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Latest News May 6, 2017

May 6, 2017

news From All Africa

  • Denmark deploys Challenger jet to support maritime security at the Horn of Africa and the monitoring of EU’s outer borders

    After taking advice from The Foreign Policy Committee, the Government today decided to deploy a detachment consisting of a Challenger airplane to support the monitoring of shipping traffic in the Indian Ocean. Additionally, the Government decided that Denmark will again make a Challenger airplane available for the Mediterranean efforts to monitor EU’s outer borders under Frontex.

    “With the deployment of our Challenger airplane to Frontex and Combined Maritime Forces, Denmark again contributes vital surveillance capabilities. It is a priority for the Government to counteract the giant challenges caused, now and in future, by illegal immigration, and I am convinced that our contribution will be greatly appreciated by our international partners. I also look forward to Denmark contributing – in close cooperation with France – to the Combined Maritime Forces around the Horn of Africa and thereby improving maritime security, such as limiting funding of terrorism and organised crime”, says Minister for Foreign Affairs Anders Samuelsen.

    “I am pleased that once again, Denmark can play a part in maritime security in the Horn of Africa region. The waters of the region play a vital role in international commercial shipping, and Denmark has previously won great international recognition for our role here.

    At the same time, today’s decision to again deploy a Challenger jet to support Frontex’ effort in the Mediterranean Sea is testament to the relevant capacities of the Royal Danish Armed Forces, which can make a positive difference as part of the broader security policy considerations”, states Minister of Defence Claus Hjort Frederiksen.

    “Recently, I had to chance to see for myself how the migrant pressure on the Central Mediterranean route remains high. Denmark must help to check this. Therefore, I am happy that the Royal Danish Air Force and its Challenger detachment can once again support the momentous task faced every day by Frontex in the Mediterranean Sea”, says Minister of Immigration and Integration Inger Støjberg.

    Background
    Combined Maritime Forces – Task Force 150
    The Danish air detachment to Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) will be deployed for approx. 30 days from the middle of May 2017 to the middle of June 2017. During its deployment, the detachment will be tasked to support Task Force 150 by gathering intelligence, which can contribute to on-going surveillance and building situational awareness in the Indian Ocean. At the time of deployment, Task Force 150 will be under French leadership.

    Denmark has previously contributed naval vessels to Combined Maritime Forces, as well as supplying the Force Commander of Task Force 151. In addition to this, Danish military personnel have since 2007 been deployed to the CMF headquarters, located in Bahrain.

    Frontex’ Operation Triton
    Denmark has on several previous occasions contributed to Frontex’ effort to monitor the EU’s outer borders. In the beginning of 2017, the Royal Danish Air Force had deployed a Challenger airplane in support of Operation Triton, the main task of which is to monitor the outer border of the EU in the Mediterranean Sea. In terms of the future deployment, the Danish Challenger airplane is expected to deploy for approx. 30 days in August 2017. Once again, the detachment will be tasked to monitor shipping traffic in the Mediterranean Sea and, as a part of this task, be expected to assist in case of any maritime Search and Rescue operations.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

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    Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark
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  • Foreign Secretary visits Tobruk, Libya

    The Foreign Secretary met Agila Saleh and Ahmied Homa, the President & second vice-President of Libya’s Parliament – the House of Representatives. In this meeting, Mr Johnson emphasised the importance of Libya’s legitimate political institutions working together to break the impasse and restore security, stability, and prosperity in Libya.

    After this meeting, the Foreign Secretary visited Tobruk Commonwealth War Cemetery, which is the final resting place of over 2,000 Commonwealth soldiers. Mr Johnson also laid a wreath at the Cemetery’s memorial and visited the Cemetery’s Guest room, which contains artefacts commemorating Britain’s role in Libya during the Second World War.

    Today’s visit followed the Foreign Secretary’s meetings in Tripoli yesterday with the Libyan Prime Minister Fayyez Al-Serraj and Foreign Minister Mohamed Siala. He also met with Abdurrahman Swehli the President of Libya’s High State Council.

    Speaking after the visit to Tobruk, the Foreign Secretary said:

    In my meetings in Tobruk I have stressed to the Presidency of Libya’s House of Representatives the importance of working with Prime Minister Serraj and Libya’s High State Council to break the political deadlock and bring renewed hope for the people of Libya.

