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Latest News April 29, 2017

April 29, 2017

news From All Africa

  • Press release on the meeting of Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and the appointed Ambassador of the Republic of Zambia in Moscow, Shadrick Luwita

    On April 28, the Russian President’s Special Representative for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mikhail Bogdanov received the newly appointed Ambassador of the Republic of Zambia in Moscow, Shadrick Luwita, who presented his credentials.

    The conversation held included a substantive exchange of views on a range of issues for further development of the traditionally friendly Russian-Zambian relations. At the same time, they emphasised the solid potential for building mutually beneficial cooperation, expanding economic, humanitarian and other ties, and deepening the political dialogue and coordination of approaches to current issues on the international and African agenda.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

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  • Syngenta and USAID/ Feed the Future Invest $1.8 million to help Smallholder Farmers in Zambia

    Syngenta (www.Syngenta.com) in Zambia, through its subsidiary MRI Seed, has partnered with the Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation, a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) programme implemented by Fintrac Inc. (www.Fintrac.com), to help smallholder farmers gain access to high-quality, disease-free horticultural seedlings, giving them the opportunity to become commercially viable vegetable farmers.

    The programme aims to build a sustainable seedling distribution model for hybrid vegetables; provide access to market information and linkages; train farmers on good agricultural practices and business management; and introduce new technologies to help smallholder farmers dramatically improve their yields.

    In 20 districts across Zambia, Syngenta will establish 20 seedling production sites, each owned and operated by an Entrepreneurial Young Plant Raiser (YPR). The YPR will provide business and technical training, as well as facilitate market linkages for the benefit of 12,000 smallholder farmers. Although the primary focus of the project will be on tomato and cabbage seedlings, Syngenta will also conduct trials and testing regarding the commercial viability of other crops with a high potential in Zambia such as kale (rape), cauliflower, broccoli, carrot, and potato.

    Furthermore, Syngenta will help in promoting a pilot programme for YPR’s “Vegetable in a Bag” concept, where a small portion of YPR seedlings will be sold in reusable packaging, with no ground soil and minimal water, making them suitable for urban and peri-urban use.

    For Syngenta, smallholder farmers around the world and in Zambia are key to solving the growing gap between the supply and demand for affordable food. Our partnership with USAID focuses on testing the commercial viability of innovative business models designed to enable smallholder farmers in Zambia to increase their output and thus their profitability whilst using sustainable and safe agricultural practices. This is what Syngenta’s Good Growth Plan is ultimately all about, and one that we have proven through the Community Agro Dealer initiative in Zambia over the last years.” – Mark Stokes, Head of Customer Marketing for Syngenta Zambia.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Syngenta.

    For further information contact Mark Stokes, Head of Costumer Marketing Syngenta Zambia (Mark.Stokes@Syngenta.com) and Kinyua MMbijjewe, Head of Corporate Affairs East and Southern Africa, Syngenta (Kinyua.Mmbijjewe@Syngenta.com). 

    About the Partners:
    Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation
    Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation is a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded programme that helps the private sector to scale and market agricultural technologies and services for smallholder farmers through investing in technology commercialisation and knowledge exchange. Partnering for Innovation and USAID/Zambia aim to develop partnerships with private sector agribusinesses to support smallholder farmers in Zambia. USAID/Zambia, through Partnering for Innovation, has partnered and co-funded four investments with the private sector to address development and business challenges in Zambia. Through these activities and investments, smallholder farmers will benefit from new and/or expanded market opportunities, increased access to improved agricultural inputs and mechanization, and better quality technical advisory services. 

    USAID
    USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency working around the world to end extreme poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential.  In order to support these goals, President John. F. Kennedy created the United States Agency for International Development by executive order in 1961.  Currently active in over 100 countries worldwide, USAID was born out of a spirit of progress and innovation, reflecting American values and character, and motivated by a fundamental belief in doing the right thing.  Today, USAID staff work to further America's foreign policy interests in expanding democracy and free markets while also extending a helping hand to people struggling to make a better life, recover from a disaster or striving to live in a free and democratic country. 

