In Central African Republic, Pope Francis calls for peace among Christian, Muslim communities – UN

30 November 2015 – The United Nations brought in 250 additional peacekeepers from Côte d’Ivoire over and above those already stationed in the Central African Republic (CAR) to help the authorities provide security for Pope Francis’s two-day visit to Bangui, the war-ravaged country’s capital.

As well as bringing in the special unit, which will remain for another eight weeks, the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in CAR (INUSCA) also helped build the pope-mobile that Francis used during his visit, which ended today.

In a statement, MINUSCA said it was pleased to see that the Pope delivered messages of peace and reconciliation to members of the Christian and Muslim communities including victims of violence in a country that has been torn apart by more than two years of fighting between the mainly Muslim Séléka group and the mainly Christian anti-Balaka movement.

The Pope ended his trip this morning with a visit to the mosque in a Muslim enclave known PK5, where he called for peace between Christians and Muslims, after which crowds followed him to the Bangui Stadium where he officiated a mass.

Last week, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) called on the warring groups to use the visit to rebuild national reconciliation after renewed violence since September triggered an 18 per cent increase in internally displaced persons (IDPs) to 447,500.

Hundreds of thousands more are estimated to have fled abroad in the fighting, which has killed thousands since it first erupted in early 2013.

MINUSCA, set up in April 2014 to help restore stability peace after a breakdown of governmental authority, currently maintains nearly 11,000 uniformed personnel in the country.

Also today MINUSCA announced that its Force Commander, Major General Martin Chuma Tumenta of Cameroon, passed away. He had been on medical leave for the past month back home.

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Cop’21: President Paul Biya participates

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The Presidential couple of Cameroon, His Excellency Paul Biya and Wife Madame Chantal Biya are presently in Paris-France for a World Conference on Climate, COP’21.

The UN conference that opens this Monday 30th November with some 150 monarchs, Heads of State and government officials in attendance is expected to design concrete solutions that will help redress environmental issues plaguing the world.

Cameroon’s participation in Climate Change summits like the ongoing summit in North of France has been glairing since the 1992, Rio de Janeiro world summit

Cameroon’s President, Paul Biya has been devoted to climate change, but more importantly his steadfast commitment to seeing the climate change issue properly addressed through numerous and pertinent declarations has been a preoccupation.

At the 60th session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2005 in New York, Paul Biya renewed his commitment to fight climate change through a plea for the introduction of meaningful policies that will protect the environment and the Congo basin.

The stakes for Cameroon and world leaders in Paris will be to see how far the world has gone with the decision to contain global warming at the maximum 2°celsius as prescribed at the Copenhagen summit of 2009.

The Paris Summit that runs from November 30 to December 11, 2015 will be a platform for the 150 participants to draft a document that will be a manual to the world at a time climate change has become a cry for all.

For the next eleven days these world leaders meeting at Le Bourget in the north of Paris will discuss environment and terrorism understandably due to the recent terrorists attacks in Paris-France amongst others.


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Martin Tumenta Chomu, le général de brigade commandant la Minusca, est décédé aux Etats-Unis

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Commandant de la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée de stabilisation des Nations unies en République centrafricaine (Minusca) depuis le 15 septembre 2014, le général de brigade camerounais, Martin Tumenta Chomu, est décédé dans un hôpital aux Etats-Unis dans la nuit du dimanche 29 au lundi 30 novembre 2015, a-t-on appris de bonnes sources.

Martin Tumenta ChomuMartin Tumenta ChomuLa semaine dernière, alors que certaines sources l’annonçaient effectivement malade et en évacuation sanitaire au pays de l’Oncle Sam, des journaux locaux avaient plutôt annoncé la désertion de ce parachutiste de son poste à Bangui, la capitale centrafricaine, qu’il avait dû quitter discrètement quelques jours auparavant. Les tenants de cette thèse excipaient alors des problèmes d’éthique professionnelle auxquels auraient été confronté le général dans le cadre de sa mission en RCA.

Avant de recevoir la confiance de l’ONU pour le maintien de la paix en RCA, le général Tumenta a d’abord été, du 19 décembre 2013 au 15 septembre 2014, le Commandant de la composante militaire de la Mission internationale de soutien à la Centrafrique (Misca). Diplômé de l’Ecole militaire interarmées (Emia) au Cameroun, breveté de l’école de guerre en France, de l’école de maintien de la paix d’Egypte et instructeur parachutiste, le général Tumenta a occupé les fonctions de Commandant de région militaire et bien d’autres fonctions importantes au sein de l’armée camerounaise avant son départ pour la Misca.

