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Press releases from Africa-Neswroom.com
  1. President Jacob Zuma has signed into law the Financial Sector Regulation Act, 2017.

    The Act  aims to achieve a financial system that works in the interests of financial customers, and supports balanced and sustainable economic growth in the Republic, by establishing, in conjunction with other financial sector laws, a regulatory and supervisory framework that promotes the following:

    1. Financial stability;
    2. The safety and soundness of financial institutions;
    3. The fair treatment and protection of financial customers;
    4. The efficiency and integrity of the financial system;
    5. The prevention of financial crime;
    6. Financial inclusion;
    7. Transformation of the financial sector; and
    8. Confidence in the financial system.

    The Act also establishes two new financial sector regulators, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority and the Prudential Authority with jurisdiction over all financial institutions, and to provide them with a range of supervisory tools to fulfil their objectives.

    It further provides for, and ensures that there is, co-operation and collaboration between the financial sector regulators, the National Credit Regulator, the Financial Intelligence Centre and the South African Reserve Bank.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Presidency.

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    Republic of South Africa: The Presidency
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  2. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders announces that a Disaster Victim Identification Team (DVI) of the Federal Police will be sent to Sierra Leone to help identify the deceased in the dramatic floods and landslides. This disaster caused the death of more than 400 people. The Belgian team will be assisted, on site, by a consular agent dispatched by the FPS Foreign Affairs.

    The Government of Sierra Leone had requested international assistance to help rescuing and identifying the victims of this natural disaster. By solidarity with this country, Belgium has decided to respond positively to its call.
    Minister Reynders also welcomes the selection of a B-Fast (Belgian First Aid and Support Team) volunteer as a member of the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) mission in Sierra Leone.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Kingdom of Belgium - Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.

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    Kingdom of Belgium - Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation
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  3. The World Health Organization (WHO) is working closely with the Government of Sierra Leone to prevent the spread of infectious diseases such as malaria and cholera in the wake of last week’s mudslides and flooding in Freetown. The Organization is also working with partners to ensure ongoing health care for the injured and displaced, and to provide psychological aid to those coping with trauma.

    Around 500 people are known to have died as a result of the flooding and mudslides that devastated whole communities in and around Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, and hundreds more are still missing. With thousands displaced and local infrastructure destroyed, WHO has mobilized significant human, technical and financial resources to respond to the emergency.   

    “The mudslides have caused extreme suffering and loss of life, and we must do all we can to protect the population from additional health risks,” said Alexander Chimbaru, Officer in Charge of WHO Sierra Leone.

    With damage to water and sanitation facilities, residents of affected areas are particularly vulnerable to outbreaks of pre-existing infectious diseases including malaria and diarrheal conditions such as typhoid and cholera. The most recent cholera outbreak in the country occurred in 2012.

    WHO is working with health authorities in the country to maximize efforts to prevent and respond to disease outbreaks. Cholera response kits, including rapid testing tools, are being distributed to areas at risk; health and community workers are being trained to recognize the signs of priority diseases, and the Organization is sending additional cholera and emergency kits to the country.

    “While the Government and WHO are working hard to strengthen health services in the affected areas, we also urge the population to take the following precautions to help avoid a possible outbreak: hand washing, drinking only water that has been properly boiled or treated, use of latrines for sanitation, and adherence to good food hygiene practices”, added Dr. Chimbaru.

    WHO is also providing extensive support in the area of infection prevention and control at health facilities and at the mortuary located at the Connaught Hospital in Freetown, as well as community engagement and psychological first aid.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of WHO Regional Office for Africa.

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    WHO Regional Office for Africa
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  4. U.S. Ambassador to Botswana Earl Miller will preside over the official opening ceremony of the new Botswana office of the USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub. Funded by the United States Agency for International Development, the USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub works throughout the region to improve the livelihoods of Southern Africans by increasing access to trade and broadening investment.

    The USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub is the fourth generation of USAID projects focused on these goals. The previous version of the Southern Africa Trade Hub made many contributions on behalf of the U.S. Government to develop growth sectors including agribusiness, food processing, textiles and apparel, and infrastructure in Botswana and the entire SADC region.

    The new Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub will continue to work closely with the Government of Botswana and in particular the Ministry of Investment, Trade, and Industry to break down barriers to trade to increase exports, achieve regional economic integration, increase uptake in utilization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act by Botswana businesses, improve productivity, and facilitate robust regional trade and global market access.

    The event will begin with a program on the top floor of the iTowers building at 9:00 am and be followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony and tour of the new offices on Floor 16, including refreshments.

    The USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub reflects the American people’s commitment to support communities across Southern Africa, helping to ensure that the population of Botswana and countries throughout the region are provided with economic opportunities to build themselves better lives.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of U.S. Embassy in Botswana.

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    U.S. Embassy in Botswana
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  5. The U.S. government, working in cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Education, answered President Sisi’s recent call for a greater focus on science and technology education with a graduation ceremony on Sunday, August 20 for students from the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) high schools in Maadi and 6th October City. 

    These students are the third cohort to graduate from Egypt’s STEM high schools, launched by the Ministry of Education in 2012 with support from the United States through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The schools provide project-based education focused around enhancing students’ critical thinking, problem solving, and scientific research to help meet the needs of a modern economy. With President El-Sisi’s support, the Egyptian government is scaling up this model nationwide; to date it has been replicated in nine additional governorates with USAID support.    

    According to U.S. Embassy Cairo Chargé d’Affaires Thomas Goldberger, “The American people are committed to investing in Egypt’s future through science and technology education. Our partnership with the Ministry of Education on STEM education in Egypt reflects our long-standing commitment to Egypt and the Egyptian people.”

    The keynote speaker at the Sunday, August 20 graduation ceremony event in 6th October City was Minister of Education Dr. Tarek Galel Shawki, who also handed out certificates to students. USAID Mission Director Sherry F. Carlin reflected on what she has witnessed by visiting the schools in the program. “At STEM schools I’ve visited throughout Egypt, students learn by thinking out of the box, by conducting experiments, and by working in teams,” said Carlin. “We applaud the innovative young scientists graduating today for using STEM to address development challenges in their communities.” 

    STEM schools are part of the $30 billion that the American people have invested in Egypt through USAID since 1978. To find out more about USAID’s work in Egypt, please see www.usaid.gov/egypt, and follow along on Facebook and Twitter at @USAIDEgypt. 

    Distributed by APO on behalf of U.S. Embassy - Cairo.

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    U.S. Embassy - Cairo
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