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U.S. Embassy Pretoria Celebrates Mandela Day at Zola Community Health Center in Soweto
July 22, 2019 | 0 Comments

PRETORIA, South Africa, July 22, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- To honor Nelson Mandela’s legacy of public service, a team of more than 30 volunteers from the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria spent Thursday at the Zola Community Health Center (CHC) in Soweto.  The team of American and South African Embassy staff rolled up their sleeves and spent about 67 minutes (plus a few more hours) painting a children’s playhouse, the patient admissions waiting area, and the antiretroviral treatment (ART) adherence club space, as well as planting flowers that will bloom for years to come.

Zola CHC provides quality health care services to the residents of Zola and surrounding areas in Soweto.  It is supported by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to provide lifesaving treatment to 7,500 people living with HIV, including diagnosing new infections, linking people to care, and ensuring people remain on their treatment through adherence clubs and other support groups.  The facility also offers HIV prevention services, such as voluntary medical male circumcisions, education and counseling.

Through PEPFAR’s DREAMS program, Zola CHC has expanded access to health services for adolescent girls and young women.  DREAMS stands for Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe young women.  The facility also has a dedicated “youth zone,” with consolidated, comprehensive adolescent health services under one roof and maintains a post-violence care unit, which offers post-exposure prophylaxis and post-rape services for victims of gender-based and sexual violence.

Through PEPFAR, Americans have partnered with South Africans since 2004 and invested more than R80 billion to support South Africa’s HIV response and accelerate progress towards epidemic control through HIV prevention, care, and treatment.  The United States remains deeply committed to the people of South Africa through our PEPFAR support.

Like people across South Africa and the world, the U.S. Mission team continues to be inspired by Nelson Mandela’s legacy, on July 18 and every day.  We welcomed this opportunity to partner with the dedicated professionals at Zola CHC and residents of the Zola neighborhood to support such an important community resource.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of  U.S. Mission South Africa.

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Zimbabwe: Droughts leave millions food insecure, UN food agency scales up assistance
July 22, 2019 | 0 Comments

Severe drought has rendered more than a third of rural households in Zimbabwe – or around 3.5 million people – dangerously food insecure, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) revealed on Friday. 

NEW YORK, United States of America, July 22, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Citing the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee’s recently concluded Rural Livelihood Assessment, WFP Spokesperson Herve Verhoosel, said that the situation was likely to last from now until September with a further deterioration into December that will widen the impact to more than 4.7 million people. 

Moreover, WFP said that the hunger period will peak at the height of the lean season, from January through March 2020, when 59 per cent of rural households, or over 5.5 million people, will be food insecure. 

“Given the scale and scope of the food insecurity in Zimbabwe”, Mr. Verhoosel said “WFP is planning to scale up to assist over two million people” by the peak of the lean season during early next year. 

Until then, teams will continue providing food assistance to the most vulnerable populations, while also helping communities to build resilience to climate change and future shock impacts. 

Over the next nine months, he said that WFP urgently requires $173 million to meet these needs. 

The Committee is a consortium of government, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations and other international organizations, and the Rural Livelihood Assessment provides key information for government and development partners on rural livelihood programming in southern African nation. WFP plays a key role in contributing financially and technically to the assessment. 

Cyclones, drought push Mozambicans deep into food insecurity 

And apart from the deadly cyclones that hit both Mozambique and Zimbabwe earlier in the year, Mozambique’s population has also suffered a rise in food insecurity, fueled by other extreme weather events, Mr. Verhoosel said. 

In January, tropical storm Desmond flooded the central provinces of Sofala, Tete and Zambézia. And in March, Cyclone Idai destroyed unharvested crops. 

Six weeks later, Cyclone Kenneth slammed the province of Cabo Delgado in the north. Since that time the area has been suffering through irregular rainfall patterns and cereal crops have been hit by pest infestations. 

Assistance aims to reach 1.2 million people – 900,000 of whom live in areas affected by Idai, 100,000 in areas affected by Kenneth and 250,000 people in areas affected by the drought. 

Mr. Verhoosel referenced a WFP report pointing out that “1.6 million people already face acute food crisis” in 63 districts. The most recent revision of the Integrated Classification of Food Security Phase, highlights the “difficult situation” the country of more than 29 million inhabitants faces, until its next harvest. 

While WFP had initially planned from July to October to help some 560,000 people each month in areas affected by cyclones and droughts, the rising need has sparked the agency to scale that number to 1.25 million beneficiaries per month. 

Based on current needs, including the response to drought and Cyclones Idai and Kenneth, WFP requires $102 million over the next six months to implement its recovery plan. 

To provide adequate and timely assistance, “resources must now be mobilized” in response to increased needs”, warned Mr. Verhoosel. 

Distibuted by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of the United Nations.

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Mozambique: Opposition candidate facing pre-election death threats and intimidation
July 19, 2019 | 0 Comments

GENEVA, Switzerland, July 19, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The main opposition candidate in a landmark election for the governorate position of Zambézia province in central Mozambique is facing death threats and intimidation ahead of the October vote, Amnesty International said today.

Manuel de Araújo is the candidate for the main opposition party Mozambique National Resistance’s (RENAMO); he is currently the mayor of Quelimane. The 15 October vote is contentious as it will be the first time that a governor is chosen by the electorate, previously the position was filled by presidential appointment.

