Showing posts with label West Africa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label West Africa. Show all posts

Friday, August 19, 2011

Nigerian Star of the Month: J'odie - Kuchi Kuchi (Oh Baby)





Nigerian Singer, J'odie, released her first video, for the baby-inspired Zouk song which was produced by Phat-E and released at the tail end of 2010. The song exudes innocence and is extremely melodic in its delivery and her style can be described in three words; Soulful, Artsy... Simply African.

Artist Summary
Genres: Pop / Neo-Soul / zouk
Management: +234 803 334 7467
Artist Bio



Joy Odiete, popularly known as Jodie, born on the 22nd of June, is a young soulful singer from Nigeria with a personality that exudes African freshness and originality.

Being one the favorite finalist in the premier edition of Idols, West Africa, her debut has been anticipated by fans not only in Nigeria, but among other African viewers.

Finally, her first single, “Fighter”, is out. “Fighter” was born out of her determination to achieve her musical dream and never to give up.

Jodie is a singer, songwriter and jewelry artiste. She loves being African and so keeps her virgin hair… Jodie is simply “Jodie”!

www.reverbnation.com/jodiegreat
www.twitter.com/jodiegreat





Saturday, May 14, 2011

Agricultural experts push for a strong seed sector in West Africa

13 May 2011 19:57 Africa/Lagos


Agricultural experts push for a strong seed sector in West Africa

COTONOU, May 13, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Underlining that seed security is a prerequisite for achieving food security, agricultural experts participating in the just-concluded Regional Workshop on Seed Policy in West Africa urged decision-makers to support the sustainable growth and development of the West African seed sector, particularly for food security crops, such as rice, millet, sorghum, cowpeas and maize.


The experts recommended the need to formulate, adopt, and implement coherent strategies and policies at regional and national levels for the rapid development of viable seed enterprises which would help increase the steady supply of quality seed to millions of smallholder farmers in West Africa.


The workshop was jointly organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) in Cotonou, Benin. It was inaugurated by His Excellency Michel Sogbossi, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Government of Benin.


“Strong research programs and solid seed systems are crucial to give farmers access to better varieties and quality seeds,” said Dr. Marco Wopereis, AfricaRice Deputy Director General & Director for Research at the workshop, which provided an overview of the current status of the West African seed sector as well as the challenges and opportunities associated with it.


Seed entrepreneurs in the sub-region face many challenges because of the absence of coherent seed policies, poor infrastructure and lack of access to improved seed, complementary inputs, production technologies, credits and training.


Highlighting the importance of developing national seed policies, Dr. Robert Guéi, Senior Officer from FAO, remarked that the seed industry was relatively more developed in other regions of Africa than in Central and West Africa.


“Until now only a few countries in West Africa, such as Nigeria, Côte d'Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Benin, etc., have formulated and passed a coherent seed policy, while a few others are in the process of doing so,” Dr. Guéi said.


Key recommendations targeted to specific stakeholder groups were made by the participants to enable a sustainable seed production and distribution effort to take off in the sub-regions. These include the need to:

• Develop improved varieties and ensure their rapid delivery through effective seed systems;

• Develop national action plans to support the sustainable development of seed industries;

• Strengthen partnerships between the public and the private sector on seed-related issues, with clear delineation of their respective roles;

• Develop the capacity of the formal and informal seed sectors;

• Integrate a value-chain approach in the seed policies;

• Develop regulatory frameworks for rapid and sustainable growth of the seed industry; and

• Ensure the participation of the whole range of actors in the formulation of seed policies.

“A true partnership among all the actors will be the basis for success to develop a strong seed sector in West Africa,” said Dr. Rita Agboh-Noameshie, AfricaRice scientist, who coordinated the workshop in partnership with FAO.


The workshop was attended by decision-makers from 11 countries in West Africa and from Madagascar. Representatives from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (WECARD/CORAF), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), the African Seed Trade Association (AFSTA), the African Seed Network (ASN), FAO and AfricaRice also took part.