    Syngenta 
    Syngenta (www.Syngenta.com) is a leading agriculture company helping to improve global food security by enabling millions of farmers to make better use of available resources. Through world class science and innovative crop solutions, our 28,000 people in over 90 countries are working to transform how crops are grown. We are committed to rescuing land from degradation, enhancing biodiversity and revitalizing rural communities. 
    Syngenta has been working in Africa and the Middle East for over half a century in more than 50 countries, and we understand the critical role farming plays in economic, environmental and social development across this diverse region.  Our ambition is to support the inclusion of farmers into viable value chains to increase their productivity so that they produce more of what local and global markets want. We strive to transform farmer yields at scale, in a way that creates sustainable value – motivated by the belief that successful farmers grow surpluses for sale, generate income, provide quality food and build vibrant communities. 
    In Zambia, Syngenta is working to provide farmers in remote locations with last-mile access to inputs, know-how and market information. This is done through a system of Community Agro Dealers (CADs).Over 100 local entrepreneurs in remote locations whose small shops provide access to high quality seeds, crop protection products, serve as produce aggregation hubs, and offer agronomic training through adjacent demonstration plots. This approach overcomes market access barriers and builds local entrepreneur networks.
    To learn more visit www.Syngenta.com  and www.GoodGrowthPlan.com. Follow us on Twitter® at www.Twitter.com/Syngenta.

    Fintrac
    Fintrac (www.Fintrac.com), a woman-owned and US-based consulting company, develops agricultural solutions to end hunger and poverty. For 25 years, it has worked with local and international partners to increase production, improve postharvest handling, add value, and develop markets and competitive value chains for the world's most vulnerable farmers and communities. By teaching farmers to view farming as a business, Fintrac increases yields to improve nutrition, generate income, and build industries.

  • President Zuma to lead Team South Africa to the World Economic Forum in Africa

    President Jacob Zuma will lead South African delegation to the World Economic Forum in Africa to be held from 03-05 May 2017 at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, in Durban, under the theme “Achieving inclusive growth: responsive and responsible leadership.”

    The World Economic Forum (WEF) in Africa will be attended by Heads of State and Government, global leaders from business, civil society as well as government to discuss important issues relating to the achievement of inclusive economic growth globally and with specific focus on Africa.

    “South Africa is honoured to host this illustrious gathering of global leaders on behalf of the African continent and we look forward to sharing our insights and homegrown successes with the rest of the continent and the world.

    As a host country, we look forward to a meaningful dialogue and innovative ideas from stakeholders across the continent and the world on accelerating partnerships and boosting regional integration for Africa’s inclusive and sustainable growth,” said President Zuma.

    The President said he was pleased that WEF in Africa 2017 would focus specifically on issues that include education, skills and employment; entrepreneurship; energy; infrastructure and development finance; combating, adapting to and building resilience against climate change; and science, technology and innovation.

    The President said the WEFA meeting has come to South Africa at the right time. “As a developing constitutional democracy that is defined by triple challenge of inequality, poverty and employment, South Africa believes that radical economic transformation is imperative to accelerating inclusive growth and eradicate these long standing challenges. Our international partners and investors appreciate this historical need as they know it is key to long term sustainable development for the South African economy,” said President Zuma.   

    President Zuma will be accompanied by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and the following key members of the government delegation:

    • Minister of Finance: Mr Malusi Gigaba
    • Minister of International Relations and Cooperation: Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane
    • Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation: Mr Jeff Radebe
    • Minister of Trade and Industry: Dr Rob Davis 
    •  Minister of Economic Development: Mr Ebrahim Patel
    • Minister of Public Enterprises: Ms Lynne Brown
    • Minister of Water and Sanitation: Ms Nomvula Mokonyane
    • Minister of Small Business Development: Ms Lindiwe Zulu
    • Minister of Energy: Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi
    • Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services: Dr Siyabonga Cwele
    • Minister of Environmental Affairs: Ms Edna Molex
    • Minister of Arts and Culture: Mr Nathi Mthethwa
    • Minister of Tourism: Ms Tokozile Xasa
    • Minister of Health: Dr Aaron Motsoaledi
    • Minister of Science and Technology: Ms Naledi Pandor
    • Minister Higher Education and Training: Dr Blade Nzimande
    • Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Sifiso Buthelezi

    The President will also be accompanied by the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Mr Willies Mchunu; MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr Sihle Zikalala; Executive Mayor of eThekwini Municipality, Ms Zandile Gumede; as well as high delegation of business leaders.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of Government Communication and Information.