“These pre-election intimidation tactics are a terrible reminder of what tends to happen during elections in Mozambique; death threats and intimidation. We have witnessed this grim pattern time and time again as political leaders are harassed and even killed for their critical views,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa.

“Elections should never be deadly, because after all it’s a battle of ideas. Violence has no place.”

Araújo received the latest anonymous letter on 10 July. The letter reminded him that he had been previously warned not to stand for the opposition party. It said he should be careful because he would be killed for standing for election. The letter was sent to his office and later printed and posted in local markets. It was also circulated on social media.

Prior to the October 2018 municipal elections – in which Araújo won the position of Mayor of Queliminane – he also received several intimidating and anonymous messages discouraging him from running. Araújo has consistently spoken out against corruption at the provincial and national level, making him a target of political attacks. On 27 September 2016, during the previous administration, a member of the ruling Frente de Libertação de Moçambique (FRELIMO) party in the municipal assembly of Quelimane threatened him during a session, saying that “the mayor deserves a bullet in his head”.

Politics – a dangerous game in Mozambique

Araújo is not the first leader within the main opposition RENAMO party to receive death threats this year. In May, Paulo Vahanle, the mayor of Nampula, also received a message instructing him to leave his position as the mayor, or else he would lose his life. He was told that the position he was occupying had an “owner”.

Paulo himself won a by-election in Nampula in January 2018, held after the murder of the former mayor, Mahamudo Amurane, member of the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) in October 2017.

Timeline of recent political murders and attempted murders

On 4 October 2017, an unidentified gunman assassinated the then Mayor of Nampula City, Mahamudo Amurane, at his home. Since his election as Mayor of Nampula in 2013, Mahamudo Amurane had embarked on a public quest to root out corruption in the city’s administration and revitalize public infrastructure.

On 8 October 2016, Jeremias Pondeca, a senior RENAMO member and part of the mediation team seeking to end the clashes between his party and the government, was shot dead in Maputo by unknown men, at least some of whom are suspected to be security officers.

On 16 January 2016, Manuel Bissopo, the then Secretary General of RENAMO, was shot and severely wounded by unknown assailants as he travelled in his car in Beira city, in Sofala province. His bodyguard died following the shooting. The incident took place hours after a news conference in which Bissopo had accused state security forces of abducting and killing members of his party.

Amnesty International is very concerned that the continued impunity for such crimes creates an environment of public fear and insecurity in which political opponents are dissuaded from participating in politics.

“Mozambican authorities must launch an independent and effective investigation into the allegations of death threats and intimidation and bring suspected perpetrators to justice,” said Deprose Muchena.

“Beyond that, authorities must guarantee the rights to freedom of association and expression ahead of the country’s general election in October, and beyond. Participation in the country’s politics should not expose anyone to the risk of death.”

Background

Mozambicans will vote in presidential and provincial elections scheduled for 15 October 2019. While provincial governors were previously appointed by the president, through a patronage system, it will be the first time that they are directly elected through elections this year.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Amnesty International.

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The END Fund – Making everyday a Mandela Day
July 18, 2019 | 0 Comments

DRC2 (1)JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, July 18th 2019,-/African Media Agency/- 2018 was a true landmark year for the END Fund. We saw more treatments delivered than any year prior and surpassed US $1 billion worth of treatments across Africa since our founding in 2012. In South Africa, we helped elevate Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) to the global stage in celebration of Nelson Mandela’s legacy at the Global Citizen event. In Kenya, together with our partners we rolled out a groundbreaking triple-drug therapy to treat elephantiasis (also known as lymphatic filariasis). Almost 750,000 health workers were trained to deliver treatments and educate communities on prevention in 23 African countries.We also took part in commencing an ambitious project to completely eliminate river blindness and elephantiasis from six African countries which include Chad, Ethiopia, Senegal, Mali, Niger and a key cross-border area in South Sudan.

We celebrate this Mandela Day in honour of the great man Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela who went beyond being a citizen of one country to being a global citizen. In making everyday a Mandela Day at the END Fund, our view is that coordination of NTD activities on the continent is key to Africa’s success because disease transmission is not limited and can spread beyond geographical boundaries if unmanaged. In any given mass drug administration that we conduct with local implementing partners, you will see real people, with real lives and families affected by diseases that should have been long since eliminated. Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a group of parasitic and bacterial infectious diseases that affect more than 1.5 billion of the world’s most impoverished people, including 836 million children. Over 40% of the global NTD burden is concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa, where the END Fund focuses the majority of our work. There is no excuse for not picking up the baton and playing our part when in fact, fifty cents (USD) per person per treatment, on average, is the cost to treat and prevent the most common NTDs. That knowledge is what drives us to continue on the movement to End Neglected Tropical Diseases. For any program to succeed, it requires strong community participation and contribution. Join us on the movement to End Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) On behalf The END Fund.

About the END Fund
The END Fund is the only private philanthropic initiative solely dedicated to ending the five most common neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), which affect more than 1.5 billion people globally. It efficiently puts private capital to work, advocating for NTD programs that are innovative, integrated, and cost-effective. It facilitates strong partnerships with the private sector and aims to support national disease control programs in over 29 countries. 
Since its founding in 2012, with its partners, the END Fund has provided over 500 million donated treatments worth almost $933 million, over 11,400 surgeries for people suffering from the effects of the advanced stages of elephantiasis and trachoma, and trained more than 1.1 million people in NTD control and elimination efforts.
 

