News about poverty and development issues.

Cameroon became the fifth African country on Wednesday to strike a deal with
major pharmaceutical companies to ensure cheap access to AIDS drugs.
GlaxoSmithKline, the world's largest supplier of HIV/AIDS medicines, said
the West African country had reached agreement with five leading drug firms
under a UN initiative.

The government has rebuked European Union criticism of its controversial AIDS policy, saying that Europe should instead learn from South Africa's success in combating an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.

In the wake of quakes, emotional aid proves hardest to deliver. New tremors
rock the sub-continent while aid agencies and health workers are still
struggling to tackle quake trauma, especially in children. Unicef explains
how the emotional after-effects of a disaster are much harder to identify
and address than immediate relief needs.

Roundtable on the Demography of Forced Migration, Committee on Population,
Holly E. Reed and Charles B. Keely, Editors, U.S. National Research Council,
2001. Millions of people uprooted by war, famine or natural disasters are on the
move in countries across the world, seeking shelter, food and other necessities of life. Using case studies from Cambodia, Kosovo, North Korea and Rwanda, a new collection of papers from the National Research Council examines mortality patterns during recent forced migrations and suggests how these patterns may change during this century.

News and comment on South Africa's Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel Report.

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of death worldwide.
Their emergence as the predominant health problem in wealthy countries
accompanied economic development. As a result, NCDs are often referred to as
'diseases of affluence'. But is this a misleading term? It suggests that
these are not major problems for the world's poor, which is quite simply
wrong, as this issue of Insight Health illustrates. Is it time to rethink
policy on NCDs?

The latest research and news on health issues in developing countries.

Media Monitoring Project, Zimbabwe.

Environmental pressure groups who say that eco-tourism has failed on the basis of its own principles, are advocating for a speedy review of the concept if the world's biodiversity is to be preserved and mounting poverty alleviated.

Tagged under: 17, Contributor, Environment, Resources

President Sam Nujoma yesterday accused some donor countries of attempting to impose their governments' "policies and culture" as a precondition to granting aid. In his State of the Nation address to parliament, Nujoma said Namibia would not accept aid "with strings attached".

Kenyan reform derailed before Leakey left: Nairobi's anti-corruption strategy was already in retreat, but the government may still persuade the international community to keep giving.

News Update asked 25 individuals and organisations drawn from development agencies, the private sector, NGOs and trusts involved in digital development in Africa to make suggestions about things that African governments (or others) could do for little or money to encourage digital development. There was almost a complete consensus on the kinds of things they felt ought to be done.

The Chapter 2 Network is a clearinghouse of information and communication
for social justice issues in South Africa. Through its website, it provides
information about advocacy campaigns; training on Advocacy and lobbying,
including learning practical skills through the Advocacy game; research on
political intelligence, policy analysis and legislation monitoring and networking opportunities to interact with other civil society organisations who are engaged in social justice advocacy.

International IDEA Democracy Forum 2001: Democracy and the Information
Revolution, June 27-29 2001, Stockholm, Sweden. By combining a focus on key practical issues with exposure to the latest cutting edge research in the ICT field, the Democracy Forum 2001 will provide a unique opportunity for all concerned with the societal implications of the IT revolution - from academics, ICT specialists and business leaders, to election managers, development experts and politicians - to come together to debate, reflect and develop creative policy options for the future.

The Digital Governance website was launched a month back to explore
INNOVATIVE e-Governance Models in South based on the application of Knowledge Management principles and Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The website is a part of the KnowNet Initiative which harnesses the potential of ICT and Remote Volunteering to catalyse Human Development.

Amnesty International today called for a vigorous international presence in Guinea to protect hundreds of thousands of Sierra Leonean and Liberian refugees and Guinean civilians caught in a vicious six-month old insurgency in Guinea.

Officials of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said they considered the privatization of the Egyptian state-owned banks not important as the country's banking system depends largely on these banks' power and competition, on the contrary the privatization may yield adverse outcomes if the government gives up these significant tool in controlling the monetary policy.