    A more secure, stable and prosperous future for Libya can only be restored when their leaders choose to work together in the interests of the Libyan people.

    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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  • President Zuma lauds Team South Africa on positive WEF outcomes

    President Jacob Zuma has lauded Team South Africa on the success and positive outcomes achieved at the World Economic Forum on Africa held in Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban on 03-05 May 2017.
     

    The World Economic Forum on Africa meeting was attended by Heads of State and Government, global leaders from business, civil society as well as government to discuss important issues relating to education, skills and employment; entrepreneurship; energy; infrastructure and development finance; combating, adapting to and building resilience against climate change; and science, technology and innovation and with specific focus on Africa.

    “This 27th session of the World Economic Forum on Africa was a tremendous and fruitful success for South Africa as we have collectively made a clear and coherent statement that South Africa and the African continent are ideal investment destinations and they are open for business. Government working together with business community in particular have worked hard and marketed the country very well. This is the spirit that should be retained beyond the WEF to ensure that we achieve the inclusive economic growth to create jobs and eradicate inequality and poverty. When South Africans work together, success is guaranteed,” President Zuma said. 

    National government, supported by the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government and Ethekwini Metropolitan Municipality, worked with the World Economic Forum to ensure success.

    Both Business Unity South Africa and the Black Business Council participated in the WEFA meeting.

    “Team South Africa came out tops once again”, said President Zuma.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Presidency.

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    Republic of South Africa: The Presidency
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  • ArtMatters.Info, APO Content Partner in Kenya, Invites Advertising and Content Partnership

    Based in Nairobi, Kenya, ArtMatters[dot]Info (http://ArtMatters.info), a partner of APO, is a FREE-to-access independent public website, e-letter and magazine that flaunts the arts and culture.

    ArtMatters[dot]Info – that is Available on both mobile and desktop – is popular across English-speaking Africa, North America, western Europe, Asia, and Oceania and, believe it or not, even in non-English-speaking territories like South America.

    ArtMatters[dot]Info, a part of the ComMattersKenya (www.ComMattersKenya.com) network, has a large and growing following on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and taps into the wide social media presence of other ComMattersKenya-related initiatives. Any message posted on ArtMatters[dot]Info also benefits from this wide and growing legacy and new media network.

    ArtMatters[dot]Info – that is described by the Director of Culture in Kenya as an “invaluable contribution in disseminating information and creating an essential bridge between the arts, culture, media and development agencies – invites you as a content and advertising partner not only for mutual benefit, but to also benefit from the portal whose linkages have enhanced inclusive participation in the development of arts and culture as a  fundamental resource for sustainable development.”

    The users of ArtMatters[dot]Info are not limited to creative and cultural entrepreneurs, policy makers, funding agencies and trusts, travel agents, tourists, diplomats, investors, academics, governmental and inter-governmental organisations, promoters, cultural agencies, archivists, publicists, journalists, critics, students, musicians, actors, writers, filmmakers, fine artists, designers, sculptors, models, information-seekers and other decision-makers.

    The profile of the user of ArtMatters[dot]Info is in the 18-24-year, 35-44-year and 45-65-year-old brackets; both female and male; holds at least one university degree; and has some disposable income.

    If you are based in Africa and the Diaspora, or are involved in the region in any way that may be considered CREATIVE, COMMERCIAL, CULTURAL, DEVELOPMENTAL, AFRICAN and IMPORTANT, then you’d benefit from ArtMatters[dot]Info.

    ArtMatters[dot]Info, that covers Africa – from Cape Agulhas to Caluula, and from Dakar to Tangier and Bizerte, and all the other places in between, including Madagascar, Seychelles, Reunion and Mayotte – and the Diaspora, is now offering advertising space at highly discounted, affordable and all-time-low rates.

    Please contact ArtMatters[dot]Info today without any further delay and discover why Kenya's Ministry of Culture encourages “artists, cultural practitioners, policymakers and development agencies to visit ArtMatters[dot]Info..to experience the viability of this network and share its diversity and vision.”