For more information on how to partner with the END Fund in Africa, contact Joy at jruwodo@endfund.org

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Innovation leaders gather in Nairobi to unpack Intelligent Enterprise opportunities at SAP Innovation Day.
July 18, 2019 | 0 Comments

Keynote speaker, Professor Bitange Ndemo, Chairman of Kenya's Blockchain and AI Taskforce

Keynote speaker, Professor Bitange Ndemo, Chairman of Kenya’s Blockchain and AI Taskforce

NAIROBI, Kenya , July 18, 2019 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- About 600 East African business, innovation and technology leaders gathered in Nairobi today to discuss innovation opportunities for corporate and public sector organisations in the digital economy. The SAP Kenya Innovation Day featured a line-up of local and global SAP experts who hosted interactive sessions focused on key business and technology trends that are shaping the East African innovation landscape.

According to Pedro Guerreiro, Managing Director: Central Africa at SAP Africa, public and private sector interest in building Intelligent Enterprise capabilities is at an all-time high. “Public and private sector organisations are reconsidering how they offer products and services to citizens and customers to meet high demands for quality, convenience and personalisation. As the pace of change in the digital economy continues to accelerate, leading organisations are increasingly adopting Intelligent Enterprise capabilities that will help them build the agility, capacity and speed to remain successful. Based on the quality of today’s discussions, organisations in the region are rising to the challenge, with potentially game-changing opportunities for businesses and communities.”

In 2008, the Kenyan government launched its Vision 2030, an ambitious development plan that aims to establish Kenya as an industrialising middle-income country that provides a high quality of life to its citizens. Current President, Uhuru Kenyatta, introduced the country’s Big Four Agenda, which aims to accelerate economic growth and inclusion, in 2017. It includes an expansion of the manufacturing sector, affordable housing, healthcare, and food security.

Pedro Guerreiro, Managing Director, Central Africa at SAP Africa

Pedro Guerreiro, Managing Director, Central Africa at SAP Africa

Keynote speaker, Professor Bitange Ndemo, Chairman of Kenya’s Blockchain and AI Taskforce, said the digital economy presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape the economy and accelerate the socio-economic development of the East African region. “Business and government leaders are taking notice and introducing much-needed reforms and interventions to connect people and businesses to the benefits of the digital economy. Kenya’s recently announced National Integrated Identity Management System – or Huduma Namba – is an example of this, one that will create a foundation for the rollout of blockchain-based government services designed to improve service delivery and enhance trust in government.”
Based on recent data, this drive to build intelligent enterprise capabilities in the private and public sectors is bearing fruit: Kenya improved its ranking on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index from 135 in 2015 to 61 this year. It was also identified as one of the three most innovative countries in Africa in the most recent Global Innovation Index (GII) ranking published annually by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and GII Knowledge Partners, behind South Africa and Mauritius.

S. Iyer, CEO of iMark Technologies, an SAP partner and key player in the digital transformation of organisations in the East African region, said: “It has been very exciting for us to see how organisations in the region are realising the promise of digital transformation by leveraging SAP technologies and solutions to effect transformational change. Many of these have gone on to successfully implement award-winning projects: in fact, iMark has been a winner at the SAP Quality Awards for five successive years.”

Innovation leaders gather in Nairobi to unpack Intelligent Enterprise opportunities at SAP Innovation Day.

Innovation leaders gather in Nairobi to unpack Intelligent Enterprise opportunities at SAP Innovation Day.

Sessions at this year’s Kenya Innovation Day included discussions over experience management powered by the Intelligent Enterprise, placing people at the heart of the intelligent enterprise transformation, and the intelligent supply chain.

“Kenyan organisations are on the move and ready to take advantage of Intelligent Enterprise benefits in the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” says Guerreiro. “SAP will remain committed to helping customers in the region run better and build the agility and intelligence needed to succeed in the digital age.”

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of SAP Africa.

Visit the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews.

About SAP
As the cloud company powered by SAP HANA®, SAP is the market leader in enterprise application software, helping companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best: 77% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP® system. Our machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics technologies help turn customers’ businesses into intelligent enterprises. SAP helps give people and organizations deep business insight and fosters collaboration that helps them stay ahead of their competition. We simplify technology for companies so they can consume our software the way they want – without disruption. Our end-to-end suite of applications and services enables more than 437,000 business and public customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and make a difference. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improve people’s lives. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

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South Sudan: Authorities crackdown on critics in cross-border campaign of intimidation
July 18, 2019 | 0 Comments

GENEVA, Switzerland, July 18, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The South Sudanese authorities have in recent months escalated their crackdown on peaceful dissent by conducting a cross-border campaign of harassment, intimidation and attacks against critics to prevent a series of global protests on the country’s leadership from taking place, reveals a new briefing by Amnesty International.

The protests organized by the Red Card Movement (RCM), a nascent South Sudanese youth movement open to any individual who embraces non-violence, were planned to take place on 16 May in the South Sudanese capital Juba, and other locations around the world. The protests did not take place in Juba.

“It is a shame that the authorities fail to appreciate the pivotal role that respecting, protecting and promoting human rights plays in the country’s growth and development,” said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

“The Government of South Sudan must publicly denounce the escalating harassment, intimidation and attacks on people simply for exercising their rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association and stop attacks on critics both at home and abroad.”

