Stellenbosch University, Tshwane University of Technology and Walter Sisulu University. The assessment tool, which is now being implemented, has been developed through a consultative process with the four selected South African institutions, as well as with potential centres of excellence in Kenya, Namibia, Uganda and other trainers who form part of Idasa-GAP’s reference group on curriculum development.

The assessment questionnaire is divided into two parts. The first part consists of a checklist of questions that describe elements of journalism programmes. The second part has been designed to stimulate reflection about journalism education and its relation to questions of development and democracy. This second part covers three sets of criteria:

• curriculum and institutional capacity,

• professional and public engagement, and

• development strategies to realize potential of civic journalism.

The information gathered through the questionnaire is now being analysed; a report with a proposed curriculum based on the results of the assessment is to be presented to UNESCO in December 2011. The draft version of this report was discussed by educators, including those who formed part of the assessment, at Idasa-GAP’s Governance and AIDS Forum in Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania) this month.



United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Zuma, others launch Africa Pavilion at UN climate change conference

29.November.2011 · Posted in APO-OPA


Zuma, others launch Africa Pavilion at UN climate change conference


DURBAN, South Africa, November 29, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Three African leaders yesterday launched the Africa Pavilion at the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa. The conference, also known more technically as the Seventeenth Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), runs from 28 November through 9 December.


Presidents Jacob Zuma of host country, South Africa, Idriss Déby of Chad, and Vice President Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos of Angola visited the Africa Pavilion as the conference got underway. The three leaders insisted that Africa’s voice be heard collectively throughout this key UN event.


Visiting an authentic larger-than-life simulation of an African rain forest spanning 500 square metres, President Zuma said: “This pavilion puts up a very powerful case for the continent of Africa. People will come here not just to discuss theories and imagine Africa. They are going to see it in reality. I think this is an absolute innovation we have made.” The South African President added: “This pavilion represents Africa in its totality. And I think it makes a powerful case to this conference.


The Africa Pavilion, located within the precincts of the UNFCCC, is serving as a platform to have Africa’s voice heard. To demonstrate Africa’s ability to be part of the solution to the challenges of climate change on the continent, the Pavilion is hosting a full program of roundtables and events during the UN climate conference.


“Through its roundtables and conferences, its rainforest exhibition, the Africa Pavilion will bring together our leaders to debate on Africa’s future as well as climate finance,” said Abebe Haile-Gabriel, director of Rural Economy and Agriculture at African Union Commission. “All this is to support our negotiators, to support the African common position and to support our host, the Republic of South Africa as the chair of COP 17.”


Aly Abou-Sabaa, Chair of the Climate Change Coordination Committee at the African Development Bank, said: “The Africa Pavilion is a partnership between the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank, the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the Government of South Africa. It offers an opportunity to showcase some of the important initiatives and activities in Africa regarding climate change and development by a wide range of actors. This spirit of cooperation will ensure that development and climate change are at the forefront of discussions and negotiations.”

The roundtables and side events will culminate in Africa Day, on 8 December, when heads of state, ministers and climate experts will take part in high-level discussions designed to promote a development agenda that is aligned with the vision of climate resilient and low carbon economies across Africa.


Speaking earlier, Youba Sokona, Coordinator of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s newly established African Climate Policy Centre, said “all these activities will mark a significant shift from the way Africa has often participated at different COPs”.



African Union Commission (AUC)

Italy / EGYPT: Second day of voting. High voter turnout

29.November.2011 · Posted in APO-OPA



Italy / EGYPT: Second day of voting. High voter turnout


ROME, Italy, November 29, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The second day of voting in Egypt. The first day’s turnout was high in the first elections since the February ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. The complex voting system will continue in the country’s various regions into the early months of 2012, for the election of 498 people’s assembly seats and 270 Shura (Senate) seats. The first to vote are the citizens of Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor and Port Said. The voters of Suez, Aswan and Ismailia will turn out on 14 December and voting in the Sinai and along the Mediterranean coast will take place on 3 January. Election to the Shura will be by a mixed system: two-thirds of the seats will be assigned by the proportional system and one-third by a non-proportional system. The results will be announced after each ballot count, while the proportional will be made public no later than 13 January 2012. Approximately 40 parties are participating with over 15,000 candidates. These elections in Egypt, following the elections for the Constituent Assembly in Tunisia, are important stages in a highly complex democratic process launched by popular revolt after decades of frustration and the repression of fundamental freedoms.

