‘Southern African countries won’t manage disasters unless they work together’, by Chris Nshimbi in The Conversation.

GovInn’s Director Chris Nshimbi recently published the article ‘Southern African countries won’t manage disasters unless they work together‘ in The Conversation.

But, natural disasters like Idai doesn’t respect national boundaries. Their very regional scope requires solutions that integrate domestic actions into a regional governance framework to address them effectively … Instead of acting individually, SADC countries need to work together to pool resources and mobilise disaster relief efforts and resources to be more effective. This could be done through the SADC Secretariat.

 

Read the whole article here: https://theconversation.com/southern-african-countries-wont-manage-disasters-unless-they-work-together-114541

Koen Dekeyser at the Right to Food seminar

GovInn’s researcher Koen Dekeyser participated in the Legal Resource Centre‘s Right to Food seminar in Johannesburg, 25-26 March 2019. In the seminar, pathways to implement South Africa’s constitutional Right to Food where discussed. In short, the right to food is a human right recognised under national and international law, which protects the right of human beings to access food and feed themselves. While Section 27(1)(b) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa states that, ‘everyone has the right to have access to sufficient food and water’, implementation is lacking while malnourishment remains large.

‘Border Practices at Beitbridge Border and Johannesburg Inner City: Implications for the SADC Regional Project’, by Chris Nshimbi and Inocent Moyo.

GovInn’s Director Chris Nshimbi published together with Inocent Moyo the article ‘Border Practices at Beitbridge Border and Johannesburg Inner City: Implications for the SADC Regional Project‘ in the Journal of Asian and African Studies.

Regarded not only as a line that separates South Africa and Zimbabwe to underline the interiority and exteriority of the two countries, as well as to control and manage migration and immigration, Beitbridge border effectively plays out the immigration debates and dynamics at the heart of the nation-state of South Africa. Based on a qualitative study of how migrants from other African countries are treated at this border and in Johannesburg inner city, we suggest that the harassment suffered by the migrants at the hands of border officials, including immigration officials, the police and army, is indicative of a larger dynamic that exists in the centre, which is represented by Johannesburg inner city. Such bordering and rebordering practices at the border and at the centre reflect negatively on the spirit and letter of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional integration project.

Read whole article here : https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0021909618822123

In the media: Dr Bruno Losch and members of the Centre of Excellence in Food Security weigh on the SONA and Budget Speech of 2019

GovInn Co-Director Dr Bruno Losch was featured in two online platforms, The Citizen and IOL, giving remarks on the recent State of the Nation Address by President Cyril Rhamaphosa and Budget Speech delivered by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. His remarks were given as part of a group statement released by the Centre of Excellence in Food Security, based jointly at the University of Pretoria and the University of the Western Cape.

In their statement, the Centre of Excellence noted:

We had hoped, in announcing his budget, that the minister would increase funds for drought relief and flood damage to the farming sector in anticipation of future impact of climate change. That he would set funds aside to improve the implementation of food safety regulation following the deadly listeria outbreak and subsequent food safety breakdowns. That funding be increased for research and innovation in the food production, processing and distribution sectors, some of which would be from the 4th Industrial Revolution that was mentioned in SONA.

The full articles can be accessed here and here.

The European Commission launches the report of the Task Force Rural Africa: “An Africa-Europe agenda for rural transformation”

Bruno Losch, GovInn co-director, was appointed in his personal capacity as a member of the European Commission Task Force Rural Africa in May 2018. The Task Force, chaired by Tom Arnold, includes 10 members from Africa and Europe with a research or practitioner background. It met seven times, in Brussels, Kigali and Berlin.

Preliminary results were presented at the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) in Berlin on January 18, 2019, and yesterday, March 7, 2019, the report of the Task Force was launched in Brussels by Phil Hogan, EU Commissioner for agriculture, and Josefa Sacko, African Union Commissioner in charge of rural economy and agriculture, in presence of the Task Force members. It was then presented to the Committee on agriculture and rural development of the European Parliament by the TFRA Chair.

