World Bank Seminar

On Friday the 29th of September 2017, The Executive Director of the World Bank Group representing Angola, Nigeria and South Africa, Ms Bongi Kunene invited the South African companies to stake a claim to the US$45 billion that the group has set aside for projects in Africa. This took place at the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel in Sandton.

Kunene was speaking at seminar on Doing Business with The World Bank Group that was co-hosted with the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) through its Trade Invest Africa Division in Sandton today. The purpose of the seminar was to provide a platform for the Group to share information on how it works with the private sector in partnership with governments, as well as its

“This seminar provides a perfect opportunity for us to share with the private sector opportunities that are available in the World Bank Group. We have raised US$72 billion for the low-income countries of the world and as a board we have decided that US$45 billion of that money will be spent in Africa. The clients are African governments but as you know, most of government work is executed by contractors. Today is the opportunity for the World Bank to explain to all of you South African businesses how to make it as a contractor,” said Ms Kunene.

She added that the money will be used in various sectors of infrastructure. These include economic infrastructure such as roads, water and energy.

“But we will go beyond economic infrastructure and also touch on social infrastructure including hospitals. We will also help government to procure goods and services such as books, computers and medical equipment. So this provides a vast opportunity for any company that qualifies to be able to participate in the projects, she said

The Acting Chief Executive Office of Trade Invest Africa (TIA), Ms Lerato Mataboge said the seminar was in line with TIA’s mandate of assisting South African businesses access investment and trade opportunities in various parts of the African Continent.

 

“It was essential for us to partner with the World Bank Group for this seminar so that companies would get directly from the Bank’s officials the projects that are available and what the requirements and processes that they need to follow are.  We are hoping that most of the

Staff Reporter

On Friday the 29th of September 2017, The Executive Director of the World Bank Group representing Angola, Nigeria and South Africa, Ms Bongi Kunene invited the South African companies to stake a claim to the US$45 billion that the group has set aside for projects in Africa. This took place at the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel in Sandton.

Kunene was speaking at seminar on Doing Business with The World Bank Group that was co-hosted with the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) through its Trade Invest Africa Division in Sandton today. The purpose of the seminar was to provide a platform for the Group to share information on how it works with the private sector in partnership with governments, as well as its

“This seminar provides a perfect opportunity for us to share with the private sector opportunities that are available in the World Bank Group. We have raised US$72 billion for the low-income countries of the world and as a board we have decided that US$45 billion of that money will be spent in Africa. The clients are African governments but as you know, most of government work is executed by contractors. Today is the opportunity for the World Bank to explain to all of you South African businesses how to make it as a contractor,” said Ms Kunene.

She added that the money will be used in various sectors of infrastructure. These include economic infrastructure such as roads, water and energy.

 

“But we will go beyond economic infrastructure and also touch on social infrastructure including hospitals. We will also help government to procure goods and services such as books, computers and medical equipment. So this provides a vast opportunity for any company that qualifies to be able to participate in the projects, she said

The Acting Chief Executive Office of Trade Invest Africa (TIA), Ms Lerato Mataboge said the seminar was in line with TIA’s mandate of assisting South African businesses access investment and trade opportunities in various parts of the African Continent.

 

“It was essential for us to partner with the World Bank Group for this seminar so that companies would get directly from the Bank’s officials the projects that are available and what the requirements and processes that they need to follow are.  We are hoping that most of the

Failing criminal justice system fuels a new wave of attacks on people with albinism

A new wave of killings and attacks targeting people with albinism over the past six months is being fueled by systemic failures in Malawi’s criminal justice system which leave members of this vulnerable group at the mercy of criminal gangs, Amnesty International said today on International Albinism Awareness Day.

To download unrestricted television B-Roll and Photos click HERE

Since January 2017, at least two people with albinism have been killed while seven more have reported crimes such as attempted murder or abduction. This stands in stark contrast to the last six months of 2016, when no such incidents were reported.

“Despite stronger legislation, including reforms to the Penal Code and the Anatomy Act, to tackle attacks against people with albinism, we are seeing an alarming resurgence of killings and attacks against this vulnerable group in 2017,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa.

