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Food crisis worse than ever in Ethiopia

The trio called on all partners to strengthen efforts to address their immediate and long-term food needs in line with international commitments…reports Asian Lite News

The World Food Programme (WFP), UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and Ethiopian Government Refugees and Returnees Service (RRS) made the plea for assistance because without it, WFP will run out of food for the refugees by October.

The impending crisis will leave vulnerable families at risk of undernutrition, micronutrient deficiency, and increased susceptibility to diseases, the agencies warned.

“Three quarters of a million refugees will be left with nothing to eat in just a matter of weeks unless we receive funding immediately,” said Claude Jibidar, WFP’s Representative and Country Director for Ethiopia.

Support needed

The agencies have established an effective system to identify the food assistance needs of refugees through biometric verification, accountability mechanisms and programmes to grant monthly food and cash assistance.

The trio called on all partners to strengthen efforts to address their immediate and long-term food needs in line with international commitments. 

Meanwhile, WFP, UNHCR and RRS will continue to count on donors for extended funding support based on the principle of shared responsibility to implement basic humanitarian life-saving activities.

Cutting rations has been an issue with which WFP has long had to grapple.

Food rations for refugees in Ethiopia were first reduced by 16 per cent in November 2015, then 40 per cent in November 2021, and finally 50 per cent in June 2022.

The impact of these cuts has been heightened by global limitations on food availability, widespread economic shock, rising food and energy costs, the COVID-19 fallout, and armed conflict.

Impact of cuts

To understand the impact of ration cuts on refugees, WFP, UNHCR and RRS conducted in April, a rapid assessment on 1,215 refugee camps households throughout relevant regions.

The results show that most had coped with food insecurity by reducing the number of meals eaten in a day, consuming less expensive foods, or limiting meal portions. 

The joint assessment also revealed that households are going to desperate measures to make up for funding cuts.

Funding repercussions

Funding cuts have forced refugees to rely on an ever-finite supply of food, which increases the likelihood of resource-based conflicts.

Data shows that many families have been relying on children to generate extra income to afford food.

Other households were forced to borrow cash, relying on friends or relatives for sustenance.

“We have a shortfall of $73 million for refugees’ minimum needs and we are deeply concerned that if funding cuts continue, they may consider returning to their places of origin when it is unsafe,” warned Mr. Jibidar.

Taking action 

More resources must be mobilized to meet immediate food demands, and smart investments should be taken to prioritize sustainable farming.  

“The priority for us all must be to restore assistance to at least minimum levels for refugees, all of whom are solely reliant on WFP’s cash and food assistance for survival,” said the UN Country Director.

With an immediate donor response, WFP would be able to buy food available in the region to meet the dietary needs of the refugees and also transfer cash to the refugees, providing them the choice of how to meet their immediate needs and stimulating local markets.

Support needed

The agencies have established an effective system to identify the food assistance needs of refugees through biometric verification, accountability mechanisms and programmes to grant monthly food and cash assistance.

The trio called on all partners to strengthen efforts to address their immediate and long-term food needs in line with international commitments. 

Meanwhile, WFP, UNHCR and RRS will continue to count on donors for extended funding support based on the principle of shared responsibility to implement basic humanitarian life-saving activities.

$73 mn appeal for over 750K refugees

The UN World Food Programme (WFP), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Ethiopian Government Refugees and Returnees Service (RRS) have launched a $73-million joint appeal to provide food rations to more than 750,000 refugees living in the east African country.

In a joint press statement, the three organizations on Tuesday said the funds are essential to meet the food ration needs of the refugees for the next six months, Xinhua news agency reported.

“WFP will completely run out of food for refugees by October, leaving vulnerable families who are dependent on food assistance at risk of undernutrition, micronutrient deficiency, susceptibility to diseases and increased protection risks,” the statement added.

“Due to protracted funding shortfalls, WFP has already been forced to cut rations for 750,000 registered refugees living in 22 camps and five sites in hosting communities in Ethiopia’s Afar, Amhara, Benishangul-Gumuz, Gambella, Somali and Tigray regions,” the statement further said.

Food insecurity among refugees in Ethiopia has risen as a result of the cuts and is even further compounded by current global limitations to food availability, conflict, rising costs of food and energy as well as the fallout from Covid-19.

