Latest News May 22, 2017

news From All Africa

  • President Zuma congratulates the President of Iran on his election victory

    His Excellency President Jacob Zuma has congratulated the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, His Excellency Hassan Rouhani, who has won the Iranian presidential elections held on Friday, 19 May 2017.

    The election victory will see President Rouhani serve a second presidential term, having ascended to the office for the first time in 2013.

    President Zuma extended his congratulations and best wishes to President Rouhani and the people of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

    President Zuma undertook a State Visit to Iran in April 2016, where he held fruitful bilateral talks with President Rouhani and witnessed the signing of several agreements covering the fields of energy resources, finance, trade and industry, water and sanitation, education and research and arts and culture,

    South Africa views Iran as a strategic trading partner within the Middle East and Central Asian regions. In the bilateral sphere, South Africa and Iran share a long historical relationship, with Iran having stood with and supported the struggle for liberation in South Africa. South Africa has also stood with Iran in the face of unilaterally imposed sanctions.

    President Zuma said South Africa looks forward to working with Iran under President Rouhani to consolidate relations and implement existing agreements.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

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  • Joint press release – The EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and African Union Commission Chairperson, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat

    On 15 May 2017, the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and EU Foreign Ministers met the Chairperson of the Africa Union Commission (AUC) Moussa Faki Mahamat for an exchange of views on the state of the Africa-EU partnership in view of the AU-EU Summit in Abidjan on 29-30 November.

    In an evolving global context, the relationship between the two continents remains vibrant and essential. 

    The meeting was an opportunity to welcome AUC Chairperson Moussa Faki to the EU institutions two months after taking office on 14 March.

    Both sides valued the strategic importance of the Africa-EU partnership for both continents and agreed to seize the opportunity offered by the upcoming AU-EU Summit for a real alliance in a rapidly evolving global context. 

    They highlighted that the central theme for the Summit “Investing in Youth,” which is in line with the AU's theme of the year “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth.”  It provides for a positive narrative embracing all strands of the relationship: peace, security, conflict prevention, governance and human rights, economic opportunity, development and job creation, empowerment, access to education, climate change, migration and mobility for the benefit of both African and European youth.

    They agreed to work closely together in the months leading up to the Summit, drawing up concrete initiatives that will make a difference in the lives of young people, building on shared values and common interests, with ownership and contributions from all sides.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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    African Union Commission (AUC)
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  • Marriott International to Debut The Ritz-Carlton in the Zanzibar Archipelago

    Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) ( today announced the signing of an agreement with Pennyroyal Gibraltar Limited, to debut The Ritz-Carlton brand ( in the exotic Zanzibar Archipelago. Slated to open in 2021, the 90 room all-suite and villa resort will bring the defining luxury experience of The Ritz-Carlton to one of the most magical destinations in the world. Located within a convenient 45-minute drive from Zanzibar International Airport, The Ritz-Carlton, Zanzibar will provide easy access to the fabled and magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site, Stone Town, often referred to as the cultural heart of Zanzibar.  

    The signing of The Ritz-Carlton, Zanzibar took place at an intimate ceremony attended by the owners, Mr. Saleh Said and Mr. Brian Thomson, Directors of Pennyroyal Gibraltar Limited and Mr Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International, along with other executives from both companies.

    “Celebrated as one of the world’s most exotic destinations, Zanzibar, is a perfect destination for The Ritz-Carlton,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. “The Archipelago has the potential to strengthen its position as a key leisure destination in the Indian Ocean and to effectively compete with the more established islands of Mauritius, Seychelles and Maldives. The Ritz-Carlton, Zanzibar will compliment Marriott International’s strong presence in the Indian Ocean and provide the necessary impetus to put the destination on the global itinerary of our guests.”

    Mr. Saleh Said and Mr. Brian Thomson, Directors of Pennyroyal Gibraltar added, “We are delighted to partner with Marriott International to debut The Ritz-Carlton in such a culturally significant destination and are confident that the brand’s allure, coupled with Marriott International’s strong base of loyal guests, will entice the affluent travelers to visit this enchanting destination, making it one of the most coveted resorts in the region.”

    The Ritz-Carlton, Zanzibar will be an all-suite and villa resort with 90 luxuriously appointed spaces including over water villas, each with its own private pool and a distinct contemporary design inspired by the island’s tropical tableau and unique culture. It will boast of a distinctive dining scene with four restaurants and bars allowing The Ritz-Carlton chefs to showcase their culinary versatility and engage with guests through curated and immersive dining experiences. Leisure facilities will include an outdoor pool, a Health Club, a Beach Club and a Kids Club. Guests will have access to a tranquil Spa with eight private Spa Suites offering individual and couple treatments as well as outdoor treatments. An intimate meeting facility will complement the resort facilities for personalized and bespoke events.

    The hotel will be part of the Amber Resort complex expected to be the largest mixed use development in Africa occupying approximately 1,750 hectares of pristine Indian Ocean coastline in the north east of the island. The complex proposes to provide an integrated high end lifestyle experience with a marina, a signature golf course designed by Ernie Els, residential villas and condominiums as well as leisure and entertainment facilities including a water park, and an equestrian center.

