“Adama Barrow, Gambia’s new president, spoke with Al Jazeera’s Nicolas Haque in his first interview with international media. The future of Gambia and the crisis caused by former president Yahya Jammeh, who for weeks refused to step down, were among the topics discussed” (Al Jazeera, 2017)
“The Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, at the FCA’s 2016 Financial Crime Conference, stated:15 ‘The UK is attractive to criminals and corrupt kleptocrats who steal billions from their own people, often some of the poorest people in the world.’ The Home Secretary concluded: ‘If…we develop world leading legislation to combat financial crime whilst continuing to develop the capabilities of our law enforcement agencies, then we will reduce the flow of dirty money into the City….’” (RAID, P: 14, 2017).
Well, this is not the first or the last time we will discuss mineral-resources and the extractions of these to gain quick profits, either in sophisticated ways of administrative affairs between the ones the licence the operations to the company, which usually is government officials who are pocketed by subsidiaries if multi-national corporations; this is happening in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe and Guinea. As showed in the RAID report of January 2017: “Bribery in its purest form”; that I will uncover certain parts of to show the apparent companies and holding-companies that are owning and operating in the these countries by bribing officials to export minerals. They get ownership of giant mines and resources from these nations as they are licenced after favourable transactions for the governments, as they are kept bribed to uphold production as well.
This happening in nations that are sanctioned and has sanctioned persons that should stop these transactions and licences of United Kingdom and United States corporations, even if they have shell-companies and official headquarters in Tax-Havens that proves the ability of extracting the massive fortunes in these minerals, without proper transparency in the nation they operate with their mining operation.
I think the report should speak for itself and should be publically known to show how they are able to take the monies, profit and also bribing the officials without any consequences, even when the nations of Zimbabwe and DRC had sanctions against it; still the His Majesty Treasury of United Kingdom didn’t stop the transactions and trade with them. This proves that the UK Government doesn’t care about their own sanctions and how their businesses are operating without judgement and fear of getting fined for breaking laws to get rights and takeover mining operations in other countries.
Take a look!
“The review of mining licences that the Congolese government embarked on in 2007, which was supposed to clear up the murky legacy of wartime contracts, provided Och-Ziff and its collaborators with a golden opportunity to snap up valuable assets at knock-down prices. Working with the Congolese political elite, this group were able to exploit the threat of expropriation or revocation of mining permits to their own advantage. By 2014, according to Forbes Magazine, President Joseph Kabila had amassed an estimated personal fortune of US$15 billion in just over 13 years of power.xxiv In 2015, The Sunday Times Rich List estimated Michael Cohen’s wealth to be £335 million (US$500 million). Forbes puts Daniel Och’s (the founder and CEO of Och-Ziff) net worth at US$2.5 billion and Dan Gertler’s wealth at $1.18 billion. The DRC is one of the poorest and least developed nations in the world, ranked 176 out of 188 countries.xxv Almost 87% of its 69 million people live on less than $1.25 a day. Put another way, that $1.25 each day equates to $450 per year, and with life expectancy of 58 years, Och’s personal fortune would last the lifetimes of more than 95,000 Congolese at today’s values” (Raid, P: 10, 2017).
“Mvela Holdings is incorporated in South Africa.31 Mvela Holdings is described in the Och-Ziff release as ‘a private investment company founded in 1998 by Tokyo Sexwale, Mikki Xayiya and Mark Willcox. It is the controlling shareholder of JSE-listed Mvelaphanda Group Ltd and has a significant interest in JSE-listed Mvelaphanda Resources Ltd. It has other substantial privately held interests in the mining, energy, real estate and various other industrial sectors in South Africa and Africa.’ It appears that Mvela did not ultimately participate directly in AML” (…) “Palladino Holdings is described as a private investment vehicle, founded in 2003 by Walter Hennig holding ‘a variety of significant mining, energy and other assets in Africa.’32 A company under the name Palladino Holdings Limited is registered in the UK, and recorded as originating in the Turks & Caicos Islands.33 Other market notifications that refer to Palladino Holdings Limited as a shareholder give an address for Palladino in the Turks & Caicos Islands.34 Palladino Capital 2 Limited, a closely-related Palladino subsidiary behind a controversial loan to the Guinea government (see below), is registered in the British Virgin Islands” (…) “Other than Och-Ziff employees, directors of Africa Management (UK) Limited include or have included, Walter Hennig (Palladino), Andre Cilliers (Palladino) and its chief executive Mark Willcox (also Chief Executive Officer of Mvela Holdings)” (Raid, P: 17, 2017).
