Batshu: NGOs Crucial in Development

Botswana’s Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Edwin Batshu, says the government appreciates the role played by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in augmenting efforts to develop the disadvantaged and marginalised countrymen.

Batshu, who officially opened the NGOs Council and inaugural stakeholder's forum, said some of the civil society organisations' presence could be traced back to independence.

Amnesty Slams Angola Over Rights

Amnesty International says that Angolan President, José Eduardo dos Santos’s tightening stranglehold on freedom of expression in Angola and his government’s decades of fear and repression will cast an indelible stain on the 40th anniversary of the country’s independence.

The organisation states that as dignitaries and foreign leaders gather in the capital Luanda to mark four decades of independence, at least 16 activists continue to languish in Angolan jails.

Court Dismisses FUL Application

The Gauteng North High Court in Pretoria has ruled that an application by Freedom Under Law (FUL) to stop two top National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) officials from working is not urgent.

FUL has argued that the ‘train wreck’ in the NPA and President Jacob Zuma’s refusal to do anything about it has resulted in a constitutional crisis which urgently needed intervention by the court.

NGO Criticises Govt’s Approach to Disability

The South African National Council for the Blind (SACB) says approximately 7.5 percent of South Africans are disabled and visual impairment is still the most prevalent disability.

Now a report titled ‘Left in the Dark’ has been released by SECTION27, a public interest law centre that seeks to influence, develop and use the law to protect human rights, details the failure to provide access quality education to blind and partially sighted learners in South Africa.

Journos Warned Against Russia’s Nuclear PR Machine

The World Wide Fund (WWF) says that South African journalists accepting tours of nuclear power facilities in Russia should be careful not to publish advertorials.

Russia’s state atomic energy corporation Rosatom has sponsored various media tours in 2015 of its nuclear power stations, manufacturing factories and university programmes in Russia.

Saliem Fakir, head of policy and futures unit at the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa, argues that journalists should study the facts more carefully before publishing biased viewpoints.

UN Warns Against Cutting Development Aid

The United Nation (UN) Chief has warned against proposed cuts in development assistance from some of the world’s wealthiest countries primarily over the refugee crisis facing large parts of Europe.

Ban Ki-moon called for enhanced international development assistance as the world builds towards realising the post-2015 development agenda.

As countries in Europe grapple with an unrelenting migration and refugee crisis, concerns from the UN that monies for long-standing development initiatives will dry up.

NGOs Criticise Govt Over NPRC

Civil society organisations have blasted the Zimbabwean government for its snail pace in the operationalisation of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC), which they say is critical for lasting peace, stability and economic development of the country.

Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum director, Lloyd Kuvheya, says civic organisations are worried about the government’s reluctance to operationalise the critical organ two years after the adoption of the new Constitution.

NGOs Urged to Deal With Corruption First

Zimbabwe’s local government minister, Saviour Kasukuwe, says civil society activists have no business in auditing national programmes such as the youth fund because no one audit NGOs when they loot donor funds.

Kasukuwere was heading the indigenisation ministry in 2009 when government, with the assistance of Old Mutual, disbursed US$11 million for youths' projects which 97 percent of the beneficiaries failed to repay.

Minister Acknowledges Role of NGOs

Zambia’s Minister of Community Development, Emerine Kabanshi, says civil society has an important role to play in the government’s national development agenda.
Kabanshi says non-governmental organisations (NGOs) complement government’s efforts in improving the quality of the lives of Zambians.

Angola’s Rights Record Under Spotlight

According to Anita Powell, pressure is mounting on Angola, a Southern African Development Community member-state, over its human rights record.
The European Parliament recently weighed in on what activists say is a deteriorating human rights situation and is demanding the immediate release of dissidents who they say were arrested for political reasons.


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