AfDB Returns to the Ugandan capital market with its second shilling bond
TUNIS, Tunisia, May 24, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The African Development Bank (AfDB) (http://www.afdb.org) has launched its second Uganda-shilling denominated bond on the domestic capital market. The UGX 12.5 billion bond is opened for subscription until the 27th of May. It is the latest issuance under the UGX 125 billion Medium-Term Note (MTN) Programme originally established in mid-2012. The MTN approach was adopted to allow the Bank to regularly tap into the Ugandan capital market, issuing various tranches, rather than standalone transactions thereby minimizing costs for its clients and reducing the lead time necessary to access the market.
The AfDB return to the Uganda market reflects local demand for additional debt instruments and the need for local currency financing to push infrastructure and other development projects. Pierre Van Peteghem, the Bank Group Treasurer, heralds this issuance as just the beginning of his department's push to avail more local currency to private sector clients. “The Bank has recently approved an additional five African currencies including the Ghanaian Cedi and the Franc CFA for both West and Central African zones as official lending currencies of the Bank. This brings the total number of African currencies in which we can on-lend to clients to ten. This will enable us to better respond to client needs, particularly with respect to mitigating foreign exchange risk posed by hard currency loans. We believe by directly issuing local currency bonds, we also play a key role in developing the local capital market.”
Arranged by African Alliance and executed as a tap sale on the original UGX bond issued in July 2012, this most recent note will be linked to the new two-year bond that the Government of Uganda intends to launch on May 23, but will re-price every two years at 85% of the weighted average yield to maturity on the latest Ugandan government bond benchmark, noted Olivier Eweck, Manager of African Currency Funding in the Treasury Department of AfDB. Similarly to the first tranche, this issuance will also be launched at sub-government levels. “We expect a high demand from local and international investors, even higher than for last year's first tranche,” says Eweck. The first re-pricing exercise will take place in August 2014.
The AfDB plans to launch two new MTN local currency programmes in Nigeria and Zambia in the coming months. Since its first African currency loan in 1998, the Bank's local currency loan portfolio totals the equivalent to over USD 2.4 billion. The Bank is however keen to diversify its local currency portfolio across all African regions beyond the South African rand which now dominates the local currency loan book and is the multilateral lender's third largest lending currency. As part of the Local Currency Initiative established in 2006, the AfDB has received approvals to issue in the local capital markets of Tanzania, Ghana and Kenya, among other countries and hopes to enter many of these markets in the short to medium-term.
Distributed by the African Press Organization on behalf of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
About the African Development Bank Group
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) (http://www.afdb.org) is Africa's premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 29 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 53 regional member states.
For more information: http://www.afdb.org
Africa Day Keynote Address
WASHINGTON, May 24, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Remarks
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs
May 23, 2013
Thank you for that kind introduction. Ambassador Mombuli, Ambassador Baali, Ambassador Odembo, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, and all protocol observed, good evening. It is a distinct honor to be here with you this evening to celebrate Africa Day and all that this day represents – pride in the Continent, reverence for its history, its partnerships in the present, and faith in its future, lifting up the vision of an Africa that is peaceful, prosperous and proud.
It is fitting that on this particular Africa Day in 2013, we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Organization of African Unity. Just as 1963 was a seminal year in the fight for freedom in Africa, so it was also seminal year in the fight for freedom in the United States. Just as brave freedom fighters fought for their independence in Kenya, Algeria and other places across Africa, so did brave citizens march for their freedom in Birmingham, Selma and other cities across America. Just as Africa's founding fathers – like Kwame Nkruma, Julius Nyerere, Jom Kenyatta, Aekou Touré, Félix Houphouët-Boigny and Haile Selassie - created the OAU in Addis Ababa as an expression of unity amongst all Africans, so did Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. march on Washington to share his Dream as an expression of the inherent equality of all Americans. And, just as the African Union has evolved to be led by the first woman in its history – Dr. Nkosozana Dlamini-Zuma – so has our country evolved to be led by the first African-American in its history – President Barack Obama.