Source: Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice)



Wednesday, February 9, 2011

It Matters That Nigeria Conducts Credible Elections - Commonwealth


A Nigerian voter. Photo Credit: Daily Mail, UK.

9 Feb 2011 18:16 Africa/Lagos

It Matters That Nigeria Conducts Credible Elections - Commonwealth

ABUJA, Nigeria, February 9, 2011/PRNewswire/ -- The Commonwealth is at an advanced stage of preparations for the monitoring of elections in Nigeria, Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba said on Wednesday at the end of a four-day visit to the West African country.

During her visit, Ms Masire-Mwamba and her delegation engaged key actors and stakeholders involved in the forthcoming elections, and re-affirmed the Commonwealth's support and expectations for a peaceful and credible process.

She spoke at a news conference in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

"The Commonwealth takes a keen interest in elections across its membership. Nigeria is a valued member with whom we have a strong and mutual beneficial engagement. It is also a key member of the association which contributes and participates actively in Commonwealth activities - including hosting CHOGM in 2003, and producing a Secretary-General of the Commonwealth," Ms Masire-Mwamba said.

"Nigeria is a leader on the continent, playing a significant role in promoting peace, and in regional economic growth and development.

"It matters to the Commonwealth, Africa and the world that Nigeria and other member states conduct credible elections.

"Since arriving in Abuja on Sunday, I have met with leaders of political parties, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), civil society representatives and the international community. I have listened to their views on how the process is going, and discussed the progress as well as the challenges. In all our meetings, we have had candid and open discussions.

"Stakeholders have noted positive steps in the preparations so far. I am hopeful that if all actors - politicians, civil society, the public, and you, members of the media continue to play your expected roles, there can be an outcome that reflects the will and aspirations of the people.

"Any election is a complex and challenging undertaking and requires the cooperation and support of all stakeholders. Political leaders and parties must display political will to ensure a credible process. The people need to show faith in the democratic process and participate in it. It is crucial that violence is avoided by all means, and the rule of law must be allowed to prevail. All must ensure that both the process and outcome meet Commonwealth values as well as international and regional electoral benchmarks to which Nigeria has committed itself.

"On our part, we will remain engaged and offer support and assistance as requested.

"We wish the people of Nigeria a most successful, peaceful and credible election," Ms Masire-Mwamba concluded.

For media enquiries, please contact Julius Mucunguzi, Media Officer, on +234-7063597240 or +44-7894-593-517, email: j.mucunguzi@commonwealth.int

Source: The Commonwealth Secretariat

For media enquiries, please contact Julius Mucunguzi, Media Officer, on +234-7063597240 or +44-7894-593-517, email: j.mucunguzi@commonwealth.int



Thursday, July 15, 2010

Upstream Powers MTN's FIFA World Cup(TM) Themed Mobile Marketing Campaigns in West Africa

15 Jul 2010 12:11 Africa/Lagos


Upstream Powers MTN's FIFA World Cup(TM) Themed Mobile Marketing Campaigns in West Africa

LONDON, July 15, 2010/PRNewswire/ --


- Campaigns for Mobile Operator Giant and FIFA World Cup Global Sponsor MTN, in Nigeria, Benin and Ghana Generated Unprecedented Conversion Rates and Huge Consumer Excitement Demonstrating Upstream's Expertise in Delivering Regional Campaigns With Localised Customer Insight.


Upstream, one of the world's largest mobile marketing solutions providers, (http://www.upstreamsystems.com) is completing a series of successful localised mobile marketing campaigns across West Africa for MTN, as part of the Group's official FIFA World Cup sponsorship activities.


Upstream worked with MTN to create large-scale Mega Promotions for three of the group's West African markets - Nigeria, Ghana and Benin. The campaigns, which were timed to leverage the build up to the World Cup, were all launched at highly publicised events in April. With World Cup activities ending and the campaigns drawing to a close, results reveal an overwhelming response from users, boosting ARPU and generating a high level of excitement from MTN customers in each country after creating instant big winners.


