SA slow to act on African agricultural initiative

South Africa’s Interministerial Team is under pressure to start implementing the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) , which wants the endorsement of the country with the most advanced agricultural production and value chain on the continent. There is a proposal to establish a road map to fast-track CAADP implementation, and bolster agricultural policy implementation within the CAADP framework, which is vital to reduce hunger and poverty on the continent. Read more here.
Hopewell Radebe, Businessday

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Idasa questions judgement of Director of Public prosecution in arms deal

African democracy institute Idasa is questioning the judgement of former national director of public prosecutions, Menzi Simelane, who decided not to investigate Fana Hlongwane, an adviser to then defence minister Joe Modise, who we recently learned took a R24m payback  from a SAAB subsidiary Saab in its bid to supply Gripen fighter jets to SA.

In the light of the new information, Idasa adds its voice to the call growing in South Africa for the reopening of the arms deal investigation. Read the full article by Idasa’s Richard Calland and Judith February here.

First dialogue aimed at significant change

The first dialogue of Ministers of Agriculture, Science and Technology in Africa hosted by Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) was held in Accra. The dialogue, which was recommended during the 5th FARA General Assembly in July 2010, stressed that significant changes need to happen through the application of appropriate research, science, technology and science education to multiply agricultural productivity. Ministers and other stakeholders from over 15 countries have recommended the establishment of an African Union Monitoring System to allow effective implementation and follow-through of decisions taken at the first Annual Dialogue. Read more here.
Global Media Alliance

African Charter campaign mounts pressure for successful elections

There are 17 presidential and legislative elections due to take place in Africa this year, and after the violent electoral standoff in Côte d’Ivoire the time has come for African leaders and institutions to take elections seriously.  Idasa’s campaign to promote the African Union Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance needs ratification from 15 more countries to become a force to be reckoned with. Read more here.

Idasa responds to Swaziland crisis

As the protest campaign grows in Swaziland, and alarming reports grow of a security clampdown, African democracy institute Idasa calls on Swaziland to avoid further bloodshed and a repeat of the crises we have seen in conflict-ridden Libya and Ivory Coast – and urges parties in the mounting conflict in that country to aim towards building an environment that is conducive to dialogue and negotiations.

Idasa recognises citizens’ right to protest and make their voices heard, and sees the demonstrations as a clear indication of the determination, commitment and willingness of the people of Swaziland to pursue democratic reform.
Read more here.

Idasa asks where is Africa heading?

Idasa has issued a call to the African Union, the United Nations, development agencies and think tanks to engage in a very honest appraisal of the transition processes currently in practice on the continent. We remind our fellow African citizens that with a number of elections pending in Africa, and as our continent moves towards democracy, now is the time to reiterate our call to respect democratic, electoral processes and outcomes. Countries like Ghana, Zambia and South Africa have held successful democratic elections, but we can’t afford to ignore the lessons of Ivory Coast. To prevent such bloodshed in future we recognise the role of the African Union to determine African solutions to African problems, but call for honest debate on its capacity and willingness to do so. We also recognise the responsibility of the international community to protect civilians but believe there is an urgent need for clarity on the international interventions in situations where the rights of self determination are superseded by the need to protect innocent civilians in conflict between governments and their peoples.

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Idasa issues appeal on Ivory Coast

African democracy institute Idasa has urged the African Union, the United Nations, development agencies and think tanks to engage in a very honest appraisal by all parties of the transition processes currently in practice on the continent in the light of current events taking place in Ivory Coast. In particular, Idasa recognises the role of the African Union in determining African solutions to African problems, but calls for frank debate on its role and on clarifying the rules of engagement for international interventions in situations where the rights of self determination are superseded by the need to protect innocent civilians in conflicts between governments and their peoples.  Read the statement here and give your comments.