The three organisations further called on all partners to strengthen efforts to address both the medium and long-term food needs of refugees in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is the third largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, with 870,507 refugees and asylum seekers as of June 2022, UNHCR figures show. The majority of the refugees originate from South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea.

ALSO READ-Egypt, US discuss global food crisis

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Africa News Diaspora

IOM :Egypt hosts 9 mn int’l migrants from 130 countries

International migrants have contributed positively to local labour market and the growth of the Egyptian economy, the IOM noted…reports Asian Lite News

More than 9 million international migrants from about 130 countries currently live in Egypt, according to the latest figures released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

In a statement, the IOM said the number of international migrants residing in Egypt is 9,012,582, which constitutes 8.7 per cent of the country’s population, reports Xinhua news agency.

There has been a noticeable increase in the number of international migrants since 2019, because the prolonged instability in Egypt’s neighbouring countries prompted Sudanese, South Sudanese, Syrians, Ethiopians, Iraqis and Yemenis to seek refuge in the North African country, according to the statement.

Among the international migrants are 4 million Sudanese, 1.5 million Syrians, 1 million Yemenis and 1 million Libyans. Migrants from the four countries account for about 80 per cent of the migrants residing in Egypt.

International migrants have contributed positively to local labour market and the growth of the Egyptian economy, the IOM noted.

Egypt has been generous in enrolling migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in its national education and health systems on an equal basis with Egyptians, despite challenges in the two sectors and the heavy economic costs, the UN agency added.

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Africa News

Millions vote for new president in Kenya

Odinga is seeking the presidency for the fifth time and has campaigned on an anti-corruption ticket…reports Asian Lite News

Kenyans are voting on Tuesday to elect a President and a new Parliament, with around 22 million people eligible to cast their ballots in a closely fought election.

Pre-election polling put opposition leader and former prime minister Raila Odinga slightly ahead of William Ruto, who served as Vice President to the outgoing Uhuru Kenyatta, who has been President of the East African country for the past 10 years, reports dpa news agency.

Odinga is seeking the presidency for the fifth time and has campaigned on an anti-corruption ticket.

Ruto has pledged far-reaching economic reforms to improve the lot of small businesses and farms.

Rising food and fuel prices have added to tensions in the large country, which is home to a wide range of ethnic groups. Past elections have often been characterized by outbreaks of violence

Kenya is nevertheless seen as a relatively stable country on the continent, and the two main candidates have indicated they intend to accept the election result.

They have also said they plan to continue close relations with the US and the European Union.

Under the Constitution, results must be published within seven days. With four candidates running, and a close result expected, a run-off election may well be necessary.

The election in the country of some 56 million inhabitants is the fifth presidential election since independence from Britain in 1963.

Members of the National Assembly and Senate were also chosen on Tuesday.

Tanzanian President wishes Kenya peaceful general elections

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan has wished neighbouring Kenyans peaceful general elections as they went to the polls to vote for their leaders.

“I am praying God be with you (Kenyans) as you fulfill your constitutional right of getting leaders of your choice in a peaceful environment, unity, harmony and solidarity,” she said in her official tweet on Tuesday.

“Wishing you all the best.”

President Hassan was inspecting the Njombe region in the country’s southern highlands on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Millions of Kenyan citizens on Tuesday cast their ballots at nearly 46,229 polling stations across the country to elect the country’s fifth President as well as members of the National Assembly, Senators, and county governors.

William Ruto, Kenya’s sitting Deputy President and Presidential candidate under the Kenya Kwanza (Kenya First) Alliance, cast his ballot at 6 a.m on Tuesday at a primary school located in his ancestral Sugoi village in the northwestern county of Uasin Gishu. Soon after casting his ballot, Ruto said he will respect the election outcomes, after months of heated campaigns.

Ruto is running for the presidency with three other candidates, including his closest rival, Raila Odinga, a veteran Opposition leader who is running for the presidency under the Azimio La Umoja (Resolution for Unity) One Kenya Coalition. Odinga also cast his ballot at a polling station in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, later on Tuesday.

President Uhuru Kenyatta Votes in Gatundu

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday morning cast his vote at Mutomo Primary School in Gatundu, Kiambu County.