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Cameroun : hausse de 68,51% des droits de transit du pétrole tchadien

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Les droits de transit du pétrole tchadien ont généré des revenus de l’ordre de 29,54 milliards FCFA pour le Cameroun entre le 1er janvier et le 31 octobre 2015, soit une hausse de 68,51% par rapport à la même période l’année d’avant, selon un communiqué de la Société nationale des hydrocarbures (SHN).

S’agissant de l’exploitation du pipeline Tchad-Cameroun, 38,56 millions de barils ont été enlevés au terminal camerounais de Komé-Kribi sur la période considérée pour une hausse de 39,91 millions de barils.

La hausse des droits de transit du pétrole tchadien, note-t-on, fait suite à la revalorisation de ceux-ci intervenue le 29 octobre 2013 et qui a fait passer la redevance de 195 à 618 FCFA le baril de brut.

Ainsi, en un peu plus de 10 ans de fonctionnement, les droits de transit du pipeline Tchad-Cameroun ont rapporté quelque 259,14 milliards FCFA au 2ème pays cité.

Long de 1070 kilomètres, cet oléoduc Tchad-Cameroun part des champs pétrolifères de Doba pour traverser le territoire camerounais sur près de 890 kilomètres, de la frontière nord-est avec le Tchad jusqu’au terminal de Komé-Kribi.

Deux sociétés, la Cameroon Oil Transportation Company (COTCO) et la Tchad Oil Transportation Company (TOTCO), qui constituent par ailleurs le Comité de pilotage et de suivi, sont respectivement propriétaires des tronçons situés de part et d’autre de la frontière dont elles assurent la construction, l’exploitation et l’entretien.


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Agreement with TechExpress Expands Ergotron Product Availability in South Africa

AMERSFOORT, Netherlands, Nov. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire — Ergotron, a leader in the sit-stand movement and global provider of ergonomic work and lifestyle products, announces TechExpress, a distributor of IT equipment and logistic requirements in South Africa, is now offering Ergotron’s full line of products for the office, healthcare and education markets. “TechExpress is a value-add distributor. We […]

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The African designer who doesn’t want to use Africa as a ‘gimmick’

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(CNN)Fashion designer Chi Atanga is comfortable with an identity as a global African.

Based in Portugal and Cameroonian-British by background, he is currently in the U.S. looking for investment and sounding out potential markets. African-American communities are emerging consumers of music, movies and fashion from the continent, he says, and he hopes to ride the wave with a clothing brand that reflects his heritage.

For the time being, however, his Walls of Benin brand will be manufactured in Europe. His first line will be produced in Porto, Portugal, where he has access to a skilled workforce, reliable infrastructure and support from the European Union — all prerequisites for building a competitive fashion business which are still missing from most Sub-Saharan African markets.

“Personally I’m drawn to Cameroon and to West Africa,” Atanga says, “but private enterprise is difficult in Cameroon.”

On the World Bank’s 2016 ‘Doing Business’ ranking, Cameroon placed 172 out of 189 countries, scoring particularly badly on the ease of trading across borders. Expensive electricity connections and poor transport infrastructure add huge amounts of cost to manufacturing businesses in much of Sub-Saharan Africa, meaning that they often struggle to compete with businesses in other regions.

Fashion, along with other creative sectors, could be one way to overcome these barriers, as demand for unique designs and intellectual property from Africa increases.

The power of enterprise

Atanga insists that he believes in the power of enterprise as a way to bring people out of poverty, and in the need to move African economies up commercial value chains and away from simply exporting raw materials. But to have that impact, he says, his company would need to be large enough and robust enough to overcome the challenges that most of the continent’s economies present.

“We don’t want to use Africa as a gimmick,” he says. “We need to have scale, we need to have a name and a reputation.”

Investors in the U.S. have shown some interest, and Atanga is hoping to fund his first line through a crowdfunding campaign in December. After that, he will look again at finding a base in Africa. Rather than the west of the continent, he believes that Rwanda and Ethiopia, both of which have created ‘special economic zones’ that offer tax breaks for light manufacturing businesses.

