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Latest News April 26, 2017

April 26, 2017

news From All Africa

  • The Nigerian Stock Exchange X-Gen News Alert – Lasaco Assurance Plc

    Company Name: Lasaco Assurance Plc. (http://LasacoAssurance.com)
    Company Symbol: LASACO
    [LASACO]>> Company Report
    Lasaco Assurance Plc 
     

    First Quarter Ended 31 March 2017 
    31-Mar-17 31-Mar-16 
    N'000 N'000 

    Gross premium “3,032,548” “2,765,322” 
    Underwriting expenses “1,501,229” “431,528” 
    Underwriting profit “246,807” “358,192” 

    Profit before tax “162,935” “134,662” 
    Income tax “(40,668)” “(18,690)” 
    Profit after tax “122,267” “115,972” 
    EPS 2k 2k 
    DPS Nil Nil

    Distributed by APO on behalf of The Nigerian Stock Exchange Corporate News.

    X-Gen News Alert offers Corporate Disclosure Information from the Nigerian Stock Exchange via Email.

    Features
    Financial News Headlines from Listed Companies;
    Data Coverage on Nigerian Stock Exchange Equities;
    News items are delivered to you on a Real Time Basis.

    Benefits
    Timeliness: Investors are able to make quick decisions on timely information;
    Integrity of Information: News items are delivered from source;
    Consistency: Corporate Disclosures from listed companies are delivered to you from a single source via Email.

    Contact the Nigerian Stock Exchange Market Data Team for more information on +234 (1) 448 5857 or e-mail MarketData@NSE.com.ng.

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  • Africa Property Skyline Magazine – A New voice for the African real estate industry

    Giving a much-needed voice to the African real estate sector, the African Property Skyline Magazine (www.AfricanSkylineMag.com) – the only publication dedicated to Africa real estate investment and development – will provide the industry with a new platform to explore and create a better understanding of the continent’s true potential.

    The magazine, which will feature the latest investment trends and development initiatives in Africa, will also focus on key trends, top African real estate deals, burgeoning new property sub-sectors as well as the inner workings and economic complexities of a number of African countries and cities.

    Speaking as a key figure in Zambia’s property sector, Pam Golding’s Inutu Zaloumis believes that until now, property news from the African continent has often been under-reported. “Insufficient insight is given into the property industry in Africa. The African Property Skyline magazine is therefore a welcome publication as it showcases the opportunities in Africa. It gives readers a deeper insight into an industry that has had so much growth and still, the potential for further expansion,” says Inutu Zaloumis.

    Published by API Events (www.APIevents.com) and launched at this year’s East Africa Property Investment Summit [EAPI] held in Nairobi last week, the first edition of Skyline has been distributed to over 35,000 subscribers and is available online at www.AfricanSkylineMag.com.  

    “Africa Property Skyline magazine is in line with our mission to enhance and encourage real estate investment in Africa. Our readers can now look forward to the most up to date African property news, key industry insights, and important lessons learned from on-the-ground experiences,” says Kfir Rusin, API Events, Managing Director.

    Focused on delivering high quality content and the latest in thought leadership, Skyline features a number of top industry players, enthusiastic to share their knowledge and expertise. Ivan Cornet, Managing Partner for Latitude Five, used this new platform to share his own perspective on the opportunities for the property sector in Senegal.

    “API Events is a trailblazer in bringing Africa’s property market makers together through quality events and networking opportunities, and we can now look forward to seeing this continue with the African Property Skyline Magazine. Latitude Five is thrilled to be involved in the inaugural edition of African Property Skyline magazine, a long-awaited publication dedicated to charting and analysing the spectacular growth of Africa’s property market,” he says.

    Knight Frank Africa’s Peter Welborn agrees with his peers that this new and fresh publication will be welcomed by many operating across the African continent. “A cutting edge publication specialising in Africa, linking decision makers and their advisers with funders and investors will definitely help to further the momentum of growth across the continent,” Welborn says.