“Och-Ziff Employee A and Och-Ziff Employee B, along with the CEO of AML and South African Business Partner, conceived of a related-party transaction that would accomplish these goals….According to the deal documents, South African Business Partner was to buy 31.5 million shares in the oil and gas company from the South African conglomerate for $77 million and then immediately resell 18.5 million of those shares to AGC II for $77 million.…” (…) “Contrary to the deal documents…Och-Ziff Employee A and Och-Ziff Employee B knew that South African Business Partner would not pay the full $77 million to the South African conglomerate. South African Business Partner bought 31.5 million shares…for only $25 million, and then immediately resold 18.5 million shares in that same company to AGC II for $77 million, providing South African Business Partner with $52 million and an additional 13 million shares in the company. With the $52 million, South African Business Partner then paid $2.1 million to Och-Ziff to satisfy an outstanding debt relating to AGC I (in which the Investor had no interest), $25 million to the government of Guinea to try to secure access to valuable mining investments there, $1 million to the agent affiliated with the a high level Guinean government official and his family, and the remainder to personally benefit himself and his business partners” (RAID, P: 19, 2017).
“In or about March 2011, a company controlled by Coconspirator #1 [‘the beneficial owner of the Turks & Caicos Entity’ ] entered into an agreement with the Guinean government, which gave the company the option to buy into the SOMC [‘Guinean state-owned mining company’]. On or about April 29, 2011, an affiliate of the Turks & Caicos Entity loaned the government of Guinea $25 million as part of a deal to become a partner in the SOMC. Coconspirator #1 raised the $25 million through a related-party stock sale to the Joint Venture. MEBIAME signed the loan document on behalf of the affiliate of the Turks & Caicos Entity. According to MEBJAME, the partnership with the SOMC ultimately did not go forward due to negative press accounts, which indicated that the deal between the Guinean government and Coconspirator #1 was corrupt” (…) “He [Alpha Condé] said that he agreed. So we made the loan, we signed the loan to Soguipami…,and so I was authorised to sign and make the transfer.’ Another exhibit – a witness statement, from a UK High Court case, made by the chief executive of a company advising BSGR – states:67 ‘funds were transferred to Alpha Condé by way of a recorded loan of $25million and further unrecorded transfers believed to be “much much more”….Alpha Condé attempted to reward his backers. He entered into an agreement known as the Palladino Contract, pursuant to which the provider of the $25million loan would, on default of the loan, become entitled to a 30% share in a new Guinean national mining company established by Alpha Condé.’ Other exhibits in the ICSID case refer to Walter Hennig and AGC” (RAID, P: 20, 2017).
DRC laundering of mining exports:
“Gertler’s use of London markets to launder DRC assets began with another AIM-traded entity, Nikanor plc. Nikanor plc was described as ‘the holding company of a Group with copper and cobalt assets in the DRC’. The company was incorporated and headquartered in the Isle of Man.87 On 17 July 2007, Nikanor was admitted to AIM” (…) “In the Nikanor admission document, reference is made to allegations that Dan Gertler ‘acquired a temporary monopoly on sales of diamonds from the DRC as a result of improper dealings with the Government of the DRC’.88 The Nikanor admission document concludes that: ‘These allegations do not relate to the Company [Nikanor], the Group or any of their activities. They concern Mr Gertler in his capacity as a shareholder.’ Yet it is stated under ‘risk factors’ in the admission document: ‘…each of the Major Shareholders will be able to exercise significant influence over all matters requiring shareholder approval, including the election of Directors and significant corporate transactions.’ Moreover, there is also a reference to how the group of Nikanor companies with mining assets in the DRC and ‘some of the Major Shareholders’ have been ‘subject to criticism from a number of NGOs’ which included lack of transparency in the process by which the assets were awarded, the absence of public tendering and a joint venture agreement ‘unreasonably favourable to the Group and that as a result Gécamines [the DRC’s state-owned mining company] has not received proper consideration for valuable assets with a resulting detrimental effect on the economy of the DRC”(RAID, P: 22 ,2017).
