German Government Commits US$128 Million To Health And Education Programmes With the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat

05.December.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany - Tanzania

The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany announced additional funds of US$128 million (EUR 115.8 million) today which will be supporting health and education programmes in the East African Community.

The majority of the funds (US$105 million [EUR 95 million]) will be going towards the EAC’s immunization programme with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The EAC Secretary General, Amb. Libérat Mfumukeko, and the Chargé d’Affaires of the Federal Republic of Germany, Jörg Herrera, jointly signed the Agreement in Arusha today.

With the additional grant, the programme will be financing the procurement of at least four different types of vaccines (Pentavalent, Rotavirus, Pneumococcal and Measles) for children in all six Partner States of the East African Community. The programme is financed through the German Development Bank, KfW, and implemented in collaboration with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

The cooperation aims at reducing child mortality in the region and mainly targets newborns. To date, German Development Cooperation with the EAC has financed nearly 80 million doses of life-saving vaccines for the region since the support started in 2013 and the average immunization coverage in the region was substantially increased, making the EAC’s immunization programmes the strongest in Sub-Sahara Africa.

Other funds including US15.5 million will be going towards the “EAC Regional Centre of Excellence for Health Supply Chain Management,” located at the University of Rwanda in Kigali, US$2.2 million to the support of Ebola preparedness within the ongoing EAC-German project “Regional Network of Reference Laboratories for Communicable Diseases” and US$5.3 million to the “Academic Centre for Digital Innovation in East Africa” at the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology located in Arusha.

Speaking at the event, Amb. Mfumukeko thanked Germany for its continued support to the EAC and the integration process in general.

Amb. Mfumukeko said the immunization programme in particular would go a long way in saving the lives of millions of children in the six EAC Partner States.

“The implementation of 2018 (Phase VI) which had a commitment of EUR 30 million (US$34.1) million has been fully concluded. The amount was fully disbursed to GAVI in December 2018 and spent on Pentavalent, Rotavirus and Pneumococcal vaccines in all EAC Partner States. GAVI has provided full documentation on the use of the fund including the number of doses per vaccine and country,” said the Secretary General.

“The new commitment of US$105 million for Phase VII (EUR 95 million) will be used for the procurement of four vaccines (Pentavalent, Rotavirus, Pneumococcal, Measles) with possible extension to Yellow Fever and HPV vaccines in all EAC Partner States. Vaccine procurements may take place in 2019 and 2020,” added the SG.

In his remarks, the German Chargé d’Affaires, Jörg Herrera, underscored Germany’s commitment to extend the ongoing health and education programmes with the EAC Secretariat saying the programmes would especially benefit the young generation of East African citizens.”

“Investing in the health sector is not only an investment for sustainable social development but also for a country’s and the region’s economic development. Vaccinations are a highly effective and cost efficient means to fight child mortality. The German Government highly commends the EAC’s efforts to immunize every child,” said Herrera.

EAC and Germany can look back on over 20 years of successful development cooperation which focusses on Health as well as Regional Economic and Social Integration. Germany's development cooperation, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), has to date contributed to the regional integration in East Africa through a variety of programmes and projects. Including the commitments announced today, the German contributions to EAC-German Development Cooperation programmes will have added up to over USD 480 million (EUR 436.8 million).

The Signing of the Government Agreement was witnessed by the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Inter-University Council for East Africa, Prof. Mike Kuria, the Director of Infrastructure at the EAC Secretariat, Dr. Kamugisha Kazaura, Ms Norzin Grigoleit-Dagyab, the Head of Regional Cooperation from the German Embassy and Pascal Kanyinyi, KfW’s Senior Project Coordinator Health.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany – Tanzania.

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Angola set to attract even more foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2020

05.December.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Africa Oil & Power Conference

Africa Oil & Power supports Angola with year-long FDI campaign in 2020 to promote capital inflow into bankable projects; Angola Oil & Gas Conference & Exhibition (AngolaOilAndGas2020.com) returns to Talatona June 16-17, 2020; “Angola: African Investment Capital 2020” will capitalize further on the critical reforms passed by Angola President H.E. President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço

Africa Oil & Power (AfricaOilAndPower.com), the continent’s premier platform for energy investment and policy, will return to Angola in 2020 for a year-long campaign to promote and attract foreign direct investment in one of Africa’s biggest economies. ‘Angola: African Investment Capital 2020’ will capitalize further on the critical reforms passed by Angola President H.E. President João Manuel

Gonçalves Lourenço to bring attention to the investment opportunities that exist in Angola’s economy.