Though launched simultaneously, the three campaigns were carefully constructed to fit unique consumer behaviour and demographics in each of the three countries. This demonstrates the ability of Upstream's sophisticated mobile marketing communications suite to deliver optimised, relevant, communications that engage and create positive and profitable interactions with every one of MTN's participating customers.


"Mobile operators like MTN do not want a cookie-cutter approach to how they market to their customer base, particularly for significant regional campaigns such as MTN's World Cup promotions, but they also want low risk solutions. For MTN, Upstream produced sophisticated CRM campaigns which have enabled them to deliver strongly branded and aligned competitions that were nimble enough to support their massive Africa-wide World Cup series of activities", said Nikos Moraitakis, VP Business Development at Upstream.


"We were amazed at how effortlessly Upstream grasped the needs and preferences of our subscriber base and formulated a customised promotion strategy. The MTN Benin - Upstream partnership was a great commercial success and we look forward to more profitable projects in the future", said Harriet Muchu, Chief Marketing Officer of MTN Benin.


Launched in 1994, MTN Group is a multinational telecommunications provider, with its core operations in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East.


MTN CAMPAIGNS WITH UPSTREAM


MTN Nigeria


MTN 2010 World Cup Naira Splash Competition is a 90 day campaign launched in April, running until after the World Cup. Prizes include N20,000 Every Hour, N2,000,000 Every Day, N20,000,000 Every Month and 120 Tickets to the World Cup.


http://www.mtnonline.com/index.php/participate.html


MTN Benin


MTN 2010 World Cup Competition was a 60 day campaign when it was launched in April, following the success of the campaign it was extended to 90 days. The SMS mega promotion is being executed in local versions of French. Prizes include daily giveaways of Sony flat screen television and Hyundai cars.


MTN Ghana


MTN 2010 Win 90 cars in 90 days is a 90 day campaign launched in April running until the end of the World Cup. Prizes include daily giveaways of Hyundai Cars, Sony LCD TVs and MTN airtime vouchers.


http://www.mtn.com.gh/sub.aspx?ID=272&MID=228&ParentID=12&FirstParentID=3 &Level=3&FirstIsClosed5=N&SecondIsClosed50=Y


(Due to the length of this URL, it may be necessary to copy and paste this hyperlink into your Internet browser's URL address field. Remove the space if one exists.)


About Upstream


Upstream is a world leader in mobile marketing solutions, reaching over 500 million consumers in more than 40 countries. Using its advanced technology platform to deliver potent interactive communication via mobile channels, Upstream empowers global brands to activate their customers like never before.


Upstream was born out of a desire to revolutionise the way companies market to mobile consumers. By combining technology innovation with years of execution expertise and the analysis of terabytes of consumer data, communications powered by Upstream massively increase conversion rates and generate profitable interactions for companies and their mobile consumers.


This unique ability to extract value from any customer base has made Upstream the preferred mobile marketing partner for blue chip companies including Vodafone, T-Mobile, TIM, Orange, Telefonica, America Movil, Zain, MTN, The Coca-Cola Company, Nestle, Unilever, Shell and BSkyB.



Media contact:

Jacki Vause
Peppercom for Upstream
Jvause@uk.peppercom.com
+44(0)20-7033-2660

Alexandra Chong
Upstream
chong@upstreamsystems.com
+44(0)207-290-1320

Source: Upstream

Media contact: Jacki Vause, Peppercom for Upstream, Jvause@uk.peppercom.com, +44(0)20-7033-2660; Alexandra Chong, Upstream, chong@upstreamsystems.com, +44(0)207-290-1320



