Ethiopians abused on Gulf Migration Route

15.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Human Rights Watch (HRW)
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Ethiopians undertaking the perilous journey by boat across the Red Sea or Gulf of Aden face exploitation and torture in Yemen by a network of trafficking groups, Human Rights Watch said today. They also encounter abusive prison conditions in Saudi Arabia before being summarily forcibly deported back to Addis Ababa. Authorities in Ethiopia, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia have taken few if any measures to curb the violence migrants face, to put in place asylum procedures, or to check abuses perpetrated by their own security forces.

A combination of factors, including unemployment and other economic difficulties, drought, and human rights abuses have driven hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians to migrate over the past decade, traveling by boat over the Red Sea and then by land through Yemen to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia and neighboring Gulf states are favored destinations because of the availability of employment. Most travel irregularly and do not have legal status once they reach Saudi Arabia.

“Many Ethiopians who hoped for a better life in Saudi Arabia face unspeakable dangers along the journey, including death at sea, torture, and all manners of abuses,” said Felix Horne, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The Ethiopian government, with the support of its international partners, should support people who arrive back in Ethiopia with nothing but the clothes on their back and nowhere to turn for help.”

Human Rights Watch interviewed 12 Ethiopians in Addis Ababa who had been deported from Saudi Arabia between December 2018 and May 2019. Human Rights Watch also interviewed humanitarian workers and diplomats working on Ethiopia migration-related issues.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates as many as 500,000 Ethiopians were in Saudi Arabia when the Saudi government began a deportation campaign in November 2017. The Saudi authorities have arrested, prosecuted, or deported foreigners who violate labor or residency laws or those who crossed the border irregularly. About 260,000 Ethiopians, an average of 10,000 per month, were deported from Saudi Arabia to Ethiopia between May 2017 and March 2019, according to the IOM, and deportations have continued.

An August 2 Twitter update by Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry said that police had arrested 3.6 million people, including 2.8 million for violations of residency rules, 557,000 for labor law violations, and 237,000 for border violations. In addition, authorities detained 61,125 people for crossing the border into Saudi Arabia illegally, 51 percent of them Ethiopians, and referred more than 895,000 people for deportation. Apart from illegal border crossing, these figures are not disaggregated by nationality.

Eleven of the 12 people interviewed who had been deported had engaged with smuggling and trafficking networks that are regionally linked across Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somaliland, Puntland, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia. Traffickers outside of Ethiopia, particularly in Yemen, often used violence or threats to extort ransom money from migrants’ family members or contacts, those interviewed told Human Rights Watch. The 12th person was working in Saudi Arabia legally but was deported after trying to help his sister when she arrived illegally.

Those interviewed described life-threatening journeys as long as 24 hours across the Gulf of Aden or the Red Sea to reach Yemen, in most cases in overcrowded boats, with no food or water, and prevented from moving around by armed smugglers.

“There were 180 people on the boat, but 25 died,” one man said. “The boat was in trouble and the waves were hitting it. It was overloaded and about to sink so the dallalas [an adaptation of the Arabic word for “middleman” or “broker”] picked some out and threw them into the sea, around 25.”

Interviewees said they were met and captured by traffickers upon arrival in Yemen. Five said the traffickers physically assaulted them to extort payments from family members or contacts in Ethiopia or Somalia. While camps where migrants were held capture were run by Yemenis, Ethiopians often carried out the abuse. In many cases, relatives said they sold assets such as homes or land to obtain the ransom money.

After paying the traffickers or escaping, the migrants eventually made their way north to the Saudi-Yemen border, crossing in rural, mountainous areas. Interviewees said Saudi border guards fired at them, killing and injuring others crossing at the same time, and that they saw dead bodies along the crossing routes. Human Rights Watch has previously documented Saudi border guards shooting and killing migrants crossing the border.

“At the border there are many bodies rotting, decomposing,” a 26-year-old man said: “It is like a graveyard.”

Six interviewees said they were apprehended by Saudi border police, while five successfully crossed the border but were later arrested. They described abusive prison conditions in several facilities in southern Saudi Arabia, including inadequate food, toilet facilities, and medical care; lack of sanitation; overcrowding; and beatings by guards.

Planes returning people deported from Saudi Arabia typically arrive in Addis Ababa either at the domestic terminal or the cargo terminal of Bole International Airport. Several humanitarian groups conduct an initial screening to identify the most vulnerable cases, with the rest left to their own devices. Aid workers in Ethiopia said that deportees often arrive with no belongings and no money for food, transportation, or shelter. Upon arrival, they are offered little assistance to help them deal with injuries or psychological trauma, or to support transportation to their home communities, in some cases hundreds of kilometers from Addis Ababa.

