Daily Archives: September 21, 2017

Bill and Melinda Gates Host Inaugural ‘Goalkeepers’ Event to Engage a New Generation of Leaders in the Fight Against Poverty and Disease

Prime Minister Trudeau and President Obama join other leaders from business, technology, media and entertainment to help speed progress toward the ‘Global Goals’

NEW YORK, Sept. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President Barack Obama, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, Her Majesty and UN Secretary-General Special Advocate Queen Máxima of the Netherlands and Nobel Peace Prize winners Leymah Gbowee and Malala Yousafzai today joined forces with Bill and Melinda Gates at the inaugural Goalkeepers event to highlight world progress and outline a path to a more prosperous, healthy and just future.

“The Sustainable Development Goals are as ambitious as they are essential. It’s up to all of us to stand up for women’s rights, make sure women’s voices are heard, and break down stereotypes that hold women back,” said Prime Minister Trudeau. “And the best way to achieve equality is to directly support women around the world. The further we push ourselves toward gender equality the faster we will achieve the SDGs. It’s that simple. A fairer, more sustainable world is within our reach – but only if women play a leading role.”

“Our challenges are real. They’ll take time to solve. But each of us can make a difference, and all of us ought to try,” said President Obama. “That’s what I believe, that’s what the ‘Goalkeepers’ believe, and I am certain that if we all keep pushing forward, the world will make even more progress in the years to come.”

The event, coinciding with the UN General Assembly, offered an opportunity to focus on positive progress – a counterpoint to a negative narrative that has dominated international headlines over the past several months. During sessions framed around women and girls, purpose-driven technology and global health, speakers shared stories of bold leadership and innovative solutions that are driving down poverty and child deaths.

“The remarkable progress against poverty and disease in the past two decades is one of the most important stories of our lifetimes,” said Melinda Gates, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “The leaders and heroes who shared their stories today remind us that progress is possible, but not inevitable. It takes effective leadership and unwavering focus. All of us have a role to play in achieving the Global Goals.”

The event was a showcase of creativity with live storytelling, data visualization, new films and appearances by performers, global health experts and everyday heroes, aimed at inspiring a new generation of leaders to help achieve the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals) – ending extreme poverty and inequality and combatting climate change by 2030.

“We are at a defining moment in the history of global development where we can either collectively show resolve and get the job done, or turn our backs on human suffering and inequity,” said Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “I believe when people know about the progress we’ve already made, they’ll be inspired to finish the job.”

Several announcements were made during the event, signifying further international commitment across sectors to the achievement of the Global Goals. In addition to the Gates Foundation’s new $200 million contribution to the Global Financing Facility – a platform supporting women’s and children’s health in developing countries – four other multisector “Accelerators” were announced at the event:

  • Women’s movements: The Governments of Canada and the Netherlands, Vidya Shah on behalf of the EdelGive Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, leading U.S. travel website The Points Guy, Glamour and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation joined together to support local grassroots women’s organizations and women’s movements, which are leading gender equality campaigns around the world, yet remain unrecognized and underfunded.
  • Community health workers: A diverse set of actors committed to supporting the development and expansion of national community health worker programs through online platforms. Led by Last Mile Health, this accelerator includes support from TED, edX, HarvardX, Aspen Management Partners for Health, Child Relief International, Financing Alliance for Health, Global Health Alliance, Hope through Health, Living Goods, Lwala Community Alliance, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, Possible Health, Project Muso, The END Fund, UBS Optimus Foundation, UN Special Envoy for Health, VillageReach and the Government of Liberia.
  • Digital financial inclusion: Alliance for Financial Inclusion, Better than Cash Alliance, GSMA, Unilever and UNHCR are together advancing a shift from cash to digital payments through new technologies and innovative policy approaches. Their work is helping expand access to digital financial services for the world’s poorest, including an estimated 2 billion who lack access to basic financial services and the economic benefits they provide.
  • Child undernutrition: The Power of Nutrition, a platform founded by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the UK Department for International Development, and the UBS Optimus Foundation, UNICEF and the World Bank, multiplies contributions from new investors by at least four times to reach millions of children with high-impact nutrition interventions. Partners include Comic Relief, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, Medicor Foundation, Nutrition International and Tata Trusts. With program investments already made in Ethiopia, Liberia and Tanzania, the Power of Nutrition is now planning to invest in programs in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, India and Madagascar.

Goalkeepers 2017 was preceded by the Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards dinner on September 19, co-hosted by Melinda Gates and UN Deputy Secretary General Amina J. Mohammed. The event honored outstanding activists who have demonstrated a positive impact on people’s lives, and who inspire others to accelerate progress towards the SDGs.

Winners of the Global Goals Awards:

  • Laura Ulloa, Colombia, recipient of the Young Leader Award
  • Felix Manyogote, Tanzania, recipient of the Leave No One Behind Award
  • Marieme Jamme, Senegal / UK, recipient of the Innovation Award
  • Bernard Coulibaly, Mali, recipient of the Healthy Not Hungry Award
  • President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia, recipient of the Global Goalkeeper commendation
  • Ria Sharma, India, recipient of the Leadership Award

These events followed the release last week of Goalkeepers: The Stories Behind the Data, a new report by Bill and Melinda Gates that uses data projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington to forecast better and worse future scenarios for 18 indicators of the Global Goals, including child and maternal mortality, HIV/AIDS, stunting, family planning and access to financial services.