Endorsed by the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Petroleum and in partnership with the African Energy Chamber, the Angola Oil & Gas (AOG) Conference & Exhibition will return for a second year as the focal point of an international investment drive aimed at bringing new deals to the table and signing up new entrants to Angola’s oil and gas sector. The next edition will be held June 16-17, 2020 in Talatona. Surrounding the conference will be a year-long global drive to present opportunities to a targeted audience of relevant investors.

“Thanks to the President’s sweeping reforms, Angola has embarked on an ambitious drive to attract foreign direct investment,” said Guillaume Doane, CEO of Africa Oil & Power. “Africa Oil & Power is proud to support those ongoing efforts with a global promotional campaign. The AOG Conference & Exhibition, which has become an unmissable, unrivaled national investment event, will provide a strong anchor point for the 2020 initiative.”

Capital inflows into bankable projects will be a primary objective of the 2020 effort. Ongoing initiatives being promoted include the 2020 oil and gas licensing round, marginal field development, gas monetization, Sonangol’s Regeneration Program and attractive projects across the value chain, including the international tender for the Soyo refinery and the ramp-up of the Cabinda and Lobito refineries.

The AOG Conference & Exhibition is the second edition following a highly successful inaugural event in June 2019 that brought more than 1,700 delegates, 67 speakers and nearly 50 exhibitors. Officially endorsed by the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Petroleum, AOG 2019 gathered key government officials and C-suite executives from across the energy value chain for a week of keynote presentations, moderated panel discussions, exhibitions, networking gatherings and investment facilitation. With two days of conference and exhibition, and one day of workshops led by Microsoft, PwC, Centro de Apoio Empresarial, Friburge and Administração Geral Tributária, Angola Oil & Gas 2019 was one of the most highly attended events in Angola’s oil and gas history. H.E. President Lourenço and H.E. Diamantino Pedro Azevedo, Minister of Mineral Resources and Petroleum, opened the conference, with speeches delivered by H.E. José de Lima Massano, Governor of the National Bank of Angola, Eng. Seabstião Pai Querido Gaspar Martins and Eng. Paulino Jerónimo, CEO of ANPG. Private sector keynotes and appearances were given by Total CEO Patrick Pouyanné and ExxonMobil’s Senior VP of Upstream Oil & Gas Deepwater Hunter Farris, among others. The event received strong support from the Angolan oil and gas industry, with major players including Sonangol, Total, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Eni, Equinor, BP, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, Halliburton and other international companies participating as sponsors, exhibitors, speakers and delegates.

The 2020 event aims to expand in size, scale and prestige. Anchored by a VIP program of senior government officials and global CEOs, AOG 2020 will be the premier gathering for deal making and networking. Discussion points will include offshore oil and gas exploration and licensing, gas monetization, market entry, the ease of doing business in Angola, digitalization and oilfield technologies. New to the conference will be a Digitalization and Technology forum, which will showcase advanced technologies pioneered in Angola on the exhibition floor.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Africa Oil & Power Conference.

For more information about Angola Oil & Gas 2020, please visit www.AngolaOilAndGas2020.com or contact Tomás Gerbasio, VP of Operations, at tomas@africaoilandpower.com or +27 78 800 1966.

Media Inquiries:
Katie Brock
Event Producer
Phone: +27 76 586 7717
Email: k.brock@africaoilandpower.com

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World food prices jump in November

05.December.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
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World food prices rose significantly in November, reaching their highest point in more than two years, driven by jumps in the international prices of meat products and vegetable oils.

The FAO Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in the international prices of commonly-traded food commodities, averaged 177.2 points over the month, up 2.7 percent from October and 9.5 percent from the same period a year earlier. 

