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O Presidente da Mastercard no Médio Oriente e em África, Raghu Malhotra, foi nomeado para o Conselho Consultivo do Presidente dos Estados Unidos Sobre Como “Fazer Negócios em África”.
June 25, 2019 | 0 Comments

Malhotra potenciará a sua perícia e conhecimento do continente Africano para criar oportunidades e desbloquear potencial económico

 

JOANESBURGO, África do Sul, 25 de Junho de 2019 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Raghu Malhotra, Presidente da Mastercard no Médio Oriente e África, foi nomeado para o Conselho Consultivo do Presidente dos E.U. Sobre Como Fazer Negócios em África (PAC-DBIA). PAC- DBIA é um importante fórum de diálogo entre os sectores público e privado dos E.U., e aconselha o Presidente sobre como fortalecer o compromisso comercial entre os E.U. e África. A nomeação foi anunciada no Conselho Corporativo em África na Cimeira Empresarial E.U. – África na quarta-feira em Maputo, Moçambique.

Malhotra cumprirá um mandato de dois anos no PAC-DBIA, e irá juntar-se a outros líderes do sector privado no conselho. Neste papel consultivo, irá valer-se do seu conhecimento e compreensão dos mercados Africanos, onde liderou a transição da Mastercad a ser pioneira em trazer novas soluções de pagamento electrónico e serviços para o continente, ajudando ao progresso social e crescimento inclusivo.

Raghu Malhotra, Presidente da Mastercard Médio Oriente e África, referiu: “É uma honra ser seleccionado para servir no PAC- DBIA, e apoiar a sua missão de ajudar a colmatar as lacunas entre os sectores públicos e privados dos E.U. e de África. África tem 54 países, cada um em diferentes patamares de desenvolvimento, e está bem posicionada para um tremendo crescimento sócio-económico. Tanto a Mastercard como o PAC-DBIA partilham o compromisso de promover oportunidades pelo continente e, usar tecnologia para abrir caminho para um futuro promissor, mais inclusivo ao desbloquear o seu imenso potencial económico”.

Raghu Malhotra, Presidente da Mastercard do Médio Oriente e África

Raghu Malhotra, Presidente da Mastercard do Médio Oriente e África

Malhotra detém diversas posições de directoria e aconselhamento em mercados internacionais. É membro do Conselho de administração de directores tanto do Centro Empresarial E.U. -África (parte da Câmara de Comércio Americana em Washington) e INJAZ (Junior Achievement Worldwide). É também membro na qualidade de observador no conselho de administração da Network International, uma empresa pública listada no London Stock Exchange e é membro do Conselho Empresarial do World Economic Forum Africa.

Distribuído por African Media Agency (AMA) em nome de Mastercard.
 
Sobre a Mastercard
Mastercard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, é uma empresa de tecnologia no sector de pagamentos globais.  A nossa rede de processamento de pagamentos globais liga consumidores, instituições financeiras, comerciantes, governos e empresas em mais de 210 países e territórios. Os produtos e soluções Mastercard tornam actividades comerciais diárias- tais como compras, viagens, gerir um negócio e gestão financeira- mais simples, mais seguras e mais eficientes para toda a gente. Siga-nos no Twitter @MastercardNews, participe no debate em Beyond the Transaction Blog e subscreva-nos para receber as últimas noticias em Engagement Bureau.
 
Comunicação Social
Comunicações África do Sul:
Birgit Edible 
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President of Mastercard Middle East and Africa, Raghu Malhotra, appointed to U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa
June 24, 2019 | 0 Comments

Malhotra will leverage his expertise and understanding of the African continent to advance opportunities and unlock economic potential

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, June 24th, 2019 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Raghu Malhotra, President of Mastercard Middle East and Africa, has been appointed to the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA). The PAC-DBIA is an important forum for dialogue between the U.S. public and private sector, and advises the President on ways to strengthen commercial engagement between the U.S. and Africa. The appointment was announced at the Corporate Council on Africa U.S.-Africa Business Summit on Wednesday in Maputo, Mozambique.

Malhotra will serve a two-year term on the PAC-DBIA, and joins other private sector leaders on the council. In his advisory role, he will draw on his expertise and understanding of African markets, where he has led Mastercard’s transition to being a pioneer in bringing new electronic payment solutions and services to the continent, helping to advance social progress and inclusive growth.

Raghu Malhotra, President of Mastercard Middle East and Africa, said: “I am deeply honored to be selected to serve on the PAC-DBIA, and support its mission to help bridge the gap between the U.S. and African public and private sectors. Africa is home to 54 countries, each at different stages of development, and is well-positioned for tremendous socio-economic growth. Both Mastercard and PAC-DBIA share a commitment to advance opportunities across the continent, and use technology to pave the way for a brighter, more inclusive future by unlocking its immense economic potential.”

Raghu Malhotra, President of Mastercard Middle East and Africa

Raghu Malhotra, President of Mastercard Middle East and Africa

 
Malhotra holds a number of board and advisory positions across international markets. He sits on the board of directors of both the US-Africa Business Center (part of the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington) and INJAZ (Junior Achievement Worldwide). He also sits as an observer on the board of directors for Network International, a company publicly listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a member of the World Economic Forum Africa Business Council.
 
Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Mastercard.
 
About Mastercard
Mastercard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. Our global payments processing network connects consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.
 
Media Contact
South Africa Communications: 
Birgit Edible 
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“Healthwise, it was a disaster” in Libya’s Zintan and Gharyan detention centres
June 24, 2019 | 0 Comments

GENEVA, Switzerland, June 24, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- MSF staff who were recently granted access to two detention centres in Libya found a catastrophic medical situation among the people detained there.

The situation in Zintan and Gharyan detention centres, located south of Tripoli, in the Nafusa Mountains, is consistent with reports, later confirmed by UN agencies, that at least 22 people have died there from suspected tuberculosis and other diseases since September 2018.

Hundreds of people in need of international protection and registered with UNHCR as asylum seekers or refugees have been left stranded in Zintan and Gharyan detention centres for months – and in some cases for years – with virtually no assistance.

As a result of conditions in the detention centres, an average of two to three people have died there each month since September 2018.

The health concerns in Zintan detention centre

MSF staff made their first visit to Zintan detention centre in May. They found some 900 people detained there, 700 of them in an overcrowded hangar with four barely functioning toilets, no shower and only sporadic access to water, which was not suitable for drinking.  

“Healthwise, it was a disaster,” says Julien Raickman, MSF head of mission in Libya. “A tuberculosis outbreak has likely been raging for months in the detention centre. The situation was so critical that we immediately arranged lifesaving referrals to hospital during our initial visits.”

In total, MSF staff arranged 16 referrals to hospital between 25 May and 19 June. They also distributed supplies of food, powdered milk, blankets and hygiene items. Having been granted access to Zintan detention centre by Libya’s Department for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM), we are now scaling up our medical and humanitarian response. Medical consultations and referrals are still ongoing and MSF staff are working on repairing the water supply system.

Heavy fighting around Gharyan detention centre

Earlier this year, some 50 of the detainees in the poorest health were transferred from Zintan to Gharyan detention centre, located 100 kilometres to the northeast and on the frontline of the current conflict between the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Libyan National Army (LNA).

With heavy fighting taking place nearby, the situation for the 29 detainees who remain in Gharyan is particularly hazardous. The area can be inaccessible to ambulances because of the fighting, making it difficult to organise lifesaving referrals to hospital when needed.

People denied protection

People detained in Zintan and Gharyan detention centres are mostly coming from Eritrea and Somalia and survived harrowing experiences during their perilous journey.

The mechanisms exist to bring them to safe countries where their claims for asylum can be processed, but they have remained dramatically limited and under-used.  On 3 June, UNHCR relocated 96 people from Zintan detention centre to a UNHCR-run facility in Tripoli where they await evacuation from Libya.

“What will happen to the other 625 refugees remaining in Zintan and Gharyan detention centres?” asks Raickman. “And what will happen to the people referred from Zintan and Gharyan to hospital after they complete their medical treatment?”

Rather than being given the protection to which they are entitled, these refugees and asylum seekers are condemned to a cycle of violence and detention.

This is an all too common situation for migrants and refugees across Libya, yet it has not prevented European states from pushing back to Libya those who attempt to flee, in the full knowledge of what lies in store for them and in violation of international law.

Cycles of violence and detention

Most of the people currently held in Zintan and Gharyan detention centres have already been through dreadful experiences in Libya.

Some were kidnapped by people traffickers who tortured them to extort money from them and their relatives. Some attempted to cross the Mediterranean Sea in search of safety but were brought back by the EU-supported Libyan coastguard and taken to detention centres near the coast. Others who were being held by people smugglers in Sabratha became caught in the middle of fighting between rival militias in October 2017 and were subsequently taken to detention centres in Tripoli.

The number of people being held in detention centres peaked in late 2017 at more than 20,000. After fighting broke out in Tripoli in August 2018, many people were moved from Tripoli to Zintan detention centre, further from the frontline but out of sight, in desperate conditions and with little access to medical care.

“We have been abandoned here, I cannot go back and no one wants us anywhere,” says an Eritrean refugee in his twenties being held in Zintan detention centre. “I don’t know where my place on earth is.” 

Safe countries need to step up

“Transferring people from one detention centre to another does not protect them from the life-threatening dangers they face in Libya,” says Raickman. “What refugees urgently need is a way out of the country.”

Evacuations and resettlements of refugees and asylum seekers from Libya must urgently be scaled up.

“This can only work if safe countries in Europe and elsewhere live up to their responsibilities with regard to asylum, and if European states stop their outrageous policy of illegal pushbacks to Libya from the Mediterranean Sea,” says Raickman.

“Zintan detention centre isn’t an exception – it’s a stark reminder of a harmful detention system deliberately fed by Europe that is very clearly putting refugees’ lives at risk,” he concludes.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Médécins Sans Frontières.

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Over 80 per cent of schools in anglophone Cameroon shut down, as conflict worsens
June 24, 2019 | 0 Comments

More than 80 per cent of schools in the English-speaking North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon are closed, as the security situation and living conditions continue to deteriorate due to the three-year conflict between the Government and armed groups, the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, reported.

NEW YORK, United States of America, June 24, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Speaking to journalists at the UN offices in Geneva, UNICEF Spokesperson Toby Fricker said that some 1.3 million people, including around 650,000 children, are now in need of some form of humanitarian assistance. Around 450,000 of these people, half of whom are children, are internally displaced.  
Thousands of people do not have access to essential basic services, such as healthcare and safe drinking water, and livelihoods have been destroyed, the spokesperson told reporters. The ability of humanitarian organizations such as UNICEF to deliver aid, is being hamstrung by the conflict, he added.

Children and their families are suffering from the effects of armed violence; attacks on their homes and schools; abduction, sexual violence and recruitment into armed groups; and imposed lockdowns, or “ghost-town” days, set in place by non-State armed groups.  

Future of an ‘entire generation’ at risk 

The school closures are the result of a ban on education imposed by militia groups, which has affected more than 600,000 children, seen at least 74 schools destroyed, and exposed students, teachers and school personnel to violence, abduction and intimidation.

Mr. Fricker said that targeting education is “putting the future of an entire generation of children at risk, children who with the right support and opportunities can build a more stable and prosperous future.” 

He pointed out that, when children are out of school, they face a higher risk of recruitment by armed groups and are more likely to be exposed to child marriage, early pregnancy, and the accompanying trauma and long-lasting emotional distress that these experiences bring. 

UNICEF has helped some 15,000 displaced children attend formal schools in host communities outside the affected region, and trained teachers to provide psychosocial support for children dealing with the effects of conflict and displacement, said Mr. Fricker, adding that UNICEF is working with religious and community leaders to attempt to re-open schools 

The three-year crisis in Cameroon escalated out of protests in the Anglophone region, calling for greater autonomy. Following a visit to the country in May, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet warned that the situation risks spiralling “completely out of control, if measures are not taken to reduce tension and restore trust”.

UNICEF has called on the parties to the conflict to protect all children and their families; allow humanitarian access to all people in need, according to international humanitarian law; and to protect and re-open schools, and ensure safe learning spaces for children, without conditions.

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

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U.S.-AFRICA Business Summit Successfully Advances The Trade, Investment And Commercial Partnership Between The U.S. And Africa
June 24, 2019 | 0 Comments

MAPUTO, Mozambique, June 24, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Heads of State, Vice Presidents, and Prime Ministers from nine African nations attended the Corporate Council on Africa’s 12th U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Maputo, Mozambique on June 18-21. They were joined by Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Commerce, Economy, Public Works, and ICT from more than 25 countries across the continent. The Government of Mozambique was the Summit co-host, and the more than 1,000 Summit attendees including government and business leaders, investors and policy makers were welcomed to the Joaquim Chissano International Conference Center, Maputo by His Excellency Filipe Nyusi, the President of Mozambique.

Head of states

A high profile U.S. Government delegation to the Summit was led by U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Honorable Karen Dunn Kelley, and included the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator, Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, head of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (TDA), Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) Senior VP for Africa, and Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa, among the more than 100 senior USG officials from 8 agencies.

In his welcome address, President Nyusi noted that the number of people present and the decision to host the event in an African capital reflects the continent’s strategic importance and economic potential. President Nyusi urged delegates to take advantage of the investment and business opportunities that would be highlighted during the Summit. He went on to say that the $62 billion in investment between Africa and the U.S. last year was evidence of “a very encouraging picture of the growing trade and commercial relationship between the U.S. and African countries, and it is up to business owners on both sides of the continent to take advantage of them.” President Nyusi called on African businesses and governments to identify partners and overcome any challenges inhibiting the development of stronger economic ties between Africa and the United States. He said, “Africans must continue to devise more assertive strategies to defend our interests and to negotiate as best as possible with our partners, creating the most appropriate conditions for the business environment, without forgetting the wealth of strategic partnerships that we can cement among us.”

In her keynote remarks, Deputy Secretary Kelley spoke of the U.S. commitment to ensure that trade between America and Africa was mutually beneficial. “US exports to Africa have decreased by 32% from their 2014 high. And we want to work with you to better understand how to reverse this trend,” said Hon. Kelley. She announced the outline of a new U.S. Administration initiative – Prosper Africa – which was officially rolled out at the Summit. USAID Administrator Mark Green later provided Summit delegates with more details on Prosper Africa including its goal to expand U.S.-Africa trade, investment and commercial engagement by leveraging the resources and capabilities of many U.S. government agencies and creating deal teams supporting U.S. private sector investments in Africa.

