news From All Africa
- Ministerial Delegation of the African Union High Level Committee on Libya holds Discussions with Libyan Stakeholders in Tripoli and El Bayda
In implementation of its mandate and as part of the efforts exerted by the African Union to find a political solution to the Libyan crisis, the African Union High Level Committee on Libya at Ministerial level visited Tripoli and Al Bayda on May 31 and June 1st 2017. The delegation was led by His Excellency Jean-Claude Gakosso, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Congo, and attended by Her Excellency Hadja Makale Camara, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guinea, Her Excellency Khadijetou Mbareck Fall, Minister Delegate in charge of African and Maghreb Affairs of Mauritania and High Officials from Algeria, Niger, Tunisia and South Africa. The AU commissioner for Peace and Security, Amb. Smail Chergui, also took part in the delegation.
The Delegation met with Mr. Fayez Sarraj, Prime Minister of the Presidency Council of National Accord Government (GNA), Mr. Abdel Rahman Sweihli, Chairman of the State Council and Mr. Aquila Saleh, The Speaker of the House of Representatives.
In the course of these meetings, members of the Committee indicated the importance that the African Union and its member states attach to security and stability in Libya. They expressed AU solidarity with the Libyan people at this difficult time. They also reiterated the commitment of the African Union and its member states to provide assistance and stand by Libya in order to find a political solution to the crisis in the country.
Members of the High Level Committee exchanged views with Libyan stakeholders on ways to move the process forward. AU delegation was briefed by all visited parties on challenges facing the implementation of the Libyan Political Agreement and proposed amendments to the agreement. The Committee took note of the emerging consensus on amendments to the Libyan Political Agreement.
The AU delegation reaffirmed the determination of the African Union to promote reconciliation between all Libyan stakeholders and welcomed in this regard the acceptance of all visited parties to hold soon their first meeting in Addis Ababa.
All national stakeholders welcomed the efforts undertaken by the African Union in search for a political solution and expressed their concern over foreign interventions and proliferation of initiatives.
Members of the Committee renewed their call to all parties to put the supreme interest of the country above any other considerations and to resort to peaceful means to settle their political differences, in order to meet the aspirations of the Libyan people to live in a democratic, stable and prosperous Libya.
Distributed by APO on behalf of African Union Peace and Security Department.
- Following London terror attack President Faure expresses deep sorrow to United Kingdom
Following a second act of terror in as many weeks in the United Kingdom, six people lost their lives in an act of terrorism as a vehicle deliberately hit pedestrians on the London Bridge and the assailants proceeded by stabbing victims in Borough Market.
President Danny Faure has expressed his deep sorrow and grief in a message addressed to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Seychelles. In his message President Faure said that yet again this callous act of terror sought to instill fear and strike at the very heart of British values of freedom, liberty and openness. President Faure further remarked that Seychelles continues to stand with the British people during these vicious periods and was certain that the indomitable spirit of the Britons would vanquish this terror and rise above the perpetuation of hate by these groups of terror.
President Faure reiterated to Her Majesty that the thoughts and prayers of all of Seychelles are with the families of the bereaved and with the United Kingdom.
Distributed by APO on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Seychelles.
- Government of Finland grants UNFPA Somalia Two Million Euro for health, gender and population and development programmes in Somalia
The Government of Finland and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Somalia have signed an agreement under which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland has provided a grant of two million Euro in support of UNFPA’s overall goal of improving the wellbeing of Somali people, particularly women, girls and young people.The contribution is part of a broader arrangement under which Finland will co-finance UNFPA's new Country Programme for Somalia with an additional eight million Euro during the period 20172020.Finland’s contribution will enable UNFPA to continue working towards achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health, realizing reproductive rights, reducing maternal mortality, improving the lives of adolescents, youth and women enabled by population dynamics, human rights, and gender equality.The Ambassador of Finland to Somalia Ms. Tarja Fernández said sexual and reproductive health and rights are a priority in Finland’s development cooperation.“Fragile environment and lack of services affect severely the most vulnerable groups of the society. Often women and girls are particularly at risk. UNFPA’s important work in this regard matches the key interest of Finland to support Somalia’s efforts to improve the rights of women and girls,” said Ms. Fernández.The UNFPA Representative, Mr. Nikolai Botev, said the funding from Finland is fundamental in contributing to Somalia’s social and human development, particularly in the National Development Plan areas of health, youth, gender and resilience capacity building.“We are enormously grateful to the Government of Finland for this contribution. It comes at a critical time and will be vital in helping the many Somali people, especially women and young people, whose lives have already been so traumatically disrupted by a number of adverse conditions including the current drought,” said Mr. Botev.Mr. Botev reiterated UNFPA’s commitment to supporting increased availability and use of integrated sexual and reproductive health services, including birth spacing, maternal health and HIV, that are gender-responsive and meet human rights standards for quality of care and equity in access.
Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
- Westin Hotels & Resorts Salutes the Early Rising Running Community
- Study Reveals Travelers Are Up Before the Sun to Reclaim their Well-Being Routine
- Beginning on Global Running Day, Westin Pilots Reflective Gear, Adding to the Brand’s Popular & Pioneering Gear Lending Program
In celebration of Global Running Day, Westin Hotels & Resorts (www.Westin.com), part of Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) (www.Marriott.com), today announced an addition to the brand’s game-changing Gear Lending program, which offers guests access to New Balance® shoes and workout apparel during their stay for only $5.00 USD or the local currency equivalent. For the month of June, reflective wristbands and light-up sneaker clips will be included in the Gear Lending offering, allowing guests to pack light, stay fit, and now, rise earlier.
“Travelers today are over-scheduled and always-on; in response, we are seeing people realign their priorities to put their well-being first,” said Brian Povinelli, SVP and Global Brand Leader, Westin Hotels & Resorts. “Whether at home or on the road, often the only time guests have for themselves is the morning. Fueled by our guests’ passion for running and the brand’s promise to empower travelers to move well, we hope this extension to our Gear Lending program will inspire travelers to rise early and own their morning on Global Running Day and beyond.”
Global Study Sees a Surge in Travelers Sweating Before Sunrise
With less time and more disruptors on the road, 3 in 4 people have trouble maintaining their wellness routine while traveling: sleeping less and exercising less with increased stress levels, even when on vacation. In response, guests around the globe are increasingly getting up before the sun to own their morning through well-being and regaining control of their routines on the road.
A global study conducted in partnership with StudyLogic revealed that almost 40% of global respondents are most in control of their wellness routine between 4:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Surprisingly, nearly 25% of respondents specified that they are most in control between 4:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. And many of those wellness routines include running: 45% of global respondents intend to run while traveling.
“As someone who travels throughout the world bringing to life the brand’s renowned running program, I have never met a guest who wakes up early to run and regrets it,” said Chris Heuisler, National RunWESTIN™ Concierge. “There is magic in the early morning hours that fosters a sense of comradery, broadens your perspective and reframes your day. With a strong commitment to the running community, we are delighted to shine a new light on running for travelers and support an event that has quickly become a global phenomenon celebrated around the world.”
Rise & Shine: Westin Hotels & Resorts Celebrate Global Running Day around the World
Today the brand boasts nearly 200 Run Concierges globally, who host group runs for guests and encourage runners of all levels to grab a runWESTIN™ map and explore their destination. Whether it is millennials, who view fitness activities to be more social than competitive; business travelers who are shifting their preference from country clubs to running clubs; or even honeymooners, who are increasingly running together as a way to decompress, disconnect and be a tourist at the same time; Westin continues to evolve its offerings to support the running community.
To celebrate Global Running Day, Westin hotels around the world will host empowering runs enlisting guests and associates to rise early and own their morning. Equipped with the brand’s new reflective gear, Run Concierges will lead runners through the scenic routes of cities, along beachfronts and amid rural landscapes to experience sunrise through Westin’s well-being lens.
In “the City that Never Sleeps,” guests and locals will hit the pavement before Manhattan wakes up with a run beginning at The Westin New York at Times Square, along the scenic Westside Highway and culminating with a fresh and refueling breakfast downtown. In Mexico, the newly built Westin Cozumel has partnered with New Balance Ambassador and Olympic Medalist Ismael Hernandez to lead an inspiring morning run along the coastal beach town; while in Germany, The Westin Hamburg has partnered with Mourad Bekakcha, the fastest runner in the region, to run and train with travelers along the waterfront of the famed port city.
In Cairo, The Westin Cairo Golf Resort and Spa, Katameya Dunes will leverage their partnership with CairoRunners and a team of local fitness gurus and running enthusiasts for an energizing run that will end in a traditional Sohour. While in Cape Town, The Westin Cape Town will celebrate the joys of running with a promise to give back to the community through a partnership with a local charity foundation.
Many Westin hotels around the world will join the celebration in markets including: Austin, Beijing, Boston, Costa Rica, Vancouver and Jakarta among others.
Brand Campaign Challenges Travelers: “Will You Get Up, or Will You Rise?”