The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index rose by 10.4 percent in November, as palm oil price quotations rose amid robust global import demand, increased use for the production of biodiesels and expectations of possible supply shortages next year. Rapeseed and soy oil values also rose. 

The FAO Meat Price Index increased by 4.6 percent, its largest month-on-month increase in more than a decade. Price quotations for bovine and ovine meats rose the most, buoyed by strong import demand, especially from China ahead of year-end festivities. Pig and poultry meat prices also rose. 

The FAO Sugar Price Index rose by 1.8 percent from October, buoyed by mounting indications that world sugar consumption in the coming year will surpass production – which is being hampered by less-than-ideal growing conditions in Thailand, India, France and the United States of America. 

The FAO Cereal Price Index, by contrast, declined by 1.2 percent amid stiff competition among the world's leading wheat exporters. Rice values also fell while U.S. maize export prices remained under downward pressure even as those for Argentina and Brazil were generally firmer.

The FAO Dairy Price Index rose marginally from October, nudged up as milk production in Europe entered its seasonal low and global demand remained strong. 

Record cereal production expected for 2019

FAO also released a new worldwide cereal production forecast for 2019, anticipating an all-time high harvest of 2 714 million tonnes, which would be 2.1 percent higher than in 2018. 

The latest upward revision, contained in the new Cereal Supply and Demand Brief also released today, reflects higher-than-previously predicted coarse grain yields in China, the Russian Federation and Ukraine. 

World output of coarse grains including maize is now forecast at 1 433 million tonnes, marginally short of the record level registered in 2017. After an upward revision for the European Union, global wheat production in 2019 is now forecast to rise by 4.8 percent from 2018 to reach 766.4 million tonnes. World rice production is likely to reach 515 million tonnes, a mere 0.5 percent drop from the record set in 2018, with Egypt, Madagascar and Nigeria all poised to spearhead a rebound for African rice production this season. 

FAO's world cereal utilization forecast for 2019/20 stands at 2 709 million tonnes, up around 21 million tonnes from the previous season. World cereal stocks at the close of seasons in 2020 are now expected to reach 863 million tonnes. At this level, the global cereal stock-to-use ratio would approach a relatively high level of 31 percent, underscoring a comfortable global supply situation. 

World trade in cereals in 2019/20 is forecast at 416 million tonnes, some 1.1 percent higher than in 2018/19. 

Weather hits cereal harvests in East and Southern Africa

There are 42 countries today in need of external assistance for food, according to FAO's quarterly Crop Prospects and Food Situation report, also released today. 

Compared to the September issue of the same report, Zambia, affected by drought conditions and record-high staple food prices, has been added to the list, which includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Venezuela, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

The report also provides details on floods that followed earlier severe dryness, cutting harvest expectations in East Africa, and adverse weather conditions that caused a steep production decline in Southern Africa. Unfavorable harvests and significantly high staple food prices in Zimbabwe, set against an economy that has sharply deteriorated, will likely almost double the number of food-insecure people in the country during the first three months of 2020. 

While the cereal output of Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries (LIFDCs) in Africa is expected to decline due to adverse weather that of LIFDCs in Asia is projected to increase, notably in Afghanistan and Syria.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Source: Apo-Opa

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Non OPEC Members to Focus on the Issue of Energy Poverty

05.December.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

African Energy Chamber

Global oil producers will convene today in Vienna, Austria for the 177th OPEC Meeting. Through the meeting, the producers are aiming to determine the management of oil production in 2020.

The African Energy Chamber (https://EnergyChamber.org/) urges African OPEC and non-OPEC members to commit to the Declaration of Cooperation and ensure compliance. This is of key importance as it keeps the path to dignity and prosperity for African economies open.

The meeting falls amidst the climate change debate which has put pressure the global energy industry to implement less carbon-intensive energy solutions.

Attending the 177th Meeting, the Africans see this gathering as an opportunity for OPEC members to focus on the realities of energy poverty on the African continent and provide a solution that allows Africa to still meet its objectives of improving power access and building competing economies while participating in the dialogue about addressing climate change.

