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.
According to the groups, the protocol is inflexible, restrictive and imposes a ‘one-size-fits-all’ plant variety protection (PVP) system on all SADC countries, irrespective of the nature of agricultural systems and socioeconomic development.
To read the article titled, “New pact spells doom for smallholders,” click here.Source:The Citizen
Gender Links has criticised South Africa for not doing enough to push for gender equality in the workplace or in society.
Gender Links chief of operations, Kubi Rama, points out that, while there are policies in place, they are not being properly implemented.
Speaking on the sidelines of a Southern African Development Community Gender Summit, which is underway, Rama explained: "…we need to move from talking about our policies, our brilliant constitution and legislation to actually doing something about the high levels of violence, about the various issues that women face on the ground."
To read the article titled, “SA in a gender crisis: Gender Links,” click here.Source:SABC News
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.
In addition, Namibia has a food-hungry neighbour in the form of crude oil producing Angola to the north, and links to the growing agriculture economy of landlocked Zambia through the Trans-Caprivi corridor.
To read the article titled, “Three of Southern Africa’s agribusiness hotspots identified,” click here.Source:How We Made It in Africa
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.
After violent elections, which saw hundreds of people killed and thousands displaced, there was a general gloom was in the air, as the country’s political protagonists engaged in a deadly power struggle.
To read the article titled, “Zimbabwe referendum to test SADC's mediation efforts,” click here.Source:SABC News
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.
Funded by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) and the Open Society Foundations (OSF), the report, entitled ‘The First to Go: How Communities are Being Affected by the Global Fund Crisis’ - details how the funding crisis has severely undermined efforts to tackle HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa by weakening civil society organisations.
To read the article titled, “Devastating impact of global fund crisis,” click here.Source:All Africa
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.
To read the article titled, “Southern Africa: SA welcomes SADC Infrastructure Plan,” click here.Source:All Africa
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."
To read the article titled, “SADC faces food shortage,” click here.Source:All Africa
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.
To read the article titled, “San remain marginalised in SADC,” click here.Source:Southern Times Africa
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.
SALC's Lloyd Kuveya states that there are key issues that are set to determine the whole region's future in terms of human rights and the rule of law. Kuveya explains that these issues, which are feared to become recommendations to the Council of Ministers, will drastically change the mandate of the Tribunal.
To read the article titled, “SADC urged to 'safeguard' regional human rights court,” click here.Source:All Africa
- Southern African Development CommunityPlease note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.Opportunity closing date:Saturday, March 31, 2012Opportunity type:Awards
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.
The entries should have been published/ broadcast between January and December the year preceding the awards (2011) by a registered and/or authorised media house or agency or carried on a website of a registered and/or authorised media house or agency in any of the SADC Member States.
The themes of the entries to be submitted for the competition must be related to issues and activities promoting Regional Integration in the SADC region. In addition, entries submitted for the Water Media Awards must be related to issues and activities promoting Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) in the SADC region.
Entries should be submitted to:
Ms Zingisa Mkhuma
C/O Dianne Low
PO Box 439
Tel: 012 300 2111
To complete the entry form, refer to www.gcis.gov.za/newsroom/events/sadc_awards/2012/sadc_entryfm.pdf.
For more about the SADC Media Awards, refer to www.gcis.gov.za/newsroom/releases/advisories/2012/120214.htm.
For more about the Southern African Development Community, refer to www.sadc.int.
To view other opportunities, refer to www.ngopulse.org/group/home-page/other-opportunities.