COSATU has submitted its views on the E-Commerce Green Paper, which examines issues around the growth of information and communications technologies (ICTs) in the economy. The federation is concerned at the failure of what was purported to be a participatory process that was supposed to be “consultative, transparent and [balancing] the interests of the broader spectrum of stakeholders (sic)”. From the outset there was an overwhelming bias in favour of legal, contractual and business issues, rather than issues of concern to organised labour, reflected even in the sub-title, "Making it your Business”.

Great Issue!!! -- perhaps a bit long? Congratulations -- and thanks for the editorial on Money Laundering.

I take this opportunity to thank you for sending useful information to me who stand on behalf of my organisation. Thanks a lot.

The Senate agreed last night that the United States should double current spending on the global battle against HIV/AIDS to more than $1 billion within the next two years.

New information and new resources from the Foundation Center, Washington, DC.

Two companies at the centre of the probe into the multibillion-rand arms deal have just added another lucrative deal to their portfolios. Futuristic Business Solutions (FBS) and African Defence Systems (ADS) are now the black empowerment partners of Agusta SpA, the company that won, in controversial circumstances, the contract to supply helicopters to the South African Air Force.

Tagged under: 17, Contributor, Corruption, Governance

The premier index to Family and Social Welfare topics FREE ACCESS over the Internet until April 30, 2001. Family & Society Studies Worldwide is a core resource in NISC's series of databases on family and gender related topics. FSSW is useful for social workers, marriage & family counsellor, family practitioners, social scientists, sociologists, psychologists, and organizations & services dedicated to the Family -- a "must have" for any degree granting institution in these fields.

Tagged under: 17, Contributor, Education, Resources

Proceedings of the Council of Ministers of Water Affairs of the Nile Basin States (Nile-COM) who held an Extraordinary Meeting in Khartoum, Sudan, on March 28-29, 2001.

IT IS NO secret why President Bush is tightening his colonial grip on Earth's environment. He is doing it for us, the ugly Americans who must confess that we enjoy this modern imperialism, our sovereign right to suck the planet dry. Except for some howling environmentalists, there still is no major sign that the average American is seriously offended by Bush's rampage of environmental reversals.

Naspers has announced that it is considering de-listing M-Web, citing negative market conditions. It is expected that M-Web investors will be offered Naspers shares in a share swap deal.

A new site devoted to educational technology has made its debut on the web. EdtechNOT.com was launched earlier this year "to encourage debate on the merits and pit falls of using educational technology in real schools." The site features a small link library, guest articles, a discussion forum, a "site of the month," and a collection of relevant writings.

The latest collection of snippets from the world of Telematics and Development.

Nature has initiated an online debate of the impact of the Web on publication of original research and the complex issue of free access.

Grant opportunities from the World Bank to assess e-readiness. The grants are offered to governmental institutions. Deadline for submitting proposals is May 1st.

Will the information-rich get richer and the information-poor get poorer? Will the divide shrink, or expand? The question might also be phrased in terms of the education-rich and the education-poor. The latter category includes some 200 million children who do not complete their primary education.

Tagged under: 17, Contributor, Education, Resources

bYtES For aLL is a voluntary, unfunded venture. bYtES For aLL volunteers team includes: Frederick in Goa, Partha in Dhaka, Zubair in Islamabad, Archana in Goa, Zunaira in Karachi, Arun-Kumar in Darmstatd, Shivkumar in Mumbai, Sangeeta in Nepal, Daryl in Chicago and Gihan in Sri Lanka.

Please consider reading and signing this petition prepared by Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) and supported by Oxfam before April 15th, 2001.

A public, unmoderated, open mailing list has been started to coordinate efforts of NGOs to steer back the USA administration to honoring its global responsibilities. Bycotting USA-products worldwide is the ultimate action that can be taken by ordinary citizens as well as governments. It may be the only
message the MBA-President George W. Bush can understand.

World Bank President James Wolfensohn called on politicians Monday to help launch a global campaign to meet the international development goal of reducing the proportion of people living in extreme poverty by half by 2015.

The Bush administration is putting forward alternative guidelines for a new international global warming agreement, it was reported yesterday, as it finds itself increasingly isolated on the world stage for its rejection of the Kyoto treaty.