Human Rights Watch learned that much of the migration funding from Ethiopia’s development partners is specifically earmarked to manage migration along the routes from the Horn of Africa to Europe and to assist Ethiopians being returned from Europe, with very little left to support returnees from Saudi Arabia.

“Saudi Arabia has summarily returned hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians to Addis Ababa who have little to show for their journey except debts and trauma,” Horne said. “Saudi Arabia should protect migrants on its territory and under its control from traffickers, ensure there is no collusion between its agents and these criminals, and provide them with the opportunity to legally challenge their detention and deportation.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Human Rights Watch (HRW).
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Voith launches on-site machining and service tools capabilities for Southern Africa

15.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA


On-site machining and service tools applicable for the hydropower industry and key processing industries in Africa; Increased plant up-time and cost-effective workshop-quality machining; Successful launch event in August 2019 in South Africa.

The technology group Voith ( is strengthening its hydropower service portfolio for Southern Africa. On 15th August 2019, the company introduced its on-site machining and service tools capabilities to customers, business partners and authorities during an official launch event in Witfield, Boksburg, South Africa. The new services includes the refurbishment of plant components in installed or independent state by linear and circular milling as well as drilling, boring and welding. The portable on-site machining equipment ensures increased plant up-time and safety. Cutting assembly, dismantling and transport costs for the refurbishment and maintenance of plant equipment are reduced to a minimum.

“During the past two years, we built up an extensive range of on-site machining and repair services through the acquisition of equipment and the training of new staff. Now, we can provide cost-effective workshop-quality machining for the largest and smallest on-site machining projects in Southern Africa”, says Anton Harris, Head of Service and Managing Director of Voith Hydro in South Africa. “Besides the use in the hydropower sector, the equipment is also applicable to all fields of processing industry in Africa such as the oil and gas or the mining industry. For hydropower plants, the Voith range of services is amplified to assessments, trouble shooting, repair and assembly services – along the whole life cycle of an operating plant.”

The on-site machining equipment is stored in sea freight containers on the Voith company premises in South Africa. From there, the equipment is ready to be shipped on the road or on the seaway to any location in Southern Africa.

Overview of Voith’s on-site machining equipment

For a whole range of different boring, drilling and facing applications, there are three heavy-duty line boring machines, which can be equipped with different heads and with an orbital welding machine for welding and reprofiling applications.

The linear mill is a bed-type milling machine for universal use in a fast and accurate way. Together with the adjustable head mounting options for angular milling and the different tooling options, a wide range of milling jobs can be fulfilled.

Voith’s circular mill is equipped with an incremental drive and can be setup for the machining of large internal diameters and flanges.

While the circular mill comes in a customized container with removable roof and door header, the linear mill and the line boring machines are delivered in steal boxes or, depending on the application, in a container. For repairs and installations, a fully equipped tool container is also available.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Voith.

Media Contact:
Marian Möbius
Market Communication Manager EMEA
Key Contact Voith Hydro
Tel: +49 7321 37 – 6157

About the Voith Group:
The Voith Group ( is a global technology company. With its broad portfolio of systems, products, services and digital applications, Voith sets standards in the markets of energy, oil & gas, paper, raw materials and transport & automotive. Founded in 1867, the company today has more than 19,000 employees, sales of € 4.2 billion and locations in over 60 countries worldwide and is thus one of the larger family-owned companies in Europe.

The Group Division Voith Hydro is part of the Voith Group and a leading full-line supplier as well as trusted partner for equipping hydropower plants. Voith develops customized, long-term solutions and services for large and small hydro plants all over the world. Its portfolio of products and services covers the entire life cycle and all major components for large and small hydro plants, from generators, turbines, pumps and automation systems, right through to spare parts, maintenance and training services, and digital solutions for intelligent hydropower.





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The First TECNO Device running KaiOS is here: Meet the T901

15.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

TECNO Mobile

TECNO (, the leading mobile phone brand in Africa, today announced the launch of the latest 3G smart feature phone T901, the first TECNO device running on KaiOS (, the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones. This is a significant step for both companies in closing the digital divide by bringing users–previously inhibited by device affordability–online for the first time. Priced at $ xxx, the T901 will be available in three color options: gold, blue and black.

“With the arrival of T901 powered by KaiOS, users gain access to apps such as WhatsApp, YouTube, Google Maps, and others on an affordable TECNO smart feature phone for the first time. The phone also supports GPS, Wi-Fi, and 3G, with significant network speed growth and better anti-signal interference performance as well as faster signal reception in call mode than those in 2G. T901 also comes equipped with the Google Assistant, allowing users to operate the device with their voice. With all these features, TECNO is practicing our commitment to allowing the consumers to reach beyond their current limitations and uncover a world of possibilities.” says Stephen Ha, Managing Director of TECNO Mobile.

