SADC

CSOs Condemns SADC Protocol on Plants

Civil society organisations (CSOs) from around the world have condemned a Southern African Development Community (SADC) draft protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (Plant Breeders’ Rights), saying it spells disaster for small-scale farmers.

The groups, representing millions of farmers globally, have submitted a list of their concerns to the SADC secretariat, urging it to throw the document away and consult farmers and CSOs.

NGO Identifies Three Agribusiness Hotspots

Agribusiness in Sustainable Natural African Plant Products (ASNAPP), a NGO with offices in a number of countries across the continent, recently identified three areas in Southern Africa that hold good potential for the cultivation of fresh produce or food processing.

The organisation says that the horticulture industry in Namibia is relatively small, and the bulk of fresh fruit and vegetables are imported from South Africa.

Zimbabwe Referendum Test for SADC's Mediation Efforts

The South African Development Community (SADC) will know in the next few months if its mediation efforts in Zimbabwe have achieved the desired effect, when the country goes to a referendum on a new draft constitution, followed by general elections.

In 2008, SADC mandated South Africa to facilitate talks between President Robert Mugabe, his arch-rival the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, and a smaller break-away MDC faction.

Devastating Impact of Global Fund Crisis

According to an article Richard Lee, everyone knew that the crisis at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria will have a serious impact across Southern Africa, which is still the epicentre of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Lee, who says that no one knew how serious the crisis will be and/or what will be most affected, notes that new research from Malawi, Swaziland and Zimbabwe highlights how devastating the cancellation of Round 11 funding has been on the HIV and TB response in the region.

SADC Infrastructure Plan Welcomed

South Africa has welcomed the adoption of a regional infrastructure master plan by Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders.

The SADC Heads of State approved the plan, which is expected to boost regional trade, following their two-day summit in Mozambique.

The plan, to be implemented over a 15-year period beginning from next year, will serve as a key strategy to guide setting up of efficient and cost-effective trans-boundary infrastructure connecting all SADC member states in areas of energy, water, information and communication technology and transport.

SADC Faces Food Shortage

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states have been warned of an impending food shortage as a result of poor rains this season.

SADC executive secretary, Tomaz Salomao, says that the region will experience an overall cereal deficit of 5.5 million tonnes.

Salomao says that, "This will therefore result in an increase in the number of people requiring humanitarian assistance in terms of food and non-food intervention."

UNESCO: No Education for Marginalised Groups

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) says that some marginalised communities, including the San people of Southern Africa, still do not have access to formal education.

The agency argues this lack of education makes it difficult for them to contribute to the economic development of their communities, countries and the region.

It also states that most of the world’s 370 million marginalised indigenous people - representing approximately five percent of global population – do not have access to education.

Call to Safeguard SADC Tribunal

Leading Southern African legal rights groups have called on regional governments to safeguard the still suspended Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal, and to fully reinstate the court with a strengthened human rights mandate.

The SADC lawyers association, the Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC) and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), made a joint submission to the SADC ministers, reminding them of their duty to protect the Tribunal.

SADC Media Awards Competition 2012

The South African Chapter of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Media Awards has launched the 2012 Media Awards Competition that is open to all journalists who are South African nationals. The Award is in the fields of print journalism, radio journalism, television journalism and photojournalism.

The Awards are in the fields of print journalism, radio journalism, television journalism and photojournalism.

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