The Secretary-General welcomes the start of an inclusive dialogue among political leaders, civil society and religious communities of Guinea-Bissau today in Guinea. The dialogue is the crucial first step in implementing the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) roadmap to end the political crisis, which political leaders agreed to in Bissau on 10 September 2016.
The Secretary-General thanks the ECOWAS Mediator for Guinea-Bissau, H.E. Mr. Alpha Condé, President of the Republic of Guinea, for hosting the parties and leading the regional effort to swiftly implement the roadmap. He further encourages all parties to engage in constructive discussions and seize this opportunity for a favourable outcome in the interest of the people of Guinea-Bissau. He calls on all parties to jointly achieve decisive progress within the coming days, in order to break the political impasse that has prevailed in the country since August 2015.
The Secretary-General has requested his Special Representative in Guinea-Bissau and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), Mr. Modibo I. Touré, to continue to work closely with all stakeholders in Guinea-Bissau. This he will do in close collaboration with ECOWAS, the African Union and other key partners, including the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries and the European Union as they work towards political stability in Guinea-Bissau.
Le Secrétaire général salue le début d’un dialogue inclusif entre les chefs politiques, la société civile et les communautés religieuses bissau-guinéens aujourd’hui en Guinée. Ce dialogue est une première étape décisive dans la mise en œuvre de la feuille de route de la Communauté économique des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO) pour mettre fin à la crise politique, qui a été adoptée par les dirigeants politiques à Bissau le 10 septembre 2016.
Le Secrétaire général remercie le médiateur de la CEDEAO pour la Guinée-Bissau, S.E. M. Alpha Condé, Président de la République de Guinée, d’accueillir les parties et de mener l’effort régional pour mettre en œuvre la feuille de route rapidement. Il encourage toutes les parties à s’engager dans des discussions constructives pour accomplir ensemble des progrès décisifs dans les prochains jours, afin de mettre fin à l’impasse politique qui prévaut dans le pays depuis août 2015.
Le Secrétaire général a demandé à son Représentant spécial et Chef du Bureau intégré des Nations Unies pour la consolidation de la paix en Guinée-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), M. Modibo I. Touré, de continuer à coopérer étroitement avec toutes les parties prenantes en Guinée-Bissau. Il le fera en collaboration étroite avec la CEDEAO, l’Union africaine, et les partenaires clés, y compris la Communauté des pays de langue portugaise et l’Union européenne, dans leurs efforts en faveur de la stabilité politique en Guinée-Bissau.
London, UK and Johannesburg, South Africa – WorldRemit and MTN Group today announced that WorldRemit customers can now send money instantly to MTN Mobile Money wallets in Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia.
The launch follows the signing of a global partnership agreement earlier this year, to enable WorldRemit customers all over the world to send international remittances to MTN’s Mobile Money customers.
“This partnership makes sense for both companies, as WorldRemit and MTN share a disruptive approach to innovation and bring impactful services to our customers. Together, we are now providing an instant, fully digital and very affordable solution to send international remittance to Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia. Other countries will follow soon,” says Serigne Dioum, MTN Group Head of Mobile Financial Services.
“At WorldRemit, we are pioneering international mobile-to-mobile remittances. Our partnership with MTN allows our customers around the world to send money instantly from the WorldRemit app to MTN Mobile Money users in Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia. Together with MTN, we make sending money home as easy as sending an instant message,” says Alix Murphy, Senior Mobile Analyst at WorldRemit.
She continues: “For diaspora members sending money to friends and family back home in these countries, Mobile Money is a real game-changer. In Uganda, Mobile Money has already overtaken cash pick-up and bank deposits as the preferred method to receive money. We expect this trend to continue as MTN’s Mobile Money services reach millions of people without bank accounts, giving them access to a variety of life-enhancing financial services including savings and insurance schemes.”
