Monthly Archives: July 2017

Gilbert Chagoury annonce le règlement du litige Chagoury par le ...

WASHINGTON, 31 juillet 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Le gouvernement des États-Unis a convenu de régler l’action en instance de Gilbert Chagoury.  M. Chagoury a déposé la plainte auprès du Tribunal du District de Columbia en septembre de 2016, s’efforçant à tenir le gouvernement responsable de fuites d’informations fausses sur M. Chagoury provenant prétendument de dossiers du gouvernement. La plainte dénonçait que les fuites ont causées de grands torts à sa réputation et à ses biens, et il s’est vu refusé son droit constitutionnel à un procès équitable.

Comme cela est clairement indiqué dans la plainte, en dépit de son amour bien connu pour les États-Unis et ses dons de charité nombreux et généreux au cours des 35 dernières années où il s’est rendu aux États-Unis, Gilbert Chagoury a vu sa demande de visa rejetée par le département d’État des États-Unis en 2015.  Cette décision a été prise sur la base de fausses informations.  Cette injustice a été aggravée lorsque des fonctionnaires anonymes du gouvernement des États-Unis ont divulgué des informations aux médias à propos du rejet de la demande de visa de M. Chagoury, y compris des fausses informations qui avaient entraîné le refus du visa.  Le tort ainsi causé à sa réputation a fait qu’il était difficile pour M. Chagoury de faire des affaires aux États-Unis.

Aujourd’hui, dans le cadre du règlement avec M. Chagoury, le gouvernement des États-Unis stipule que M. Chagoury ne figure pas actuellement et n’est jamais apparu sur la liste de ressortissants spécialement désignés (SDN) et, par conséquent, le gouvernement n’a effectué aucun gel de ses biens. Par ailleurs, le gouvernement reconnaît qu’aucune institution financière des États-Unis ne doit s’abstenir de mener des activités commerciales avec M. Chagoury.

Dans le cadre du règlement avec M. Chagoury, le gouvernement des États-Unis a également reconnu que des fuites non autorisées aux médias peuvent violer les lois fédérales et pourraient faire l’objet de différents types de peine ou des mesures disciplinaires.

« Je suis heureux que le gouvernement des États-Unis ait officiellement reconnu que je ne figure pas et n’est jamais apparu sur la liste SDN et que cette affaire, qui a commencé en raison d’une personne diffusant des informations fausses et préjudiciables sur moi, est définitivement close », a déclaré Chagoury.  « Comme je l’ai souvent déclaré, j’ai aimé les États-Unis ma vie entière parce que c’était la terre de liberté et justice. J’ai commencé à venir aux États-Unis il y a plus de 35 ans et j’ai fait tout de mon possible pour aider les États-Unis au cours de ma longue carrière. J’espère que cet accord avec le gouvernement va m’aider à réparer ma réputation et me permettra d’aller de l’avant suite à cet incident fâcheux ».

Contact : Mark Corallo
703-838-9705

New Report Details How Legacy Financial Institutions Are Deepening ...

WASHINGTON, July 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion (CFI) and the Institute of International Finance (IIF), with the support of MetLife Foundation, today released a new report examining how partnerships between mainstream financial institutions and fintechs are expanding access to the formal financial economy to the unserved and underserved, particularly in emerging markets.

The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion.

The report, “How Financial Institutions and Fintechs Are Partnering for Inclusion: Lessons from the Frontlines” is based on 24 in-depth interviews with firms and experts from around the world, and highlights 14 partnerships in as many countries. The report identifies four key financial inclusion challenges in emerging markets that mainstream financial institutions address through fintech partnerships:

  • gaining access to new market segments
  • creating new offerings for existing customers
  • data collection, use, and management
  • deepening customer engagement and product usage

The report features successful tech-based collaborations, such as one partnership that sends SMS nudges to bank customers in Colombia and another that uses a cryptocurrency-enabled digital ledger to record mobile wallet transactions in India. The report analyzes what factors enable these partnerships between entrepreneurial fintechs and large mainstream financial institutions to succeed in serving the needs of low-income people in emerging markets.

“When partnerships between the financial sector and fintechs are at their best, they are a potent cocktail for disruption at scale. This kind of impact requires working together—neither financial institutions nor fintechs can do it alone. To be successful, however, financial institutions must significantly reinvent their operating models or risk watching innovation pass them by,” said Sonja Kelly, Director of Research for the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion.

IIF

“Most financial institutions that we interviewed are positive about partnering with fintechs. They see great value in bringing in expertise and activities that are beyond the core competencies of the institution and most see fintechs as collaborators rather than direct rivals. These institutions recognize that they must innovate their processes to reach new customer segments and to compete with new market entrants and other astute financial institutions,” said Dennis Ferenzy, Associate Economist at the Institute for International Finance. 

The new report is part of a two-year initiative from CFI and the IIF, with support from MetLife Foundation, to help advance the financial services industry’s ability to reach unserved and underserved populations. The project, titled “Mainstreaming Financial Inclusion: Best Practices,” facilitates learning and action on how financial institutions can respond to the specific challenges of reaching lower income market segments. Through research, knowledge exchange, best practices, real world examples, and expert insights, the project will identify and transmit practical guidance that financial institutions can use to expand quality services to the poor.