The Head of State, who was accompanied by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, cast his vote shortly after 9.00 am and urged Kenyans to vote peacefully.

“Vote peacefully and go home to wait for the results,” President Kenyatta said.

Responding to questions from the media, the President said the voting exercise at the Mutomo Primary School polling station was smooth and he hoped the same will apply across the country.

Before accompanying the President to Gatundu, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta had cast her vote at St. Mary’s School in Nairobi County shortly before 7.00 am.

ALSO READ-UAE, Kenya to begin FTA talks

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Blinken kicks off Africa tour to counter Russian influence

Blinken and Pandor will “discuss ongoing and recent developments relating to the global geopolitical situation,” a South African government statement said…reports Asian Lite News

Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in South Africa on Sunday, kicking off a three-nation tour of Africa.

His visit comes as the West and Russia vie for support from African countries over the war in Ukraine.

South Africa has maintained a neutral stance on the war and has refrained from joining Western countries in publicly condemning Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.

What is on Blinken’s agenda?

On Sunday, Blinken visited the Hector Pieterson memorial in Soweto township, which commemorates the 170 school students killed during an anti-apartheid uprising in 1976.

The secretary of state is expected to hold talks with his South African counterpart, Naledi Pandor, on Monday, before outlining the United States’ strategies for sub-Saharan Africa in a major policy speech at the University of Pretoria.

Blinken and Pandor will “discuss ongoing and recent developments relating to the global geopolitical situation,” a South African government statement said.

Africa has been hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic as well as rising food and fuel prices triggered by Moscow’s war on Ukraine.

Blinken is also scheduled to visit Congo and Rwanda later in the week. It is his second trip to the continent since his appointment early last year and follows recent Africa tours by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and French President Emmanuel Macron.

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UK museum agrees to return looted Benin Bronzes to Nigeria

The Horniman Museum possesses a relatively small share of the Benin Bronzes that once decorated the royal palace of the Kingdom of Benin, in what is now southwestern Nigeria…reports Asian Lite News

A museum in Britain agreed Sunday to return a collection of Benin Bronzes looted in 1897 to Nigeria.

The decision comes as European institutions come under increasing pressure to repatriate artifacts that were stolen during the colonial era.

The Horniman Museum and Gardens in London’s southeast said 72 items would be handed over to the Nigerian government. Among them are 12 brass plaques, known as Benin Bronzes, a brass cockerel altarpiece, ivory and brass ceremonial objects, brass bells and a key to the king’s palace.

The museum received a formal request from Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) earlier in the year asking for the artifacts to be returned.

“The Horniman is pleased to be able to take this step, and we look forward to working with the NCMM to secure longer term care for these precious artifacts,” Eve Salomon, chair of the museum’s board of trustees, said in a statement.

“The evidence is very clear that these objects were acquired through force, and external consultation supported our view that it is both moral and appropriate to return their ownership to Nigeria,” the statement added.

The NCMM welcomed the decision and said it looked forward to “a productive discussion on loan agreements and collaborations.”

The Horniman Museum possesses a relatively small share of the Benin Bronzes that once decorated the royal palace of the Kingdom of Benin, in what is now southwestern Nigeria.

Thousands of treasures, sculptures and other artworks — many of them dating from the 16th to the 18th centuries — were looted by British colonists who attacked and occupied Benin City at the end of the 19th century.

Many of these artifacts ended up in different countries. The British Museum alone holds more than 900 objects from Benin, and National Museums Scotland has another 74.

Germany has more than 1,000 of the artifacts, split between around 20 museums. Its biggest collection is held by Berlin’s Ethnological Museum, which is considered the most important outside the British Museum.

The Nigerian government has stepped up its demands in recent years for European countries to hand back the Benin Bronzes. It ultimately plans to build a museum in Benin City, in the southern Edo state, to house the recovered treasures.

Last month, Nigeria and Germany signed a deal to begin the return of hundreds of Benin Bronzes — the biggest effort yet by a European country to give back the looted artworks.

France last year handed over 26 pieces, known as the Abomey Treasures, that French forces looted from the 19th century Dahomey kingdom in present-day Benin.