This initiative follows on the heels of the brand’s launch of its new multi-million-dollar campaign, Let’s Rise, which takes on the disruptions, distractions and unpredictability of travel while empowering travelers to embrace well-being as a way to regain control of their routines and be their best while on the road.
Because morning is the first and best opportunity to take control of the day ahead, the campaign uses morning light as a consistent creative device to speak to the potential that the morning holds. Overall, the campaign calls consumers to answer a simple question, “Will you get up, or will you rise?” The Let’s Rise mantra will continue to serve as an anchor for the wellness programs and partnerships that roll out for guests and associates throughout the year.
Distributed by APO on behalf of Marriott International, Inc..
About Westin Hotels & Resorts
Westin Hotels & Resorts (www.StarwoodHotels.com/westin/index.html), a leader in wellness and hospitality for more than a decade, lives its philosophy “Empowering a Better You™” through the brand’s Six Pillars of Well-Being: Feel Well, Work Well, Move Well, Eat Well, Sleep Well and Play Well. At more than 200 hotels and resorts in nearly 40 countries and territories, guests can experience offerings that include the iconic Heavenly® Bed, RunWESTIN™ and Westin Gear Lending with New Balance®, delicious and nutritious SuperFoodsRx™ and more. To learn more, visit www.Westin.com. Stay connected to Westin: @westin on Twitter (https://Twitter.com/westin) and Instagram (https://Instagram.com/westin) and www.Facebook.com/westin.
This study is based on a survey conducted by STUDYLOGIC LLC via telephone of approximately 8,000 respondents ages 25-64 with household incomes of $75,000 or above from 6 different areas: North America (the United States and Canada), Mexico, the United Kingdom, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, and China. This summary report is based on the responses of all 7,968 respondents. Summary charts showing the breakdown of gender, age, and income, broken down by geographic area, are included at the end of this report. The survey consisted of thirty-two questions including identifiers and sub-questions. Interviews were conducted between October 1st and October 15th, 2016. The survey averaged 30 minutes in length and contains a margin of error of +/-3%.
About Marriott International, Inc.
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) (www.Marriott.com) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,100 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 122 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. 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 www.Marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.MarriottNewsCenter.com. In addition, connect with us on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/marriottinternational) and @MarriottIntl on Twitter (https://Twitter.com/MarriottIntl) and Instagram (www.Instagram.com/marriottintl).Media files
- Media Advisory: Launch of High Level Panel on International Migration (HLPM), Chaired by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
What: Launch of High Level Panel on International Migration (HLPM), Chaired by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Where: Farmington Hotel
When: 6 June 2017
Time: Starting 9:30am
About the High Level Panel on International Migration (HLPM):
Chaired by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the High Level Panel comprises representatives from Liberia, Canada, China, Malta, and Norway, as well as the International Labor Organization (ILO). It's aim is to push migration issues to the top of policy agenda by engaging major stakeholders and partners.
The establishment of the Panel follows a decision of African Ministers attending the Ninth Joint Annual Meetings of the AU Specialized Technical Committee on Finance, Monetary Affairs, Economic Planning and Integration and the ECA Economic Commission for Africa Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development in Addis Ababa Ethiopia in April 2016. Held on the theme, “Towards an integrated and coherent approach to the implementation, monitoring and Evaluation of Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals”, the ministers recognized the vital role of migration in Africa’s transformation and adopted a resolution on International Migration in Africa. The resolution mandated the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Union Commission (AUC) to establish a High-Level Panel on International Migration in Africa (HLPM).
Through the establishment of the Panel, the two institutions hope to increase collaboration and cooperation among African member States, regional economic communities, and international development partners to promote migrants rights and facilitate their movement, and reduce vulnerability of migrants, especially women.
Furthermore, the Panel will aim to work on determining the nature and patterns of inter, intra and international migration streams in Africa. It will also conduct assessments on the impact of irregular migration and skilled migration, both for countries of origin and of destination, among other related issues.
In Monrovia: Ernest Chi Chi, Communication Officer – Chi@un.org
In Addis Ababa: Sophia Denekew, Media Relations, email@example.com
Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
- IMF Executive Board Completes Sixth Review Under the Extended Fund Facility with Seychelles and Approves $2.3 Million Disbursement
- Seychelles has made progress toward economic stability and external sustainability through bold reforms
- Program aims to support authorities’ efforts to strengthen the economy through sustained and inclusive growth
- The flexible exchange rate regime has served the country well and should be maintained
On June 2, 2017, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed the sixth and final review of Seychelles economic program supported by an arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF).  The completion of the review enables the disbursement of an amount equivalent to SDR 1.635 million (about US$2.3 million) bringing the total disbursements under the arrangement to SDR 11.445 million (about US$15.8 million).