Tagged under: 17, Contributor, Environment, Resources

Yousif Kuwa, the teacher who turned to armed struggle to get recognition for the Nuba people of central Sudan, has died at the age of 56 after a year-long battle with bone cancer. His death strips the Sudan People's Liberation Army of a man who was the very embodiment of the "New Sudan" it is pledged to create.

A European weapons maker at the centre of an investigation into alleged influence-buying in South Africa has admitted delivering luxury cars to 30 top government, defence and aviation officials while bidding for a multimillion pound arms contract.

Tagged under: 17, Contributor, Corruption, Governance

The Nigerian federal government is bringing an action in the Supreme Court on Monday, asking it to rule on the contentious issue of how to share oil revenues.

Sudanese rebels have threatened to attack international oil workers operating in the wartorn south of the country. The SPLA rebels, who are fighting for autonomy or independence in the south, said the Sudanese Government was using money from oil exports to finance its miltary operations.

Thousands of children, some as young as 10, are serving with armed groups in the Middle East and North Africa, an international conference on the plight of child soldiers has been told.

UN special report on children and armed conflict.

The Senegalese President, Abdoulaye Wade, has said the former President of Chad, Hissene Habre, must leave the country. "We have given him 30 days to leave Senegal," President Wade told Sud FM radio in Dakar, the Senegalese capital. But he said Senegal had not been given sufficient evidence by the Chadian Government for the courts to prosecute Mr Habre for alleged crimes against humanity.

The UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has won agreement from six major drug companies to keep cutting prices of Aids treatments for the world's poorest nations.

Ghana was amongst the first countries in Africa to get connected. Although it suffers from all the usual constraints on growth - especially the high costs of connectivity - it is estimated that around half a million people have access to the web in some form. Kwami Ahiabenu describes the development of Ghana's internet culture.

Zimbabwe plans to pull out 5,000 troops from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the "immediate future" - halving its military presence in the mineral-rich country - in a move a defence spokesman on Thursday described as a vote of confidence in the peace process.

The President of Malawi Bakili Muluzi has said he is disappointed by the slow international response to the devastating floods that hit the country last month.

In a race against time and the weather, the United Nations refugee agency is stepping up its efforts to move tens of thousands of Sierra Leonean refugees away from volatile border zones in south-western Guinea to safer sites in the interior of the country.

The number of United Nations peacekeepers on the ground in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has reached nearly 500, a UN spokesman reported today.

The court case brought by a group of pharmaceutical companies against the Government of South Africa has focused attention on the relationship between intellectual property rights and development. The law in question allows the South African Health Minister to disregard patent rights under certain circumstances in order to supply more affordable medicines to protect public health.

Louise Arbour, the former chief prosecutor of the international Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, predicted today that in spite of United States opposition, the International Criminal Court will become a reality because the question of personal accountability of leaders is an irreversible movement.

Civic groups in Zimbabwe are willing and able to take on the government over a new constitution, Thoko Matshe head of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) told IRIN on Tuesday. "We're talking mass action and civil disobedience on a wide scale if government ignores the people," Matshe said.

States cannot ignore their human rights obligations when they negotiate trade agreements is the message sent today by Rights & Democracy to trade ministers meeting in Buenos Aires in Argentina, to negotiate the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

The World Bank President James Wolfensohn has criticised developed nations for their failure to uphold their promise to allocate 0.7 percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) for official development assistance (ODA) to the needy countries, particularly in Africa.

New testimonies by refugees returning from Guinea to Sierra Leone, through the "safe passage through rebel-held territory", prove the systematic rape of Sierra Leonean women by RUF terrorists/rebels. The rebels "said they were not going to kill us, but that they would use us until they would be satisfied," one woman who was gang raped reported.

According to Allafrica.com, the Mugabe government has begun to control Zimbabwe's media by tightening the flow of information ahead of presidential elections next year. It wants to speed through legislation in parliament aimed at controlling the dissemination of information and the conduct of journalists in executing their duties.

In Zimbabwe journalism is in crisis, and journalists are in danger: an in-depth report from the Media Channel.

America's newspaper editors should include black journalists in daily news meetings and offer minorities more internships and top management jobs, a black reporters group said Thursday.

The Forum for African Women Educationalists, (FAWE) Ghana chapter has expressed dismay about the way the mass media report defilement cases. FAWE says it was time the media stopped reporting rape cases and human right abuses with "glee" to entice their readers and listeners.

