The U.S. Embassy condemns the attack in Al-Arish today that killed several Egyptian police officers and wounded many others, including civilians. These officers gave their lives in the line of duty helping protect their fellow citizens. We express our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the deceased and wish the wounded a speedy recovery. The Embassy stands with Egypt and the Egyptian people as they build a stable, secure, and prosperous country for all citizens.
Distributed by APO on behalf of U.S. Embassy – Cairo.
At the invitation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Jess Markt, a wheelchair basketball coach for people with disabilities is coming from the United States, and will arrive in Juba on January 10, 2017 to coach players, train coaches, classifiers and referees from Juba and Yirol.
Jess began playing wheelchair basketball at the age of 19 after suffering a spinal cord injury. He has been coaching wheelchair basketball since 2009, and has trained teams in Afghanistan, India, Palestine, Cambodia and in his home state of Colorado.
“We are excited that Jess will coach the South Sudan team. They are very motivated and we hope that this training will enable them to participate in international competitions in future” says Venkatakannan Packirisamy, ICRC Physical Rehabilitation Project manager in South Sudan.
In South Sudan the ICRC supports three physical rehabilitation centers that provide mobility devices and therapy. Together with the South Sudan Wheelchair Basketball Association (SSWBA) it organizes weekly wheelchair basketball games to promote social inclusion for people with disabilities.
Distributed by APO on behalf of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Six African SMEs have been nominated as finalists for the AFIF Entrepreneurship Award 2017, supported by the Rabobank Foundation. Out of the 51 projects from around the continent and following a few rounds of selection, the jury has selected these innovative projects from Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania for their social, economic and ecological impact, and their potential for growth and job creation nationally and regionally. The winner will be announced during the Africa Finance & Investment Forum (AFIF) 2017 (http://APO.af/y28Bux), which will be held in Nairobi from 13-16 February.
Official Finalists for the AFIF Entrepreneurship Award 2017:
The AFIF Entrepreneurship Award 2017 aims to provide African-based innovative SMEs with support to grow their businesses. The six finalists will receive a free accreditation to join the AFIF 2017 full programme (http://APO.af/JM5nx8) (conferences, trainings, B2B meetings and networking opportunities). The award winner will receive cash prize and one year of national and international media promotion.
“We are delighted to announce the finalists for the AFIF Entrepreneurship Award 2017 after a really difficult selection process. The innovation and creativity of African-based SMEs makes our job more difficult every year. We look forward to welcoming these and many more entrepreneurs at the AFIF 2017 in Nairobi” says Inês Bastos, EMRC (www.EMRC.be) Senior Project Manager.
“I am now internationally known,” says Lazaro Mwakipesile (Raphael Group, Tanzania), winner of the AFIF Entrepreneurship Award 2015. He adds: “I have travelled abroad four times this year to present our company. I expect to travel to the United States soon for a meeting with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation”.
The new edition of the Africa Finance & Investment Forum (AFIF) will be held for the first time in the vibrant city of Nairobi, Kenya, hosted by the Strathmore University. In line with growing international trends, the AFIF will focus on entrepreneurship, innovation and access to finance in key sectors such as energy, water, ICT, health and agriculture. Delegates (SMEs managers, investors, entrepreneurs…) will come from across the world to participate in the AFIF 2017.
Distributed by APO on behalf of EMRC.
For further information about the AFIF Entrepreneurship Award 2017, visual material or interviews, please contact:
Media and Communications Manager
+32 2 626 1510
Press Accreditation AFIF 2017:
If you wish to cover the Africa Finance and Investment Forum 2017 (13-16 February 2017, Nairobi), please send the request to AF@EMRC.be indicating Name, Country and Media Outlet by 23 January.
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Established in 1992 in Brussels, EMRC (www.EMRC.be) is a non-governmental organisation composed of a network of entrepreneurs, financiers, consultants and officials based throughout the world. EMRC’s mission is to lead the private sector in Africa to sustainable economic development and to drive regional change via partnerships.
The Africa Finance & Investment Forum (AFIF) (http://APO.af/y28Bux) is an annual business event organized in the framework of EMRC International’s activities, aimed at strengthening the private sector in Africa, encouraging entrepreneurship and attracting investment to the African continent. AFIF has a double objective: to strengthen the financial capacities of Africa’s private sector and to promote the creation of new partnerships through the encouragement of joint projects and trade relations North-South & South-South.
Over the past three years, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) supported the Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development (ECDD) Association to help hundreds of people with disabilities to prepare for and enter the workforce. The Inclusive Training and Employment Program for and by persons with disabilities, also known as ISTEP, was designed to bolster Ethiopia’s efforts to support disability inclusive development.
Because the inclusion of people with disabilities into the workforce is a relatively new concept in Ethiopia, ISTEP addressed the challenges faced by both the prospective employees and potential employers. To better prepare prospective employees with disabilities, ISTEP worked with 21 mainstream Technical Vocational Education and Training institutes (TVETs) and universities to improve their institutional capacity to provide skills development training for people with disabilities and trained approximately 750 instructors and support staff. Several of these institutions are now making campuses more accessible to people with disabilities. With support from ISTEP, nearly 300 people with disabilities were enrolled in TVETs and received skills training in areas including food preparation, making leather products, construction and metal works. ECDD also helped job seekers with disabilities to be stronger job candidates by helping them to prepare resumes and get ready for interviews.