Releases displayed in Africa/Lagos time
15 Jul 2010
12:05
Goodrich and Turkish Technic, Inc. Complete Agreement to Form Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Joint Venture
11:15
NBTY Agrees to Be Acquired by the Carlyle Group for $55.00 Per Share in Cash; Transaction Valued at $3.8 Billion; NBTY is a Leading Nutritional Supplement Company
11:00
Siemens Enterprise Communications Names Wolfram Fischer General Manager of EMEA and Asia-Pacific
06:16
Eutelsat and ictQATAR Select Space Systems/Loral to Deliver Their Joint Venture Satellite
03:30
Microsoft Awards Top Performing Partners at Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference
14 Jul 2010
23:10
Marriott International Reports Second Quarter 2010 Results
21:00
ConvergEx's Eze OMS Partners with PAC-Invest to Help Clients Meet ASIC Short Position Reporting Regulations
20:18
UN Secretary-General sees the 2010 World Cup in South Africa as a Success
20:10
Food crisis in Niger
20:09
Ruling MMD provincial youth leader in court for assaulting journalists
20:09
Food crisis in Niger / Virtual press briefing of the Director of Western and Central Africa Division of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
20:09
Newspaper fined for publishing results of opinion polls
19:09
TV station forced to stop televising religious program
18:50
Zambian journalists warned against publishing unverified information
18:44
Nuline Pharmaceuticals Presents a New Algorithm to Treat Tooth Hypersensitivity
18:00
Rockwell First Quarter Fiscal 2011 Conference Call
17:00
Norwood Auctioneer, Will Lilly, Welcomes Auctioneers From Around the World
16:47
South African Tourism Reveals Adventure Ambassador
16:16
FIFA World Cup 2010(TM) Official Song 'Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)' Becomes Global Phenomenon

14 Jul 2010
23:10
Marriott International Reports Second Quarter 2010 Results
21:00
ConvergEx's Eze OMS Partners with PAC-Invest to Help Clients Meet ASIC Short Position Reporting Regulations
20:18
UN Secretary-General sees the 2010 World Cup in South Africa as a Success
20:10
Food crisis in Niger
20:09
Ruling MMD provincial youth leader in court for assaulting journalists
20:09
Food crisis in Niger / Virtual press briefing of the Director of Western and Central Africa Division of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
20:09
Newspaper fined for publishing results of opinion polls
19:09
TV station forced to stop televising religious program
18:50
Zambian journalists warned against publishing unverified information
16:47
South African Tourism Reveals Adventure Ambassador
16:16
FIFA World Cup 2010(TM) Official Song 'Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)' Becomes Global Phenomenon

19:34
U.S. EPA and American Water Launch National 'We're for Water' Campaign in Los Angeles
12:48
Four journalists held hostage in Niger delta region



Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Secure Mobile Wallet Solutions at AITEC Banking & Mobile Money West Africa Conference

12 May 2010 11:00 Africa/Lagos



CellTrust Corporation Showcases SecureSMS Messaging and Secure Mobile Wallet Solutions at AITEC Banking & Mobile Money West Africa Conference

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- CellTrust Corporation, the world's largest provider of SecureSMS for mobile phones (www.celltrust.com), announced today the company will showcase its SecureSMS messaging solution in the Mobile Money Hub at the AITEC Banking & Mobile Money West Africa conference, May 11-12, 2010 in Lagos, Nigeria. The company will also highlight the special features of its data-based and menu driven Secure Mobile Wallet.


CellTrust's SecureSMS platform has gained a strong foothold in Africa. The platform will enable banks and even other payment system providers to meet the stringent, new transmission channel security requirements of the Central Bank of Nigeria. In February of this year CellTrust launched its SecureSMS Mobile Banking and Payment Pilot for the African region through its partnership with Maxim-Pro Ltd. (www.maxim-pro.com), based in Lagos, Nigeria, to provide consumers the ability to make secure mobile cash transfers, payments and securely access other microfinance banking products.