Hon. Kelley pointed to Anadarko’s $25 billion LNG project as proof of how transformative investment in Africa can be. The Anadarko LNG project is the largest single foreign direct investment in African history.

Throughout the Summit, delegates focused on the Summit theme – “Advancing A Resilient and Sustainable U.S.-Africa Partnership” – by way of plenary sessions and panels that covered a range of sectors such as energy, health, infrastructure, consumer goods, and creative industries as well as topics including blended finance, franchising, sovereign wealth funds, and the business case for empowering women.

Taking place shortly after the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) began implementation, the Summit was an opportunity for U.S. and African CEOs, entrepreneurs and investors attending the Summit to begin taking exploring the continental market with $2.5 trillion GDP and 1.2 billion people.

CCA Ceo & President

For the Corporate Council on Africa, the Summit was designed to offer a unique platform for African and U.S. businesses and government leaders to network and explore practical ways to increase U.S.-Africa economic engagement. CCA President and CEO, Florizelle Liser remarked, “I encourage all delegates to use the Summit as a time to help shape the flourishing trade, investment and commercial partnership between the U.S. and Africa.” She also noted that African businesses could benefit from the Summit – taking advantage of the hundreds of U.S. companies rarely present in such large numbers at a conference focused on Africa. During the Summit, a number of deals and projects were finalized and announced, including in energy, agribusiness, and infrastructure.

The 2019 Summit is proudly sponsored by leading global businesses and organizations including Anadarko Petroleum Corporation; Chevron Corporation; CFM; Exxon Mobil Corporation; GK Investment Holding Group/Gruppo San Donato; Absa Group Ltd; Acrow Bridge; AllAfrica Global Media; AGCO Corporation; BCI; The Boeing Company; Gilead Sciences; Millennium BIM; Pfizer Inc; Sasol Ltd; VISA Inc.; AGRA; Caterpillar Inc; Citi; Lockheed Martin International; MCNET; Procter and Gamble (P&G); Pan African Capital Group LLC; Standard Bank; Symbion Power; Universal Corporation; Afro Tourism West Africa Ltd; Barloworld Equipment (Pty) Ltd; Covington & Burling LLP; DAI; Development Finance International LLC; General Electric Company (GE); Good Governance Africa; Kudumba; Rabin Martin; Philip Morris International, Inc; USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub; Compal; and Ethiopian Airlines.

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

ABOUT CORPORATE COUNCIL ON AFRICA
Corporate Council on Africa is the leading U.S. business association focused solely on connecting business interests between the United States and Africa. CCA uniquely represents a broad cross section of member companies from small and medium size businesses to multinationals as well as U.S. and African firms. Learn more at www.corporatecouncilonafrica.com

MEDIA CONTACTS
Olaotan Awoyomi
oawoyomi@corporatecouncilonafrica.com

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O Grupo Vodacom celebra um acordo com ITA para vender as suas operações e activos Angolanos.
June 24, 2019 | 0 Comments

JOANESBURGO, África do Sul, 24 de Junho de 2019, -/African Media Agency
(AMA)/- O Grupo Vodacom anunciou hoje que entrou em acordo com a Internet Technologies Angola (ITA), o maior fornecedor independente de telecomunicações em Angola. Em termos de acordo, ITA irá comprar as operações e os activos da Vodafone Business Africa Angolana. As duas entidades estão no processo de concluir os acordos exigidos, que estão sujeitos à aprovação de autoridades reguladoras dentro destes mercados. Os termos financeiros da transacção permanecem confidenciais.

A transacção apoia a estratégia do Grupo Vodacom em África, que está focado em crescer e fortalecer o seu negócio principal. Já não vai servir directamente empresas clientes globais nestes mercados, mas sim continuar a operar como fornecedor de redes de telecomunicações Pan- Africanas através de acordos com fornecedores locais de serviços.

Esta transacção insere-se na estratégia de reposicionamento anunciado hoje, mais cedo pela Vodacom pelas operações Vodacom Business Africa que irá resultar em três acordos separados de fornecedores de serviços envolvendo negócios empresariais na Nigéria, Zâmbia, Angola, Gana e Costa do Marfim.

Shameel Joosub, Presidente Executivo do Grupo Vodacom, disse: “A Vodacom tem uma visão clara para reforçar a nossa posição como empresa líder Pan-Africana e irá trabalhar com fornecedores de serviço locais para crescer nestes mercados. Fundamentalmente, a Vodacom não se está a retirar de nenhum destes territórios relacionados com esta transacção e permanece focada em continuar a prestar um serviço excepcional aos nossos clientes mundiais e multinacionais nestes mercados através de acordos comerciais a longo-termo. Para suportar o crescimento sustentável de economias digitais Pan-Africanas e construir sociedades conectadas, a Vodacom irá, através de fornecedores de serviço locais, continuar a servir clientes em cada mercado. Procuramos potencializar as nossas forças colectivas para satisfazer a evolução das necessidades dos clientes em cada um desses mercados”.

Shameel Joosub, Presidente Executivo do Grupo Vodacom

Shameel Joosub, Presidente Executivo do Grupo Vodacom

Rolf Mendelsohn, Presidente Executivo da ITA afirmou “ITA tem um histórico comprovado em relações de parceria tanto localmente como no exterior, com enfoque especial no continente Africano. Construir redes de parceiros concretas e que beneficiem ambas as partes é fundamental para fornecer soluções de telecomunicações de confiança para o sector empresarial. ITA tem promovido uma relação duradoura e dedicada com a Vodacom. Este acordo promove adicionalmente ITA a fortalecer o seu negócio principal de fornecimento: confiável e sustentável e ao mesmo tempo um serviço flexível com ofertas para os seus clientes locais e multinacionais”.

A Vodacom passou por um processo sólido e longo com diversas partes interessadas para encontrar o parceiro certo para reposicionar o seu negócio no continente. A ITA foi seleccionada como o candidato vencedor, entre outras razões, pela sua liderança de mercado ICT em Angola.

O novo modelo de parceria é mais adequado à economia digital. Encorajará uma colaboração local ainda melhor e posiciona a Vodacom como um dos principais condutores de crescimento económico no continente. Também oferecerá aos clientes Pan- Africanos a oportunidade de aceder a divisões de negócios especialistas tais como o negócio Vodacom’s Internet of Things assim como a sua subsidiária Mezzanine, um Negócio Móvel e fornecedor de Soluções Empresariais.

Distribuído pela African Media Agency (AMA) em nome do Vodacom Group.
 
Sobre a Vodacom

A Vodacom é uma das principais empresas de comunicações Africana, que fornece uma vasta gama de serviços de comunicação, incluindo serviço móvel, mensagens, dados, serviços financeiros e convergentes a mais de 110 milhões (incluindo Safaricom) de clientes. A partir das nossas raízes na África do Sul, o nosso negócio de rede móvel cresceu para incluir operações na Tanzânia, RDC, Moçambique, Lesoto e Quénia. A nossa rede móvel abrange mais de 291 milhões de pessoas.

Através da Vodacom Business Africa (VBA), prestamos serviços controlados para empresas em 50 países.
A Vodacom é propriedade maioritária da Vodafone (60.5% acções), uma das maiores empresas de comunicações do mundo pela receita.

Sobre a ITA (Internet Technologies Angola)

ITA – Internet Technologies Angola, S.A., fundada em 2005, ITA tem como compromisso fornecer os serviços de telecomunicações mais seguros e a melhor experiência de cliente. Nos últimos 14 anos, ITA cresceu exponencialmente e é agora a maior e mais conceituada empresa de fornecimento de telecomunicações em Angola, oferecendo um conjunto de soluções incluindo Internet e MPLS Connectivity, Serviços de Nuvem, Data Centre service e serviços de Voz. Em 2019, está a estabelecer a sua liderança no mercado ICT através da inauguração do seu segundo Centro de Dados, que será o maior e mais tecnologicamente avançado em Angola.

 
Perguntas de Jornalistas
Lexi Ball
Vodacom Media Relations
Tel: +2772 992 0641
Email: Lexi.Ball@vodacom.co.za
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Vodacom Group enters into agreement with ITA to sell its Angolan operations and assets.
June 21, 2019 | 0 Comments

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, June 21st, 2019, -/African Media Agency
(AMA)/- Vodacom Group today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Internet Technologies Angola (ITA), the largest independent enterprise telecommunications provider in Angola. In terms of the agreement, ITA will acquire Vodacom Business Africa’s Angolan operations and assets. The two entities are in the process of concluding the required agreements, which are subject to the approvals of the regulatory authorities within these markets. The financial terms of the transaction remain confidential.

The transaction supports Vodacom Group’s enterprise strategy in Africa, which has been refocused to grow and strengthen its core business. It will no longer directly service global enterprise customers in these markets but will rather continue to operate as a pan African telecommunications networks provider through local service provider agreements.

This transaction forms part of the strategic repositioning announced earlier today by Vodacom of its Vodacom Business Africa operations that will ultimately result in three separate service provider agreements involving its enterprise businesses in Nigeria, Zambia, Angola, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.

Shameel Joosub, CEO of Vodacom Group, says: “Vodacom has a clear vision for strengthening our position as a leading pan-African business and will work with local service providers to grow in these markets. Crucially, Vodacom is not exiting any of the territories related to this transaction and remains focused on continuing to deliver exceptional service to our global and multinational clients in these markets through long-term commercial agreements. To support the sustainable growth of pan African digital economies and building connected societies, Vodacom will, via local service providers, continue to service clients in each market. We seek to leverage our collective strengths to meet the changing requirements of clients across each of these markets.”

Shameel Joosub, CEO of Vodacom Group

Shameel Joosub, CEO of Vodacom Group

Rolf Mendelsohn, CEO of ITA says “ITA has a proven track record with partner relationships both locally and abroad, with a specific focus on the African continent. Building concrete and mutually beneficial partner networks is crucial to providing reliable telecommunications solutions to the enterprise business sector. ITA has nurtured a long-standing and committed relationship with Vodacom. This agreement further empowers ITA to strengthen its core business provisioning: reliable and sustainable yet flexible service offerings to its local and multinational clients.”

Vodacom went through a robust and lengthy bid process with several interested applicants to find the right partner to reposition its business on the continent. ITA was selected as the successful bidder, amongst other reasons, for its ICT market leadership in Angola.

The new partnership model is better suited to the digital economy. It will encourage greater local collaboration and position Vodacom as one of the leading drivers of economic growth on the continent. It will also provide pan African customers with the opportunity to access specialist business divisions such as Vodacom’s Internet of Things business as well as its subsidiary Mezzanine, a Mobile Business and Enterprise Solutions provider.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) for Vodacom Group.

 
About Vodacom:
Vodacom is a leading African communications company providing a wide range of communication services, including mobile voice, messaging, data, financial and converged services to over 110 million (including Safaricom) customers. From our roots in South Africa, we have grown our mobile network business to include operations in Tanzania, the DRC, Mozambique, Lesotho and Kenya. Our mobile networks cover a population of over 291 million people.

Through Vodacom Business Africa (VBA), we offer business managed services to enterprises in 50 countries.
Vodacom is majority owned by Vodafone (60.5% holding), one of the world’s largest communications companies by revenue.

About ITA:
ITA – Internet Technologies Angola, S.A., founded in 2005, ITA is committed to providing the most reliable telecommunications services and the best customer experience. Over the past 14 years, ITA has grown exponentially and is now the largest and the most reputable independent enterprise telecommunications provider in Angola, offering an integrated set of solutions including Internet and MPLS Connectivity, Cloud services, Data Centre service and Voice. In 2019, ITA is establishing its ICT market leadership through the inauguration of its second Data Center, which will be the largest and most technologically advanced Data Centre in Angola.

Media contact:
Lexi Ball
Vodacom Media Relations
Tel: +2772 992 0641
Email: Lexi.Ball@vodacom.co.za
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South Africa’s Growth Depends On Its Youth
June 21, 2019 | 0 Comments

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, June 21st, 2019, -/African Media Agency(AMA)/- According to the World Economic Forum, Africa will be home to a billion youth by 2050. South Africa alone has a youth population of 20.6 million, making up 35.7 percent of the country’s total population of about 57.7 people

But even though a youthful population presents a significant opportunity in promoting the growth and advancement of any economy, factors such as disparity in educational quality and poverty, among others pose a huge risk in Africa.

In South Africa, unemployment has left thousands of youth feeling hopeless. This has largely been attributed to a slow-growing economy, which is struggling to create opportunities for those looking to break into the labour market.

According to Statistics South Africa, the unemployment rate among this age group was 55.2 percent in the 1st quarter of 2019. Among graduates in this age group, the unemployment rate was 31.0 percent during this period compared to 19.5 percent in the 4th quarter of 2018 – an increase of 11,4 percent.

In order to address this, the South African government is adopting more strategies to secure a brighter future for its youth. During the 2019 World Economic Forum in January, South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa revealed that the country would be investing in more programmes to equip youth in schools and colleges with digital skills that will boost their future employment prospects, thereby growing the economy. At the recent State of the Nation Address, the president announced that he has secured R840bn in funding towards job creation. While this is a welcome relief particularly for South Africa’s youth, the emphasis should be on closing the skills gap considering that the world of work is changing due to continuous technological advancements.

 

Deon De Swardt  Principal Consultant - Career Business, Mercer

          Deon De Swardt
Principal Consultant – Career Business, Mercer

For instance, according to Mercer’s Global Talent Trends 2019 Survey , 78 percent of executives in South Africa predict significant disruption in the next three years. With the threat of new competition, technology transformation and rising customer expectations as top drivers of industry disruption, it’s no wonder that a majority of executives believe more than 20% of current jobs will cease to exist by 2022. edX’s 2018 survey findings reveal that employees will require a hybrid set of skills in technical, future-ready leadership and essential power in the new digital economy.

