- The world's stressed water supply must be managed sustainably, organizers at the Rome Water Dialogue said on Tuesday, as consumption and agricultural use needs will increase dramatically in the coming decades.
Hosted by the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in preparation for the 2023 UN Water Conference, Tuesday's dialogue aimed to raise awareness of the role of water for the world and shed light on the deep links between the water sector. and agriculture, the economic sector that uses the most water.
Next year's conference will be the first on water organized by the United Nations since 1977.
According to FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu, the world is in the midst of a dramatic increase in the amount of freshwater it needs.
"By 2050, global food, fiber and feed production will need to increase by 50 percent from 2012 levels to meet growing demand," Qu said in a statement. "Under a business-as-usual scenario, this would mean at least 35 percent of the additional freshwater resources."
Li Lifeng, director of FAO's Land and Water Division, said next year's water summit was of "great importance" given global water challenges, meaning the dialogue in Rome on Tuesday took on added value because it will help set the stage for the summit.
"We have seen this year from the floods in South Africa, Madagascar and Australia or the droughts in Europe and Asia the key role that water management plays," Li said. "Some areas get too much water and others get too little."
FAO data shows that currently 2.3 billion people worldwide live in countries with water scarcity, and more than 733 million people (about a tenth of the world's population) live in countries experiencing critical shortages. of water. Climate change is expected to have an increasing impact on weather patterns.
Agriculture consumes about 72 percent of the world's freshwater, according to the FAO, making it a critical component in any strategy to deal with water-related stress.
In a press release, FAO called for "strong, coherent and explicit integration and prioritization of water in national sustainable development strategies, policies and investment plans" in order to "understand how water resources can be used in all sectors to achieve the social objectives of the countries". , economic and environmental".
"One thing we saw (at Tuesday's conference) is that there is a high-level and clear recognition of the deep connection between water and agriculture," Li said. "We need to focus on the big picture to better understand how to improve the situation." ■
On behalf of the members of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) (www.SECAM.org), I would like to, with great sorrow and pain while, at the same time, with the hope of the resurrection, announce that His Eminence Richard Kuuia Cardinal BAAWOBR, President of SECAM, rendered his noble soul to the Lord, yesterday, Sunday, 27th November, 2022, at the Rome’s Gemelli Hospital.
After almost two months of hospitalization in the Santo Spirito Hospital in Rome, Cardinal Richard was transferred on Saturday, 15th October, 2022, to the Agostino Gemelli University Hospital/ Policlinic, where he was discharged on Friday, 18th November, 2022.
He stayed at the Generalate of the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers), his religious family in Rome, in order to rest and regain his strength.
Surprisingly, his health has deteriorated and he was taken back to the hospital where he was called home to God.His Eminence, President Richard, who was born in 1959 in Ghana, held positions of substantial responsibility in the Church, serving as the first African Superior General of the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers); in 2016, he was appointed Bishop of Wa (Ghana); on 27th August 2022, he was created the third Ghanaian-born Cardinal.
On 30th July, 2022, he was elected President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM).
In short, the time of his Presidency and in his many Church involvements, we experienced his fraternal and friendship style of living and working.
His Eminence was truly a broadminded pastor, a person with great empathy, and above all, a man of God.The entire Africa, the Islands, and indeed, the universal Church have lost a great and devout churchman, a selfless servant and a good Shepherd.
On behalf of the members of the Church, Family of God in Africa and the Islands, we express our heartfelt condolences to his biological family, to the diocese of Wa, to the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference and to his religious family.
We invite all the members of the Church, Family of God in Africa and the Islands and beyond to pray for our beloved President.
May His Eminence Richard Kuuia Cardinal BAAWOBR rest in the peace of the Lord. Amen.“… come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” Mt 25, 34Fridolin Cardinal AMBONGOFirst Vice-President of SECAM
Richard Cardinal Baawobr, Bishop of Wa, Ghana, President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) and one of the recently created cardinals in Africa who died on Sunday 27 November, 2022 at the Agostino Gemelli hospital in Rome at the age of 63, was a symbol of great hope to the Church in Africa.
May God be merciful to him and may his soul rest in perfect peace.
When His Eminence was elected by the Bishops of SECAM at their assembly in Accra Ghana at the end of July 2022, even before the consistory for his installation in Rome to be President of SECAM, his acceptance injected a new dynamism into the life of the Church in Africa.
