Tag Archives: Africa

UK Concerned Over State Of Emergency In Ethiopia

Minister for Africa Harriett Baldwin gave a statement on the Ethiopian State of Emergency

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Minister for Africa Harriett Baldwin said:

The UK has been following closely the past week’s events in Ethiopia. We share outgoing Prime Minister Hailemariam’s view that this is a concerning time for a country that is our friend and our partner. We welcome the commitment to an orderly process of political change in line with the constitution, as well as his repeated support for a continued reform process.

Against that backdrop we are, however, concerned and disappointed by the decision to impose a new State of Emergency. It sends a discouraging signal to the international community and foreign investors. We strongly hope that the announcement does not signal a reversal in Ethiopia’s recent moves towards reform, and that it will be in place for as short a time as possible. In implementing the State of Emergency, we urge the Government of Ethiopia to ensure that human rights and the constitution are respected. Widespread use of detention powers and internet blockages should be avoided.

We call on the Government to ensure a rapid, peaceful, transparent and constitutional transition to a new leadership that continues and accelerates the reform process. The UK is a long-term friend of Ethiopia and we continue to stand ready to support a purposeful and progressive reform agenda.

Cameroonian Anglophone Detainees

U.S. Department of State

U.S. Department of State

The United States condemns the ongoing violence in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions, including the murder of two Cameroonian gendarmes in the North West Region village of Mbingo, a Cameroonian soldier outside of Bamenda on February 1, an electoral official of Elections Cameroon (ELECAM) in Bangem, and the reported deaths of four civilians in Bemenda and Belo on February 2 and 3. We offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims, and to the people of Cameroon.

We also call on the Government of Cameroon to respect the human rights, including due process, of the 47 Cameroonians forcibly returned from Nigerian custody to the Cameroonian authorities on January 26, and many of whom had reportedly submitted asylum claims in Nigeria. We urge the Governments of Cameroon and Nigeria to adhere to their obligations under international law to refrain from forcible returns to asylum-seekers back to their countries of origin. The 47 Cameroonians are now held in detention in Cameroon allegedly in connection with tension and violence in North West and South West Regions. We expect the government of Cameroon to afford these and other individuals previously detained all the rights and protections enshrined in Cameroon’s constitution, consistent with the nation’s international obligations and commitments.

Minister For Africa Announces New Support For Zimbabwe’s Democratic Processes

Harriett Baldwin announced £5 million of new UK aid funding to strengthen Zimbabwean civil society ahead of the 2018 elections

Minister for Africa Harriett Baldwin meets President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Zimbabwe

Minister for Africa Harriett Baldwin meets President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Zimbabwe

Minister for Africa Harriett Baldwin visited Zimbabwe on Thursday 1 February and Friday 2 February, on her first overseas visit in her new role as joint Minister for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development.

Minister Baldwin met with Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo to discuss the Zimbabwean government’s vision for domestic transformation and international engagement through comprehensive political and economic reforms. As a central plank of this, they discussed the importance of the elections later this year being peaceful, credible, free and fair. Minister Baldwin welcomed the President’s commitment to invite international observers from the EU and UN as well as SADC and AU.

Minister Baldwin met with Finance Minister Chinamasa and Reserve Bank Governor John Mangudya to discuss the government’s plans for clearing debt and normalising relations with the International Financial Institutions. Minister Baldwin welcomed the government’s recommitment to the Lima plan and confirmed that the UK would continue to support the government’s reform agenda. Minister Baldwin also welcomed government plans to attract more investment into agriculture through ensuring land tenure and compensation are tackled.

Speaking at an event with prominent civil society actors, including human rights activists and elections experts, the Minister announced £5 million of new UK aid funding to support the strengthening of democratic electoral processes in the run up to and following the 2018 elections.

Minister Baldwin reflects on her visit to Zimbabwe

In a meeting with Zimbabwean business people and entrepreneurs, the Minister heard of the enormous potential of Zimbabwe and how some of the obstacles including the currency crisis can be overcome with the support of business.

Minister Baldwin visited two DFID projects to understand how UK aid is supporting some of the most marginalised in Zimbabwe. At a school for children with disabilities, the Minister was able to speak to students and teachers to see how UK support has helped enrich the children’s lives and give them skills for the future. The Minister also visited a DFID-funded shelter for survivors of sexual and gender based violence. She was able to learn more about the experiences of the women and how UK aid is helping marginalised women and girls to access counselling, shelter and legal aid.

Minister Baldwin said:

I am pleased that my first overseas trip as Minister has been to Zimbabwe. The historic events the country has experienced over the last few months have created an opportunity to strengthen UK-Zimbabwe relations as part of a wider process of international engagement.

The upcoming elections are a major milestone for the people of Zimbabwe. When I met President Mnangagwa, I said my government welcomed his commitment to hold credible, peaceful, free and fair elections monitored by international observers.

