OHCHR Press Briefing Notes – (1) Ethiopia

OHCHR Press Briefing Notes - (1) EthiopiaGiven the extremely alarming reports that emerged earlier this month about serious human rights violations in the Oromia and Amhara regions of Ethiopia, the High Commissioner reached out to the Ethiopian

Government, seeking access for independent observers to the country to assess the human rights situation. We have now received a reply from the Government, indicating that they will launch an independent investigation into the events.

“High Commissioner reached out to the Ethiopian Government, seeking access for independent observers to the country to assess the human rights situation”

We welcome the decision to launch an independent investigation, and we urge the Government to ensure that the investigation has a mandate to cover allegations of human rights violations since the unrest in Oromia began in November 2015, that it is indeed independent, transparent, thorough and effective, with a view to establishing whether the use of excessive force occurred and with a view to bringing to justice the perpetrators of any human rights violations.

We stand ready to assist in ensuring that the investigation is undertaken in line with international human rights standards. We also reiterate our request for access to the affected areas, as the situation on the ground makes it very challenging for independent civil society actors to operate, particularly given the tense situation in parts of the Oromia and Amhara regions, where a large security presence has reportedly been deployed, and there are reports of ongoing arbitrary arrests, intimidation and harassment of people in the regions.

We call on the Government to ensure that the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression are protected and that those detained for exercising these rights are promptly released. Protests must be handled by security forces with full respect for international human rights laws and standards on the use of force. Read more….

Nigerian Military threatens Journalist for not revealing Sources

Nigerian Military threatens Journalist for not revealing SourcesThe Nigerian military should cease threatening freelance journalist Ahmad Salkida with prosecution for not acting as an informer, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The military has said the journalist could face terrorism charges if he does not provide it with information he gained in the course of his reporting on the militant group Boko Haram.

In a statement carried by Nigerian news websites on August 14, military spokesman Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman declared Salkida and two civil-society workers – Aisha Wakil and Ahmed Bolori – “wanted for interrogation” regarding the location of over two hundred school girls Boko Haram abducted in April 2014. In the statement, Col. Usman invoked the 2011 Terrorism Prevention Act, under which “Nigerians could be punished for failure to disclose information about terrorists or terrorists’ activities.” He said, “We are also liaising with other security agencies for their arrest if they [fail] to turn up.” Salkida has lived in the United Arab Emirates since August 2013.

“Journalists must sometimes rely on the trust of dangerous people. Coercing them to become informants risks putting all journalists under suspicion and in danger,” CPJ West Africa Representative Peter Nkanga said. “Nigeria’s military should not threaten Ahmad Salkida and instead ensure that he is free to work.”

“Journalists must sometimes rely on the trust of dangerous people”

On August 16, Nigerian Director of Defence Information Brig. Gen. Rabe Abubakar said that the military was only inviting Salkida and the two civil-society workers for questioning. “We are only inviting them to shed light on pending issues that will support current military efforts, and not to arrest them,” Abubakar said in remarks quoted by the broadcaster Channels Television.

Salkida wrote on his personal blog on August 15 that he would accept the military’s invitation. The journalist told CPJ that he believed the military was trying to punish him for his persistent reporting on Boko Haram since 2006. He said that he had returned to Nigeria three times since May 2015 at the invitation of various federal government agencies.

Salkida told CPJ that he feared for his life, and that anonymous callers had threatened him about his articles and posts to social media websites and his contacts with Boko Haram. Salkida has received similar threats in the past, CPJ reported at the time. Read more…

Nigeria’s Power, Finance and Energy Investors to Meet with Government in Abuja this October

Nigeria’s Power, Finance and Energy Investors to Meet with Government in Abuja this OctoberLeading development finance institutions and heads of Nigeria’s most accomplished energy companies will meet with national government at EnergyNet’s Powering Africa: Nigeria Investment Summit, taking place in Abuja from 12-14 October 2016

Leading development finance institutions and heads of Nigeria’s most accomplished energy companies will meet with national government at EnergyNet’s (www.EnergyNet.co.uk) Powering Africa: Nigeria Investment Summit (http://APO.af/6REQZ4), taking place in Abuja from 12-14 October 2016.