Government threats

Just prior to the 16 May protests, senior members of South Sudan’s government made thinly veiled threats against organizers and protestors.

On 7 May, Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth, threatened protesters with deadly consequences if they took part in the planned protests. “Those who want to protest are welcome but let them be ready to face consequences. We know those who are spearheading the attempts. We don’t want youth to die again,” he told South Sudan’s Radio Tamazuj.

This was followed a door-to-door search of people’s homes day and night, targeting suspected members and supporters of the RCM that was carried out by officers from the National Security Services (NSS) and the army. The authorities also deployed large number of troops in Juba and closed public spaces.

Garang Aher, 30, was arrested by three NSS agents at his home on 19 May for alleged links with the movement after his phone number was found in a RCM WhatsApp group conversation leaked to the security agents. He was released on 23 May.

President Salva Kiir publicly reiterated deadly consequences for protestors on 21 May: “Those who are telling you to go before the government and protest, don’t they know that anything could happen, and people may die? If the government closes its mind and decides to use automatic weapons, why do you want to die for nothing?”

Men in Black

While protests organized outside South Sudan embassies in Australia, Washington DC, USA and Sudan took place unhindered, the intimidation and harassment of RCM members witnessed in South Sudan was replicated in Ethiopia and Kenya.

Two cameramen covering a peaceful RCM demonstration at the South Sudan embassy in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa were physically assaulted.

“I saw the embassy staff member slapping the video man and another man shoving violently another cameraman, who was badly beaten in his face,” an eyewitness told Amnesty International.

In Kenya, RCM members were threatened with arrest and deportation back to Juba, from where they would be forcibly disappeared. One of them told Amnesty International the threats were unnervingly blatant.

Other South Sudanese people they believed to be informants of the national security agency accused them of “want[ing] to create a bad image about South Sudan like Dong and Aggrey; see, now they are dead. If you want to go that route, the consequences will come.”

They also told Amnesty International they were followed by men in black suits. “Anonymous people are following us. When we stop, they stop. When we show up somewhere, they also show up. We are at risk and on the run.”

This intimidation and harassment continued after the aborted 16 May protests. On 9 July, South Sudan’s Independence Day, members and supporters of the movement staged a peaceful protest in front of the South Sudan embassy in Nairobi.

They were dispersed by Kenyan police despite complying with the legal requirement to notify the police about the planned protest. Three of them were arrested and charged for unlawful assembly. They were released on bail the next day and told Amnesty International they had been beaten by police officers.

“The South Sudanese people must be able to enjoy their human rights, including the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association. People should be free to criticize their government and its policies without fear of reprisals,” said Joan Nyanyuki.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Amnesty International.

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U.S. Universities Offer $7.5m in Scholarships to Nigerian Students
July 18, 2019 | 0 Comments

LAGOS, Nigeria, July 18, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- More than 303 Nigerian students from the 17 states of southern Nigeria have received no less than $7.5 million in full or partial scholarships from 225 American universities and colleges to study in the United States for the 2019-2020 academic session.

Acting United States Consul General Osman Tat disclosed this in Lagos on Tuesday during the 2019 EducationUSA pre-departure orientation for students who have received offers of admission and scholarships to attend U.S. colleges and universities this fall.

Noting that the U.S. remains a top destination for international students, Acting Consul General Tat explained that the list of acceptances for Nigerian students for the upcoming academic year has been quite impressive, cutting across many of the 50 U.S. states.

“I congratulate each one of you on your tremendous success. This is a very important step in your life. I encourage you to make the most out of your time in the United States to acquire the requisite skills and knowledge needed to support Nigeria’s development,” Tat told the group of U.S.-bound students.

The students have been accepted for undergraduate and graduate degree programs at top-notch U.S. institutions ranging from Ivy League universities, liberal arts colleges, women’s colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), to community colleges.

They include Stanford University, The George Washington University, Johns Hopkins University, Purdue University, Tufts University, Boston University, Emory University, and Howard University, among many others.

The pre-departure orientation is intended to assist students to prepare for their move from Nigeria to attend a college or university in the United States.  The event included interactive sessions on topics such as travel planning, adjusting to life in America, safety on campus, and F-1 visa rules for international students.

Participants also had the opportunity to meet with students currently studying in the United States who offered tips on how to prepare for the U.S. academic, social, and cultural environment.

Among the departing students are 13 EducationUSA Opportunity Fund grantees 10 undergraduate and 3 graduate students, with full scholarships — who received financial aid to cover the up-front cost of obtaining admission.

Annually, through the Opportunity Fund Program, the U.S. Consulate’s EducationUSA Advising Centre assists talented low-income students who are good candidates for admission to U.S. colleges and universities, by funding their application process.

According to the latest Open Doors Report, published annually by the Institute of International Education, Nigeria is the 13th highest sending country of international students to the U.S., with about 12, 693 Nigerians currently studying in the United States.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of the U.S Mission in Nigeria.

About EducationUSA
EducationUSA is a U.S. Department of State network of over 425 international student-advising centers in more than 175 countries that promotes U.S. higher education to students around the world. It offers accurate, comprehensive, and current information about opportunities to study at one of the 4,700+ accredited postsecondary institutions in the United States.