    The first issue includes a variety of topics from across the continent, the cover featuring the highly anticipated new World Trade Centre in Abuja. “We also take a look at both the funding and valuation climates in African property, and we delve into the details of new asset classes like healthcare facilities, as well as the challenges faced in quantity surveying and cost management on the continent,” Rusin adds.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of API Events.

    Media contact:
    Elizabeth Haskins 
    Head of Marketing & Operations
    API Events
    T: +27 11 250 2260  
    E: Elizabeth@APIsummit.co.za

    Magazine Information: 
    Africa Property Skyline Magazine is now available for download www.AfricanSkylineMag.com. The only publication dedicated to Sub Saharan Africa real estate investment and development will provide the industry with a new platform to explore and create a better understanding of the continent’s true potential.The Africa Property Skyline magazine is in line with API Event’s mission to enhance and encourage real estate investment in Africa and we look forward to providing you with the most up to date African real estate deals, industry insights and important lessons from the on-the-ground experiences of others.

    If you would like to advertise or feature your company or development in our 2nd issue being released in September 2017 please get in touch with Chad Angel at Chad@APIsummit.co.za.

    About API Events:
    API Events (www.APIevents.com) is the leading African real estate conferencing company in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    At API Events, we believe that Africa is well-poised to deliver on its promise of growth. The company has an 8-year track record for organizing premium real estate investment and development forums across Sub-Saharan Africa. Market-leading annual conferences include The African Property Investment Summit & Expo (API) in Johannesburg, now in its 8th year, the East African Property Investment Summit (EAPI) and the West African Property Investment Summit (WAPI) in Lagos. We have also introduced nuanced in-country forums which are focused on particular local markets and allow for more detailed focused events. 

    API Events’ conferences provide an essential networking venue for the African real estate investment and development industry and have achieved a reputation for attracting large property investors, major developers, leading financiers, and C-level real estate focused executives.

    As well as offering engaging content and outstanding speakers, the API Events portfolio also includes real estate financial modeling training programmes as well editorial content in the form of our Africa Property Skyline Magazine allowing for an invaluable opportunity to interact with and learn from the best real estate minds in the business across multiple platforms. To find out more about out summits, forums, training course or magazine visit our website: www.APIevents.com.

  • Datacentre investment leaders highlight Africa investment opportunity

    Large scale datacentre investment opportunities are increasing in Sub-Saharan Africa as key commercial hubs benefit from the critical combination of high quality international backbone infrastructure (subsea cable) connectivity and mushrooming local demand for data, say investment leaders.

    Michael Tobin OBE, former chief executive of data center operator Telecity, who is a key speaker at the upcoming TMT Finance Africa 2017 (www.TMTFinance.com/africa) event in London, said there is massive potential for datacentre investment in Sub-Saharan Africa and conditions in three markets especially standout.

    “Clearly South Africa is the core environment,” said Tobin. “We’re just starting to see the big boys go there: Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Netflix arrived last year, and you are seeing burgeoning volumes on the internet exchanges. Teraco, which is owned by Permira, is the standout asset by a million miles. It has the NAPAfrica infrastructure within it, so much of the traffic in all of the 53 countries in Africa goes through that.”

    “Kenya is becoming increasingly interesting as the subsea cables coming into Mombasa drive more traffic through Nairobi. There is also significant traffic going up the east coast of Africa, through Tanzania and beyond. However, Lagos offers even more potential,” added Tobin. “As well as the massive demographic potential, it has the benefits of both subsea cables coming in, and acting as the central commercial hub for Nigeria, which are the two key drivers for datacentre location.”

    “Whereas Kenya has Mombasa and Nairobi; Lagos is the only point you would need to put a site in Nigeria so I see tremendous investment opportunity.”

    Tobin will make a keynote presentation on African datacentre investment and feature on the datacentre and cloud leadership panel at TMT Finance Africa 2017 (www.TMTFinance.com/africa) in London on May 24. 

