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    The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) will host three public consultation sessions on the two bills from 12-15 December 2016. The sessions are targeted at all stakeholders and the public in general. The sessions are the last stop of a national roadshow that has already seen the dti criss-crossing the country and visiting communities in all the other eight provinces to gather comments and inputs regarding the two bills.

    According to the Acting Deputy Director-General of Consumer and Corporate Regulation at the dti, Mr MacDonald Netshitenzhe, the roadshow seeks to obtain public input on both bills and to conduct education and awareness on the benefits and problems associated with excessive gambling and liquor abuse.

    “The two industries affect society both in positive and negative ways, but the negative always outweighs the positives. Government is constitutionally required to involve the public in policy formulation so as to ensure that the laws approved have considered views from all affected,” says Netshitenzhe.

    He adds that the dti has since extended the deadline for written submissions and public comments on the National Liquor Amendment Bill for a further two weeks. The closing date is now 15 December 2016. Netshitenzhe says the extension will further give stakeholders an opportunity to provide more valuable inputs.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.

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  • British High Commissioner Helps Launch Comic Relief-GSK Grants to help fight Malaria in Tanzania

    Three organisations tackling malaria in Tanzania are to receive grants worth TSh 7.6 billion (£2.8 million) from UK charity Comic Relief and GSK through their five-year partnership to help fight malaria and improve health in five malaria endemic countries.

    They are: the Association of Private Health Facilities in Tanzania (APHFTA), the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and the Tanzania Communication and Development Center (TCDC).

    The grants – which are the first to be given through Comic Relief and GSK’s £22 million partnership – were announced at an event hosted by the British High Commissioner, Sarah Cooke, in Dar es Salaam attended by key Tanzanian stakeholders, as well as Comic Relief officials from the UK including Comic Relief Trusstee, Davina McCall.

    Speaking at the event, the British High Commissioner said: We are marking the partnership here in Tanzania between a Great British Company – GSK- and a Great British Institution – Comic Relief. I’m delighted that we have representatives from the Association of Private Health Facilities in Tanzania (APHFTA), the Clinton Health Access Initiative in Tanzania (CHAI); and Tanzania Communication and Development Centre (TCDC). They are the first organisations to be awarded funding from this Partnership.

    The High Commissioner said the Comic Relief/GSK partnership to fight malaria had special resonance with her for 2 reasons: Firstly, Comic Relief is an organisation that I grew up with. Since 1985, it has raised over £1bn through its fund-raising initiatives Red Nose Day and Sport Relief. It helps people living incredibly tough lives in the UK and around the world – predominantly in Africa. And it was one of the organisations that gave me my first introduction to the realities of extreme poverty and the daily challenges faced by millions of people. It was by watching Comic Relief on TV as a young school girl – and wearing a red nose to school – that I realised I was incredibly lucky to have been born in the UK with all the opportunities that brings. It helped set me on a path to spending my adult life living and working in developing countries to help others have a better life. In fact, you could say that I’m living here today, in the British High Commissioner’s Residence, in part because of the inspiration of Comic Relief. It is certainly often seen as a barometer, showing the British public’s commitment to a fairer, more equitable world. And, just like me, it is often British school children’s first introduction to the realities of extreme poverty. There is a second reason why the partnership between Comic Relief and GSK has particularly resonance for me. Around 15 years ago, I was working in the South Pacific and I contracted malaria. I was one of the lucky ones – I was able to recognise the symptoms, get tested and get treated. Not everyone is that lucky.

    The High Commissioner highlighted the tremendous progress made in the fight against malaria, including in Tanzania: Globally, death rates have declined by 60% since the year 2000, which resulted in 1.2bn fewer malaria cases and saving 6.2m lives. But the gains are fragile and more needs to be done, she said. Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease, but it still kills a child somewhere in the world every two minutes. In Africa, one in five child deaths are still caused by this terrible disease. It slows economic growth and development, and perpetuates a vicious cycle of poverty. Without sustained investment, there will be a resurgence of malaria and a reversal of the impressive gains.

    Ms Cooke said the British Government was committed to helping bring malaria under control in Africa, working in partnership with others: In September, our Secretary of State for International Development announced a 3 year pledge of £1.1bn to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. It will help fund 40 million bed nets to fight malaria. The British Government also has a strong and long-term focus on research and development for malaria. That includes working in partnership with companies such as GSK, a British company with an unrivalled commitment to tackling malaria – stretching back over the last century.