“Climate change is real. At the African Energy Chamber, we do not reject its existence and impact on the environment, instead, we are determined to express the importance of Africa’s progress not being halted particularly when it is progressing towards its summit,” said NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber and author of Amazon best-seller, Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals. 

“There must be a dialogue between businesses and governments about the future of the global energy industry, but, African business must be on the table. Accounting for 7.3 percent of global oil reserves and 7.2 percent of global gas reserves, Africa should have a voice” added Ayuk.

Last week, the African Energy Chamber launched a petition against the proposition that in the wake of the climate change debate, Africa should limit the development and exploration of its full hydrocarbon potential. This, it has done not as a means to reject the realities of climate change, but rather as a plea to be given the same opportunity as our western counterparts to develop and industrialize our countries.

In tune with the African Energy Chamber’s plea for a gradual energy transition that does not enforce a swift change from one source to another, H.E. Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary General of OPEC said earlier this year that: “The oil industry must be part of the solution to the climate change challenge. The scale of the challenge means that no single energy source is a panacea; nor can the contribution of an entire industry or group of countries be overlooked. This is not a race to renewables alone; it’s a race to lower greenhouse gas emissions.”

Click here (http://bit.ly/388FaXz) to sign our petition. 

Learn more about the African Energy Chamber on https://EnergyChamber.org/ / partners@energychamber.org

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Energy Chamber.

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Makro’s Customers Now Engage and Experience Instant Customer Care by Connecting with the Retailer Directly on WhatsApp

05.December.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Clickatell

Makro announced today shoppers at its 22 South African outlets and busy online store will now experience instant customer care and service by directly connecting with the retailer on WhatsApp. Impressive features available in Makro’s chat offering include tracking orders, viewing current catalogues, accessing a digital store card, locating nearby stores, and having frequently asked questions (FAQs) instantly answered in chat on WhatsApp.

Makro receives numerous customer enquiries daily, and a chat channel on WhatsApp was the obvious solution to provide accessible and seamless customer communication.

“Customers will now access the information they want, when they want it, without having to endure a lengthy phone call or escalate potential queries,” said Kerry Ho, Makro’s head of digital marketing. Lazo Karapanagiotidis, Makro’s head of digital innovation, added “This bold step towards the future of customer service ensures customers have the best experience on their own terms. The addition and implementation of exciting functions in WhatsApp aligns with Makro’s mission to help our customers fulfil their aspiration of living better lives, running better businesses, and saving time and money.”

Makro's Intelligent Assistant (iA) was developed by Feersum Engine, a product that allows brands to connect with their consumers on the device of their choice. Feersum Engine's human-centered approach enables the company to constantly improve the Makro user experience and add features to the messaging service on WhatsApp.

To enable WhatsApp integration, Makro worked with global chat commerce leader Clickatell (https://www.Clickatell.com/), known for pioneering commerce in the chat space and responsible for many industry firsts.

“Retail currently is one of the most competitive environments and ensuring customer satisfaction must be the number one priority for business leaders in this sector. The Makro team already has shown themselves to be trailblazers, ensuring they can meet and engage with their customers on the platforms of their choice,” said Clickatell founder and CEO Pieter de Villiers. “Digital transformation will ensure sustainable growth, and we are looking forward to developing our partnership with Makro as they continue on this exciting path.” 

Customers can connect with Makro directly on WhatsApp by adding 0860 300 999 as a WhatsApp contact, scanning the QR code below, or via this link http://bit.ly/2LoNB78.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Clickatell.

Media Contacts:
Welisa Nene
Makro Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Manager
Email: Welisa.nene@makro.co.za

Andrea Mahoney
Clickatell Director Marketing Communication
Email: Andrea.Mahoney@Clickatell.com

About Makro:
Makro (https://www.Makro.co.za/), a part of Massmart, has evolved in the retail space from a stalwart warehouse chain, having opened its first store in 1971, to now being able to offer customers a convenient online shopping hub.

A total of 22 Makro stores trade in South Africa, offering general merchandise, food and liquor, plus bringing convenience and affordability to local households and businesses. With the ecommerce addition to Makro’s digital offering, customers can now enjoy its deals and value-added services across a broader reach of locations.