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Guterres dismayed over civilian killing in Congo

In addition to the two deaths, 15 others were injured in the deadly incident, said the DRC government, which strongly condemned the shooting…reports Asian Lite News

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has expressed outrage after UN peacekeepers opened fire and killed two residents of a town in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) that borders Uganda.

In Kasindi, North Kivu province, military personnel of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) opened fire at residents on Sunday, reports Xinhua news agency.

In addition to the two deaths, 15 others were injured in the deadly incident, said the DRC government, which strongly condemned the shooting.

“The Secretary-General is both saddened and dismayed by the loss of life and serious injuries sustained during this incident,” Guterres’ deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said in a statement late Sunday.

Moreover, Guterres conveyed his deepest condolences to the victims’ families, the Congolese people and the Congolese government and wished the injured a speedy recovery.

Furthermore, the Secretary-General emphasized the need to “establish accountability for these events.”

The UN has established contact with the peacekeepers’ country of origin, with the aim of “urgently initiating judicial proceedings with the participation of victims and witnesses so that appropriate sanctions can be handed down”, the statement said.

In a communique, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in the DRC and head of MONUSCO Bintou Keita said that some soldiers of the Intervention Brigadeopened fire at the border post for “unexplained reasons”.

Describing the soldiers’ behaviour as “unspeakable and irresponsible”, the MONUSCO chief said that perpetrators were identified and arrested — pending the conclusions of an investigation that has already started in collaboration with the Congolese authorities.

The UN envoy did not mention the peacekeepers’ nationalities.

Since July 25, thousands of people have been demonstrating against MONUSCO in several towns across the country, particularly in Goma, the capital of North Kivu, where some of the UN mission’s offices have been ransacked and looted by demonstrators.

The demonstrations turned violent as protesters demanded that MONUSCO exit their country for failing to protect civilians amid rising violence.

According to the Congolese government, 15 people had lost their lives during the protests in North Kivu, including a peacekeeper and two police personnel from MONUSCO in the city of Butembo.

UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix met DRC President Felix Tshisekedi on Saturday in Kinshasa to discuss the cooperation between MONUSCO and the Congolese government.

“We have agreed to draw lessons from these serious incidents, an in-depth assessment is underway between the UN and the authorities to move forward in our collaboration to restore confidence in the Congolese people,” said Lacroix.

ALSO READ: India rakes up killing of peacekeepers at UNSC

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Ethiopia’s plan to fill reservoir opposed by Egypt at UN

It is the affirmation of Egypt’s legitimate rights to defend its national interests, he said, adding: “I see that the tone has become more powerful than before.”…reports Asian Lite News

Egypt said it had protested to the UN Security Council on Friday against Ethiopian plans to fill the reservoir of a controversial Nile dam for a third year without agreement from downstream countries.

The multibillion-dollar Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile is set to be the largest hydroelectric scheme in Africa but has been at the center of a dispute with Egypt and Sudan ever since work began in 2011.

Egypt “received a message from the Ethiopian side on July 26, stating that Ethiopia would continue filling the reservoir of the Renaissance Dam during the current flood season,” a Foreign Ministry statement said.

In response, Egypt wrote to the UN Security Council “to register its objection and complete rejection of Ethiopia’s continuation of filling the Renaissance Dam unilaterally without a deal.”

Mohamed Nasr Allam, Egypt’s former irrigation minister, told Arab News that the Egyptian move is a step on the right path. “We have moved from complaining to demanding that the UN Security Council play an active role in this case.”

It is the affirmation of Egypt’s legitimate rights to defend its national interests, he said, adding: “I see that the tone has become more powerful than before.”

Mohamed Mahmoud Mahran, a specialist in international river disputes and a member of the American Society of International Law, said if the UNSC sees a threat to international peace and security in connection with a conflict, it must intervene immediately to maintain security.

“The Renaissance Dam threatens the lives of over 150 million Sudanese and Egyptian citizens. If no agreement is reached and Ethiopia acts unilaterally, and if the UNSC doesn’t intervene, it could lead to unprecedented scenarios and spark a regional war.”

