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Archive for the tag “Sub-Saharan Countries”

Press Release: Africa Faces the Challenge of Sustaining Growth amid Weak Global Conditions (05.10.2015)

SAP WB

WASHINGTON, October 5, 2015— Sub-Saharan Africa countries are continuing to grow, albeit at a slower pace, due to a more challenging economic environment. Growth will slow in 2015 to 3.7 percent from 4.6 percent in 2014, reaching the lowest growth rate since 2009, according to new World Bank projections.

These latest figures are outlined in the World Bank’s new Africa’s Pulse, the twice-yearly analysis of economic trends and the latest data on the continent. The 2015 forecast remains below the robust 6.5 percent growth in GDP which the region sustained in 2003-2008, and drags below the 4.5 percent growth following the global financial crisis in 2009-2014. Overall, growth in the region is projected to pick up to 4.4 percent in 2016, and further strengthen to 4.8 percent in 2017.

Sharp drops in the price of oil and other commodities have brought on the recent weakness in growth. Other external factors such as China’s economic slowdown and tightening global financial conditions weigh on Africa’s economic performance, according to Africa’s Pulse. Compounding these factors, bottlenecks in supplying electricity in many African countries hampered economic growth in 2015.

“The end of the commodity super-cycle poses an opportunity for African countries to reinvigorate their reform efforts and thereby transform their economies and diversify sources of growth. Implementing the right policies to boost agricultural productivity, and reduce electricity costs while expanding access, will improve competitiveness and support the growth of light manufacturing,” says Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice President for Africa.

According to Africa’s Pulse, several countries are continuing to post robust growth. Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Rwanda and Tanzania are expected to sustain growth at around 7 percent or more per year in 2015-17, spurred by investments in energy and transport, consumer spending and investment in the natural resources sector.

Gains in Poverty Reduction

Africa’s Pulse found that progress in reducing income poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa has been occurring faster than previously thought. According to World Bank estimates poverty in Africa declined from 56 percent in 1990 to 43 percent in 2012. At the same time, Africa’s population saw progress in all dimensions of well-being, particularly in health (maternal mortality, under-5 mortality) and primary school enrollment, where the gender gap shrank.

Yet African countries continue to face a stubbornly high birth rate, which has limited the impact of the past two decades of sustained economic growth on reducing the overall number of poor. Countries still lag behind those in other regions in making progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). For example, Africa will not meet the MDG of halving the share of population living in poverty between 1990 and 2015.

Weaker Commodity Prices

Sub-Saharan Africa’s rich natural resources have made it a net exporter of fuel, minerals and metals, and agricultural commodities. These commodities account for nearly three-fourths of the region’s goods exports. Robust supplies and lower global demand have accounted for the decline of commodity prices across the board. For instance, the drop in the prices of natural gas, iron ore, and coffee exceeded 25 percent since June 2014, according to the report.

Africa’s Pulse notes that overall decline in growth in the region is nuanced and the factors hampering growth vary among countries. In the region’s commodity exporters—especially oil-producers such as Angola, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Nigeria, as well as producers of minerals and metals such as Botswana and Mauritania, the drop in prices is negatively affecting growth. In Ghana, South Africa, and Zambia, domestic factors such as electricity supply constraints are further stemming growth. In Burundi and South Sudan threats from political instability and social tensions are taking an economic and social toll.

Fiscal deficits across the region are now larger than they were at the onset of the global financial crisis, the report finds. Rising wage bills and lower revenues, especially among oil-producers, led to a widening of fiscal deficits. In some countries, the deficit was driven by large infrastructure expenditures. Reflecting the widening fiscal deficits in the region, government debt continued to rise in many countries. While debt-to-GDP ratios appear to be manageable in most countries, a few countries are seeing a worrisome jump in this ratio.

The dramatic, ongoing drop in commodity prices has put pressure on rising fiscal deficits, adding to the challenge in countries with depleted policy buffers,” says Punam Chuhan-Pole, Acting Chief Economist, World Bank Africa and the report’s author. “To withstand new shocks, governments in the region should improve the efficiency of public expenditures, such as prioritizing key investments, and strengthen tax administration to create fiscal space in their budgets.”