Another DRC Agreement – Camrose transaction:
“The DOJ refers to ‘a $124 million convertible loan through a subsidiary company and AGC to Company B, a DRC Partner-controlled shell entity, funded in or about and between April and October 2008 (the “Convertible Loan Agreement”)’.121 Under the heading ‘C. Corrupt Takeover of DRC Mining Company’” (…) “the SEC Order states: Also in April 2008, Och-Ziff caused AGC I to enter into an approximately $124 million convertible loan with a holding company affiliated with DRC Partner. The stated uses of these funds were threefold: first, to provide DRC Partner with approximately $15 million to purchase a Congolese entity that had acquired the rights to a valuable mining asset in the DRC (the longstanding asset of a Canadian mining company) through an ex parte default judgment in the DRC that resulted in judicial misconduct proceedings; second, to provide DRC Partner with approximately $100 million to purchase a majority stake in that Canadian mining company in exchange for resolving its legal issues; and third, to advance an additional $9 million to be used for future mining operations in the DRC” (RAID, P: 26, 2017). “The transaction gave Och-Ziff control over what assets could be bought or sold by the entity, equity conversion rights into DRC Partner’s entity, a pledged interest in the shares of the Congolese entity, and a right to future deals with DRC Partner in the DRC. Moreover, the transaction gave DRC Partner complete discretion over how to use approximately $24 million of the funds provided by Och-Ziff. Further, Och-Ziff understood this transaction was part of a broader, ongoing partnership with DRC Partner. Finally, both Och-Ziff Employee A and Och-Ziff Employee B knew that DRC Partner was going to use a portion of the funds to pay bribes, and knew that the transaction was structured to accomplish that goal. This knowledge was not shared with others within Och-Ziff or with outside counsel” (RAID, P: 27, 2017).
“A 50% interest in Société Minière de Kabolela et Kipese Sprl (‘SMKK’) was acquired on 9 November 2009 as part of the CAMEC acquisition….In 2009 the Group acquired an option, for a cash consideration of US$25 million, to purchase the outstanding 50% of the issued share capital of SMKK by acquiring the entire issued share capital of Emerald Star Enterprises Limited (‘ESEL’), (an entity controlled by the Gertler family trust), the owner of the outstanding 50% of SMKK. The Group exercised this option and the acquisition of ESEL was effectively completed and control obtained by the Group in June 2010. The total cash consideration in respect of the outstanding SMKK shares, inclusive of the US$25 million option, amounted to US$75 million” (…) “Throughout the period of DRC Partner’s acquisition of Kolwezi Tailings and SMKK, DRC Partner continued to make corrupt payments to DRC Official 2. For example, on or about December 23, 2009, DRC Partner delivered $1 million to DRC Official 2; on or about January 5, 2010, DRC Partner delivered $2 million to DRC Official 2” (…) “On or about August 20, 2010, Mining Company 1 acquired 50.5 percent of Company B. Mining Company I agreed to pay up to $575 million over two years, including $50 million in cash. Och-Ziff Employee 3 and Och-Ziff Employee 5 were informed by a co-conspirator that the $50 million was for DRC Partner to “use on the ground” to corruptly acquire Kolwezi Tailings. As part of the deal, Mining Company 1 guaranteed repayment of the Convertible Loan Agreement through a novation of the loan” (RAID, P: 30-31, 2017).
“Camrose Resources Limited, BVI company number: 1055983, incorporated in the British Virgin Islands on 9 October 2006. “ (…) ”124 According to the company website: ‘The Fleurette Group is comprised of various businesses organized under Fleurette Properties Ltd., a company established in 2006 for the benefit of the Gertler Family Trust.’ (<http://fleurettegroup.com/>). A press release attributed to Fleurette Properties Limited states: ‘The Fleurette Group of Companies is a Dutch-resident group of companies whose primary activities are the investment in, exploration, exploitation and development of mining assets in Africa. The parent company of the group is called Fleurette Properties Limited, which is owned by Line Trust Corporation Limited strictly and solely on behalf of the Ashdale Settlement, a trust established in 2006 for the benefit of the family of Dan Gertler.’” (RAID, P: 58, 2017).