    The Ritz-Carlton brand currently operates 12 properties across Middle East and Africa and is gearing up to open hotels in Amman (Jordan), Tunis (Tunisia), Ras Al Khaimah (UAE), Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt) and three properties across Morocco – Tamuda Bay, Marrakech and Rabat. The Ritz-Carlton, Zanzibar will be a significant addition to this fast growing brand portfolio across the region.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Marriott International, Inc..

    Media Contacts:
    Anjali Mehra
    +971 565396555

    About The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC:
    The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company (, L.L.C., of Chevy Chase, MD., currently operates more than 90 hotels in over 30 countries and territories.  More than 40 hotel and residential projects are under development around the globe. The Ritz-Carlton is proud to offer The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® in which members can link accounts with Marriott Rewards® and Starwood Preferred Guest® for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer. For more information or reservations, visit the company web site at, for the latest company updates, visit and to join the live conversation, use #RCMemories. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR).

    About Marriott International:
    Marriott International, Inc.
    (NASDAQ: MAR) ( is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,000 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 122 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®. For more information, please visit our website at, and for the latest company news, visit Connect with us on Facebook ( and @MarriottIntl on Twitter ( and Instagram ( 

  • The Military Operations Coordination Committee (MOCC) held its 23rd meeting in Nairobi Kenya

    The Military Operations Coordination Committee (MOCC) for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) convened its 23rd meeting in Nairobi, Kenya on 19 May 2017, which was hosted by the Kenyan Defence Forces. The Chiefs of Defence Staff (CDS) of AMISOM Troops Contributing Countries (Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda) or their designated representatives attended the meeting, chaired by the African Union (AU) Commissioner of Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui. Representative of the Somalia National Army, partner countries and organization (namely: United Kingdom, United States of America, European Union and United Nations) also participated in the meeting. 

    The meeting took place in wake of last meeting held in Addis Ababa on 24 January 2017, which reiterated the need for a comprehensive approach to security in Somalia, anchored on a combination of critical mutually reinforcing factors relating to the promotion of immediate security, the extension of state authority, building of a capable Somalia National Security Forces, and preventing violent extremism. The Chiefs of Defence Forces received briefs from the AMISOM Special Representative, Force Commander and Police Commissioner, US, EU and UNSOS thereafter, important issues were discussed. Pertinent amongst which was that the MOCC reiterated its commitment to undergo the Juba Corridor and North East Coastline Operation.

    The 23rd MOCC meeting further took note of the objectives of the Joint AU-UN Review of AMISOM, which will proffer options for support, and enhancement of the Somali national security plan. The meeting stressed that the objective comes at a critical juncture of AMISOM operations and the security- building of the Somali national security institutions, as well as the Exit Strategy of AMISOM forces starting in October 2018.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of African Union Peace and Security Department.

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  • UN refugee chief Grandi in Libya: UNHCR ramping up its humanitarian response

    UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, announced today that it is stepping up its presence and programmes in Libya in response to the worsening humanitarian crisis resulting from conflict, insecurity, political instability and a collapsing economy in the North African country.

    Amid the increasing complexity of refugee and migrant movements through and from Libya, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, visited Tripoli on Sunday (21 May). During his stay, he met refugees and migrants in some of Libya’s many detention centres.

    “I was shocked at the harsh conditions in which refugees and migrants are held, generally due to lack of resources,” Grandi said. “Children, women and men who have suffered so much already should not have to endure such hardship.”

    Some 300,000 Libyans have been displaced by ongoing conflict. In all, more than 1.3 million people – including internally displaced people (IDPs), as well as vulnerable Libyans, host communities, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers – are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

    Hundreds of thousands of people in Libya have been affected by the collapse of law and order, absent or insufficient health care assistance, essential medicines, food, safe drinking water, shelter and education. In response to this situation, UNHCR is ramping up its existing humanitarian operations in the country, and is strengthening cooperation with IOM to leverage the respective strengths of both organizations. 

    “We should not underestimate the challenges of operating in an unstable and volatile environment such as Libya today,” Grandi said. “Our ability to access and effectively deliver much needed protection and assistance is a constant challenge. The people we are trying to help and my staff live and work under enormous strain and risks.” 

    In addition to new offices and community development centres for refugees and asylum seekers, UNHCR is also scaling up its presence in places of disembarkation for people rescued or intercepted at sea, in close cooperation with IOM and other partners. At the same time, access and humanitarian assistance to vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers in detention facilities run by the Libyan authorities will be increased, focusing on lifesaving humanitarian activities and advocating for the release of detained refugees and asylum seekers. In the last year and a half, UNHCR has been able to secure the release of more than 800 vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers. The UN Refugee Agency is trying to find durable solutions for them. 

    UNHCR will also boost its programmes to assist Libyan IDPs and host communities who are in dire need of improved access to basic services, which have severely deteriorated as a result of the crisis. Among other activities, small scale community-based projects of immediate impact are envisaged for the benefit of host communities, displaced persons, refugees and asylum seekers. 