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Africa a new destination for Islamic Financial Institutions

This system has multi-fold benefits which concentrate on the balanced wealth distribution. He also threw light on the need of Islamic banking and financial services…reports Asian Lite News

Africa is emerging for Islamic Finance and a new destination for Islamic Financial Institutions which will open new avenue for the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the region, it was stated by Muhammad Zubair Mughal, Chief Executive Officer of AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics (CIBE) during the inaugural ceremony of African Islamic Banking and Takaful Summit was held in association with Centre for Islamic Finance, Compliance and Advice and sponsored by Imaan Finance, CRDB Bank Plc, PBZ Bank LTD, Craft Silicon, Technology Associates – Tanzania, Zanzibar Insurance Corporation, InvoiceMate, BSV-Blockchain, , Association of Tanzania Insurers (ATI) – Tanzania, National Insurance Authority, Somaliland, NBC, Imaan Newspaper, Imaan Radio, Imaan TV and IFING-MEDIA. He said that, Tanzanian Islamic Banking and Takaful market is very imminent and seems promising.

The summit was inaugurated by Mr. Muhammad Zubair, Chief Executive Officer, AlHuda CIBE FZ LLE, Dubai- U.A.E. He welcomed all the guests of honors, speakers and participants for attending this emerging phenomenon conference, one of new of its kind in the region. He said that Islamic banking and finance is the ultimate financial solution due to its viability and sustainability. This system has multi-fold benefits which concentrate on the balanced wealth distribution. He also threw light on the need of Islamic banking and financial services.

He further said that several new Islamic financial institutions are ready to start their operations in the market. Various Islamic window operations are also going to start their operations for the development of the economy to strengthen the growth of the market and to uplift the living standards of the public in the region. A few of the banks are also coming into the markets with stand-alone branches for Islamic banking operation. Insurance industry is also participating with zeal and zest and Takaful operations are also going to be operated in the insurance market.

The Guest of Honors includes H.E. Mohamed Himid Mbaye Former Deputy Governor, Bank of Tanzania, Immediate Past Chairman CIFCA, H.E. Prof. Florens D. A. M. Luoga Governor, Bank of Tanzania, H.E. Mrs. Khadija. I. Said Deputy Commissioner of Insurance, Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA), Tanzania, Dr. Ally Hussein Laay Chairman of the Board of Directors, CRDB Bank Plc, Tanzania, Mr. Khamis Suleiman     Chairman, Association of Tanzania Insurers, Tanzania were with Mr. Muhammad Zubair at inaugural ceremony and appreciated AlHuda CIBE FZ LLE, Dubai- U.A.E. activities for the development of Islamic banking and finance in Africa and especially in Tanzania. They mentioned that Tanzania and Africa have enriched the future for Islamic banking and finance and many banks are dealing with Islamic banking products in the country and the region. They pertinently mentioned that AlHuda CIBE is playing its role for the promotion of a globally accepted alternative financial solution which is the only hope of financial stability. They also mentioned that there is absence of a specific legal and regulatory framework to govern the Islamic finance industry which should be addressed timely. It not only will promote the Islamic banking and financial services but also enhance the economic growth of the region.

Other speakers and distinguished guests include Mr. Issa Mohammad Sheikh- CIFCA- Coordinator, AlHuda CIBE Shariah Advisor, Tanzania, Mr. Mohamed shakeel salyani (PhD)- Head of Islamic Banking Division, Craft Silicon, Kenya, Mr. Rashid Rashid- Head of Islamic Banking, CRDB Bank PLC, Tanzania, Mr. Asim Hameed- Shariah Board Member, IMAAN Finance Ltd. Tanzania, Mr. Muhammad Salman Anjum- Head of BSV Hub & CEO ,InvoiceMate, UAE, and Prof. Dr. Mohammed Hafidh Khalfan addressed the session on Islamic Banking, Finance, FinTech & Sukuk. Dr. Ndikumana Sudi- Chief Executive Officer/Chairman, Health Maintenance Organization (HMO-Africa), Burundi, Mr. Muhammad Zubair- Managing Director, AlHuda CIBE FZ LLE – U.A.E, Dr. Huda A. Yussuf- Chairman Board of Trustees, Zanzibar Social Security Fund, Tanzania, Dr. Juma Shaban Chibololo- Lecturer, Faculty of Islamic Studies-MUMand Mr. Sunusi Saleh Dan-Alhaji addressed the session on Takaful (Islamic Insurance) and Islamic Capital Market.