However, there are significant human capital risks – from the inability to close the skills gap to low engagement – that can slow the progress of digital transformation. With many graduates leaving school without the desired skillsets that could make them employable by companies at home or abroad, it creates uncertainty. While initiatives such as the Youth Employment Service (a collaboration between government, business and labour) offer a great opportunity for paid quality work experience for a million unemployed youth, skills gap remains a critical risk for companies to adapt in the new digital economy. As such, more organisations should rethink their strategies in preparing for the workforce of the future in order to accelerate their growth plans.

Mercer’s Global Talent Trends 2019 survey highlights the importance of skill diversity and overall change in the way that work is delivered. In leveraging against the backdrop of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in securing economic opportunities and growth, human skills, such as complex problem solving, inclusive leadership, social collaboration, remain essential to digital transformation.

African youth are among the most talented people in the world. Quick to learn and highly motivated, they also have the ability to work under pressure, while developing vibrant ideas that could be massively transformative when given guidance. Once they are able to receive adequate training to help them seize those opportunities, everything changes. Avenues to employment such as entrepreneurship open up, and attitudes towards work change. Economic growth improves and everyone in the society benefits.

With this in mind, organisations should look at where to find future talent, how to access and build critical capabilities in order to capitalize on the booming youth population in South Africa and the rest of Africa. As this generation desires flexibility and mobility – they’re not looking for a long rewarding career with one firm, but rather a series of rewarding opportunities that offer personal and professional satisfaction. With a deeper understanding of their particular needs, wants and motivations, as well as the advice they value, organisations can design a talent value proposition that appeals to our youth.

With hybrid skillsets gaining strength in 2019, South Africa requires greater collaboration between government, business and labour in keeping up with the rapidly changing skill demand of jobs today. In a world of disruption, South Africa, and the rest of Africa, can capitalize on unpredictable market trends by unlocking the potential opportunities presented by a booming youth population. Investing in Africa’s youth will ensure that we solve some of today’s challenges to create rewarding and more secure futures for our continent.

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

About Mercer

Mercer delivers advice and technology-driven solutions that help organizations meet the health, wealth and career needs of a changing workforce. Mercer’s more than 23,000 employees are based in 44 countries and the firm operates in over 130 countries. Mercer is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies(NYSE: MMC), the leading global professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people. With 75,000 colleagues and annualized revenue approaching $17 billion, Marsh & McLennan helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment. Marsh & McLennan Companies is also the parent company of Marsh, which advises individual and commercial clients of all sizes on insurance broking and innovative risk management solutions; Guy Carpenter, which develops advanced risk, reinsurance and capital strategies that help clients grow profitably and pursue emerging opportunities; and Oliver Wyman, which serves as a critical strategic, economic and brand advisor to private sector and governmental clients.For more information, visit www.mercer-africa.com. Follow Mercer on LinkedIn Mercer Africa.

Media Contact

Zwile Nkosi 

zwile.nkosi@mercer.com 

+27 66 483 8974

 

 

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Multinational clients to benefit from Vodacom Business Africa’s strategic repositioning
June 21, 2019 | 0 Comments

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, June 21st, 2019, -/African Media Agency
(AMA)/- Vodacom Group (‘the Group’) today announced a strategic repositioning of its Vodacom Business Africa operations that will result in three separate share purchase agreements involving its enterprise businesses in Nigeria, Zambia, Angola, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. Subject to various regulatory and statutory body approvals, Vodacom will enter into service provider agreements with Synergy Communications in Nigeria, Zambia and Cote d’Ivoire; Internet Technologies Angola (ITA) in Angola and Vodafone Ghana in Ghana.

In each of the five Vodacom Business Africa markets, the respective partners will acquire all of the operations and assets held by Vodacom. The various entities are in the process of concluding the required agreements, the financial terms of which are confidential.

The transactions support Vodacom Group’s enterprise strategy in Africa, which has been refocused to grow and strengthen its core business. It will no longer directly service global enterprise customers in these five markets but will instead continue to operate as a pan African telecommunications network provider through local service provider agreements.

Shameel Joosub, CEO of Vodacom Group, says: “Vodacom has a clear vision for strengthening our position as a leading pan-African business and will work with local service providers to grow in these markets. Crucially, Vodacom is not exiting any of the territories related to this transaction and remains focused on continuing to deliver exceptional service to our global and multinational clients in these markets through long-term commercial agreements. To support the sustainable growth of pan African digital economies and building connected societies, Vodacom will, via local service providers, continue to service clients in each market. We seek to leverage our collective strengths to meet the changing requirements of clients across each of these markets.”

Shameel Joosub, CEO of Vodacom Group

Shameel Joosub, CEO of Vodacom Group

Vodacom went through a robust and lengthy process with numerous interested applicants to find the right partners to reposition its business on the continent. Synergy Communications and ITA were selected as the successful bidders, amongst other reasons, for their wealth of pan African experience.

The new model is better suited to the digital economy. It will encourage greater local collaboration and position Vodacom as one of the leading drivers of economic growth on the continent. It will also provide pan African customers with the opportunity to access specialist business divisions such as Vodacom’s Internet of Things business as well as its subsidiary Mezzanine, a Mobile Business and Enterprise Solutions provider.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) for Vodacom Group.
 
About Vodacom:
Vodacom is a leading African communications company providing a wide range of communication services, including mobile voice, messaging, data, financial and converged services to over 110 million (including Safaricom) customers. From our roots in South Africa, we have grown our mobile network business to include operations in Tanzania, the DRC, Mozambique, Lesotho and Kenya. Our mobile networks cover a population of over 291 million people.

Through Vodacom Business Africa (VBA), we offer business managed services to enterprises in 50 countries.
Vodacom is majority owned by Vodafone (60.5% holding), one of the world’s largest communications companies by revenue.

About ITA:
ITA – Internet Technologies Angola, S.A., founded in 2005, ITA is committed to providing the most reliable telecommunications services and the best customer experience. Over the past 14 years, ITA has grown exponentially and is now the largest and the most reputable independent enterprise telecommunications provider in Angola, offering an integrated set of solutions including Internet and MPLS Connectivity, Cloud services, Data Centre service and Voice. In 2019, ITA is establishing its ICT market leadership through the inauguration of its second Data Center, which will be the largest and most technologically advanced Data Centre in Angola.

About Vodafone Ghana:
Vodafone in Ghana is an operating company of Vodafone Group Plc – the world’s leading mobile telecommunications company, with a significant presence in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and the United States. Vodafone is the only total communications solutions provider – mobile, fixed lines, internet, voice and data – and is currently the telecom company of choice for Ghanaians. It’s is the second-ranked operator in terms of market share in the sector.

About Synergy Communications:
Synergy Communications (SynCom) is an enterprise and wholesale service provider, which amalgamates fixed and wireless technologies across sub-Saharan Africa. Domiciled in Mauritius, SynCom is a subsidiary of the Convergence Partners Communications Infrastructure Fund, the fund dedicated solely to communications infrastructure and related services and technologies across sub-Saharan Africa. SynCom currently has investments in leading enterprise service providers in Botswana, Malawi and Mozambique.

Find out more at: http://www.syn-com.net
 
Media contact:
Lexi Ball
Vodacom Media Relations
Tel: +2772 992 0641
Email: Lexi.Ball@vodacom.co.za
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Hilda Kragha appointed as new CEO for Jobberman.com Nigeria
June 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

LAGOS, Nigeria, June 20th, 2019, -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Jobberman Nigeria announces a new appointment of leadership. Mrs. Hilda Kabushenga Kragha has joined the business on 10th June 2019, appointed as the company’s Chief Executive Officer, responsible for the growth and operations for the company.

Mrs. Hilda Kabushenga Kragha

Mrs. Hilda Kabushenga Kragha

 

Mrs. Kragha was previously an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company, advising blue chip clients on strategy, human capital, and organisational transformation projects.

Jobberman Nigeria is the country’s No.1 jobs and careers platform, bringing the best employers and candidates together and improving productivity in the country. Jobberman has over 2.5 million candidates, matching them with more than 100,000 employers in their database. Through its success, the company has become a real entity in the labor market through unprecedented market insights such as Top 100 Employer Reports. Jobberman Nigeria is part of the ROAM Group, the largest and leading classifieds and online marketplaces company across Sub-Saharan Africa.

 

Clemens Weitz, CEO of ROAM

Clemens Weitz, CEO of ROAM

Clemens Weitz, CEO of ROAM, comments on the appointment, “Nigeria has one of the largest and fastest growing workforces in the world, rich in opportunity and global relevance. Hilda’s experience, but more importantly, passion to bring positive change to the labor market has made her the best possible person for this unique position. We wish her great success in redefining the boundaries!”

Hilda Kragha comments on her appointment, “I am excited to join the Jobberman team at a time when Africa, specifically Nigeria, is at the cusp of redefining the way we approach talent management and workplace productivity. I look forward to engaging with all of our stakeholders and driving positive impact across the country.”

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) for The ROAM Group.
 
About ROAM
The ROAM Group (“Ringier One Africa Media”), is a group of companies that combines the leading digital classifieds in Sub Saharan Africa. Unified by its mission to connect Africans to opportunities and be Africa’s most user centric marketplace company, it operates across eight Sub Saharan countries, namely Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Senegal.

https://www.jobberman.com/

 

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Life inside or outside a displacement camp
June 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

Since 2013, four million people have been displaced by conflict in South Sudan. Two million sought safety across borders, while another two million remain internally displaced.

During some of the most extreme periods of violence, thousands fled in unprecedented numbers to existing United Nations (UN) bases for protection, and as the conflict extended, these bases transitioned into Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites guarded by forces from the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

GENEVA, Switzerland, June 20, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Since the signing of an agreement between warring parties last September, discussions on the return of displaced people and the future of the PoC sites are emerging. Currently, around 180,000 people are seeking safety in six of these camps in South Sudan. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is present in two – Bentiu and Malakal.  Despite the challenging conditions within, for many, the alternative of being outside is worse.

“When my village was attacked, many people were separated and children ran with different families wherever they were. Everyone was scattered or killed. When we got here, we were only hearing things like ‘this one was killed, this one is here, or this one is looking for you’,” says Teresa from Mayendit, a mother of three in Bentiu PoC.

Distraction and disease

Across from Teresa, two plastic chairs have been occupied and music is blaring from a speaker tied up to chicken wire. The speaker breathes rhythm into the camp, falling on teenage ears that are maybe listening for hope, love or, most likely, distraction. For more than 100,000 people living in Bentiu PoC, the challenges are many: safety, food, water, health and shelter.

“Gatherings of big populations in one place is not good in terms of health. People are not housed properly. The way they construct the houses is by putting five shelters together without being separated. If a person in shelter 1 is infected by TB and does not know his symptoms, we fear this guy will infect all five shelters. Without shelters being separated, there is a greater risk of being contaminated,” says Peter, a father of five now living in the PoC for five years, despite coming from neighbouring Rubkona.

MSF has repeatedly called for conditions and services within the sites to be improved beyond current levels, in particular water and sanitation. Overflow from latrines oozes down banks into a stagnant thick sludge, patiently awaiting a young child to investigate and play.

The little ones do as children do, but in this environment, instead of just playing catch with your friends, you risk catching a disease, and unnecessarily become a part of the alarming statistics of the place.

Almost half of all people seen in the outpatient department or admitted to MSF’s 160-bed hospital in Bentiu PoC are children under five, many suffer from illnesses like severe acute diarrhoea, skin diseases, eye infections and worms, which can be avoided by improved water and sanitation.

The relative safety found within the camp comes at the expense of unnecessary exposure to life-threatening diseases and undignified living conditions, both factors which should not drive a person’s decision to return home.

Not enough of anything

In Malakal, which was the second most populated city before the war and one of the worst affected areas during it, MSF also runs a hospital inside the PoC where around 30,000 people are seeking protection. Malakal passed hands from one group to another several times. The destruction is visible as if new. Twisted wreckages, burnt out cars and empty neighbourhoods serve as a constant reminder of the recent past.

“We still face many challenges. One is hunger; you may have sorghum grain, but you don’t know where to grind it or you may not have money to take it to the grinding mill. Even if you have money to grind the sorghum, you may not have water to cook it. There is not enough water; the community is too big here,” says Martha*, a 27-year-old woman from east Malakal county.

Existing to survive

These camps came into existence to protect people from situations of violence that they would otherwise be exposed to outside of them; in short, so that people could survive. More than five years on, for some people, qualifying their existence by mere survival is a depressing thought.

Throughout 2018, 51 people who had attempted suicide were admitted to the MSF hospital in Malakal PoC, marking an average of one person per week. The MSF teams provided more than 2,400 mental health consultations, including individual and group sessions – with people’s conditions triggered by a combination of experiencing extreme levels of violence throughout the conflict, and feelings of despair that are exacerbated by, or a direct consequence of, their current environment.

“The life for everyone, but especially for women, is very difficult. These five years have affected people. They are unhappy, they lost many things when they had to flee their homes, and there have been so many deaths in the community. Some people are mentally ill and even say it would be better to kill themselves,” says Achol, a 32-year-old woman from Obai, a village south of Malakal.

Shifting context

Based on what we hear from our patients, temporary movement in and out of both camps is happening, but people are hesitant to relocate prematurely or definitely due to uncertainty about their safety in a context that can quickly shift.

“The most difficult moment I have faced is when I first came to the PoC. It was also very difficult when the compound was attacked and burned in 2016. My shelter and everything I had inside it, including my clothes, was destroyed,” says Achol, a woman from Obai, a village on the west bank of the Nile River, an hour south of Malakal.

Security within the sites is not absolute, with robberies, looting and sexual violence common concerns raised by residents. For those with jobs or a source of income, the risk of being attacked is even greater.

One of MSF’s drivers who has never left the camp unless in an MSF vehicle says: “There is no safety from the place where we came from. We are waiting until the situation calms before we go, but even then, there may not be services for people to be able to survive in their places of origin.”

Similarly, David, one of MSF’s health promotion staff also living in one of the PoCs, says: “Even me, because I have a job, we are the most targeted people in the PoC. Where can I run though? We don’t have the choice to leave, it’s still better than outside.”

Hope for the future

People’s coping mechanisms have been stretched, but despite the many challenges people are faced with within the camps, and despite feelings of uncertainty about what their future might look like outside of them, there is undeniable hope for what could be.

“If we witness it, the peace, then we can go outside. If not, better to be here, but what I want to add is that all the women from South Sudan, all the people of South Sudan, hope for peace. If there will be peace, that will be nice,” says Teresa.