Moving Forward

Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa will be repeatedly tested as new shocks occur in the global economic environment, underscoring the need for Governments to embark on structural reforms to alleviate domestic impediments to growth, the report notes. Investments in new energy capacity, attention to drought and its effects on hydropower, reform of state-owned distribution companies, and renewed focus on encouraging private investment will help build resiliency in the power sector. Governments can boost revenues through taxes and improved tax compliance. Complementing these efforts, governments can improve the efficiency of public expenditures to create fiscal space in their budget.

Statement By H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni President of Uganda as the Co-Chair of the Summit for the Adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda at the U.N. (25.09.2015)

Museveni UN 25092015 P1

At UN Summit for the Adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda

New York 25 September, 2015

Your Excellencies Heads of State and Government,
Your Excellency Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark and co-chair of the Summit,
Mr. Secretary-General,
President of the General Assembly,
Honourable Ministers,
Distinguished participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to co-chair this important Summit as we gather as a community of nations to adopt a new development agenda that will guide our development efforts for the next 15 years.

This historic Summit is the culmination of months of tireless efforts and unprecedented commitment by Member States and stakeholders to formulate a universal, inclusive and transformative development agenda.

I would like to pay tribute to H.E. Sam Kutesa for his leadership and accomplishments as President of the 69th Session of the General Assembly and thank all of you for supporting Uganda in that responsibility.
I also congratulate and convey appreciation to the President of the 70th Session, H.E. Mogens Lykketoft and the Secretary-General, H.E. Ban Ki-moon for their leadership.
Today heralds the dawn of a new era in our collective efforts towards eradicating poverty, improving livelihoods of people everywhere, transforming economies and protecting our planet.

Together, we are sending a powerful message to people in every village, every city and every nation worldwide ─ that we are committed to taking bold steps to change their lives, for the better.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which we will adopt today, is ambitious in its scope and breadth. In the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development are addressed in an integrated way. The agenda also carries forward the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Over the last fifteen years, we have attained significant achievements through implementing the MDGs. Globally, more than one billion people have been lifted from extreme poverty and improvements have been made in access to education, health, water and sanitation, advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment.

In Uganda, we have been able to reduce the percentage of people living in extreme poverty from 56% in 2000 to 19% currently. We have also attained universal primary education, promoted gender equality and empowerment of women and continue to reduce child and maternal mortality. From our experience, it has been clear that to sustainably achieve the MDGs we must have socio-economic transformation.

It is, therefore, refreshing that in the successor framework, the SDGs, key drivers of economic growth, have been duly prioritized. These include infrastructure development especially energy, transport and ICT; industrialization and value-addition; human resource development; improving market access and greater participation of the private sector.

While the SDGs will be universally applicable, we also recognize national circumstances, different levels of development and the needs of countries in special situations, particularly the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and African countries.

Taking urgent action to combat climate change and its severe impacts is also prioritised in the new agenda. We should redouble efforts towards reaching an ambitious legally-binding agreement on climate change in Paris in December that promotes the achievement of sustainable development, while protecting the planet.

The new agenda also rightly underscores the important linkages between development, peace and security and human rights. We have to intensify efforts to combat transnational crime, terrorism and the rise of radicalization and violent extremism around the world.

We should reject pseudo ─ ideologies that manipulate identity (by promoting sectarianism of religion and communities) and eclipse the legitimate interests of peoples through investment and trade. Where identity issues are legitimate, they should be expeditiously handled.

Museveni UN 25092015 P2

Excellencies,

We should all be proud of what has been accomplished so far as we usher in this new development agenda. However, the critical next step will be to ensure its successful implementation on the ground.

In this context, integrating the SDGs into our respective national and regional development plans, mobilizing adequate financial resources, technology development and transfer as well as capacity building will be critical.

We have to ensure full implementation of the comprehensive framework for financing sustainable development, which we adopted in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda to support achievement of the goals and targets of Agenda 2030.
One of the major challenges many developing countries continue to face is accessing affordable long-term financing for critical infrastructure projects.

In this regard, it will be vital to promptly establish and operationalize the proposed new forum to bridge the infrastructure gap and complement existing initiatives and multilateral mechanisms to facilitate access to long-term financing at concessional and affordable rates.

The efforts of developing countries to improve domestic resource mobilization, boost economic growth and address major challenges such as unemployment should be supported by development partners as well as international financial institutions and regional development banks. We also need to do more to promote Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), support entrepreneurship especially for women and youth and enhance the contribution of the private sector and other stakeholders to sustainable development. Through prioritization, the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) themselves can also contribute to their own infrastructure development.