Seychelles’ three-year, SDR 11.445 million arrangement (about US$17.6 million at the time of approval, the equivalent of 50 percent of Seychelles’ current quota in the IMF) was approved by the IMF Executive Board on June 4, 2014 (see Press Release No. 14/262) to support authorities’ efforts to reduce high debt levels, improve external buffers and sustainability in the face of balance of payments pressures, and to strengthen the economy through sustained and inclusive growth.
Following the Executive Board's discussion, Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, said:
“Seychelles has made noticeable progress toward economic stability and external sustainability through bold reforms since the crisis in 2008. While the growth outlook is positive, the economy remains vulnerable to external shocks, and over the long term, climate change.
“The authorities should give priority to achieving their medium-term debt target to preserve the hard-won economic stability and external sustainability. Without additional measures in the 2018 budget, the authorities’ target of bringing public debt-to-GDP ratio below 50 percent would be significantly delayed while the country’s external position could come under pressure. The authorities should also take steps to create further fiscal space over the medium term to accommodate investments aimed at reducing vulnerability to climate change.
“The flexible exchange rate regime has served the country well and should be maintained with minimal intervention to preserve the international reserve buffers at around the current level. Meanwhile, the authorities should continue efforts to avoid further loss of correspondent banking relationships. Further strengthening the AML/CFT framework will be helpful in this regard.
“To support sustained and inclusive growth, structural reforms should aim at diversifying the economy through improvements in the business environment. Reducing cross-subsidization in electricity prices, efficient use of public-private-partnerships, and further accelerating investment in education would help improve the business environment, raise productivity, and go a long way toward promoting shared prosperity.”
 The EFF was established to provide assistance to countries: (i) experiencing serious payments imbalances because of structural impediments; or (ii) characterized by slow growth and an inherently weak balance of payments position.
Distributed by APO on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).
- New platform launched to galvanize and boost women’s leadership of Africa
UN Women, the African Union Commission, and the Permanent Mission of Germany today launched the African Women Leaders Network, a ground-breaking initiative that seeks to enhance the leadership of women in the transformation of Africa with a focus on governance, peace and stability. The Network was launched following the three-day High-Level Women Leaders Forum for Africa’s Transformation, which took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 31 May to 2 June.
Through panel discussions and high-level events, the Forum brought together approximately 80 participants from across Africa, including eminent women leaders from the political and public sectors, as well as those in business, civil society and the media. The meeting saw the participation of the leadership of the African Union Commission, including Commissioner for Political Affairs, Minata Samate Cessouma, the Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security, Bineta Diop, the Director of Women, Gender and Development Directorate (WGDD), Mahawa Kaba Wheeler and senior UN officials, including the Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, as well as the Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
“The message being sent by this Network is that Africa needs to act now to implement the decisions that we have taken in our different deliberations,” said Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. “These can fundamentally change the lives of women and girls and of Africans in general to prevent conflict and drive inclusive economic growth and development. We must do all of this to achieve clear impact at a local level. This Network is being led by women who are distinguished leaders; we emphasize that this is an open-ended network that can only succeed if it works hand in hand with current existing networks. Above all, we need action, accountability and visible solidarity at both global and local levels,” she added.
The meeting served as a platform and space to garner the leadership experiences of the speakers, make critical linkages between Africa’s political, peace and security context, and women’s effective leadership and participation for the continent’s transformation.
The Forum concluded today with a strong roadmap and launch of the African Women Leaders Network. The Network aims to harness the wealth of African women’s experiences of leadership, build on other existing and emerging networks of women leaders, as well as develop new partnerships to strengthen the capacity of women. It intends to support the advancement of more women leaders on the continent, through peer learning and mentoring, to enhance their contributions to building and sustaining peace, security and political processes for sustainable economic and social transformation, towards the realization of Africa Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“My commitment to the Network, as the commissioner of political affairs is non-negotiable, and it is also the stand of the AU leadership to fully support the Network,” said Minata Samate Cessouma, Commissioner for Political Affairs, African Union Commission. “I will mobilize other women commissioners and high-level officials of the Commission to stand behind this initiative.” She added, “We are doing this for ourselves, as we need a functioning network to belong to.”
“Germany is proud to be a part of this important initiative. By bringing together a diverse group of women leaders, the Network will provide a platform for an exchange of experiences and ideas,” said Ambassador Patricia Flor, Director-General for International Order, the United Nations and Arms Control at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin. “The current meeting in New York is just the starting point for this debate. Sustainable peace and stability cannot be achieved without the equal and full participation of women.”