Yet the histories of our peoples – Africans and Americans – are much more than lives lived in parallel, like eucalyptus trees growing tall but separately. Instead, our histories are more like sturdy vines, weaving into each other as they grow toward the sunlight, increasingly and inevitably intertwined. The explosion of independent African states in the early 1960s gave hope to millions of oppressed people around the world, including here in the U.S., that freedom was on the march and that a brighter day was coming. The heroism of Nelson Mandela and the martyrdom of Stephen Biko inspired a generation of Americans to make common cause with those fighting to end the last vestiges of apartheid and colonialism in Africa. Prominent Americans, like Dr. Ralph Bunche and Amb. Andrew Young, worked to midwife the birth of free African states from the Congo to Zimbabwe. The riveting prose of Chinua Achebe and the elegant verse of Leopold Senghor awakened the consciousness of Africans and Americans to the beauty and the challenges of contemporary Africa. And when the scourge of HIV/AIDS threatened to decimate a generation of young people across the continent, the United States responded with PEPFAR, spending billions of dollars to save millions of lives. We are, without a doubt, peoples inextricably linked.
To be certain, our common histories are also full of painful memories and instances of profound regret. It was the horror of the transatlantic slave trade that first brought Africans, including my ancestors, to the shores of North America in great numbers. Also, there is no doubt that our government could have and should have done more to support many of the liberation struggles in Africa. And former President Bill Clinton publicly and prominently apologized for the failure of the United States to do more to stop the genocide in Rwanda in 1994.
Yet anniversaries such as today offer an opportunity to embrace the future as well as a chance to reflect on the past. The United States is optimistic about Africa's future, and we are committed to being a stalwart and unshakable partner in the project of building a prosperous Africa at peace with itself and the world. It is in recognition of our shared past and faith in our common future that President Obama will make an extended trip Africa in late June, accompanied by First Lady Michelle Obama. Yes, we are indeed confident in Africa's future, particularly with regard to Africa's political unity, growing economy, and expanding opportunity.
One of the most encouraging and exciting African developments in the last decade has been the degree to which the African Union – successor to the OAU – has set the pace for unified political standards and conflict resolution on the continent. It has taken an indispensible leadership role in addressing political crises from Madagascar to Mali. The adoption of the AU Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance by member states is a collective commitment to a transparent and participatory government. And the African Union Peer Review Mechanism is a powerful and admirable means for African states to hold themselves accountable to one another. It was in recognition of the potential of the AU to serve such a powerful role for Africa that the United States was proud to be the very first non-African country to accredit an ambassador solely to the African Union. Further, we were pleased that as one of her last acts of office, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed a Memorandum of Understanding with AU Chairperson Dlamini-Zuma creating a Strategic Partnership between the United States and the African Union. And it is in recognition of the reality of the AU's influence and importance today that Secretary of State John Kerry will attend the AU Summit and 50th Anniversary celebrations for the OAU in Addis Ababa this weekend, making him the first sitting US Secretary of State to attend an AU summit.
The spread of democracy and good governance is one of the key factors leading to increased economic growth in Africa. We are pleased to recognize that six of the ten fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa. In the past fifteen years, two-way trade between Africa and the United States has grown from $31 billion to $99 billion. The African Growth and Opportunity Act has opened the American market to some $424 billion of African imports over the last twelve years, and the Obama administration is committed to the renewal of AGOA in 2015. There is enormous economic potential in infrastructure, agribusiness, consumer goods, manufacturing and a host of other sectors beyond extractive industries. The U.S. Government recognizes that the economic future of Africa is bright, and we want to help American companies benefit from these opportunities by engaging, investing, and partnering with African businesses. For this reason, a number of very senior American delegations have travelled to Africa in the last year alone to showcase African commercial opportunities to American firms. This has included visits by Deputy National Security Advisor for Economic Affairs Michael Froman to Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Nigeria; Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank to South Africa and Kenya; and Commerce Under Secretary Franciso Sanchez to Zambia and South Africa, to name but a few. We will make every effort to show the American private sector that Africa is open for business, and that they should seek opportunities to engage, partner and invest there for our mutual benefit.
Finally, this trend of economic growth will hopefully lead to expanded opportunity for citizens across Africa. Africa is a young continent, with 60 percent of the total population under the age of 30. These young people have a great dynamism and hope for their future, but they will also need jobs and education to realize their individual potential and to contribute to the prosperity of their countries. For this reason, the Obama administration has pioneered the Young African Leadership Initiative, or YALI, which to date has engaged more than 250 young Africans in leadership training and networking with their peers across the continent. We continue to support over 260 students from 34 African countries to study in the United States through the Fulbright Program. And we are anxious to learn how we can be supportive of the Pan African University, which has great potential to revolutionize both the content and accessibility of tertiary education in Africa.
in conclusion, we should recognize that while our histories as Africans and Americans are well behind us, our future has yet to be written. As we celebrate this Africa Day, and reflect on the challenges and triumphs that have brought us to this moment, let us resolve to make our common future bright and prosperous, rooted in shared values, marked by mutual respect, and committed to dignity for all.