“Launching with TECNO is a significant milestone for both our companies,” adds Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies. “The digital divide in Africa remains large, and we’re thrilled to be working side-by-side with TECNO to eliminate it. Visit any African city and you will understand how important TECNO is on the continent, with stores on nearly every corner; we can’t wait to see the KaiOS-enabled T901 show up in all of these outlets.”

T901 is equipped with a hybrid dual-SIM slot which can support two SIM cards and with 512MB +256MB memory for more spaces to save users precious memories. It boasts a 2.4-inch QVGA display with 240×320 pixels resolution, and a powerful 1900mAh battery which enables 25 days of standby time and up to 19 hours of non-stop calling

The new device comes embedded with both a front and a rear camera with built-in flash light, which enables clearer photos even at night and in other dark environments. 

KaiOS enables a new category of affordable smart feature phones that require limited memory, while still offering a rich user experience. It supports 3G and 4G/LTE, Wi-Fi, GPS, and NFC. KaiOS-enabled phones come with popular apps and services like WhatsApp, the Google Assistant, Facebook, YouTube, and Google Maps, as well as a store for apps called the KaiStore.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of TECNO Mobile.

TECNO Media Contact:
Ashley Lu
TECNO Mobile

KaiOS Media Contact:
Eletta Leung / Sarah Collins
Email: /
Phone: +852 9139 3746 / +1 206 423-6081

About TECNO Mobile:
Established in 2006, TECNO Mobile ( is a premium smartphone brand from TRANSSION Holdings. Upholding the brand essence of “Expect More”, TECNO is committed to giving the masses access to latest technology at accessible prices, allowing the consumers to reach beyond their current limitations and uncover a world of possibilities. TECNO understands the needs of consumers from different markets and provides them with localized innovations across a product portfolio featuring smartphones, tablets, and feature phones. It is a major global player with presence in around 50 emerging markets across the world. In 2017, TECNO achieved a sales volume of more than 43 million units. TECNO Mobile is also the Official Tablet and Handset Partner of Manchester City Football Club. For more information, please visit:

About KaiOS Technologies:
KaiOS Technologies ( powers an ecosystem of affordable digital products and services, and exists to empower people around the world through technology. Its flagship product, KaiOS, is the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones with more than 100 million devices shipped in over 100 countries. Kai’s mission is to open up new possibilities for individuals, organizations, and societies by bringing mobile connectivity to the billions of people without internet in emerging markets, as well as providing those in established markets with an alternative to smartphones. KaiOS is based on HTML5 and other open web technologies. Devices running on the platform require limited memory, while still offering a rich user experience through access to apps like WhatsApp, the Google Assistant, YouTube, Facebook, Google Maps, and Twitter.

Find Out More

TECNO News Hub (

TECNO Facebook (

TECNO Instagram (

TECNO Twitter (

TECNO Community (

Kai Website (

Kai Facebook (

Kai LinkedIn (

Kai Twitter (

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UK aid to provide vital food to hundreds of thousands of people living on the edge of famine in South Sudan

14.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Department for International Development (DFID)
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Minister for Africa, Andrew Stephenson announced an extra £18 million of UK aid on his first visit in his new role, which will be given to trusted partners to help vulnerable families in desperate need.

There are currently 7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and nearly 2 million people on the brink of famine in South Sudan, where food insecurity is at its worst level in the past 8 years.

Minister Stephenson called on the Government of South Sudan and other parties involved in the conflict to stop obstructing the delivery of aid and step up efforts to help the millions of malnourished children, families and communities get access to vital supplies.

He also called on the Government to accelerate progress on the peace process, including security sector reform, establishing an open dialogue with opposition leader Riek Machar and delivering on the $100 million they pledged to help achieve peace.

Minister for Africa, Andrew Stephenson said:

South Sudan is a humanitarian catastrophe and vulnerable people face the daily threat of starvation.

I have seen first-hand that UK aid is saving lives and today’s step up in support will deliver urgently needed food, water and health services to hundreds of thousands of people.

We call on the Government of South Sudan to immediately lift all humanitarian access restrictions and to commit more resources to provide basic services such as health and education to give people hope for the future.

With just three months until the formation of the transitional government, time is running out. Significant effort and compromise are required to fully implement the peace agreement.

While in South Sudan, Minister Stephenson visited the World Food Programme’s warehouse in Juba to see first-hand how UK aid is helping save the lives of people who have fled conflict.