“When the wheels of justice turn so painfully slowly, as they do in Malawi, and historic cases of attacks on people with albinism remain unresolved, it creates a climate of impunity and emboldens suspected perpetrators of these horrific crimes.”

In its June 2016 report, Amnesty International exposed how people with albinism were ‘hunted and killed like animals’ for their body parts. Their bones are believed to be sold to practitioners of traditional medicine in Malawi and Mozambique for use in charms and magical potions associated with wealth and good luck.

Killings in 2017

A new wave of killings and attacks against people with albinism emerged in January 2017, after a six month reprieve between June and December 2016.

On 28 February 2017, Mercy Zainabu Banda, a 31-year-old woman with albinism was found murdered in Lilongwe with her hand, right breast and hair removed.

On 10 January 2017, 19-year-old Madalitso Pensulo was killed after he was invited for afternoon tea at his friend’s house in Mlonda village in Thyolo District. A passer-by heard him scream, but he died before the police arrived at the scene.

Other attacks

The latest abduction took place on 28 May, when a nine-year-old boy, Mayeso Isaac, was taken by a gang of 10 men. The incident took place in neighbouring Mozambique where he had travelled at the invitation of relatives to visit. Both Malawian and Mozambican authorities have an obligation to ensure speedy and effective investigation into his disappearance.

On 9 March 2017, Gilbert Daire, survived an attack after four men attempted to drill through the wall of his home in Lilongwe as he slept. They fled the scene after his neighbours intervened. One of the suspected perpetrators was arrested after community members turned him over to the police, but he was later acquitted by the court.

In April, two-year-old Misheck Samson survived a kidnapping while he was sleeping next to his mother in Cholwe Village in Ntchisi. Three men were arrested for planning to abduct the toddler. They confessed to the police that they wanted to kidnap him because they needed money.

On 17 February, 36-year-old woman, Emily Kuliunde survived an attempted abduction in Dowa after her alleged abductors were apprehended by the community and handed to the police. Suspects remain in police custody.

Another case is that of Amos Jemus from Ntcheu district near the Mozambique border, whose father allegedly threatened to sell him on 1 February 2017.

Criminal Justice failures                                                            

In Malawi, police are empowered to prosecute and convict suspected perpetrators of crimes, however they are under resourced and receive little training. As a result, most cases are poorly handled and rarely result in a conviction. The vast majority of cases involving crimes against people with albinism, in particular murder, fail to go before a court due to a lack of funds and legal aid support for suspected perpetrators.

Even where cases have been brought to court, the perpetrators have often been released due to flawed investigations and a lack of relevant admissible evidence.

“The only way to stop these killings is by ensuring that existing laws are applied effectively and that there is efficient prosecution and coordination across the authorities,” said Deprose Muchena.

“This rise in flagrant attacks against people with albinism shows that confidence is growing among criminal gangs that they will not get caught. They are taking advantage of Malawi’s failing criminal justice system. The authorities must take decisive measures to end these attacks once and for all.”

Background

At least 20 people with albinism have been killed in Malawi since November 2014.

Two killings have happened this year.

According to Malawi Police Service, at least 117 cases involving crimes related to people with albinism have been reported since November 2014.

People are targeted for their body parts, due to the belief that they have magical powers that bring good luck.

Approximately 7,000 to 10,000 people with albinism live in Malawi.

To download unrestricted television B-Roll and Photos click HERE

For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Robert Shivambu, Media Manager – Amnesty International - Southern Africa on +27 11 283 6000 or +27 83 437 5732 or robert.shivambu@amnesty.org

Public Document

****************************************

Amnesty International Southern Africa Regional office, 3 Glenhove Road, Melrose Estate, Johannesburg 2196

+2711 283 6000

email: press@amnesty.org

twitter: @amnestypress or @AmnestySAfrica or @AmnestySARO

Robert Shivambu

Amnesty International: International Secretariat

Media Manager: Southern Africa

Mobile: +2783 437 5732

Telephone: +27(0)11 283 6000 ext 6023

Emailing: robert.shivambu@amnesty.org

Twitting: @RobertShivambu

 

