Category Archives: MENA

Soka Gakkai Joins with ITTO to Support Forest Restoration in Togo, West Africa

TOKYO, July 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — On July 1, 2020, Minoru Harada, President of the Soka Gakkai Buddhist organization, met with Dr. Gerhard Dieterle, Executive Director of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), for the signing of a memorandum to launch a reforestation project providing income opportunities for women’s groups in two rural areas of Togo.

A donation of 10 million yen (US$93,300) will be made for the initial one-year phase of the project, to be launched on September 1, addressing climate change, poverty and gender issues in Togo, where forests are being lost rapidly and poverty is increasing. The coronavirus pandemic has also caused people to return to rural villages, increasing the strain on forest resources.

Mr. Harada commented that the Soka Gakkai is glad to support this project that will bring real benefit to rural women and their families.

Togo’s forests are being lost due to farmland expansion, extreme weather events, and overuse of forests to provide household energy and housing. The Ministry for the Environment and Forest Resources (MERF) announced in 2018 that the rate of degradation of Togolese forests is one of the highest in the world.

Dr. Dieterle expressed his gratitude, saying, “Often people talk about protecting the forest without concern for people’s lives. This project will protect women’s rights, boost the rural economy and food security and restore degraded forest.”

The project will be carried out by the Togo NGO “African Women’s Network for Community Management of Forests” (REFACOF), a local partner of ITTO, and it will support women’s groups in two of Togo’s poorest prefectures; Blitta and Lacs. In  Pagala-gare village of Blitta Prefecture, forest restoration and enrichment planting will take place, and in Lacs Prefecture, a community forest for fuelwood will be created on a plot made available by the chieftaincy of Agouegan village. In both villages, agroforestry trees will also be planted on family land.

Increasing women’s income will contribute to the realization of gender equality. Forest restoration mitigates the damage caused by climate change and strengthens community resilience.

This project is in line with Togo’s National Adaptation Plan (NAP) for climate change and Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the UNFCCC Paris Agreement of 2015. It will contribute to SDGs 1 (No Poverty), 5 (Gender Equality), 13 (Climate Action), and 15 (Life on Land).

Please visit:

The Soka Gakkai is a global community-based Buddhist organization that promotes peace, culture and education centered on respect for the dignity of life. It promotes the SDGs, education for sustainability, and protection of the natural environment through projects and institutions including the Soka Institute for Environmental Studies and Research of the Amazon. The Soka Gakkai has 12 million members around the world, who contribute to society based on the humanistic philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism.


Joan Anderson
Office of Public Information
Soka Gakkai
Tel: +81-80-5957-4711
E-mail: anderson[at]

The geopolitical threat may be catastrophic for the semiconductor industry; several European carriers proactively spoke out in support of Huawei

BEIJING, June 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The escalating geopolitical tension between China and the US is threatening the security of the global supply chain. As COVID-19 rages worldwide, the role of telecom networks has heightened. 36Kr was invited to the webinar held by Total Telecom on June 18. This webinar brought in top global telecom experts, including Adrian Scrase, Head of the 3GPP Mobile Competence Centre and ETSI CTO, Luis Alveirinho, CTO of Altice Portugal, Sally Eaves, CTO of Forbes Technology Council, and Dimitris Mavrakis, Research Director of ABI. The topic of the webinar was how to ensure the resilience and stability of the global telecom supply chain.

The Trump administration announced a new rule on May 15, banning any foreign chipmakers from shipping chips with US software or technology to Huawei without a license granted by the US Department of Commerce. This move may cut ties between Huawei and its chip suppliers, who provide the chips it uses for cellular base stations, servers, and smartphones.

36Kr believes that the new rule will disrupt the entire semiconductor industry and may bring down the global supply chain. This would cause economic loss, and even slow down technological advancements.

“We need suppliers to better support our business operations,” said Altice Portugal CTO Luis Alveirinho, on behalf of telecom carriers serving enterprises and consumers. Alveirinho added, “We now live in a global village where the supply chain has become more globalized and fragmented. We need to rely on technological standardization to unite more partners across the global supply chain.”

“Many CIOs and CTOs have expressed their pressure in the discussion,” said ABI Research Director Dimitris Mavrakis. “The problem facing carriers is that besides technology and commercial factors, they have to consider other factors when selecting suppliers. This may cause delay in 5G rollouts.”

As someone who is deeply involved in standards development, Adrian Scrase believes that politically-driven restrictions on certain players are the “most pressing risk”, which may have “catastrophic” consequences. “If we are subject to such restrictions, then we won’t be able to use the best technologies to serve people’s interests.”