Until then, the rhythm of life in the camps continues; chitter-chatter, hands scrubbing, hearts praying, women fetching, children playing, all struggling, but all resilient – surviving in the most dignified way you can, in some of the most undignified conditions imaginable.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Médécins Sans Frontières.

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Kenya: Education rekindled my hopes, red tape has halted them
June 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Iragi Buhendwa, Congolese refugee who has grown up in Kenya.

GENEVA, Switzerland, June 20, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- As a refugee, I have lost so much: family, friends, and the place I called home. I have tried to come to terms with this and move on, but it’s not been easy. For the last 12 months I have been stuck trying to get documents authorizing me to work in Kenya having graduated from university. I have lived and studied in Kenya for more than 20 years, yet now that I can finally become self-reliant, the system in the country I now call home is frustrating me at every turn.

I was only nine when I came to Kenya from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 1999. From the start, something felt amiss. I had to be home-schooled first to fit into my new environment. My teacher, also a refugee from the DRC, was good at French and English as he had been in Kenya much longer.  I felt empty but my sessions with him soon started shaping the direction of my life and rekindling my hopes.

I eventually joined primary school and the anticipation of learning something new every day filled my emptiness. Education gave my life meaning and school became my sanctuary. With the help of a local trust I was able to attend high school in Nairobi, during which I got my official registration as a refugee in Kenya. I was very lucky.  Many refugees wait for years just for an appointment to present their case. After school I landed an undergraduate scholarship to study at Daystar from which I graduated in July 2018 with high hopes of landing a job in human rights. I have always wanted work that upholds people’s self-worth and promotes human development.

I believed my treasured refugee ID card was worth something. Filled with creativity, spontaneity, problem-solving skills and a refugee ID, I was ready for the job market. Little did I know employers balk at the idea of supporting refugee work permit applications. I heard discouraging stories from other refugees; one lost out on two job offers due to unexplained delays in the processing of their work permit.

My struggles with a work permit began when I landed an internship that paid a daily subsistence allowance. To be paid, I needed a work permit and a KRA PIN. My work permit application got lost between the Refugee Affairs Secretariat and the Immigration Department. After chasing it for more than two months, I was confused and frustrated and eventually gave up. Now as the months turn into a year, the lack of an income is biting hard. I dread re-applying afresh now that the requirements are so stringent because of the crackdown on “illegal” foreigners that started in last September.

I suddenly feel so alienated. I must jump all manner of hurdles for everything – a work permit, employment, and financial services. To make it harder, a change in financial regulations in 2016 and 2017 barred refugees from using documents from UNHCR and required them to have a PIN to operate M-pesa and bank accounts. Getting a work permit is like chasing the wind and without it, I cannot get the mandatory tax PIN.

Kenya has been generous in hosting me, but while it says it is integrating refugees into society, refugees continue to struggle to obtain the most basic authorizations that would enable us to become productive members of society. I worked hard in school so that I could be self-reliant, but it all seems like a pipe-dream. Somebody’s got to help me.

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

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‘Now is the time to act’ for victims of violence in Sudan, ICC Prosecutor urges Security Council
June 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

The UN Security Council must “seize this moment” presented by the current turmoil in Sudan, to provide justice at long last for the victims of violence in Darfur, and those who have suffered at the hands of the brutal military crackdown earlier this month.

NEW YORK, United States of America, June 20, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/-That is according to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, who said she had a “clear message to convey: now is the time to act. Now is the time for the people of Sudan to choose law, over impunity, and ensure that the ICC suspects in the Darfur situation, finally face justice in a court of law.” 

She said the Council now had a “unique opportunity to decisively and effectively” address the wrongs committed by the security forces aligned with former President Omar al-Bashir in the Darfur region between 2003-2008, when around 300,000 were killed and 2.7 million civilians driven from their homes, according to UN figures.  

She called for the immediate cessation of violence against civilians in the capital Khartoum and elsewhere, since the 3 June wave of attacks against protesters calling for a return to civilian rule, in opposition to the ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC).  

All arrest warrants for the five suspects charged with the grave crimes within the ICC’s remit – genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity – remain outstanding, she told members. Both deposed president Bashir, and two others, are now said to be in custody she said and are legally obliged to be transferred by the TMC. Only if they could show willing to prosecute them for the same crimes, could they remain in Sudan, she said.

Victims must have their day in court

“I am ready to engage in dialogue with the authorities in Sudan to ensure that the Darfur suspects face independent and impartial justice, either in a courtroom in The Hague, or in Sudan”, said the Prosecutor. “Continued impunity is not an option. The victims of the Darfur situation deserve to finally have their day in court.”

“My expectation is that Sudan, with the support of this Council, will engage in dialogue with my Office to discuss the feasibility of a mission by my Office to Sudan in the very near future to resolve these issues.” 

She said in the face of a resurgence of further alleged grave crimes by former ‘Janjaweed’ militia fighters who are now part of the TMC-sanctioned Rapid Support Forces (RSF), who led many of the alleged atrocities in Darfur over a decade ago, it was “simply intolerable” that reported attacks today were continuing. 

Attacks against civilian populations in Darfur have continued during the reporting period and appear to be increasing in severity. The approximately 1.64 million internally displaced persons in Darfur remain especially vulnerable and sexual and gender-based violence continues to restrict the freedom of movement of women and girls, in IDP camps and areas of return”, she told the Council 

Ms. Bensouda noted with concern “the reports that the RSF have allegedly seized facilities and assets previously held by the Africa Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur. In this context, I support the AU Peace and Security Council’s resolve to extend UNAMID‘s mandate for a period of 12 months…as well as its rejection of the TMC’s call for UNAMID to hand over assets to the RSF, and its request that these assets are handed to civilian authorities.” 

She said she would not hesitate to investigate any further crimes within the ICC mandate in Darfur “and where appropriate, prosecute”.  

“With this Council’s support, and the cooperation of the authorities in Sudan”, she concluded, “there is an opportunity, now, to make real progress in the pursuit of accountability and justice for the victims in the Darfur situation. The current reported violence against civilians in Darfur must stop and all the ICC Darfur suspects must stand trial. We must not squander this opportunity.” 

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

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Fusing IT and business to dish up a digital transformation treat
June 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

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

Tamer Farouk HD

NAIROBI, Kenya, June 20th, 2019, -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- It is unlikely to have escaped your attention that the culinary world is witnessing an explosion of fusion cuisine, with chefs mixing various cooking styles and cultures to create previously unimaginable gastronomical delights.

Challenged to increase the productivity and profitability of their restaurants, these experimental pioneers are embracing innovation to stay ahead of the competition and ensure the long-term viability of the businesses they serve.

The pressure currently mounting on the modern CIO is not too dissimilar, with CEOs increasingly demanding that they align their IT processes with the overarching strategic objectives of the organisation and prove the long-term business value of their investments.

In many ways, this requires the CIO to become every bit as creative as these chefs, fusing the interests of different lines of business (LOBs) to cook up an innovative digital transformation offering that whets the appetite of the entire organisation.

So, what are the key starting points for any enterprise looking to improve its IT-business alignment?

Collaborative environment

In a recent survey conducted by the International Data Corporation (IDC) in East and West Africa, the overwhelming consensus was that the digital transformation process should be jointly led by IT and the business(1).

While the emergence of use cases built around innovation accelerators like robotics, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), and 3D printing is driving a new wave of business process transformation led by individual business units, the IT department must always be involved.

Allowing business units to operate in silos encourages the spread of shadow IT, whereby business units procure IT solutions without the knowledge or approval of IT. This can introduce complex problems around security and management and cause cost and governance issues to spiral out of control, ultimately placing the overall strategic goals of the organisation in jeopardy.

As tempting as it might be for customer-facing teams such as sales and marketing to go off and pursue their own digital agendas, none of their initiatives should ever be allowed to happen in isolation. Successful digital transformation requires extensive collaboration and cooperation between IT and business leaders to ensure the right outcomes are achieved.

An example of the integration required between business and ICT can be seen in the development of the Konza Technopolis. Planned for development approximately 60km south of Nairobi, this technology hub wants to attract the likes of business process outsourcing, software development, data centres, disaster recovery centres, call centres, and even a university campus to become the Silicon Valley of Africa.

Focused targets

For organisations struggling with large legacy infrastructure, it is important for IT and LOB leaders to agree on a series of smaller, short-term goals aimed at kickstarting the digital transformation process.

Transitioning to cloud-based infrastructure gives organisations the scale and freedom to experiment with new innovations at a realistic pace, making it relatively pain free to trial smaller-scale solutions. Introducing digital assistants into customer service channels or launching a mobile app to improve customer service are just two examples of small steps that can deliver significant returns.

Beyond these improvements, there are various key performance indicators (KPIs) that can be leveraged to ensure that IT is properly supporting the broader strategic goals of the business. These can include financial KPIs that incentivise CIOs to allocate a higher share of their investment budgets each year to newer technologies such as cloud, AI, and data analytics.

At the same time, CIOs can help LOB executives identify potentially redundant processes or tasks that can be augmented or supported by AI or other machine-learning applications, with an eye on measurably reducing human error and the associated costs.
In Kenya, these tactics are being used to address congestion in Nairobi. Government invested significantly in installing cameras, automated traffic lights, and modernising LED signs as a means of reducing traffic. And while the success of the project has been limited, it does show a clear intent to embrace change.

Looking internally

Continuing with the cooperation theme, internal focus groups are an extremely useful tool for improving IT-business alignment and facilitating enterprise-wide digital transformation. These groups should incorporate representation from different functions across the organisation, with IT and business units given clearly defined roles and responsibilities as part of a unified roadmap or vision.

IT’s primary role should be to provide agile test and development environments that allow business units to experiment with solutions and refine them as and when needed. IT should also draw up structured technology frameworks that business units can refer to when deploying digital solutions.

Kenya is one of the leading economies on the continent and is known for a good business environment, an exciting start-up culture, and embracing digital innovation. More of this is needed to ensure complete alignment between IT and the business.
But if the CIO is to become the new chief (or should that be chef?) of digital transformation, they cannot be expected to do it all alone. Indeed, LOB executives must be willing to communicate transparently and continuously with CIOs to share their visions and goals. Only then can a genuine fusion of IT and business be achieved – one that enables the organisation to unlock the true potential of digital transformation and begin operating like a digital-native enterprise.

(1)IDC West and East Africa CIO Summit Survey, May and June 2018 (n=136)

Distributed by African Media Agency 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
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Media Contact
Natassia Badenhorst

Manager, Corporate Communications – South Africa & Sub Saharan Africa
Oracle
+27 64 880 2014
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HID Global Helps Put ID Cards And Documents Into The Hands Of Millions Throughout Africa
June 19, 2019 | 0 Comments

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, June 19, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- It is essential that governments be able to issue identification credentials so citizens can exercise their civic rights and duties, access programs and services, and travel freely to and from other countries. HID Global®, a worldwide leader in trusted identity solutions, has enabled numerous African countries to issue millions of these credentials as the company helps to propel a variety of initiatives across the continent aimed at providing “identity for all.”

“Secure issuance is a key part of our identity portfolio that is helping nations in Africa and other emerging economies close a big gap between citizens who have a legal way to identify themselves and those who don’t,” said Craig Sandness, Vice President & Managing Director – Secure Issuance with HID Global. “Our successes in Africa range from Angola’s voter ID card program to deployments in multiple countries that enable governments to issue national IDs, driver’s licenses, health cards, work permits and refugee identification credentials. We are also involved actively in designing programs for civil servants to securely access government buildings and government assets such as PCs or server rooms.”

For many countries, an e-Passport is the building block of democracy and cornerstone of citizenship as their first step to launching an identification program. HID Global’s secure issuance offering spans all aspects of creating and managing these and other credentials and issuing them wherever citizens are located. Notable deployments in Africa include:

  • Resident, Healthcare and other National IDs: Eight African countries have either deployed or are developing one or more of these ID card programs using HID Global printers. Several are also in the early stages of deploying systems for issuing government employee ID cards for use by members of their military and police forces.
  • Voter IDs: Angola used HID® FARGO® DTC5500LMX printers to roll out a voter ID program in over 200 municipalities and cities across the country. Over 650 systems were deployed in Angola to issue over 8 million cards in less than 8 months. 
  • ePassports: Several countries in Africa are using HID Global’s ID personalization systems for ePassports that provide successful identification and an easier travel experience for citizens.
  • Driver’s Licenses: HID Global’s decentralized driver’s license issuance solution is being used by several African governments. Noticeably, one country is using HID decentralized desktop solutions to speed program deployment for over 25 million citizens. The company is also supplying pre-printed smartcards that include various overt and covert security features. These cards are then personalized locally with photo, variables data, custom holographic laminate and owner biometrics using FARGO HDP5000 printers. 
  • Refugee Identification: HID Global is working with international organizations to help connect African refugees with vital resources in multiple countries. The company’s HID FARGO HDP8500 and HDP5000 printers are being deployed at refugee camps to issue the necessary credentials for accessing food, water, shelter, financial aid and educational and other services. 
  • Student IDs: The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) using HID FARGO DTC ID card printers/encoders to improve the efficiency, accuracy and integrity of its educational testing program for more than 2 million students annually.       

The latest additions to HID Global’s portfolio address the challenges African nations face in issuing credentials to remote locations while also serving high-volume needs of large metropolitan areas. The company’s HID® FARGO® ConnectÔ solution enables ID cards to be issued from anywhere and any device via a web interface in a trusted environment, changing the paradigm for governments whose citizens live in distant, hard-to-reach locations with limited infrastructure. 

For governments that need to meet the needs of large metropolitan populations, the new HID FARGO HDP6600 printer offers the world’s fastest retransfer throughput for ID card personalization.

To learn more about HID’s card personalization solutions, go to www.hidglobal.com.

Stay Connected with HID Global

Visit our Media Center, read our Industry Blog, and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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

About HID Global
HID Global powers the trusted identities of the world’s people, places and things. We make it possible for people to transact safely, work productively and travel freely. Our trusted identity solutions give people convenient access to physical and digital places and connect things that can be identified, verified and tracked digitally. Millions of people around the world use HID products and services to navigate their everyday lives, and over 2 billion things are connected through HID technology. We work with governments, educational institutions, hospitals, financial institutions, industrial businesses and some of the most innovative companies on the planet. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, HID Global has over 3,000 employees worldwide and operates international offices that support more than 100 countries. HID Global® is an ASSA ABLOY Group brand. For more information, visit www.hidglobal.com.