    The executive only event, which is in its eight year in London, gathers international telecom, media and tech investment leaders, investment bankers and advisers to assess the latest pan-African opportunities for investment.

    Participating companies include: Orange, MTN Group, Airtel Africa, Millicom, Liquid Telecom, Google, Microsoft, American Tower Corporation, Eaton Towers, Helios Towers Africa, SEACOM, MainOne Cable, Digital Bridge, Intelsat, WIOCC, Africa Mobile Networks, Rack Centre, Societe Generale, Savannah Fund, Citi, Standard Bank Group, African Capital Alliance, Credit Suisse, IFC, the World Bank, iColo, Atlas Mara Ltd, WorldRemit, PayStack, Vanu, African Broadcast Network,  Fibersat, Sliide Airtime, Connect Africa, Government of Benin, Draper Dark Flow, Ringier Africa, Norton Rose Fullbright, Amadeus Capital Partners, Chanzo Capital, Intelsat, Digital World Capital, Jumia Food, M-KOPA Solar, Flexenclosure and Hardiman Telecom.

    Find out more at www.TMTFinance.com/africa

    Distributed by APO on behalf of TMT Finance.

    Contact: 
    +44 (0) 203 747 4602
    enquiries@TMTFinance.com

  • “No concerted effort” to Adhere to Ceasefire in South Sudan as Conflict Intensifies

    “No concerted effort” has been made by any of the warring parties in South Sudan to adhere to a ceasefire in the country, instead there has been an escalation in the conflict there, the head of the UN Mission in South Sudan, UNMISS, has said.

    David Shearer, who is also the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, was addressing the UN Security Council in New York on Tuesday. 

    He told the 15-member Council that, “virtually no part of the country is immune from conflict. Yet, there has been no concerted effort by any party to adhere to a ceasefire. Instead, we are seeing an intensification of the conflict over the past month.”

    Mr Shearer said that in some of the violence, government forces have responded to attacks by opposition forces, notably in Wau and the Equatorias. In others, in contrast, government-led operations such as those in Upper Nile and Jonglei appeared “more strategic in focus” and were aimed at taking opposition-held areas.

    The head of UNMISS added that “significant military operations are linked to gaining tactical advantage over opposition positions before the onset of the rainy season.”

    The conflict in South Sudan began in December 2013 and has led to a humanitarian crisis. Some 7.5 million people, two-thirds of the population, require humanitarian assistance. Around 1.6 million people have fled the country as refugees while a further 1.9 million are displaced internally.

    Concluding his remarks to the Security Council, the Special Representative underscored that the “political process in South Sudan is not dead” however it does require “significant resuscitation.”

    He added that UNMISS will work together with partners “to look for opportunities we can build upon to forge a viable solution to bring an end to the hostilities and to the suffering of the people of South Sudan.”

    Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

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  • OHCHR press briefing notes – (1) South Sudan, (2) Maldives

    (1) South Sudan
     

    We deplore the recent outbreaks of violence in several towns in various part of South Sudan, including Pajok in Eastern Equatoria and Wau in Western Bahr el-Ghazal, which have caused significant loss of civilian lives and displaced more than 22,000 people. Visits by the Human Rights Division of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to these sites have revealed reports of serious human rights violations, including indiscriminate and targeted killings of civilians, sexual violence and the looting and destruction of civilian property – and widespread impunity for the violations.

    In Pajok, following an ambush by armed individuals on the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) on 3 April, there was an outbreak of violence over two days, when the army reportedly attacked civilians on the basis of their suspected support for the opposition armed groups, the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A in Opposition). As a result of the violence, about 7,000 civilians fled into the bush and to neighbouring Uganda over a week. During their visit, human rights officers saw clear evidence of killings and looting. Multiple testimonies indicate that SPLA soldiers killed civilians who were unable to flee and targeted young boys and men on the basis of their ethnicity. The Human Rights Division also received reports of three incidents of sexual violence involving six women. Local authorities, including the SPLA, said the men suspected of involvement in one of the incidents had been arrested and were detained by the army. But the authorities have denied allegations of mass atrocities against civilians.

