President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, delivers closing address at the Pan-African Parliament-European Parliament Parliamentary Summit

The President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, delivered today (November 28, 2017) the closing address at the Pan-African Parliament-European Parliament Parliamentary Summit in Abidjan preceding the 5th African Union-EU Summit starting tomorrow.

In his address, President Tajani declared:

“Good governance is only possible on the basis of democracy, and this is embodied by our Parliaments. This is the first message that the President of the Pan African Parliament Nkodo Dang and myself will pass on at tomorrow’s summit. We all agree on the need to put our relations on a more dynamic footing, as our two continents are more interdependent than ever.

Our first aim must be to create jobs in an effort to tackle the population question. This will require huge investment delivered by means of innovative financial instruments which will have a direct impact on ordinary people. Businesses must be encouraged to invest in Africa by means of European economic diplomacy which brings with it know-how and technology transfer, thereby boosting the private sector, SMEs and entrepreneurship.

With regard to respect for human rights, I must condemn the re-emergence of a form of slavery which we have recently seen in Libya. This is unacceptable, and we must not close our eyes to the phenomenon. And not only because we have seen pictures of what is taking place in Tripoli; it is sure to be happening elsewhere.

Tomorrow must mark the beginning of a new relationship between equals. It is our task, as parliamentarians, to carry out our role of exercising scrutiny over the executive, thereby ensuring that the decisions taken are acted upon.”

The participants at the Parliamentary Summit signed a Joint Declaration affirming the important role of National and Trans-National Parliaments in democratisation and cooperation between the EU and African Union and the reciprocal will for a political partnership between the two continents to face common challenges.

Click here for the full speech in French, English and Italian.

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Media Invitation: #GirlSafe Youth Media Change Makers Expo, Nov. 30

The United States Mission to South Africa will host a day of discussion and engagement with youth on November 30, 2017, to support the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence (GBV) campaign. Implemented through a grant to the iSchool Press Team and part of ongoing U.S. partnerships with South African government and local organizations, the project addresses the socio-economic challenges that make young women in South Africa vulnerable to contracting HIV, including GBV. Funding is provided by the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

The Youth Media Change Makers Expo will bring together well-known media personalities such as actor Patrick Shai, journalist Aspasia Karras, and performance artist Sethembile Msenzane to discuss creating a #GirlSafe South Africa. Participants will develop a campaign seeking to educate and drive behavior change that will bring an end to GBV. The Expo will see the launch of five Public Service Announcements that have been scripted, filmed, and edited by youth ambassadors, which will be displayed during the remainder of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence (November 25-December 10) on Twitter and Facebook at USEmbassySA.

U.S. Embassy Chargé d’ Affaires Jessica Lapenn said, “As World AIDS Day approaches on December 1, we reflect on the progress made and challenges that lie ahead. Although great progress has been made in South Africa, many are still at risk – especially young women who have significantly higher HIV infection rates than men. This year, more than ever before, we are placing a special emphasis on combatting gender-based violence (GBV) as a part of our efforts to tackle the socio-economic challenges that make young women so vulnerable to HIV. GBV robs girls and young women of the chance to meet their full potential. It leaves them to struggle with potentially life-threatening outcomes such as HIV infection, as well as severe damage to their dignity and a loss of security. It is not just girls; GBV also affects men and boys, both directly as survivors of violence and indirectly through the cycle of violence. This is why we are so pleased to partner with the iSchool Press Team to deliver the Youth Media Change Makers Expo and #GirlSafe campaign. Through these shared efforts, we can bring an end to GBV.”

“The iSchool Press Team’s mission is to give young South Africans the tools, platform, and confidence to be heard on critical issues affecting themselves and their communities. We are excited to partner with the U.S. Embassy to give our youth a voice to build a #GirlSafe South Africa, where gender based violence is history,” said Michelle Lissoos, Director, iSchoolAfrica Education Trust.

Media are invited to cover the Youth Expo: 1:00 – 6:30 p.m., November 30 at the Focus Rooms, Sunninghill, Johannesburg.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Embassy Pretoria, South Africa.

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Source:: Media Invitation: #GirlSafe Youth Media Change Makers Expo, Nov. 30

      

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Ad Hoc Committee approves Political Party Funding Bill of 2017

The Ad Hoc Committee on the Funding of Political Parties, established by a resolution of the National Assembly on 6 June 2017 in terms of Rule 253(1)(a), has today approved the Political Party Funding Bill of 2017.

The 11-member multiparty Committee was charged with inquiring into and making recommendations on the funding of political parties represented in national and provincial legislatures, with a view to introducing amending legislation, if required.

It was to consider a model of public and private funding for political parties and the desirability of regulating private funding in all its forms, including investment entities owned by political parties.

Thus, having reviewed the Public Funding of Represented Political Parties Act, No. 103 of 1997 and its regulations, the Committee has recommended for a repeal of the existing legislation and has developed a new framework to address the weaknesses identified.

“We are confident that the process was transparent, inclusive and will stand the test of time. We began by inviting written and oral comments on the existing legislation and received 17 from individuals and organisations,” said Mr Vincent Smith, the Chairperson of the Committee.

In the Bill, the Committee recommends that the Represented Political Party Fund and the proposed Multiparty Democracy Fund be managed by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). It further says that the two funds should be managed by a separate business unit with its own chief executive.

The Committee has expressed its gratitude to the individuals, organisations and other stakeholders who participated in the process and contributed to the development of the Bill.

It will table its report in the National Assembly on Thursday 30 November 2017 for a debate and declarations.

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

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Minister Masutha invites media to a Fundraising Gala Dinner for the Blind

Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Adv. Michael Masutha will hold a fundraising gala dinner for the blind on Thursday, 30 November 2017 in Menyln, Pretoria.

The gala dinner is aimed to raise funds that will assist 22 special public schools for the blind in South Africa. Donations will help to improve library resources, learning devises and other facilities. Minister Masutha who is partially sighted himself completed both his primary and secondary studies at Siloe School for the Blind between 1972 and 1984, and went further to acquire two Law Degrees. He is familiar with the challenges and plight that the partially sighted and the blind encounter on daily basis more especially in studying.

The fundraising gala dinner is in partnership with the South African National Council for the Blind.

Media is invited as follows:
Date: Thursday, 30 November 2017
Venue: Fire and Ice Protea Hotel Menyln (Pretoria)
Time: 18h00

We wish to request media attending to please confirm attendance by sending their details to Singabakho.Nxumalo@dcs.gov.za or 079 523 5794.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of Government Communication and Information.

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Source:: Minister Masutha invites media to a Fundraising Gala Dinner for the Blind

      

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