© 2019 HID Global Corporation/ASSA ABLOY AB. All rights reserved. HID, HID Global, the HID Blue Brick logo, iCLASS, iCLASS SE, HID Mobile Access, Seos and the Chain Design are trademarks or registered trademarks of HID Global, ASSA ABLOY AB, or its affiliates(s) in the US and other countries and may not be used without permission. All other trademarks, service marks, and product or service names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Media Contact
Phindile Nxumalo
phindile@africacommunicationsmediagroup.com

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Delegations From Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire Visit Burkina Faso on Sanitation Mission
June 19, 2019 | 0 Comments

DAKAR, Senegal, June 19, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/-Delegations from Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire have visited the Bobo-Dioulasso sanitation facility in Burkina Faso to share learnings to improve sanitation in their own country.

Organised by WaterAid and Speak Up Africa, one of the visits’ main objectives was to share with delegates from Senegal and Yamoussoukro (Cote d’Ivoire). WaterAid Burkina Faso’s innovative approach known as Leader-Led Total Sanitation (LLTS).

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In collaboration with the Burkina Faso Ministry responsible for Water and Sanitation, WaterAid’s LLTS is an approach aimed at convincing community leaders to commit to helping the general public find local solutions to their own sanitation problems.

Whilst Senegal is home to one of the most developed water supply and sanitation sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa, the country faces fundamental challenges including uneven access to sanitation services in urban and rural areas (67.4% vs. 42.3%). Similarly, in Cote d’Ivoire, 35%[1] of people living in rural areas do not have access to safe drinking water.

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Through the visit, the delegates from Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire, including Mr. Ismaela Diagne, Mayor of Agnam Civol in Senegal and Mr. Konan Yaoura Deputy Mayor of Yamoussoukro in Ivory Coast learnt more about several sanitation innovations and solutions, including: 

  • The LLTS approach and how to adapt it to the Senegalese / Cote d’Ivoire environment;
  • Building latrines and carrying out monitoring & evaluation;
  • How to engage municipalities in sanitation issues; and
  • How to build effective collaboration between the Government, NGOs, and municipalities.

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Ms. Maimouna Diarra Dione, Technical Advisor to Senegal’s Minister of Water & Sanitation, Senegal, said:
“The tour of the sanitation facility in Burkina Faso was an eye-opening experience. Meeting with the facility workers, and hearing about the challenges and achievements in Burkina Faso, offered inestimable insight that we can take back to Senegal.”

The tour forms a key part of Speak Up Africa’s campaigning and advocacy work to improve access to safely managed sanitation services and clean water in more countries across the continent. To help achieve this they work in close collaboration with national and regional institutions that are directly responsible for developing and implementing sanitation programs.

Yacine Djibo, Founder & Executive Director, Speak Up Africa said:
“We are thrilled to have partnered with WaterAid for this collaborative and informative visit to Burkina Faso. Today, one in three people still live without adequate sanitation facilities, a number which rises to 75% in West Africa. This visit provided an excellent opportunity to share experiences and learnings so that we can advocate in Senegal for improved sanitation facilities in our own region.”

Ms. Dedo W. Mate-Kodjo, Regional Advocacy Manager at WaterAid, said:
“Access to adequate sanitation is currently a significant challenge for most African countries, with only 17% of the population in sub-Saharan Africa having access to improved sanitation services.[2] The importance therefore of sharing good practise, based on local solutions, cannot be overemphasized and is key to reaching Everyone Everywhere with clean water and safely managed toilets and good hygiene by 2030. We are equally thrilled to have facilitated this sharing of our experience in Burkina Faso to influence access to local solutions within the region and to accelerate implementation of SDG6.”

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of WaterAid and Speak Up Africa.

Notes to editors

About Speak Up Africa
Headquartered in Dakar, Senegal, Speak Up Africa is a policy and advocacy action tank dedicated to catalysing leadership, enabling policy change, and increasing awareness for sustainable development in Africa. Speak Up Africa ensures policy makers meet implementers; that solutions are showcased and that every sector- from individual citizens and civil society groups to global donors and business leaders –contributes critically to the dialogue and strives to form the blueprints for concrete action for public health and sustainable development.

For further information please contact the Speak Up Africa press office at Grayling on SpeakUpAfrica@grayling.com or call +44(0)20 3861 3756.

Find out more on:

To show your support and follow our Golden Sludge campaign on social media please use #GoldenSludge.

About WaterAid
WaterAid is an international non-governmental organization that advocates for universal access to water, decent toilets and good hygiene for all. Our vision is a world where everyone, everywhere has safe water, sanitation and hygiene. Our mission is to transform the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people by improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene To drive change and deliver lasting results, we work with a wide range of government, civil society and private sector partners. We analyse the political, economic and social context of the countries and regions where we operate and work with our partners to develop responsive programmes of service delivery, capacity development, research, policy analysis and campaigning designed to influence sustainable transformational change. Please visit us on the following links: www.wateraid.org/uk, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.

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Mastercard Foundation Appoints Two New Members to its Board of Directors
June 18, 2019 | 0 Comments
TORONTO, Canada, June 18th, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Today, the Mastercard Foundation announced the appointment of two new members to its Board of Directors, the Honourable Louise Arbour and Dominic Barton.

“I’m thrilled to welcome both Dominic and Louise to the Foundation,” says Jim Leech, Chair, Mastercard Foundation Board of Directors. “The depth of their knowledge and insight will be invaluable in our effort to achieve our goal of enabling 30 million young people in Africa to secure dignified and fulfilling employment.”

The Honourable Louise Arbour, a former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, served as the United Nations Special Representative for International Migration until December 2018. In this role, she led advocacy efforts on international migration, provided policy advice, and coordinated the engagement of UN entities on migrations issues. She previously served as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and as Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Arbour is currently a jurist-in-residence at Borden, Ladner, Gervais LLP, where she advises on issues pertaining to international disputes and mentors young lawyers. She has been a Companion of the Order of Canada since 2007.

“The Mastercard Foundation is committed to creating positive global change, to equity, and inclusivity, and they understand that this requires a long-term view as well as working collaboratively with a wide array of stakeholders,” says Arbour. “These are values I share, and I look forward to being a part of what they do.”

Dominic Barton is a Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company, where he was previously Global Managing Partner from 2009 to 2018. In his 32 years with the firm, he has advised clients in a range of industries including banking, consumer goods, technology, and manufacturing. He is the Chair of the Canadian Minister of Finance’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth and of the Seoul International Business Advisory Council. Barton also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Teck Resources and is the Chancellor of the University of Waterloo. He is a Trustee of the Brookings Institution, and a member of the Boards of Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City and the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada.

“Youth unemployment in Africa is one of the most complex challenges facing the world today and I am energized to join an organization that is trying to address it,” says Barton. “The Foundation has set an ambitious goal and I am optimistic about the enormous potential for positive change in Africa.”

Last year, the Mastercard Foundation launched its 2018-2030 strategy, Young Africa Works. The strategy unifies the Foundation’s work around the challenge of youth employment in Africa. Using youth employment as a measure of success, the Foundation is working with governments and the private sector to reduce poverty through improving education and vocational training, connecting employers to job seekers, and expanding access to financial services for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Current Board member Hutham Olayan is retiring from the Board after nine years of service. She was Chair of the Investment Committee.

“On behalf of the Foundation, I would like to recognize Hutham Olayan for her service and leadership,” says Leech, “Hutham joined the Foundation in 2010 because she was passionate about its mission, especially the role of education and entrepreneurship, and their impact on the lives of young men and women.”

The Mastercard Foundation Board of Directors currently includes:

* Jim Leech, CM, Chancellor of Queen’s University, Senior Advisor with McKinsey & Company, and retired CEO of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan
* Zein Abdalla, Retired President of PepsiCo, Inc.
* Valerie Amos, CH, Director of SOAS, University of London and former Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Co-ordinator
* Doug Baillie, Retired Chief Human Resources Officer of Unilever
* Craig Calhoun, Professor of Social Sciences, Arizona State University
* Jennifer Fonstad, Co-Founder, Aspect Ventures
* Dr. Jendayi Frazer, Managing Partner, African Exchange Holdings Company, President of 50 Ventures, LLC and former U.S Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
* Jay Ireland, Retired President and CEO, GE Africa
* Festus Mogae, former President of the Republic of Botswana
 
Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of The Mastercard Foundation.
 
About the Mastercard Foundation

The Mastercard Foundation seeks a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper. The Foundation’s work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion for people living in poverty. One of the largest foundations in the world, it works almost exclusively in Africa. It was created in 2006 by Mastercard International and operates independently under the governance of its own Board of Directors. The Foundation is based in Toronto, Canada. For more information and to sign up for updates from the Foundation, please visit www.mastercardfdn.org. Follow the Foundation @MastercardFdn on Twitter.

For more information, please contact:

Toni Tiemens
Director, Corporate Communications
m: +647-982-6058
e: ttiemens@mastercardfdn.org

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HID Global Brings Reliable Biometrics Authentication To The Door With Launch Of New Fingerprint Reader
June 18, 2019 | 0 Comments

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, June 18, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- In the past, biometrics solutions for access control were often deployed with reduced security thresholds because their imaging technology, which routinely yielded false fingerprint rejections, resulted in long authentication lines at the door. HID Global®, a worldwide leader in trusted identity solutions, today announced its new fingerprint reader that merges credential excellence with HID’s globally-patented multispectral imaging technology to address this issue and fuel broad adoption of biometrics at the door.

The high-performance iCLASS SE® RB25F fingerprint reader provides an unrivalled experience by dramatically increasing image capture performance and fingerprint matching in under a second, significantly reducing delays that were previously symptomatic of biometric solutions.

“Driven by increasing threats to an organization’s security, biometric authentication is one of the fastest growing segments in the access control market,” said Stephen Carney, Vice President of Product Marketing, Physical Access Control Solutions with HID Global. “The powerful combination of HID’s highly reliable Lumidigm multispectral technology and the reader’s robust construction with IP67 and anti-vandal IK09 ratings now enables customers to deploy fingerprint authentication across a wide range of real-life environments. The reader is also field-configurable over a network, and is designed to ease migration from traditional and existing fingerprint reader solutions.”

HID’s multispectral imaging technology captures images from both the surface and sub-surface of the skin so that all types of fingerprints, from people of any age, can be read quickly and reliably in cold, dry, dirty, wet and other challenging environmental conditions. This, coupled with trusted liveness detection for spoof prevention, enables the iCLASS SE RB25F reader to provide real-time validation that fingerprints are genuine and belong to a living person who is physically present at the authentication point.

To maximize security, the reader includes built-in optical tamper protection, and it supports the Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP), as well as HID’s Seos® technology for multi-layered authentication between the reader and credentials.

Security administrators can download the complimentary HID® Biometric Manager™, an on-premise software tool for configuring and managing one or many iCLASS SE RB25F readers. Built on a server- and browser-based client architecture, the HID Biometric Manager is ideal for enrolling users’ fingerprints (for both 1:1 verification and 1: N identification modes), assigning access rights and conducting many other functions. The comprehensive tool can also be used to securely log all door events where the readers have been installed and to upgrade readers in the field remotely over a TCP/IP connection.

Certified in several major geographies worldwide and available with multiple interface options for various system architectures, the new iCLASS SE RB25F can be used with all popular industry-standard high frequency credential technologies (including HID Mobile Access® Mobile IDs, Seos, iCLASS SE, iCLASS®, MIFARE DESFire®, MIFARE® Classic).

Click here to learn more about the iCLASS SE RB25F fingerprint reader.

Stay Connected with HID Global

Visit our Media Center, read our Industry Blog, and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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

 

About HID Global

HID Global powers the trusted identities of the world’s people, places and things. We make it possible for people to transact safely, work productively and travel freely. Our trusted identity solutions give people convenient access to physical and digital places and connect things that can be identified, verified and tracked digitally. Millions of people around the world use HID products and services to navigate their everyday lives, and over 2 billion things are connected through HID technology. We work with governments, educational institutions, hospitals, financial institutions, industrial businesses and some of the most innovative companies on the planet. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, HID Global has over 3,000 employees worldwide and operates international offices that support more than 100 countries. HID Global® is an ASSA ABLOY Group brand. For more information, visit www.hidglobal.com.

© 2019 HID Global Corporation/ASSA ABLOY AB. All rights reserved. HID, HID Global, the HID Blue Brick logo, iCLASS, iCLASS SE, HID Mobile Access, Seos and the Chain Design are trademarks or registered trademarks of HID Global, ASSA ABLOY AB, or its affiliates(s) in the US and other countries and may not be used without permission. All other trademarks, service marks, and product or service names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Media Contact

Africa Communications Media Group

Phindile Nxumalo

Account Director

011 463 1756

phindile@africacommunicationsmediagroup.com

For more information, visit www.hidglobal.com

 

Stay Connected with HID Global

 

Visit our Media Center, read our Industry Blog, and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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IRC staff member killed in eastern Niger village attack; IRC volunteer killed in explosion in Borno State, Nigeria
June 18, 2019 | 0 Comments
  • Staff member Seydou Zakari was killed on Saturday, June 15 in an attack of Tcholori village, in eastern Niger. The driver of their vehicle, an IRC contractor, was also killed. Others at the scene were able to flee unharmed. Seydou and others were checking on the progress of a new borehole, part of a life-saving water treatment program for communities in eastern Niger.
  • In Nigeria, Dan Maiwaina Auwali Samaila, a community volunteer with our Health and Nutrition program, was killed on Sunday, June 16. He was among a group of people killed in an explosion while watching a televised soccer game in Borno State, in northeastern Nigeria.
  • The IRC offices around the world mourn the loss of IRC staff member Seydou Zakari and volunteer Dan Maiwaina Auwali Samaila, as well as the driver of Seydou’s vehicle.