    In Wau, following an incident on 9 April, when two high-ranking SPLA officers and 17 soldiers were reportedly killed in an ambush by suspected SPLM/A in Opposition elements, violence erupted on 10 April. Again, there were many civilian casualties – 28 civilians were killed according to Government figures. Several witnesses indicated that SPLA and armed Dinka men conducted house-to-house searches, questioning civilians about their ethnicity prior to shooting them. Some 17,000 civilians fled to the protection of civilians site adjacent to the UNMISS base in Wau while another 5,000 sought refuge in the compound of the Catholic Church in Wau.

    While the Governor of Wau has established a committee to produce a comprehensive report to determine the motive for the attacks, identify the perpetrators and hold them accountable, we are concerned that to date our information indicates that nobody has been detained in connection with these attacks against civilians.

    The widespread impunity in South Sudan for such horrendous attacks against civilians can only encourage further violence. We urge the authorities to ensure that those responsible for the violence in Pajok and Wau are held to account, regardless of their affiliations and rank.

    The Human Rights Division missions took place in Pajok between 11 and 14 April and in Wau from 18 to 23 April.

    […]

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

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  • New Look and New Programs for America’s Historic Library in Soweto

    On April 20, U.S. Consul General Christopher Rowan, of the U.S. Consulate General in Johannesburg, hosted a reception to officially re-open the Consulate’s Rosa Parks Library & Innovation Studio in Soweto following a nearly four-month refurbishment project. At the reception, the Consul General reflected on the library’s more than 40 years of impact on Soweto’s community and reaffirmed the United States long-term commitment to providing enhanced educational opportunities to South Africans and free access to information through its American Spaces around South Africa, including the Rosa Parks Library & Innovation Center.

    Guests included entrepreneurs, NGO partners, city government representatives, leaders in arts and entertainment, and alumni of U.S. State Department exchange programs.

    In welcoming the guests and talking about the U.S. Consulate’s mission at Rosa Parks Library & Innovation Studio, Consul General Rowan noted that “one of our core goals is for everyone who comes through our door and capitalizes on our resources, to be able to walk back out the door better prepared to make a positive difference in their communities.”

    Commenting on the interaction among the guests afterward, the Consul General said: “There was a tremendous amount of expertise, passion and commitment to community gathered in the room.  Everyone present at the reception was a change-maker – both individually and through the networks in which they work. In bringing these people together, I hope we are helping create new networks and new partnerships. We want to amplify the good work that they and we are doing in Soweto and across the city.” 

    Joining the Consul General in speaking to the crowd were Ms. Sibongile Khumalo and Ms. Priscilla Ntsime. Ms. Ntsime has been a patron of Rosa Parks Library since 1989 and she shared how the library contributed to her personal and career development. Newly appointed Executive Director of the South Africa-Washington International Program, Sibongile Khumalo also shared her experiences of joining a Young African Leadership Initiative Network course at Rosa Parks Library, being selected for the prestigious Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF) in 2016, and later volunteering to run information sessions with aspiring MWF applicants at Rosa Parks.

    The library has not only undergone an external transformation, but is introducing new educational programs that will appeal to a wide audience. This year, in partnership with the Sci-Bono Discovery Center, the Rosa Parks Library is hosting a series of monthly four-day short courses to provide unemployed youth and emerging entrepreneurs with essential cutting-edge 21st century skills. The workshops will cover upskilling computer literacy, web and app development, robotics, 3D motion graphics, animation, and game development, as well as video production and editing.  Another exciting, upcoming program will focus on 3D design and printing. Joining the library is also free of charge and all courses are free to library members.  

    Distributed by APO on behalf of U.S. Embassy Pretoria, South Africa.