He also visited the Juba Protection of Civilian’s camp to learn about the key challenges of displacement in the country, as well as meeting with British soldiers deployed to the UN Peacekeeping mission there.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Department for International Development (DFID).
Source: Apo-Opa

The Mauritius Top Five….Beyond the Beach! Island paradise opens up to East Africa with daily direct flights from Nairobi

14.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority

Mauritius is firmly established as a favoured destination for South African travellers, and now the Indian Ocean island is attracting visitors from Kenya and East Africa with daily direct flights from Nairobi

.Intra-African tourism is increasingly attractive for Africa’s emerging middle class and increasingly important for African economies. The type of connectivity created by Kenya Airways flight schedule between Nairobi and Mauritius is a game-changer for the tourism industry. Africa currently only earns 3% of global tourism revenues. Improved connectivity between premium African tourism destinations is a significant step towards growing that figure.

While the European market remains crucial for the Mauritian tourism industry, intra-African tourism is projected to boom across the continent in the coming decades. 

Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority CEO Arvind Bundhun sees the African continent as the future growth market for Mauritius and has ambitious plans to attract more of Africa’s tourists to sample the unique island culture and beauty of his island. In a recent interview Mr Bundhun told ( of his ambitions to build stronger African ties, and here he explains exactly what Mauritius has to offer beyond the traditional beach holiday.

“It is true that sun, sea and sand have always represented Mauritius’ core tourism product, but lately the island nation has been making inroads into areas such as wellness, shopping, sports and medical tourism. Today, visitors can enjoy a host of cultural and sporting attractions, with the crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean never more than a short distance away.

“At the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, we have witnessed countless travellers become enchanted by our tiny island, discovering the cultural melting pot that spills into the local food, music and architecture. Tourists are also reassured by the fact that Mauritius is one of the safest countries in the East African region, allowing them to explore its every corner without apprehension.

“Mauritius is a year-round destination for golfing holidays, with 10 international-standard 18-hole courses and three nine-hole courses offering breathtaking views. Our high-profile golf courses are host to several international competitions each year. The purity of the air, the expertise of the organisers and unrivalled hospitality on offer give Mauritius the edge that every golfer is searching for.

“Golfers are spoilt for choice, as both the east and west coasts of the country offer a range of scenic coastal golf courses. The island registered a nine per cent increase in the rounds of golf played during the 2018 calendar year, with an estimated growth in arrivals of 4,000 people. This brought the total number of players and other parties involved in golf to 54,000 annually.

“Additionally, 13 percent growth was witnessed during the low season in Mauritius last year. This is most encouraging, as it shows that golf can help supplement arrivals during periods of reduced tourism activity.

“Mauritius is on a mission to show prospective visitors that it is a premier golfing destination all year round, a task it is succeeding in thus far.

“There are, of course, other reasons to visit the island as well: Mauritius is an island of culture, shopping, dining and entertainment.

“Big-game fishing is one of the most popular activities, but catamaran cruises, dolphin swimming excursions, sightseeing tours, extreme adventures, luxury activities and spa packages are also available.”

The Big Five: Top Attractions Beyond the Beach


From the million annual visitors Mauritius currently records, 60,000 of these are golfers. The island offers professionals, passionate amateurs and beginners no less than ten 18-hole courses and three 9-hole courses in perfect conditions for the game. 

Set in spectacular sites and wonderful natural environments, designed for championships by renowned golfers such as Peter Matkovich, Peter Allis, Rodney Wright, many of these courses count among the most beautiful worldwide and are sought out for the original challenges and unique experiences they provide. 

The 2015 and 2016 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open seasons marked a major milestone for Mauritius as a professional golf destination. In 2016, Mauritius was awarded the prized title of Golf Destination of the Year for the Africa Indian Ocean and Gulf countries region by IAGTO, the Global Golf Tourism Organisation.

Mauritius holds several beautiful circuits for hiking and nature lovers. The heart of the island, is bordered by volcanic peaks which in addition to being accessible on foot, also offers amazing panoramic views. Black River Gorges Natural Park is the largest on the island. Several tracks are marked to find one’s way easily. We recommend the picturesque descent from Petrin, starting in the highlands of the central plateau and going down to the west coast in Black River. It allows the hiker the privilege of crossing primary forests, sighting endemic fauna and passing by deeply-cut gorges and waterfalls.

There is beauty to be found in hiking to Mauritius iconic viewpoints too.

Forever engraved as lifelong memories or imprinted in treasured photos, Mauritius’ landscapes offer an abundance of breathtaking views. Among the most panoramic views are from Trou aux Cerfs crater in the central highlands, Le Pouce Mountain, Lion Mountain, Le Morne Brabant and Macchabée forest overlooking the Black River Gorges, the rugged windswept cliffs towering over the wild beauty of the Gris-Gris beach.