“Camrose is described as holding indirect interests in five copper and cobalt exploitation licences in DRC, including a 70% interest, via the Highwind Group, in Metalkol Sarl, which ENRC states as owning ‘the tailings exploitation licence covering the Kolwezi Tailings Site (otherwise known as the Kingamyambo Musonoi Tailings, or “KMT”) (PER 652)’. See ENRC plc, ‘Acquisition of 50.5% of the Shares of Camrose Resources Limited’, op. cit” (RAID, P: 59, 2017).
UK gives Concent to Camrose transaction:
“Consent for the Camrose transaction was therefore sought from the UK authorities, consent that was clearly forthcoming. ENRC sought to prevent publication of media reports relating to the SAR: 101Reporters has published not only the SAR, but also the letter it received from ENRC’s lawyers, which stated: ‘you will respect the public interest in maintaining the confidentiality in SARs and remove that aspect from your article.’” (RAID, P: 33, 2017). “There is a permissive pathway by which mines and minerals from zones of conflict and weak governance are transferred to companies trading on AIM who, in turn, through a process of acquisition, transfer these tainted assets to companies in the premium segment of the main market. This process can only be described as asset laundering. Certain of ENRC’s Congolese and Zimbabwean assets, at the heart of the SFO criminal investigation, were derived from the acquisition of AIM-traded Central African Mining and Exploration Company Limited (CAMEC), which was allowed to flourish unchecked on the junior market, despite a myriad of compliance issues that have never been addressed by AIM Regulation” (RAID, P: 34, 2017).
Zimbabwe Platinum deal:
“On 11 April 2008, CAMEC announced the acquisition of an interest in platinum mining assets in Zimbabwe via its acquisition of 100% of Lefever Finance Ltd, registered in the British Virgin Islands.209 Lefever owned 60% of Todal Mining (Private) Limited, a Zimbabwean company, which held the rights to the Bougai and Kironde claims south west of the city of Gweru in Zimbabwe. 210 The remaining 40% of Todal was held by the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (‘ZMDC’), wholly owned by the Government of Zimbabwe” (…) “…The consideration paid for Lefever was a cash payment of US$5 million and the issue of 215,000,000 new CAMEC ordinary shares. CAMEC’s announcement of the acquisition stated:211 ‘Furthermore, CAMEC has agreed to advance to Lefever an amount of US$100 million by way of loan to enable Lefever to comply with its contractual obligations to the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe. Repayment to Lefever is to be made from the ZMDC’s share of dividends from Todal.’” (…) “According to the company’s own 11 April news release announcing the Zimbabwean platinum deal, CAMEC advanced the $100 million loan to Lefever to enable it ‘to comply with its contractual obligations to the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe “ (PAID, P: 38, 2017).
“Och-Ziff had control over divesting from CAMEC after the platinum deal was announced (Mugabe and senior Zimbabwean government figures were already designated under US sanctions) or after the designation of both the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC – CAMEC’s state-controlled partner in the platinum venture) and Billy Rautenbach, later described by the US as a ‘Mugabe crony’. Och-Ziff, however, held onto its CAMEC shares into 2009, selling its remaining holding only when ENRC acquired CAMEC in November of that year” (RAID, P: 41, 2017).
“Africa Management is referred to in the Memorandum of Association of Camrose Resources: ‘…Africa Management Limited, a company incorporated in Guernsey with registered number 47651 and whose registered office is at Ogier House, St Julian’s Avenue, St. Peter Port.’ (See Memorandum and Articles of Association of Camrose Resources Limited, Incorporated 9 October 2006, Amendment registered in this 20th day of November 2008, Memorandum of Association, 10 Definitions and Interpretation, 10.1, “Africa Management Limited”)” (RAID, P: 55, 2017).