The government of Niger has sent out and urgent appeal for emergency aid of some 60,000 tonnes of cereals for May-August to avert the wave of famine in the country.

President Sam Nujoma yesterday said Government would immediately deport homosexuals who try to enter the country through Hosea Kutako International Airport. Speaking at the opening of an Agricultural Development Centre at Erwee in the Kunene region, Nujoma expressed his disgust at the recent weddings of gay and lesbian couples in the Netherlands.

National Development Party leader Raila Odinga yesterday scoffed at attempts to extend President Moi's term of office beyond the year 2002. Such attempts were not only inconsequential but time-wasting, Mr Odinga said.

Botswana's HIV/AIDS educators are turning to drama, song and poetry in an effort to reach young people who are becoming increasingly bored with politicians' speeches, bleak billboard campaigns and scary statistics.

The Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Louise Frecheet, who is on a visit to Sierra Leone, has met President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah at his Hill Station Lodge in Freetown. Ms Frechete told president Kabbah that the UN would closely work with government and non-governmental organisations to pursue peace and development in the country.

Local libraries should adopt new technologies to process and store information, a workshop in Kenya was told recently. The director of Unesco, in Nairobi Dr Paul Vitta, challenged libraries to embrace new storage systems where library card catalogues are replaced by online ones for indexing, retrieval and interchange techniques.

Pakistan is to send over 4,000 soldiers to join the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), UN deputy spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva said on Thursday in New York. "The details of their deployment, including discussions on equipment, logistics and transportation requirements, are still being worked out," he reported.

Health in Africa costs dearly: in quality of life, in chances of survival, and in resources. Did you know, for example, that Africa would have been an estimated US $100 billion better off in 1999 if malaria had been eliminated years ago? And - according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) - that extra US $100 billion is nearly five times greater than all development aid provided to Africa in 1999?

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has warned that despite the relatively calm situation in Rwanda, rural and urban poverty pose a serious threat to the country's economic and social development. In a report, it noted that out of 8 million inhabitants, 28,130 were Congolese refugees, 5,087 were internally displaced, 52,242 were recent returnees, 60,195 were affected by drought in the south and east of the country and some 2 million people were living in difficult conditions.

Opposition leader, Joseph Olenghankoy, last week urged Masire to convene the inter-Congolese forum to "usher in a new political order" in the DRC, AFP reported. At a press conference in Kinshasa, Olenghankoy asked Masire to convene and determine the a dates and venue of the forum, adding that "beyond this date, the peaceful and democratic opposition and the civil society would be forced to choose a president of the republic."

A humanitarian assessment mission has visited the province of Rutana in the southeast following a wave of fighting between the army and rebels last month in three of its communes - Gitanga, Rutana and Musongati. A report issued by UNOCHA-Burundi noted that 1,500 families had been displaced in Gitanga and 1,187 in Rutana. Musongati was still affected by fighting and a final estimate had not been made.

Rebel leader Cossan Kabura has claimed he is still in charge of the PALIPEHUTU-FNL movement, the Hirondelle news agency reported. In a letter to the facilitator of the Burundi peace process, Nelson Mandela, Kabura said that Agathon Rwasa, the "former commander" of the movement's western forces, had attempted a coup against him but had failed, and "disciplinary measures" had been taken against him, along with two other senior FNL members - Alain Mugabarabona and Anicet Ntawuhiganayo.

Kyalami Exhibition & Conference Center, Johannesburg, South Africa,
24-26 April 2001. This conference, being held jointly by African IT Exhibitions & Conferences (AITEC) and the Linux Professionals Association, will provide an educational and commercial platform for the popularization of Linux and its applications in Africa. The presentations will deal with free software and projects on development of network applications. A review of the usage of Linux in Africa will also be presented.

Greetings! Thanks for a great newsletter - keep up the good work!

Sustainable Development and the New Economy, Cité des Sciences et de 'Industrie, la Villette, Paris, France, 14-16 May 2001.OECD Forum 2001 is an international public conference which brings together Ministers, heads of international organisations, and participants from business, labour, non-governmental organisations and civil society at large. The main objective of the OECD Forum is to foster an open, inclusive dialogue on the opportunities and risks in the increasingly global,knowledge-based economy of the 21st century, and how this new knowledge economy can best function for the betterment of all.