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  • Supporting the reform of criminal justice in Libya to advance stabilization and rule of law

    The United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) – in partnership with the Ministry of Justice of Libya, and the United States Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) – organized a national workshop addressing possible legislative amendment proposals to the Libyan Penal Code based on a legislative review process. The workshop took place on 24-26 April, in Tunis and is a part of UNODC ongoing project to support the reform of criminal justice in Libya.

    Thanks to a partnership between Libya and UNODC, the project aims at strengthening the cooperation with relevant national institutions and with civil society to develop the criminal justice system in accordance with Libya's obligations under relevant international conventions and in line with Libya's national priorities in the context of the rule of law and respect for human rights.

    Participants to the workshop included representatives of the Ministry of Justice, the High Judicial Institute, the Supreme Court, the Attorney General office, NGOs and Academia.

    “UNODC is committed to continue with its partnership and support to Libya in criminal justice reform, anti corruption, combating organized crime and terrorism, addressing illegal migration and trafficking in persons, among other issues” said Mr. Ali EL Bereir, Programme Coordinator and Head of UNODC Sub-regional Office for the Maghreb Countries in Libya. Mr. El Bereir, congratulated the participants on the outcome of the workshop and emphasized the need to implement its recommendations, including the formation of joint national-UNODC technical drafting team to incorporate the proposed amendments and solicit the views of a wider range of stakeholders.

    Mr. Nori Abdalaattee, Head of the International Cooperation Department, Ministry of Justice, expressed Libya's gratitude for the support provided by UNODC specifically and the UN at large, referring to the historical role of the UN in Libya. Mr. Abdalaatee expressed the commitment of the Ministry to the success of the partnership with UNODC within the framework of Libya's priorities and sovereignty. Furthermore, he committed to expedite the recommendations of the workshop to streamline the next phase of the process.

    “Criminal justice reform is a critical issue and despite all the challenges Libya is facing in this historical juncture, I am pleased to see such a key topic is being addressed” said Ms. Maria Do Valle Ribeiro, Deputy Special Representative of UN Secretary General (DSRSG) to Libya and UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator. While acknowledging the presence of high level officials from relevant Libyan institutions and women participation, the DSRSG expressed hope that future forums of this kind could take place in Libya in the nearest future. Ms. Ribeiro emphasized the willingness of the whole UN system to continue to support Libya. 

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

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  • Launch of Human Development Report Tuesday 2nd May

    WHAT: Launch of the UNDP Human Development Report 
    WHO: Mwangi Kiunjuri, Devolution CS, Selim Jahan, Lead Author of the Report and HDRO Director, Siddharth Chatterjee UNDP Resident Representative and Ms. Amanda Serumaga UNDP Country Director among other Panelists
    WHEN: 2nd May 2017, 2PM
    WHERE: Hilton Hotel 

    Background 
    Despite outpacing global human development growth rates over 15 years, sub-Saharan Africa remains burdened by the world’s most uneven distribution of development gains, with women, girls, people living in rural areas, migrants, refugees and those in conflict-affected areas systemically left behind. Gender inequality remains a serious challenge to human development in the region. 

    While Kenya has shown progress in promotion of human development – in improving access to education, health and sanitation, more people rising out of extreme poverty, people living longer, and fewer people being malnourished, there are still imbalances across socio economic, ethnic and racial groups, urban and rural areas as well as among women and men. These are among the findings of the 2016 Human Development Report titled ‘Human rights for Everyone’ released by UNDP, which ranks Kenya at position 146 out of 188 countries. 
    The report finds that Millions of people are not benefiting from progress, with the gap set to widen unless deep-rooted development barriers, including discrimination and unequal political participation, are tackled. 
    This is a kind invitation to attend this interesting discussion to establish who has been left behind in human development progress and why.