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DR Congo Ebola outbreak now a Public Health Emergency, UN health agency declares
July 18, 2019 | 0 Comments

The second worst Ebola outbreak of all time, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), was officially declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on Wednesday, with the head of the World Health Organization calling for countries to ‘take notice and redouble our efforts”.

NEW YORK, United States of America, July 18, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- With the first anniversary of the complex outbreak in the volatile eastern part of the country looming, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that it was time to “work together in solidarity with the DRC to end this outbreak and build a better health system”, for its people.

So far, there have been more than 2,500 cases of infection, and nearly 1,670 have died in the provinces of Ituri and North Kivu, where multiple armed groups and lack of local trust have hampered efforts to get the outbreak under control.

“Extraordinary work has been done for almost a year under the most difficult circumstances”, said Mr. Tedros, following the fourth meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee assessing the outbreak, at the UN in Geneva. “We all owe it to these responders – coming from not just WHO but also Government, partners and communities – to shoulder more of the burden”, he added.

What does the emergency declaration mean?

According to WHO’s International Health Regulations, which constitute a binding legal agreement involving 196 countries across the globe, a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) is defined as, “an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease and to potentially require a coordinated international response”.

This definition implies a situation that is:

  • Serious, sudden, unusual or unexpected.
  • Carries implications for public health beyond the affected State’s national border.
  • May require immediate international action.

According to a WHO statement, the Committee “cited recent developments in the outbreak in making its recommendation, including the first confirmed case in Goma, a city of almost two million people on the border with Rwanda, and the gateway to the rest of DRC and the world.”

The Committee also issued specific conclusions and advice to affected countries, their neighbours, and for all States, in terms of how the outbreak needs to be dealt with moving forward.

Protect livelihoods and keep trades routes open

The Committee also said it was disappointing that there had been recent delays in securing more international funds to fight the disease, which had constrained the response.

Members also reinforced the need to protect livelihoods of the people most affected by the outbreak by keeping transport routes and borders open. The experts said it was “essential to avoid the punitive economic consequences of travel and trade restrictions, on affected communities.”

“It is important that the world follows these recommendations. It is also crucial that states do not use (the declaration) as an excuse to impose trade or travel restrictions, which would have a negative impact on the response and on the lives and livelihoods of people in the region,” said Professor Robert Steffen, chair of the Committee.

On Monday, UN relief chief Mark Lowcock, who heads the humanitarian affairs coordination office (OCHA), said that the outbreak would not be properly contained without a “big scale-up in the response”. Last month, the first cases appeared in neighbouring Uganda, although the infected family had travelled across the border from DRC.

Since it was declared almost a year ago the outbreak has been classified as a level 3 emergency – the most serious – by WHO, triggering the highest level of mobilization. The UN overall has also recognized the seriousness of the emergency by activating the “Humanitarian System-wide Scale-Up” to support the Ebola response.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of the United Nations.

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DHL partners with Teach For Uganda to create greater employability among youth
July 17, 2019 | 0 Comments
· This marks the logistics group’s first partnership in Africa with the Teach For All network
· DHL volunteers will equip students with skills and experiences needed to enter the working world
 
KAMPALA, Uganda, July 17th, 2019, -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- DHL Express, DHL Global Forwarding and DHL Supply Chain, part of the Deutsche Post DHL Group (DPDHL Group), launched a partnership today with Teach For Uganda, a network partner of Teach For All, to eradicate education inequity, raise a nation of true leaders and promote educational opportunities and employability for young people in Uganda. This marks DPDHL Group’s 18th partnership with Teach For All under the new strategic framework(1), a focus to nurture employability and life skills of young people from difficult socio-economic backgrounds around the world, and its first partnership in Africa.
 
From L-R: Fatma Abubakar, Country Manager, DHL Express Uganda; Paul Erongot, Country Manager, DHL Global Forwarding Uganda; Zachary Mukwaya, General Manager, DHL Supply Chain Uganda; James Kassaga Arinaitwe, Co-founder and CEO, Teach for Uganda; Sheila Kangwagye, Board Member, Teach for Uganda.

From L-R: Fatma Abubakar, Country Manager, DHL Express Uganda; Paul Erongot, Country Manager, DHL Global Forwarding Uganda; Zachary Mukwaya, General Manager, DHL Supply Chain Uganda; James Kassaga Arinaitwe, Co-founder and CEO, Teach for Uganda; Sheila Kangwagye, Board Member, Teach for Uganda.

 

James Kassaga Arinaitwe, Founder and CEO of Teach For Uganda, said, “We believe in the potential of all children to thrive and become better leaders in their various communities. The partnership with DHL Uganda will accelerate our momentum and help us improve the lives of the children through excellent and practical education and develop our fellows as effective teachers and leaders in their communities and nation.”

Along with providing financial support, this partnership will also see employees from DHL Express, DHL Global Forwarding and DHL Supply Chain volunteer to support over 36 Teach For Uganda Fellows who will in turn make a positive impact in the lives of at least 15,000 students across Uganda.

“According to Uganda Census data, over half of Uganda’s population comprises youth under the age of 29 and it is estimated that 86% of those are unemployed, underemployed or at the level of becoming employable.(2) While we understand there is much to be done in order to close the gap, we hope that the engagement our volunteers will have with Ugandan youth will help improve these numbers,” said Fatma Abubakar, Country Manager, DHL Express Uganda.