In order to build effective, inclusive and accountable institutions at all levels, we have to ensure that the voices of developing countries and regions are heard and that they are treated as equal partners in multilateral decision-making. At the international level, we need urgent reform of the United Nations ─ particularly the Security Council ─ and other multilateral institutions to reflect the current geo-political realities.

We need a renewed global partnership for development in which all the commitments made, including on Overseas Development Assistance (ODA), trade and investment are fulfilled.

While the Agenda represents the collective aspirations of all peoples, its success will hinge on its ability to reduce inequalities and improve the lives of the most vulnerable among us, including women, children, the elderly and persons with disabilities.

After months of intense negotiations and steadfast commitment, we have before us an Agenda that represents our best opportunity to transform our world.

We have heard the voices of people spanning the globe; from eager children asking for access to a quality education to young women seeking better maternal health; from rural villagers whose farmlands have been ravaged by droughts to the coastal fishermen on Small Island States who fear their entire existence will soon be swallowed up by rising sea levels.

We continue to witness the influx of refugees and migrants into Europe from Africa and the Middle East, which is partly caused by conflict and lack of economic opportunities.

These voices may speak many language and dialects, but in the end their message is the same ─ please help us to live happier, more prosperous lives, while also protecting the planet for our children and grandchildren.

After adoption of this Agenda, it is incumbent upon us all to take the development aspirations laid out in this document and turn them into reality on the ground; for our people, our communities and our nations. This agenda will create global prosperity different from the past arrangements of prosperity for some through parasitism and misery and under-development for others.

I thank you for your attention.

Ranking of Peace in the East Africa Countries in 2015

East-Africa

First and foremost I will address what the trending and ranking means. What kind of things that the Global Peace Index does and what kind of attributes and recent history means for individual countries. All of this makes violence, homicides, social security, militarization which is part of the evaluation of the scores which makes the Index. The countries that will take on is Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda. Which have different histories, though they are close to each other? Why are the numbers so far apart? What makes this? We can wonder. But look through what been said in the report and the numbers.

Last years trend:

“Over the past eight years the average country score deteriorated 2.4 percent, highlighting that on average the world has become slightly less peaceful. However, this decrease in peacefulness has not been evenly spread, with 86 counties deteriorating while 76 improved. MENA has suffered the largest decline of any region in the world, deteriorating 11 per cent over the past eight years (GPI, P: 2).

Economic price of violence:

“The economic impact of violence on the global economy in 2014 was substantial and is estimated at US$14.3 trillion or 13.4 per cent of world GDP. This is equivalent to the combined economies of Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. Since 2008, the total economic impact on global GDP has increased by 15.3 per cent, from US$12.4 trillion to US$14.3 trillion” (GPI, P: 3).

“Societal safety and security:

This section analyses the effects of urbanisation on violence, and finds that peace generally increases with higher levels of urbanisation. This is a by-product of higher levels of development. However, countries that have weak rule of law, high levels of intergroup grievances and high levels of inequality are more likely to experience deteriorations in peace as urbanisation increases” (GPI, P: 3).

“Militarisation:

Since 1990, there has been a slow and steady decrease in measures of global militarisation, with large changes in militarisation occurring rarely and usually associated with larger, globally driven geopolitical and economic shifts” (GPI, P: 3).

Important evaluation that makes the GPI:

  • Ongoing domestic and international conflict
  • Societal safety and security
  • Millitarisation
  • Indirect cost of violence: Accounts for costs that are not directly related to an act of violence and accrue over the long run. This can include losses of income due to injury or pain or grievance of others who were not directly involved in the crime.
  • Internal Peace: A set of indicators that measures how peaceful a country is inside its
  • national borders
  • Negative Peace: The absence of violence or fear of violence.
  • Positive Peace: The attitudes, institutions and structures which create and sustain peaceful societies. These same factors also lead to many other positive outcomes that support the optimum environment for human potential to flourish.
  • Positive Peace Index (PPI): A composite measurement of Positive Peace based on 24 indicators grouped into eight domains.
  • Resilience: The ability of a country to absorb and recover from shocks, for example natural disasters or fluctuations in commodity prices.
  • Violence containment: Economic activity related to the consequences or prevention of violence where the violence is directed against people or property.

(GPI, P: 4).