Makro's extensive online shopping range includes the majority of items a customer would expect to find in any Makro store and carries with it the same ethos it has always maintained. Makro operates under a low cost/ low margin trading philosophy, enabling it to deliver quality merchandise at competitive prices.

About Clickatell:
Clickatell (https://www.Clickatell.com/) is powering chat commerce by making communicating with a brand and purchasing its products or services within chat apps like WhatsApp and Facebook the new “business as usual.” Founded in 2000, the company is a market leader in B2C messaging and enables startups, small to medium businesses, and global enterprises to connect, engage, and transact with their customers globally. Clickatell’s platforms and solutions help brands reach over 85 percent of the world’s population (http://bit.ly/33PFwyZ), across more than 1,000 mobile network providers and multiple mobile channels. Visit http://bit.ly/33PFwyZ for more information on how Clickatell unlocks possibilities.

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Soyinka, business leaders and top musical artists rally for children’s rights

05.December.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

UNICEF Nigeria

Leaders from Nigeria’s private sector and entertainment industry today joined Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka for a reading of his poem A Child Before a Mirror of Strangers, dedicated to children around the world in commemoration of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which celebrates a milestone 30th anniversary this year.

There is one common bond among all of us — and that bond is childhood,” said Prof. Soyinka.  “We have the responsibility to protect and preserve the integrity of that sole common bond, which is pertinent to all humanity.”   

The event, a collaboration between UNICEF and the British Deputy High Commission, brought key leaders and influencers from Nigeria’s private sector and entertainment industry together to discuss how these sectors can help advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the realization of children’s rights.

“Achieving the SDGs and achieving child rights go hand-in-hand,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Nigeria Representative. 

“Both will only be achieved if all sectors of business are fully engaged. Child rights and the SDGs need to be integrated into business principles, strategies and plans, which, in turn, can contribute to more robust and inclusive economic growth and improved employment of young people. That is good for children, good for business and good for Nigeria.” 

With a population close to 200 million people and an ever-increasing youth bulge, Nigeria is experiencing increasing demands on schools and health facilities, and growing challenges for young people to find work, amongst other challenges.

In an appeal directly to children, musician, producer and songwriter Cobhams Asuquo said, “You are all that is right in Nigeria because you are the chance to rewrite all of wrongs that generations before you have done.  You have a chance and a clean state to make this country the place we all dream of.”

A strong push will need to be made by all if Nigeria is to meet the SDGs by 2030. The private sector could be a critical key in unlocking opportunities for young people, and also addressing poverty, combatting inequality and tackling environmental problems. 

“We are pleased to work with UNICEF, the private sector, and young people themselves on ideas that will contribute to a better Nigeria for current and future generations of children,” said Harriet Thompson, British Deputy High Commissioner in Nigeria. 

“With the anniversary of the CRC this year, the 30th anniversary of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child next year and only 10 years left to achieve the SDGs, we must work together and with urgency to scale-up solutions in Nigeria that will improve our planet and all people’s lives, especially our children.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of UNICEF Nigeria.

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United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) appeals for US$180 million to respond to children’s immediate needs in South Sudan

05.December.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

UNICEF South Sudan
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4.1 million children will need urgent assistance in South Sudan in 2020. Years of conflict have destroyed critical infrastructure hindering access to basic services such as clean water, health care and education. Gender-based violence is prevalent and unaccompanied children are at risk of exploitation and abuse. The unresolved political conflict and lack of essential services prevents displaced people from returning home to rebuild their lives.

At the same time, the floods affecting 78 counties across the country, have devastated crops making an already difficult food situation worse. Critical infrastructure, including schools and health centres, will need to be rebuilt when the water subsides. In 2020, UNICEF is expecting an increase in number of children suffering from acute malnutrition, increasing from 860,000 in 2019 to 1.3 million in 2020. This includes 292,000 children under five years of age suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

UNICEF is appealing for US$180 million to respond to the most immediate needs of women and children in South Sudan the coming year.

“How can we expect children to grow if the water they are drinking is makes them sick?’’ asked UNICEF South Sudan Representative, Dr Mohamed Ag Ayoya. “While the country is struggling with finding a sustainable and peaceful solution to the conflict, our focus remains on the future which means the children of South Sudan.”