Paul Erongot, Country Manager, DHL Global Forwarding Uganda added, “Globally DHL is committed to improving the communities in which we operate. Having been in Uganda for over 30 years, we want to be able to create a positive impact within the local community. We hope our volunteers’ interactions with these youth will help provide them with an understanding of

what the demands of the real working world are, and the skills they need to tackle these challenges head on.”

Zachary Mukwaya, General Manager, Country Operations Uganda, DHL Supply Chain continued, “We are looking at giving the youth exposure and access to business leaders as well as skills-based training. Over time as the interactions grow between DHL volunteers and the Teach for Uganda students, we hope to nurture a cohort of youth who are more confident, focused and own the skills needed to move forward in their careers.”

Teach For Uganda recruits exceptional Ugandan graduates from diverse fields of study, who are trained to become teachers, known as Teach for Uganda Fellows, then placed in underserved schools and communities around the country as Teach For Uganda participants. These teacher-leaders would commit two years as teachers and mentors to their students.

In addition to giving their time to Teach for Uganda, DHL volunteers will continue to support SOS Children’s Villages Uganda with whom it has had a partnership since 2013.

Deutsche Post DHL Group’s corporate responsibility program “Living Responsibility” is comprised of three programs focused on environmental protection (GoGreen), disaster management (GoHelp) and education (GoTeach). Under the GoTeach program, Deutsche Post DHL Group provides support to Teach For All as well as 18 other network partners in Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.

(1) https://teachforall.org/news/education-and-employability-young-people-new-phase-deutsche-post-dhl-group-and-teach-all

 
Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of DHL.
 
DHL – The logistics company for the world

DHL is the leading global brand in the logistics industry. Our DHL family of divisions offer an unrivalled portfolio of logistics services ranging from national and international parcel delivery, e-commerce shipping and fulfillment solutions, international express, road, air and ocean transport to industrial supply chain management. With about 380,000 employees in more than 220 countries and territories worldwide, DHL connects people and businesses securely and reliably, enabling global trade flows. With specialized solutions for growth markets and industries including technology, life sciences and healthcare, energy, automotive and retail, a proven commitment to corporate responsibility and an unrivalled presence in developing markets, DHL is decisively positioned as “The logistics company for the world”.

DHL is part of Deutsche Post DHL Group. The Group generated revenues of more than 61 billion euros in 2018.

About Teach For Uganda

Teach For Uganda (TFU) is a local NGO that is championing a new education innovation in Uganda to leverage the power of brilliant recent university graduates to unleash the learning and life outcomes of underprivileged children in rural Uganda through a two-year teaching as leadership fellowship program. The graduates who become fellows teach Mathematics, English and life skills in rural government-aided primary schools to provide a strong educational foundation to low-income children and put them on a path to expanded opportunities. Post fellowship, the fellows leverage their two-year experience as part of an alumni leadership network where they are coached to become lifelong advocates for education equity in Uganda’s public and private institutions.

About Teach For All

Teach For All is a global network of 50 independent, locally led and governed partner organizations and a global organization that works to accelerate the progress of the network. Each network partner recruits and develops promising future leaders to teach in their nations’ under-resourced schools and communities and, with this foundation, to work with others, inside and outside of education, to ensure all children are able to fulfill their potential. Teach For All’s global organization works to increase the network’s impact by capturing and spreading learning, facilitating connections among partners, accessing global resources, and fostering the leadership development of partner staff, teachers, and alumni.

For more information, visit www.teachforall.org

Media Contact:

DHL Asia Pacific & EEMEA

Corporate Communications and Responsibility

Belinda Tan

Tel: +65 6879 8330 E-mail: apeemeamediarelations@dhl.com

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Nexign Partners with Giza Systems to Accelerate African Telcos’ Digital Transformation
July 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

Global leader in business support systems (BSS) solutions joins forces with one of the leading systems integrators in the African region, to equip regional operators with the tools they need to satisfy fluctuating subscriber demands.

JOHANNESBURG, July 17th, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Nexign, (а part of LLC ICS Holding) a leading Business Support Systems (BSS) and Internet of Things (IoT) platform provider, today announced it has signed a value-added reseller (VAR) agreement with a Cairo-based, leading systems integrator in the MEA region, Giza Systems.

The partnership is designed to bolster the abilities of both companies to deliver scalable, agile network solutions, to communications service providers (CSPs) across the Africa region. Together, Nexign and Giza Systems will work with organisations to accelerate their journey from CSPs to digital service providers (DSPs). A 2017 survey by Ernst & Young on Digital transformation for 2020 and beyond revealed 71% of telecom operators worldwide to be placing their transformation from CSP to DSP at the top of the corporate agenda.

Covering East and North Africa, Giza Systems will resell Nexign products and provide professional services – such as implementation and support – as well as core systems-integration services. Offerings already in the pipeline, that will be delivered by Giza Systems and Nexign to regional customers, include a data-collection, mediation and settlement solution; revenue assurance and fraud-management; billing systems; number portability clearing house and gateway; number-management systems; order-fulfilment and service activation; and product lifecycle management.

“Partnering with Nexign will allow us to help our customers replace their legacy BSS solutions to decrease operational costs, reduce time-to-market and improve customer experience,” said Waleed Darwish, General Manager of the Enterprise Business Solutions Line of Business at Giza Systems. “Our own capabilities, fused with that of our partners in the areas of automated systems, communication solutions and metering infrastructure, enable us to develop integrated solutions that can work with, and build on, evolving technologies, as well as adapt to the changing needs of our customers looking to achieve digital transformation.”

