• Water Under Threat

    Water Under Threat is a richly documented book which asks the major questions about the enormously important political and geostrategic issue of water. Does water have a price? Is it a right or a need? Is there a water crisis? Will wars be fought over water? Should we be worried about water pollution? Can the available technological solutions keep it under control? It also provides some elements of an answer. The book shows that the ways in which water is used and managed raise central issues about our lifestyle, our ethics, and our relationship to nature and the biosphere. It makes the case for a society that is more economical with water, and calls for global management of water resources in a spirit of solidarity, openness, and respect for the rules of democracy.

    For more information or to purchase the book, click here.
  • Loan Guarantee For Small Farmers

    The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, a green group headed by former United Nations secretary- general, Kofi Annan, plans a loan guarantee facility to leverage a US$1 billion from commercial banks for small African farmers.

    The organisation’s vice president, Akinwumi Adesina, points out that the organisation, with a board chaired by Annan, intends to launch the facility to cover a gap in funding for small-scale food producers in Africa.

    Adesina says African banks are awash with money, but less than one percent of total domestic private capital went to agriculture, a significant contributor to Gross Domestic Product and which employs some 70 percent of the labour force.

    To read the article titled, “Farmers get green light,” click here.

    <br /> Sunday Times
    Article link: 
  • 2m Ugandans Threatened by Severe Hunger - Oxfam

    Oxfam has warned that at least two million Ugandans are threatened by severe hunger as a result of a prolonged drought.

    Oxfam, which has now launched an emergency appeal for US$15 million to feed more than 23 million people faced by hunger across East Africa, says that in some instances, large numbers of animals have died because of drought.

    The organisation says that, “A severe and persistent five-year drought, deepened by climate change, is now stretching across seven countries in the region and exerting a heavy human toll, made worse by high food prices and violent conflict. The worst affected countries are Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Uganda.”

    To read the article titled, “Two million at risk of hunger, Oxfam warns,” click here.

    <br /> Monitor
    Article link: 
  • Child Hunger to Increase Due to Climate Change

    Up to 25 million more children will be malnourished in the next 40 years due to climate change, with sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia the worst affected, according to a new report issued on Wednesday.

    The report, released by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and detailing the impact of climate change on agriculture, says without climate change about 113 million children under five years of age will be malnourished by 2050.

    But that number is expected to rise dramatically due to the ravaging effects of global warming on food production around the world, IFPRI said.

    To read the full article titled, "Climate change to cause more child hunger: report", click here.

    <br /> Reuters
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  • Towards Full and Decent Employment

    While the international community has made a commitment to achieving full employment and decent work for all, this goal seems ever more distant in view of recent trends such as the growing unemployment and underemployment, the phenomenon of 'jobless growth', the growing 'casualisation' of employment relations, the promotion of labour flexibility at the expense of welfare security, de-industrialisation and the continued decline of peasant agriculture.
    Revisiting some familiar terrain with new lenses, this book also breaks new ground in seeking fresh solutions. Employment creation is the key link in ensuring that economic growth contributes to poverty reduction, with management of technological change crucial. While the recent trend towards greater labour flexibility seems irresistible, recent experience suggests some options for also ensuring decent work and economic security. Although recent financial liberalization has exacerbated employment problems, alternative macroeconomic policy priorities can make a difference. New approaches to social security, the informal economy, the welfare state and rural employment in Africa are explored.

    For more information, click here.

  • Eliminating Human Poverty

    This examination of how basic social services, particularly education, health and water, can be financed and delivered more effectively departs from the dominant macro-economic paradigm. Drawing on their own broad-ranging research at United Nations Children's Fund and UN Development Programme, the authors argue that fiscal, monetary, and other macro-economic policies for poverty reduction, human development and economic growth can be compatible with micro-level interventions to provide basic social services. Policymakers have more flexibility than is usually assumed to engage in macro-economic and growth-oriented policies that can also expand human capabilities and fulfill human rights. More than just more aid is needed. Strategic shifts in aid policy, decentralised governance, health and education and the private-public mix in service provision are a prerequisite to achieve the goals of human development and to eliminate human poverty within a generation.

    For more information, click here .