Listings of Peaceful ratings:

World Rank: Country: Score: State of the Peace: Change in Score: Regional Rank:
130 Burundi 2,323 Low +,0,009 34
155 Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) 3,085 Very Low -0,033 41
119 Ethiopia 2,234 Low -0,143 27
133 Kenya 2,323 Low -0,086 35
139 Rwanda 2,420 Low -0,027 38
157 Somalia 3,307 Very Low -0,079 42
159 South Sudan 3,383 Very Low +0,107 44
64 Tanzania 1,903 Medium -0,024 10
111 Uganda 2,197 Medium +0,013 24

(GPI P: 8-9, P: 13)

The Regional Rank is set for the region of Sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore the regional rank is different from the World Rank. In the World rank it goes from 64 of Tanzania and 159 of South Sudan. That is 100 countries in between in the World, when we talk about peaceful environment and the fear should be one South Sudan (159), Somalia (157) and DRC (155).  Tanzania which is on top is the 64. Next place is for Uganda was ranked on 111, the third and fourth country in the region which was near each other was Kenya (133) and Rwanda (139). And the fifth place is Burundi (130) – which I am certain will fall on the rank after the elections in 2015. But for the GPI 2015 there is still high level for the region.

On Armed Conflicts and War in Sub-Saharan Africa: “Although sub-Saharan Africa has the highest number of conflicts, these conflicts tend not to last as long as in other regions. There were only three conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa in 2013 which started more than three years ago, two of which are long-standing conflicts in Ethiopia” (GPI, P: 51).

On Peacefulness in the region: “In 2008, MENA had the same level of peacefulness as sub-Saharan Africa, and was the 6th most peaceful region in the world. By 2015 it has become the least peaceful region in the world, deteriorating by 11 per cent over the period” (GPI, P: 55).

On South Sudan: “South Sudan’s ranking declined by only three places, but this was on top of by far the sharpest fall in the 2014 GPI. It remains embroiled in the civil conflict that broke out in December 2013, and which has thus far proved immune to numerous peace efforts” (…) “South Sudan also fell for its third consecutive year, slipping a further 3 places to 159. (GPI, P: 13, 16).

On Somalia: Somalia is on the highest cost of violence percentage of GDP which was 22%. “The majority of” (…) “Somalia’s costs stem from IDPs and refugees and homicides” (…) “The same category represents 54 per cent of Somalia’s total costs. (GPI, P: 77).

The difference is staggering from Somalia and South Sudan to the best state of peace in Tanzania. The other countries in between is ranked so close and with scores that could easily point them further down for next year if the militarization and violence inside the countries continue. Like I have a grand feeling that Burundi will fall on the ranking next year, also Uganda with the recent attacks and continuously going against opposition to the Presidential elections in 2016. Rwanda will sure shut down anybody who goes against the third term of Paul Kagame. There are also issues that are meeting Joseph Kabila’s planed third term in Democratic Republic of Congo. Ethiopia is in a stalemate of totalitarian regime that keeps the borders clear and with the resistance that comes from Somalia or the Omoro Liberation Front (OLF). Kenya has issues with building the border to Somalia where they has also taken districts in Somalia. And Kenya has the fear of Al-Shabab after the terrorist attack in Nairobi (2013) and that has happen also in Kampala (2010) in Uganda.

Therefore these rankings are important to look at because you can see what the state of ease is at, this is about the peace and impact of the authoritarian and totalitarian regimes in these countries. And will be good to follow and see how it really turns out in the next year rankings from the same place the Institute for Economic and Peace.

Hope it’s been a drop of enlightenment for you as well. Peace.

Reference:

Institute for Economics and Peace: “Global Peace Index – 2015 – Measuring Peace, its causes and its economic value”

Press Release: Western Union Celebrates its 20th Anniversary in Africa (28.07.2015)

WU Africa AD

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

WU-G

Western Union Press Contact:
Khalid Baddou, +212 522 42 84 02
Khalid.Baddou@westernunion.com

Press Release: Foreign Direct Investment in Africa at all time high – DHL – (26.06.2015)

DHLAfrica

Press Release: From the Atlantic to the Pacific, CSO across Africa welcomes AU Focus on Illcit Financial Flows

AUMB3AUMB1

Press release: AU 18th December 2014- Nouakchott Declaration

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CSO’s and Multilateral Organizations approach on the spread of Ebola in West Africa.

This Ebola disease has taken its toll and that why I have made this blog post. With various sources quoting in the recent week on the matter, to prove what the nations does and don’t. Also too show the progress of multilateral organizational co-ops in the affected countries in the West Africa.   

