South Africa has continued to face questions about the recent xenophobic violence directed at African immigrants. The issue was raised during a discussion on migration on the side-lines of the 37th Session of the South African Development Community (SADC) Parliamentary Forum meeting at Zimbali north of Durban. Lawmakers, experts and government officials were among those who participated in the discussion on migration. At least seven people were killed and thousands others displaced from their homes during attacks on foreign nationals that started in KwaZulu-Natal in April. Speakers called for the movement of people around the continent - including of South Africans - to be encouraged. The Director of the United Nations African Institute for Economic Development and Planning, Professor Adebayo Olukoshi, argued that African countries need to take a developmental approach to migration policies - in the same way that countries like the US have done. A South African provincial special reference group led by former UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay is looking into the causes of xenophobic violence and what should be done to prevent it from re-emerging. The group is expected to conclude its work in October.
Governance and participation in health
More young South Africans are heeding safe sex campaigns and cutting their chances of getting AIDS or the HIV virus which causes it, a new survey said last month, heartening the nation worst hit by the pandemic. But despite the promising trend the survey highlighted high infection levels among young children. It also urged the government to act quickly to give people with HIV the anti-retroviral drugs which can slow the onset of AIDS.
Third World Network, Oxfam International and Health Gap Coalition are launching a global online petition which we hope will demonstrate the strength of global public support for WTO patent rules that put people before the profits of powerful drug companies. The petition is addressed to George Bush as a leading international figure whose government is blocking changes and clarifications to the TRIPS Agreement that would mean cheaper medicines for people in developing countries. The petition will run from September 1st through to the WTO Ministerial in Quatar in November where it will be handed over to the US Government. Sign and support the petition which is online at the Oxfam website.
Since independence, Parliament and its processes have been treated by young people as something alien to them, their needs, views and aspirations. As a result, for years the youth has had certain conceptions, some true and some false over the business that is conducted within the walls of parliament in Harare. As such, the author argues that Zimbabwean youths’ views were never put into consideration, decisions with a direct bearing on them were made without their input, simply put, the youth saw Parliament business in Zimbabwe as having nothing of interest to them and as a mere preserve for the older generation. However, all this is set to be a thing of the past. Parliament debates, bills, thrills, spills and lighter moments will soon be easily accessible in just a few clicks on a smartphone, anywhere, anytime, thanks to OpenParlyZW, an online non-partisan initiative created by a group of enthusiastic youths with the aim of bridging the gap and demystifying misconceptions existing between the youth and Parliamentarians. The group believes that to move forward the youth need to be a part of this conversation and should at least know what’s going on in the houses of power and participate in the future of the nation. OpenParlyZW will run as a standalone platform but also on Twitter and Facebook among other social media platforms capturing events each time Parliament sits and providing young people with vital information.
This guide explores a number of different themes related to youth participation in development: governance, voice and accountability, post-conflict transition and livelihoods, and sexual and reproductive health. In the sexual and reproductive health section, several examples of youth-focused health initiatives from Uganda are discussed, such as Uganda's National Development Plan and the Youth Empowerment Programme. Another health initiative, Young, Empowered and Healthy (Yeah) is a sexual health campaign for and by young people in Uganda was launched in 2004 under the auspices of the Uganda AIDS Commission and uses radio and other media to reach youth.
Each year, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) holds a special Southern Africa Civil Society Forum. The 13th annual Forum took place in mid August in Johannesburg. Members of the SAIIA Youth Policy Committee and alumni of the SAIIA Young Leaders Conference were there, to provide an eye-witness account of the proceedings. Civil society is defined as a ‘community of citizens linked by common interests and collective activity.’ This was evident at the 13th SADC Civil Society Forum from day one.
The Forum serves as a platform for civil society organisations from all over the region to meet and consolidate their stance, which is then presented as a declaration to the SADC secretariat. The theme for this year’s forum was ‘Building People’s Organisations, Securing Our Common Future, Consolidating Our Gains and Confronting Our Challenges’. These four blogs present the voice and reflections of young people attending various sessions at the Forum.
This paper focuses on the socio-cultural context in which the enactment of 'high risk' youth sexual activity takes place. The author maintains that understanding youth sexual culture and the context of high-risk sexual activity will provide the basis upon which programmes aimed at promoting safer sex practices are designed. It is concluded that the future may quite literally depend on the extent to which the current culture/context in which young people are developing their ideas about sex, and enacting their sexuality, can be transformed.
Members of civil society organizations in Zimbabwe have expressed concern that the on going negotiations on Economic Partnership Agreement (EPAs) are complex without clear outcomes and are between two unequal parties. they have outlined in a position paper areas of concern relating to trade imbalances, agriculture, health service liberalisation and intellectual property rights. the organisations thus call for EU member states to listen to and act upon the concerns of ACP countries, and for African governments to put the needs of the people above those of the markets.
The first global campaign to end the Catholic bishops' ban on condoms has been launched in Zimbabwe with a billboard in Harare and ad in The Herald carrying the message "Banning Condoms Kills" and "Catholic People Care-Do Our Bishops?" The prominently placed advertisements are part of an unprecedented worldwide public education effort aimed at Catholics and non-Catholics alike to raise public awareness about the devastating effect of the Catholic bishops' ban on condoms in preventing new HIV/AIDS infections. The campaign is being sponsored by Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC).
The word ‘Zinduka’ means re-awaken or stir up in Kiswahili – more or less like ‘pambazuka’. In Kirundi it simply means wake up. It is a call to prepare to work; to do something for the day. The Zinduka Festival that was held in Arusha, Tanzania, between 6 and 8 November was a call on ordinary East Africans to wake up, to be alert about the slow pace by politicians in integrating the region. Zinduka – sponsored by the akibaUhaki and other regional partners and hosted at the Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium – was meant to celebrate the common people’s efforts and intensify those efforts to bring the different communities together. The theme was: People’s Voices, Sustainable Development, through Arts, Culture and Conversations. The author argues that Kiswahili can be a key driver of regional integration but that it will need massive efforts to systemize or standardize this lingua franca; integrate it in businesses, schools, offices and in their spiritual and personal life.