Catamaran Sailing

Whether you wish to view the island’s beauty from the sea or you want to revel in a leisurely day, shaded from the sun from the windfilled mainsail, a wide choice of sea excursions is available to suit all preferences. 

Full-day excursions and private rentals are available from the northern, eastern, south-eastern and western coasts. One can catch the wind towards one of the islands strewn around mainland Mauritius, particularly to the north; meet the dolphins off the west coast or chart a day’s course due east to make the most of the array of pleasures that iconic Ile aux Cerfs holds in store. And for those with a romantic streak, take an evening cruise and watch the sunset in the distance. These can be booked with providers serving the north and west coasts.

Theme parks

Mauritius holds over ten natural parks and leisure parks. Each offer the opportunity to grasp the wealth of local flora and fauna as well as acclimated specimens from farther horizons such as giant tortoises, crocodiles, ostriches, giraffes, lions, cheetahs and caracals. Local deer and rabbits can be fed in mini farms and even some of the more impressive animals can be closely approached, or walking tours including a walk with lions. A choice of unforgettable thrills awaits both kids and grown-ups including horse riding, quad-biking, jeep safaris, or to really get your heart racing, go for a zip-line, a canyon swing or a canyoning adventure.

Eating Out, Tasting Street Food and Enjoying Multicultural Mauritian Cuisine 

The multicultural composition of Mauritian society is tastefully expressed in its cooking. Mauritian cuisine, whether traditional, homely or sophisticated, showcases an amazing choice of creative fusions, a special talent at mixing spices, colours, savours and aromas, offering the visitor an impressive array of tantalising dishes. 

Today, the island’s multifaceted cuisine takes its inspirations as much from China, India, Middle and Far East as well as France and South Africa. All it takes is a stroll around to understand that Mauritians love street food. Every corner presents a variety of local specialities. Be curious and try out some popular exotic preparations such as dhal puri, farata, samoossa, gato pima, gato arouy. For Chinese food lovers, the must-do is the yearly Chinatown Festival and its food stands for a treat of specialities and delicacies. There are many good quality and varied restaurants in Mauritius and it is worth knowing that a number of Michelin-starred Chefs are at work locally, ensuring that the most exquisite gastronomic delights are on offer.

Good quality restaurants are many and varied in Mauritius and it is worth ensuring even the most exacting gourmets with a choice of exquisite gastronomy at exclusive venues.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority.

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Rugby – 2023 Olympic Games: Zambia's Future Olympians

14.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Zambia Rugby Union (ZRU)

Saturday 17th August, 2019 will bring see the under 14 to 18 girls and boys from across the country converge at the Olympic Youth Development Centre in Lusaka to compete in a Youth Rugby Tournament.

The young talent will be drawn from all the 10 Provinces of Zambia and will be used as a talent identification avenue for the 2023 Olympic Games set for Senegal in West Africa.

Get Into Rugby Zambia Manager Tom Chaloba reviewed this on Wednesday. He said “As a Union we are very excited about the first African Olympic Games and we want to leave no stones unturned as far as our preparations are concerned. We have lined up a number of games in different locations with a view of identifying raw untapped talent which can/will be nurtured in readiness for the 2023 games”.

“So far this year, more than 1,000 girls and boys have taken part in the games across towns such as Livingstone, Lusaka, Kitwe, Ndola, Luanshya, Mufulira, Kabwe and Chililabombwe. We also had Inter-Provincial Rugby games played in Chipata, Eastern Province where a number of school going kids participated”, he added.

The Zambia Rugby Union through its (Get Into Rugby Zambia) partnerships with the Tag Rugby Trust and the Bhubesi Pride Foundation has really proven to be an effective way to get a hold of the young talent in areas that seemed unreachable in the past.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Zambia Rugby Union (ZRU).

Media Contact:
Tom Chaloba
Communications Manager
Zambia Rugby Union
+260-978-374-899/ +260-966-241-699

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Rugby – Kenya: Rasta Rasivhenge Conducts a High Performance Camp in Kapsabet, Kenya

14.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Kenya Rugby Union (KRU)

2019 was the second edition of the HP camp since 2017 that Kenya has hosted before the inaugural 7’s series where 16 first division teams and 24 second division teams all gather for a six-leg competition hosted in different venues in order to compete for the series title. There were 20 referees invited to the camp, which consisted of division one referees, division two referees and future developing referees that got the opportunity to partake at the camp. The camp was based at the home of champions, which is a famous town called Kapsabet as it is known for producing all the famous Kenyan runners, and Olympic champions. The idea behind the camp was to upskill the referees by providing them with resources that they were not exposed to before. So the Kenya Rugby Referees decided to invite Rasta Rasivhenge from South Africa as he is known from the HSBC World Sevens Circuit. He also refereed in the 2016 Olympic gold Medal final in Rio, two Sevens World Cup finals in Moscow 2013 and also in 2018 in San Francisco. 