About the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion

The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion (CFI) is an action-oriented think tank that engages and challenges the industry to better serve, protect and empower clients. We develop insights, advocate on behalf of clients and collaborate with stakeholders to achieve a comprehensive vision for financial inclusion. We are dedicated to enabling 3 billion people who are left out of – or poorly served by – the financial sector to improve their lives.

www.centerforfinancialinclusion.org
www.cfi-blog.org
@CFI_Accion

About the Institute of International Finance

The Institute of International Finance is the global association of the financial industry, with close to 500 members from 70 countries. Its mission is to support the financial industry in the prudent management of risks; to develop sound industry practices; and to advocate for regulatory, financial and economic policies that are in the broad interests of its members and foster global financial stability and sustainable economic growth. IIF members include commercial and investment banks, asset managers, insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds, hedge funds, central banks and development banks. For more information visit www.iif.com.

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Rwandan Presidential Contenders Focus on Economy

HUYE, RWANDA � With only a few days until Rwanda's presidential election, candidates are focusing on the economy as they make their final pitches to voters.

President Paul Kagame, predicted by most analysts to win big in Friday's poll, campaigned Monday in Rwanda's Northern Province. While there, he promised residents that the dusty roads in their district would be improved as soon as he is re-elected.

The president appealed to national pride as he addressed a large crowd.

"We have the responsibility to transform our own nation. Others may come and help, but the foundation of it all is each of us," he said.

One of Kagame's two opponents, Green Party candidate Frank Habineza, campaigned in the Huye district of southern Rwanda. Habineza vowed to slash taxes for the poor, support small traders and reduce unemployment.

In May, the country's National Institute of Statistics said unemployment stood at 13.2 percent.

We want to eliminate anything that is a hindrance to our economic growth, Habineza told a crowd of several hundred in Huye.

Habineza and independent candidate Philippe Mpayimana are fighting an uphill battle against Kagame, who has led the central African nation for more than 20 years and won landslide victories in the last two presidential elections.

Under his rule, Rwanda has enjoyed a decline in poverty and steady economic growth based on agriculture, construction, mining and tourism, although human rights groups accuse Kagame of suppressing dissent.

Campaigning in western Rwanda on Saturday, the president vowed that his development plan would help all Rwandans.

We want everyone in Rwanda to benefit from our development; we don't leave anyone behind, he said.

Presidential campaigns are expected to end on August 2.

Source: Voice of America

Premier David Makhura sends condolences and welcomes investigation ...

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has offered his condolences to the families and friends of the two people who died during a stampede at the FNB Stadium over the weekend before the Carling Black Label Cup between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.

Premier Makhura has also welcomed the announcement that the Minister for Sport and Recreation Thulas Nxesi has set up a ministerial committee to investigate the tragedy.

It is indeed a sad day when two people leave their homes to attend a sporting event and never return. We offer our sincere condolences to the families and welcome the investigation, Premier Makhura said.

MEC for Health Dr Gwen Ramokgopa today visited all the people that were treated for injuries at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto. She has indicated that the patients have since been discharged except for one who remains in a stable condition at the hospital.

We wish all those injured a speedy recovery and we assure them that government will ensure that if there is any party found to be negligent or at fault they will face the full might of the law, Premier Makhura added.

Source: Government of South Africa

Robert D. Murphy Awards Recognize Outstanding Contributions of the ...

The Bureau of Political-Military Affairs is pleased to announce the selection of this year's Robert D. Murphy awards for excellence for the Department's diplomats serving as Foreign Policy Advisors (POLAD) to senior U.S. Department of Defense military leaders around the world.

Scott Ticknor, POLAD to Combined Joint Task Force�Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), was selected as the 2017 Robert D. Murphy Senior-Level POLAD of the Year Award winner for his work ensuring close cooperation between the Department and U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) throughout Eastern and Central Africa. He also worked closely with interagency partners to build Somalia's National Security Forces and provided assessments of Al Shabaab that contributed to improving Somalia's stability and security.

Craig Conway, POLAD to U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM), was awarded for his efforts in assisting NORTHCOM to modernize its command and control structure, which improved harmonization between U.S. and Canada national security strategies and plans. He also advised his Command's leadership on a variety of national security issues between Mexico and the United States.

Melissa Lan, POLAD to Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT), was recognized for her work in promoting and coordinating interagency efforts to counter al-Qai'da in Yemen, counteract Iranian influence throughout the Middle East, and defeat the Islamic State. She also ensured that SOCCENT's efforts to train and equip forces in Syria were well integrated into the Department policies and planning.

The award is named in honor of U.S. diplomat Robert D. Murphy, who served as an advisor to General Dwight D. Eisenhower during World War II. Today, approximately 90 State Department Foreign Service Officers advise U.S. military combatant and component commanders, as well as leadership in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff and DoD civilian agencies, strengthening U.S. national security by enhancing interagency cooperation and policy coordination.

Source: U.S Department of State

Condolences to families of Soweto derby victims

Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation has conveyed its condolences to the families of those who died in a stampede at a soccer match at FNB Stadium at the weekend.

The Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation has conveyed condolences to the families of those who died in a stampede that occurred at FNB Stadium last Saturday, said Committee chairperson, Beauty Dlulane, on Monday.

The stampede in which two people were reported to have died took place during the Soweto Derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates on Saturday.

The committee also wished those who were injured in the incident a speedy recovery.

Accidents of this nature are avoidable and should not be happening as South Africa is experienced in games of that magnitude. When spectators come to stadiums, there should be plans in place that guarantee their safety.

Furthermore, the Premier Soccer League is experienced in hosting big matches and events. Security plans and crowd control measures should not be compromised. All the matches between the Soweto Giants are crowd pullers and planning for such matches should be done accordingly, said Dlulane.

Dlulane said the families of the deceased should be assisted wherever possible with funeral arrangements, while the injured should be provided with medical care.

The committee appreciates the [announcement of the] Ministerial Task Team Minister Thulas Nxesi on Sunday and believes it will hopefully identify gaps in the stadium security that might have led to the accident, said Dlulane.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Minister Edna Molewa celebrates game rangers on World Ranger Day

As South Africa celebrates World Ranger Day today, the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr Edna Molewa, has paid tribute to game rangers who dedicate their lives to the protection of South Africa's rich biodiversity.

Rangers in certain parts of South Africa face daily hardships in their efforts to protect many of our species, such as the elephant, rhino, cycad and abalone, from unscrupulous poachers. Our country's natural beauty derived from our enormous biodiversity is a key income generator and thus an important contributor to our economy through job creation and tourism.

It is through the actions of these brave men and women, who risk their lives daily to protect our natural world and our many species, said Minister Molewa.

World Ranger Day is supported by the International Rangers Federation, and is marked annually on the 31 July to acknowledge game rangers as dedicated guardians of the world's natural heritage.

The Minister, in updating the successes linked to the implementation of the Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros in South Africa earlier this month, highlighted the importance of the Department of Environmental Affairs' community rhino ambassador's programme saying emphasis is being placed on enhancing the community ranger model with a national career and roll-out plan.

In line with the decisions of the Rhino Conservation Lab, the Anti-Poaching Unit (APU) ranger training curriculum is being finalised to improve the ability of rangers to deal with any situation that befalls them.

I would like to salute our ranger corps for the work they do. They are our men and women on the frontline, keeping our precious natural resources safe. They put their lives on the line every day to keep our many species safe and on behalf of all South Africans I want to thank each and every one of you, said the Minister.

Because South Africa is battling a threat against its wildlife on so many fronts, and spread across the expanses of the country, this has necessitated that almost the entire Ranger Corps has been converted to anti-poaching units. They are well trained and supported by canine units, small air wings, and relevant technology.

Tactical information management ensures the intelligent deployment of these units. This approach is also being followed by private rhino owners and close cooperation with them has become the norm.

The Minister says the Rhino Guardian project launched in the Kruger National Park in January 2017 as part of efforts to increase the black rhino population is being undertaken with the support of the Peace Parks Foundation and the World Wildlife Fund � South Africa.

Our approach includes a priority response by task teams when incursions occur that could threaten black rhinos. We have dedicated biological management and science support that use innovative techniques to inform efficient protection by our field rangers, said Dr Molewa.

The Minister also paid tribute to the SANParks Honorary Rangers, thanking the volunteers for offering their free time to contribute to conservation and the elimination of wildlife crimes.

The work done by these volunteers in their free time is an example that we can all follow. As we remember those rangers across the world that have lost their lives protecting our natural heritage, let us follow their example by committing ourselves to working together protect our wonderful world and thus ensure the survival of species of plants and wildlife for generations to come, said the Minister.

Source: Government of South Africa

Minister Shabangu to launch Women’s Month

Minister in the Presidency Responsible for Women, Susan Shabangu, will on Tuesday officially launch the 2017 Women's Month at the Union Buildings in Tshwane.

This year's Women's Day, which will be held in Galeshewe Stadium in Kimberley, Northern Cape, will be celebrated under the theme: The Year of OR Tambo: Women united in moving South Africa forward.

South Africa commemorates Women's Month in August as a tribute to more than 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956, in protest against the extension of pass laws to women.

The 2017 commemoration takes place against a backdrop of heinous murders of women and children, we call on all faith based organisations, civil society formations, media and every South African to join hands with government in the fight against the scourge of gender based violence, said Minister Shabangu.

Meanwhile, Gauteng Premier David Makhura will also on Tuesday launch the Gauteng Provincial Government's 'Invest in a Girl Child and Empower a Young Woman' campaign to respond to challenges facing girl children and young women in the province.

The campaign is in particular necessitated by the sudden spate of killings against women and children in South Africa, a phenomenon known as femicide.

Gauteng Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza said the Premier is concerned that Gauteng has experienced violence and brutal attacks against women and children where in most cases, young women were burnt beyond recognition.

Many of these young women died at the hands of their boyfriends or men they knew, said MEC Mayathula-Khoza.

The launch would be held at Aurora Girls High School in Zola, Soweto.

Source: South African Government News Agency