    The High Commissioner congratulated Comic Relief, GSK and their partner organisations in Tanzania for their great work which aspires to reach over 2 million people: The Comic Relief and GSK partnership here in Tanzania will complement the tremendous work of the Ministry of Health and the National Malaria Control Programme. That is key to controlling malaria, to reducing its impact and to enabling families, communities and the economy to thrive.

    The three grants will be awarded through Comic Relief and GSK’s partnership, which was launched in 2015 to fight malaria and improve health in five countries: Ghana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Sierra Leone and the Greater Mekong Sub Region. The organisations teamed up in support of global efforts to strengthen health systems’ capabilities to fight malaria – a disease which continues to claim the life of a child every two minutes. The £22 million partnership fund will provide targeted grants to organisations on the frontline tackling malaria in these countries. The grants, made and managed by Comic Relief, will complement current malaria programmes and help build sustainable ways to ensure people can access diagnosis and prevention at the right time and in the right place.

    Comic Relief already focuses its grants on supporting a range of interventions designed to strengthen health systems. The UK charity has used its annual national fundraising campaigns, Red Nose Day and Sport Relief, as a platform to raise awareness of the devastating impact that malaria has on families and communities.

    Malaria in Tanzania

    Although estimates suggest that the incidence of malaria deaths in Tanzania decreased by 73 percent between 2004 and 2014, Malaria remains the leading cause of death among children in the country. Tanzania has a National Malaria Strategic Plan which aims to reduce the average prevalence of malaria from 10% in 2012 to less than 1% by 2020. The work of the three grantees selected through the partnership complements this approach:

    • TCDC will use their grant of TSh 2.4 billion (£890,497) to engage and educate communities on malaria and promote positive care-seeking behaviours. Radio, print media and community events will be used to deliver these messages. Networks of community health workers will be trained on malaria prevention and treatment and on skills to facilitate dialogue and increase awareness of the disease in the communities they serve.

    • APHFTA will use their grant of TSh 2.7 billion (£995,675) to improve malaria healthcare services in the private and public sector in Geita, and increase malaria knowledge. The project will work to improve the availability and quality of malaria diagnosis, treatment and prevention services through training public and private health providers in national malaria treatment guidelines and the use of diagnostic equipment and appropriate treatment.

    • CHAI will use their grant of TSh 2.5 billion (£955,328) to train private providers in Rukwa, Ruvumba and Njombe districts to use rapid diagnostic tests to diagnose for malaria; screen for other common illnesses which cause fever; provide assured medicines to treat the diagnosed illness; refer people with complications to health facilities; and use their mobile phones to collect and use data to better track patients.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of British High Commission Dar es Salaam.

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  • 2nd Annual Workshop on International Economic Negotiations kicks off in Johannesburg

    The second Annual Workshop on International Economic Negotiations opened in Johannesburg on Monday under the theme, “Building Africa’s Negotiating Capacity for Improved Terms of Engagement with the Rest of the World.”

    The event is part of activities led by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) to promote policies and programmes that strengthen the process of African economic integration, as explained by Stephen Karingi, Director of ECA’s Capacity Development Division (CDD):

    “We are basically assisting Member States in the development of common positions towards international negotiations as well as in enhancing the skills of African negotiators to get optimal deals for their countries and region from bilateral and international negotiations.”

    During the five-day gathering, policy makers and experts on investment, taxation, natural resource contract negotiations and trade negotiations from over 40 African countries will exchange experiences, explore options and strategies for possible coordination of positions, and interact with globally leading thinkers and practitioners in the field of economic negotiations.

    African governments have consistently called upon continental institutions to provide capacity building assistance in the field of negotiation. Also, the March 2015 Report of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows noted how Africa’s natural resources sector is prone to the generation of illicit financial outflows through secret and poorly negotiated contracts.

    As part of its mandate on capacity development, ECA launched, in 2015, a series of annual workshops that respond to these calls by focusing on how member states can best protect their national interests from being undermined through international agreements.

    Melaku Desta, Head of ECA’s Natural Resources and Sustainable Development section, expressed optimism about the outcome of the workshop.

    “We expect this workshop to provide participants with a better understanding of the dynamics in negotiation, increase the number of trained participants, and contribute to the improved negotiation skills of continental experts,” said Mr. Desta.

    The first annual Workshop on International Economic Negotiations took place in Dakar, Senegal on December 1 – 4, 2015.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

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