Russia Debt-for-Development Initiative to Support School Meals in Mozambique

An innovative debt-swap initiative between the Russian Federation and Mozambique has unlocked a commitment of US$40 million, which will be used by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to support the Government of Mozambique to provide school meals for 150,000 children in Mozambique over the next five years.

In addition to providing debt relief for Mozambique, the initiative will free up new resources for development and support expansion of the Programa Nacional de Alimentação Escolar (National School Feeding Programme), which seeks to provide school meals across all primary schools in Mozambique.

The debt swap is the largest in WFP’s history.

“Russia’s innovative move to convert debt into development funding will help feed a generation of schoolchildren in Mozambique,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley. “We are grateful to Russia and Mozambique for their willingness to embrace new financing methods that promote government ownership and strengthen important programs, and we encourage other government donor partners to look to these new methods that can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Despite Mozambique achieving its Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of hungry people in the country, nearly a quarter of its people face chronic food insecurity or malnourishment. Under the
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Source:: Russia Debt-for-Development Initiative to Support School Meals in Mozambique

      

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Standing Committee on Public Accounts and Social Development Committee Welcome the Resolution of Social Grants Impasse

A joint meeting of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) and the Portfolio Committee on Social Development today agreed to receive a follow-up briefing from the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Tuesday, 21 November 2017 on progress in addressing the finalisation of the appointment of an entity that will pay social grants after the expiry of the current contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) on March 2018.

The Joint Committee welcomed the statement presented by the IMC on the decision it has taken to fast-track the introduction of an integrated payment system, which will be provided by government through a partnership between the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) and the South African Post Office (SAPO). The Joint Committee is interested to see how this partnership will resolve this issue timeously.

The Joint Committee is also interested to see what the cooperation agreements between Sassa and SAPO entail. It is in the interests of South Africans for this process to be fast-tracked. The Joint Committee has decided that it will no longer engage with Sassa and SAPO officials, but only with the IMC.

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

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Source:: Standing Committee on Public Accounts and Social Development Committee Welcome the Resolution of Social Grants Impasse

      

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10th Meeting of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, 15-17 November 2017, in Yaoundé, Cameroon

Global cooperation to fight tax evasion and avoidance has grown rapidly over the past few years. Tax transparency and exchange of Information between tax authorities about financial assets and activities of their taxpayers abroad has proved to be a valuable tool in this fight. New efforts to ensure a worldwide level playing field and global implementation of transparency standards will top the agenda during the 10th meeting of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, in Yaoundé, Cameroon on 15-17 November 2017.

The Global Forum is the world’s largest network for international cooperation in the field of taxation and financial information exchange, bringing together 146 countries and jurisdictions plus the European Union. The Forum’s 10th meeting will bring together more than 200 delegates for discussions on the next steps to accelerate international cooperation against tax evasion with a focus on developing countries, in particular those in Africa.

Global Forum members will discuss key developments in the areas of exchange of information on request as well as automatic exchange of information. They will also discuss the Global Forum’s future work plans to strengthen their cooperation and how to maximise the benefits of improved tax transparency.

Six second round peer review reports will also be published during the meeting for Curaçao, Denmark, India, Isle of Man, Italy and Jersey.

Journalists are invited to participate in the following events:

Opening and Welcome Address

  • When: Wednesday, 15 November 2017 from 10:15 to 10:45 am (local time)
  • Who: H.E. Mr. Alamine Ousmane Mey, Minister of Finance of Cameroon and Ms. Maria-José Garde, Chair of the Global Forum
  • Where: Hilton Yaoundé, Boulevard du 20 mai, Yaounde 11852, Cameroun

Global Forum Closing Press Conference

  • When: Friday, 17 November 2017 from 13:15 to 14:00 pm (local time)
  • Who: H.E. Mr. Alamine Ousmane Mey, Minister of Finance of Cameroon, Maria-José Garde, Chair of the Global Forum and Monica Bhatia, Head of the Global Forum Secretariat
  • Where: Hilton Yaoundé, Boulevard du 20 mai, Yaounde 11852, Cameroun

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

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Source:: 10th Meeting of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, 15-17 November 2017, in Yaoundé, Cameroon

      

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All is set for 2017 Conference on Land Policy in Africa

All is set for the Land Policy Initiative Centre’s (LPIC) second Conference on Land Policy in Africa that seeks to deepen capacity for land policy in Africa through improved access to knowledge and information on land policy development and implementation.

The conference will be held under the theme; ‘The Africa We Want: Achieving socioeconomic transformation through inclusive and equitable access to land by the youth’ and runs from November 14 to 17.

LPIC Coordinator, Joan Kagwanja, says the theme supports the declaration by the African Union of 2017 as the year of the youth under the broader theme; ‘Harnessing Africa’s Demographic Dividend through Investment in youth’.

“We are ready for the conference, which has been over-subscribed and has become the premier land meeting that no-one wants to miss,” said Ms. Kagwanja.

“As we always say, land is central to Africa’s development and if well- governed and managed, we will sure reduce poverty and inequalities so the conference is important as participants will be looking at how we can use this God-given resource to maximum returns for everyone. So in that regard, the conference is both a policy and learning event.”

The conference, which will be attended by representatives from member States, farmers, parliamentarians, private sector, academia, and civil society, among others, will highlight latest innovations, including research and papers on the land sector in Africa.

“We expect the conference to have a catalytic effect on evidence-based land policy development and implementation by creating space for presenting research, and other evidence by Africans and other interested stakeholders,” said Ms. Kagwanja.

Topics participants will discuss include the need to strengthen land governance and administrative institutions both at local and national levels, including the adoption of technology and innovations for securing land rights under different tenure regimes.

The empowerment of youth through strengthening their land rights; women’s land access rights and gender equality – addressing persisting bottlenecks; inclusive, transparent and sustainable land based investments, economic justice and environmental management or monitoring; migration, radicalization and violent extremism – linkages to youth employment; entrepreneurship and access to land for investment; rapid urbanization, land use and spatial planning policy and development control will also be discussed.

The conference will also look at planning, monitoring and evaluation experiences and emerging best practices in developing and implementing land policies on the continent.

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

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Source:: All is set for 2017 Conference on Land Policy in Africa

      

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