Showing posts with label Togo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Togo. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Togo to host 6th ECOWAS Trade Fair in November 2011

Togo to host 6th ECOWAS Trade Fair in November 2011

LOME, July 5, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Government of Togo will in November 2011 host the 6th ECOWAS Trade Fair, a regional platform for accessing West Africa's market of some 300 million consumers.

In a letter to the Togolese Government confirming the hosting mandate, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Ambassador James Victor Gbeho, assured that the Commission would deploy all necessary means to ensure that the country records a huge success as it did in 2003 when it hosted the regional fair.

To this end, a four-day meeting of the Regional Organizing Committee (ROC) has just ended in Lome, the Togolese capital to fine tune arrangements for the hosting.

Members of the ROC paid a courtesy visit on the Togolese Minister of Commerce, Mr. Kwesi Seleagodji Ahoomey-Zunu, on Thursday, 30th June 2011 on the sidelines of their meeting in Lome.

During the visit, the head of the ECOWAS delegation, Mr. Adou Koman, thanked the Government of Togo for accepting to host the fair. He also briefed him on the developments leading to the change of venue and reiterated ECOWAS' commitment to a successful fair.

In his response, Minister Ahoomey-Zunu acknowledged the challenges related to the hosting of the fair within the time-frame allowed but assured members of the Committee of Togo's determination to organize a successful fair towards the realization of the Community's objective of economic integration.

The 17-day fair, which begins on 25th November 2011, will be held alongside the 9th Lome International Trade Fair, a special arrangement made between the ECOWAS Commission and the Government of Togo, due to the inability of Cote d'Ivoire to host the fair in 2010 as earlier planned.

As with previous fairs, the 2011 edition in Lome seeks to promote economic integration and trade among citizens in Member States, especially industrialists, investors, manufacturers, commercial operators and buyers.

It will feature products and services originating in the region, including industrial products, animal husbandry and fishing, minerals, cottage industry, textiles and services in various sectors.

The trade fair will also afford participants the opportunity to take part in conferences, seminars and workshops on various themes related to the overall theme of the fair.

In addition, participants would be able to exhibit their products and services and meet other professionals with the prospect of concluding business deals that would promote trade and help improve the living standards of ECOWAS Community citizens.

On the sidelines of the fair, participants will be treated to an ECOWAS food exhibition featuring cuisines and drinks from the host country and participating Member States. There will also be country “National Days,” an enlightenment programme that would enable visitors appreciate other cultural products from the region for the promotion of tourism.

Consistent with its theme, “Strengthening Intra-Community Trade through Public-Private Partnership,” and in line with its tradition, the fair will be open to economic operators from across the globe intending to do business with, or invest in, West Africa.

Previously held every four years, the ECOWAS Trade Fair is now held every two years.

Senegal hosted the first edition in 1995, followed by Ghana in 1999, Togo in 2003, Nigeria in 2005 and Burkina Faso in 2008.

Source: Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS)

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Migrants Continue to be Vulnerable in Libyan Conflict

7 Jun 2011 16:46 Africa/Lagos

Migrants Continue to be Vulnerable in Libyan Conflict

GENEVA, June 7, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- IOM Press Briefing Notes

The on-going conflict and political stalemate in Libya has left migrants in a situation of continued vulnerability, with large groups stranded across the country.

During an assessment of the humanitarian needs in various parts of Libya, IOM staff reported on the plight of a large community of mostly African and Filipino migrant workers sheltering in two sites in the capital, Tripoli.

Staff say some of the migrants have been without jobs since the beginning of the crisis as their employers had left the country. Feeling they have nothing to return to, they stay on in Libya in the vain hope that they may receive back pay from their employers or find another job. Others have been left to take care of employers' properties but have not been paid since February.

The majority, from Ghana, Togo, Sudan, Nigeria, Cameroon and other African countries, are unskilled and undocumented workers.

Like the others, they are dependent on whatever food and shelter people of goodwill from within and outside their community can provide with some basic food prices having increased by up to three times since the start of the crisis.

Although the numbers of migrants managing to flee Libya on a daily basis have slowed down in recent weeks, migrants continue to be stranded in towns and cities around the country.

The Malian Ambassador to Tripoli estimates between 8,000-10,000 of his compatriots remain in western Libya, mostly in Sabha, Gadames, Ubari and Murzuk, while the vulnerability of Sub-Saharan Africans in the eastern part of the country has led to Malians there fleeing into Egypt.

Thousands of Egyptian migrants are also believed to be still in the country, according to the Egyptian Ambassador to Tripoli. While most are thought to be in the south in cities such as Gatroun and Sabha, others are in places like Sirt and in need of evacuation.

As these reports emerge, IOM is continuing its efforts to access Gatroun where many Chadians are reported to be stranded. IOM interviews with Chadians who are returning home by truck reveal that many migrants have stayed as long as they could in Libya in the hope of being given months of unpaid wages. Lack of food and water was forcing them to finally leave.

Meanwhile, an eighth IOM mission to evacuate another group of migrants by sea from the port city of Misrata concluded late last week.

The mission, funded by the US State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, rescued 166 migrants, the majority from Sub-Saharan Africa including Nigeriens, Chadians, Ghanaians and Sudanese. The rest comprised Palestinians, Moroccans, Egyptians, Tunisians as well as migrants from Jordan, Britain and Pakistan.

Thirty-six war-wounded casualties were evacuated to Benghazi with the migrants, bringing the number of people rescued from Misrata to about 7,200.

The IOM-chartered ship also delivered hundreds of tons of humanitarian aid and provided the logistics for the deployment of an IOM-led interagency assessment team to Misrata to assess humanitarian needs there after months of fighting.

So far, IOM has provided evacuation assistance to about 31,000 people from inside Libya including the Misrata operations. More than 9,000 migrants including Sub-Saharan Africans have been transported by road from Tripoli to the Tunisian border and nearly 15,000 from Benghazi in the east to the Egyptian border.

Since late February, IOM has helped nearly 144,000 migrants in Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Chad and Niger with evacuation assistance back to their home countries.

As the crisis drags on, the numbers of people fleeing across Libya borders continue to mount steadily. More than 952,000 people have so far crossed into its six neighbouring countries or arrived in Italy and Malta.

Source: International Office of Migration (IOM)