StateCraft Inc. (http://StateCraftinc.com), a communication agency on the Nana Addo Akufo-Addo presidential campaign, would like to congratulate New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on his successful bid for president of the Republic of Ghana.
“It has been an enormously invigorating voting process for the Ghanaian people. These elections were about the Ghanaian people and choosing a leader for the future, and they chose Nana Addo Akufo-Addo as the man who will lead their country in a positive direction. We send our heartfelt congratulations to Mr Akufo-Addo on his victory and we celebrate with the people of Ghana on their successful election process,” said Adebola Williams, who is chief executive of the firm.
The Africa-focused governance communication firm consulted with the presidential campaign on communication, developing and executing strategy that delivered content that cut across social media, television and print. StateCraft was also the official communication agency for the successful Muhammadu Buhari presidential campaign in 2015, delivering a rebranding strategy and delivering victory.
Distributed by APO on behalf of StateCraft.
StateCraft (http://StateCraftinc.com) is Africa’s leading governance communication firm, with a mission to galvanise a generation to make informed choices. It is a subsidiary of Red Media Africa, an innovative media group focused on exciting and empowering an evolving generation of Africans through the media’s limitless possibilities.
As the world celebrates International Human Rights Day, the European Union Delegation to Liberia has announced support for two new projects to improve conditions in prisons in Liberia funded through the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR).
Speaking about the decision to fund these projects, European Union Ambassador Tiina Intelmann said “Human rights apply to everyone, including prisoners. For the European Union, standing up for someone’s rights means not just speaking out, but taking action to change things. Permanent solutions to the challenges facing Liberia’s criminal justice system will take time, but the European Union believes there are practical steps that can be taken now to improve conditions for prisoners.”
The projects, which will start in January, will cover six counties. One project will be implemented by FinnChurchAid, the Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia (AFELL) and the Rural Human Rights Activists Programme (RHRAP) in Lofa, Bong and Nimba. The other will be implemented by the International Federation of Christians against Torture, and their local partner Association of Christians Against Torture (ACAT), and will be implemented in Bomi, Montserrado and Margibi. European Union funding will be EURO 500 000 (approx. USD 530 000) and EURO 426 500 (approx. USD 453 000) respectively.
Distributed by APO on behalf of Delegation of the European Union to Liberia.
The African Union (AU), concluded, yesterday, the consultative meeting on enhancing assistance and coordination in the implementation of article 5 of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC) and article 4 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM). The meeting was held, from 6 to 7 December 2016, within the framework of the AU Mine Action and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) Strategic Framework.
The meeting brought together the AU member States Party to the APMBC and the CCM which have completed, or are yet to complete, their clearance obligations, as well as the key international partners and humanitarian demining agencies that are active on the continent. It provided the participants with the opportunity to review the progress made over the past years in completing clearance of mines, cluster munitions and explosive remnants of war on the continent, as well as discuss and agree on concrete action points required to address the remaining bottlenecks towards achieving the goal of eliminating the threat of landmines by the year 2025, as aspired to in the declaration adopted by the 3rd Review Conference of the APMBC, held in June 2014 in Maputo.
The meeting concluded with a set of action points, including modalities to enhance national and international funding for mine action programs, fostering inter-African cooperation, building sustainable national capacities for mine clearance, as well as advancing clearance in border areas within the framework of the AU Border Program through enabling inter-state collaboration and coordination.
Distributed by APO on behalf of African Union Peace and Security Department.
At its session on 9 December 2016 the Federal Council decided to extend by one year the freezing of all the assets in Switzerland of ousted presidents Ben Ali (Tunisia), Mubarak (Egypt) and Yanukovych (Ukraine) as well as of politically exposed members of their entourages and other persons closely associated with them. The aim of this decision is to give more time for the criminal investigations under way and to support judicial cooperation with the countries concerned. It also takes into account the political changes taking place in these countries.
In the cases of Tunisia and Egypt, at the beginning of 2011 the Federal Council ordered the preventive freezing for a period of three years of all the assets in Switzerland of ousted presidents Ben Ali and Mubarak as well as of politically exposed persons in their entourages and other persons closely associated with them. It subsequently extended this measure by three years, as a result of which the freeze on the Tunisian assets expires in January 2017 and that on the assets from Egypt in February 2017. In the case of Tunisia, assets amounting to approximately CHF 60 million have been frozen. In the case of Egypt, assets amounting to some CHF 570 million are involved.
The Federal Act on the Freezing and the Restitution of Illicit Assets held by Foreign Politically Exposed Persons came into force on 1 July 2016 and governs the duration of freezes and extensions to them. It is possible to extend an asset freeze by one year if the state of origin expresses its willingness to cooperate within the framework of mutual legal assistance. A freeze can be extended on this basis for a maximum of ten years.
Almost six years after the entry into force of freezes on assets from Tunisia and Egypt, a considerable number of proceedings have been initiated against the main protagonists, and the authorities of these countries have expressed their wish to cooperate with Switzerland in the context of mutual legal assistance. However, establishing the illicit origin of frozen assets requires either confiscatory jugdments or settlement agreements sanctioned by the judicial authorities of the countries concerned. The Federal Council’s decision to extend the freezing of assets is warranted because the objective has not yet been fully met. This one-year extension is expected to yield tangible progress in pending proceedings and make it clearer whether the assets in question are likely to be returned.