NEW YORK, United States of America, June 18, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is deeply saddened to report that an IRC staff member and a volunteer were killed over the weekend. Staff member Seydou Zakari was killed on Saturday, June 15 in an attack by an armed group in Tcholori, an eastern village in Niger. The driver of Seydou’s vehicle, an IRC contractor, was also killed in the attack. Dan Maiwaina Auwali Samaila, a community volunteer with our Health and Nutrition program, was killed on Sunday, June 16 in an explosion in Borno State, Nigeria.

Seydou was visiting the village, located about 20 miles outside Diffa, to check on the construction of a borehole, part of a life-saving water program for communities in eastern Niger. Seydou and the driver were killed as they tried to flee the attack. Others were able to escape unharmed.

A senior supply chain manager for IRC Niger, Seydou started working for the IRC in March 2014. He worked in the Diffa office and recently served a two-month assignment with the IRC in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo. He received several promotions throughout his five years at the IRC.

“Seydou was an excellent team member,” said Niger Country Director Giorgio Faedo. “He was dedicated to supporting the IRC’s programs in a professional, calm and conscientious manner and will be deeply missed by the Niger team and the IRC family.”

Our staff in Niger are currently providing support and sympathy to the family, and will continue to do so in the days ahead.

In Nigeria, a community volunteer with our Health and Nutrition program, Dan Maiwaina Auwali Samaila, was killed on Sunday, June 16. He was among a group of people killed in an explosion while watching a televised soccer game in Borno State, in northeastern Nigeria. Initial reports are that at least 30 people were killed in the explosion.

Nigeria Country Director, Feargal O’Connell, said: “Auwali was a very active and dedicated member of our team and his work made an important contribution to improving the lives of the most vulnerable members of his community in northeastern Nigeria. He takes after his mom, who works at the IRC as a security guard at one of our Comprehensive Women’s Centers.”

These deaths are a tragic reminder of the risks IRC and other humanitarian staff face every day, as they seek to deliver life-saving programs for people affected by crisis and conflict.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of the International Rescue Committee.

Background

The IRC first began working in Niger in 2013, providing emergency and protection assistance to refugees, internally displaced people, returning Nigeriens and host communities. Today, the IRC continues to work with local communities and support those in need in the Diffa, Tillaberi and Agadez regions. In Diffa, the IRC responds to the needs of 250,000 displaced people and host communities by: providing rapid-response emergency relief for displaced Nigeriens and Nigerian refugees; providing cash transfers, food vouchers and agricultural support to vulnerable families; providing essential equipment and medicine to local health care centers; water provision; and protection services.

The IRC began working in Nigeria in 2012, providing aid to over 800,000 people who lost their homes after a massive flood. The IRC now has offices in Yola, Mubi, Damaturu and Maiduguri, all in the northeast, focusing on: working with local health care facilities to reduce malnutrition and improve water, sanitation, hygiene and maternal and reproductive health; distributing mosquito nets and essential household items; organizing safe spaces where children can play and regain a sense of a normal childhood; providing classes for displaced children to advance their reading and math skills; and providing programs for women and children who have suffered from violence and abuse.

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The AU Member States and RECs meeting to validate the Draft Implementation Plan of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) in Africa
June 18, 2019 | 0 Comments

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, June 18, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The AU Member States and RECs meeting to validate the Draft Implementation Plan of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) in Africa

What: The AU Member States and RECs meeting to validate the Draft Implementation Plan of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) in Africa

When: 18-19 June 2019.

Where: Best Western Plus Hotel, Lusaka, Republic of Zambia

Who: The event is organized by the African Union Commission Department of Social Affairs

Objectives:

The main objective of this meeting is be to consider the draft Plan of Action on the implementation of the GCM in Africa. The specific objectives are to:

a) Provide an opportunity for AU Member States, RECs and other participants to be updated on the latest development on the implementation of the GCM at the international level.

b) Present the draft Plan of Action for consideration by Member States and RECs for their validation in order to guide the implementation of the GCM in Africa for next 3 years.

c) Provide an opportunity for participants to identify capacity building priorities, based on the continental priorities for technical support and joint resource mobilisation.

d) Discuss and agree on the continental, regional and national coordination, reporting and follow up mechanism on the GCM.

Expected outcomes:

The following are key meeting outcome expectations:

a) A validated Draft Work Plan on the Implementation of GCM in Africa.

b) A common understanding on specific priorities for capacity building to Member States and RECs for the purpose of technical support and resource mobilisation

c) A harmonized continental, regional and national coordination, reporting and follow up mechanism in the continent and the role of each relevant actors. Shared experiences on good practices for girls’ and women’s education in communities.

Participants:

This meeting will bring on board Senior Officials that are in charge of Migration, labour and National Statistics in Government departments and agencies of the AU Member States. Relevant senior migration heads of the RECs secretariats will also be invited. The meeting will also invite other relevant stakeholders that include relevant continental workers unions, civil societies, and academia, among others.

Background:

the African Union Commission together with other UN agencies under the Regional Coordination Mechanism (RCM) and relevant partners have developed a draft implementation plan to guide and support Member States in the implementation of the GCM in Africa. The Draft Plan of Action takes into account African migration priorities, policies, Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It provides Member States and RECs with comprehensive guideline to assist them in the formulation and implementation of GCM objectives in accordance with their priorities and resources as committed during the negotiations.

For ease of coordination at the Continental level, the African Union and the UN, under the RCM framework, have agreed to support Member States and RECs in providing technical support and capacity building and facilitate resource mobilization for the effective implementation of this Plan. Through this framework, AUC and the UN will support Member States and RECs in identifying common challenges and opportunities and further create platforms for enhanced collective commitment and partnership with the stakeholders in the continent and with the international community. Relevant AU departments and specialized agencies together with those from the UN system, based on the AU/UN Regional Coordination Mechanism, have been identified as technical cluster leads of the seven priorities of the Plan of Action and have been critical in the development of this document. The joint AU/UN technical leads will be crucial in supporting Member States and RECs in implementing the Plan once it is validated and endorsed by them.

Media representatives are invited to cover the meeting.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of the African Union Commission.

For information related to the meeting please contact:

Mr. Geoffrey Wafula Kundu | Program Coordinator (Migration), Social Affairs Department, African Union Commission | E- mail: GeoffreyK@africa-union.org

For media inquiries, please contact:

Mr. Gamal Ahmed A. Karrar | Communications Officer, Directorate of Information and Communication, African Union Commission | E- mail: GamalK@africa-union.org

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African Media Agency Partners with Women in Africa (WIA) Initiative’s 3rd Annual WIA Initiative Summit
June 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

ABIDJAN, Cote d’Ivoire, June 17, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- African Media Agency (AMA), a leading pan-African media relations and communications firm today announced its partnership with Women In Africa (WIA) Initiative’s 3rd Annual WIA Initiative Summit taking place from 27 to 28 June 2019, in Marrakech, Morocco.

WIA is an international platform dedicated to the economic development and support of leading and high potential African women. The Annual Summit in Marrakech is the annual highlight of the meetings bringing together African fresh local talents and decision-makers who are committed to transforming the continent.

This year Summit, under the theme “How Do African Women Engage the World and Create a New Paradigm?”, will bring together 500 people from 75 countries, economic, governmental and cultural leaders, as well as women’s delegations from the Middle East, the United States and Asia, in addition to women and men from the 54 countries of the continent.

Dr. Hafsat Abiola, Executive Chairwoman of Women In Africa

Dr. Hafsat Abiola, Executive Chairwoman of Women In Africa

Commenting on the partnership with AMA, Dr. Hafsat Abiola, Executive Chairwoman of Women in Africa noted that “AMA’s deep knowledge of the African media landscape and passion for communicating a positive African narrative will help us steer our Summit to the highest level”.

Eloïne Barry, CEO of African Media Agency

Eloïne Barry, CEO of African Media Agency

According to Eloïne Barry, the CEO of AMA, this partnership underlines the relentless focus by the two organizations to improve the continent through telling a positive African narrative that uplifts and catalyzes growth on the continent. “We are excited to partner with like-minded organizations committed to sharing an authentic and positive African narrative with the world. It is the core, foundation and inspiration of all our work at the AMA,” says Barry.

AMA will use its skills and network to promote the visibility of the event.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Women In Africa and AMA.

About African Media Agency (AMA)
AMA – African Media Agency (http://amediaagency.com) specializes in helping companies grow their share of voice on a pan-African scale. Our deep knowledge and understanding of the continent helped us gain recognition and act as an authoritative source of news for the most influential media houses in every African country.
Our offices are located in New York (USA), Dubai (UAE), Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire), Kampala (Uganda). We have local presence in Johannesburg (South Africa), Nairobi (Kenya), Lagos (Nigeria), Dakar (Senegal), Casablanca (Morocco) and Cairo (Egypt). Our team has over 15 years of experience across the Communications spectrum on a pan-African scale. We intimately understand the diversified and often complex business environment in each African country and guide our clients with best practice on every step of their African journey.

About Women In Africa
Women in Africa (WIA), founded by Aude de Thuin in 2016 and chaired by Hafsat Abiola, is an international platform dedicated to the economic development and support of leading and high potential African women. Through this initiative, WIA wishes to reveal the potential of African women and connect them at a continental and international level. The 3rd WIA Initiative Summit will be held in Marrakech on June 27-28, 2019 and will be under the high patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI.

Media Contacts
African Media Agency
Meganne Boho
mb@amediaagency.com
(m) +225 07 36 61 64

Women In Africa Initiative
Geoffrey Chapuis
geoffrey@wia-initiative.com
(m) +33 (0) 6 80 03 73 77

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HID Global Expands Commitment to Helping End Africa’s Identity Gap
June 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, June 17, 2019, -/African Media Agency (AMA)/-Being able to verify people’s identities is critical for a nation’s growth and prosperity and yet nearly half of all African citizens can’t prove who they are to vote, travel freely and receive government benefits and services. HID Global®, a worldwide leader in trusted identity solutions, is launching an initiative to help close this identity gap and will be sharing details at the ID4Africa Movement (ID4Africa 2019). The three-day conference will be hosted from 18-20 June 2019 in Johannesburg by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) of the Republic of South Africa. 

HID Global brings to its initiative a broad solution portfolio, close working partnerships with leading integrators serving African governments, and strategic investments in its business operations dedicated to building a better future for citizens. The initiative builds on HID’s proven track record of enabling effortless and worry-free identity verification for the citizens of African nations, with a steady cadence of ongoing deployments across the continent.

“HID Global addresses each step of the citizen identity journey and everything government agencies in Africa and other emerging markets need to deploy complete solutions for issuing driver’s licenses, social security cards, passports and other national ID documents,” said Jessica Westerouen van Meeteren, VP & Managing Director, Citizen ID business with HID Global. “Our initiative tackles the challenges of serving citizens living in remote, unconnected areas who are at the greatest risk of marginalization and exclusion, and aligns well with the ID4Africa organization’s ‘ID-4-All’ movement aimed at facilitating economic development and the success of humanitarian aid, government services, and other critical programs.”

HID Global will be at ID4Africa 2019 demonstrating its extensive product family that powers the trusted identities of a government’s people, places and things. In addition to the annual conference, HID Global will be hosting an exclusive media round table on Wednesday, 19 June 2019, offering media the opportunity to engage with the company’s spokespersons, ID4Africa’s Ambassadors and other external stakeholders.

Each of HID’s solutions help solve the technological, infrastructure and other deployment challenges that prevent citizens from having the official identification they need to access government services and programs. Each of the following solutions help solve the technological, infrastructure and other deployment challenges that prevent citizens from having the official identification they need to access government services and programs: 

  • HID goID™ platform for mobile IDs: Paves the way for convenient and secure mobile access to government programs and services. Tanzania is using the platform to provision e-permit and e-immigration credentials over the air to citizens’ smartphones, ensuring they can be assigned or revoked in real time and verified anywhere by an official with a smartphone.
  • HID Mobile Biometric Solutions: Enables disenfranchised citizens to be enrolled into government identity programs regardless of their location. The solutions bring empowerment, freedom and connectivity to those who need it most, while creating new capabilities including “passport-free” border crossings and fraud-resistant pension programs.
  • HID Secure Issuance Solutions: Have been chosen by multiple African governments for existing and planned national ID, resident ID, driver’s license, voter ID and refugee identification programs. HID FARGO Connect moves issuance to the cloud so governments can serve citizens anywhere, and the HID FARGO printer family was recently expanded to include world’s fastest retransfer printer  for high-volume card personalization. 
  • HID Global e-Passport: Provides the fastest path to launching an end-to-end citizen ID program, from data capture through personalization and issuance. It is at the heart of Tanzania’s award-winning program that has made travel easier and more secure for citizens.
  • HID Access Control Solution: Ensures that only authorized people can enter government facilities using a smart card or a mobile ID carried on a smartphone. The latest fingerprint reader speeds employees through checkpoints with increased security and convenience.

Of an estimated 1.1 billion people worldwide that cannot officially prove their identity, it is believed that approximately 500 million live in sub-Saharan Africa. Problems are worsened in war-torn African nations where each conflict adds to the millions of displaced people who flee without the necessary identification documents to receive basic legal, social and economic rights and opportunities. National identification programs solve these problems while bringing a sense of inclusion, engagement and pride in regional and national communities. 

Visit HID from June 18-20 in Booth #G1 at the Emperors Palace Convention Center in Johannesburg to learn more about HID Global broad range products, solutions and services that make it more convenient and safer to achieve what citizens want to do in everyday life.

Distributed by African Media Agency on behalf of HID Global.

About HID Global

HID Global powers the trusted identities of the world’s people, places and things. We make it possible for people to transact safely, work productively and travel freely. Our trusted identity solutions give people convenient access to physical and digital places and connect things that can be identified, verified and tracked digitally. Millions of people around the world use HID products and services to navigate their everyday lives, and over 2 billion things are connected through HID technology. We work with governments, educational institutions, hospitals, financial institutions, industrial businesses and some of the most innovative companies on the planet. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, HID Global has over 3,000 employees worldwide and operates international offices that support more than 100 countries. HID Global® is an ASSA ABLOY Group brand. For more information, visit www.hidglobal.com.