"CellTrust's secure mobile banking platform is gaining significant momentum in Africa, where banks are cracking down on fraud and enforcing new security requirements for mobile financial management," said Sean Moshir, Chairman and CEO of CellTrust. "CellTrust's Secure Mobile platform brings significant value to the financial industry, as well as consumers in Africa, providing a secure and simple way to transfer money and make payments."


CellTrust SecureSMS provides end-to-end privacy on the mobile device via a highly encrypted, tamper-proof process while enabling message sizes up to 5,000 characters. CellTrust SecureSMS Appliance is the first global enterprise appliance to offer secure SMS communication for Handset to handset and enterprise applications to handsets with highly encrypted end to end security in compliance with HIPAA, FISMA, and Sarbanes-Oxley, ensuring that information is kept private and only delivered to the intended recipient. CellTrust's award winning SecureSMS(TM) Appliance and Gateway reaches 200+ countries and over 800 carriers.


About CellTrust Corporation


CellTrust is a leading provider of secure mobile messaging and applications. CellTrust's patent pending SecureSMS Gateway(TM) featuring the SecureSMS(TM) Appliance and a suite of mobile applications provide advanced secure mobile messaging and information management across 200+ countries and over 800 carriers. CellTrust ensures the secure and trusted exchange of information on mobile devices to the financial services, healthcare, government, education, energy, information technology, marketing, and travel, among other global industries. For more information about CellTrust's Global, African, North American and Australian operations: www.celltrust.com www.africa.celltrust.com www.celltrust.com.au


Media Contact:
Lora Friedrichsen
Global Results Comms (GRC) for CellTrust
+1 949-608-0276
celltrust@globalresultspr.com


Source: CellTrust Corporation

CONTACT: Media, Lora Friedrichsen of Global Results Comms (GRC),
+1-949-608-0276, celltrust@globalresultspr.com, for CellTrust


Web Site: http://www.celltrust.com/




Friday, June 12, 2009

West African 'Oil Rush' Is On, Reports Gold Star Resources Corp. CEO in AFROIL Online News Column

10 Jun 2009 14:30 Africa/Lagos


West African 'Oil Rush' Is On, Reports Gold Star Resources Corp. CEO in AFROIL Online News Column

VANCOUVER, June 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- West Africa now offers "unparalleled opportunities" for major and independent oil and gas companies, writes Patrick Morris, CEO of Vancouver-based Gold Star Resources Corp. (OTC Bulletin Board: GXXFF; TSX-V; GXX; www.goldstarresources.com) in the June 10th issue of AFROIL, Africa Oil & Gas Monitor, an online publication of Newsbase Ltd., Edinburgh, Scotland read by subscribers in 25 countries (www.newsbase.com; Week 23; page 5 Guest Column). Morris, author of a news column published in AFROIL entitled "West African Oil Rush, Challenges", reported that changing geopolitics, reduced security and political risks, the recent 1.8 billion barrel discovery in West Africa's largest oilfield, the Jubilee in Ghana, and a new African foreign policy by recently elected U.S. President Barack Obama have all helped in making West Africa a "desirable destination for oil and gas exploration and production."

According to Morris, "For a long time West Africa has been off the radar of the international community because of messy politics and brutal civil wars. Also, apart from Nigeria and Gabon, there had been the disappointing size of oil discoveries made at times of low oil prices. All this is now changing. Expectations by countries and oil & gas companies to discover new reserves in the region are high. Exploration and seismic research activities are underway in all countries of West Africa bar Burkina Faso and Cape Verde. Governments are also actively involved. For example, in Liberia, the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) is promoting oil and gas exploration and development of its hydrocarbon resources along its continental shelf and slope. The sub-region is also gaining global attention as calm has been restored to countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone and Cote d' Ivoire, reducing security risks."

"The role of junior exploration companies is to set the trend," Morris writes in his news column. " For example, Gold Star Resources is the first and only junior company to go after onshore oil and gas opportunities in Cote d' Ivoire and Liberia since the 1970s. Larger players are competing for offshore blocks all along the coast - but with no plans for any onshore exploration."