Nexign’s differentiators are found in the company’s future-proof portfolio of products and services, and its track record of 120 successful projects with more than 50 CSPs around the world, including a Tier 1 telecom operator with a 75-million-strong subscriber base. Nexign also brings its transformation experience to Africa, with strong field sales and technical support teams based in the Middle East. Through the VAR partnership, Giza Systems will be able to package Nexign’s flagship product – Nexign Digital BSS – as part of a market-leading network-solutions portfolio, delivering to customers the ability to transform at will, and serve an increasingly mercurial market. 

 

Ahmad Sayed, Regional Head and VP of Sales, Middle East and Africa at Nexign

Ahmad Sayed, Regional Head and VP of Sales, Middle East and Africa at Nexign

 
“Systems integrators are integral to the transition stories we are witnessing daily across the region, where telecom providers are making the change from CSPs to DSPs,” said Ahmad Sayed, Regional Head and VP of Sales, Middle East and Africa at Nexign. “The flexibility to cater to fluctuating consumer demands is appreciable, once an organisation has made the transition. We are extremely delighted to have Giza Systems as our partners; the company has been well-established in the MEA region for more than 45 years and has accrued a wealth of experience, in BSS, as a systems integrator. This coupled with the work they are already doing with several regional Tier 1 and Tier 2 telecom operators, makes them an important partner for us as we continue to expand in the key Africa markets.”
 
Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Nexign.
 
About Nexign
Nexign, a part of the limited liability company Intellectual Computer Systems Holding (LLC ICS Holding) and a leading Business Support System (BSS) and Internet of Things (IoT) platform provider, has been delivering pragmatic, value-driven solutions focused on customers’ total cost of ownership since 1992. As communications service providers become digital service providers, Nexign accelerates their transformation through engineering excellence and agile products and services that facilitate revenue-stream diversification. Nexign takes pride in its partner-centric approach to working with customers. For more than 27 years, the company has delivered on its promise of unlocking value in the short-term while ensuring customers’ investment are future-proof and support long-term growth.

Headquartered in St. Petersburg, Nexign employs 1,800 people in offices through Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States, southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The company has delivered more than 120 projects across 14 countries and had revenue of $200 million in 2018, an increase of 63 percent over 2017. For more information, please visit the website and follow the latest news from Nexign on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

 
About Giza Systems
Giza Systems, a leading systems integrator in the MEA region, designs and deploys industry-specific technology solutions for asset-intensive industries such as the telecoms, utilities, oil and gas, hospitality and real estate among other market sectors. We help our clients streamline their operations and businesses through our portfolio of solutions, managed services, and consultancy practice. Our team of 1100 professionals are spread throughout the region with anchor offices in Cairo, Riyadh, Dubai, Doha, Nairobi, Dar-es-Salaam, Abuja, Kampala and New Jersey, allowing us to service an ever-increasing client base in over 40 countries. For more information, please visit http://gizasystems.com/
Media Contact
Patrick Mkala
DUO Marketing + Communications (on behalf of Nexign)
+27 (0)10 140 3720
patrick@duomarketing.co.za

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Truecaller Launches User Verification Solution For The Mobile Web
July 16, 2019 | 0 Comments
  • Enables developers to instantly verify users on mobile web products

LAGOS, Nigeria, July 16th 2019, -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Truecaller today announced the global launch of its Truecaller SDK solution exclusively for the mobile web platform. With this, Truecaller SDK now supports all the key mobile platforms across Android, iOS, React and now mobile web including Progressive Web App support. Developers can access the mWeb SDK from Truecaller’s global developer portal.

Across emerging markets like India and Africa, mobile web based experiences on smart phones are proving to be the first point of discovery for users trying to access products and services online. One of the key challenges in these markets has been to on-board users using email or other modes and getting verified using the inefficient OTP process. This SDK solution on mobile web is intended to simplify this process for developers through its OTP-less and free to use phone number based verification solution, allowing their users to seamlessly and securely access services using their Truecaller credentials.
This ensures there are reduced barriers along with fewer user drop offs and resulting in increased growth in verified users that contributes to minimized business risks for the developer.

Image 1Commenting on the launch, Priyam Bose, Global Head, Developer Platform & Relations, Truecaller, said: “Our vision has always been to enable the developer community by providing them with solutions that help them to build user focused, trust based and growth-oriented products. User onboarding and verification continues to be one of the critical use cases for developers as it is crucial in creating a first impression for their users in terms of building a seamless and secure product experience. On an average, developers in growth markets are starting to see anywhere between 40%-60% of their users now coming from mobile web, giving us more reasons to launch our Truecaller SDK solution for mobile Web interfaces.”

This launch extends Truecaller’s philosophy of building and solving problems at scale for users and developers globally, with value-driven functionalities. Truecaller SDK service for the mobile web platform can be used to fulfil use cases such as mobile number based signup, login, checkout, verification, and more such touch-points across the user journey.

Early access developer partners for this service also shared their experiences.

Mukund Laddha, Product Manager, OYO, said: “At OYO, we have been expanding globally at a rapid pace. Improving user experience during authentication has been a key area of focus. This integration with Truecaller presented us with an opportunity to present users with a reliable alternate login method with a large presence across countries. This has made user on-boarding on web more fluid and frictionless.”