I have seen for myself that Zimbabwe is a country of enormous potential. With the right leadership, the right policy environment and a vibrant democracy and civil society, Zimbabwe can undergo the transformation it so richly deserves.

Minister For Africa Welcomes New EU Sanctions Against South Sudan

New European Union sanctions against 3 South Sudanese former and current officials announced today

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

New European Union sanctions have been announced today (Friday 2 February), targeting 3 South Sudanese former and current officials responsible for serious human rights violations and obstructions of the political process.

Paul Malong, Malek Reuben Riak and Michael Makuei Leuth will now be subject to sanctions by all EU member states, effective immediately.

This action comes ahead of the start of new peace talks hosted by Ethiopia in Addis Ababa on Monday 5 February. These talks aim to restart the peace process following the repeated breaches of the cessation of hostilities agreed between South Sudanese government and opposition forces in December 2017.

Minister for Africa Harriett Baldwin said:

It is more vital than ever that those undermining the peace process recognise the price of their actions. The UK has played a leading role in pushing for these sanctions at an EU level and it is right that we are taking tough action against those who continue to act against the interests of the South Sudanese people.

We remain committed to supporting the peace process and urge South Sudan’s leaders to participate in good faith to agree a political solution and end the suffering of their people.

Conflict has devastated South Sudan, causing a humanitarian, political and economic crisis. Over 1 and a half million people are on the brink of famine – twice as many as the same time last year. Over 4 million people, a third of South Sudan’s population, have fled their homes causing Africa’s largest refugee crisis.

Penny Mordaunt: The UK Is Tackling The ‘Global Learning Crisis’ To Empower The Next Generation

Over the next decade a billion more young people will enter the job market across the world – but 387 million children globally are set to leave school without the basic skills needed to get on in life

A teacher in Kenya

A teacher in Kenya

At a time when half the world’s children leave primary school unable to read or write, International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt will announce today (Friday 2 February) that the UK is stepping up its work to tackle this “terrible waste of potential” as she attends a global education conference jointly hosted by France’s President Macron and Senegal’s President Sall.

Over the next decade a billion more young people will enter the job market across the world – but 387 million children globally are set to leave school without the basic skills needed to get on in life because teachers aren’t well-prepared for their roles, and struggle to access the support or resources they need.

In Dakar, Ms Mordaunt will announce the UK’s commitment to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) – and will set out how it is conditional on countries’ governments reforming their own education systems.

By encouraging radical improvements to education systems, the UK is supporting young people to get good jobs, and contribute to the future stability and prosperity of developing countries, so they can become our partners of the future. It’s also reducing the risk young people are forced to turn to crime or to search for a better life outside their own country – which directly impacts the UK.

The UK’s support for GPE over the next three years will work mostly across Sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia to:

  • keep 880,000 children in school each year for three years – over half of whom will be in fragile or conflict affected states;
  • train 170,000 teachers;
  • build 2400 new classrooms; and
  • distribute more than 20 million new textbooks.

This follows the UK-France Summit last month, when Prime Minister Theresa May and President Macron named 2018 the Global Year of Learning. This year-long partnership will see the UK and France working together, calling on donor countries and partners to step up to tackle the ‘global learning crisis’.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:

It’s a terrible waste of potential that half the world’s children leave primary school unable to read or write because the quality of teaching is so poor.

We need an education revolution, but to succeed in tackling this global learning crisis, we will not just need to be open-hearted – we need to be hard-headed too.

The UK will lead the way by supporting countries’ governments to fundamentally overhaul their education systems to make sure they can ultimately step up and provide a good education for their own people.

All children deserve a decent education to make the most of their talents and to help lift themselves and their countries out of poverty – building a more prosperous and more stable future for us all.

Ms Mordaunt will say that the UK is focused on helping developing countries drive up standards in their education systems and ultimately take responsibility for investing in their own people, rather than depend on aid.

Although huge progress has been made in recent years improving access to education with 89% of children now in school, many teachers aren’t properly equipped to teach basic knowledge and vital skills.

UK aid has led the way, supporting 11.3 million of the world’s poorest children in primary and lower-secondary school between 2011 and 2015.

Under the Secretary of State’s new commitment to education, the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) is:

  • working in partnership with countries to build inclusive education systems that will get children learning, so that governments can ultimately be responsible for providing education for their own people;
  • sharing its world-class expertise and developing new technologies like mobile registration to make sure teachers are properly trained and motivated to provide a quality education to their students; and
  • bringing education to the hardest-to-reach children, so that marginalised girls, those with disabilities and children affected by conflict are not left behind.

As set out by Prime Minister Theresa May and President Macron at the UK-France Summit, the UK is increasing its partnership with the French tackling serious threats and maximising opportunities in the Sahel region of Africa.

During her visit the Secretary of State will visit a school and a family planning clinic in Dakar, to see how the UK is helping Senegal serve its rapidly growing population, and stimulate economic growth which is creating jobs and future prosperity across the country.

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