According to Sally Eaves, the impact of geopolitics on the telecom industry will be harmful both now and in the future. “The intervention of geopolitics in the semiconductor industry will not only affect 5G deployment,” she said, “What’s worse, it will delay the digital transformation of industries, widen the digital divide, and even affect the production of medical equipment like ventilators to deal with the pandemic.”

Strategy Analytics’ report suggests, “Escalating trade sanctions against Huawei and China will have ruinous consequences on the global telecom and semiconductor industries, as well as the US economy. This is especially true in tandem with the present COVID-19 global economic slowdown.”

According to Teletime, Luiz Alberto Garcia, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Algar Telecom said that, banning certain 5G suppliers in Brazil would be a “huge mistake”. Garcia noted that “excluding a supplier that holds nearly 50% of the market share and has a global presence and outstanding technology expertise” from competition may increase the price of 5G, and will eventually hurt the interests of users. He is clearly referring to Huawei here.

While the US is targeting Huawei out of geopolitical motives, many carriers from Germany, France, and other European countries have proactively spoken out in support of Huawei. These carriers included the world’s second largest mobile carrier Vodafone Group Plc and telecom service provider Telefónica Brasil.

“The UK’s leadership in 5G will be lost if mobile operators are forced to spend time and money replacing existing equipment,” Scott Petty, Vodafone UK’s chief technology officer, told Reuters in an emailed statement.

This suggests that carriers in many countries have realized the role that Huawei plays in Europe’s 5G deployment, which is attributable to its expertise and patents in 5G, as well as the mutual trust it has built with European carriers over decades. 36Kr estimates that 5G will benefit up to 40 million people in Germany by mid-July, thanks to Huawei’s innovative technologies, spectrum coordination, reasonable tariffs, and new 5G smartphones.

De Havilland Canada Delivers First Dash 8-400 Aircraft to TAAG Angola Airlines

  • Introduction of fleet of Dash 8-400 aircraft will support the growth of TAAG’s network
  • Images and a video relating to this release will be available at

TORONTO, June 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited (“De Havilland Canada”) today delivered the first of six Dash 8-400 aircraft to TAAG Angola Airlines E.P (“TAAG”), the state-owned, national airline of Angola. The order was disclosed on June 18, 2019 during a ceremonial signing event at the Paris Air Show that was attended by the Honorable Ricardo Viegas D’Abreu, Minister of Transportation, Angola, David Curtis, Chairman, Longview Aviation Capital and Todd Young, Chief Operating Officer, De Havilland Canada.

“We selected the Dash 8-400 aircraft to support our development of a stronger domestic network and also to support our regional and international networks,” said Rui Carreira, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, TAAG Angola Airlines. “With our acceptance of our first Dash 8-400 aircraft, we are continuing to implement our restructuring strategy and enhancing our service to smaller communities.  The Dash 8-400 aircraft is well known for its comfortable passenger amenities, operational versatility and outstanding economics, which will be critical for TAAG’s operations where large aircraft are not economical.  We look forward to its introduction to our fleet and to the diligent, ongoing support of De Havilland Canada’s teams as we build our network.”

“We are delighted to announce that TAAG has taken delivery of its first Dash 8-400 aircraft which was completed through a delegated delivery process,” said Mr. Young. “Amidst the current health restrictions facing many countries and the need for efficient regional aircraft to restart air services, we have developed a remote delivery process to support our customers’ recovery efforts. Regional aircraft are proving to be the most important tools to support market recovery and De Havilland Canada’s teams are standing ready to provide ongoing service solutions to support TAAG’s success.

“The Dash 8-400 aircraft has proven its reliability and flexibility in Africa’s most challenging environments, including the hot and sandy regions in North Africa and the Ethiopian Highlands. The aircraft’s hot and high operational capability, along with its jet-like speed and comfort — while retaining turboprop economics — are well suited for Africa and contribute to the aircraft’s diverse customer base. We are confident that the Dash 8-400 aircraft is ideally suited to meet and exceed TAAG’s requirements, and welcome the airline to our family of more than 70 customers and operators – many of whom are currently using the Dash 8-400 aircraft to restart flying and deliver essential goods and transport during the COVID-19 pandemic,” added Mr. Young.

About De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited
With its acquisition of the Dash 8 aircraft program, Longview Aviation Capital has proudly relaunched De Havilland Canada, one of Canada’s most iconic brands. De Havilland Canada’s portfolio includes support to the worldwide fleet of Dash 8-100/200/300/400 aircraft, as well as production and sales of the Dash 8-400 aircraft. With its low carbon footprint and operating costs, industry-leading passenger experience and jet-like performance, the Dash 8-400 aircraft, which seats up to 90 passengers, is the environmentally responsible choice for operators seeking optimal performance on regional routes.

