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Africa's Public Procurement & Entrepreneurship Research Initiative – APPERI

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AAR Promotes Technical Procurement, Supply Chain Management at MRO Africa


Aviationpros.com

February 27, 2013

WOOD DALE, Illinois, February 27, 2013 – In a further sign of its commitment to doing business in Africa, a senior executive from global aerospace leader AAR’s (NYSE: AIR) Middle East, Africa and India Operations will participate in a panel focused on technical procurement and supply chain management at the 22nd annual MRO Africa Conference and Exhibition in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

On Wednesday, Rahul Shah, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Middle East, Africa and India Operations, will join the discussion, “Optimizing Technical Procurement and Supply Chain Management,” along with representatives from Kenya Airlines, South African Airways and Air Namibia.

This year, the conference, sponsored by Ethiopian Airlines, is focused on establishing centers of excellence and standardizing aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) capabilities for airline fleets across the African continent. The forum, which opened on Monday, also aims to promote closer technical cooperation between African airlines, as well as develop relationships with aircraft and engine manufacturers, industry suppliers and aviation service and technology firms, such as AAR.

“There are exciting advancements taking place in several African airlines that are poised for complete transformation in the very near term,” Shah said. “As these airlines continue to modernize and add more sophisticated aircraft to their fleets, AAR has the expertise to provide maintenance, repair and supply chain services directly to the airlines and the African aviation industries.”

The annual African aviation conferences are attended by senior government and regulatory bodies, airline and aviation officials; financial institutions; aircraft and engine leasing companies; MRO providers; and other key stakeholders worldwide.

On February 22, AAR Vice President of Government Affairs and Corporate Development Cheryle Jackson joined key government, business and international trade leaders in Washington, D.C., for the “Doing Business in Africa” forum sponsored by the White House Business Council. Jackson was a leader of the breakout session, “How to Get Started in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

About AAR

AAR is a global aerospace and defense contractor that employs more than 6,000 people in 17 countries. Based in Wood Dale, Illinois, AAR supports commercial, government and defense customers through two operating segments: Aviation Services and Technology Products. AAR’s services include inventory management and parts distribution; aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul; and expeditionary airlift.  AAR’s products include cargo systems and containers; mobility systems and shelters; advanced aerostructures; and command and control systems.  More information can be found atwww.aarcorp.com.

Oil confidentiality arguments flawed


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The Observer

By Deus Mukalazi

October 23, 2011 23:01

The last few weeks have been characterised by running battles between the Executive and the Legislature over confidentiality of the oil contracts signed between the Government of Uganda and the oil companies.

This climaxed in the two-day heated oil debate where Parliament resolved that government desists from signing agreements with confidentiality clauses. Attempts were made by the executive to argue the case for confidentiality, citing commercial sensitivity of certain information in the contracts and confidentiality being the norm all over the world, as well as security reasons.

The MP for Ruhaama Janet Museveni even reasoned that Uganda could have her oil fields bombed if there was no confidentiality! The one million dollar question is: are oil contracts really that sacred that they can’t be shared?

While treaties, laws, regulations, and other legal documents defining the relationship between governments and private companies are public documents, oil, gas and mining contracts between governments and the extractive industries are usually shrouded in secrecy. In Uganda, these have been unavailable to citizens and it took frantic efforts for the signed production sharing agreements to be availed to Parliament and even then the content of these contracts was not to be shared outside Parliament.

There is a growing international call to make the terms of extractive industry contracts available to the public, and to establish new norms for what information is and is not disclosed in deals between government and industry. Proponents of transparency argue that the secrecy surrounding oil transactions in Uganda and government’s reluctance to share the oil contracts might be a precursor to the ‘oil curse.’

The oil curse is a popular reference to a situation of poverty, low economic growth, corruption and civil strife that has come to characterize natural resource rich countries in Africa like Liberia, Nigeria, DRC, Angola, etc.  Contract transparency is essential for the responsible management of natural resources and the potential for growth and economic development that those resources can provide.

The government, citizens and investors, all have to gain from contract transparency. Citizens’ suspicions of the hidden clauses will decrease, creating a more stable contract that is less likely to be subject to calls for renegotiation and better relationships with communities. It also allows citizens to monitor contracts in areas where they may be better placed than the government to do so, such as environmental compliance and the fulfillment of social commitments.