Addhope Forum 2013: kick-off to a multi-lateral dialogue full of hope
GENEVA, Switzerland, May 24, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Placed under the label of dialogue and philanthropy, the first edition of the Addhope Forum kept its promises by offering a space for exchange and discussions on the keys to successful development partnerships. On this occasion, 145 participants coming from NGOs, the private and public sectors, as well as academia, shared their experiences and best practices on the matter.
Logo Addax Petroleum: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/ap-foundation-stand-alone-logo.jpg
Logo Addhope Forum 2013: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/addhopeforum_logo_greyok.jpg
Photo 1: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/trs_6512_final.jpg
Photo 2: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/TRS_6497_final-1.jpg
M. Zhang, Chairman, Sinopec-Addax Petroleum Foundation (http://www.addhopefoundation.org) and CEO, Addax Petroleum Corporation, opened the forum emphasizing his strong conviction that the foundation's initiatives are deeply rooted in the Corporate Social Responsibility strategy of its Shareholder, the Sinopec Group.
“Philanthropy should not be limited to its financial engagement” commented M. Zhang. “In order to be efficient, philanthropy should go beyond the pecuniary aspect and rather take the approach of sharing competencies. As a famous Chinese proverb goes ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
”That is why we are all gathered here today. We have gained a lot of experience working with our NGO partners over the years. But there is still room for improvement, and we can get even better at what we do by maintaining the continuous dialogue we have with partners from every sector. ”
In his opening address H. E. Haitao Wu, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Chinese Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, Chargé d'Affaires a.i., Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary for Disarmament Affairs, highlighted the efforts undertaken by China, the largest developing country in the world, to meet the Millennium Development Goals objectives.
Plenary and interactive sessions took place throughout the morning and offered a forum where participants – organisations and individuals concerned by public good and the issues linked to partnerships between NGOs and the private sector – could openly share insights and experience.
“As often in life, a partnership is not a given” commented Marie-Gabrielle Cajoly, Executive Director of the Sinopec-Addax Petroleum Foundation. “On the contrary, it is a trust relationship, based on mutual engagement, comprehension and dialogue.”
“We invited representatives from all horizons, and in particular a large number of NGOs, to join us for today's forum. Their enthusiastic participation was fantastic and a strong sign of everyone's interest in both the topics discussed and the approach taken.”
Indeed, the foundation was keen to give the floor to all actors involved on a wide range of themes such as: the opportunities and risks linked to multisectoral partnerships; how to monitor and measure projects more efficiently; how to best communicate around the work undertaken; and how to identify the changes in the developing landscape occurring today in order the adapt to them in the best possible way.
Finally, an important focus was given to NGOs, especially in the interactive sessions, where they were invited to present more specific elements of their work.
Distributed by the African Press Organization on behalf of Addax Petroleum.
About the Sinopec-Addax Petroleum Foundation
The Foundation (http://www.addhopefoundation.org) is an independent Non-Profit Organisation based in Geneva. Founded by Addax Petroleum Corporation (APC), its main donor, it also benefits from the support of the Sinopec Group, its shareholder. The Foundation aims to address the root causes of poverty in Africa, the Middle East and China, and to help deprived communities by strengthening their skills and by providing them with the appropriate conditions to reach self-sufficiency in a sustainable way. http://www.addhopefoundation.org.
Presse contact: Catherine Safi
Office : +41(0)22 592 50 58 - Mobile: +41 (0)78 618 32 18
AMISOM celebrates 50th Anniversary of the OAU
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, May 24, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) today celebrated the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1963. The main event which took place at the AMISOM Conference Centre in Mogadishu was presided over by the President of the Federal Government of Somalia, H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohammed and was attended by the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC), members of the Diplomatic Corps, the Mayor of the City of Mogadishu, traditional elders, the civil Society and AMISOM officials.
In his remarks during the event which was under the theme; Pan?Africanism and African Renaissance, the President of the Federal Government of Somalia, H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said the event was an opportunity for Somalia to be at the centre of fifty years of African Renaissance and provides an opportunity to reflect on what has been achieved since the formation of the OAU.
He said; “No?one likes Pan Africanism and African Renaissance better than Somalia. This is where the whole Africa converges to support Somalia. Somalia is therefore a strong example of African cooperation. Africa has the potential to make the twenty? irst century, the African century. The African Union is a community of nations that stand side by side to find African solutions for our problems.”