  • Parliament, the Budget and Poverty in South Africa: A Shift in Power

    Parliament, the Budget and Poverty in South Africa: A Shift in Power explores the content of the content of the new law as well as the challenges and opportunities arising from it. Edited by Len Verwey, the book discusses the role of Parliament in ensuring pro-poor budgeting. It explores the content of the new law as well as the challenges and opportunities arising from it. Good fiscal governance is too important for the wellbeing of South Africans to not be apart of our public conversations.

    For more information or to order this book, please email to shendricks@idasa.org.za, tel: 021 467 7616, fax: 0866 333 171 or visit the Idasa website.

  • The Human Price of Gold

    Press Release

    15 September 2009

    The multinational corporations are at it again! This time not just for gross and scandalous human rights abuses but also causing death of people especially women and children in the North Mara and Geita regions of Tanzania. This was revealed by two recent studies, “A Golden Opportunity? How Tanzania is failing to benefit from gold mining” and “Levels of Heavy Metals and Cyanide in Soil, Sediment and Water from the Vicinity of North Mara Gold Mine in Tarime District, Tanzania”. The studies were commissioned by three faith-based organizations; Christian council of Tanzania (CCT), the National Muslim Council of Tanzania (BAKWATA) and Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC).

    A high level delegation of interfaith leaders led by His Grace Archbishop Paul Ruzoka, visiting South Africa on a learning mission presented the report to His Grace Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, President and Founder of African Monitor in Cape Town on Monday.

    The report reveals that Tanzania has lost at least $265.5million in recent years as a result of an excessively low royalty rate, government tax concessions that allow companies to avoid paying corporation tax and also through tax evasion by some companies.  Even more seriously, unethical business practices that have been used by these multinational corporations continue to inflict Cyanide contamination of drinking water, rivers, farming and grazing land.

    According to the report, the levels of Cyanide and heavy metals leaking from the nearby waste rock piles and tailing dam, are far more than the World Health Organisation (WHO), USA and Tanzanian Regulating Bodies (TZA and EPA) set targets of permissible Cyanide. The study revealed that that both heavy metals through Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) and Cyanide were leaking from waste rock piles and tailing dam, respectively. As a consequence, people living in the study area are in serious danger of suffering and dying from effects of pollution from heavy metals and Cyanide. For instance, water samples taken from River Tighite indicate that Ni, Pb, and Cr, were 260, 168 and 14 times higher respectively, this year than was observed in the year 2002. This has serious implications for humans and other living organisms in the area.

    Of the six major gold mining companies operating in Tanzania, the Canadian based Barrick Gold Corporation and the South African based AngloGold Ashanti (AGA) are responsible for the displacement, spillage of Cyanide and other heavy metals in the mining regions of Geita and North Mara.  

    “Gold mining in Tanzania remains shrouded in secrecy. Parliament has never formally seen any of the mining contracts signed by the government with the mining companies. The recent contract for Barrick’s new Buzwaki mine has been widely viewed in Tanzania only because it was leaked to the media. The agreement signed in October 2007 by the government with AGA for its Geita mine also remains a secret”, says His Grace Bishop Dr. Valentine Mokiwa (Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Tanzania and President of the All Africa Conference of Churches).

    “The communities in these areas have also been excluded in decision-making in awarding mining contracts and the use of land which the they own and occupy. The failure of government to involve and protect the people from these corporations clearly demonstrates a serious lack of will and commitment to put their people first and foremost,” he adds.

    Archbishop Ndungane reiterates; “We cannot allow multinational corporations to hide behind business contracts that undermine human life and dignity.  All humans are created equally before God and it is the responsibility of everyone, religious leaders included, to ensure that the sanctity of life is upheld throughout the world. We don’t condemn businesses but the manner in which they conduct themselves,” he adds.

    During the past few months a number of death cases reported including women and children has increased due to consumption of polluted water and other environmentally related hazards in North Mara.

    “The people in these communities will continue to die as the level of acid in their bodies increases due to inhalation, drinking contaminated water and usage of soils contaminated by Cyanide and heavy metals,” Sheik Mohamed, the Deputy Secretary of BAKWATA expressed.

