Where to for Provincial Education?

South Africa’s provincial education departments have been reduced to provincial administrations, for reasons that include the powerful role national government plays in delivering education services.

This book from Idasa looks in detail at education spending and asks: Can we afford to maintain administrations that cannot possibly change the course of poor quality education and engineer a brighter future for our poor and deprived learners?

The authors – Russell Wildeman, manager of Idasa’s Economic Governance Programme, and Rose Hemmer-Vitti, a researcher in its Right to Know, Right to Education Project – believe this question and the future role of provincial education departments need to be discussed, openly and publicly, without delay.

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AIDS in Africa – the political cost

See the presentations made by Idasa staff at the international AIDS conference in Vienna on 18 July here. Governance and AIDS Programme (GAP) director Kondwani Chirambo, manager Marietjie Oelofsen, and unit heads Phoebe Machere, Vailet Kowayi and Jaqueline Nzisabira looked at the state of leadership, state budgets and the challenges people living with AIDS face when they take part in political, social and economic life. They also discussed HIV and AIDS advocacy and communication as developed and implemented by GAP to effect policy change.

Where Does Our Money Go?

Where does our money go? Idasa looks at priority and progress in South Africa’s health budgetWhere does our money go? Idasa looks at priority and progress in South Africa’s health budget and finds that, given South Africa’s poor health status, its continued failure to its commitment to dedicate 15% of the annual budget to health care is disappointing. If the concern is that the health departments lack the absorptive capacity for such additional funds, then faster and deeper health reform needs to be focused on. Institutional reform will ensure that not only departments can make the most of fund injections, but also that maximum value for money is attained from all funds allocated to health. Read the full report here and have your say.

Tanzania’s agricultural drive – Kilmo Kwanza

Tanzania’s new agricultural drive, christened Kilimo Kwanza (Kiswahili for Agriculture First), is meant to inspire investment in agriculture as a catalyst for the country’s industrial revolution drive. Currently, agriculture contributes about 26 per cent of Tanzania’s GDP, while the manufacturing sector accounts for about 9.5 per cent. Read more here.

Ministers reaffirm support for CAADP

African Ministers meeting under the auspices of UNECA reaffirmed their commitment to boosting investment in agriculture and allocating a substantial share of national budgets, as provided for in the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). Read more here.

Farmers ‘shamefully neglected’ in fight against hunger

Governments in Africa spend less than seven per cent of their national budgets on agriculture despite 75 per cent of poor people living in rural areas. ActionAid’s report confirms evidence that investment and growth in agriculture can make twice the impact on poverty as growth in other sectors. Donor aid to agriculture has fallen to 4% of all aid to Africa and donors themselves estimate that as little as 10% of all agricultural aid goes to women farmers. Read more here.

Embed water security in national development planning: GWP

Africa needs to integrate water and climate change in national development planning and decision-making processes. Building the capacity of institutions and stakeholders to integrate water and climate change in development planning, and mobilizing financing for enhancing water security to support national development is important. Read this story here.