About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

About Goalkeepers
Goalkeepers is the foundation’s first annual report and global event dedicated to accelerating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (or Global Goals). By sharing stories and data behind the Goals, we hope to inspire a new generation of leaders – Goalkeepers who raise awareness of progress, hold their leaders accountable and drive action to achieve the Goals.

About the Global Goals
On September 25, 2015, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, 193 world leaders committed to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (or Global Goals). These are a series of ambitious targets to achieve three extraordinary things in the next 15 years: end extreme poverty; fight inequality and injustice; and combat climate change.

Project Everyone, co-creators of Goalkeepers, was founded by writer, director and SDG Advocate Richard Curtis with the ambition to help achieve the Global Goals through raising awareness, holding leaders accountable and driving action. Find out more at www.project-everyone.org

With thanks to the Project Everyone Global Goals Awards partners: Caterpillar Foundation, Pearson, UNICEF, Unilever, The World Economic Forum (WEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

Media Contact: media@gatesfoundation.org

Top Cocoa Producers to Create Buffer Stock to Influence World Prices

ABIDJAN � Ivory Coast and Ghana, the world’s top cocoa producers, plan to create a buffer stock of beans with the aim of exerting more influence over world prices, a senior Ivorian government official told Reuters on Thursday.

The two West African neighbors produce over 60 percent of the global supply of the chocolate ingredient but have been hit hard by a sharp drop in world prices caused mainly by a glut resulting from bumper crops this season.

The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) forecasts a global surplus of 371,000 tons this season.

“The countries agreed that we needed specialized warehouses to allow us to conserve cocoa so that we can regulate supply and push up prices,” Narcisse Sepy Yessoh, chief of staff to Ivory Coast Trade Minister Souleymane Diarrassouba, told Reuters.

He said the two governments submitted a request in May to the Abidjan-based African Development Bank for a $1.2 billion loan to pay for the infrastructure. They hope the financing will be approved before the end of this year to allow for stocking in the 2018/19 season, he added.

Under the plan, Ivory Coast will build six warehouses with total capacity of 250,000 tons near to the main growing areas. Yessoh declined to comment on the infrastructure planned for Ghana.

Ivory Coast is on track to produce a record 2 million tons of cocoa this year, but Yessoh said the government planned to limit output going forward and focus its efforts on improving quality.

“Must we continue on this path, flooding the market with beans in abundance and driving down prices to the detriment of our economies and people? We don’t think so,” he said on the sidelines of an ICCO meeting.

The two nations, along with Africa’s third-largest producer Cameroon, said on Thursday they would seek to modify the International Cocoa Agreement, the founding document of the ICCO � the world body of producer and consumer countries.

The ICCO’s Executive Director Jean-Marc Anga said the body would open talks between the producers and the European Union in partnership with the cocoa and chocolate industry to reach a deal on a revised agreement.

The declaration made by the three nations at the ICCO meeting did not offer details. But Yessoh said the countries would seek to reinstate a clause creating a buffer stock that was included in the original agreement signed in 1973 but later removed.

“How much are we going to stock? These are quotas to be defined between producer countries. These questions are still with the politicians. We’re waiting for them to decide,” he said.

Source: Voice of America

Minister Senzeni Zokwana: Imbizo on small scale fisheries in Richards Bay

Remarks by honourable Senzeni Zokwana, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries during his Imbizo on small scale fisheries in Kwasokhulu, Richards Bay

Programme Director,

Inkumkani neeNkosi zomhlaba wazo;

Executive Mayor of the District Municipality

Deputy Mayor of the Local Municipality

Council Speaker

Councillors present,

Local fishers

Distinguished guests,

Sanibonani

We are gathered here today to engage with our most important stakeholders, the fishing community members. We are here to inform you of the progress of our programs and, most importantly, to listen to you and we can together move forward.

Coastal communities have a long history of harvesting marine living resources for various uses including fishing to sell; for their own consumption, bartering and medicinal purposes. Historically many coastal communities have been marginalised and unable to legally access marine resources. These rural coastal communities have remained below the poverty line for years and this has been a concern to me as our people have continued to suffer while living next to the potential source of their livelihood.

In light of recognizing and celebrating our Heritage Day, I saw it fitting to come and engage with you about our programs and importance of small-scale fisheries and the traditional and customary practise of fishing which has been embedded from generation to generation. The Government through my Department is working tirelessly to legally recognise small-scale fishing communities and ensure that their tradition of fishing and its related economic activities are legally recognised and fully supported by Government.

I noted the seriousness and importance of addressing this issue of communities not having legal access to marine resources for their customary, traditional practices, economic benefit, and food security and I vowed to ensure the implementation of the small-scale fisheries policy is underway.

My Department has responded with the seriousness and pace that these communities deserve. In this regard, I have since ensured that the law has been changed to recognise small-scale fisheries sector. Indeed, the establishment of small-scale fisheries sector is in motion. This has been ignited by the amendment of the Marine Living Resource Act (MLRA) to recognise that there are small-scale fishers in South Africa.

