Ghana - The Ghanaian capital Accra will host for two days, the 5th edition of the African Summit of Palm Oil and Rubber. The event, entitled “moving forward with sustainable oil palm in Africa and improving smallholder’s productivity; continued resilience of natural rubber in the face of challenges” will be held next 25-16 April.

(Ecofin Agency) - Gwladys Johnson Akinocho

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The Burkinabe government plans to increase its electrification rate to 45% from the current 20%, by 2020. This was announced by Paul Kaba Thiéba (photo), the Prime Minister during a parliamentary audience.

Siemens has provided automation equipment and industrial networks to assist Anglo’s Engineering Skills Training Centre (ESTC). One of the pillars of Digitalization is industrial networks and security and it is crucial that these engineers understand the role of this technology in the future of mining.

Swiss camera ExoMars Rover (SRF/swissinfo.ch)

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Switzerland - In 2021, a European rover is set to roll over the surface of Mars in the search for traces of life. At its heart is a Swiss camera, currently being tested in (almost) Martian conditions. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed

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Ethiopia – Eritrea has officially responded to Ethiopia’s peace overture after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said in his inaugural address on April 2 that he was ready to end years of misunderstandings.

A protest against deportations of asylum seekers in Tel Aviv in March. CreditAbir Sultan/EPA, via Shutterstock

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ISREAL – In a head-spinning turnaround, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel announced on Monday that he had reached an extraordinary deal with the United Nations refugee agency to resettle thousands of African asylum seekers in Western countries. Within hours Mr. Netanyahu suspended the deal after coming under heavy criticism from his coalition partners.

News War AL report Some childen among the 22 million people in Yemen who need humanitarian aid and protection. © Giles Clarke / UNOCHA Donors pledge USD 2.01 billion to alleviate suffering in Yemen Africa Link 5 April 2018 SWWITZERLAND – Donors gathered in Geneva on 3 April have pledged USD 2.01 billion for the humanitarian response in Yemen. Switzerland, which co-hosted the conference, announced a contribution of 13 million francs for 2018. Yemen is currently experiencing the worst humanitarian crisis worldwide. Millions of people are deprived of water, food and medical care because of the armed conflict. Famine has struck several regions of the country. Yemen is facing an extreme humanitarian crisis in the wake of three years of armed conflict. 22.2 million people – 75% of the population – are in need of humanitarian assistance. More than 3 million people have been forced to leave their homes and remain displaced within their own country. The collapse of Yemen's healthcare system and the attacks suffered by the medical relief efforts have left vast numbers of people in need of medical care. Many children are unable to go to school and there is still a high risk of famine in a third of the country's districts. a high risk of famine in a third of the country's districts. In light of the deteriorating situation, Switzerland, Sweden and the United Nations held a pledging conference in Geneva attended by 61 countries and around 320 participants, including many representatives of international organisations and NGOs. It aimed to raise a large portion of the USD 2.96 billion needed by the UN to fund the humanitarian operations in Yemen this year. By the end of the conference, the participants had pledged USD 2.01 billion. Switzerland was represented by its vice president, Ueli Maurer who announced a contribution of CHF 13 million by the country. The bulk of support will go to ICRC and WFP activities in water and sanitation, food security and protection of the civilian population. Mr Maurer called on all parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law. He also underscored the obligation to protect civilians and public infrastructure, especially medical facilities, health workers, patients and humanitarian staff working to help those in need. Mr Maurer also called for rapid, continued, unrestricted, humanitarian access throughout the whole country. He insisted that all of the country's ports, including the airport in Sana'a, must be permanently reopened to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid. Switzerland reiterated its support for the peace process led by the UN. It called for a cessation of hostilities and for all parties to the conflict to come to the negotiating table to seek a solution to the conflict. Africa Link Staff E-Mail: info@eda.admin.ch

Africa Link Reports

SWITZERLAND – Donors gathered in Geneva on 3 April have pledged USD 2.01 billion for the humanitarian response in Yemen. Switzerland, which co-hosted the conference, announced a contribution of 13 million francs for 2018.

Yemen is currently experiencing the worst humanitarian crisis worldwide. Millions of people are deprived of water, food and medical care because of the armed conflict. Famine has struck several regions of the country.

 

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategy and Finance of South Korea Kim Dong-yeon has described the Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank  led by the Bank President Akinwumi Adesina as the most important event on their calendar.

Efforts to boost digital financial inclusion in Tanzania and Africa in general have received a shot-in-the-arm following a productive conference organized by FINCA Micro-Finance Bank Tanzania in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation.

Pic: Ferry, business owner in the Netherlands, originally from Iran.  © IOM

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The International Organisation for Migration, (IOM), the UN Migration Agency, has presented the results of a pilot project that connected thousands of refugees, employers, migrant groups and local authorities and made strides towards integrating beneficiaries of international protection in the EU into the labour market.    

At its 19th Board Meeting in Songdo, South Korea, the Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) has approved the first funding proposal of the African Development Bank for Zambia’s Renewable Energy Financing Framework. The GCF will provide a US$ 50 million loan and a US$ 2.5 million grant

Switzerland’s Federal Intelligence Service (FIS) flagged 38 asylum seekers as potential security threats last year – and recommended that their applications be rejected.

 The FIS external linkexamined 6,466 asylum applications in 2017, and found that 38 cases were “relevant security concerns”, noted the Federal Council in its annual report released last Wednesday.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union’s (IPU) Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians condemns the exclusion and repression of opposition MPs in the lead-up to critical elections in Cambodia and Venezuela, and the pattern of intimidation against opposition parties worldwide.

International Organisation for Migration  (IOM), the UN Migration Agency, reports that 171,635 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea during 2017, with just under 70 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain.