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Latest News June 7, 2017

June 7, 2017

news From All Africa

  • High level panel on migration launched with Liberia’s Sirleaf as chair

    “Just last week, some forty young men and women died of thirst in the Sahara Desert, while trying to reach Europe. More than a thousand have perished in the Mediterranean Sea since the beginning of this year.” Those were the words of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in her remarks during the launch of a High Level Panel on Migration (HLPM) in Africa, which took place on Tuesday in Monrovia.

    Ms. Sirleaf noted that in many places in Europe today, “a mixture of migrants from diverse backgrounds have been living in the streets, under conditions that can best be described as inhumane.”

    Established in April 2016 by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) under the direction of the joint African Union(AU) and ECA Conference of Ministers in Addis Ababa, HLPM is made up of 14 members with Ms. Sirleaf as chair. The panel aims to push migration issues to the top of policy agenda by engaging major stakeholders and partners.

    Speaking during the launch, ECA’s Acting Executive Secretary, Abdalla Hamdok, stated that Africa is still missing out on the many benefits of migration because of tight border policies. He deplored the fact that Africans need visas to travel to 55% of other African countries.

    “Travel in Africa by Africans is curtailed by stringent visa requirements. Excessive border controls and immigration restrictions increase the costs and risks of migration and often conflict individual motivation to migrate and state restrictions on mobility.”

    Mr. Hamdok also stated that although International media outlets tend to present images of large numbers of migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea into Europe as being mostly from Africa, intra-Africa migration still dominates migration flows on the continent.

    “Data shows that less than three per cent of Africa’s population have migrated internationally and less than 12 per cent of the total migrant stock in Europe are from Africa.”

    This view was also highlighted by Ms. Maureen Achieng, Representative of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to the AU, ECA and IGAD.

    “Migration from Africa towards other regions is taking place in a much lower level than one might think,” said Ms. Achieng. “There are an estimated 7.5 million West African migrants in West Africa compared to 1.2 million between in North America and Europe combined.”

    The issue of excessive border controls was also deplored by Ms. Alma Negash, founder of Africa Diaspora Network and member of the HPLM. Ms. Negash cited Uganda’s acceptance of migrants as good example of what African countries should be doing.

    “I salute the exemplary conduct of Uganda on migration. In the past few years, Uganda alone took 800 thousand South Sudanese migrations and refugees. Africa needs to accept and take care of its children.”

    For his part, Knut Vollebaek – an HLPM member and former minister of foreign affairs of the kingdom of Norway – said the government of Norway “is very pleased” with the HLPM initiative. Mr. Vollebaek expressed hopes about the panel’s ability to achieve its goals.

    “It is my hope that we the panelists under the wise leadership of President Sirleaf will mobilize political will among governments in Africa and abroad, regional and international organizations, civil society, business and other stakeholders in support of adopting the necessary policies to facilitate the orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people.”

    Mr. Vollebaek added that, “I hope our work can champion the new development paradigm  enshrined in agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063 for Africa.”

    Over the next few months, the HLPM will consult with relevant constituencies at national, regional and global levels to come up with recommendations on how to build and sustain broad political consensus on an implementable international migration development agenda, taking into account the particular challenges of countries in conflict and post-conflict situations. The report will be submitted to the African Union Heads of State summit in July 2018.

    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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  • VoxAfrica TV Announces Launch of 2nd Season The Voice Afrique

    After an exceptional first season, that saw more than 10 million people in Cameroon and 9 million viewers in Ivory Coast alone tuning in every Saturday, for five months, Voxafrica TV (http://VoxAfrica.com) has launched the second season of the highly rated flagship TV show, in French Speaking Africa.

    The show, which is officially sponsored by Orange, will be broadcasted every Saturday from October 14th 2017 on Voxafrica TV’s Francophone Africa and Europe platforms. The Voice Afrique Francophone will also be replayed on partnering TV channels.

    Music fans will once more discover new talents that will be competing for four months until the big final, which is due to air on January 27th 2018.

    The winner will have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the show’s first winner Pamela Baketana, and walk away with a record deal courtesy of Universal Music.

    The second season of the Voice Afrique Francophone will be staged for 16 weeks and bring together 4 judges made up of African and international music stars, as well as a charismatic master of ceremony. Their mission will be to reveal the best voice amongst contestants from 16 French speaking countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroun, Congo, The Ivory-Coast, Gabon, Guinee, Equatorial Guinee, Mali, Niger, Central African Republic, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Chad and Togo).

    The show will run over 16 episodes and feature 6 blind auditions, 4 battles, 2 knockouts and 4 live shows from 06th January 2018.

    The search to find the most talented singer in Francophone Africa will follow the below steps:

    • From 1st June 2017 – 23rd July 2017: scouting in 16 French speaking countries
    • From 15th June – 15th July 2017: Internet Castings
    • 29th & 30th July 2017: simultaneous local castings in Abidjan for the West African Region and Douala for the Central African Region.

    Season 2 of the Voice Afrique Francophone has a lot of surprises in store. Voxafrica TV will continue to update the press and its millions of eager waiting fans as the show draws closer.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of VoxAfrica.

    Press Contacts:
    Raïssa Okoï – Phone: +44 207 501 77 00 – Raissa.Okoi@VoxAfrica.com
    Franck Dindji – Phone : +225 08 98 48 06 – Franck.Dindji@VoxAfrica.com

    Stay tuned on our social medias and website:
    http://VoxAfrica.com – www.Facebook.com/TheVoiceAfrique – www.Twitter.com/TheVoiceAfrique #TheVoiceAfrique – www.Viber.com/TheVoiceAfrique – www.Youtube.com/TheVoiceAfrique

    About VoxAfrica:
    VoxAfrica (http://VoxAfrica.com) is the first bilingual & Pan-African television channel with its headquarters based in London-UK from where we broadcast around the world via satellite.

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  • Press release on Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov’s meeting with Egypt’s Ambassador to Russia Mohamed El-Badri

    On June 6 Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov received Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to Russia Mohamed El-Badri at the latter’s request.

    During the conversation the officials exchanged views on developments in the Middle East and North Africa, with emphasis on the conflict in relations between Qatar and a number of other Arab states.

    The officials reaffirmed Moscow and Cairo’s mutual aspiration to build up diverse bilateral cooperation, including coordinated action at international venues such as the United Nations.

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

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  • Director-General of Department of African Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lin Songtian Lodges Representations with Zambia over Arrested Chinese Nationals

    On June 4, 2017, Director-General of the Department of African Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lin Songtian requested an urgent meeting with Charge d'Affaires ad Interim of the Zambian Embassy in China Geoffrey Banda and lodged representations with the Zambia over the recent arrested 31 Chinese nationals by the police of Copperbelt Province of Zambia.

    Lin Songtian said that the Chinese side understands and supports Zambia's efforts in fighting against criminals such as illegally mining. However the Zambian side indiscriminately arrested Chinese nationals including one pregnant woman and two malaria patients without solid evidence and law enforcement certificate. The Chinese side expresses grave concern and resolute opposition, and expects the Zambian side to address the above mentioned event properly as soon as possible, safeguard the righteous and lawful rights of Chinese nationals, release the innocent as soon as possible, and offer humanitarian treatment to the detained Chinese nationals especially the pregnant woman and the sick, in order to maintain China-Zambia friendly bilateral relationship and cooperation.

    Understanding China's position and concerns, Geoffrey Banda stressed that the Zambian Embassy in China attaches great importance to China's views, and will report to the Zambian government immediately. Geoffrey Banda expressed that the Zambian side values bilateral relations and is willing to closely work with the Chinese side to settle the case properly. 

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China.

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  • Telephone conversation with President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

    At Russia’s initiative, Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the Arab Republic of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

    The two presidents discussed in detail the further development of bilateral cooperation in different areas and the crises in the Middle East and North Africa.

    It was agreed to continue further contacts. 

    Distributed by APO on behalf of President of Russia.