For the first time in South Africa’s history, 316 fishing communities along the coastline of South Africa have been visited and just under 23 000 people registered in these visits from the month of April to August 2016. The purpose of these visits was to register and verify small-scale fisher that will benefit from marine resources through this small-scale fishing sector.

In KwaZulu-Natal, a total of 48 fishing communities expressed their interest in being recognized as Small-Scale Fishing communities. From the 48 fishing communities in KZN, a total of 4085 individual people were registered and verified against set criteria. Appeals for those who have been provisionally unsuccessful were opened and closed on the 08 August 2017. In ensuring that these villages are kept informed of the process, I instructed the Department to avail officials to go to all these villages and assist people who want to appeal and also give relevant information so that people know about the program of the Department. Indeed, the Departmental staff further visited all the communities for the purpose of assisting people who wished to appeal the initial lists of successful and unsuccessful fishers. Currently, the department is in the process of assessing all the appeals submitted by individuals who have been deemed not to meet the criteria.

Once I have recognised small-scale fishers per small-scale fishing community in KZN, the Department will mobilize the fishers to form one co-operative per community. Fishers will also be assisted with the registration of the co-operatives with CIPC and will be given basic training on the functioning of a co-operative, including roles and responsibilities. This process is envisaged to take place between October 2017 and December 2017.

Registered co-operatives will then be assisted to apply for a small-scale fishing right between January 2018 and March 2018. As part of this process the Department will solicit inputs from the co-operatives regarding the fishing areas and utilization of marine resources. Small-Scale Fishing rights are envisaged to be allocated thereafter and co-operatives would then be able to apply for their respective fishing permits to fish.

Post the allocation of rights the Department will mobilize co-operatives into a co-management structure and will facilitate support programmes for the training and capacitation of the co-operative members.

The purpose of establishing this sector in these rural coastal communities is to:

Uplift fishing communities by providing appropriate support mechanisms such as education and training; infrastructure and participatory management practices.

Create a sustainable, equitable, small-scale fishing sector

promoting interests of women, disabled and child-headed households

Communities and Government co-manages near-shore marine living resources

Take fundamental human rights, MLRA principles and international obligations into account

Secure the well-being and livelihood of small-scale fishing communities

Maintain the health of marine ecosystems

In the same breath, we cannot run away from the fact that climate change and rampant poaching has affected the marine stock levels. Many people gathered her can attest to the fact that fish is not as abundant as it was before as we see bare rocks that used to be covered by Mussels. I took a decision to ensure that the Branch: Fisheries within my department takes over the responsibility of ensuring fisheries compliance and monitoring in this province. We are tirelessly working to ensure that staff capacity is boosted and visibility is improved to decisively deal with the issue of illegal fishing for the sake of protecting marine resources for small-scale fishing communities.

In trying to address this challenge, the department is looking at Aquaculture as an alternative. Operation Phakisa is the vehicle to fast-track food security and access to Ocean’s Economy for these rural areas. The Department is looking at various Aquaculture projects that will be embedded in such villages and a number of partnerships to this effect are being strengthened.

Obviously, Government will never achieve these tasks alone and we need our traditional leaders to guide us on some of the processes and challenges that we may face moving forward. The importance of Iinkumkani neNkosi Kwakunye neNkokheli zasekuhlaleni cannot even be translated into words. In addition to this, cohesion and a unified vision within the villages will take all of us forward to achieving the above-stated objectives of the sector. Therefore Iinvite you to BE PART OF THE BIG CHANGE so that we can take the fishing sector of the KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa forward.

I thank you and good afternoon

Source: Government of South Africa

New members for MDDA board

President Jacob Zuma has appointed Nkgakga Monare and Tasneem Carrim as members of the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) Board.

This was done in terms of section 4 (1) (c) read with section 7 (2) of the Media Development and Diversity Agency, Act 2002.

Carrim is the current Acting Deputy Director General: Content Processing and Dissemination in the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), while Monare is from the Tiso Blackstar Group, formerly Times Media Group.

President Zuma has wished Monare and Carrim all the best with their new responsibilities.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Hawks nab notorious syndicate

The Hawks have arrested five suspects who are members of a notorious syndicate as they were allegedly en route to poach wildlife.

The syndicate comprising of individuals aged between 35 and 41 from South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe were arrested in Komatipoort on Tuesday.

The vehicle, which the suspects were driving, was subsequently searched and various hunting equipment was found including a hunting rifle, many rounds of ammunition and dagga.

All exhibits were seized including the vehicle.

The Acting National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata, has applauded the trans-national collaborative efforts employed by the investigative team to ensure the successful apprehension of the suspects.

With tomorrow being World Rhino day, we are happy to have made this major breakthrough in the fight against wildlife poaching, Matakata said on Thursday.

The Hawks say a bail will be strongly opposed today when the suspects appear at the Komatipoort Regional Court facing charges of unlawful possession of an unlicensed firearm, conspiracy to commit a crime and the unlawful possession of dagga.

Source: South African Government News Agency