That this company Och-Ziff and their subsidiaries are handling their business in this way is not acceptable, the way they are catering to corrupt government officials and stifling the citizens of the nations they are earing fortunes. These corporate-stooges are writing-off dozens of nations desirable taxes and regulated levies on businesses. As they are bribing both high-level like Alphe Conde who accepts the deals in Guinea, as well as friends of Joseph Kabila in Democratic Republic of Congo, even getting Tokyo Sexwale the former minister of ANC in South Africa to be parts of their network. These levels of bribing and usage of political connection to get resources and takeover companies with ownership of licences of profitable mines, proves the graft and bribe that occurs to secure extravagant luxury for the government officials that are accepting these deals.
The Och-Ziff are using these subsidiaries and corporations to money laundering or tax-exempt them to gain more profits on the mining in the nations. Certainly done with the leadership knowledge and showed their employee tactics to bribe and secure the transactions and ownership of profitable mines. That is certainly the reason for these sophisticated business-models, that enrichen the corporate leadership and gives government officials giant envelopes to give away nations vital resources. These well-planned well-crafted companies that uses all kind of loopholes and ways to escape the punishment for their breaching of international and national law to salvage as much profit as possible.
The long-term effect is certainly that the Guinean, Congolese and Zimbabwean government get less tax on the dollar as the corporate leadership pays them directly a smaller fee, than actually paying the legitimate taxation for their operation and their owned businesses. These actions shouldn’t be in the wind, it should be in the public and be addressed, even send the corporate leadership and government officials should answer to the public thievery as the minerals are taken without proper legal rights because of the fraud, secondly the corporate and the government officials are implicated in the thievery and should be sanctioned by courts and under the rule of law. Third the corporations themselves should lose the licence and the mining operations as they got them without proper procedure and there is invalid. They should also be fined and get banned from working in this nations or the corporations with these corporate bosses that are acting for them to gain this default destructive profits. Peace.
Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID) – ‘‘Bribery in its purest form’: Och-Ziff, asset laundering and the London connection’ January 2017
“Why is UN not paying much attention to member states that are clearly sliding into turmoil and crisis and instead is majorly involved in the after effects of Humanitarian assistance. It doesn’t make sense. We can’t wait until it’s too.” – Francis Mwijukye [35th Inter Parliamentary Union- Geneva: High level United Nations Management committee Meeting on Development assistance, Humanitarian assistance, peace keeping operations and Mormative treaty related knowledge, 26.10.2016]
We are living in a brave new world where the world order is switching… its twists and turns, the morning dew disappears and the sun kisses the earth yet again. The last few days the world has changed. Because Nations and States have made decisions that matters; they are not only talking, but now they are acting on it.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) of The Hague is under fire. After Burundi, South Africa and Gambia are thinking of pulling out of the International Court that access the genocides and crimes against humanity.
With the escalated conflicts, the stories of lives doing whatever they can flee nations, this is happening from the internal conflict inside Burundi, Burundians refugees are now in Tanzania, Rwanda and in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This because the President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to stay in power for a third term; when the Constitution of Burundi said the Executive only could have two!
The same with the internal fighting between SPLM/A VS. SPLM/A-IO in South Sudan; where there is battle of power between President Salva Kiir and former FVP Dr. Riek Machar. Because of the conflict in South Sudan the civilian refugees have fled to Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Ethiopia. Now MONUSCO got SPLM/A-IO and Dr. Machar from the DRC to Khartoum earlier this year.
In Kenya this is happening: while the Somali Refugees are now being sent home from Kenya under the command of the government there. This happening while opposition in all of the countries mentioned has optionally torturing, arresting, detaining and even harassing them if needed be. The Kenyan Government using the fear of Al-Shabaab to send the refugees away and also hustle more donor-funding from the United States. That happens because the Jubilee apparently didn’t’ earn enough coins on NYS, Eurobonds or whatever scheme they had in play at the time.
In this New World order that is arranged while the Government are using their Security Organizations to silence opposition. While the Nation with the African Union (AU) Headquarters and are the leader of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the Ethiopian Government even uses helicopters, artillery and soldiers to kill civilians in the regions of Amhara and Oromo people. This is a Nation who has soldiers in Peacekeeping mission all around the Continent, but using all kind of force to oppress their own.