Also present was Johnbosco Muamba who has refereed several test matches in Africa and is currently Rugby Africa’s Regional Development Officer in the English Speaking Countries. Other notable members present were Kenya Rugby Referees’s Association(KRRA) Secretary General Alfred Okwemba, KRU’s Training and Education Coordinator George Ndemi and local facilitators/Educators. The three-day camp began with introductions from all referees and officials that would be involved in the camp, which was followed by the key topics that would be covered over the course of the camp. These main topics were centered on Decision making skills, mental skills, Set phases, strength & conditioning and finally team activities to build a strong squad for the 2019 National Sevens Circuit. The camp turned out to be a momentous occasion as the participants dived deep into learning and extracting as much as possible in a short space of time. A forensic analysis was also conducted on past tournaments and where the group is at currently: which helped establish the strengths and key work on’s that would help improve the individuals in their quest to be better referees holistically. Each day was packed but the most satisfying element of the camp was the fact that the referees brought in great camaraderie and enthusiasm, which made it an absolute pleasure to work with them. The main theme of the camp was centered on:  “The referees must do their best on the field as the players want the referee’s best effort”. This was evident in the way the referees conducted themselves at the camp, which brought in an abundance of zest in all activities that management had planned and executed. Throughout the camp, there was also great opportunities to conduct outreach programs such as the I ALSO PLAY REFEREE program, which is spearheaded by Johnbosco. The purpose of the program is to recruit youngsters whilst they are in school to play and referee at the same time. It was a great opportunity to go to Kapsabet High school and conduct the program in front of hundreds of scholars who played rugby in their different age groups. This worked very well as the learners were interested in the project. It was a major success as Rasta Rasivhenge presented the school with an “I ALSO PLAY REFEREE” kit that was provided by Johnbosco. The success of the program has produced upcoming stars like Lawrence Ishuga who represented both his school and Club side Nakuru RFC at 1st xv level. He is one of the upcoming bright prospects that participated in the program and KRRA and KRU are delighted to have him as an ex-player and program graduate in their systems. 

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

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UNMISS Dedicates 300-Watt Solar Panel System for the People of Gogrial (By Stanley Mcgill)

14.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)
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A 300-watt solar panel system funded by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) through its Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) has been handed over to authorities of Gogrial in Kuajok.

The system which is valued at 48, 250 United States dollars was implemented by a local non-governmental organization, the Lukluk Community Association for Development (LCAD) and is intended to provide power supply for the only local radio station running in the area, Gogrial 99 FM.

Enthusiastic crowd of residents including officials of local government, the NGO community and other UN agencies gathered at the ground of the State Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports to witness the occasion which was also marred by a tree planting exercise.

“The solar panel system will operate the radio longer hours to broadcast news stories with accurate information, balanced and free from hate speeches” said Bona Beek Akook, Acting Director-General of the local state-owned media outlet.

Before the installation of the solar panel system, Gogrial 99 FM has been broadcasting less than ten hours a day to its audience of more than 500,000 of mostly Dinka and other language speakers in the region.

With the new solar panel system, Bona said, the broadcaster will now remain on-air for 24 hours without any power interruption that could affect its programming schedules as was the case before.

Local government Information Minister Edward Yier Yier Muorwel lauded UNMISS’ effort, adding that “the great and wonderful contribution by UN community especially UNMISS indicates UNMISS and Government have one thing in common and that is searching for a lasting and sustainable peace in this country.”

“You have done great thing to the people of Gogrial and all of us will never forget about you, and you will be remembered for the years to come” he stated.

Though the installation of the solar panel system would bring a huge relief to the power supply, the Information Minister outlined a number pressing challenges that include lack of trained editorial staff to run the newsroom and other aspects of the radio stations.

He named among other issues the lack of internet connectivity and the need to extend the coverage within other areas in Gogrial as well as incentives for the staff members who are literally working on a voluntary basis as some of the hindrances in providing the 24 hours of broadcast it has promised its listeners.

UNMISS Head of Field Office in Kuajok Anastasie Nyirigira Mukangarambe thanked all partners that supported the project and hoped that the Radio station would make impact in areas such as building durable peace. She said when the Radio is used well, it helps build the nation.