    Media contact: Ngele Ali, Communications Specialist – UNDP Kenya, ngele.ali@undp.org, +254 79848 1008. 

    Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

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  • “Press Freedom: A Fundamental Right” A World Press Freedom Day live webchat

    On May 3, World Press Freedom Day, a panel of journalists and media experts will take part in an interactive webchat to discuss the importance of media freedom and its role in a democratic society. The panelists will also highlight best practices for journalist safety, increasing trust in journalism, and how social media can be used to combat threats to press freedom. The speakers will be joined by a live audience at the U.S. Embassies in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Abuja, Nigeria, and Tirana, Albania.

    Audiences at viewing groups around the world, as well as online viewers, will be able to ask the experts their press freedom questions live on the ShareAmerica streaming page: Share.America.gov/press-freedom-webchat.

    The United States Embassy in Addis Ababa invites you to attend this event:

    Date: Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 3:45 p.m.
    Venue: U.S. Embassy, Entoto Road

    Speaker Bios:

    Richard Lui is a journalist and news anchor for MSNBC and NBC News. Lui was previously a news anchor at CNN Worldwide, where he became the first Asian American male to anchor a daily national news broadcast in the U.S. Most recently, Lui reported on the ground on the Paris and San Bernardino Terror Attacks and in Ferguson and Baltimore during heightened racial unrest. Lui has 30 years of experience in network television, technology, and business. Starting in 2016 he honed in on the digital, working class, and fake news dynamics new to politics. Bio.

    Courtney Radsch is the advocacy director at the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). As a veteran journalist, researcher, and free expression advocate, she writes and speaks frequently about the nexus of media, technology, and human rights. Radsch is the author of Cyberactivism and Citizen Journalism in Egypt: Digital Dissidence & Political Change. Her articles have been published in The New York Times, Al Jazeera, the Huffington Post, and other publications. She previously worked with UNESCO’s Section for Freedom of Expression and the Global Freedom of Expression Campaign at Freedom House, where she conducted training for activists in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Bio.

    Please RSVP to Ali Suleiman (0911-509-510) or Yohannes Gezahegn (091-202-1840).

    Distributed by APO on behalf of U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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  • Somalia: $100 cash grants will help 55,000 families overcome drought

    Drought-stricken families in rural Somalia have been given a lifeline via $100 cash grants to see them through lean times brought on by severe drought.

    The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) this week provided the grants to more than 55,000 homes around Baidoa to help families cope during a time of emergency needs. The most vulnerable households will receive up to three rounds of cash support through mobile phone money transfers.

    The debilitating drought in Somalia has left more than 6 million people at risk of malnutrition and has triggered massive displacements, mostly from rural to urban areas.

    “Drought conditions have decimated family’s livestock holdings and put people at risk of severe hunger. This cash infusion will help families get through the lean times so they can get the nutrition needed to outlast the drought,” said Jordi Raich, the head of delegation for the ICRC in Somalia.

    In all, the ICRC, with the support of the Somali Red Cross Society (SRCS), will provide cash to up to 60,000 drought-afflicted families (360,000 persons), a $9 million infusion that is ICRC’s largest-ever cash assistance program in Somalia. This grants complement work by the Red Cross earlier this year to provide food for more than 160,000 people at risk because of the drought. 

    Distributed by APO on behalf of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

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  • UN Human Rights Chief to visit Ethiopia, meet national and African Union leaders, 2 – 4 May 2017

    UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein will officially visit the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, at the invitation of the Government, from 2 to 4 May 2017.

    Zeid will meet Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Speaker of the House of People’s Representatives Abadula Gemeda and other high-ranking Ethiopian officials, to discuss the human rights situation in Ethiopia and the work of the UN Human Rights Office in the country. He will in addition be meeting with Dr. Addisu Gebre-Egziabher, Chairperson of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, members of Ethiopian civil society organisations and political parties.