The ever-smiling Cardinal immediately rallied the new executive and Standing Committee of SECAM to a meeting a mere two days after his election on July 31, 2022 to define a new course for SECAM to better address the recommendations of the immediate past executive and Standing Committee, namely unity and communion in the Church, Financial autonomy, clearly defined responsibilities and other recommendations of the Kampala Document, the pastoral letter issued by SECAM after its Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2009.
The new President of SECAM showed the direction he wanted SECAM to go, through his adoption of a synodal and inclusive style of procedure, even from the conduct of his first and only Standing committee meeting on that memorable evening.
He expressed his desire to help SECAM recover lost ground in its pastoral and administrative obligations to the local churches and to help Africa participate effectively in the ongoing universal Synodal process.
As it turns out, all that was not to be.
SECAM will have to forge ahead without its beloved new President.
I was privileged to have met Cardinal Baawobr just a few days before he passed away.
Despite his frail aspect, his mood was sky high and he told me how he looked forward to getting back to work as president of SECAM.
The work must go on with him on the other side but his optimistic smile will stay here for long with us.
Surely, he will be praying for us from the bosom of the Lord.On behalf of the Pan African Episcopal Committee for Social Communications (CEPACS), I pray that God strengthen and comfort the Cardinal's mother and immediate family, SECAM, Diocese of WA and the Missionaries of Africa.
He will surely be sorely missed among us.
Most Reverend Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Oyo President of CEPACS
- "We hope to strengthen cultural exchanges between China and Madagascar through Chinese songs, so that more Malagasy youth can discover China and appreciate Chinese culture," Chen Lijuan, director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Antananarivo, said on the sidelines on Saturday. of the final of a Chinese song contest in the capital of Madagascar.
The final of the second edition of the Chinese singing contest titled "The Most Beautiful Voice of Madagascar", co-organized by the University of Antananarivo and Jiangxi Normal University, was held on Saturday with the participation of 23 candidates from all over the world. Indian Ocean island.
"Compared with the first edition, the second edition registered a larger number of registrations and we received more than 70 registrations in total. And the overall level of the candidates also improved compared to the previous edition," Chen said.
Andimalaza Elfinia, a third-year student at the Confucius Institute at the University of Antananarivo, won the outstanding prize, first place in the competition. "Despite the difficulty of the Chinese language, I put a lot of effort and perseverance to succeed," she said after the competition.
"I almost gave up on the song a few times because it's hard to get to that octave, and the rhythm and melody are hard to follow, but my friends encouraged me and I finally made it," she said.
Elfinia has hinted at plans to return to her home region in the northeast of the country after graduating in Chinese next year, to work as an interpreter.
For Ratovonjanahary Onisoa Melodie, who came second in the competition, the Chinese language is complicated in terms of pronunciation and writing. "But the song helped me a lot to learn the Chinese language."
"Our students especially like Chinese songs when they learn the Chinese language," Chen said, "We hope that through this contest, more Malagasy youth will find joy in learning the Chinese language, and more Malagasy youth will communicate with the youth. Chinese through music and songs, building bridges of cultural communication between youth in China and Madagascar".
On the same occasion, Zhang Wei, Minister Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Madagascar, stressed that "music is a popular form of cultural expression that knows no borders, conveys people's identification with their national culture and can strengthen understanding mutual and promote human exchanges. "
Recalling that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Madagascar, Zhang hoped that the Chinese song contest, as a "brand project of the Confucius Institute and exchange platform for youth," "can strengthen and expand the bridge of friendship between China and Madagascar, while bringing our two peoples closer through song and music."
For her part, Sendra Nirina Rajaonarison, Director of Development and Coordination of Associations at the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Madagascar, stressed that language and culture are "inseparable."
"The song is one of the most important elements of a country's culture, we can say that the song will reflect the soul of a country," he added. ■
Chinese demand for agricultural products from Africa continues to grow, such as for coffee, nuts, vegetables, processed food and beverages.
The International Trade Centre report, Enhancing Africa’s Agricultural Exports to China, outlines export potential for eight countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia.
‘Using ITC’s trade tools and data, this report is a blueprint for success for African businesses, setting out in detail which products have the best chance of competing in China,’ said Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of ITC.
African farm exports to China are still somewhat restricted because sanitary and phytosanitary agreements are not yet in place for many products, according to the report.
