Friday, 27 June 2014

Assassination of Salwa Bugaighis, A Women's Rights Activist In Libya, Is Condemned By UN Women Executive Director

Salwa Bugaighis, Shot to Death Following Libyan Elections on Wednesday. Courtesy of Vital Voices

The Wednesday national elections in Libya was marred by the shooting death of Salwa Bugaighis, a noted activist for women’s rights in that North African country, is seen by many there as a political assassination, and an act of terrorism. Condemnation has come from many quarters, including the U.S. State Department, and more recently, from Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the Executive Director of UN Women.
Here is the statement by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women who issued this statement in New York late Thursday.
UN Women strongly condemns the assassination of the Libyan leader and women's rights advocate Salwa Bugaighis. Today we join millions in mourning the loss of a sister and courageous human rights defender. I am personally outraged and deeply saddened by this brutal murder.
Salwa was killed soon after casting her vote in Wednesday's Libyan election, a right she fought for as a member of the National Transitional Council during the 2011 revolution.
Salwa worked with Karama, a grantee of the UN Women Fund for Gender Equality, training activists and leaders and promoting women's political participation in Libya.
She played a key part in the development of the new Libyan Constitution. Many UN Women colleagues knew her in these roles, and as an active participant in the Commission on the Status of Women. We will miss her and express our deep condolences to her family and friends.
Salwa Bugaighis was a brave leader who advocated for the human rights of her people. With her passing, we are once again reminded of the threats to the hard-won gains for women and girls around the world. In many countries, women who participate in politics or activism face intimidation and violence.
UN Women calls for urgent action to bring the criminals who perpetrated this cowardly act to justice.
The murder of Salwa Bugaighis breaks our hearts, but it will not break our determination to advance peace and women's full and equal participation in all spheres of life, in every country in the world.
At press time, Libyan officials say the assailants who took Salwa Bugaighis life are still at large, and they continue to follow leads and investigate the political shooting. - an event listings blog from the Royal African Society
Pick of the Week: AD3 2014: Africa's Population Growth and Youth Unemployment: Implications and Policy Response 
I'm very excited about Africa Writes 2014 - particularly the chance to meet Ama Ata Aidoo, arguably Ghana's most famous novelist, and the doyenne of female African writers. My favourite of her works is the novel, Changes - written in the 1990s, the story brims with the energy of its protagonist, Esi - a very, modern girl doing some serious juggling of life, love and career in an all too modern African city.

Seriously, If you haven't read it, get a copy and read it, and join us for an audience with Ama Ata Aidoo on the 11th July - and the rest of the Africa Writes 

News and Reports

Over 100 Children And Women Buried In Southern Kaduna

Bodies before the mass burial today
Over 100 persons, mostly children and women, were this afternoon buried in mass grave yards in the troubled Southern Kaduna region of Kaduna state.
They were the victim of a series of gunmen attacks in about five villages in Sanga Local Government area from Tuesday into Wednesday in which the assailants sacked villagers and burnt down their houses.
An indigene of the area, Barrister Sunday Ugah who sent pictures and notes to our New York office, said that many locals are still missing, and that over 300 others were seriously injured. Hundreds more were displaced in some locations.
“We have just finished mass burial of our kith and kin gruesomely killed in our villages by Fulani herdsmen from Tuesday to yesterday (Wednesday),” Ugah said, in evident pain.
He also decried the situation, saying, “I was born about 40 years ago, and I have never seen this kind of ethnic cleansing in my life, we have a family that all their 12 children were mutilated to death. I enclosed their pictures.”