African women have always played critical leadership roles in their families, communities and civil society. Over time, women on the continent have been increasingly more visible as politicians and senior civil servants, in a context of greater public acceptance of women as political leaders. In Liberia, for example, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was the first woman to be elected President of an African nation in 2006. Rwanda has the highest number of women parliamentarians in the world at 61 percent, while seven African countries are listed in the top 20 countries in terms of women’s representation in Parliament.
At the grassroots level, women have been at the forefront of community peacebuilding in post-conflict countries including Liberia, Rwanda and more recently in Burundi. They have also led efforts to counter the Ebola epidemic of 2014-2016, that swept several countries across West Africa. Yet, the continent still presents a mixed picture, as the political participation of women has not translated into consistent and lasting influence of women in decision-making. In several countries, recent elections saw a regression in the number of women elected to parliament, especially in countries where there were no temporary special measures like quotas.
Evidence shows that women play an important role as drivers of change in achieving sustainable peace and development. The Sustaining Peace Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Africa 2063 Agenda, all identify women’s contributions and leadership as central to finding solutions to poverty, climate change, food insecurity, improving healthcare, reaching vulnerable and marginalized communities and mitigating global economic crises, all of which have a disproportional impact on women. In particular, women’s leadership is a key ingredient of transformative and sustainable peace in fragile, conflict-affected and post-conflict contexts.
The Network aims to reconvene in February 2018 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Until then, a taskforce will work on the details of the Network and fine-tune a roadmap, including the purpose, structure and activities, as well as draft strategies for sustainability, funding and intergenerational partnerships.
Distributed by APO on behalf of UN Women.
- Radical Economic Transformation Could Address Poverty, Inequality and Unemployment
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies says radical economic transformation is fundamental changes in the structure of the economy as well as patterns of ownership, leadership and management control in the favour of the majority of the people and women in particular. He was speaking at the launch of the Kwa-Zulu Natal Black Industrialists Programme.
According to Minister Davies, Radical Economic Transformation could address poverty, inequality and unemployment. Davies also mentioned that South Africa needs a higher level of growth and inclusivity and this can be done through radical economic transformation.
Davies added that South Africa and the rest of the continent must break out of the colonial legacy of being exporters of commodities as this lead to country’s economies being at the bottom of the value chain, which is least valuable.
“If we are going to prosper and develop, we need to move into the space of greater value addition and industrialise. We need greater inclusivity in the production itself not just on sharing the benefits. Smaller enterprises and more South African companies must occupy more space in the industrial space which will add more dynamism to the efforts of industrialising our country,” said Minister Davies.
The KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala, applauded the launch of the Black Industrialist Programme as a timely intervention that would lend further impetus to the province’s plans of empowering Black Africans.
“As a province we have said that all our economic empowerment programmes must benefit Black Africans in general and women and the youth in particular.
The true measure of the Black Industrial Programme therefore will be the participation of more Black people in the ownership and control of large industrial concerns in the province,”
In this regard, Zikalala said, plans were afoot to ensure that the province procured certain goods and services exclusively from Black owned and controlled businesses.
“As KwaZulu-Natal we will soon be launching Operation Vula, an initiative centred on using state buying power to support emerging enterprises. Under this programme we will source certain commodities from small entrepreneurs and co-operatives. We are unrelenting on the question of the empowerment of Africans in particular. We must, as government, do more to invest in the empowerment of Africans,” said Zikalala.
Minister Davies and MEC Zikalala signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the dti and the Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Department of the Kwa-Zulu Natal Provincial government. The memorandum states that the two will amongst others establish a framework that will promote and ensure meaningful participation in the advancement of the Black Industrialists in KZN.
Prior to the launch, Minister Davies and MEC Zikalala conducted a site visit to the premises of Mthembu Tissue Converting, a successful Black Industrialist based in Phoenix, north of Durban, who is a beneficiary of the national Black Industrialists Programme.
Distributed by APO on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.
- Foreign Secretary statement on civil society in Egypt
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said:
I am deeply concerned by recent moves to restrict political and civil society life in Egypt, including an intrusive new NGO law, arrests of political party activists and the blocking of news websites.
Our vital fight against terrorism should not be confused with obstructing peaceful democratic and social participation. The best long term defence against extremism is to protect people’s right to contribute freely and peacefully to a strong economy and open society.
Distributed by APO on behalf of United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
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