In the case of Ukraine the situation is different because the initial freeze took place more recently. It was ordered by the Federal Council in 2014 for a period of three years, which means that it expires for the first time in February 2017. Assets amounting to approximately CHF 70 million are involved. Criminal investigations have also been initiated against a large number of individuals targeted by this measure and several requests for mutual legal assistance have been addressed to Switzerland. Although these requests have resulted in significant interim findings, more time is needed to enable the ongoing criminal proceedings to be concluded. The freeze imposed by the Federal Council therefore fulfils its purpose in every sense, which suggests that it will be prolonged for a further year.
Shortly before the three freezes expire at the beginning of 2018, the Federal Council will re-evaluate the situation in each of the three countries concerned. It will then decide whether the freezes on these assets will be prolonged on the basis of the progress made in the respective legal proceedings.
Distributed by APO on behalf of Federal Department of Foreign Affairs Switzerland.
The dti has noted the concerns raised by the poultry industry in South Africa especially in relations to the increase in imports of poultry products. The Government through the dti and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has been working with the domestic industry to address the challenges in the industry.
Over the last 3 years, upon application by the industry through the International Trade and Administration Commission (ITAC), a number of actions were taken by the Government to address the challenges in the industry. The actions vary from increase in tariffs covering a number of poultry products in line with South Africa’s international commitments, imposing trade remedies where evidence indicates dumping of poultry in the South Africa market or where there is a surge in imports.
In 2013, the import duty on a number of poultry products was increased significantly. Therefore, the current import duties for chicken imports from countries like Brazil and the United States are as follows:
The above import duties are not applicable to imports from the European Union (EU) since South Africa has a preferential trade agreement with the EU. However, in 2015 anti-dumping measures ranging from 3,86% to 73,33% were imposed on frozen bone-in chicken pieces from Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa has also initiated a safeguard investigation in regard to the surge of imports of frozen bone-in chicken pieces from the EU and this investigation is far advanced.
The dti and DAFF are further continuously working on opening new markets for our poultry exports. Recently new markets in the Middle East have been opened and present a further opportunity for export to the domestic poultry industry in South Africa. Furthermore, the dti is in the process of considering the designation of domestic poultry products for purposes of public procurement.
Furthermore, a national committee has been established by the dti that includes DAFF and the industry that will consider all the challenges experienced by the domestic poultry industry and develop a comprehensive strategy to address these challenges in a holistic and sustainable manner.
The industry is welcomed to approach ITAC through the normal processes should further support be required and on the basis of information presented by the industry, appropriate action can be taken by Government.
A number of countries are currently experiencing Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreaks and consequently, in line with the guidelines of the World Organisation for Animal Health, South Africa has placed a ban on imports of poultry from Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, the Netherlands and Poland. DAFF is closely monitoring the developments in regard to these outbreaks and will take the appropriate actions to address any health and safety concerns.
Distributed by APO on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.
Please join us on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 at 02:45 PM a media briefing with Patricia Tricorache, Assistant Director, Strategic Communications and Illegal Wildlife Trade Cheetah Conservation Fund, who will provide an introduction to the Cheetah Conservation Fund and an overview of cheetah trafficking. She will explain why combatting illegal wildlife trafficking matters and how media can help to stop it. She will also share recent developments concerning cheetahs from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES) COP17 meeting held in Johannesburg, South Africa and discuss multilateral collaboration in the region.
You are invited to attend this briefing:
Date: December 14, 2016, 02:45pm
Venue: American Center (NALA) (Womezekir)
Please RSVP to Zelalem Befekadu (091-150-9522) or Rahel Zewdu (096-128-4012).
Patricia Tricorache, Assistant Director, Strategic Communications and Illegal Wildlife Trade
Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF)
Patricia joined CCF in 2001, bringing with her a unique and diversified expertise resulting from +30 years in the private and public sectors at national and international levels. Her experience includes 15 years of public affairs and marketing for a Fortune 5 consumer goods corporation, as well as six years of public relations and international trade at a Mexican semi-private industrial development bank.
When Patricia began tackling the issue of illegal cheetah trafficking in November of 2005, little was known about the magnitude of this illegal trade. It was then that, together with CCF’s Executive Director, Dr Laurie Marker, Patricia organized the confiscation of two cheetah cubs held illegally at a restaurant in a remote area of Ethiopia. The confiscation took place with the support of the Ethiopian authorities and the United States Embassy and military personnel, which attracted unexpected media attention. As a result, reports regarding cheetahs being sold or held as pets throughout the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula began pouring in. It was then that she began collecting data on illegal cheetah trafficking. She also initiated a support network in relevant areas, organized confiscations whenever possible, and conducted research on numbers, routes, and drivers for demand and supply.
CCF’s illegal cheetah trafficking database became the most extensive in the world and was key to support the inclusion of this issue in the CITES 16th Conference of the Parties, following a proposal by Party countries Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda.
As CCF’s representative before CITES, she participated in an inter-sessional working group which culminated in a workshop in Kuwait, held in November 2015, where a group of 11 Parties and eight NGOs drafted recommendations that were adopted at the CITES 17th Conference of the Parties held in Johannesburg in September 2016. She has brought attention to the magnitude of cheetah pet trade on social media, and works with governments and other NGOs such as the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the Rangewide Conservation Program for Cheetahs and African Wild Dog (RWCP), and the Born Free Foundation, among others, to put the CITES recommendations into action.
Distributed by APO on behalf of U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.