People in more than 52 countries already use the WorldRemit app to send around 400,000 money transfers every month to over 125 destinations. WorldRemit is the leading sender of remittances to Mobile Money wallets connecting to over 25 different services worldwide.
MTN Mobile Money enables users to perform utility payments, save money, purchase airtime and access a range of mobile financial products. To date, MTN Mobile Money is used by customers in 15 countries across Africa, i.e. Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Congo, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda and Zambia.
In keeping with its aim to accelerate the rollout of international remittance, MTN launched a cross-border mobile money transfer service between Uganda and Rwanda in August. The service allows customers in both countries to transact via MTN Mobile Money with the same simplicity as for a local money transfer. MTN also offers a mobile money cross-border remittance service between Ivory Coast, Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger. The remittance corridor between Kenya and Rwanda is the latest addition to MTN’s Mobile Money bouquet of services. It forms part of a major initiative between MTN and Vodafone, to enhance financial inclusivity in East Africa.
In the six months to 30 June 2015, MTN grew mobile money subscribers by 45,8% to 32,4 million.
*NB: All figures are unaudited
About the MTN Group
Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a leading emerging market operator, connecting subscribers in 22 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code: “MTN.” As of 30 June 2015, MTN recorded 231 million subscribers across its operations in Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, South Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia. Visit us at, www.mtnbusiness.com and www.mtn.com
The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Vitaly I. Churkin (Russian Federation):
The members of the Security Council took note of the appointment on 17 September, of Mr. Carlos Correia, first Vice-President of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde, the majority political party in the National Assembly, as Prime Minister of Guinea-Bissau. The members of the Security Council emphasized this as an important step towards bringing an end to the political crisis that has prevailed in the country since mid-August. The members of the Security Council stressed the importance of the appointment of a new Government as soon as possible, and in full respect with constitutional procedures.
The members of the Security Council commended the respect for the Constitution and the rule of law demonstrated by the Bissau-Guinean actors, including the non-interference of the security forces in the political situation in the country and the restraint shown in this regard. The members of the Security Council further commended the peaceful way Guinea-Bissau’s population is following the political situation in the country.
The members of the Security Council again recalled resolution 2203 (2015) and stressed the importance of national reconciliation, inclusive dialogue and good governance. In this regard, they urged the Bissau-Guinean actors to uphold and proceed with continuous and constructive dialogue, within the established constitutional parameters and with respect for the separation of powers, in order to strengthen democratic governance and work towards consensus on key political issues, particularly with regards to the implementation of the necessary urgent reforms.
The members of the Security Council recalled the Council’s commitment to support the authorities of Guinea-Bissau and noted that the pledges made at the March Brussels International Donor Conference required a stable political environment in order to most effectively materialize. The members of the Security Council further noted that courageous and inclusive political steps should be taken to help realize these pledged commitments, in the best interests of all Bissau-Guineans.
The members of the Security Council commended the coordinated approach and common messaging from regional and international actors, including the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union, the United Nations, the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries and the European Union throughout this period. They further highlighted the efforts of Presidents Macky Sall of Senegal, Alpha Condé of the Republic of Guinea, and Olusegun Obasanjo, Special Envoy of President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, to facilitate dialogue in Guinea-Bissau.
The members of the Security Council also welcomed the decision taken by the Extraordinary Session of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Governments held in Dakar on 12 September 2015, to extend the ECOWAS Security Mission in Guinea-Bissau’s mandate until June 2016 and recalled the provisions of resolution 2203 (2015) in this regard. In this respect, they commended the decision of the European Union to provide financial support to this Mission.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their full support for the key role and active engagement of Miguel Trovoada, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), including his good offices and close coordination with the international community.
ACCRA, Ghana–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Western Union Company (NYSE:WU, a leader in global payment services, today celebrated its 20th anniversary in Africa. With over 34,000 locations and connections to millions of bank accounts and mobile wallets in more than 50 countries and territories, across Africa, the Western Union network serves millions of senders and receivers with a choice of 120 currencies.