Italy hopes that such freedoms, beginning with those concerning faiths and women, will become the shared patrimony of these societies that are now opening their doors to democracy, the principles of moderation and pluralism and respect for human rights. The goal is to achieve pluralism and national reconciliation before they can be seized by repressive fundamentalists. Italy believes, as newly-appointed Minister Terzi confirmed in his first two international appointments last week – the G8-BMENA meeting in Kuwait and the ItaTurk Dialogue Forum in Istanbul – that adequate economic means are needed to foster that democratic transition. Democracy cannot be consolidated without stable and socially equitable economic growth. Italy will spare no effort to encourage recovery along the southern shores of the Mediterranean. But “We must move”, Terzi underscored, “within a framework of respectful support for North African peoples’ progress toward a free, prosperous and socially equitable society. If we only seek new ways to gain access to oil and gas reserves, or to put new authorities in place of the old ones without changing the framework of reference, we will be doing a disservice to these young people who have come out in protest, some of whom have paid with their lives for the defence of their high and noble ideals: only a decisive investment in human resources and in their mobility will offer these countries an alternative to energy resources”.



Italy – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Visit to Japan by H.E. Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

29.November.2011 · Posted in APO-OPA



Visit to Japan by H.E. Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia


TOKYO, Japan, November 29, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — From Thursday, December 1 to Monday, December 5, H.E. Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, will visit Japan as a guest of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.


During his stay, Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam will meet with Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Koichiro Gemba, and is also scheduled to visit relevant organizations and exchange opinions with representatives of private-sectors companies.


Last year marked the 80th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Ethiopia, and the two countries maintain amicable relations. It is hoped that Japan and Ethiopia’s amicable and cooperative relationship will be strengthened further by this visit to Japan by Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam.



Japan – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

German Federal Foreign Minister Westerwelle's speech in the German Bundestag on the extension of the Atalanta mission off the coast of Somalia

29.November.2011 · Posted in APO-OPA



German Federal Foreign Minister Westerwelle’s speech in the German Bundestag on the extension of the Atalanta mission off the coast of Somalia


BERLIN, Germany, November 29, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — German Federal Foreign Minister Westerwelle’s speech in the German Bundestag on the extension of the Atalanta mission off the coast of Somalia


Madam President, ladies and gentlemen, Members of this House,

Atalanta’s fight against piracy off the Horn of Africa has not only been broadly supported in this House, it has also been successful.

Since Atalanta began nearly three years ago, we have been able to protect over 120 World Food Programme shipments and those ships were able to reach their destinations in Somalia safely. More than 700,000 tonnes of food and other important aid supplies have been brought to Somalia this way. According to the United Nations, a total of four million people are dependent on this aid. This makes the situation in Somalia one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises.

Almost all of the humanitarian aid provided through the World Food Programme and other relief organizations is brought in by ship. That this aid really reaches the people is an enormous success for Atalanta. I would therefore first and foremost like to sincerely thank the men and women of the Bundeswehr and the other non-uniformed German citizens involved in this project. I think that anyone who has seen the images and knows a little about the situation there, can see that this is truly a humanitarian task. Our common humanity requires that we protect aid shipments from pirates. Truly, if they consider the matter and follow their hearts, all Members of this House will approve this mandate.

Atalanta is successful. But I want to add that the fight against piracy off the Horn of Africa has certainly not achieved its ultimate goal. Ten ships and around 240 people are still in the hands of pirates. World Food Programme ships and trading vessels are still threatened by pirates. As a result of more robust action within the framework of Atalanta and the implementation of self-protection measures in civilian shipping, more and more attacks can indeed be repelled. However, the number of pirate attacks on ships remains high. The threat posed by pirates in Somali and neighbouring waters has not yet been eliminated.

We all know about the difficult situation in Somalia. We all know about the people’s suffering. But to simply conclude that this excuses or explains piracy is a grave mistake in my opinion. We should not ignore the aspect of organized crime behind this piracy and we certainly should not trivialize it.

We agree that many things must be done there at the same time, because the situation remains extremely fragile and continues to be jeopardized by organized crime. Somalia is far from being able to assume responsibility for effectively combating piracy off its coast. This will undoubtedly have to remain the task of the international community for the time being.

On behalf of the Federal Government I thus ask you to approve the extension of German participation in EU led Operation Atalanta. Atalanta acts on behalf of the United Nations and at the request of the Somali Transitional Government. On 7 December 2010 the Council of the European Union decided to extend Atalanta until 12 December 2012. That means what we are doing is not only covered by international law, but also embedded in European and international contexts.

The freedom of the seas and security of sea routes are of particular importance strategically. It would be a mistake to ignore that. It would also stand international law on its head. Ladies and gentlemen, Europe profits more than any other continent from the free flow of global trade: the most important trading route between Europe, the Arabian peninsula, and Asia runs through the area off Somalia, above all through the Gulf of Aden. Keeping this route open is an important international security task and is in Germany’s inherent interest. I cannot see anything bad about protecting the ships of the international community, or our own ships. That is our right. I even believe it is our duty to protect our ships and their crews.