    Following the release of this shocking and heart-rending report, the Interfaith Committee on Economic Justice and Integrity of Creation is in a process of finalizing a Commission of Enquiry comprising of Lawyers, Doctors, Environmentalists and Economists who will expedite the resolution of this matter. The report has also been presented to the Parliament of Tanzania and remains to be seen whether drastic measures will be taken to save these communities.

    The delegation urges the South African and other SADC governments, businesses and other stakeholders particularly in the mining industry to abide to the principles of good business ethics. This was stressed strongly by His Grace Archbishop Ndungane, who underscored the need for the government of Tanzania to put the wellbeing of the people first and foremost.

    For further information, please contact Buhle Mpofu-Makamanzi; +27 82 898 8488 or buhle@africanmonitor.org and Mvuyisi April at + 27 83 660 3056 / +255786234495 or email: mvuyisi.april@nca.no
    Date published: 
    African Monitor
  • Mitchells Plain Traders Face Eviction

    Press Release
    11 September 2009

    Contact: Mischka Cassiem 073 128 6657 or 074 525 7336

    Yesterday, September 10, 2009, in the Mitchells Plain Town Centre, the concerned Traders were informed that the City of Cape Town would not attend the meeting that was scheduled by Traders. CHATA (Concerned Hawkers and Traders Association) was informed of this cancellation on the grounds that the city claims they cannot negotiate with the Traders. The meeting was intended by CHATA to inform the city of the irregularities and unfair & unconstitutional policies that have become implemented in the renovation and relocation process of the Town Centre. City representative, Mr. Fritz, informed CHATA chairperson, Mischka Cassiem, that the city cannot meet the “demands” of the Traders. The city also claimed that the trader umbrella body must be consulted by CHATA with any further questions about the process.

    CHATA feels that this is a poor and lame excuse. The city wants Traders to hear from other Traders the issues that the city has imposed. This makes the city not liable for the rules and unconstitutional provisions that they have put in place in order to further their own agenda and control the Traders. If Traders have questions on the relocation process that will inevitably evict over half of the current Traders, the city should me more than willing to answer these questions and at least attend meetings that have been called. CHATA knows that the city did not attend the meeting because it has also recently become aware of the fact that CHATA is now affiliated with SAMWU, COSATU and StreetNet. The strength of the traders will not be broken.

    Mitchells Plain Town Centre Traders have been under the threat of eviction for over two months now. New bays have been numbered and allocated in a process that is undemocratic. The consulting party for the City of Cape Town has informed Traders that the relocation will begin next week. Mr. Paul Williamson of the City of Cape Town was supposed to issue letters informing Traders about the next phase of the relocation, but these letters were never received. There is currently an investigation on the urban renewal program in Mitchells Plain, so why is the city still moving forward with the relocation process? The process should be stopped until at least the investigation has been completed. Mr. Waleed George is also no longer the facilitator and consultant between the city and the traders as his contract was terminated by the city. What is happening in Mitchells Plain? Why is the city not following through with its demands? Why are the Traders not being informed?

    The issue is pressing and the livelihoods of many traders are at stake.

    For more, please visit the website of the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign at:
    www.antieviction.org.za and follow us on www.twitter.com/antieviction

    Visit Abahlali baseMjondolo at www.abahlali.org and www.khayelitshastruggles.com
    The Poor People's Alliance: Abahlali baseMjondolo, together with Landless People's Movement (Gauteng), the Rural Network (KwaZulu-Natal) and the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign, is part of the Poor People's Alliance - a unfunded national network of democratic membership based poor people's movements.
    Date published: 
    Abahlali baseMjondolo
  • Donation for Nigeria’s 1m Orphans

    The Global Initiative for Peace, Love and Care (GIPLC), a NGO, has donated food parcels and clothes to one million orphans living in Nigeria.

    GIPLC coordinator, Nuhu Kwajafa, says the organisation has sent more than 400 orphans to schools by paying-off fees for the orphans.

    Kwajafa further says the GIPLC has also established a “save the needy” project in which orphans are helped with medical bills and hospitalisation.

    To read the article titled, “NGO donates food to orphan's,” click here.

    <br /> All Africa
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