Formalizing relevant agreements and improving use of appropriate farming technologies offers these countries the opportunity to benefit from almost $150 billion of unrealized farm export potential.
With input from the Partnership for Enhancing Export Capacity of Africa to China, the report details the opportunities for China-Africa cooperation, as China’s consumer base becomes more sophisticated and seeks higher quality products.
Responding to the questioning of the Executive Director of Transparency International Initiative Madagascar (TI-MG) Ketakandriana Rafitoson by the police this afternoon, Muleya Mwananyanda, Regional Director for Amnesty International East and Southern Africa Regional Office said,“The Madagascar authorities must refrain from the misuse of the justice system to harass and intimidate human rights defenders.
Ketakandriana has done nothing more than carry out her work exposing serious allegations of potential corruption, fraud and money laundering.
“The summons and questioning of Ketakandriana on accusations including “abusive and slanderous denunciations” is clearly intended to send a chilling message and intimidate human rights defenders in Madagascar.”The police referred the case to the public prosecutor and Ketakandriana and TI_MG’s Chairperson, Dominique Rakotomalala, will appear before the public prosecutor for questioning on the accusations on Thursday, 24 November.
Background informationKetakandriana was summoned by the head of the central services for the fight against forgery, fraud and falsification to give a statement at the premises of the economic police in Antananarivo, capital of Madagascar on the afternoon of 23 November.
The accusation filed by the Groupement des Exportateurs des Litchis (GEL) against Ketakandriana Rafitoson follows the denounces of potential infractions of corruption, fraud and money laundering in the lychee sector filed by TI-MG on 10 November at Antananarivo’s Anticorruption Court.
In recent years, the Malagasy authorities have increased the repression of human rights defenders, whistleblowers and dissenting voices.
This includes the judicial prosecution of Jeannot Randriamanana, Ravo Ramasomanana, Raleva, and Clovis Razafimalala, because they uncovered serious allegations of corruption and human rights violations.
Many potential whistle-blowers in Madagascar risk unjust treatment for exercising their human rights.
The protection of human rights defenders, including whistle-blowers is integral for any country aspiring to transparency, accountability, and respect for human rights.
The UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) announced plans to visit Georgia, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Mauritius, the Philippines and South Africa in 2023, in addition to previously announced missions to Croatia, Madagascar and the State of Palestine for next year.
The SPT also intended to visit Nicaragua in 2023 but deplored the lack of cooperation from the State party.
“It is extremely regrettable that Nicaragua refused to cooperate with the SPT to undertake our second visit to the country to assess the implementation of the recommendations made after our first visit eight years ago,” said Suzanne Jabbour, Chairperson of the SPT.
Nicaragua ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT) in 2009 and therefore agreed to establish an independent National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) and to support SPT’s monitoring of its detention facilities.
The SPT first visited Nicaragua in 2014 and submitted a report with recommendations to the authorities, which has been kept confidential by the State party.
“The Subcommittee has carried out more than 80 visits during its 15 years in operation, and this is the first time we have encountered such blanket refusal to cooperation.
Considering that States parties have a legal obligation to receive any delegation of the SPT, we raised this grave matter with the Committee against Torture under the appropriate procedure,” Jabbour added.
The SPT, which has visited Australia, Ecuador and Turkey in recent months, will complete its 2022 programme by monitoring places of deprivation of liberty and examining torture prevention measures in Bosnia and Herzegovina in December.
During its recent confidential session, the SPT also engaged with Australia to obtain essential assurances to enable the resumption of its suspended visit.
“We hope to be able to complete the mission as soon as all necessary guarantees are received from the State party,” said Jabbour.
“On the other hand, we are pleased that Bulgaria made public the SPT report on its 2021 visit,” added the Chairperson, “which contributes positively to the prevention of torture and ill-treatment in the country and demonstrates transparency on the measures to be implemented and monitored.”In addition, the SPT decided to add the State of Palestine, which ratified the OPCAT in 2017, to the list of States Parties that are significantly overdue in establishing their NPMs, and are therefore not in compliance with Article 17 of the Optional Protocol.
Other States Parties on the “Article 17 list” are Belize, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Nauru, Nigeria, the Philippines and South Sudan.
Under the Optional Protocol, States are obliged to set up their NPM within one year of ratification.
Up to now, more than 70 States parties have established NPMs out of the 91 countries that have ratified the Optional protocol.