To celebrate this special milestone, Western Union’s President for Africa, Middle East, Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe and CIS, Jean Claude Farah, in addition to Aida Diarra, Western Union’s Regional Vice President and Head of Africa and other members of the Africa leadership team visited the first agent location at ADB (Agricultural Development Bank) that offered Western Union money transfer services for the first time in Africa in 1995. The WU leadership team also visited Ecobank head office in Accra and marked the occasion with the launch of the Account Based Money Transfer services through ATM in Ghana.
The Western Union 20th Anniversary celebration in Ghana in Africa, coincides with a speech made by President Barack Obama at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he is quoted saying:
“Today, Africa is one of the fastest-growing regions in the world. Africa’s middle class is projected to grow to more than one billion consumers. With hundreds of millions of mobile phones, surging access to the Internet, Africans are beginning to leapfrog old technologies into new prosperity. Africa is on the move, a new Africa is emerging.”
Western Union is committed to the expansion and development of its pan-African network which provides a critical link to the ever growing African Diaspora living and working in countries around the world.
“More than 30 million Africans live outside their home countries, contributing billions of USD in remittances to their families and communities back home every year1”, said Jean Claude Farah. “We are very humbled to play a role in helping them move their money as they seek to elevate their economic status, meet emergency needs, support healthcare requirements, contribute to the education of future generations and in many instances build their own small businesses. By moving money for better for 20 years Western is enabling a world of possibilities for Africa and in Africa.”
Aida Diarra added, “Through the work we do we also enable economic activity and job creation. Currently over 155,000 Front Line Associates (FLAs) are employed in our agent network on the African continent. Western Union invests in training these FLAs developing their business, technical and compliance skills.”
In addition to the socio-economic impact that remittances enable, the company also supports philanthropic activities in Africa via the Western Union Foundation which has a long history of giving back to communities across the African continent. It supports organizations that promote economic opportunity and growth for individuals, families and entire communities throughout the region. Since its creation, the Western Union Foundation has committed to $8.703 million in grants and donations to 158 NGOs in more than 40 countries across Africa.
About Western Union
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders. As of March 31, 2015, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of over 500,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories and over 100,000 ATMs and kiosks. In 2014, The Western Union Company completed 255 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $85 billion of principal between consumers, and 484 million business payments. For more information, visit www.WesternUnion.com.
1 IFAD, 2009
Western Union Press Contact:
Khalid Baddou, +212 522 42 84 02
14 JANUARY 2015
Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General’s Jan Eliasson’s remarks to the Security Council on post-conflict peacebuilding, in New York today:
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to brief the Council on the Secretary-General’s report on Peacebuilding in the Aftermath of Conflict.
This report reminds us that peacebuilding is at the core of the United Nations’ aims and ambitions. The challenges and responses described in the report will directly affect the future of individuals, communities and societies and their chances of living in peace.
I would like to highlight five key features of the report.
First, peacebuilding is most effective when political, security and development actors support a common, comprehensive and clear strategy for consolidating peace.
We have seen examples of this in Guinea and Burundi.
In Guinea, the United Nations country team supported an inter-party agreement on parliamentary elections that was facilitated by the then-SRSG [Special Representative of the Secretary-General] for West Africa, Said Djinnit. The team held public meetings with local political leaders and helped train election monitors.
In Burundi, the Peacebuilding Commission and the country team supported the efforts of the UN Office in pursuit of a more inclusive political environment. They did this by facilitating broad consultations with political parties and civil society. This led to the adoption of a new electoral code and a code of conduct for the upcoming elections.
Second, strong and well-functioning institutions that are central to peacebuilding must be based on effective and inclusive political agreements.
Such agreements provide legitimacy and support for institutional development and reform. Without inclusive agreements, political divisions may persist and control of the State may indeed remain contested. Under such circumstances, nationally led peacebuilding strategies have a limited potential. Let’s admit that we have seen this in South Sudan, where extensive investments in institution-building were lost when weak and unstable political agreements between different factions resulted in a tragic relapse of conflict.