    During his visit, Zeid will also hold discussions with leading African Union Commission officials, including the Chairperson of the Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat; AUC Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui; and AUC Commissioner for Political Affairs Cessouma Minata Samate. His talks with African Union officials will focus on plans to reinforce coordination between the UN and AU on human rights, in line with other recent steps to strengthen their partnership, including the recent signature in New York of a framework agreement on enhanced cooperation in peace and security.

    At the end of his visit, on Thursday 4 May, the High Commissioner will hold a press conference at the UNECA Conference Centre in Addis Ababa at 16:00. 

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

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  • Girls in ICT: ECA professionals inspire Ethiopian girls to break into boys’ club

    The Economic Commission for Africa on Thursday participated in the International Telecommunication Union’s Girls in information and communication technologies (ICT) celebrations in Addis Ababa, with ECA professionals joining other distinguished guests in training and sharing personal stories with girls from various Ethiopian schools on how they made it in a male-dominated field.

    Gender section’s Keiso Matashane-Marite led the ECA team to the celebrations that were organized by the ITU, UN Women, the ECA, African Union Commission, UNDP and tech company Huawei.

    “Today is a special day and it belongs to the girls,” said Matashane-Marite, “As ECA we are happy to be highlighting the importance of why girls should be involved in ICT; raising awareness and encouraging our young girls to consider careers in IT. My message to the girls is please embrace ICTs as an enabler to help you achieve your dreams in this digital world of today.”

    She said the ECA, while happy with the increasing number of girls and women using new technologies in Africa, is concerned that far too few women and girls are using these technologies or are leaders in science, technology and the innovation space.

    “I’m sure you will help us change this scenario. I can tell you that at the ECA we have just made history with the first woman being appointed as Executive Secretary. Twenty years ago it would have been unthinkable so girls, anything you set your heart on, you can do, you just need to be determined and assertive, ICT is not for men only; it’s for girls too,” she told schools girls from all over Ethiopia who had gathered at the AUC to mark the Girls in ICT International Day.

    The ECA’s Gender Section ran two side events at the celebrations equipping young girls with social skills and how they can get into ICT careers by overcoming social barriers, real or imagined and other fears.

    The young girls interacted with speakers, worked on computers and asked pertinent questions concerning women in the workplace and how they coped with being professional women and being mothers at the same time and related issues.

    Hands-on workshops were organized to inspire the local school girls to become ICT creators with the support of experts from ITU, ECA. UN Women, Ethiotelecomm and others.

    ECA’s Nozipho Simelane shared her life story of how she became an engineer as did ICT colleagues Carole Ngue Kuete and Tizeta Ziwede.

    Ms. Simelane and her colleagues also gave the girls tips on how to be assertive both at school and at home.

    “You will meet challenges along the way like everybody else, but you can always overcome the challenges,” said Ms. Simelane.

    Ms. Ziwede added that; “The sky should be the limit for you. Always believe in your dreams and go for it. Challenges are there to push you so you can overcome them; they be psychological fears or social barriers.”

    For her part Ms. Ngue Kuete told the girls to think seriously about their career paths, as she urged the girls to take advantage of ICT to become their own bosses.

    In the main plenary the young girls were inspired by speeches from leading African women who are working in the ICT field at the highest levels. The women leaders talked about their careers, barriers they have encountered along the way, how they conquered and what they envisage for the future.

    UN Women Representative to the Ethiopia, Letty Chiwara, said it was sad that on average across the developing world, nearly 25 percent fewer women than men have access to the internet, adding that the gender gap reaches nearly 45 percent in sub-Saharan Africa.

    “Along with improving women and girls’ educational opportunities, we must change stereotypes or narratives about women in ICT,” she said.

    “It is essential to show that ICT is not a masculine profession. We must raise awareness of unconscious bias and ensure educators and employers avoid it.”

    Ms. Chiwara added; “We must make sure that technological and digital changes work for women and girls and do not leave them behind. This will require political will and partnerships.”  

    ITU's Girls in ICT Day is a global initiative aimed at raising awareness among girls and young women about the importance of digital skills for a successful professional career in all sectors and encouraging them to consider studies and careers in ICT.

    It is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday of April and since 2011.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

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