Category Archives: Development

South Africa charis BRICS

South Africa stepping in to chair the BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa – from  January 1, 2018.  The decision has been taken at recent summit of members of BRICS association in Xiamen, China, in September 2017.

Vice President of BRICS New Development Bank, Leslie Maasdorp, said to Russian TASS news agency, that the South African government has not submitted the objectives and agenda of its chairmanship.

However one can presume the priorities of South Africa’s policy following its record of co-operation with the BRICS partners, formally shaping their agenda at the joint events in 2018, guided by the President Jacob Zuma’s speech at a special session of the BRICS Business Council held in September 2017 during the 9th summit in Xiamen.

Efforts to promote economic development and growth, increase trade volumes and attract investment to the industrial sector of South Africa’s economy are identified as the key objectives for the country’s participation in this format at that time. There are also expectations of investment in industry, following government’s plans support the creation of new jobs, poverty reduction.

 

 

Millions stolen in Ebola epidemic

The Red Cross has confirmed that more than USD 6 million of aid money was lost to fraud and corruption during the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Auditors found overpriced supplies, salaries for non-existent aid workers and fake customs bills.

The disease, which raged between 2014 and 2016, claimed at least 10,000 lives. It required a massive humanitarian operation costing hundreds of millions of dollars to bring it under control. As Ebola spread across Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the Red Cross Federation in Geneva was dispersing cash donations to the national Red Cross societies in each of those countries – altogether a sum of about USD100 million.

An investigation by Red Cross auditors has revealed that in Liberia USD 2.7 million disappeared in fraudulently overpriced supplies, or in salaries for non-existent aid workers. In Sierra Leone, Red Cross staff apparently colluded with local bank workers to skim off over USD 2 million while in Guinea, where investigations are ongoing, around USD 1million disappeared in fake customs bills.

The Red Cross told that it is deeply sorry for the losses. The organisation adds that has introduced stricter financial rules, and promised to hold any Red Cross staff involved to account. The Red Cross is the world’s best-known humanitarian organisation, and this revelation will be damaging, she adds.

Russia to joint anti-terrorism efforts in Sahel

Moscow has begun to assist the law enforcement agencies of the Sahel countries,  recently forming joint military forces to counter terrorism and organized crime, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said at the UN Security Council’s meeting.

According to the Russian diplomat, Moscow welcomes the establishment of a special counter-terrorism force of the Group of Five Sahel States (G5 Sahel, consisting of Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Chad), which has been approved by a UN Security Council Resolution.

“We believe that this is an appropriate response to the regional challenges based on the ‘African solutions to the African problems’ principle. We are confident that this is the only way to ensure sustainable peace in Africa,” the Russian permanent representative underlined.

“…In era of globalization, terrorism has gone global,” and the threat “can only be eliminated through the establishment of a broad front, which is what Russia has been calling for” – Nebenzya added. “Besides, our country has begun to assist the law enforcement agencies of the Sahel countries, and we intend to continue such cooperation because building the capacities of national armed forces is important for enhancing the effectiveness of the G5 Sahel joint forces,” the Russian UN ambassador pointed out.

“There is a concern over the situation in the Sahara and Sahel region,” which had been facing the threat of terrorism, and “transnational issues, which particularly include drug and arms trafficking, separatist tendencies, conflicts, as well as humanitarian, social and economic difficulties, further destabilize the situation” Russia’s permanent representative to the UN added that the NATO-backed overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in Libya had catalyzed instability in the region.

More:
http://tass.com/politics/973296

More:
http://tass.com/politics/973296

EU responds to migrant crisis with investments in Africa

“Our friends in Africa have long told us “the cause is poverty” – said EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini, addressing Paris ‘mini-summit’ on mass migration.

“… We do not need to invent a new Marshall Plan, we already have a European plan that is in the field, which is in action and that certainly can be used by all Europeans, by all Africans in an even more effective way” – Mogherini continued.

“In the coming days, we will also launch a private investment plan supported by the European Commission, which will be able to mobilize up to € 44 billion in private investment in Africa for economic development. € 2 billion of projects related to the immigration sector have already been approved and are being implemented under the Trust Fund which was created at the top of Valletta, of which € 1 billion is for the Sahel countries alone. € 100 million from the European Union to fund the centers of the International Migration Organization in 14 African countries including Nigeria, Chad and Libya”

The European Union and the EU Member States together invest € 20 billion a year in Africa in a number of areas, from development cooperation, private investment, humanitarian, to work on peace and security.

 

Les violations graves des droits de l’homme dans le Kasai 

Federica Mogherini, Haute représentante de l’Union européenne pour les affaires étrangères et la politique de sécurité et Vice-présidente de la Commission européenne, a rencontré cet après-midi Léonard She Okitundu, Vice-premier ministre et Ministre des Affaires étrangères de la République Démocratique du Congo, afin de discuter de la situation dans le pays et des relations avec l’UE.

Au cours de la discussion, la Haute Représentante/Vice-présidente a tenu à exprimer l’importance attachée au partenariat entre l’UE et la RDC.  Elle a insisté sur le fait que la tenue d’élections transparentes et démocratiques dans les plus brefs délais représente le moyen de sortir d’une impasse politique aux graves retombées sécuritaires, économiques et humanitaires. Mme Mogherini a rappelé également l’ouverture de l’UE à discuter des options pour appuyer le processus électoral, à partir de la définition du calendrier électoral.

Mme Mogherini a souligné la nécessité pour la RDC de coopérer pleinement avec  les experts des Nations Unies pour enquêter sur les violations graves des droits de l’homme dans le Kasai.

Elle a enfin confirmé que l’UE continuera à apporter un soutien concret aux besoins des populations.

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