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  • Belgium is joining forces with UNICEF and UNFPA in Benin to tackle child marriage and sexual exploitation

    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo today signed two programmes in Benin, related to the promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights. Belgium will be cooperating with UNICEF to help combat child marriages. With the support of our country, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) will be setting up an information project aimed at young people and women, covering sexual education and sexual violence. Minister De Croo also announced that Belgium will release a total of 60 million euros over the next four years in support of UNICEF's work and another 36 million euros for UNFPA.
     

    The UNFPA will use Belgian funds in Benin to run the project ‘Learning about living in Benin’. The aim is to inform young people and help combat sexual violence against girls using an e-learning platform, which is also accessible via mobile telephone. Our country will donate 1.5 million euros for this purpose.
     
    Belgium will also provide 1.17 million euros to support UNICEF in tackling child marriage in Benin. The programme Lutte contre le mariage des enfants au Benin aims to give children and young people better access to justice and better protection from violence and sexual exploitation.
     
    In Benin 35% of girls marry before their eighteenth birthday, and almost two out of ten girls have their first baby before reaching the age of fifteen.
     
    Alexander De Croo: “Girls who are forced to marry and become mothers at a young age miss out on many opportunities. They must leave school early and spend the rest of their life depending on others. The battle against sexual violence and child marriage is crucial if we are to help strengthen the position of girls and women. Belgium wishes to join UNICEF and UNFPA in supporting the struggle.”
     
    Intense collaboration
    With his agreement to two specific programmes in Benin, Minister De Croo also announced Belgium's intention to continue working intensely with UNICEF, the UN Children's Fund, and UNFPA, the UN Population Fund, over the next four years. Belgium has volunteered to donate 60 million euros to UNICEF over the coming four years and a total of 36 million euros to help UNFPA. Children's rights together with sexual and reproductive health and rights are key priorities in Belgium's Development Cooperation policy.
     
    Minister De Croo announced our country's commitment in the presence of Goedele Liekens and Axelle Red, Goodwill Ambassadors for UNFPA and UNICEF Belgium respectively. They are currently all together on an official visit to Benin and Senegal, which is focused on sexual and reproductive health and rights.
     
    Involvement from the wife of the Beninese president
    Today their visits included a meeting with Claudine Tallon, the wife of the Beninese president Tallon. In early March she launched a foundation aimed at improving the position of girls and women in Benin. Her actions include a focus on better education for girls, tackling the deaths of mothers and children, and sexual violence.
     
    As a country, Benin is the sixth most important partner country in Belgium's Development Cooperation. Next year, Belgium and Benin will agree on a new bilateral collaboration programme.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Kingdom of Belgium – Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.

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  • Review and Planning Meeting for Ensuring Access to Life Saving Health Care Service in South of Libya

    A review and planning meeting was arranged by WHO-Libya Office on 21 April to ensure access to life-saving health care services in the South of Libya. The meeting was attended by all directors of the 8 hospitals and all managers of health services in the 8 regions of the South, in addition to the directors of the branch of National Center of Disease Control and the Oncology Centre in Sabha. WHO, IOM, UNFPA and ICRC facilitated the meeting.
     

    The director of the National Health Information Centre presented the alarming results of Service Availability and Readiness of health facilities Assessment done in collaboration with WHO, and identified the following major gaps in health services:
    • Primary Health Care (PHC) access reduced and severe shortages of medical supplies
    • Shortages of doctors in most PHCs
    • Hospital in-patient capacity reduced from 920 beds in 2012 to 683.

    Key health needs for the south were identified for 2017 including supply of life-saving medicines, training of nurses and doctors in specialized areas, repair of the health facilities and building the capacity of the MOH facilities to respond to the health needs of increasing number of Migrants.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

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  • Why We are Hopeful About Improving Health in Africa, by Aliko Dangote and Bill Gates

    This week, more than 138,000 vaccinators will fan out across five African countries in the Lake Chad area in a push to eliminate polio in Africa and rid the world of this terrible disease forever.