The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Mahamat Saleh Annadif recalled that Somalia was one of the founding members of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and also played a key role in the liberation of many African states. “The sacrifice by the AU peacekeeping force though difficult is therefore one way of giving back to Somalia.AMISOM is in Somalia to support the government and its people and does not intend to stay forever but will leave once peace and stability have been restored.”
The European Union Ambassador to Somalia said there is no better place to celebrate 50th anniversary of the OAU than Somalia because it is in Somalia where the African UUnion has made a big difference. Main activities to mark the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Organization of the African Unity (OAU) will be held on Saturday May 25th at the African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa in which several African Heads of State and Government will be in attendance.
AFISMA Head of Mission visits Timbuktu and reiterates the need for dialogue and reconciliation in Mali
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, May 24, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU) and Head of the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA), former President Pierre Buyoya, has emphasized the importance of intra-communal and inter-community dialogue, as part of the search for a sustainable solution to the multi-dimensional crisis in Mali.
The Special Representative made this emphasis while addressing local government officials, community elders and religious and cultural leaders in the northern Malian town of Timbuktu, on 23 May 2013, during an official visit to the town. He encouraged the various communities in the region to participate in the national dialogue and reconciliation process that was recently launched by the Malian Government. “Forgetting what happened here may be difficult. However, dialogue, forgiveness and reconciliation are indispensable to enable this beautiful community to rebuild and move on”, he said.
The local leaders told the Special Representative that life was gradually returning to normal in Timbuktu, following the liberation of the town a few weeks ago. They thanked AFISMA for deploying African troops, from Burkina Faso, to take over from French forces and support the Malian forces in providing security for the Timbuktu region, which covers 40 per cent of the surface area of Mali, with a pre-crisis population of 700.000 people.
“We were initially nervous when we heard that France was withdrawing its forces from Timbuktu. However, since the arrival of the Burkinabe troops last month, our fears have been dissipated. They have done a remarkable job and we are pleased to have them in our midst”, the local leaders told the Special Representative.
Addressing the AFISMA troops, at their base at the Timbuktu international airport, President Buyoya reiterated that AFISMA is in Mali to help liberate a fellow African country from armed extremists and narco-terrorists; support Mali in consolidating its national unity and re-asserting state authority throughout its territory; as well as to encourage and support the country in its return to democratic dispensation. He commended the troops for their exemplary conduct and urged them to continue discharging their duties with perseverance, dedication and professionalism, despite the challenging geographic and logistical conditions under which they are operating. The imminent transformation of AFISMA into a United Nations multidimensional stabilization Mission, he added, will help alleviate some of the logistical problems faced by the troops.
The Special Representative and the troops observed a minute of silence in honor of Brigadier General Yaye Garba, the AFISMA Deputy Force Commander, who died in Bamako, Mali, on 11 May 2013, and was buried in his home country, Niger, on 18 May 2013.
Before returning to Bamako, President Buyoya and his delegation also visited the Djingarei-Ber Grand Mosque, which was built in the early 14th century, and saw the damage inflicted on priceless historical cultural and religious sites by the violent extremists and terrorists during their one-year ruthless occupation of Northern Mali.
Namibia Prepares to Manage Disaster Risk
GENEVA, Switzerland, May 24, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- IOM Namibia, in cooperation with the Office of the Prime Minister and with financial support from USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, this week completed a training of trainers in disaster risk management in Ongwediwa.
The training will enhance national capacity for disaster risk management by increasing the country's resilience to the multiple natural disaster hazards.
Thirty-two officials from key government ministries, regional and town councils, and the Namibian Red Cross Society took part. Next week, a second training is scheduled for the remaining seven regions of the country.
The training included key disaster risk management concepts and principles; the institutional framework for disaster risk management in Namibia; Namibia's hazard profile; and community participation in risk management, among others. The participants will become certified disaster risk management trainers qualified to teach others.
The training coincides with the recent drought disaster declaration by President Hifikepunye Pohamba, who underlined the severity of the situation and called for coordination among all stakeholders.
It forms part of a broader regional capacity building programme for sustainable and coherent disaster risk management, which includes the neighbouring countries of Botswana and Mozambique and is founded on the principles of national ownership, partnership, participation and a low-cost methodology.
The Namibian capacity-building model, formulated in 2011 in the aftermath of devastating floods which caused wide spread displacement, has been replicated and adapted by other countries, including Colombia, Pakistan and currently Botswana and Mozambique.