Contract transparency provides incentives to improve on the quality of contracting because government officials will be deterred from seeking their own interests above the population’s, and with time, government’s bargaining power would increase. There are already claims that the contract terms between the government and the oil companies were not consistent with international norms.

Secrecy only helps to fuel such speculation and hides incompetence, mismanagement and corruption. Ugandans have a right to know how their government is selling their resources. In Uganda, sub-soil resources such as minerals, oil, and gas are the property of the nation, not the individual owner of the surface rights.

Accordingly, contracts involving oil, gas and other mineral resources may cover a range of information to which citizens should rightly have access to, as owners of such resources. Contracts typically contain information about fiscal terms and the allocation of risk that are essential to understanding the benefits and risks – the real value of the deal.

Public contracts are essentially the law of a public resource, and the basic tenet of the rule of law requires that laws are publicly available. The size and scope of many extractive projects is so large that they directly affect the livelihoods of large populations for decades.

Where contracts create their own laws – because they modify existing laws, freeze their application or elaborate on outdated or incomplete laws – it’s all the more important to disclose their contents for democratic accountability.

Following several high-profile reports on contracts, national debates in a number of countries and campaigns by international organizations, Ugandans are increasingly aware of the critical role of contracts and some of their worst excesses.

Ugandans are also aware of the infrastructural development and benefits that transparency in managing diamonds has brought in Botswana.
So, in the face of mounting calls for transparency, those who fail to disclose, or to provide a plausible explanation for non-disclosure, are seen to have something to hide.

The author is coordinator, Publish What You Pay Uganda.
deusmukalazi@gmail.com

Faith reps welcome first pharma agreement with patent pool


Graph showing HIV copies and CD4 counts in a h...
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July 15, 2011

Summary & Comment: The first agreement between the Medicines Patent Pool and a pharmaceutical company – Gilead Sciences – to improve access to HIV and Hepatitis B treatment in developing countries is a commendable step towards alleviating suffering of people living with HIV and AIDs in Africa. M.Makoni

“An important first step” was announced on July 12 when Gilead Sciences became the first pharmaceutical company to sign a licensing agreement with the Medicines Patent Pool to increase access to HIV and Hepatitis B treatment in developing countries. The agreement allows for the production of four HIV medicines – tenofovir, emtricitabine, cobicistat and elvitegravir – as well as a combination of these medicines into a single pill called “Quad”. Additionally, the license allows for the development and production of other combination pills that include these medicines. Tenofovir is also used to treat Hepatitis B. “This is no doubt an important first step to making essential medicines available at a lower cost especially in countries that have had to wait years before they can afford ‘new’ medicines for HIV-related treatments”, stated Peter Prove, Executive Director of the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance.

The Medicines Patent Pool, founded by UNITAID in 2010, aims to stimulate innovation and improve access to HIV medicines through the negotiation of voluntary licenses on medicine patents that enable robust generic competition and facilitate the development of new formulations. The Medicines Patent Pool was recently endorsed by the G8 and the UN High Level Meeting on AIDS as a promising, innovative approach to improve access to HIV medicines.

According to David Deakin of the UK faith-based organization Tearfund, “The patent pool offers a completely new paradigm to address the HIV needs of developing countries. As someone who has previously been involved in the pharmaceutical industry, the pool, although far from perfect, represents one of the biggest breakthroughs ever in beginning to develop a sustainable solution to treatment access in developing countries.” In recent months Tearfund has worked with the UK AIDS Consortium to put pressure on pharma companies to join the Medicines Patent Pool. A current initiative involves sending thousands of signatures from church members to Johnson & Johnson in the UK.

While this historic agreement between Gilead Sciences and the Medicines Patent Pool marks the first step in access to affordable medicines for people living with HIV, six other patent holders are currently in negotiations with the Medicines Patent Pool. Some concern has already been raised by Médecins Sans Frontières over the exclusion of some middle-income countries in the Gilead agreement, with the hope that future agreements are inclusive of all developing countries. “The Medicines Patent Pool will only work effectively if others follow Gilead and join the pool,” stated Deakin. “It is really important that companies such as Johnson and Johnson, Merck and Abbott now enter their own negotiations with the pool. One of the reasons given for not doing so previously was that they wanted to see the first pharma company reach a successful outcome. With Gilead this has now been achieved so there is no excuse for not entering into their own negotiations if they are serious about contributing to a sustainable solution to meet the needs of millions who need access to treatment.”

Source: AfricaFiles – Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance

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