Thursday, 26 June 2014

The Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change meet in Malabo
 Malabo, Equatorial Guinea – June 26, 2014 – H.E. Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania and Coordinator of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) yesterday, 25th June 2014, hosted the meeting of the CAHOSCC to discuss the impacts of climate change on agriculture on the African continent.
The meeting, which took place on the margins of the 23rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of African Union Heads of State and Government at the Sipopo Conference Center in Malabo, Republic of Equatorial Guinea, was attended by H.E Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda and Ugandan first lady, H.E Janet Kataha Museveni; Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma; ministerial delegations from CAHOSCC member states; Dr. Carlos Lopez, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa; and Commissioner of the African Union’s Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA), H.E Tumusiime Rhoda Peace.
Opening the meeting, President Kikwete said political will and good governance were imperative if effective measures were to be put in place to mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change. President Kikwete said Africa now required in excess of US$15 billion per year to combat climate change and that the figure continues to rise.
He emphasized the need to prioritize skills development, the provision of training for young people and the need for other collective solutions among African countries to increase the level of preparedness and anticipation with regards to the negative effects of climate change.
The meeting identified five key points in setting up plans for climate change in Africa namely; climate finance and technology needs, adaptation, mitigation, participation and institutional cooperation.
H.E. Dr. Dlamini-Zuma while addressing the members of CAHOSCC said, “Africa contributes  less than 4 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, and yet it will be the worst impacted by this adverse externality through more intense and more frequent extreme weather events such as  floods, droughts, coastal erosion,  diseases and  exacerbating impacts of climate change. Additionally Africa is a region with the  least  capacity  to deal with the challenges of adaptation which is why the issue of climate change is so alarming and calls for decisive action.”
The meeting agreed that AU Member States should intensify research if Africa is to have a chance at surviving the future implications of climate change and continue harnessing agriculture as a vehicle for food and nutrition security, economic development, job creation and decreased vulnerability.
Women empowerment was placed high on the agenda and the meeting resolved to develop a CAHOSCC Women and Gender Programme on Climate Change to engage women and gender in climate change related actions.
Commissioner Tumusiime summed up the key messages that emerged from the meeting and stressed that they would serve as a basis for follow up actions. They included: examining and adopting the High Level Work Programme on Climate Change Action in Africa, views and strategies on Africa’s engagement at the global events of the Twentieth Conference of the Parties and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, as well as areas of action in the preparation for the United Nations Secretary-General’s Climate Summit
“We stress the need for adequate means of implementation that would allow Africa the space for sustainable development”, she said.
Media contact:

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Hakuna Matata & Rollers Family is happy to present present ‘Hakuna Matata Family Funday/ BBQ in the Park. on Sunday 29th June 2014.
The day presents an excellent oppertunity to bring your family and friends to Chingford Rugby Club, Waltham Way, Londonand enjoy a day of Family Entertainment such as Bouncy Castles and face painting! Exclusive Kenyan Delacacies will be available, we cannot forget the Nyama choma and Mandazi & deserts by the famous Grace`s Mandazi. Non-stop music from a variety of kenyan DJ`s ( DjSpark’s Spark’s *Collo *Dubwise and *Hakim) will keep us bouncing throughout the Day as we enjoy the summer fever. The event is free before 5pm so make sure you arrive early to get your free ticket.
Invite your friends on Facebook through the official Events Page

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Diane Abbott: Labour’s choice for Mayor of London

Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP Diane Abbott turned the race to become Labour Mayoral Candidate on its head by heading a poll beating all her rivals.
Diane Abbott has leapfrogged Dame Tessa Jowell as Labour supporters’ choice to be the party’s contender for London Mayor in 2016, a new poll reveals today.
The longest serving Black MP, Abbott surpassed the former front Dame Tessa Jowell with 17 percent of people intending to vote Labour at the 2015 General Election, compared to 14 percent for Dame Tessa, according to the YouGov survey.
A similar poll last October had former Olympic Minister Dame Jowell, MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, on 20 percent, and Abbott on 13 percent.
Abbott told the Evening Standard that the results were “encouraging”, adding:
We have got a year to go before Labour selects its candidate and I certainly don’t rule out running for Mayor.”
What makes this race interesting is the fact that not only is this job one of the most powerful and prestigious in British politics, but the way Labour plans to select its candidate is through the American “primary” system, where people register as a supporter of the party and pay a small fee to take part in the vote. This means you don’t necessarily have to be a Labour party member to vote for your preferred candidate.
It’s a long way to go until the 2016 election, but this will be a fiercely fought after role

A new  Africa  restaurant  to  cup  pounded  yam opens in  Coventry

A FORMER Coventry University student has opened a restaurant specialising in traditional African cuisine.

