President Ramaphosa departs South Africa for London to attend Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2018)

President Cyril Ramaphosa has today, Monday 16 April 2018, departed South Africa for London in the United Kingdom where he will be leading a South African Delegation to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2018) between 19th and 20th April 2018.

CHOGM 2018 is themed “Towards a Common Future” and the meeting of Heads of Government segment will be preceded by a Pre-CHOGM Foreign Affairs Ministers’ Meeting on 17th and 18th April 2018.

CHOGM 2018 will provide Heads of Government with an opportunity to discuss common international challenges facing the membership, including:

  • Weak global trade and investment flows;
  • 21st century security threats;
  • Increasing the resilience of small and vulnerable states facing climate change (especially its impact on oceans);
  • Advancing the Commonwealth’s shared values and democracy, good governance and inclusivity as set out in the Commonwealth Charter.

The Commonwealth consists of 53 members including: 19 African members, 7 Asian members, 13 members from the Caribbean and the Americas, 3 members from Europe and 11 members from the Pacific and meets every two years to discuss issues affecting both the Commonwealth members and the international community in general.

The Heads of Government will, at the conclusion of the meeting on Friday, 20 April 2018, adopt an Outcome Document which covers a wide range of issues which will serve as a Programme of Action for the organisation in the next two years.

For South Africa, the CHOGM 2018 is an opportunity for the marketing and promotion of South Africa as an investment destination. President Ramaphosa will utilize the opportunity to engage with major investors and business leaders based in the United Kingdom. The President will thus extend an invitation to leading investors and leaders of business to attend the Investment Summit scheduled for later this year.

While in London, President Ramaphosa will pay a courtesy call on Her Majesty the Queen, hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May, deliver keynote addresses at the Commonwealth Business Forum banquets, attend CHOGM opening and closing sessions and participate in a number of executive and retreat sessions.

President Ramaphosa and the South Africa delegation will also utilize the opportunity of the meeting of heads of government to continue to lobby for South Africa’s candidature to the UN Security Council for the term 2019 – 2020 with the elections to be held on the 8th of June in New York.

The South Africa delegation will continue to promote the centenary year of the birth of President Nelson Mandela.

President Cyril Ramaphosa will return to South Africa on Friday 20th April 2018.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Presidency.

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Africa Innovation Summit II

A nation’s ability to raise its productivity and compete in the global market, its growth and income sustainably over the long term depends largely on its capacity to innovate. This is crucial if they are to advance to that next level and significantly benefit from some of the vibrant cultures of innovation that are emerging within various communities on the continent.

The second edition of Africa Innovation Summit, (AIS 2018) (www.AfricaInnovationSummit.com), which will take place from 6-8 June 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda under the esteemed patronage of His Excellences President Paul Kagame, Chairman of the African Union and Pedro Pires (ex-President of Cabo Verde) will focus on innovation as a tool to address Africa’s pressing challenges, such as poverty, health, education, food security and Good Governance. The AIS is about seeking disruptive solutions to Africa’s challenges. Importantly, innovation, for the AIS, is not just about science and technology, it encompasses all sectors.

Innovations are happening on many fronts on the continent to promote credible as well as free and fair elections. Over the last 5 years, electoral bodies in collaboration with experts have begun implementing new ideas and technologies. It is therefore incumbent on Africans to seek creative and innovative ways to ensure free and fair elections on the Continent.

The Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), The International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF) and Africa Innovation Summit (AIS) are pleased to announce that they will jointly organize a special side event on Innovations in Electoral Democracy in Africa during the second Africa Innovation Summit (AIS 2018). Specifically, the one-day special event will focus on three critical areas: The application of block chain technology to elections, new tools for collating and transfer of election results securely, and participation in elections. The special session will explore not only the last five years but also trends for the future, while proposing ideas for African countries on the way forward. The idea is to seek innovative ways to ensure that each vote counts and that the voting process, the counting/collation and reporting are transparent, and that the process leading to and during the elections is fair. The session will provide an opportunity to undertake a dialogue that cut across sectors and interests, identify innovative solutions, share experiences among African countries, and to create coalitions able to advance with the agenda of innovating to address the challenge of organizing free and fair elections in Africa.

The AIS aims to contribute in the building of vigorous national ecosystems, to promote innovation in African countries and to provide a robust and dynamic platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue as well as a catalyst for “Made in Africa” innovations that are already addressing the challenges faced on the continent, but need assistance to take root and scale up.

IDEA’s mission is to support sustainable democracy worldwide through providing comparative knowledge, assisting in democratic reform, and influencing policies and politics. It does this by producing and sharing comparative knowledge on the different aspects of democracy and by acting as a facilitator for the exchange of ideas and experiences on democracy.

OIF organises political activities and actions of multilateral cooperation that benefit French-speaking populations. One of the OIF’s mission is to facilitate the holding of free, reliable and transparent elections, and support for all stages of the electoral process.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Africa Innovation Summit.

AIS contact: Emily Macauley, EMacauley@AfricaInnovationSummit.com, Tel. +238 262 0339
IDEA Contact: Nicholas Matatu, N.Matatu@Idea.int
OIF Contact: Cyrille Zogo-Ondo, Cyrille.Zogo-Ondo@Francophonie.org

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European Union–Africa partnership on innovation joins the Africa Innovation Summit

The AIS (www.AfricaInnovationSummit.com) is pleased to announce its partnership with the European Union in the framework of the EU-AFRICA initiative. During the second edition of the Africa Innovation Summit, in Kigali 6-8 June 2018, the European Union and AIS agree to organize two main activities that will provide an opportunity for networking and building collaborative ties between different entities active in Africa and the EU:

  1. Workshop on EU-Africa partnership on innovation aiming to present EU-Africa current EU-Africa R&I collaboration as well as future opportunities.
  2. Training session on Horizon 2020: that is the biggest EU Research and Innovation program ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020).

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Minister for Africa discusses economic cooperation in Angola

Harriett Baldwin, Minister for Africa at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development met senior ministers of the new Angolan government between 12-13 April, as well as representatives from business and civil society.

In meetings with the Foreign, Interior, and Economic and Social Development Ministers, Minister Baldwin heard about the government’s plans for economic and political reforms and discussed opportunities for UK-Angola economic and security cooperation. She also raised regional issues including the humanitarian crisis in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which she had just seen for herself on a visit to the DRC, and how the UK and Angola can work together to tackle the illegal wildlife trade.

Minister Baldwin said:

“The UK is a natural partner for Angola in economic sectors like energy, infrastructure, and agriculture, and I look forward to working with the Angolan government as it implements reforms that will continue to improve the commercial environment, providing ever greater opportunities for both Angolan and UK businesses.”

The Minister also attended an event in partnership with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and others to celebrate local initiatives to promote women’s empowerment and gender equality, including through improving access to education and employment. Among guests were Angolan female deminers from HALO as well as representatives of the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) programme, two British organisations. Visiting just after international Mine Awareness Day, the Minister stressed the importance of eradicating landmines from the country.

Minister Baldwin said:

“The UK continues to support urgent, life-saving demining work in Angola. Not only is the UK expanding our global demining programme into Angola this year, but over Christmas, we also matched pound for pound incredibly generous UK public donations to provide over £400,000 support to MAG. This support alone will keep over 7,000 Angolan women, men, and children safe from the horrors of deadly landmines.”

The Minister arrived in Angola following a visit to the DRC where she announced a further £22 million of lifesaving UK aid for hundreds of thousands of people in desperate need, and pushed for a political solution to help tackle some of the causes of the escalating humanitarian crisis in the country.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Department for International Development (DFID).

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