Attacks on human rights activists reach crisis point globally

  • Amnesty International launches new global campaign, ‘Brave’, to stop the wave of attacks against those defending human rights
  • 281 people killed in 2016 for defending human rights, up from 156 in 2015
  • Human rights defenders facing unparalleled global assault amid demonizing rhetoric, clampdowns on civil society and rampant use of surveillance 

Community leaders, lawyers, journalists and other human rights defenders across the world are facing unprecedented levels of persecution, intimidation and violence, warned Amnesty International today as it launched a new global campaign demanding an end to the onslaught of attacks against brave individuals standing up to injustice.

“What we are witnessing today is a full-frontal assault by governments, armed groups, corporations and others with power on the very right to defend human rights. Human rights defenders bear the brunt of this global attack,” said Salil Shetty, the Secretary General of Amnesty International.

“From President Putin to President Xi and President el-Sisi, leaders across every continent are increasingly dismantling the foundations needed for a free, just and equal society. By removing their right to protest, placing them under surveillance, and targeting them and their communities with harassment, threats and physical attacks, governments are choking off the oxygen supply to those standing up for our rights.”

In a new briefing, ‘Human rights defenders under threat – a shrinking space for civil society’, published today to accompany the new campaign, Amnesty International details the unprecedented dangers those defending human rights face. It has become an increasingly deadly pursuit: In 2016, 281 people were killed globally for defending human rights, up from 156 in 2015, according to evidence from the NGO Front Line Defenders.

“Authoritarian leaders intent on crushing human rights would have us believe that only they have our best interests at heart, but they don’t. It is in fact those who defend our human rights who are standing up for us – and they face persecution for daring to do so. Now in 2017, the plight of human rights defenders has reached crisis point because of the measures abusive states have taken,” said Salil Shetty.

Southern Africa

In Madagascar, environmental activist Clovis Razafimalala remains detained on politically motivated charges in what appears to be a case of the Malagasy authorities trying to silence critical voices. As part of his environmental work, Razafimalala has repeatedly denounced the government’s failure to tackle illegal trafficking of rosewood and other timber.

In Zimbabwe, Pastor Evan Mawarire, founder and one of the leaders of the #Thisflag movement is facing state-led persecution for leading several protests in 2016 against corruption, human rights violations and the declining economy. He faces trumped-up charges of sedition and “insulting the national flag of Zimbabwe”. His trial is ongoing.

In countries like Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe journalists and lawyers continue to face harassment and intimidation simply for doing their work.

Growing arsenal of tools used to crack down on defenders

The combination of mass surveillance, new technology, the misuse of laws and crackdowns on peaceful protests has created unprecedented levels of danger for human rights activists, the briefing warns.

Among the emerging trends is the rampant use of new technologies and targeted surveillance, including online, to threaten and silence activists.

Governments across the world are ordering companies to disclose encryption keys and decrypt personal online communications with little thought to the consequences. In the UK, police have put journalists under surveillance in order to identify their sources.

In places like Mexico and Russia, troll networks are increasingly generating trending misinformation campaigns to discredit and stigmatize human rights defenders like journalists.

These new trends add to the already dangerous arsenal of tools of suppression, including killings and enforced disappearances, crackdowns on the right to peaceful protest and misuse of criminal, civil and administrative laws to persecute human rights defenders.

Amnesty International notes that in 2016:

-       At least 22 countries saw people killed for peacefully standing up for human rights;

-       In 63 countries, they faced smear campaigns;

-       In 68 countries, they were arrested or detained solely because of their peaceful work; and

-       In 94 countries they were threatened or attacked.

“When they are not threatening or harassing them, governments of all persuasions are attempting to cultivate open hostility towards human rights defenders by peddling demonizing rhetoric that portrays activists as terrorists or foreign agents. This could not be further from the truth,” said Salil Shetty.