Namibia is a country prone to annual natural disasters including floods, droughts and fires. Last year the Namibian government passed a Disaster Risk Management Act in an effort to institutionalize the legal framework for disaster risk management.
IOM Backs Efforts to Reduce Malaria among Migrants in Southern Africa
GENEVA, Switzerland, May 24, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- IOM this week organized a meeting in Geneva on "Population Mobility & Health for All: Malaria Control and Elimination in Southern Africa – Challenges and Opportunities."
The event, which coincided with the 66th World Health Assembly, was attended by senior Ministry of Health officials from malaria elimination "E-8" countries, including Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The meeting was designed to strengthen collaborative efforts to reduce and eliminate malaria among migrants and mobile populations. It also aimed to support malaria elimination in E-8 countries and the move towards universal access to health services for vulnerable populations in Southern Africa.
Malaria continues to be a major global public health problem impacting 109 countries globally and is ranked as the fifth cause of death from communicable diseases worldwide. There were an estimated 655,000 malaria deaths in 2010, of which 91% were in Africa.
Internal and cross-border movements of people in Southern Africa continue to increase for various reasons. Mobile populations face complex obstacles in accessing essential health care, including malaria prevention, screening and treatment, as they enter and leave endemic or non-endemic areas on a daily basis.
"As partners and stakeholders, we need to advocate for the inclusion of migrant health in discussions of the post-2015 Development Agenda. Universal health coverage includes monitoring health outcomes of marginalized populations including migrants, as referenced in the 2008 61st World Health Assembly Resolution on the Health of Migrants," says Dr. Davide Mosca, Director of IOM's Migration Health Division.
IOM Responds to Increasing Humanitarian Needs as Conflict in DRC Escalates
GENEVA, Switzerland, May 24, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Renewed fighting between government forces and the M23 rebel group north of the Provincial capital Goma has led to tension and increased insecurity in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
IOM maintains a strong presence as it continues to manage displacement sites surrounding Goma and provides humanitarian support to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
IOM has continually urged those recently displaced to seek refuge in one of many different displacement sites where the security situation allows for registration activities and for the provision of humanitarian aid.
"This is imperative for the safety and well-being of IDPs," said IOM DRC Chief of Mission Laurent de Boeck. "As soon as the attacks occurred, I dispersed teams throughout the conflict zones to monitor movements and advised the IDPs to find safe havens in specific locations," he added.
Specific attention continues to be given to coordinated management of information in pre-existing displacement sites with national and international partners. IOM continues to release the outcomes of its displacement tracking to partners and humanitarian actors, in order to better direct response activities for similar situations.
The IOM team in Goma started the initial phase of the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) in December 2012, and has since identified 90 sites throughout North Kivu. The largest displacement sites include Mungunga I, Lac Vert, Nzulo and Bulengo, which together hold tens of thousands of IDPs.
Together with its partners, IOM continues to work to meet the needs of the growing displaced population. Through the Spontaneous Sites Working Group, IOM shares its profiling activities and coordinates response with partners. IOM is also currently engaged in a series of Camp Management and Camp Coordination trainings with UNHCR to build the capacity of national and international actors.
The recent outbreak of violence occurred days before the arrival of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who was accompanied by World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. During their ongoing trip to the Great Lakes region, the World Bank announced a 1 billion USD development package for the region which could "be a major contributor to a lasting peace in the Great Lakes region."
ZAMBIA - Fund-raising: from Lusaka to Florence by bike
ROME, Italy, May 24, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Travelling from Lusaka to Florence on a bamboo tandem, through 13 African and two European countries, to raise funds to build a school in Zambia. That's the challenge organised by Sport2build, an Italian non-profit, on which Matteo Sametti, one of the charity's founders, will soon be embarking with a young citizen of Zambia. The initiative is being sponsored by the Italian Embassy in Lusaka.
SECRETARY-GENERAL STRONGLY CONDEMNS SUICIDE BOMBINGS IN NIGER
NEW YORK, May 24, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
The Secretary-General strongly condemns the two suicide bombings which took place today in Arlit and Agadez, Niger. He conveys his sincere condolences to the families of the victims.
The Secretary-General reiterates the support of the United Nations to the efforts of the Government of Niger and other countries in the Sahel region to combat the scourge of terrorism and transnational crime, in close collaboration with the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States and the Economic Community of Central African States. He stresses the need for the international community to continue to strengthen its cooperation to address these serious threats to the stability of the subregion and beyond.