Furthermore, Dr. Abdalla Y. Tego-Lecturer Muslim University of Morogoro, Dr. Kassim Nurdin Hussein- Chairman, Awqaf Tanzania, Mr. Salum Awadh- CEO, SSC Capital, Founder, Shirkah Invest, Tanzania and Prof. Mussa Assad have spoken to the Development of Islamic Finance in East Africa session.

Finally, H.E. Mtemi. Dr. Salum Ahmed Kihemba, PhD – Chief Executive Officer, Legal Finance and Administrative Affairs, NA Prints Plc, Tanzania, Dr. Abdalla Ussi Hamad- Director, Institute of Islamic banking and Finance, Zanzibar University, Zanzibar, Mr. Abdirahman Mohamed Anas- Head of Internal Audit, Premier Bank, Somalia and Mr. Yassir Masoud Salim- Secretary General, Hay’atul Ulamaa, Tanzania, concluded the session on Waqf, Zakka &Islamic Microfinance.

Two days’ post event specialized training workshops on “Practical and Operational Aspects of Takaful ” will be held on 27th – 28th July, 2022 at Johari Rotana, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

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Algeria, Niger, Nigeria ink deal on gas pipeline

The idea was first proposed more than 40 years ago and an agreement signed between the countries in 2009, but progress stalled…reports Asian Lite News

Algeria, Niger and Nigeria have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the construction of a gas pipeline across the Sahara Desert that will supply Europe with additional gas, said the Algerian Energy Minister.

The signing ceremony was held in Algiers, capital of Algeria, in the presence of the Energy Ministers of the three African countries, and came in the wake of a trilateral meeting on the Trans-Saharan Gas-Pipeline (TSGP) on Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Today’s meeting follows two previous meetings respectively in Niamey in February and in Abuja in June,” Algerian Energy and Mines Minister Mohamed Arkab told reporters.

“We have taken a number of decisions and we are making remarkable advance in the construction of this strategic project,” he said.

The TSGP, a mega gas pipeline project linking Algeria, Niger and Nigeria, is expected to span 4,000 km and could send up to 30 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year.

The idea was first proposed more than 40 years ago and an agreement signed between the countries in 2009, but progress stalled.

Two weeks, ago Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi arrived in Algeria for a one-day visit, and held talks with President Abdelmadjid Tebboune over several issues of common interest.

Reports said that Algeria would raise its gas shipments to Italy by 4 billion cubic metres per year, without providing a timeline for the increased delivery round, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Algerian energy giant Sonatrach will ensure the delivery of the additional natural gas shipment to its Italian partners, including Eni, APS news agency reported on Friday.

Algeria has already delivered 13.9 billion cubic metres of gas to Italy so far in 2022. In 2021, the North African country exported 21.2 billion cubic metres of natural gas to Italy.

ALSO READ-Saudi receives envoys of Benin and Algeria

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Guinea-Bissau, France agree to boost ties

He explained that the training of Bissau-Guinean soldiers is part of the support program for Guinea-Bissau in the fight against drug trafficking and maritime piracy, as well as in maintaining the stability of the country…reports Asian Lite News

President of Guinea-Bissau Umaro Sissoco Embalo and visiting French President Emanuel Macron on Thursday expressed their willingness to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in various fields, in particular education, fishing, defence, infrastructure and agriculture.

“France will also invest in the areas of civil and military infrastructure in Guinea-Bissau,” said French President Macron in a joint statement with his Bissau-Guinean counterpart issued in Bissau, the capital of Guinea-Bissau.

Speaking at the end of a visit of a few hours to Bissau, Macron said that “France will support the training of soldiers in Guinea-Bissau” and that “soon a group of 15 young Guineans benefiting from scholarships of France will begin their studies in the field of agronomy”, Xinhua news agency reported.

He explained that the training of Bissau-Guinean soldiers is part of the support program for Guinea-Bissau in the fight against drug trafficking and maritime piracy, as well as in maintaining the stability of the country.

Umaro Sissoco Embalo welcomed France’s support for the training of young people, and its support for the field of agriculture which is vital for the economy.

ALSO READ-Fight Against Guinea Worms