Over 50 public and private sector decision makers will address 300 power developers and investors to discuss the driving factors behind power development in Nigeria. The investment summit will underpin Nigeria as a hub for regional gas development as well as an important market for clean and renewable energy. Key themes of the conference include how to diversify Nigeria’s energy mix, regulation policy to promote international investment in renewables, and examining Nigeria’s off grid energy market- promoting energy access for everyone.

This meeting follows EnergyNet’s recently concluded 18th Africa Energy Forum (AEF) in London this June, which welcomed 2,200 vetted investors from the Americas, Europe and Asia, and government representatives from 30 African countries. Major deals were signed at the meeting including a merger between Harith General Partners and Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), KFW’s US$150 million 15 year loan facility to AFC, Access Power’s US$7 million award to three renewable developers, Mainstream’s US$117.5 million Africa Clean Energy Equity Funding and DFID’s two Compacts in Kenya and Sierra Leone, to name a few.

“For 24 years EnergyNet has supported governments across the continent playing an advisory role helping policy makers meet the very best private sector investors. Our role is not unique; however our approach is as individual as a thumbprint, highlighted by the trust the World Bank, Power Africa, IFC, FMO, Proparco, DFID, AfDB and many more who place their trust in EnergyNet, which supports our position as a market-shaper when it comes to global energy development,” says Simon Gosling, Managing Director of EnergyNet. Read more….

Kwese sports to screen Brazalian soccer action!

Kwese sports to screen Brazalian soccer action!Comprehensive 3-season deal inked between Econet Media and Brazilian TV Globo

Econet Media today announced that it has negotiated an impressive 3-season agreement with leading South American TV company, the Brazilian Globo. The deal will offer Econet Media rights to broadcast live games from Brazil’s top soccer competition, with English commentary on its Kwesé branded platforms.

Starting in 2016 and running until 2018, Kwesé will be the exclusive broadcaster of the Brazilian League in the following territories – Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe.

The deal encompasses the rights to screen 110 games of the Brazilian League running from May to December each year until 2018 and 43 games from São Paulo State League (February to May annually). Both tournaments will be available on Kwesé platforms. In addition, Kwesé will screen weekly two shows that amplify the relevance of the championship: “FootBrazil” and “FootBrazil Highlights”.

As part of the recently concluded contract, Econet Media also holds sub-licensing rights.

Commenting on the latest news, Econet Media CEO Joseph Hundah says, “Brazil is a global soccer powerhouse whose world-famous superstars have included the likes of Pelé, Zico, Roberto Carlos,Kaká, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Neymar, among countless other legends of the game. The outstanding skills of their top players have thrilled soccer fans for decades and we are delighted that we have acquired the rights for Kwesé Sports to showcase a new generation of soccer icons in the making. Ourwww.kwesesports.com website continues to grow and this deal with Globo is indicative of our commitment to give African sports fans access to the best in premium sports content.” Read more….

SITA Introduces Fast, Secure Connectivity to Kenya Airways

SITA Introduces Fast, Secure Connectivity to Kenya AirwaysHigh-speed communication infrastructure underpins airline’s modernization program

SITA (www.SITA.aero), the global air transport communications provider, is to roll out faster, new-generation connectivity across Kenya Airways’ global network, a vital investment in infrastructure needed to support the airline’s renewed focus on cost optimization and airline modernization.

Among Africa’s top three airlines, Kenya Airways is seeking to leverage SITA’s latest communication technology to drive new efficiencies in the management of its route network while ensuring the best passenger experience across the airline’s global footprint.

Through SITA Connect, the airline will have access to high-speed, secure connectivity, linking employees and sales offices around the world to Kenya Airways’ central systems and applications to manage everything from reservations, check-in and boarding.

With a global presence, SITA is able to meet the airline’s complete connectivity requirements with tailored solutions for each location. Central to the delivery is SITA’s AirportHub™, a shared connectivity platform already used in more than 300 airports in over 100 countries. Using SITA’s common-use infrastructure eliminates the complexity of dealing with local telecom providers while enabling Kenya Airways to connect securely to their central systems and applications from any airport in the AirportHub network.

Mbuvi Ngunze, Group MD and CEO of Kenya Airways said: “As we seek to position Kenya Airways for the future, we needed a single communications partner that could take care of all our connectivity requirements no matter where we operate. SITA, with its truly global footprint and experience, provided us with a world-class solution supported by a local presence in each destination, connecting even the furthest outstation to our hub in Nairobi.”  Read more….