“Radio must be used by Government to reach out to its people in the villages. Kuajok Radio must be used to promote the various peace agreements especially regional one like the Marial-Bai accord that brought together Gogrial, Wau and Tonj” she reiterated.

Gogrial Governor Victor Atem Atem for his part said as a result of the radio’s sporadic broadcast issues, there has been a gap in information that that the local people need to know through the radio.

He said important societal ills like early marriages, teenage pregnancy and HIV/AIDS are not being properly communicated to the people due to the lack of the proper medium like the radio station. “We shall capitalize on this opportunity provided by UNMISS to educate our people through the radio” he noted.

The Governor urged members of the local communities to speak on those issues that have the tendency to hold the society down in terms of health and development by using the radio to reach far and near.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
Source: Apo-Opa

Finalists announced for 2019 AWIEF Awards

14.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF)

Leading Pan African entrepreneurship and innovation non-profit, the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) (, has announced the top finalists in its annual awards to celebrate women leaders and entrepreneurs in Africa.

Promoting excellence in entrepreneurship and innovation amongst women-owned businesses in all sectors and across all 54 African countries, is the aim of AWIEF which celebrates the five-year anniversary of its benchmarking annual Conference and Expo this year. The Awards take place on the last evening of the two-day event, October 29-30, 2019, in Cape Town.

“Women-owned businesses are a vital part of our African economy and the women of Africa are our most valuable, untapped resource,” commented Irene Ochem, AWIEF Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “Each year the entries to the AWIEF Awards grow in number and this response signifies the importance of recognising and celebrating women in Africa for their achievements and contribution to Africa’s economic and sustainable development.

“Women-owned businesses are growing on the continent and are a vital part of Africa’s future and contributing to the fact that seven out of 10 of the fastest growing economies in the world, are to be found in Africa. Africa is rising and we must make sure the women of the continent, the backbone of our communities and our families, are given the opportunities to rise as well,” said Ochem.

22 women founders and entrepreneurs have been selected as finalists, from different African countries, across 8 different categories. The AWIEF Awards Panel of Judges is made up of high-calibre industry experts and thought leaders spread across the continent.

Birgitta Cederstrom, Frost & Sullivan's Business Development Director for MEA and this year's Head Judge for AWIEF Awards said: “This year's AWIEF Awards programme has offered a host of equally inspirational and terrific female entrepreneurs and innovators, driving growth for Africa”.

“The judging panel has had some very busy weeks where we reviewed over 200 shortlists for consideration and we are delighted to see the high standard and quality of entries coming through to AWIEF. This is one of the most robust and independent jury based Awards programmes that currently is offered in Africa, and we are thrilled to support female entrepreneurs with a worthy recognition as well as good PR and Media exposure,” commented Cederstrom. “We are hoping that investors are signing up for the upcoming Award Programme Subscription that will be launched in 2020 to help identify the best female start-ups in Africa across key industries such as Agri, Tech, FinTech, Chemicals and Healthcare,” said Cederstrom.


The AWIEF Awards winners will be announced at a gala dinner on 30 October 2019, following on from the 2019 AWIEF Conference and Exhibition taking place on 29-30 October 2019 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town. The theme this year is: ‘Enhancing impact: digitalisation, investment and intra-Africa trade’.

“AWIEF remains Africa’s number one voice in driving the agenda for women’s leadership in business. The AWIEF brand has grown tremendously over these few years through the sustained support of our trusted partners, local and international, underscoring the great values of AWIEF programmes and projects in accelerating women entrepreneurship as a catalyst of inclusive economic growth,” Ochem added.

“Our finalists were rigorously assessed in terms of the sustainability of their businesses, as well as the documented or prospective impact on community development and the economy,” explained Ochem.

New award

This year a new award has been introduced in partnership with APO Group, the leading media relations consultancy and press release distribution service in Africa and the Middle East, which is also principal media partner and official newswire to the AWIEF Conference this year. In honour of the partnership, APO Group is the founding sponsor of a new award: the African Women in Media Award (, to honour and celebrate women journalists who support women’s entrepreneurship across the continent.

“Given the huge number and quality of the nominations received this year for the AWIEF Awards, I must say that female entrepreneurship is strong and thriving all across African countries,” Ochem emphasised, when announcing the finalists.


