Commentary on AIDS 2010 Conference in Vienna

The AIDS 2010 conference took place in Vienna this month. Idasa was in Vienna to discuss the state of leadership, government budgets and the challenges people living with AIDS face when they take part in political, social and economic life. Listen to Marietjie Oelofsen (Programme Manager) about their time in Vienna here –

Or listen here:


Paul Graham statement at Community of Democracies on 3rd July 2010

The Community of Democracies recently commemorated its 10th Anniversary in Krakow Poland, where over over 100 civil society leaders and democracy activists from every region of the world participated. Idasa’s Paul Graham spoke to State representatives – see his remarks here.

What are our priorities?

Lusaka: “Yes, 45 per cent of Zambian children are stunted! And yes, Zambia is among the ten most malnourished countries in the world! But how is that possible in a country that is experiencing a bumper harvest this year?” Well, that’s a question that kept coming in my head last week when I was attending the launch of a new JCTR study on school feeding programmes in Zambia. And I’m sure I’m not alone in asking just what in the world is going on in government policies, international aid strategies, NGO and church programmes and family practices that we could have so much food but so many hungry in Zambia today! Read more here.

Uganda’s agriculture spending below population growth

In April this year, Uganda signed the CAADP protocol to compel the government to increase agricultural spending by 10%. The aim of the protocol is to help Africa reach economic growth through agricultural-led development. Read more here.

Idasa opposed to Reserve Bank amendments

Idasa has expressed opposition to the South African Reserve Bank Amendment Bill — and its provisions to limit shareholder power. In submissions to Parliament during public hearings on the bill, Idasa and the University of Western Cape School of Business and Finance argued on principle, rather than from self- interest, that the amendments were ill-advised. Idasa’s head of research Nancy Dubosse said the proposed presidential nomination of directors would undermine the independence of the Bank. It was improper for the Bank to be managed by politicians, she said. Parliament’s oversight role should be strengthened and it should vet shareholder nominations, not a panel.  Read the Business day article here and the full submission on the Idasa site here.

Corruption fight comes under global spotlight

Corruption in Zambia was under the spotlight as the head of Idasa’s Economic Governance Programme, Richard Calland, recently spoke about corruption in the construction sector. Read full article here.

Call for papers – Governance and small scale agriculture in West Africa

African democracy institute Idasa will hold a “Governance and Small-scale Agriculture in West Africa” conference in Nairobi, Kenya from 8th to 10th November 2010 to focus discussions on addressing informational gaps in the sector and open avenues for dialogue and engagement in relevant national and international platforms with stakeholders who have an interest in smallholder agriculture.

The aim of the conference is to discuss governance and public investment processes and how these are shaping small-scale agriculture in the region. Specifically, the meeting will focus on three themes: priorities for public investment in agriculture; trends in public expenditure on small-scale agriculture; and policy processes and stakeholder participation.

Abstracts and final papers from West African participants from the region will be accorded preference. To submit an abstract for presentation, and for more information on the conference please contact Leslie Nyagah at by May 31st. Click here for more info.