Gold Star Resources recently signed a Letter-of-Intent with Bengal Bight Ghana to acquire 100% of the hydrocarbon rights to the Tiampoum mining concession, approximately 1,000 square km, in Cote d' Ivoire. In January, Gold Star entered West Africa when it acquired 90% of the issued and outstanding shares of Liberia's International Resources Strategies Liberia Energy (IRSLE).

Source: Gold Star Resources Corp.

CONTACT: Patrick Morris, CEO, Gold Star Resources Corp.,
+1-604-641-4450, pm@goldstarresources.com

Web Site: http://www.goldstarresources.com/



Releases displayed in Africa/Lagos time
11 Jun 2009
20:51 EODT Announces Appointment of Senior Vice President of Business Development EODT Announces Appointment of Senior Vice President of Business Development EODT Announces Appointment of Senior Vice President of Business Development
10 Jun 2009
14:30 West African 'Oil Rush' Is On, Reports Gold Star Resources Corp. CEO in AFROIL Online News Column
12:00 World Congress of Families Event Shows African Support for Family Values



Thursday, February 19, 2009

World Cocoa Foundation and Leading Chocolate Industry Companies Partner with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Significantly Improve Cocoa Farmer Liv

19 Feb 2009 07:00 Africa/Lagos

World Cocoa Foundation and Leading Chocolate Industry Companies Partner with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Significantly Improve Cocoa Farmer Livelihoods in West Africa

Five-Year, $40 Million Investment to Focus on Increasing Cocoa Farmer Knowledge, Marketing Efficiency and Incomes

WASHINGTON, Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The World Cocoa Foundation today announced a new, $40 million program funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and chocolate industry companies to significantly improve the livelihoods of approximately 200,000 cocoa farmers in Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon and Liberia. The innovative, five-year West Africa Cocoa Livelihoods Program will focus on enhancing farmer knowledge and competitiveness, improving productivity and quality, promoting crop diversification and improving supply chain efficiency. These initiatives will help increase farmers' incomes and significantly improve cocoa community well-being.


The program will be managed by the World Cocoa Foundation and be implemented through a consortium of five organizations including ACDI/VOCA, Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)/Sustainable Tree Crops Program, SOCODEVI and TechnoServe. In addition to the $23 million in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, over $17 million in financial support and in-kind contributions come from the private sector: major branded manufacturers The Hershey Company, Kraft Foods and Mars, Incorporated; cocoa processors Archer Daniels Midland Company, Barry Callebaut, Blommer Chocolate Company and Cargill; and supply chain managers and allied industries Armajaro, Ecom-Agrocacao, Olam International Ltd. and Starbucks Coffee Company. The governments of the participating West African countries will support and be full partners in the program's implementation.


"We know from experience that cocoa can play a significant, positive role in improving farm family incomes in the developing world," said Bill Guyton, President, World Cocoa Foundation. "However, many cocoa farmers today lack the practical knowledge and organizational support needed to grow this unique crop profitably and sustainably. Thanks to our new partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we will be able to dramatically expand our efforts to reach these farmers in West Africa and to promote economic and social development as well as environmental conservation in cocoa-growing communities."


Implementation plans and site selection for the West Africa Cocoa Livelihoods Program will be finalized over the coming months. On-the-ground program activities are expected to begin in late 2009 and early 2010. Once underway, the program will train farmers in better production techniques, quality improvement and business skills; professionalize farmer organizations to better meet member needs; and improve farmer access to agricultural inputs and improved-quality seedlings. The project will also improve farmers' access to market information and opportunities for diversification into alternative food and cash crops to maximize farmer income and security.