Stay Connected with HID Global

Visit our Media Center, read our Industry Blog, and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Media Contact:

Phindile Nxumalo

phindile@africacommunicatipnsgroup.com

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Ethiopia: Human Rights Commission must be reformed to correct miscarriage of justice
June 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

GENEVA, Switzerland, June 17, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/-Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) must be reformed to enable it to contribute to the country making a break with its repressive past while promoting access to justice for victims of human rights violations, Amnesty International said today, as it released a new briefing examining the investigation reports the Commission published primarily between 2016 and 2017.

Amnesty International found that the EHRC operated outside established human rights frameworks and standards when investigating allegations of violations, casting doubts on its methods and findings, an injustice to countless victims of human rights violations that denied them access to effective remedies.

“Our analysis shows that the Commission is not fit for purpose as the country tries to break with a repressive past and must be reformed in line with international standards and best practices to support and contribute to the new government’s human rights agenda,” said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

Amnesty International reviewed seven publicly available reports of the EHRC and found glaring gaps in the methods used to investigate and report allegations of human rights violations and abuses. The reports examined were two human rights situation reports on protests in Oromia and Amhara regional states submitted to parliament; four investigation reports into allegations of torture and other ill-treatment in detention demanded by the Federal High Court; and a submission to the UN Human Rights Council on prison conditions in the country. 

Amnesty International found that rather than thoroughly investigate and expose alleged abuses by the security forces, the EHRC was quick to blame other actors, including opposition parties and parliament, even victims of human rights violations.

“Brazen bias against victims and a dismissive stance towards their complaints means that the EHRC’s reports on protestor killings and prison conditions squandered opportunities to make things right for the victims, and everyone else in the country,” said Joan Nyanyuki.

Responding to the Amnesty International findings, a spokesperson of the Federal Parliament of Ethiopia, the House of Peoples’ Representatives, affirmed the new government’s commitment to reform the EHRC to “build rule of law and respect of human dignity”. They also confirmed that the EHRC is mandated to report and publish its findings without seeking parliament’s approval.  

Just blame it on something

In analysing the two reports on protestor killings in Amhara and Oromia states published in 2016 and 2017, Amnesty International observed a disturbing pattern of discrediting protests and labelling them “disturbances”, or “chaos and unrest”, a clear departure from the government’s human rights obligations and commitments.

In its 2016 report presented to parliament, the EHRC blamed unnamed protest organizers, a popular song and social media for the deaths of 462 protestors in Oromia state between 2015 and 2016.

An excerpt from the EHRC report reads:

“…the organizers and coordinators of the disturbances used all available means to allow them to inflict significant death and damage to lives and property …. For instance, in the effort to spread the disturbances from one Woreda to the next and to replicate the degree (of) cruelty, the organizers played the OLF song entitled “Master Plan” through various means such as mobile phones, cars and motorcycle audio players and using media and social media outlets including Oromo Media Network (OMN).”

The report also attributes protestor deaths to “unknown” causes:

“Forty-two individuals (42) were killed in gunfire discharged from guns that were stolen by unknown individuals, during attempts to take weapons from security officers, and by gunfire from unknown sources during the disturbances.”

Amnesty International found that the EHRC often used such unsubstantiated ‘findings’ to justify the security forces’ use of lethal force on protestors.

“It is unacceptable that in its investigations the EHRC glossed over the fact that people were killed or suffered grievous harm while exercising their human rights; it failed to exercise its statutory mandate to provide respite to their suffering,” said Joan Nyanyuki.

Squandered opportunities

In 2017, Ethiopia’s Federal High Court ordered the EHRC to investigate numerous allegations of torture and other ill-treatment in prisons. The EHRC’s investigators reported seeing scars and other marks on the complainants’ bodies but did not establish whether they were from the alleged torture and other ill-treatment. They recommended that the police should have provided forensic evidence instead of seeking the opinion of an independent medical expert. Even after visiting the sites of alleged torture and other ill-treatment, the EHRC did not collect any medical reports or other evidence.

“It is disheartening to read the reports and see that no effort was made to include the collection of medical or forensic evidence as part of the investigations, and that no explanation for this oversight is provided. One report even questioned the credibility of complainants because they did not provide medical evidence of their torture and other ill-treatment,” said Joan Nyanyuki.

In 2013, the EHRC in a submission to the UN Human Rights Council ignored serious concerns previously raised by the UN rights body and others about torture and other ill-treatment in the country’s prisons, instead reporting on the country’s dilapidated prison facilities.

Time for reform

“The authorities must now follow through on their commitment to reform the EHRC making it an independent and impartial institution that is up to the task of supporting and contributing to Ethiopia’s ongoing human rights reforms,” said Joan Nyanyuki.

Amnesty International recommends that the EHRC be overhauled into an institution that will foster respect for human rights. The House of Peoples’ Representatives should revise the proclamation establishing the EHRC to ensure a transparent, inclusive and non-partisan appointment process for the Chief Commissioner, Deputy and other Commissioners, and strengthen provisions on enforcement of its recommendations.

“The Government of Ethiopia on its part should investigate the EHRC’s past failures and guarantee non-repetition, in order to catalyse its transformation into a true human rights institution capable of promoting respect for human rights in the country,” said Joan Nyanyuki.

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

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Media Invitation: U.S.-Africa Business Summit, June 18-21, 2019 | Maputo, Mozambique
June 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

For Media Accreditation: Click Here

WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, June 11, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/-Corporate Council on Africa, in partnership with the Government of Mozambique, will host the 12th US – Africa Business Summit in Maputo on June 18-21, 2019. The Summit will bring together more than 1,000 U.S. and African private sector executives, international investors, senior government officials and multilateral stakeholders.

Twelve African Heads of State are confirmed as speakers at the Summit taking place at the Joaquim Chissano International Conference Centre.

Among them are:

  • H.E. Filipe Nyusi, President, Republic of Mozambique,
  • King Mswati III, Kingdom of Eswatini;
  • H.E. Paul Kagame, President, Republic of Rwanda;
  • H.E. Hage Geingob, President, Republic of Namibia;
  • H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President, Republic of Kenya;
  • H.E. José Mário Vaz, President, Republic of Guinea-Bissau;
  • H.E. Peter Mutharika, President, Republic of Malawi;
  • H.E. Edgar Lungu, President, Republic of Zambia;
  • H.E. Mokgweetsi Masisi, President, Republic of Botswana;
  • H.E. Emmerson Mnangagwa, President, Republic of Zimbabwe; 
  • H.E. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President, Republic of Equatorial Guinea;
  • H.E. Ruhakana Rugunda, Prime Minister, Republic of Uganda

Senior U.S. Government officials from key U.S. agencies including the Department of Commerce, OPIC, Department of State, MCC, USAID, USTDA, EX-IM and others will also be at the Summit and will announce the latest developments in U.S.-Africa.

Themed “Advancing a Resilient and Sustainable Partnership”, CCA’s 2019 Summit will engage key U.S. and African government officials and decision makers to discuss their strategies, vision and initiatives to facilitate increased business and investment. The Summit will provide several opportunities for business executives to meet heads-of-state, ministers and high-level U.S. and African government decision makers to advocate for their business interests.

Interview opportunities with Summit participants are available.

To find out more about the 12th U.S.-Africa Business Summit on June 18 – 21, and for media accreditation, click HERE or visit www.USAfricaBizSummit.com.

Distributed by African Media Agency on behalf of Corporate Council on Africa.

About Corporate Council on Africa
Corporate Council on Africa is the leading U.S. business association focused solely on connecting business interests between the United States and Africa. CCA uniquely represents a broad cross section of member companies from small and medium size businesses to multinationals as well as U.S. and African firms. Learn more at www.corporatecouncilonafrica.com.

Media Contact
Olaotan Awoyomi
oawoyomi@corporatecouncilonafrica.com

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Real Time & Jozi Film Festival calls for Real Stories told by Real People
June 6, 2019 | 0 Comments
LAGOS, Nigeria, June 6th, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The Jozi Film Festival this year is proud to announce a new direction for its partnership with Discovery. In 2019, Discovery’s new Real Time channel will be searching for Real Stories that are told by Real People. This new format will replace the previous ‘Don’t Stop Wondering’ award, hosted by Discovery channel.
 
Following the success of the previous two years with the Jozi Film Festival, Discovery is this year renewing its partnership with the Jozi Film Festival once again, but this time in support of the recently launched channel, Real Time.
 
“Ever since we partnered with the Jozi Film Festival, we have been blown away by the submissions and the quality of the documentaries that we have received, hence we decided to find a platform where these films will be broadcasted and shared with a broader audience,” said Amanda Turnbull, VP & Country Manager for Discovery Networks Middle East and Africa. We are even more excited to introduce this new genre as we are anticipating seeing the wonderful, real stories that will be told by talented Africans.”

Submissions for the “Real Stories by Real People about Real Lives” opened yesterday on Wednesday, 5 June and close on Friday 30 August, calling for 3-5-minute stories from storytellers across Africa which showcase, celebrate and continue to tell unique African stories.

“Partnering with Discovery is always wonderful as it gives African’s the opportunity to showcase their stories. We are even more excited about this year’s category, as the winning stories will not only win a cash prize, but they will be shared on the Real Timechannel,” said Lisa Henry, Jozi Film Festival Founder and Organiser.

This year’s prize from Discovery will be $2 500 for the winner, $1 000 for the 2nd prize and $750 for the 3rd prize. The top 20 films, including the winning three, will also be broadcast on the channel for all viewers to enjoy.

Entrants must be 18 years or older and be an African resident. Submitted films must be in English or include English subtitles. To enter go to jozifilmfestival.com, terms and conditions apply. The closing date is the 30th of August at 19:00 CAT. Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity, enter now!

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

For further media queries contact:
Raquel de Canha
FleishmanHillard
Tel: (011) 548 – 2047
 
About Discovery:
Discovery, Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is a global leader in real life entertainment, serving a passionate audience of superfans around the world with content that inspires, informs and entertains. Discovery delivers over 8,000 hours of original programming each year and has category leadership across deeply loved content genres around the world. Available in 220 countries and territories and 50 languages, Discovery is a platform innovator, reaching viewers on all screens, including TV Everywhere products such as the GO portfolio of apps and Discovery Kids Play; direct-to-consumer streaming services such as Eurosport Player and Motor Trend OnDemand; and digital-first and social content from Group Nine Media. Discovery’s portfolio of premium brands includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, Turbo/Velocity, Animal Planet, and Science Channel, as well as OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in the U.S., Discovery Kids in Latin America, and Eurosport, the leading provider of locally relevant, premium sports and Home of the Olympic Games across Europe. For more information, please visit www.corporate.discovery.com and follow @DiscoveryInc across social platforms.
 
ABOUT THE JOZI FILM FESTIVAL
The Jozi Film Festival was initially created to provide a platform for local filmmakers in Johannesburg, and to develop an audience for South African films. While still prioritizing local film, JFF now accept films from around the world – features, short films, documentaries and student films. We are the longest running multi-genre festival in the City of Gold and our motto remains the same from Day One: We Love Jozi. We Love Film. The Jozi Film Festival strongly supports independent films.
CONTACT:
Carel Nolte
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AFC invests in Cameroon’s landmark 420MW Hydro-Electric power station.
November 27, 2018 | 0 Comments

natcital HEPPLAGOS, Nigeria, 27 November 2018 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Africa Finance Corporation (“AFC” or “the Corporation”), the leading infrastructure development finance institution in Africa, is pleased to announce it is to invest in the Nachtigal Hydro Power Company (“NHPC”), located 65KM north of Yaounde in Cameroon.

The EUR 1.2 billion power generation project will consist of a 420MW hydro-electric power station as well as a 50KM transmission line. The financing structure will take a 76:24 debt to equity ratio, with AFC providing EUR 50 million in debt and an additional 18-year interest rate swaps of up to EUR 75 million. Construction is expected to commence by the end of 2018.

Other high calibre lenders participating in the investment consortium include the International Finance Corporation, European Investment Bank, Proparco, Société Générale and Standard Chartered, with the following as project sponsors:

• Electricité de France International, globally recognised for its expertise in hydro-electricity power (shareholding in NHPC: 40%);

• InfraVentures, the World Bank’s infrastructure project development fund (shareholding in NHPC: 30%); and,

• The Government of Cameroon (shareholding in NHPC: 30%).

This investment into Cameroon’s power sector comes following consistent growth in the demand for electricity across the country for both domestic and industrial use. For example, during the 2012 – 2016 period, demand grew at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 7.6%, from 4.2TWh to 5.7TWh in the grid to which Nachtigal will connect. Currently, demand in the grid to which Nachtigal will be connected is expected to more than double from 5.7TWh in 2016 to above 13TWh by 2030.

At the same time, Eneo Cameroon S.A., the country’s main electricity company, and off-taker to the NHPC, has delivered significant operational improvements. This has consequently meant liquidity support for NHPC is stronger than it was for the Kribi Power Development Corporation IPP, which attracted a similar group of lenders.

As is the case with all projects Africa Finance Corporation participates in, the decision to go forward with the Nachtigal hydro project was based on its potential to drive economic development while also considering its wider impact. The NHPC will be the cornerstone of Cameroon’s low carbon development plan and was selected because it was ranked as the best future hydro project to be developed in the LCDP. AFC, the sponsors and lenders will develop the project in compliance with national and international best practices in terms of environmental and social management and infrastructure building.

Samaila Zubairu, President & CEO to AFC commented on the announcement: “Cameroon is a textbook example of a nation that has, in recent years, demonstrated a deep-rooted commitment to surmount its power deficit challenges by successfully creating a highly investible sector. The financial close of projects such as these and the Kribi IPP are a testament to their earnest efforts.

“Moreover, with the International Monetary Fund having raised Cameroon’s economic growth outlook to 4.2% from 2017’s 3.2%, we are pleased to be investing in the country’s essential infrastructure that will help unlock further economic growth in the years to come, and for the people of Cameroon reach their developmental aspirations.”

Distributed by Africa Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC).

Notes to Editors

About AFCwww.africafc.org

AFC, an investment grade multilateral finance institution, was established in 2007 with an equity capital base of US$1billion, to be the catalyst for private sector-led infrastructure investment across Africa. With a current balance sheet size of approximately US$4.2 billion, AFC is the second highest investment grade rated multilateral financial institution in Africa with an A3/P2 (Stable outlook) rating from Moody’s Investors Service. AFC successfully raised US$750 million in 2015 and US$500 million in 2017; out of its Board-approved US$3 billion Global Medium Term Note (MTN) Programme. Both Eurobond issues were oversubscribed and attracted investors from Asia, Europe and the USA.