This three-day series of seminars & workshops addresses key performance areas that will assist your nonprofit organization build and maintain a
realistic and effective fundraising programme.

May 16: Fundraising and Recent Legislation (The NPO Act, State Lotteries Act, Tax Reform)
May 17: Developing a Successful Fundraising Strategy
May 18: Finding the Money – Domestic & Foreign Sources of Funding
* Presenters: Judge Dennis Davis, Mary Honey, Leon Isaacson, Jetty Botes
* Contact: Joyce Gampel (Non-Profit Resource Training): TEL/FAX: +27 21 685 7726

* Writing the Winning Funding Proposal (June 22 & 23 / Jill Ritchie)
* Coming to Grips with the National Qualifications Framework (July 28 / Suzanne Hattingh)

Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A. 20-21 April 2001. *Registration deadline extended to April 14* Science and technology is widely recognized as an important factor in the economic transformation of developing countries. Mobilizing this knowledge to meet the agricultural, health, communication and environmental needs of the poor has become of the most important issues in international relations. The workshop is part of an on-going effort to explore the linkages between science, technology and globalization.

Based in Johannesburg, responsible for programming in South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The deadline is April 20, 2001.

Tagged under: 17, Contributor, Jobs, Resources

Last June, parliamentary elections were held in Zimbabwe in an atmosphere of fear and violence. The elections marked the first time a strong opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), challenged the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU (PF)) in the political arena. The MDC won 57 out of 120 contested seats but the price was high as pre-election violence erupted in the form of extra-judicial killings, beatings, property damage and intimidation around the country.

International observers and commentators including Amnesty International, the Commonwealth, the US-based National Democratic Institute and the European Union all released reports citing evidence that the elections were not free and fair. In fact, Zimbabwe's own Electoral Commission proclaimed the elections the bloodiest since the end of white minority rule in 1980.

Both political parties blame the other for incitement of violence. However, the MDC has brought legal challenges to the High Court of Zimbabwe in 39 constituencies in an effort to overturn election results in those areas. They are alleging that the violence perpetrated by ZANU (PF) agents, with the knowledge or active participation of the ZANU (PF) candidate at the time, unfairly affected the outcome of the vote thereby violating the Electoral Act of Zimbabwe. The cases have thus far involved numerous allegations of violence being perpetuated by veterans of Zimbabwe's war of liberation. Factions of these veterans are widely regarded to be militant and very close to ZANU (PF). War veterans are seen to be responsible for numerous acts of violence perpetrated against white commercial farmers in the past year in protest of what is perceived to be white domination of the industry. The vast majority of the electoral violence was perpetrated against members or perceived members of the MDC. They are asking that all elections in these 39 constituencies be re-run to achieve accurate results. If any member of parliament is found guilty of election misconduct in these proceedings, that member will be ineligible to run for public office for five years and a bi-election will be called in that constituency to determine a new sitting member.

In addition to allegations of violence, many protest the government's changes to the Electoral Act immediately preceding the election. The Electoral Act allows for the president to make changes to the electoral system. He did so in the following ways: 1) Changes in the postal ballot system were made on June 7, ahead of the voting dates of the 24th & 25th June, to make it more difficult for Zimbabweans abroad to cast their ballots, 2) The Electoral Supervisory Commission had its power to accredit observers and monitors revoked and placed in the hands of the Registrar General, 3) Sitting dates for the Nomination Courts were deferred from May 29 to June 3, 4) The Electoral Act's 21-day provision between nomination and polling was shortened to 20 days, and 5) Voter registration was extended from 16 April to 12 June. (All information regarding changes to the Electoral Act is courtesy of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum's report, 'Human Rights and Zimbabwe's June 2000 Election')

The Amani Trust, a Zimbabwean NGO advocating for victims of organized violence and torture, will produce a weekly report for the international community on the progress of these trials. This report will focus on cases of gross human rights violations and electoral abuses within constituencies that have cases before the High Court.

From The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum - April 9, 2001, v.7
Zimbabwe Parliamentary Election Challenges Newsletter