Within Atalanta, Germany is among the leading contributors and currently provides the commander of the forces in the theatre of operation. That fulfils our responsibilities to our partners, also those in the European Union.

Of course, we are supporting the anti-piracy measures at sea by fighting the causes of piracy on land and by assisting in rebuilding the Somali state. We provide humanitarian aid to ease the suffering experienced directly by millions of people.

We are helping create a secure environment by participating in the European Training Mission Somalia, which to date has trained around 2000 soldiers of the Somali Transitional Government. We support training for African police officers, who are subsequently deployed as instructors and advisers to the Somali police force. We are participating in European Union efforts to build up regional coast guards together with African partners. Their tasks will also include protection of water and fishing. We have made available considerable funds to help finance the African Union Mission in Somalia. We are supporting the constitutional process in Somalia through legal consulting provided by the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law. We are helping the United Nations expand rule of law capacities in the countries of the region. Atalanta is one of a number of measures with the common goal of stabilizing the fragile Horn of Africa reg ion. The aim is to create conditions necessary to improve the lives of ordinary people and to make sustainable development possible in Somalia. You can see, then, that we are seriously and energetically tackling both the civil and development policy aspects of the stabilization process. At the moment, however, military protection is also necessary. Taken together, it all makes sense. It is a convincing course of action.

I ask the Bundestag, as it has previously done, to support this mandate in large numbers.

Today we unfortunately learned that two more soldiers have been injured in Afghanistan. We should never cease to show our thanks to those we have all personally visited, who are risking their bodies and souls, their entire person, so that we can live in security here and help others who would otherwise suffer a horrible fate.

Thank you very much.



Germany – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

2011 AAFSW Secretary of State Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad

29.November.2011 · Posted in APO-OPA



2011 AAFSW Secretary of State Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad


WASHINGTON, November 29, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Notice to the Press

Office of the Spokesperson

Washington, DC

November 29, 2011



Six winners will receive the Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide (AAFSW) Secretary of State Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad (SOSA) at a ceremony on Tuesday, December 6 at 10:00 a.m. in the Benjamin Franklin Diplomatic Reception Room at the Department of State. Deputy Secretary Burns will make remarks to congratulate the winners and highlight their exemplary volunteer service.


The awards recognize U.S. Government employees, family members, including domestic partners and other members of household at embassies and consulates who provided exceptional volunteer service to their communities, mission or host country, or rendered outstanding assistance in emergencies. This year’s award winners include:

– Edward (Mick) Davis – Kisumu, Kenya (AF)

Supporting Orphaned Children and an Impoverished Community in Kisumu, Kenya

– Sean P. Myers – Rangoon (EAP)

Bridging Cultures and Providing Sustainable Support for Burmese Staff in Need

– Chong O. Farquhar – Yerevan (EUR)

Providing a Safe, Stimulating Place to Play for Special Needs Children in Yerevan, Armenia

– Matthew David Meredith – Tunis (NEA)

Empowering Tunisians to Build Their Democracy

– Nam A. Nguyen (Anandaroopa) – Chennai (SCA)

Promoting Pride and Empowering the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community in Chennai

– Maria Del Carmen Miller – Quito (WHA)

Quito Cares – Providing Opportunities to Make a Difference for Ecuadorians in Need

A brief synopsis of the volunteer activity that earned each winner his or her award can be found at:

Last year marked the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the SOSA awards by Secretary and Mrs. James Baker. Since its inception, the SOSA program has been managed and promoted by AAFSW. To honor this milestone, AAFSW has created an on-line publication entitled “FS Volunteers – 20 Years of Grassroots Diplomacy.” The publication documents the contributions and outstanding volunteer service provided by over 400 Foreign Service employees and family members at U.S. embassies and consulates all over the world. The publication is available at

This event is open to the press. Media representatives may attend this award ceremony upon presentation of one of the following: (1) a U.S. Government-issued identification card (Department of State, White House, Congress, Department of Defense, or Foreign Press Center), (2) a media-issued photo identification card, or (3) a letter from their employer on letterhead verifying their employment as a journalist, accompanied by an official photo identification (driver’s license or passport). Those who do not have a State Department building pass should allow adequate time to clear through security at the 23rd Street entrance.

Pre-set time for cameras: 9:00 a.m.

Final access time for all press: 9:45 a.m.



US Department of State

Egypt elections: a political song

29.November.2011 · Posted in culture

Egypt’s parliamentary elections are underway despite the intense violence that has rocked the nation over the past few weeks. While we all watch and wait (and vote!), a friend reminded me of this song (originally by the legendary political musician Sheikh Imam) sung by Eskenderella, a popular Egyptian band. A rough translation of the lyrics (from a friend of a friend) is below the jump.

by Sophia Azeb