Third, peacebuilding requires sustained international political, technical and financial support.
Regretfully, we are seeing such gaps in several places, particularly where the establishment of basic Government functions and the provision of social services are required to sustain peace.
The Peacebuilding Fund can partially address the financial gaps in the short term. But, it remains problematic to ensure the necessary larger-scale and longer-term assistance and support.
I encourage the Peacebuilding Commission to continue its efforts to mobilize the support of Member States for the UN’s missions and mandates. Groups of Friends and Contact Groups can play an important role. Also, compacts between post-conflict States and key international partners can align international support with national priorities — as they did in Sierra Leone and Somalia.
Fourth, regional actors and neighbouring countries, working together with the United Nations, can play a critical role in creating an environment conducive to sustainable peace.
The Peacebuilding Commission can help support such efforts, as it has done recently in the Central African Republic and Guinea-Bissau, by convening meetings with regional organizations, neighbouring States and international partners.
This underlines how conflicts in today’s world more and more take on a regional dimension, which I am sure you in the Council have noted in your deliberations on so many issues. This regional dimension, in my view, should be better reflected in how we in the future deal generally with both conflict resolution and post-conflict peacebuilding.
Fifthly, and lastly, at this part of my presentation — promoting inclusion means that we must ensure women’s equal participation in post-conflict political and development processes.
The Secretary-General’s report details innovative approaches from Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kyrgyzstan and Liberia, including an initiative in Guinea called the Women’s Situation Room. This provided support to a network of local women’s organizations, enabling women to play a crucial role as election monitors. It also facilitated inter-party trust and strengthened women’s political participation. We need more initiatives like this, and I particularly would like to say that this could be very valuable this year when we mark the 20 years after the important Beijing conference.
I would on this occasion like to present the Council with some reflections and thoughts on the important review of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture that was launched by the General Assembly and the Security Council last month.
It was my privilege, as President of the General Assembly 10 years ago, to be part of the creation of the peacebuilding structures — the Peacebuilding Commission, the Peacebuilding Fund and the Peacebuilding Support Office. You may recall that this work was in response to the troubling phenomenon at the time of frequent relapses into conflict.
Since then, we can see that peacebuilding efforts are more necessary than ever. In the recent past, the Central African Republic and South Sudan have tragically fallen back into conflict.
The three Ebola-affected countries, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, are all on the Peacebuilding Commission’s agenda. In addition to the large and tragic loss of life, the epidemic has also had a dramatic impact on social cohesion and State institutions. As the Peacebuilding Commission noted in its early meetings on the epidemic, there is a need for comprehensive support that will ensure the resilience of State institutions and of course rapid recovery.
The United Nations’ involvement in peacebuilding has evolved considerably since 2005, with broader mandates and more actors, working in ever more difficult environments. Our peacekeepers and special political missions are often in these situations called upon to support inclusive political processes and to build effective rule of law and security institutions, together with UN agencies, funds and programmes.
The Peacebuilding Commission was intended to be a diverse, flexible and dynamic political forum, which would focus sustained international attention on the challenges for countries at risk of relapse into violence. Although the Commission has made some important progress, many now agree that its structure and working methods need review, improvement and adaptation to a rapidly changing environment. Here, I would like to commend the efforts of the Permanent Representative of Brazil, Antonio [de Aguiar] Patriota, who has been Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission and set the direction in a very positive way, as also the new Head of the Peacebuilding Support office, Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, who is behind me, and his predecessor. So, we are on the right track and I think we need to go with an open mind into this work.
We need a forum that can act quickly to mobilize the collective support of Member States for the UN’s mandates and missions. We also need to consider the circumstances in which the Peacebuilding Commission can be particularly useful. A more flexible, more dynamic and strategically oriented Commission could be more relevant to a broader range of situations in today’s world.