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  • Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus Valentin Rybakov participates in the opening ceremony of the First Belarus-Africa Forum

    On June 6, 2017 the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, Valentin Rybakov, officially opened the First Belarus-Africa Forum “Belarus and Africa: New Frontiers”.

    More than 70 officials, business and financial representatives from the African countries arrived in Minsk to participate in the Forum. The African delegation is headed by the President of Afreximbank, Benedict Oramah.

    In his statement, V.Rybakov noted that over the past 25 years, Belarus' trade with African countries has grown significantly. The Deputy Foreign Minister stressed that our country is interested not only in the development of direct trade contacts with this region, but also in reaching a new level of cooperation that includes launch of joint productions.

    V. Rybakov noted that Belarus is the partner who focuses on cooperation aimed at peaceful and harmonious development of Africa. The Deputy Foreign Minister assured the participants of the Forum that Belarus will always be a reliable partner whose actions can be easily predicted.

    On June 7, the Forum will continue its’ work in the framework of the ministerial panels and B2B meetings.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus.

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  • SADC Facilitator Welcomes the Holding of Peaceful, Democratic Elections in the Kingdom of Lesotho

    SADC Facilitator and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has today, Wednesday 7 June 2017, welcomed the determination of the SADC and AU election observer missions that the elections in the Kingdom of Lesotho were largely peaceful and in line with AU and SADC protocols on elections.

    The Facilitator extended his profound congratulations to the people of Lesotho and commended them for conducting peaceful elections. We urge all stakeholders to accept the outcome of these peaceful elections as announced by the IEC and an expression of the democratic will of the people of the Kingdom of Lesotho.

    “The holding of democratic elections in the Kingdom of Lesotho underlines the determination of the people of the region and the continent to ensure good political and economic governance as part of the building blocks towards the renewal of the continent and the achievement of Agenda 2063 as a growth path for the entire continent”, said Deputy President Ramaphosa.

    “In line with SADC Summit decisions and agreements with all role-players, the SADC facilitation mission with the support of the SADC Oversight Committee will, soon after the formation of the new government, pay an official visit to the Kingdom of Lesotho with a view to convening a multi-stakeholder dialogue forum to build consensus for the implementation of SADC decisions”, continued Deputy President Ramaphosa.

    “These will include the implementation of the constitutional and security sector reforms as well as recommendations of the Phumaphi Commission of Inquiry”.

    “We look forward to working with the new government and all role-players towards the achievement of these goals and to help set the Kingdom on the path of sustainable peace, security, constitutionality and development”, concluded Deputy President Ramaphosa.

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

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  • Press release on Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov’s meeting with Burundi’s Second Vice-President Joseph Butore

    On June 6, Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov met with Second Vice-President of the Republic of Burundi Joseph Butore, who led his country’s delegation at the 21st St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. The meeting took place at the Foreign Ministry.  

    The parties held an involved discussion of current issues relating to the continued development of all the aspects of Russian-Burundian relations, confirming Moscow and Bujumbura’s commitment to maintaining the pro-active, trust-based political dialogue and stepping up mutually beneficial cooperation in trade, as well as in the economic, humanitarian and other areas.

    The officials noted that Russia’s and Burundi’s approaches to global and regional issues were similar or close. They were unanimous in their support for building a polycentric system of international relations with the UN at its centre. The parties also highlighted the importance of using political and diplomatic tools to put an end to conflicts in Africa with the active involvement of African interstate associations, including the African Union.      

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

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  • President Lungu Applauds the Excellent and Friendly Historical Relations Between Zambia and China

    His Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu President of the Republic of Zambia has applauded and acknowledged the excellent and friendly historical relations that exist between Zambia and the People’s Republic of China that are based on equality and mutual respect.

    Zambia and China signed two Economic and Technical Cooperation agreements worth RMB 450 million for the expansion of the Levy Mwanawasa Hospital and the construction of an International Conference Centre in Lusaka to enable Zambia host the African Union Summit in 2022. The agreements are: RMB 200 million for the expansion of the Levy Mwanawasa Hospital, and RMB 250 million for the construction of milling plants in Monze, Mpika and Lusaka including the construction of an International Conference Centre.