In 2019, UNICEF and partners were able to treat 186,000 children for severe acute malnutrition, provide clean water to some 460,000 people, delivered education to 610,000 children and vaccinated over 430,000 children against measles. Meanwhile, the overall humanitarian funding in South Sudan decreased. For 2019, UNICEF appealed for US$179 million, by end of August just over half was funded. This hampered UNICEF’s efforts to respond to the needs of women and children, including supporting demobilization of children from armed forces and groups and provide water and sanitation to some of the most vulnerable people in the country.

“The only thing that I am 100 per cent sure of is that the children growing up in South Sudan cannot be blamed for the situation in the country. Yet, they are paying the highest price – with their futures,” said UNICEF South Sudan Representative, Dr Mohamed Ag Ayoya. “If we want to see a prosperous South Sudan, we need to continue to invest in the current and coming generation of children, ensuring they are not only surviving but thriving. For that we need all partners and all donors to join in.”

In 2020, UNICEF is aiming at:

  • 268,045 children under five years of age treated for severe acute malnutrition
  • 518,000 children vaccinated against measles
  • 340,000 pregnant women and children provide with mosquito nets
  • 817,000 people have access to safe water and 303,500 people have access to safe and appropriate sanitation facilities
  • 127,000 reached with psychosocial support
  • 709,000 children accessing quality formal or non-formal education
  • 2,500 teachers trained on education
  • 42,030 households reached through the cash transfer programme

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of UNICEF South Sudan.
Source: Apo-Opa

Blitzboks Want to Lay Solid Foundation as World Series Starts in Dubai

05.December.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

South African Rugby Union
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Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell knows the route to the top of the podium at the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens – he has after all lifted the trophy more than once as a player, and watched his team do the same as a coach.

The Dubai tournament – the first of ten in the 2019/20 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series – starts at The Sevens Stadium on Thursday, with the Blitzboks playing Kenya in their only match of the day.

Ann according to Powell, the Blitzboks arrived in Dubai confident after good preparation in Stellenbosch for the last two months.

“We also played in a warm-up tournament, so a lot of things we wanted to do have happened – but the real test remains here in Dubai when the tournament and series start,” said Powell.

South Africa have won the Dubai title six times before and for Powell a good start has always indicated what the season has in store for the Blitzboks.

“The pre-season normally manifests itself here and in Cape Town next weekend, but I think we have laid a good foundation for the opening two weeks,” he explained.

“There are a couple of challenges though. We needed to get through the 10-hour flight and its effects, and then a slight mindset change as the tournament is now starting a day earlier and will be played over three days and not the usual two.”

Powell was happy with the preparation done this week too: “We hit the ground running and both our attack and defence sessions went well. We will have our final prep in the morning before we take on Kenya tomorrow evening for our first match.

“We have a couple of new things that we will try and the test for that will be this weekend. It worked well on the training pitch, but only a live match will give you the real result,” he said.

Powell brought back some players with the Olympic Games in 2020 in mind. The likes of Dylan Sage, Seabelo Senatla and Ruhan Nel missed last season’s series, but they are back in action where they won the last time they played in Dubai.

“We have the Olympics as an end goal, but everyone realises the here and now aspect of Dubai. The focus is here, and we are looking for the effort this weekend,” said Powell.

Referring to Sage, Senatla, Nel and Rosko Specman, Powell said: “Those guys have worked hard with us in the last couple of weeks to fit back into our systems. They have individual excellence, but it will be how they fit into the overall team structure that will determine their successful return or not.

“Our objectives for the weekend are quite simple – we want to build a good foundation, not only for next weekend, but for the remainder of the season. We want to do well and get the pointers on those things we are doing right,” the coach explained.

• Meanwhile Powell will also have a keen interest on the performances of the SA Rugby Sevens Academy team, who starts their campaign against the Royal Jesters in the International Invitational tournament on Thursday.

Several Blitzboks stalwarts will be in action and Powell will also be eager to see the progress made by new recruit Hacjivah Dayimani, as well as Werner Kok, who returned from the French Top 14 recently.