Akintoye Giwa who has opened an African restaurant in Far Gosford Street, Coventry
Akintoye Giwa who has opened an African restaurant in Far Gosford Street, Coventry
A FORMER Coventry University student has opened a restaurant specialising in traditional African cuisine.
And owner Akintoye Giwa will be employing students part-time to help him run A.G.G, in Far Gosford Street.
Akintoye said: “Opening my own restaurant has been my dream for as long as I can remember.
“When I was little my mum had a rule, she always told us we had to stand in the kitchen with her whilst she cooked or we wouldn’t eat.
“I guess some of what I saw rubbed off on me because before I knew it I developed a passion for cooking.
“Luckily, I was good at it and before long I started baking cupcakes and selling them to my friends at school. I’ve always known I wanted to work for myself and be a self-made man.
“It wasn’t always possible though. I’d begin to save money for my goal and then I’d get a large bill or find some hidden cost and then I’d have to start all over again.
“There was a point after university when things didn’t work out like I had planned and I ended up on Jobseeker’s Allowance but I kept faith in God and hoped for the best.
“I used to commute from Coventry to Birmingham every day for a job I didn’t enjoy doing.
“That was the final straw, I came home that day and told my family and friends that I was going to open my own restaurant.
“It’s been a turbulent journey. I never went to catering school or anything like that, I knew I had a talent and I constantly worked on fine tuning it, going to culinary classes and getting all the necessary qualifications so that one day I could make my dream a reality.”
Akintoye, who was born in Nigeria, was inspired to cook traditional African dishes by his mum.
He moved to London in 2000 and worked as an assistant chef before moving to Coventry nine years later.
Mr Giwa, said: “My mum was very strict with the way she cooked the food but I learnd all my best dishes from her. My favourite dish is okra soup with fresh vegetables and seasoning. It tastes divine.
“I’m really happy that I’m the one employing people now. I’m creating jobs for people in a recession, my aim is help people who find themselves on Jobseeker’s Allowance like I was.”

National Museum of African Art Presents - Africa Underground Kenya on the Mall - Sat, June 28 - TICKETS ON SALE NOW!!!

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Africa Underground returns Saturday, June 28 at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in in Washington, DC in celebration of Kenya on the National Mall with an evening of eclectic delights!
Join emcee and comedian Baby J, Afro-rock jam band Jabali Afrika, performance artist Makadem for a cultural evening of food, music and dance from Kenya and its diaspora. DJ Omosh Fya will be spinning beats from the heart of the Enid A. Haupt Garden.
The evening is part of the museum’s 50th anniversary and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival
Tickets: $25
African Art patrons receive 10% discount (with discount code)
Advance online purchase only
One free drink
Food and drink available for purchase
Must be 21 to be admitted (IDs will be checked at the door).
To purchase tickets visit:
Address: 950 Independence Avenue, SW
Take Metro (Blue or Orange lines) to Smithsonian station

Monday, 23 June 2014

Reclaiming the Feminine Voice
Friday 11 July, 18:30 – 20:00
BL Conference Centre, £8/ £6 / £5


We bring together a powerful group of African women poets who are using their voices to claim their rightful place in literature. With Young Poet Laureate for London Warsan Shire, Belinda Zhawi, Ribka Sibhatu and Chinwe Azubuike. Moderated by Jessica Horn, feminist writer and activist. 
The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London attracted worldwide media coverage, not just because of Angelina Jolie’s attendance in her role as the UNHCR Special Envoy but also because the co-chair for the conference was William Hague, the British Foreign Secretary. This was to be no ordinary talkfest resulting in resolutions achieving little coverage. This was mainstream! The list of speakers assembled a diverse range of thought leaders and decision makers and the stage was set for real outcomes to be achieved.
WILPF was a high profile participant from inception and the English summer infused a sense of optimism in everyone attending. There is nothing like London in summer! The WILPF team from across the world approached our week with enthusiasm and hope that real results could be achieved.
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WILPF Delegation
When WILPF was founded in 1915, the world was embroiled in the Great War. It encompassed all parts of the globe and it was at this time that 1,136 brave women crossed the front lines to meet at The Hague in neutral Netherlands to work towards ending the war.
99 years later, the world is a very different place but yet we find ourselves continually engulfed in armed conflict in what seems as every corner of the globe.
As the longest serving women’s peace organisation, WILPF attended to ensure that our internationally unified voices were heard – to communicate to the world that ending sexual violence in conflict is essential. The only way to achieve our goal is to address conflict’s three root causes.
Firstly, we must challenge patriarchy, violence, masculinity and gender inequality. All gender-based violence is a cause and a consequence of such instilled institutions, predicated on highly gendered cultural conditions. It continues to occur as a result of patriarchal values embedded in communities. We must work to counter gender inequality and improve impunity and promote social justice, fighting patriarchy with gender equality.
Secondly, the continued armament of states and non-state actors exacerbates sexual violence in pre, during and post conflict conditions. We must stop profiting from arms sales and bring corporations and government to account for the continued transfer of arms to situations where it being used as a tool for sexual violence is a known risk. This can be solved by the adoption the Arms Trade Treaty passed in 2013, and taking action on disarming sexual violence through the implementation of its gender criteria.
The third cause we must address is exclusion. Too often women are not included at the table during peace negotiations. It is integral that women and gender perspectives be incorporated into peace processes. Without addressing sexual violence in peace agreements, sustainable developments towards peace cannot be made.

