International

​DRC Arrest Activists – HRW

Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo have arrested at least 27 associates of Moise Katumbi, a presidential aspirant, and other opposition party members since late April 2016.

According to the Human Rights Watch (HRW), the arrests occurred between 22 April and 7 May in and around the southern city of Lubumbashi, where Katumbi is based.

The organisation argues that the investigation into Katumbi for his alleged ‘recruitment of mercenaries, [including] several retired American soldiers’, appears politically motivated.

​Zambia to Revise the NGO Act

Zambia’s Minister of Community Development and Social Services, Emerine Kabanshi, says government is revising the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) Act No 15 of 2009 in order to enhance Civil Society Organisations’ (CSOs) participation in service delivery.
 
Kabanshi says CSOs play a critical role in fostering economic development in the country as well as uplifting the living standards of the less-privileged people in society.
 

Sweden to Fund Three Zambian NGOs

The Swedish government has entered into an agreement with three non-governmental organisations in which it will provide funding for various works.
 
IM Swedish Development Partner will provide funding to the - Zambia National Education Council, Non-Governmental Organisation Coordinating Council and Civil Society for Poverty Reduction - that the funding will help her organisation complete its work in Muchinga and Northern Provinces.
 

MISA Criticises SA Over Press Freedom

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) says South Africa is one of four countries listed as having concerning ‘media policy developments’.
 
In a statement released by the to commemorate World Press Freedom Day 2016, MISA points out that, “While there has been a dramatic increase in the number of access to information laws on the continent – 19 to date – the right to access information on issues that affect people’s livelihoods remains beyond the grasp of the majority of African people.”
 

Increase in Restrictive Laws on Foreign Funding to NGOs

From 1993 to 2012, 39 of the world’s 153 low and middle-income countries enacted restrictive laws on foreign funding to civil society organisations, both domestic and international.

In some cases, these governments banned overseas funding for local actors outright, while in other instances, they imposed new rules restricting which locally-operating non-governmental organisations could receive aid, and for what purpose.

​Namibian NGOs Face Bleak Future

The categorisation of Namibia as an upper middle-income country has left many orphanages, charities and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in a state of limbo as donors have gradually withdrawn financial assistance.
 
This has in turn compelled some organisations to shut their operations, as there no funds to sustain them, leaving vulnerable children and orphans stranded with no place to call home.
 

​Free Diabetes Testing on World Health Day

The Zimbabwe Diabetic Association (ZDA) has offered free diabetes testing to over 400 people in Mashonaland East to commemorate the World Health Day.
 
The World Health Day is commemorated on 7 April annually.
 
ZDA president, Dr John Mangwiro, who says the organisation was offering free diabetes testing to people around the country, adds that: "We are doing awareness activities on prevention and management of diabetes to people around the country…”
 

​Govt Declares Food Emergency Due to Drought

The international community must act swiftly and decisively on the Malawi Government's ‘declaration of emergency’ where people are facing worsening hunger because of El Nino-related drought and country-wide crop failures.
 
Oxfam, Concern Universal, Concern Worldwide, Save the Children and GOAL say the Government of Malawi's declaration was a much-needed acknowledgement of the scale of the problem and should send a strong signal to donors to act quickly.
 

​Problem With Activists Doing Good in Africa

In recent years, according to the Erasmus University Rotterdam’s Ben Radley, Western advocacy groups have achieved unprecedented success in mobilising Europeans and North Americans behind a ‘conflict minerals’ campaign to help end the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
 
Radley says the advocacy groups have also attracted strong criticism, both internationally and in the DRC, for the perceived negative impact of their work.
 

Youth for Survival's Pledge for Parity

International Women’s Day is celebrated annually on 8 March and in South Africa we also celebrate Women’s Day on 9 August every year. South Africa comes in at eighth place on a world classification table of women in national parliament. These are all developments that deserve to be applauded as the nation is taking strides towards the ultimate goal of achieving women’s rights. However, in the same instance it is never enough until we reach the peak of equality in all spheres, when women’s dignity and rights can be fairly observed in our nation.

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