This is what the US Government entities have to say about people with Ebola reaching its shores;

“Today, as part of the Department of Homeland Security’s ongoing response to prevent the spread of Ebola to the United States, we are announcing travel restrictions in the form of additional screening and protective measures at our ports of entry for travelers from the three West African Ebola-affected countries. These new measures will go into effect tomorrow (…) Today, I am announcing that all passengers arriving in the United States whose travel originates in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea will be required to fly into one of the five airports that have the enhanced screening and additional resources in place (…) We currently have in place measures to identify and screen anyone at all land, sea and air ports of entry into the United States who we have reason to believe has been present in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea in the preceding 21 days” (DHS Press Office, 21.10.2014).

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that public health authorities will begin active post-arrival monitoring of travelers whose travel originates in Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea.  These travelers are now arriving to the United States at one of five airports where entry screening is being conducted by Customs and Border Protection and CDC.  Active post-arrival monitoring means that travelers without febrile illness or symptoms consistent with Ebola will be followed up daily by state and local health departments for 21 days from the date of their departure from West Africa” (CDCP, 22.10.2014).

Multilateral organizational response to health issues recently:

IMF addresses first: “The strong growth trends of recent years in the sub-Saharan Africa region are expected to continue. The region’s economy is forecast to continue growing at a fast clip, expanding by about 5 percent in 2014, the same level as in 2013, and accelerating to around 5¾ percent in 2015, underpinned by continued public investment in infrastructure, buoyant services sectors, and strong agricultural production. This growth momentum is particularly pronounced in the region’s Low-Income Countries, where activity is forecast to accelerate to 6¾-7 percent in 2014-15” (…)”This positive picture, however, co-exists with the dire situation in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, where, beyond the unbearable number of deaths, suffering, and social dislocation, the Ebola outbreak is exacting a heavy economic toll, with economic spillovers starting to materialize in some neighboring countries” (…)”In the countries currently affected by the Ebola outbreak, fiscal accounts are coming under considerable pressure. Ideally, support should be provided through grants from the donor community, to enable the countries to accommodate higher Ebola-related spending and to help avoid an even more pronounced decline in economic activity. However, when grants are not immediately forthcoming, and provided that the public debt levels remain manageable, fiscal deficits should be allowed to widen, subject to the availability of financing” (IMF, 20.10.2014)

Tostan addresses secondly: “Guinea has been confronted with the serious Ebola epidemic which, due to the surprising apparition of the disease and the unpreparedness of health authorities, has taken the lives of an unprecedented number of families and health workers. Despite preventative measures taken by Guinean authorities with the support of development partners, Ebola persists in the country” (…)”Using our approach of organized diffusion, 17 Tostan supervisors will hold educational discussions in local languages to raise awareness on the Ebola virus. 2,784 community members from 116 Community Management Committees (CMCs) and the Local Council for Children and Families (CLEF – in French) will educate their relatives, friends, and at least three districts and neighboring villages” (…)”Other preventative measures include the distribution and installation of hand-washing kits in each Tostan office in Conakry, Labe, and Faranah by the National Coordination of Tostan Guinea. The Governor and Prefect of Faranah, who visited the regional Tostan office, congratulated Tostan for putting in safety measures to help prevent the spread of Ebola amongst the staff and the 116 partner communities, as well as acknowledging the hundreds of other adopted communities reached through organized diffusion” (Tostan, 20.10.2014).

UNFPA addresses it as a third: “The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) today reaffirmed its commitment to a partnership with Amref Health Africa aimed at improving the health of women and children in Africa. Speaking at the exchange of a signed Memorandum of Understanding that makes Amref Health Africa an implementing partner for UNFPA in Africa, Dr Laura Laski, Chief of Sexual and Reproductive Health at UNFPA, said the partnership intended to strengthen health systems by training midwives to building their capacity to respond to health issues, particularly those related to maternal, neonatal and adolescent health” (…)”She emphasised that high maternal mortality in Africa is an unfinished agenda of the Millennium Development Goals, and one of the critical issues that will be discussed at the Amref Health Africa International Conference to be held in Nairobi from November 24-26. She urged African governments to increase their commitment and contribution to health development, as well as individuals, corporates and institutions” (UNFPA, 23.10.2014).