Ethiopia in particular has made a strong play for textiles and garments manufacturers, building the infrastructure — in partnership with Chinese companies — to host factories making shoes and clothes for major international brands. The country hopes that increasing costs in Asian markets will make its relatively inexpensive labor force an attractive prospect.

Fashion faces challenges

African SMEs working in fashion face the same challenges as most other enterprises across the continent, according to Vanessa Erogbogbo, who works with a number of fashion and textile entrepreneurs in Ethiopia as the manager of the International Trade Center’s Women and Trade program.

Entrepreneurs — particularly women — often struggle to access finance to grow and access international markets. Erogbogbo advises the women that she works with to focus on unique, niche products that can differentiate them from their international competition.

“When we look at fashion and textiles and garments, the buyers are prescriptive, they want you to show them something that would interest them. You have to be quite creative,” she says.

The small-scale, women-owned companies that Erogbogbo works with have added appeal to conscious consumers, who care that the products contribute to better livelihoods in their country of origin. Proving the provenance of African products is important, but perhaps more so is creating new and original designs, she says.

“There’s a huge amount of interest. The stuff that these companies are creating is stunning, stunning, stunning, and consumers are always looking for new things.”


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Le Franc CFA et l’Euro contre l’AFRIQUE [+vidéo]

M. AGBOHOU Nicolas, natif de la Côte d’Ivoire, est titulaire de la Maîtrise d’Economie appliquée, du D.E.S.S. de Gestion de Paris l Sorbonne et du Doctorat en Science Politique.

Précédemment professeur de gestion à l’Institut National Polytechnique de Yamoussoukro (Côte d’Ivoire), M. AGBOHOU est actuellement professeur associé à l’Institut Cheikh Anta DIOP de l’Université du Gabon. Il enseigne les Sciences et Techniques économiques en France.

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Inside The Controversial Skin-Bleaching Phenomenon [+VIDEO]

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With names like “Skin So White,” “White Perfect,” and “White and Lovely,” skin bleaching creams are becoming a popular — and controversial — part of many women’s beauty routines. While skin lighteners may be used by different people for different reasons, this clip from the documentary “Light Girls,” which premiered on OWN, focuses on women who apply a chemical agent over their entire face and body in hopes of going from a dark skin tone to a lighter one.

Dr. Margaret Hunter, head of the Sociology Department at Mills College, has seen the popularity of bleaching creams surge in recent years. “Skin bleaching is a growing phenomenon around the world and it’s becoming a bigger business,” she says. “Now it’s a multi-billion dollar business and all the biggest cosmetic companies sell products that are supposed to lighten your skin.”

While you won’t find many products in the U.S. that blatantly promise to bleach or whiten skin, Dr. Hunter says they are commonplace in other parts of the world. “They’re popular throughout many African countries, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East, India, Philippines, Japan — broadly,” she says.

Some women are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve a lighter complexion. “What’s also terrifying is that we’ve yet to see a product that makes you look lighter and look good, and human,” says columnist Jamilah Lemieux. “And that people are willing to walk around looking like aliens — like some ghastly creature from a Steven Spielberg movie … they prefer that over their God-given color,” she says in disbelief.

Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Michael Jones reiterates that lightening agents are meant to be used on small areas, not the entire body. He says he sees patients on a weekly basis who want to lighten only a small skin lesion or a specific dark mark. “And in those cases, we say, ‘Hey, yes, we can help you and we will give you a lightening agent that will help to affect an improvement on your overall appearance,” he says. “But we don’t want you to use this product all over your face, all over your body.’”

While some women would do anything for lighter skin, others wish for just the opposite. Many women came forward in “Light Girls” to share the shame and anguish they felt growing up as light skinned African American women. In the above video, one of those women shares the emotional and physical damage she suffered just to feel accepted by her peers.

“I began to believe the criticism and I started to hate my complexion, so what I started doing was tanning a lot,” she says. “Over the years of excessive tanning I developed a skin damage called melasma.” She points out the dark patches on her forehead and the dark marks above her lips. “As a result, I now have to use expense laser treatment and bleaching creams to fade away the dark spots,” she says.

“I find it ironic that now, in hindsight, trying to be accepted to change my complexion with excessive tanning, that I now have to seek therapy to change the complexion of my skin.”

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