So in this place and time with more totalitarian regimes, with more leaders not leaving offices and with less political freedom; the International Justice is winding down. The rule of law internationally right now is losing its power, while the United Nation’s negations and diplomatic missions like the Inter-Burundian Dialogue under former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mpaka hasn’t gone anywhere. While the dialogue between UN’s own Edem Kodjo hasn’t created anything resembling a General Election run by the CENI in the DRC. That is because President Joseph Kabila has no plan of leaving office without using force on his own. This is happening while the bloodshed continues in the Kivu’s, while the MONUSCO and FARDC watching it in silence. ADF-NALU and the Mayi-Mayi continues as well together with the Ex-FARDC Gen. Muhindo Akili Mundos has also blood on his hands. This is happening while the Rwandan State still can export high-grade minerals that they cannot even produce or has mines to extract on their soil. This has been happening since the first war in the late 1990s.
So the New World Order is more of the same… the same kind of violence, the other change is the new brave leaders who defy the International Order. They don’t want to follow it when they feel it is unfair. United Nations (UN) might be next or the World Trade Organization (WTO) or the World Health Organization (WHO). As they might respect the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the World Bank (World Bank) because they need their financial stability or the financial stimulus that backs the budgets and aspects the government needs to pay their elites, businesses and whatever it takes to keep the regimes a-float.
This is the grand issues… the human rights violations, killings and detentions… so the Presidents and their Administrations are now afraid of the ICC. They are worried that their actions be served by the Court and they have to answer for their crimes. Doesn’t matter if this court exists or not; the UN should put up Tribunals after the Internal Conflicts like they done in the past. Than it is not direct prosecutions or charges that the ICC has put on Executives or any in the inner-circle of ruling regimes as they know their using illegal forces to silence their people and citizens. Though the feelings from African Nations that they are feeling threaten by the ICC and their actions as they are not going-in on Europeans or Americans in general, while African Generals and Politicians are hand-picked.
I’m just waiting for the honourable nations of Morocco, Mauritania, Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Angola, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland, Togo, Guinea, and Equatorial Guinea, and so on… There are more that will make decisions to leave, as even Cote d’Ivoire might revoke their place.
There are fears on the horizon, the ICC is losing its standing, the international community better listen as the men who are greedy on power and resources take it in these days by any means and hope to get away with it, while their people suffer. The only differences at our time are that information is not forgotten or not told. It’s there for those who listen; time to consider and rethink the World Order and where we want to be. Peace.
Washington D.C., Sept. 29, 2016 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Och-Ziff Capital Management Group has agreed to pay nearly $200 million to the SEC to settle civil charges of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
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
Conakry, 25 March, 2015 – The Guinean Government with the World Health Organization (WHO) initiated the very first efficacy trial of an Ebola vaccine this week in an affected community of the Basse-Guinée, one of the areas where most Ebola cases are found in the country. Ring vaccination tests of VSV-EBOV, a lead Ebola vaccine developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada, received an excellent response from the community in a small village in the Coyah prefecture, where the trial team arrived on 23 March.
“This landmark operation gives hope to all of us, in Guinea and in the world, that we might soon have an effective public health tool against Ebola, should the vaccine prove to be safe and effective,” stated the WHO Representative in Guinea, Dr. Jean-Marie Dangou. “The start of ring vaccination clinical testing today in Guinea is therefore one of the most important milestones we have achieved in seeking a modern line of defense against Ebola.”
Trained medical staff, vaccines and other essential equipment were dispatched from Conakry to Coyah to vaccinate contacts of recently infected people who have given consent in a village of the Coyah prefecture. Vaccinations for now will include only adults, who are most at risk of infection, with the exception of pregnant women.
“We are committed to ending this epidemic,” said Dr. Sakoba Keita, National Coordinator of the Fight against Ebola in Guinea. “Combined with control measures that we are putting in place with our partners, a safe and effective vaccine will allow us to close this trying chapter and start rebuilding our country.”
The ring vaccination strategy consists in identifying recently infected patients and vaccinating all their contacts, thereby creating a ‘ring of immunity’ around them to stop the virus from spreading.