WHO addresses is a fourth: “WHO convened a meeting with high-ranking government representatives from Ebola-affected countries and development partners, civil society, regulatory agencies, vaccine manufacturers and funding agencies yesterday to discuss and agree on how to fast track testing and deployment of vaccines in sufficient numbers to impact the Ebola epidemic” (…)”Results from phase 1 clinical trials of most advanced vaccines are expected to be available in December 2014 and efficacy trials in affected countries also will begin in this timeframe, with protocols adapted to take into consideration safety and immunogenicity results as they become available” (…)”Pharmaceutical companies developing the vaccines committed to ramp up production capacity for millions of doses to be available in 2015, with several hundred thousand ready before the end of the first half of the year” (…)”Community engagement is key and work should be scaled up urgently in partnership between local communities, national governments, NGOs and international organizations” (WHO, 24.10.2014).

African Development Bank group together with a collective or affiliates is the five one to address it: “Leaders of three Pan-African institutions – the African Union Commission’s Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the African Development Bank’s Dr Donald Kaberuka, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s Dr. Carlos Lopes – concluded a solidarity tour on Friday 24 October 2014 in Conakry, Guinea” (…) ”They met with Heads of Government, cabinet Ministers, parliamentarians, civil society and media in the affected countries, as well as with leaders of two neighbouring countries, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. Ghana also hosted the delegation in its capacity as the current President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)” (…)”They recognised the stepped up contributions of the international community in providing financial, technical, infrastructural and medical support to the fight against the EVD, and urged all to do still more” (…)”the AfDB’s contribution – currently at over 220 million USD – includes supporting the international response, budgetary support for the deployment of health workers from across Africa and the diaspora, as well as supporting the health systems in the three countries, including training local health extension and community workers” (…)”It felt that the virus – and perceptions about it – cannot be allowed to affect the economic prospects of the fastest growing continent. The group strongly believed that the Mano River Basin countries, now at the epicenter of the epidemic, continue to have some of the best economic prospects of the continent. In continuing to call for a lifting of all travel bans, it was pleased to hear that Côte d’Ivoire has resumed flights to Guinea this week, and will do so with Sierra Leone and Liberia in the coming days” (ADBG, 25.10.2014).

RMS Stats on Ebola:

Ebola-release-tippingpoint

(RMS, 23.10.2014)

Ebola-release-beds

(RMS, 23.10.2014)

I think this is all for today! Peace.

Links:

African Development Bank Group: ‘AUC, AfDB and ECA confident that countries will beat Ebola Virus Disease’ (25.10.2014) Link: http://www.afdb.org/en/news-and-events/article/auc-afdb-and-eca-confident-that-countries-will-beat-ebola-virus-disease-13667/

Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDCP): ‘CDC Announces Active Post-Arrival Monitoring for Travelers from Impacted Countries’ (22.10.2014) Link:  http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p1022-post-arrival-monitoring.html

DHS Press Office: ‘Statement by Secretary Johnson on Travel Restrictions and Protective Measures to Prevent the Spread of Ebola to the United States’ (21.10.2014) Link: http://www.dhs.gov/news/2014/10/21/statement-secretary-johnson-travel-restrictions-and-protective-measures-prevent

IMF: ‘IMF Projects Robust Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa, Amid Shifting Global Forces’ (20.10.2014) Link: http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pr/2014/pr14475.htm

TOSTAN: ‘Tostan involved in awareness raising activities on Ebola in Guinea’ (20.10.2014) Link: http://www.tostan.org/news/press-release-tostan-involved-awareness-raising-activities-ebola-guinea

UNFPA: ‘UNFPA and Amref Health Africa seal Partnership to Boost the Health of Africa’s Women and Children’ (23.10.2014) Link: http://www.pressreleasepoint.com/unfpa-and-amref-health-africa-seal-partnership-boost-health-africa-s-women-and-children

WHO: ‘WHO convenes industry leaders and key partners to discuss trials and production of Ebola vaccine’ (24.10.2015) Link: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/ebola-vaccines-production/en/

RMS: ‘RMS Develops World’s First Probabilistic Model of West African Ebola Outbreak, Finds Current Outbreak Has Potential to be Deadliest Infectious Disease Event in a Century’ (23.10.2014) Link :http://www.rms.com/about/newsroom/press-releases/press-detail/2014-10-23/rms-develops-worlds-first-probabilistic-model-of-west-african-ebola-outbreak-finds-current-outbreak-has-potential-to-be-deadliest-infectious-disease-event-in-a-century

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