African Agribusiness Forum opens in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea on the margins of the 23rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of AU Heads of State and Government

Malabo, Equatorial Guinea -22 June 2014: The African Agribusiness Forum was today opened in Malabo, by the AUC’s Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture, Commissioner, H.E Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, who urged stakeholders to focus on enhancing positive changes towards prosperity that directly impact on the livelihoods of African citizens through an inclusive agricultural transformation process.

The African Agribusiness Forum, held ahead of the 23rdOrdinary Session of the Assembly of African Union Heads of State and Government, is meant to enhance private sector engagement and inclusive agribusiness transformation in Africa.
The Summit is being held under the theme, “Transforming Africa’s agriculture for shared prosperity and improved livelihoods; harnessing opportunities for inclusive growth and sustainable development,” and is also being held in the 2014 AU Year of Agriculture and Food and Nutrition Security and the commemoration of the 10 year anniversary since the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) was adopted.

Commissioner Tumusiime said the last decade of CAADP implementation, has redefined and reshaped the critical path to the attainment of Africa`s agricultural transformation objectives.
Mrs. Tumusiime informed the Forum that the recent AU Joint Conference of Ministers of Agriculture, Rural Development, Fisheries and Aquaculture, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 1st to 2ndMay 2014 adopted a Resolution endorsing seven Africa Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation Goals (3AGTGs) for 2025 for consideration by the AU Heads of State and Government, at their Malabo Summit.

The joint conference recommended among other things the need to enhance Public-Private Partnerships and Investment Financing for African Agriculture and called on stakeholders to establish and/or strengthen inclusive public-private partnerships for at least five (5) priority agricultural commodity value chains with a strong linkage to smallholder agriculture and to strengthen the capacities of domestic apex private sector intermediary institutions for inclusive facilitation and coordination to ensure engagement of the private sector in CAADP implementation.

‘’This forum will, therefore, provide an opportunity for men, women and youth stakeholders in the agribusiness sector to discuss and develop concrete strategies for the realization of these recommendations,” she said.  `

In a key note address, the new AUC Head of Division of Agriculture and Food Security Mr. Boaz Keizire, highlighted the key opportunities and challenges for enhancing Africa’s agribusiness value chains and the outcomes of the AU Joint Conference of Ministers of Agriculture, Rural Development and Aquaculture.

The opening session was also attended by AUC Commissioners for Trade and Industry and Political Affairs, T.E Fatima Acyl and Alcha Abdullahi, respectively.

Workshops and Conferences                      

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Office of the Press Secretary
June 20, 2014

Statement by the President on World Refugee Day

Today I join people around the world in commemorating World Refugee Day.  It is an opportunity to honor the resilience of those who flee violence and persecution and the dedication of those who help them. 

The forces that shatter communities and uproot their residents are difficult to tame.  This year we mark a grim milestone.  Over 51 million people are now refugees, asylum seekers, or internally displaced persons, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. That is more than at any time since World War II. 