The Blitzboks face Kenya at 17h54 (SA time) in Pool D. They face Spain and England in their remaining pool fixtures on Friday. The Academy side take on the Royal Jesters at 11h20 (SA time) and French Military at 13h20 on Thursday.

The Blitzbok squad is:
1. Chris Dry (68 tournaments, 342 matches; 465 points, 93 tries)
2. Ryan Oosthuizen (17 tournaments,83 matches; 85 points, 17 tries)
3. Dylan Sage (24 tournaments, 134 matches; 155 points, 31 tries)
4. Zain Davids (18 tournaments, 88 matches; 60 points, 12 tries)
5. JC Pretorius (five tournaments, 27 matches; 55 points; 11 tries)
6. Siviwe Soyizwapi (captain; 28 tournaments, 145 matches; 445 points, 89 tries)
7. Selvyn Davids (14 tournaments, 69 matches; 300 points; 31 tries, 71 conversions, 1 penalty)
8. Rosko Specman (28 tournaments, 150 matches; 380 points; 70 tries, 15 conversions)
9. Justin Geduld (46 tournaments, 239 matches; 951 points;104 tries, 214 conversions, 1 penalty)
10. Kurt-Lee Arendse (four tournaments, 16 matches; 45 points, nine tries)
11. Seabelo Senatla (39 tournaments, 203 matches; 1120 points, 224 tries)
12. Ruhan Nel (28 tournaments, 147 matches; 247 points; 49 tries, 1 conversion)
13. Christi Grobbelaar (on debut)

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of South African Rugby Union.

Media Contact:
Rugby@APO-opa.org

Note to Editors:
Audio notes of Springbok Sevens coach, Neil Powell (Afrikaans and English) can be downloaded here (http://bit.ly/388ngUL).

Source: Apo-Opa

Ambassador of Belarus Sergei Terentiev meets Egyptian businessmen

05.December.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Embassy of the Republic of Belarus to the Arab Republic of Egypt
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On 4 December 2019 Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus to Egypt Sergei Terentiev held a meeting with Secretary General of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Egypt Alaa Ezz. The Sides discussed issues of strengthening cooperation in the trade, economic, investment and technological fields, as well as the schedule of upcoming business and exhibition events for 2020. It was agreed to promote cooperation in a number of specific areas including communications in the field of high technologies.

On the same day, Ambassador met with Chairman of the Chamber of Printing and Packaging Industries of Egypt, Deputy Chairman of the Egyptian Council for Export Promotion Ahmed Gaber Mohamed. The Sides discussed issues of imports of Belarusian paper products to Egypt for mass consumption, use in the food and packaging industries, office, retail and HoReCa fields. It was agreed to explore the possibilities of promoting jointly produced engineering products in Egypt to African markets.

The meetings were also used to present the export and technological potential of the unitary enterprise “Paper Factory” of the Department of State Marks of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Belarus, whose delegation is in Cairo as part of the participation in the international specialized exhibition in the field of woodworking industry “Cairo WoodShow”.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Embassy of the Republic of Belarus to the Arab Republic of Egypt.
Source: Apo-Opa

Nigeria hosts National African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) Forum on the "Effective Implementation of the AfCFTA for Industrialization and Inclusive Economic Development"

05.December.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
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When: Date and Time: 5-6 December, 2019

Where: Radisson Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria

Nigeria is this week hosting its National AfCFTA Forum on the “Effective Implementation of the AfCFTA for Industrialization and Inclusive Economic Development” from 5-6 December 2019, at the Radisson Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.

The Forum is being co-organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the European Union, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC). 

The UNECA cordially invites you as media colleagues to attend. High-level speakers, including senior government and United Nations officials will be available for interviews.

Background

The AfCFTA entered into force on 30 May 2019 having been ratified by the required 22 countries. Currently, 54 countries have signed, and 27 countries have ratified the AfCFTA. The pact provides an opportunity for Africa to create the world's largest free trade area, with the potential to unite 1.3 billion people, in a $2.5 trillion economic bloc and usher in a new era of development.

This Forum is part of a comprehensive project aimed at deepening Africa's trade integration through effective implementation of the AfCFTA.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
Source: Apo-Opa