The finalists for the 2019 AWIEF Awards are:


Beatrice Haule, AfriAgric Products (Tanzania)

Lola Alli, Lagos Executive Cardiovascular Clinic (Nigeria)

Ola (Orekunrin) Brown, Flying Doctors (Nigeria)


Caroline Corbett, SmartBlade (South Africa)

Rebecca Enonchong, AppsTech (Cameroun)

Diane Temogne, Engineering Consulting and Services (Cameroun)


Sizani Ngubane, Rural Women’s Movement (South Africa)

Efua Asibon, Dislabelled (Ghana)

Laurence Esteve, Zip Zap (South Africa)


Shantelle Booysen, Elim Spa Products (South Africa)


Evelyn Namara, Vouch Digital (Uganda)

Caroline Pomeyie, ProFish (Ghana)

Affiong Williams, ReelFruit (Nigeria)


Mary Inzofu, Njia Empowerment Organisation (Kenya)

Nambula Kachumi, WeCreate (Zambia)

Charlot Magayi, Mukuru Clean Stoves (Kenya)


Kapasa Musonda, Mangishi Doll Co. (Zambia)

Genet Kebede, Paradise Fashion (Ethiopia)

Abby Ikomi, House of Irawo (Nigeria)


Kristine Pearson, Lifeline Energy (South Africa)

Oumou Sangaré, Festival International du Wassulu (Mali)

Joke Silva, LUFODO Group (Nigeria)

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF).

Media Contact:
AWIEF Team / Marlene Marais
Phone: +27 21 826 8878

Follow AWIEF on social media: Twitter & Facebook @awieforum.

AWIEF ( is a Pan African non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting and supporting women’s economic empowerment across Africa, through innovation and entrepreneurship. In 2018 the AWIEF annual conference, awards and expo hosted 1300 attendees, 650 delegates, as well as over 50 exhibitors at the expo featuring 300 young entrepreneurs.

AWIEF hosts events throughout the year and runs programmes to mentor, fund and grow women entrepreneurs on the continent. AWIEF’s mandate is supported by some of Africa’s biggest banks, pan-African development organisations, foreign missions, and eminent persons, Government ministers and leaders of multinational companies.

Sponsors this year include: Shell, CTA, Nedbank, Bank of Industry Nigeria, AGRA, and City of Cape Town.
Frost & Sullivan is AWIEF Awards Auditing Partner.

To book for #AWIEF2019 conference and awards:

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Source: Apo-Opa

Amidst “record-breaking” production, US government shows appetite to develop industrial dialogue with Africa on LNG

14.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Africa Oil Week
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With record-breaking US gas production this year, and the promotion of gas as a “cleaner, cheaper” energy source a continued priority for the current White House, the US Department of Energy is now looking towards Africa to develop opportunities in the exploration, production and monetization of LNG. In the words of Energy Secretary Rick Perry, “increased amounts of US LNG on the world market benefit the American economy, American workers, and consumers and help make the air cleaner around the globe.”

Appetite for imported gas is growing steadily across the African continent. Just recently, South Africa announced plans to open its first LNG import terminal in 2024. Meanwhile, US gas production is skyrocketing. Currently at 6 billion cubic feet (bcf) per day, production is forecast to grow to 10 bcf by the end of 2020. This confluence of circumstance makes Africa a common-sense partner for the US as it sets out to cement its position as an Energy superpower.

As part of this mission, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, Steven Winberg, will join 22 Pan-African ministers at the Africa Oil Week summit in Cape Town this November. He will use the event to share US energy policy points with the continent and outline a vision for deeper US commitment to Africa in the oil, gas and power sectors. This vision looks set to encompass increased two-way trade and investment between the US and Africa, with the US making potential capital available on joint-ventures and to part-finance LNG infrastructure for energy-lacking African countries.

The announcement of Secretary Winberg’s attendance to the summit comes alongside several major US private-sector investments into the African energy sector. ExxonMobil are making progress in Mozambique with their Rovuma LNG project in deepwater Area 4 block which contains more than 85 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Particularly notable though is Anadarko’s recent announcement of its Final Investment Decision (FID) to construct a $20 billion gas liquefaction and export terminal in Mozambique, the largest single LNG project approved in Africa. A representative from ExxonMobil will be covering the Rovuma LNG project in Mozambique at Africa Oil Week and there will be strong presence from ENH and INP at the conference. Africa Oil Week is putting a renewed focus on the place of gas, with 5 dedicated sessions dedicated solely to LNG in the event programme.

Assistant Secretary Winberg will be actively participating in the AOW Programme. For the latest updates, please visit:

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Africa Oil Week.

Media Contact:
Kasia Gill

About Africa Oil Week:
Africa Oil Week ( is the leading oil and gas event for the continent, with over 1500 key executives attending from around the world to broker new deals. The global E&P community – government, NOC's, international oil companies, independents, investors and service providers – is brought together here like no other event. This unique event is a hub for deal making and building networks with senior decision-makers.

Source: Apo-Opa