During its session, the SPT also met with several States parties, NPMs and civil society organizations and finalized the first draft of its legal guidance, officially known as general comment, on the definition of places of deprivation of liberty, which will be made public for consultation in early 2023.
Environmental justice efforts are critically important to save Madagascar’s unique biodiversity from irreversible destruction.
On November 17, the U.S. government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) convened a roundtable workshop to address environmental injustices and promote the wise and sustainable use of the country’s precious natural resources.
Environmental justice ensures efficient enforcement of environmental laws, effective sanctions in response to environment-related misconduct, and equitable sharing of benefits from environmental resources.
“Forests and natural habitats are disappearing, fauna and flora are threatened with extinction, and communities suffer injustice that leads them to break the law to survive,” Agathe Sector, USAID’s Environment Office Director, said in remarks at the workshop.
“Despite commendable efforts to reverse this trend, impunity, corruption, and lack of enforcement stand in the way.
Legal frameworks exist, but their application is insufficient.
The need for rigorous, fair, and equitable natural resource management is a critical aspect of good governance in Madagascar today.”During the workshop, representatives of the public sector, CSOs, and conservation NGOs joined together to evaluate the effectiveness of Madagascar’s environmental legal framework, call for revisions to national policy, identify necessary strategies, and highlight the need for more effective implementation of existing programs.
Participants also endorsed several environmental justice resolutions and developed a clear action plan for organizations engaged in this essential work.
Stakeholders like the Tafo Mihavo network of natural resources managers and the Study and Research Group on Primates of Madagascar, Solidarity of Land Stakeholders urged representatives from the ministries of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Justice, Land Management and Land Services to address critical issues such as the transfer of natural resources management to local communities and the relevance of existing laws and regulations.
They also underscored the important link between land tenure and environmental justice, and how natural resource management practices, such as protection of drinking water sources, affect human health.
Specifically, the recommendations called for decentralization of law enforcement and empowerment of communities through the dina , and adoption of new land use legislation.
Through its Hay Tao environmental governance project, USAID supports Madagascar’s public institutions to develop policies and enforce environmental and land laws to improve the legal framework for natural resource governance.
The United States stands side by side with Madagascar like “mpirahalahy mianala” to help safeguard the country’s unique biodiversity.
Since 2013, USAID has committed more than $60 million to promote sustainability, improve livelihoods for communities, bolster governance of natural resources, stop wildlife trafficking, and protect forests from illegal exploitation.
Shri Bandaru Wilsonbabu (IFS: 2004), presently Ambassador of India to the Republic of Madagascar, has been concurrently accredited as the next Ambassador of India to the Union of the Comoros, with residence in Antananarivo.
He is expected to take up the assignment shortly.
The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund, the concessional lending arm of the African Development Bank Group (www.AfDB.org), on 2 November 2022 in Abidjan, approved a $6.63 million grant to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) to develop the pharmaceutical sector in the sub-region.
The project, which will be implemented over three years (2023-2025), is institutional support to develop the region’s pharmaceutical industry.
In particular, it will build the capacity of pharmaceutical regulatory bodies, product quality control and management systems, and research and development institutions.
The aim is to achieve the manufacture and marketing of safe, quality pharmaceutical products, for Covid-19 and other diseases.
The project will support the sub-regional body in implementing continental strategies on pharmaceutical manufacturing and assist it in streamlining and harmonizing drug registration processes, as well as ensuring access to essential medical products and technologies.
An information platform for pharmaceutical manufacturers, importers and exporters will also be created.
The project will directly benefit public institutions responsible for the pharmaceutical industry’s development, such as national drug regulatory authorities, quality control laboratories, regional pharmacy training providers, universities, and research centres.
“The aim is to empower them to support the pharmaceutical sector so that they can produce safe essential medicines locally for the needs of the population, especially women and children,” said Leila Mokaddem, the African Development Bank’s Director General for Southern Africa.
“Most countries within the region have a weak and underdeveloped pharmaceutical industry.
The region is heavily dependent on imports for most of its medical supplies.
Furthermore, due to the low local pharmaceutical production, there is a high prevalence of counterfeit pharmaceutical products in circulation, which has serious consequences for the welfare of the region’s people,” she added.
While the project is intended to directly benefit the ADF eligible countries of COMESA, other Bank Group member countries will be allowed to participate in project activities and events, but at a cost.
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa is a regional economic community comprising 21 countries: Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.