"Cocoa is West Africa's largest agricultural export, providing a living for nearly two million smallholder farmers and their families in the region," said Madame Amouan Acquah Assouan, Vice President, Coffee-Cocoa Sector Management Committee, Republic of Cote d'Ivoire. "Too many of them grow cocoa on a subsistence basis, failing to realize the economic benefit this important crop can provide. The new West Africa Cocoa Livelihoods Program can change this situation for the better, lifting thousands of these farm families out of poverty."


"Agriculture offers powerful pathways out of poverty, but without access to knowledge, tools, and markets, millions of smallholder farmers - most of whom are women - aren't able to prosper from their land and labor," said Dr. Rajiv Shah, Director of Agricultural Development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "We're excited to support this partnership, which will create opportunities for these farmers to sustainably boost their incomes and lift themselves and their families out of hunger and poverty." To date, the foundation has committed more than $1 billion in agricultural development efforts to increase opportunities for small farmers to succeed at every step of the way--from seed to sale.


About the World Cocoa Foundation


Established in 2000, the World Cocoa Foundation is a leader in promoting economic and social development and environmental stewardship in 15 cocoa-producing countries around the world. With nearly 70 member companies from the Americas, Europe and Asia, the Foundation actively supports a range of farm-level programs harnessing sustainable agriculture practices to improve the quality of life for the millions of smallholder farmers growing this unique crop. For more information about the World Cocoa Foundation, visit: www.worldcocoafoundation.org


About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people's health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people - especially those with the fewest resources -- have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-Chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. Learn more at www.gatesfoundation.org.


About ACDI/VOCA


ACDI/VOCA is a nonprofit international development organization that delivers technical and management assistance in agribusiness, financial services, enterprise development, community development and food security in order to promote broad-based economic growth and vibrant civil society. Based in Washington, D.C., ACDI/VOCA has empowered people in developing and transitional nations to succeed in the global economy for 45 years and in 145 countries. ACDI/VOCA currently has approximately 80 projects in 40 countries and revenues of approximately $100 million.


About GTZ


As an international cooperation enterprise for sustainable development with worldwide operations, the federally owned Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH supports the German Government in achieving its development-policy objectives. It provides viable, forward-looking solutions for political, economic, ecological and social development in a globalised world. Working under difficult conditions, GTZ promotes complex reforms and change processes. Its corporate objective is to improve people's living conditions on a sustainable basis. The company works on public benefit.


About the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture


Africa has complex problems that plague agriculture and people's lives. We develop agricultural solutions with our partners to tackle hunger and poverty. Our award winning research for development (R4D) is based on focused, authoritative thinking anchored on the development needs of sub-Saharan Africa. We work with partners in Africa and beyond to reduce producer and consumer risks, enhance crop quality and productivity, and generate wealth from agriculture. IITA is an international non-profit R4D organization since 1967, governed by a Board of Trustees, and supported primarily by the CGIAR.


About SOCODEVI


SOCODEVI is a network of Canadian cooperatives and mutuals that cooperate and share technical expertise and know-how with partners in developing countries in order to create, protect and distribute wealth. Since 1985, SOCODEVI has supported over 500 cooperative and mutual enterprises and organizations in 30 countries. SOCODEVI measures its success by the extent to which the enterprises supported become models for their sustainability and the benefits their activities provide. The ultimate goal of SOCODEVI: improved living conditions for the communities.


About TechnoServe


TechnoServe is leading a movement that empowers people in the developing world to build businesses that break the cycle of poverty. Growing enterprises generate jobs and other income opportunities for poor people, enabling them to improve their lives and secure a better future for their families. Since its founding in 1968, the U.S.-based nonprofit has helped to create or expand thousands of businesses, benefiting millions of people in more than 30 countries. The Financial Times has rated TechnoServe one of the top five NGOs for corporate partnerships. Charity Navigator has also awarded its highest Four Star ranking to TechnoServe.


Source: World Cocoa Foundation

CONTACT: Bill Guyton of World Cocoa Foundation, +1-202-737-7870,
bill.guyton@worldcocoa.org


Web Site: http://www.worldcocoafoundation.org/