AFC’s investment approach combines specialist industry expertise with a focus on financial and technical advisory, project structuring, project development and risk capital to address Africa’s infrastructure development needs and drive sustainable economic growth. AFC invests in high quality infrastructure assets that provide essential services in the core infrastructure sectors of power, natural resources, heavy industry, transport, and telecommunications. To date, the Corporation has invested approximately US$4 billion in projects within 28 countries across North, East, West and Southern Africa.

Follow us on Twitter@africa_finance

For more information contact:

Lucy Savage
Vice President, Communications
Tel: + 234 1 279 9600
Email: lucy.savage@africafc.org

 

Buchanan Communications

Bobby Morse / Augustine Chipungu
Tel: +44 20 7466 5000 Email: afc@buchanan.uk.com

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Somalia: UN mission head condemns deadly terrorist attacks in Mogadishu, Galkayo
November 27, 2018 | 0 Comments

The top United Nations official in Somalia has “strongly condemned” terrorist attacks in the north-central city of Galkayo and in the Somali capital on Monday, which left a prominent cleric and a number of other civilians dead.

NEW-YORK, United States of America, 27 November 2018,-/ African Media Agency/-Nicholas Haysom, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia and the head of the UN mission there (UNSOM), said no legitimate political agenda can be advanced through the indiscriminate killing of innocent children, women and men.

“Today’s attacks on civilians in Mogadishu and Galkayo demonstrate the disregard of violent extremists for the sanctity of human life”, he said, adding that the UN “stands with the people and government of Somalia in their rejection of terrorism.”

The Al-Shabaab terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the early morning assault on a compound belonging to Sufi Muslim cleric Abdiweli Ali Elmi, in the southern portion of Galkayo, according to UNSOM. In early afternoon, a car bomb was detonated at a busy market in Wadajir district of Mogadishu. A suspect has been arrested by Somali security forces.

According to media reports, Mr. Ali Elmi had received death threats from the jihadist group in the past.

Though Al-Shabaab has been largely forced-out of Mogadishu and other towns and cities, it continues to remain a potent threat, launching frequent and deadly attacks in the capital and elsewhere.

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

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Experts begin validation of the ECOWAS Early warning Gender integration manual
November 27, 2018 | 0 Comments

ABUJA, Nigeria, 27 November 2018,-/African Media Agency/-Experts have begun the validation of the Early Warning Gender Integration Manual and Training Modules of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on the 26th of November 2018, in Abuja, Nigeria.

The two-Day Workshop is meant to review the draft document and ensure that it ultimately serves as a practical guide on integrating gender into the different phases of early warning system of the regional community.

The experts will also be ascertaining whether the methodology on hand, employs a gender sensitive lens in data collection, analysis as well as in the formulation and implementation of responses to situations.

Welcoming the participants, the Director, Early Warning at the ECOWAS Commission Dr. Abdou Lat Gueye commended the ECOWAS partners including West Africa Network for Peace building (WANEP), United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), gender experts and other supportive or collaborative organisations for their commitment to the process.

Noting that early warning deals with data collection, management and analysis in relating to human security, he disclosed that the Directorate has been expanding its thematic areas and field activities in order to effectively cover the five sectors in the manual.

He said the reason for bringing in thematic expertise is to ensure better tracking of issues while being mindful of the need to document conflict patterns and triggers as well as the strides and operational procedures and actions, all of which makes the validation of the manual relevant.

Earlier, in his opening remark, the Chief of Party of Reacting to Early Warning and Response Data in West Africa (REWARD) Mr. Alimou Diallo expressed delight at the gathering of experts who are dissecting the manual which provides the overall framework for gender integration into Early Warning systems.

He maintained that the validated document emanating from the exercise would give policy makers the necessary clues and timely signals seeing that the manual is needed for the transformation of raw data to useful life-saving information.

An overview of the background, format and expected outcome of the workshop was given by the founder of IMPACT Dr. Naomi Akpan-Ita. On the heels of the presentation of the manual for practitioners would follow sessions on review of chapters, and training modules.

Through the exercise, the experts will determine whether the gender integration training manual allows for the seamless transfer of knowledge and create the much needed institutional memory in this regard.

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

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New UNAIDS report shows that 75% of all people living with HIV know their HIV status
November 27, 2018 | 0 Comments

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, 27 November 2018,-/African Media Agency/-A new report from UNAIDS shows that intensified HIV testing and treatment efforts are reaching more people living with HIV. In 2017, three quarters of people living with HIV (75%) knew their HIV status, compared to just two thirds (67%) in 2015, and 21.7 million people living with HIV (59%) had access to antiretroviral therapy, up from 17.2 million in 2015. The report shows, however, that 9.4 million people living with HIV do not know they are living with the virus and urgently need to be linked to HIV testing and treatment services.

The report, Knowledge is power, reveals that although the number of people living with HIV who are virally suppressed has risen by around 10 percentage points in the past three years, reaching 47% in 2017, 19.4 million people living with HIV still do not have a suppressed viral load. To remain healthy and to prevent transmission, the virus needs to be suppressed to undetectable or very low levels through sustained antiretroviral therapy. And to effectively monitor viral load, people living with HIV need access to viral load testing every 12 months.

“Viral load testing is the gold standard in HIV treatment monitoring,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “It shows that treatment is working, keeping people alive and well and keeping the virus firmly under control.”

The report outlines that access to viral load testing is mixed. In some parts of the world, getting a viral load test is easy and is fully integrated into a person’s HIV treatment regime, but in other places there may be only one viral load machine for the entire country.

“Viral load monitoring needs to be as available in Lilongwe as it is in London,” said Mr Sidibé. “HIV testing and viral load testing should be equal and accessible to all people living with HIV, without exception.”

In Côte d’Ivoire, the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is supporting a national scale-up plan for viral load testing. In just three years, as the number of people on treatment doubled, 10 additional laboratories began viral load testing. Subsequently, viral load testing coverage increased from 14% in 2015 to 66% in 2017 and is projected to reach 75% by the end of 2018.

“This year’s UNAIDS theme for World AIDS Day (Live life positively—know your HIV status) reiterates the fact that HIV testing remains the only way to know your status and to adopt a healthy life plan,” said Eugène Aka Aouele, Minister of Health and Public Hygiene, Côte d’Ivoire.

Children and HIV and viral load testing

Viral load testing is particularly important for newborns, as HIV progresses much faster in children—peak mortality for children born with HIV is within two or three months of life. Standard rapid diagnostic testing is ineffective up until 18 months of age, so the only viable test for HIV for very young children is a virological test, which they need to receive within the first four to six weeks of life. However, in 2017, only half (52%) of children exposed to HIV in high-burden countries received a test within the first two months of life.

Important advances are being made. New point-of-care testing technologies—testing that takes place in an environment as close to the person as possible—have been shown to shorten the time it takes to return children’s test results from months to minutes, which is saving lives.

The persistent barriers to knowing one’s status

The report shows that one of the biggest barriers to HIV testing is stigma and discrimination. Studies among women, men, young people and key populations have revealed that fear of being seen accessing HIV services, and if the person is diagnosed, fear that this information will be shared with family, friends, sexual partners or the wider community, was preventing them from accessing HIV services, including HIV testing.

For key populations—gay men and other men who have sex with men, transgender people, sex workers, people who use drugs, people in prisons and other closed settings and migrants—these barriers can affect access to an even greater extent. Stigma and discrimination, from society and health services, can deter members of key populations from accessing health care, while criminal laws can compound that discrimination, increase rates of violence and create additional barriers, including fear of arrest and harassment.

“In Côte d’Ivoire, HIV prevalence among sex workers is 11% and 13% for men who have sex with men and 9.2% for people who inject drugs,” said Pélagie Kouamé, President of the Network of Key Populations in Côte d’Ivoire. “We cannot leave key populations behind. Things must change and evolve so that we can come out from the shadows and no longer live in fear.”

Other barriers include violence or the threat of violence, especially among young women and girls. Parental consent laws and policies are also a barrier, since in some countries young people under the age of 18 years need parental consent to take an HIV test. In addition, services are often too far away and difficult to access or too expensive. There can also be delays or failures in returning HIV test results and delays in treatment initiation. In some countries, people do not seek HIV testing as they feel they are not at risk—in Malawi, one study found that among adolescent girls and young women (aged between 15 years and 24 years), considered to be at higher risk of HIV, more than half (52%) did not consider themselves at risk of HIV and so were unlikely to seek HIV testing services.

Next generation of testing options

The report highlights how providing a variety of testing options and services, such as community-based testing and home-based testing, can help mitigate many of the logistical, structural and social barriers to HIV testing. They offer testing options for people who live far away from health services, do not have the constraints of inconvenient opening hours, which is particularly important for men and people from key populations, and do not come with the stigma and discrimination often perceived in traditional health and HIV services.

“We cannot not wait for people to become sick,” said Imam Harouna Koné, President of the Platform of Networks in the Fight Against AIDS. “We must go out to our communities and offer HIV testing and treatment services.”

The report outlines the importance of taking a five Cs approach: consent, confidentiality, counselling, correct test results and connection/linkage to prevention, care and treatment. “There isn’t a one size fits all approach to HIV testing,” said Mr Sidibé. “There are a number of different strategies needed to reach people at risk of HIV, including innovative approaches such as self-testing, where people may feel more comfortable that their privacy is respected.”

Another important step to take is to integrate HIV testing services within other health services, including maternal and child health services, services for tuberculosis and services for sexually transmitted infections and viral hepatitis. Tuberculosis is the leading cause of death of people living with HIV, accounting for one in three AIDS-related deaths; however, it is estimated that 49% of people living with HIV and tuberculosis are unaware of their coinfection and are therefore not receiving care.

Access to HIV testing is a basic human right, and UNAIDS is calling for a global commitment to remove the barriers preventing people from testing for HIV, which include eliminating HIV-related stigma and discrimination, ensuring confidentiality in HIV testing and treatment services, deploying an optimal mix of HIV testing strategies to reach the populations most in need, integration with other health services, removing policy and legal barriers hindering access to HIV testing and treatment, expanding access to viral load monitoring in low- and middle-income countries and ensuring access to early infant diagnosis for newborns.

The report demonstrates that implementing these measures will hugely advance progress towards ensuring that all people living with and affected by HIV have access to the life-saving services they need. 

In 2017 an estimated:

  • 36.9 million [31.1 million–43.9 million] people globally were living with HIV
  • 21.7 million [19.1 million–22.6 million] people were accessing treatment
  • 1.8 million [1.4 million–2.4 million] people became newly infected with HIV
  • 940 000 [670 000–1.3 million] people died from AIDS-related illnesses

UNAIDS

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more at unaids.org and connect with us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

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

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Orange the World: #HearMeToo
November 27, 2018 | 0 Comments

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NEW-YORK, United States of America, 27 November 2018,-/African Media Agency/-This year, UN Women and partners around the world are marking the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (25 November – 10 December) under the theme of “Orange the World: #HearMeToo”. Coming on the heels of global movements and grassroots campaigns such as ‘#MeToo’, “#TimesUp”, “#BalanceTonPorc” “#NiUnaMenos”, #MeTooIndia and “HollaBack!”, the 16 Days of Activism will be a rallying moment to bring together governments, communities, survivors, activists and the public through high-visibility events, using the signature colour orange.

As in previous years, iconic buildings and monuments will be ‘oranged’ to call for a violence-free future. In events around the world, including in schools and universities in Malawi and Barbados, public transportation hubs in El Salvador, Vanuatu, and The Philippines, and soccer matches in Egypt, global citizens will stand in solidarity with survivors and advocates.

The global event “Dance for Kindness” commemorated International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women with more than 5,000 dancers participating in an event near Hoan Kiem lake, in Hanoi, Viet Nam. A two minute Freezemob paid tribute to victims and survivors of gender-based violence, and an impressive Flashmob welcomed World Kindness Week and the kick off of the 16 Days of Activism. At the same time, a photo exhibition showcasing photos and stories on ending violence to women and girls was opened to the public.

In Durres, Albania the municipality building was lit in orange on 25 November to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and to kick off the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. UN Women Country Representative Giuseppe Belsito and the Mayor of Durres, Vangjush Dako attended the event. 

In Myanmar, UN Women and the Yangon City Development Committee commenced the 16 Days of Activism campaign by lighting the Yangon City Hall, a central landmark, in orange to bring attention to the issue in Myanmar and globally.

A previously declared unsafe path in the Pristina City Park in Pristina, Kosovo, was lit up in orange. The mayor of Pristina, members of UN agencies, embassies and the community at large marched along the path to raise awareness of gender-based discrimination by highlighting the importance of gender-sensitive urban design, and call for a safer city for everyone.

UN Women and partners in Colombia organized a public concert on 24 November and lit public buildings in orange calling for women’s right to live a life free of violence. Throughout the 16 Days, many more activities will follow, including a tribute to women’s rights activists and women’s human rights defenders during a joint event with the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights to commemorate the International Day of Human Rights Defenders.

On 24 November, UN Women in Bangladesh and civil society organizations came together at Shoparjito Shadhinota, Dhaka University Campus, Bangladesh, to commemorate the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. Twelve organizations including WE CAN, BNPS, Mahila Parishad, Indigenous Women’s Network, Concern Bangladesh, and Acid Survivors’ Foundation participated in various cultural activities, including street theatre skits, dance and musical performances under the theme of “#HearMeToo”. The ceremony was opened by Ayesha Khanom, one of the most prominent women’s rights activist of Bangladesh. There were also speeches from youth advocates, and a poem recited by a survivor of rape on her own story of fight and triumph.

In Morocco, UN Women along with the UN Country Team, UNCT, national partners, and NGOs launched the #HearMeToo campaign at the Chellah historic site, where orange balloons were released to mark the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism. UN Women, in partnership with 2M media group will support broadcasting of TV and radio programs and spots to raise awareness on ending violence against women, host interactive theatres and film screenings. Many public buildings, including the Parliament building, Modern Art Museum, train stations, EU offices and Maroc Telecom building will be oranged and Orange Tunisia will send free sms messages about the campaign to their subscribers.

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

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