Nearly half of all Syrians – 45 percent – have been driven from their homes.  A quarter of them – more than 2.8 million – have become refugees in neighboring countries.  Conflicts in the Central African Republic and South Sudan have each forced over a million people to flee.  In just the past few days, turmoil gripping Iraq has displaced hundreds of thousands and threatens many more. 

Refugee crises reveal what is worst and best about us.  The huts set on fire, the apartment buildings flattened, the bullets sprayed at innocent civilians, show the depths of our capacity for hatred and callousness.  But those who aid and protect refugees demonstrate the opposite:  our potential for valor and compassion. 

The United States provides more humanitarian assistance to refugees than any other nation.  In the last year alone, the generosity of the American people, and the dedication of those who deliver food, medicine, shelter, and other emergency assistance, have helped to save hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of lives.

Our commitment does not end overseas. Some refugees simply cannot return home because the risk of violence and persecution is too great. The U.S. admits more refugees for permanent resettlement than any other nation.  Last year nearly 70,000 came to the United States and we expect to bring in the same number this year. 

The ordeals refugees survive and the aspirations they hold resonate with us as Americans. This country was built by people who fled oppression and war, leapt at opportunity, and worked day and night to remake themselves in this new land.  The refugees who arrive in the United States today continue this tradition, bringing fresh dreams and energy and renewing the qualities that help forge our national identity and make our country strong. 


The African Union High Level African Trade Committee (HATC) to meet on 25 June 2014 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – 20 June 2014.  On the sidelines of the 23rd Ordinary Session of the Summit of the African Union being held from the 20th to 27th June, the Department of Trade and Industry will convene the 3rd High Level African Trade Committee (HATC) meeting on the 25th of June 2014 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. The HATC meets and provides policy orientation and recommendations to the summit on the acceleration and deepening of Africa’s market integration agenda. This time HATC is expected to take a higher political profile due to the expected participation of Heads of States of AU member countries, H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Fatima Haram Acyl, Commissioner of Trade and Industry, and Chief Executives of the Regional Economic Communities among others. The meeting will be chaired by H.E. Idriss Deby, President of Chad.

The HATC’s main responsibility is to facilitate and unlock the blockages in the implementation of the framework, road map and architecture for fast-tracking the establishment of the continental free trade area (CFTA), and the action plan for boosting intra-African trade (BIAT) which became AU policy in January 2012.

Based on progress during the past two years, the Heads of State and Government demonstrated their commitment to fast track the establishment of the CFTA by requesting AU Ministers of Trade to convene an extraordinary session to prepare for the launch of the CFTA negotiations in 2015. The HATC urged the member states to consider and report on Africa’s response and key developments on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and their implications on Africa’s integration agenda. This decision was a significant signal that economic integration at a continental level is engaging a higher gear as evidenced by strategic consultations between the PRC and the African Union Commission led by the AUC Chairperson at a retreat held in April 2014, with further consultations with Chief Executives of Regional Economic Communities (RECs), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), African Development Bank (AfDB), NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) as well as Ministers of Foreign Affairs at the beginning of June 2014. The Commission has commenced regional consultations, with the first one held in collaboration with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Gaberone, Botswana in May; with a target to consult all AU-recognised RECs during the coming months.

The Extraordinary Session of the Conference of Ministers of Trade was held in Addis Ababa on 27-28 April 2014 as directed and made recommendations on the issues identified by the last HATC meeting.  The June 2014 HATC meeting is expected to consider the key recommendations from the Extraordinary session of the Conference of AU Trade Ministers and present their report to the Assembly. In addition, it will assess the progress made on trade integration efforts on the continent and provide its political guidance to the African Union Assembly.

The High Level African Trade Committee  is made up of the Chairpersons of  the eight (8) Regional Economic Communities i.e.: The Arab Maghreb Union (AMU), the Community of Sahelo-Saharan States (CENSAD), the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The current members of the HATC are Chad (Chair of ECCAS and CENSAD), Côte d’Ivoire (Chair of ECOWAS), Ethiopia (Chair of IGAD), Kenya (Chair of EAC), Libya (Chair of AMU), Malawi (Chair of SADC) and Uganda (Chair of COMESA), The African Union is the key institution driving Africa’s Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) initiative, with the Department of Trade and Industry having the primary responsibility for the CFTA within the AU Commission.