    Libya continues to be the main departing point for refugees and migrants seeking to reach Europe. The High Commissioner was accompanied to Tripoli by his newly appointed Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean Situation, Vincent Cochetel, who will be coordinating UNHCR’s cross-regional response to the complexities of mixed migration movements across the Mediterranean, and by UNHCR’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Amin Awad.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

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    United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
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  • Ministry of Posts, Telecom & Technology holds consultation meeting on the draft National Communications Act

    The Ministry of Posts, Telecom and Technology held today in Mogadishu a consultation meeting on the “Draft Communication Law” as part of series of meetings aimed at increasing public participation in the draft law.

    The conference, which was attended by more than 20 representatives from the ICT Working Group comprising of public and private sectors, discussed comments on the Draft Communication Law prepared earlier this month, which are now being reviewed by the State Attorney General.

    The purpose of these consultative meetings is to create an enabling environment for the ICT Sector by establishing legal, regulatory and institutional frameworks and developing appropriate policies.

    The Deputy Minister of Posts, Telecom and Technology, H. E. Ibrahim Yarow Isaq, who officially opened the meeting, said that the Ministry is now in the final stages of collecting the ideas and contributions of all stakeholders before the Draft Law is finalized and submitted for the approvals of the Cabinet and by the Parliament.

    “It is the right time to have a regulation for the sector because we now agree that no business can survive without regulation. A regulated market is in the best interests of all,” concluded the Deputy Minister.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Ministry of Posts, Telecom and Technology of Somalia.

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    Ministry of Posts, Telecom and Technology of Somalia
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  • Government Officials to Receive Training on Special Economic Zone in China

    A group of 34 Special Economic Zones (SEZ) practitioners and supporting sector specialists from the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), provincial departments and agencies responsible for the implementation of the SEZ Programme depart for Tianjin, China tomorrow to attend the fourth Capacity Building Programme on the SEZ taking place from 24 May–13 June 2017.

    According to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, the training forms part of a five-year agreement signed between South Africa and China in 2014. The intention of the agreement is to train a about thirty officials per annum on the SEZs.

    “The purpose of the Capacity Building Programme on the SEZ is to equip practitioners with the technical know-how on the planning, development, management and operations of special economic zones. The Programme is important to ensure that all stakeholders have the technical know-how required for the successful development of the SEZs in South Africa. One of the major challenges that government has identified in relation to the development of the SEZs as part of the implementation of our SEZ Programme is the capacity constraint,” says Minister Davies.

    He adds that the dti deemed it necessary to design and implement a systematic Capacity Building Programme on the SEZ in order to create a pool of skilled and trained officials who will make the implementation of the SEZ programme a success.

    “Despite the strong and mutually-beneficial political and economic relations that we have with China, the country is regarded as one of the best in the world when it comes to the implementation of the SEZs model. Our officials will be greatly empowered by being exposed to the zones in China and how they are managed,” stresses Minister Davies.

    The training covers a range of topics including planning, infrastructure development, developing investment propositions, marketing tools and channels, and how to deal with potential investors, stakeholder management including international alliances, public-private partnerships models, as well as financing and managing operations of the SEZ.

    The SEZ Programme has been introduced to contribute to accelerating industrialisation as a necessary step towards addressing many of the country’s socio-economic challenges such as unemployment, poverty and under-development.

    The objectives of the SEZ Programme include promoting targeted industrial capabilities within the framework of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP), New Growth Path and the New Development Plan. It is also aimed at promoting beneficiation and value-addition to the country’s minerals and other natural resources, as well as developing a world-class infrastructure required to support the development of the targeted industrial activities.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.

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  • Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Libya

    The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the military escalation at the Brak al-Shati air base in southern Libya and calls on all parties to exercise restraint and restore calm. He is particularly disturbed by the high number of fatalities as well as reports of summary executions of civilians, which, if confirmed, may constitute war crimes. The continued insecurity in Libya is a reminder that there is no military solution. The Secretary General therefore urges all key Libyan stakeholders to re-commit to the political dialogue and engage constructively towards that goal.

    The Secretary-General appreciates the efforts of a number of regional and neighbouring countries for their contributions aimed at strengthening the dialogue between key stakeholders in support of the overall UN-led process.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of UN Information Centre in Cairo.

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    UN Information Centre in Cairo
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  • Joint Statement on the recent violence around Brak Al-Shatti airbase

    In light of recent violence around Brak Al-Shatti airbase in Libya’s south which again risks escalating into renewed conflict, Taking note of relevant UN Security Council resolutions(UNSCRs), including UNSCRs 2213, 2259 and 2278, and our statement of 11 April 2017 concerning violence around Tamanhint airbase, Reiterating our determination to support the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) in order to alleviate the suffering of the Libyan people,

    We condemn any efforts to change the situation on the ground in Libya by force, which only undermines recent political dialogue and prolongs the suffering of the Libyan people. We are concerned by reports of summary executions of combatants and civilians.

    Perpetrators of such criminal acts must be brought to justice. We urge all parties to exercise restraint and refrain from further escalation.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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    United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office
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