These and other ideas are included in the UN system’s input to the review. I hope you will give them your serious consideration. The UN system is committed to increase its support to and engagement with a dynamic, flexible and focused Peacebuilding Commission.
Your review will coincide with the Secretary-General’s review of peace operations and the Global Study to assess progress in implementing resolution 1325 (2000). The work and outcomes of these three reviews, and their follow-up, should be complementary, and in my view, mutually reinforcing.
These reviews come at a time of complex threats to peace, security and development. They provide us with an important opportunity to sharpen and re-shape our thinking and our actions.
We owe it to the people we serve to ensure that we are bold, ambitious, and above all, effective in our approach to modern-day peacebuilding. I urge Member States to be open, candid and constructive in their assessment of the peacebuilding challenges and potentials.
I would just like to add that, when we look at a conflict, the life of a conflict, we have a tendency to focus on the middle section of that life of a conflict — when you are at the “CNN stage” — when you are at the stage of suffering and taking urgent decisions on missions — peacebuilding and peacekeeping operations. I think we need all to think of extending that attention to the pre-stage and the post-stage. The life of a conflict which is discovered at the first vibrations on the ground — that is when we should start to act. And then, like the convalescence of a patient, at the end of a conflict with ceasefires and so forth, we need to know that there is post-conflict work to be done, so that we don’t get back to the vicious cycle of conflict.
We need a solid commitment from all sides to fulfil the original vision for the peacebuilding structures and to improve the UN system’s support for countries emerging from conflict.
This could make the difference, the crucial difference, between peace or continuing conflict for millions of people around the world. This is an opportunity the United Nations and its Member States should not miss.
(Angolian Army picture from EUCom)
This is little piece will be about the irony of how we spend our money. It will also address how the ten African countries spend their money.
List of Top ten African countries with highest military spending with % of GDP:
1. Eritrea – 6.30%
2. Burundi – 5.90%
3. Mauritania – 5.50%
4. Madagascar – 5.10%
5. Morocco – 4.80%
6. Algeria – 4.30%
7. Guinea-Bissau – 4.30%
8. Sudan – 4.20%
9. Zimbabwe – 3.80%
10. Namibia – 3.70%
(Source: Daily Monitor Uganda)
Number 1: Eritrea
Isaias Afewerki the Eritrean president, who has run the country since 1993.That after being the boss of the independence against Ethiopia. So that he is paranoid of the big brother in Addis Adeba isn’t surprising at all, especially since there is still border conflicts between them. Also Afeweki isn’t famous for neither democratic rulings nor elections so a dictator or totalitarian leadership style sure need some more then meagerly coins to suppress its citizens.
Number 2: Burundi
Pierre Nkurunziza the Burundian president has been in charge since 2005. He is of for his third term and not careering about limits to the stay power. So I am sure that he needs some forces to keep his company to continue to be commander and chief. In 2010 most parties boycotted the elections which gave Nkurunziza a second term. Also, Pierre is famously having a regime that is interrogating, harassing and tales about ghosting journalist. That Human Rights Watch has addressed with a lot of instances. They have parts of the army in Somalia as AMISOM; the forces of Nkurunziza aren’t just to tangle his own citizens. Some do other stuff also it seems.
Number 3: Mauritania
Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz the Mauritanian president who has been that since 2009. After the election the man hasn’t been the most popular president. The unemployed youth isn’t supporting him anymore. I am sure it’s helps to become the Chairman of AU in 2014. The most embarrassing moment in his own career was while in France in 2012: That he was shot in the stomach and had to go to the hospital in Paris. Mauritania has had issues with the military groups that comes from Northern Mail, so that has to one of many reasons why the country is using such much resources on the army!