    Distributed by APO on behalf of ArtMatters.Info.

    Contact:
    Ogova Ondego (Publisher)
    Director@ArtMatters.Info 

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    ArtMatters.Info
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  • UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Priyanka Chopra to address media following visit to South Africa and Zimbabwe

    UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and acclaimed actress, Priyanka Chopra will hold a media briefing following a short visit to Zimbabwe and South Africa this week. 

    Ms. Chopra’s visit aims to highlight the challenges faced by children affected by violence, both in the region and globally. She will be visiting children-focused projects in Zimbabwe from the 3rd to the 5th of May. On the 6th of May, she will address UNICEF South Africa’s first Fundraising Gala which will raise resources for child protection programmes in South Africa.

    Having served as a UNICEF National Ambassador in India for nearly ten years, she was appointed as a global UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in December 2016. An actress in both Hollywood and Bollywood, a philanthropist, singer, film producer and the winner of the Miss World 2000 pageant, Chopra is a globally-popular, multi-award winning celebrity who has received numerous awards and was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

    Celebrating Chopra's appointment, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake described Priyanka Chopra as a long-standing “champion for India's children who, as a UNICEF global Goodwill Ambassador, will be a force for children and adolescents everywhere.”

    The press conference will be an opportunity for Priyanka to speak about her role as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador as well as her impressions of her visits to Zimbabwe and South Africa.

    Date: Sunday, 7 May 2017
    Time: 14h00
    Venue: Clico Boutique Hotel, 27 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg
     
    Please confirm attendance to Sandra Bisin at sbisin@unief.org (061-418 7486) or Sudeshan Reddy at sureddy@unicef.org (082-561 3970)  by 17h00 on Saturday, 6 May 2017.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of UN Information Centre in Pretoria (UNIC).

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    UN Information Centre in Pretoria (UNIC)
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  • Press release on Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov’s meeting with President of The Gambia Adama Barrow

    On May 4, as part of a working visit to Banjul, Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa Mikhail Bogdanov was received by President of The Gambia Adama Barrow.

    The officials expressed the mutual aspiration of Moscow and Banjul to steadily develop the multifaceted cooperation of Russia and The Gambia. Energy, fishery, tourism and personnel training were named among the priorities of this mutually beneficial partnership.

    Mr Bogdanov also met with Gambia’s Foreign Minister Ousainou Darboe. The officials stressed that the two countries share similar or identical positions on current issues of the international and regional agenda, including the situation in West and Central Africa. In addition, they agreed on the need for a speedy political settlement of the Syrian crisis in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254.

    Following the meetings, an agreement was signed between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of The Gambia on visa-free travel for holders of diplomatic or service passports.

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

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    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
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  • UN rights chief ‘concerned’ about a ‘series of crucial issues’ in Ethiopia

    The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, has expressed concern over certain human rights issues in Ethiopia, after meeting and discussing with government officials, opposition politicians and civil society representatives in the country.

    “During the course of my discussions I was told of legislation and policies which seemingly severely restrict rights to freedom of expression, information, association and peaceful assembly, as well as independent human rights monitoring,” Said Mr. Hussein. “I am concerned about this series of crucial issues.”

    The High Commissioner was speaking during a press conference on Thursday at the ECA, wrapping up his two-day visit to Ethiopia. He told journalists that the Charities and Societies Proclamation, Anti-Terrorism and Mass Media laws in Ethiopia “do not appear aligned with relevant international legal norms, and should be reformed.”

    Mr. Hussein cited the November 2015 and August 2016 unrests in Ethiopia as indicative of the need for continuing and carefully planned adjustments in policy, adding that the government should consider releasing some individuals arrested during the unrests.

    “I am requesting the Government to consider, where possible, the release of a number of individuals whose arrest or conviction appears to have been motivated by fear of criticism rather than evidence of intent to spark violent overthrow.”

    The UN rights chief described Ethiopia as “a landscape of sudden, rapid and impressive economic growth,” where there appears to be a “clear need for a much wider and freer civic space, with broader latitude for the contributions of critical or dissenting views to decision-making.”

    Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein also stated that the Ethiopian government has made some laudable progress and seems to be headed the right direction.