“This very same strategy was a key contribution to eradicating smallpox in the 1970’s, and allows us to vaccinate all those at greatest risk,” explained WHO Coordinator for the Guinea Vaccine Trial, Dr. Ana Maria Henao Restrepo.
Dr. Bertrand Draguez, Medical Director for the Non-governmental Organization Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) stressed that: “The trial is organized on a voluntary basis, and participation is confidential, free and non-remunerated.”
The Guinean Government is fully committed to the success of the vaccine clinical trial. In a 20 March official letter addressed to all the Mayors, Prefects and local Health Officials in Guinea, the Head of the National Coordination Against Ebola in Guinea, Dr Sakoba Keita, asked all local public actors for their full cooperation and support.
A total of around 10 000 people are planned to be vaccinated in 190 rings within a six-eight week period. Volunteers will be followed for three months. Results could be available as early as July 2015.
Note to editors
About the vaccine and the vaccination strategy:
VSV-EBOV Vaccine was developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada. The vaccine was licensed to NewLink Genetics, and on November 24, 2014, NewLink Genetics and Merck announced their collaboration on the vaccine.
The concept of ring vaccination applied to the Guinea Ebola vaccine clinical trial is based on vaccinating the “rings” (group of contacts of a newly diagnosed Ebola “index case”) either immediately after confirmation of the Ebola diagnosis of the “index case”, or three weeks later (delayed vaccination). This strategy allows all the known contacts to be vaccinated within a short period of time, and it constitutes an excellent alternative to the use of a placebo. The ring vaccination trial design was developed by an international group of experts from Canada, France, Guinea, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, and WHO. This group included Professor Donald A. Henderson, who led the WHO smallpox eradication effort.
The Guinea Ebola vaccine trial is a coordinated effort among numerous international partners. The trial is implemented under the responsibility of the Guinean government. The World Health Organization (WHO) is the sponsor of the study. The Government of Guinea, Doctors without Borders / Medecins sans Frontières (MSF), Epicentre, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and WHO are coordinating its implementation. The trial is funded by MSF; the Research Council of Norway through the Norwegian Institute of Public Health; the Canadian government through the Public Health Agency of Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, International Development Research Centre and Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development; and WHO, with support from the Wellcome Trust, United Kingdom.
For more information, please contact:
Pr Jean-Marie DANGOU, WHO Representative to Guinea
Cel : + 224 623 23 55 55
Dr Ana Maria Henao Restrepo
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
M. Konaté Issiaga
Tel : +224 62 59 70 42
E-mail : email@example.com
Tel : +224 624 827 240
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel : +224 624 827 337
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One year after the first Ebola cases started to surface in Guinea, WHO is publishing this series of 14 papers that take an in-depth look at West Africa’s first epidemic of Ebola virus disease.
The papers explore reasons why the disease evaded detection for several months and the factors, many specific to West Africa, that fuelled its subsequent spread.
The most extensive papers trace events in each of the 3 most severely affected countries – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. These countries shared many common challenges, shaped by geography, culture, and poverty, but each also faced, addressed and sometimes solved some unique problems.
Key events are set out chronologically, starting with the child who is believed to be the index case of this epidemic through to the Director-General’s commitment to steadfastly support affected countries until they reach zero cases.
The report also looks back at WHO’s response over the past 12 months, including the 9 August declaration of an international health emergency. It documents the many challenges faced by countries and the international community in dealing with the largest, longest, most severe, and most complex Ebola outbreak in history.
Throughout the report, the contributions of national governments and their many partners weave in, as does the great human misery caused by a terrible and terrifying disease.
Other papers provide insight into:
- how the fast-track development of Ebola vaccines, treatments and rapid diagnostic tests is progressing, with no compromise of safety and efficacy standards;
- how Senegal, Nigeria and likely Mali managed to contain imported cases and bring their own outbreaks under control;
- the state of worldwide vigilance and preparedness, especially in countries targeted by WHO as being at greatest risk of an imported case.
The report also looks ahead. Based on what was learned during the previous year, what critical strategies and interventions will give countries and their partners the best chance of bringing the outbreaks under control?
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