De Havilland, Dash 8, Dash 8-100/200/300 and Dash 8-400 are trademarks of De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited.

Philippa King, De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited,, +1 416 375 3062

Medicom Announces UK Mask Manufacturing Facility in Alliance with British Government

MONTREAL, June 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Medicom Group, (“Medicom”), one of the world’s leading manufacturers of medical and respiratory masks, has announced the further expansion of its global footprint with the plan to open a new mask manufacturing facility in the United Kingdom this year.

The Medicom Group is one of the world's leading manufacturers and distributors of high-quality single-use, preventive and infection control products for the medical, dental, industrial, animal health, laboratory, retail and health and wellness markets.

Established as Medicom HealthPro Limited, the factory will produce hundreds of millions of respiratory and medical masks under the company’s leading European Kolmi brand, to meet local needs in the UK.  The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of securing local supply of personal protective equipment, and the British Government is the latest of a growing number of countries seeking to partner directly with Medicom.

The new UK partnership follows Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement that the government had strengthened the Canadian PPE supply chain by entering into a multi-year agreement with Medicom. The Montreal facility is set to open in a few weeks.

In France, President Emmanuel Macron recently visited the Kolmi-Hopen plant and took the opportunity to confirm his readiness to protect French industry and the independence of the French personal protective equipment supply chain. The establishment of a second mask factory in France was announced by Medicom earlier this month and will open in record time on June 29. With 11 new lines and an optimized production schedule, medical mask production at the two sites in Angers will have tripled in five months.

Kolmi-Hopen, a leading manufacturer of disposable personal protective equipment, operates two plants near Angers, France. With eleven new lines and an optimized production schedule, mask production at the two Angers sites will have tripled over five months.

Medicom is working in partnership with the world’s leading producer of nonwoven fabrics, Berry Global Group Inc. (“Berry”), to design the manufacturing solution. Berry will guarantee the supply of the protection materials critical to mask production over the span of the agreement.

The new UK-based factory will include dozens of production lines that will produce over 100 million respiratory N-99 equivalent FFP3 Masks and over 500 million medical Type IIR masks to meet local needs in the UK and create at least 75 new full time, skilled jobs. As announced today, the British government has enabled the investment through a long-term contractual commitment with Medicom.

“We are very proud of our partnership with the UK government to set up a much-needed local facility which will produce millions of respiratory and medical masks to secure ongoing supply for Britain,” stated Ronald Reuben, Chief Executive Officer & Founder of Medicom.

“With the announcement of a fourth footprint expansion in recent weeks, Medicom is displaying the deep and agile capabilities within our network. Through partnerships with local governments and healthcare agencies, we can help bridge supply while setting up local production, making us an attractive partner,” added Global Chief Operating Officer Guillaume Laverdure. “Working with the Medicom Group is one of most effective ways for governments to ensure ongoing local supply, which is vital during a pandemic, but our belief is that it is critically important at all times.”

With manufacturing operations strategically distributed across three continents and an extensive global network of suppliers, Medicom is uniquely positioned to meet the exponential demand for personal protective products like face masks throughout the current crisis.

About Medicom
The Medicom Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and distributors of high-quality, single-use, preventive and infection control products for the medical, dental, industrial, animal health, laboratory, retail and health and wellness markets. Medicom distributes infection control products under the Medicom, Ritmed, Kolmi, Hopen and Ocean Pacific brands, as well as under the recently acquired Hedy brand. Medicom subsidiaries include Kolmi-Hopen in France, Medicom Asia in Hong Kong, United Medical Enterprise in the USA, KHM Engineering in Singapore and Medicom HealthPro Limited in the UK.

Medicom has extensive experience in responding to the demand for personal protective equipment in the event of a pandemic. For more information about Medicom and their comprehensive portfolio of infection control solutions, including an extensive range of medical face masks, please visit

About Berry
Berry Global Group, Inc. (NYSE:BERY), headquartered in Evansville, Indiana, is committed to its mission of ‘Always Advancing to Protect What’s Important,’ and proudly partners with its customers to provide them with value-added protective solutions that are increasingly light-weighted and easier to recycle or reuse. The Company is a leading global supplier of a broad range of innovative rigid, flexible, and nonwoven products used every day within consumer and industrial end markets. Berry, a Fortune 500 company, has over 48,000 employees and generated $12.6 billion of pro forma net sales in fiscal year 2019, from operations that span over 290 locations on six continents. For additional information, visit Berry’s website at

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Media Contact: Gayle Padvaiskas, Vice President, Marketing, AMD Medicom Inc.,