Number 4: Madagascar
Hery Rajaonarimampianina 25. January of 2014 he became the president of this island republic. He took over after the famous DJ Andry Rajoelina who took over in the coup of 2009. So that the army has monies to spend to keep things in order is understandable. The army has proven to be a bit unstable, especially in 2012 when there was a mutiny at an army-base outside of the airport in the capitol of Antananarivo. That is when the army used it force and shut the mutiny down. Also the same year the military forces used aggressive means to shut down teacher strikes in 2012. So what is up next for them in Madagascar and Mr Rajaonarimampianina doing with it…? Time will tell.
Number 5: Morocco
Abdelilah Benkirane was appointed by the Moroccan King in 29. November 2011. Morocco has reasons to be armed up – first is the control over Western Sahara and the citizens there who is struggling for their independence. Secondly is the armed race between Morocco and Algeria. Morocco has been a part of the peace mission in Kosovo until 2014. Where the forces will do missions now is something I don’t know.
Number 6: Algeria
Abdelaziz Bouteflika has ruled the country since 27. April 1999. In 2011 the country was finally out of state of emergency. Even though the country has after the Arabian Spring seen more outside guerrillas whom is connected to Al-Qaeda. The oil rich country has been in armed race with Morocco for a while even had some shooting on the border crossings with the neighbor. The other uses for the army have also taken 40 missiles near the border to Libya. So the use is there, also to keep control over the citizens like all strong forced governments.
Number 7: Guinea-Bissau
Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo has acted as president since 11. May of 2012. The president who has had a tough stay in charge that being said: the month long treatment in Germany in 2013. The incidents of the military chief of staff General Jose Americo Babu Na Tchucu arrested in USA for drugs. That other military learders is being accused of trafficking drugs as well. So the army isn’t just shooting, they are travelling with powder. Usually the troops has been used for coup d’etat at many times like in 1980s, 1998,1999, 2003, 2005(2 coups), 2009, 2010 and yet again in 2011 and 2012. The Government and army is tangled together. Time will tell before the next coup d’etat is happening!
Number 8: Sudan
Omar Al-Bashir the man who took charge of the big country through a coup d’etat in 1989. He has been elected 3 times after that, I am sure they been rigged and secured to get more than 51 % of the vote to secure him the seat. The civil war between the North and South lasted for 19 years from 1983 – 2005. That led to the South becoming a independence state out of the government of Khartoum. The Bashir government has supported the LRA against the Ugandan government because President Museveni supported the rebellion army of SPLA who fought for sovereign South-Sudan. The Janjaweed has also made issues in Darfur and made it a bigger crisis. The last one is in the border regions towards South Sudan. Because hey, Al-Bashir misses all that oil money, secondly if he can establish anarchy in the regions, he can regain control! That is what he wishes and he is using all of the military power that he has and wants to.
Number 9: Zimbabwe
President Robert Mugabe has been in charge since 1987. He was the shiny light of independence struggle from British colonial powers and making Rhodesia to what is todays Zimbabwe. He used the forces to initially get Zapu and PF into Zanu-PF. This is where Mugabe has made the country his. He runs it and controls it. Ever since that he had used the force to keep his power in a way of rigging elections and destroying the powers of those who oppose him. The army was also used for a time during the wars in the 90s in the Democratic Republic of Congo on the support of the deceased Laurent Kabila. So it’s no surprise that the army is on a certain level to both control his citizens and also do business where ever that makes money for the chief!
Number 10: Namibia
Hifikepunye Pohamba has been the ruler of the country since 21. March 2005. He has claimed that the civil servants have issues with the government projects therefore he surely needs an army to shut that down. During the great struggles Nambian forces have had bases in Angola. That was while they were shooting at the UNITAS to get rebel forces done and out of Angola. The Namibian army was also involved in the diamond trade of war in Democratic Republic of Congo so they sure has had the need for a great army. So they have had their uses outside the borders and sure the government of Namibia is happy for that. The army chiefs of Namibia have promised to use their forces to help Zimbabwe to fight of imperialist – that is in 2014. So they sure need a big sized army.
As we see they are using the armies and monies being used. Sure it’s all necessary! Peace.