    “I have seen indications the Government is on the cusp of a new understanding of these issues, with clear signs that some positive changes may be underway. Last week the country's second National Human Rights Action Plan was launched, including plans to train police forces, prison officials, lawyers, judges and justice personnel in human rights and due process guarantees.”

    He also made reference to the current drafting of new guidelines on the permissible use of force by security personnel, and noted that “major restrictions have been lifted in the context of the continuing state of emergency, and there are indications that all remaining restrictions could be brought to a close at the end of July, when the current extension of the decree of emergency will end.”

    Over 26,000 arrests were allegedly made during the 2015 and 2016 unrests in Ethiopia. Two separate investigations into the uprisings and responses by security forces were conducted by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission. The High Commissioner stated, however, that the findings of the investigations cannot be corroborated or confirmed by his office because “my staff has not received permission to travel to the affected regions in order to ascertain the facts of these events for ourselves.”

    During his visit to Ethiopia, the UN official also met with the chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), the AUC Commissioner for Peace and Security, AUC Commissioner for Political Affairs, and other key policy-makers. Mr. Hussein described his visit to the African Union as “a significant opportunity for me to discuss human rights priorities with the AU at the highest levels, as the new leadership develops its vision and frameworks for impact across the continent.” 

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

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    United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
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  • South African Sculptor Maureen Quin to Exhibit in Germany and Sweden

    South African sculptor Maureen Quin, who was awarded the 2016 Medal of Honour for Visual Art from the South African Academy of Science and Culture, was the guest of honour at the Mission's Freedom Day celebration in Berlin. On the initiative of Ulrich Reimann's Rainbow Agency and supported by DB Schenker, she is now touring Germany and Sweden with her visually impressive sculptures series named “The Hunt”.

    “The Hunt” is a series of 14 sculptures which Maureen developed between 1991 and 1999 and which made it as cover story into the highly distingished art magazine “Goya” in 2001. It is the first time “The Hunt” is exhibited in Germany.

    “I have tried to express the horror I feel for man's inhumanity to his fellow man, compounded with the wanton destruction of our environment in the name of development, greed, power and self gratification” says the 83-year old artist who will be present at the different stations of the tour.

    The exhibition opened at Glücks-Galerie in Neustadt/Holstein on Thursday 4 May and can be visited until 28 May before leaving for the Glemme Art Centre in Helsingborg (3 June to 10 July).

    Distributed by APO on behalf of South African Embassy to the Federal Republic of Germany.

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    South African Embassy to the Federal Republic of Germany
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  • USAID Promotes Investment in Ghanaian Agriculture

    On May 4, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through the U.S. government’s Feed the Future Initiative, hosted the 4th Annual Ghana Agribusiness Investment Summit to showcase investment opportunities in Ghana’s agribusinesses. The event brought together business service providers, financial institutions, agribusinesses, farmers, development partners and the Ghanaian government under the theme “Mobilizing strategic investment for agriculture.” At the summit, the Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Honorable George Oduro, and U.S. Chargé d'Affaires Melinda Tabler-Stone stressed the importance of leveraging financial opportunities for Ghanaian agribusinesses.

    The aim of the event is to spotlight Ghanaian agribusinesses and link them with viable private investment opportunities. The event featured panel discussions on opportunities in the agriculture sector, the importance of forming strategic partnerships to enhance agricultural productivity, risk-sharing agricultural lending, and alternative sources of financing for agribusiness. The summit offered participants business-to-business sessions where they were given the opportunity to network and forge partnerships.

    “Today’s summit is a call to action,” remarked Chargé d'Affaires Tabler-Stone. “It is a call for private, public, and development partners to re-strategize and increase investment in agriculture, so that we can achieve sustainable and broadly shared economic growth. Let me assure you that the U.S. government is committed to working with the Ghanaian government and our partners to boost economic growth and reduce poverty.”

    This annual event was organized by Feed the Future with support from USAID. In Ghana, Feed the Future has mobilized more than $115 in private sector investment for Ghana’s agriculture sector and works to improve agricultural productivity, boost incomes, and link farmers to market and trade opportunities.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Embassy of the United States – Accra – Ghana.

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    Embassy of the United States - Accra - Ghana
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