ISTEP also worked with the City Administrations in Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa, as well as the regional administrations in Tigray and SNNPR to create a more enabling environment for self and formal employment of people with disabilities. The program then worked with more than 70 companies to encourage them to take on people with disabilities for internships and paid positions and to train their human resources staff on best practices for integrating people with disabilities into their workplaces. So far, 88 TVET and university graduates with disabilities have secured formal jobs with employers like the Mosaic Hotel and Kedir Yasin Metal Work PLC, while another 168 have received valuable hands-on experience through internship placements in private and public sector workplaces. In addition, 93 TVET graduates with disabilities received support to start their own individual or joint businesses.
“Before I began work, people did not want to even shake my hand, as if my blindness would pass on to them. But the situation changed after I got employed – there was a complete change of attitude. I feel my pride restored and feel respect in the community because of what I have achieved.’’ Lukas Zida, Counselor at Otana High School in Wolayta Sodo and an ISTEP beneficiary.
Companies or organizations interested in partnering with ECDD can contact Mr. Retta Getachew, the Executive Director of ECDD at: ECDD, P.O Box, 1530 Code 1250, Addis Ababa, Tel: +251-11-4700014. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Retta-G@ecdd-ethiopia.org.
Distributed by APO on behalf of U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
A new pan-African news portal www.AfricaFeeds.com has been launched in Accra, Ghana.
The portal will provide readers in Africa and beyond the latest and relevant news about Africa and the world in general.
Readers of the site get at first hand, content on latest breaking news about Africa in all areas including entertainment, business and sports, with special focus on all the sub-regions on the continent.
Founder and CEO of Africa Feeds Media, owners of the news portal, Isaac Kaledzi said the desire to tell the story of Africa the best way, motivated the establishment of the portal.
He said in Accra that “I believe the story of Africa must be told and told better than we do currently. The African story must be told, not just the unfortunate happenings of war and hunger but the struggles and efforts by ordinary individuals to make this Continent great and that is exactly what we want to do with this news portal”.
“African journalists work hard under challenging conditions and deserve an independent platform to share what they see and observe with the rest of the world in an unbiased and fair manner” Mr. Kaledzi added.
Readers can access the portal via their mobile phones, tablets and desktops with 24/7 news services. An Africa feeds TV Channel is to be launched in the coming months to provide a 24/7 news TV content to Africans and the rest of the world at large.
Mr. Kaledzi said “This is a huge project but we are confident that this is the way to go, we must provide a platform that enables the African to tell his or her own story and also for the African to know what is happening on his or her continent from the African perspective without perceived foreign influence”.
AfricaFeeds(dot)com, a subsidiary of the Africa Feeds Media group is funded through commercial revenues and officially started operations on November 3, 2016.
Distributed by APO on behalf of Africa Feeds.
Merck More than a Mother campaign launched in Nigeria was championed by the country’s first lady, Her Excellency Mrs. Aisha Buhari. The launch held in Abuja, Nigeria is in partnership with Senate Commission on Health; Ministry of Health; Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and Future Assured organization.
Merck More than a Mother continues its commitment to break stigma around infertility and empower infertile women by improving access to information, education, healthcare and change of culture and mind-set to de-stigmatize infertility.
Her Excellency Mrs. Buhari pledged her support and the support of Nigerian Governors’ wives in the implementation of Merck More than a Mother’s activities in Nigeria focusing on eliminating infertility stigma and creating awareness and providing information and education on causes of infertility; facilitating access to healthcare; and economic and social empowerment of infertile women.
The Nigerian women leaders also supported the empowering of infertile women who form a vulnerable part of the population. Infertile women in Nigeria and many other African countries who can no longer be treated have been empowered socially and economically to lead independent and happier lives through Empowering Berna initiative. Empowering Berna is part of Merck More than a Mother campaign.
Helen Phillip, a Nigerian woman from the North shared her story of suffering from infertility stigma and expressed her gratitude to the support Merck more than a Mother provided her through establishing new business so that she can become an independent productive member in her community.
Watch Nigeria’s infertile women sharing their stories of social suffering of infertility stigma and their transformation after the economic and social empowerment provided by Merck more than a Mother through Empowering Berna project:
“In Nigeria we have been advocating for the end of harmful traditional practices including the stigmatization of women which is prevalent all over the country. Women have not been coming out openly because they are traumatized. With this campaign we will encourage them to speak out and we pledge our support and collaboration,” said Hon. Aisha Alhassan, Nigeria’s Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development.
“Merck More than a Mother campaign is a great initiative to break the stigma around infertility and to empower an unprivileged category of women in Africa, women who suffer infertility. Infertile women have been neglected, mistreated and discriminated because they cannot bear a child, yet 50% of infertility is due to male factors. We can together improve access to education, information, awareness, health care and change of mind-set and culture to stop these women’s suffering,” said Dr. Rasha Kelej, Chief Social Officer, Merck Healthcare.
Prof. Isaac Adewole Hon. Minister of Health emphasized: “We are responsible for policy at the Ministry level and this is where we can make a difference in improving access to fertility care in Nigeria. We will work through training institutions we are responsible for to strengthen fertility management by making it a sub-specialty. We will also as a Ministry work with private sector, the Senate and the National Assembly to improve governance and quality of care to provide standards to protect infertile men and women seeking treatment.”
Merck More than a Mother was first implemented in Kenya in 2015 followed by Uganda, Cote d’Ivoire, Central African Republic and Nigeria.
Distributed by APO on behalf of For Africa Forever.
About the stigma of infertility in Africa:
Jackeline Mwende, the recent victim of Infertility stigma tells us her story of suffering of Iterrible violence by her husband. Merck more than a Mother committed to work hard to ensure that no other woman would suffer the same way Jackeline did. Watch her story (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niMNO-jz0yA&t=37s).