Zairus Master, CEO, Shine.com, said: “At Shine.com, our constant endeavor is to improve our end-user experience by adopting best-in-class technologies. As an early access partner, the integration with Truecaller’s verification solution for mobile web platform will help candidates simplify their registration process on Shine.com and facilitate a constantly active and verified set of candidates on the platform, complete with their updated contact details. We believe that this product integration will give Shine.com a competitive edge over other job portals which solely rely on traditional, OTP-based verification.”

According to Udit Tyagi, Product Head, Times Internet Limited – Indian Languages News Business: “In the ever-evolving world of PWA’s the gap between app and mWeb is slowly fading away and users expect uniformity and seamlessness in terms of experience and onboarding irrespective of the platform. By leveraging Truecaller SDK for mobile web, we have been able to improve the on-boarding experience of users in our canvas of mobile web apps. In our case, onboarding conversions via Truecaller are 41% higher compared to standard onboarding processes.”

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Mediacraft.

About Truecaller:
People use Truecaller to stay ahead. It helps them know who’s getting in touch, filter out unwanted and focus on what really matters. The company provides a suite of unique services such as a dialer that offers caller ID, spam detection, messaging and more. Truecaller’s mission is to build trust everywhere by making communication safe and efficient. Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, the company was founded in 2009 by Alan Mamedi and Nami Zarringhalam. Investors include Sequoia Capital, Atomico and Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers.

For more information, please contact: press@truecaller.com

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Digital Transformation Vital to Secure New Customers
July 16, 2019 | 0 Comments

Tamer Farouk, Regional Senior Director – East and West Africa Applications Sales Leader at Oracle

Tamer Farouk HD

NAIROBI, Kenya, July 16, 2019, -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Nowadays, customers can easily access product and service details through their devices at any time and compare competitors’ offers. Mobile devices, applications, machine learning, automation, and other technologies allow customers to get exactly what they want when they want it. Furthermore, these new digital technologies have led to a change in customer expectations, creating a new kind of modern buyer – always connected and aware of what technology can enable.

With the new types and levels of engagement that new technologies provide, customers generally rate organisations according to their digital customer experience. They make their impressions known publicly on various social and digital media, and they consider the comments of others when making a purchasing decision. This type of consumer-to-consumer interaction is forcing companies to rethink their approach to customer interaction and customer experience.

In Kenya, Longhorn Publishers experienced connectivity issues with its onsite applications that had a negative impact on customer experience. As a leading provider of learning solutions on the continent, it had to resolve these challenges as quickly as possible. It migrated to a cloud environment that not only shortened the procurement cycle, but enabled the publisher to launch its ebook store, elearning platform, and apps in the market resulting in a more engaging environment for its customers.

Customers expect highly targeted messages, which organisations can only deliver with a data-driven marketing strategy. Advances in machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and big data and analytics (including predictive analytics) will allow organisations to create new customer experiences and new sales models.

In a recent survey conducted by the International Data Corporation (IDC) among businesses in East Africa, 34% of respondents indicated that their organisation is considering marketing innovation with the aim of improving customer experience. The leading sectors for adopting technology or seeking innovation in the service of customer experience in East Africa are government and transportation.

For example, the Kenya Revenue Authority, invested in a cloud-based CX solution for improving the process of filing tax forms and stand out as another successful example of a customer experience project in terms of customer service transformation.

Position data as an enabler of transformation

Digital transformation initiatives are accelerating disruptions in customer experience. Agility is another key factor in the new marketing approach, which can be supported by machine learning and AI. Organisations can create more demand with personalised marketing campaigns, as competition in the new digital marketplace will require speed and agility. Companies should also leverage structured and unstructured data for determining customer profiles, as well as predictive analytics to anticipate potential customer experience scenarios.

Organisations are now including customer experience roadmaps in their business strategy. Customer experience transformation can be a pre-designed process, and marketing teams can collaborate with IT, finance, and operations teams to help prevent unnecessary investments to establish realistic and aligned strategies.

Kenyan IT solutions provider Smart Applications International had to find a way to ensure the accuracy of the data on its biometrics identification and medical insurance automation application platform. This was vital to provide customers with a more reliable way of accessing their data. By transitioning into a cloud environment, it could digitally transform its processes and boost customer engagement thanks to an always available and accessible database. This resulted in its medical insurance provider clients and healthcare facilities clients being able to verify claims and process disputes 70% faster.

By keeping in mind that every department plays a vital role, companies can take a more holistic approach to customer experience. A positive customer experience has the potential to increase revenue through greater competitiveness and positive brand perception. Good brand perception, in turn, motivates employees, who feel proud to work for a well-known and successful company.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Oracle.

About Oracle
The Oracle Cloud offers a complete suite of integrated applications for Sales, Service, Marketing, Human Resources, Finance, Supply Chain and Manufacturing, plus Highly Automated and Secure Generation 2 Infrastructure featuring the Oracle Autonomous Database. For more information about Oracle (NYSE: ORCL), please visit us at oracle.com.

Trademarks
Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners. 

Media Contact
Natassia Badenhorst
Manager, Corporate Communications – South Africa & Sub Saharan Africa
Oracle
+27 64 880 2014
tash.badenhorst@oracle.com

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