    The President said when he held a meeting with His Excellency Mr. Wang Yong, State Councilor of the People’s Republic of China at State House that the strong relations between Zambia and China are evidenced by the recent high level visits to Zambia by His Excellency Mr. Wang Yi, Foreign Minister of the people’s Republic of China; his excellency Mr. Zhang Ming, Chinese Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Tian Guoli, chairman of the Bank of China Group.

    His Excellency Mr. Wang Yong, State Councilor is a special envoy of His Excellency Mr. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of Zambia. The purpose of Mr. Yong visit to Zambia is to further promote the implementation of the consensus between the Chinese and Zambian Heads of State on the outcomes of the forum on China-Africa cooperation (FOCAC) Johannesburg Summit, as well as strengthen the integration of interests for the mutual benefit of the two countries.

    President Lungu said the Zambian Government remains committed to strengthening the already existing excellent relations with the Government of the People’s Republic of China for the mutual benefit of the two peoples and the President also extend an invitation to President Xi Jinping to visit Zambia.

    “Your visit will provide yet another opportunityy for further engagement between Zambia and China in areas of mutual benefit. On the Zambian side, the speaker of the National Assembly recently visited the People’s Republic of China in April, 2017.  I cannot forget the visit that our 10 Provincial Ministers undertook to your country,” the President said.

    President Lungu said the Zambian Government appreciates the role that China played in supporting Zambia’s liberation struggle and Africa saying the support contributed to the freedom that the people of Zambia enjoy today.

    He said the people of Zambia will always remember China’s selflessness in rendering support by constructing the Tanzania-Zambia railway (TAZARA) at a time when China itself was facing economic challenges.

    The President said such unwavering support is a clear indication that China is indeed an all-weather friend adding that the support also reflects that China is indeed a true friend of Zambia.

    “Zambia has continued to receive support from the Chinese-Government over the years in various sectors of the economy. Today we are signing two Economic and Technical agreements for the expansion of the Levy Mwanawasa Hospital and the construction of milling plants including the International Conference Centre for us to host the 2022 African Union Summit. The expansion of Levy Mwanawasa hospital will result in the hospital being upgraded into a University Teaching Hospital. This one act will accrue numerous benefits to the Zambian people.

    The signing of these agreements for the projects to be implemented will further cement the cooperation between our two countries and complement Government’s effort in uplifting the welfare of the people of Zambia,” said the President.

    And with regards to the forum for China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) President Lungu said that the Zambian Government considers this as an important platform for advancing South to South Cooperation and he applaud President Xi Jinping for his support towards this initiative.

    He said for Zambia, the commitments made by China under the FOCAC 2016 to 2018 Johannesburg action plan in areas such as Agriculture, Education, Health, Infrastructure development, Investment, Trade, and Tourism will help Zambia advance the welfare its people.

    “It is our hope that Zambia will soon receive positive feedback on the five (5) priority projects such as Infrastructure development, Energy, Tourism, Human Resources development, and Agriculture with an emphasis on Agro-processing and value addition which were agreed with the Chinese Government under the FOCAC. We hold China in high esteem as a partner with regards to Trade and Investment. I wish to assure you that the Zambian Government remains committed to providing a conducive environment for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and non-traditional exports,” said the President.

    The President said he was confident that Zambia will see even more Chinese investment coming into the country to further contribute to value addition, diversification and job creation.

    President Lungu affirmed the Zambian Government’s commitment to continue working with the Chinese Government in areas of mutual interest at multilateral level on a broad range of issues such as the reform of the United Nations Security Council.

    And shortly after the meeting, a signing ceremony took place at State House which was witnessed by his Excellency the President and the Chinese State Councilor His Excellency Mr. Wang Yong.

    Finance Minister Felix Mutati signed the two Economic and Technical Cooperation agreements on behalf of the Republic of Zambia, while China’s Ambassador to Zambia Yang Youming signed on behalf of the People’s Republic of China.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Zambia High Commission in the United Kingdom.

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