“The question now is: Are we going to stand by and let those in power continue their efforts to erase human rights defenders – who are often the last line of defence for a free and just society? Or will we stand up and get in the way?”

Amnesty International launches new global campaign to “protect the brave” 

In light of the unprecedented dangers human rights activists face, Amnesty International today launched a new campaign, ‘Brave’, calling on states to recognize the legitimate work of those working to stand up for the inherent dignity and equal rights of all people, and to ensure their freedom and safety.

Amnesty International demands that countries implement what they committed to when the United Nations adopted the Declaration on human rights defenders in 1998. The Declaration calls on states to recognize the key role and contribution of those who defend human rights and to establish effective measures to protect them.

The global campaign will spotlight the cases of individuals facing imminent danger because of their human rights work, and lobby governments and put pressure on decision-makers to strengthen legal frameworks. Amnesty International will also continue to investigate attacks against activists, and work hand-in-hand with local communities and campaigners to mobilize people to take action.

“From Frederick Douglass through to Emily Pankhurst, Rosa Parks, B.R. Ambedkar and Nelson Mandela, history is replete with stories of ordinary people who refused to accept the status quo and stood for what is right,” said Salil Shetty.

“That spirit of bravery is still alive today. Whether it is the likes of Malala Yousafzai or Chelsea Manning, there are people here and now taking enormous risks for us.”

“Without their courage, our world is less fair, less just and less equal. That is why today we are calling on everyone – not just world leaders – to stand with human rights defenders and protect the brave.”

the dti TO LEAD SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES INVESTMENT ROADSHOW TO CHINA

The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) will lead a 25-member delegation drawn from all Special Economic Zones in South Africa on an investment roadshow to the Chinese cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen from 6-11 May 2017. The objective of the roadshow is to attract investors to the country’s Special Economic Zones (SEZs). The delegation will consist of high-ranking officials of the dti, SEZs and provincial economic development agencies.

The investment roadshow will take place in the form of seminars and business roundtables where the South African delegation will present on the country’s SEZ opportunities. Each seminar will be followed by networking and match-making sessions.

 

According to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, the roadshow is part of the implementation of the undertakings of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement (CSPA) signed between SA and China in 2011, and also the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit in Johannesburg in 2015. China agreed to support SA and Africa’s initiatives of industrialisation and beneficiation.  It is also part of the implementation of the Strategic Partnership Agreement that the dti signed with the Bank of China in March this year.

“The investment roadshow seeks to attract varied potential investors in different sectors to invest in the South African SEZs.  As our focus in regard to the SEZ implementation programme is on attracting Investments into the SEZs, the ultimate objective of the roadshows of this nature is to bring high-level local and international investors together with a view to entice them to invest in South Africa. The seminars will provide a platform wherein the South African SEZ operators will have an opportunity to meet and present their value propositions to potential Chinese investors, finance Institutions, and government representatives,” says Minister Davies.

He adds that the dti seeks to derive value from the cooperation agreement with China on SEZs, particularly as South Africa embarks on industrialisation and mineral beneficiation programmes. Currently, there are major flagship investment projects that South Africa is implementing in partnership with Chinese government. These include the planning and development of high-tech and science industrial parks, a metallurgical SEZ, and capacity building programme.

“China is the second biggest economy in the world, and the biggest South Africa’s trading partner. China’s market remains a key strategic priority for South Africa’s raw material and value-added products. More importantly, the dti has entered into a number of strategic partnerships with the Chinese government. The main purpose of these strategic partnerships is to foster cooperation on Investment promotion and facilitation, infrastructure development, exchange of information and human resource development,” says Minister Davies.

He stresses that in order to have vibrant SEZs and competitive regional economies, it is necessary to continuously implement a systematic marketing and investment approach for various SEZs in SA and to also state their value proposition to potential investors.

Enquiries:

Sidwell Medupe-Departmental Spokesperson

Tel: (012) 394 1650

Mobile: 079 492 1774

E-mail: MSMedupe@thedti.gov.za

Issued by: The Department of Trade and Industry

Follow us on Twitter: @the_dti

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