    They will take boats across fast-flowing rivers, ride jeeps along sandy ravines, walk crowded street in towns and cities and navigate cramped quarters of refugee camps to ensure that every child is immunized. Traveling for hours a day, these dedicated women and men will visit children in homes, schools, train stations, and transit points across Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, and the Central African Republic.

    This also marks World Immunization Week, a coordinated effort to make sure that people everywhere understand the importance of getting immunized to protect against vaccine-preventable diseases.

    And by coincidence, it was almost seven years ago that the two of us first met in a hotel conference room in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. We were there as part of a diverse group—public officials, religious leaders, business people, polio survivors, and journalists—to discuss how we could work together to stop polio in Nigeria.

    At the time, Nigeria had done an amazing job tackling polio—reducing reported cases by 95 percent in just one year. But it was still circulating in six Nigerian states. While 95 percent might seem like success, as long as a single child remains infected, children across Africa and around the world are at risk.

    Thanks to the effort of so many, Nigeria’s Borno State is now the only place in Africa today where polio is still circulating. It will take ingenuity to end polio there, and it will take persistence to continue reaching children in the surrounding area with vaccines to protect them from the disease until it is eradicated. But we’re confident it can be done. And when that happens, Africa will celebrate one of the biggest victories ever in public health.

    Since our first meeting in 2010, the two of us have worked together on a range of other projects to help improve health in Nigeria and across Africa.

    We supported the establishment of emergency operations centers in Nigeria and other countries to keep polio from spreading. This turned out to be a blessing during the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. When the disease first appeared in Nigeria—an international travel hub that is home to more than 180 million people—the staff of an emergency operations center set up in Lagos jumped into action and stopped the disease in its tracks. It’s almost unimaginable to think what would have happened without them.

    In the state of Kano, we are working with the government to ensure that children can get essential childhood immunizations against tetanus, pneumonia, liver cancer and measles. And when parents bring their children into a clinic for vaccinations, health workers can address other health issues, too, like nutrition, care for pregnant mothers and newborns and malaria prevention and treatment. We have since widened the program to several other states.

    Vaccines are also one of the best tools to save lives in an epidemic, such as the meningitis C outbreak happening now in Nigeria and other West African countries.

    And because of the devastating impact malnutrition has on Nigeria’s children –  leading to 300,000 deaths annually and causing stunted growth and development in millions more – we have expanded our partnership to include nutrition programs across 12 states.

    Earlier this year, we also helped launch the End Malaria Council, a group of influential public and private sector leaders committed to ensuring that malaria eradication remains a top global priority.

    Underlying all these efforts is our belief that strengthening health systems is the key to breaking the cycle of extreme poverty and disease—and kick-starting a virtuous cycle of health, productivity, and prosperity.

    In our work together, we have learned a few important lessons.

    First, improving the health of communities depends on a successful partnership between government, communities, religious and business leaders, volunteers, and NGOs. This ensures that everyone is rowing in the same direction. And it is essential to building trust so parents have the confidence that vaccines are safe and will protect their children from life-threatening diseases.

    Second, we must keep innovating to speed up progress. This month, for example, vaccinators will test a new vaccine carrier that keeps the temperature of vaccines stable for up to five days, even in blistering heat. This breakthrough will enable vaccinators to finally reach children in extremely remote areas with life-saving vaccines.

    Last, accurate and reliable data is central to any effort to improve health. Data can tell a health officer which communities are running low on vaccine supplies, where there are gaps in vaccination coverage, and which new mothers need reminders to take their babies to the health clinic to be immunized.

    An Africa without polio is within reach. So is the vision of getting life-saving vaccines to every child. Success will generate more enthusiasm and support from across different sectors – government, business, civil society, the media – to tackle other killer diseases and the underlying conditions that affect people’s health, including fixing broken health systems.

    We know that strengthening health systems takes time and diligence. We are optimistic that Africa can achieve the future it aspires to. That future depends on people working together—across national borders and across socioeconomic strata—to build the better world we all want. 

    By Aliko Dangote and Bill Gates 

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Aliko Dangote and Bill Gates.

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