The Task Force work gained momentum with the launch of the New Africa – Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investments and Jobs proposed by the European Commission in September 2018. Its report proposes four main areas for action in order to unlock the full potential of the African rural economy, namely: a territorial development strategy, a sustainable land and natural resources management framework, the sustainable transformation of African agriculture, and the development of the African food industry and markets. The TFRA report will be used in the coming months to feed the policy dialogue between the EU and AU Commissions. It proposes a renewed partnership which should operate at three levels: people to people, business to business, and government to government

In the Media: “Democracy, Governance and the 2019 Elections in Nigeria: Which Candidate is the Answer?”

On Monday 11 February 2019, GovInn hosted a panel of South African based Nigerian academics, political practitioners and students to discuss the upcoming Nigerian elections. The panel was moderated by Dr Chris Nshimbi, and included members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), academics from the University of Pretoria and the University of South Africa, and students who commented on the state of Nigeria leading up to the elections and their expectations.

Below is a summary video, from Channels Television, sharing highlights of the event.

Open Access: A doorway to opened knowledge.

The Department of Library Services, University of Pretoria, on Wednesday 24 October 2018, joined its counterparts across the world to celebrate the Open Access Week 2018. Participants from different academic departments and professional backgrounds attended the discussion focusing on “Open access: Are researchers the only losers? “The event was held at the Merensky 2 Library Auditorium at the University of Pretoria and it started with a screened Documentary Movie, titled, “Paywall: the business of scholarship”.

The Movie, produced and directed by Jason Schmidt, a professor at Clarkson University, focuses on the need for open access to research, raises questions regarding the rationale behind the US$25.2 billion a year that flows into for-profit publishers. It also examines the 35-40{4b05898ae60f9b5e2d93b69cb2027f6f0d06dfa7d8f8611bbe8472c2532adfa6} profit margin associated with top academic publisher Elsevier and compares this with the profit margins of some of the most profitable tech companies like Apple, Facebook and Google.

The panellists for the occasion were: Mr. Glenn Truran: Director of the South African National Library and Information Consortium (SANLiC), Prof. Andries van Aarde: Senior Research Fellow in the Dean’s office (Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria), Ms. Susan Veldsman: Director: Scholarly Publication Unit (Academy of Sciences in South Africa), Prof. Nithaya Chetty: Professor in the Department of Physics (University of Pretoria) and Mr. Dickson Ajisafe: Doctoral candidate at the Department of Political Sciences (University of Pretoria). The panel discussion was moderated with a warm welcome by Mr Robert Moropa, University of Pretoria’s Library Director and the documentary session was coordinated by Mrs Marguerite Nel, UP Information Specialist.

Reacting during the forum, Mr Glenn Truran raised a concern that South Africa pays more for access to research papers than some European countries do. Prof. Andries van Aarde criticised the handling of APC (Author Processing Charges) at the University of Pretoria and warned that this should not turn to another form of Paywall. He further queried that why should impact factor of publishing in a particular Journal, become a condition of accessing APC at UP for researchers? Expressing her view on Open Access, Susan Veldsman discussed the significance, accessibility and visibility of publishing research papers on the SCIELO SA platform. SCIELO SA is an open-access (free to access and free to publish) searchable database of selected, high quality South African scholarly journals. Representing the student voice during the occasion, Mr Dickson Ajisafe remarked that Open Access unquestionably remains a channel for postgraduate researchers to make their voices known to a wider community. He further motivated the UP Department of Library Services to make Open Access information to be more accessible to the postgraduate community at the University of Pretoria. The event was wrapped up with words of appreciation by Mr Robert Moropa, the UP Library Director.

 

Mr Dickson Ajisafe (with microphone) speaking at the Open Access Week 2018.

REPORTED BY DICKSON AJISAFE

Koen Dekeyser at the International Data Week Conference in Gaborone.

GovInn’s researcher Koen Dekeyser presented ‘Household survey on food systems change in Kenya and Mozambique’ at the International Data Week conference in Gaborone, 05-08 November 2018 (https://www.scidatacon.org/IDW2018/). This presentation was part of the panel on open Land Data Platforms: applications, progress and challenges. The conference was aimed at data management systems from all disciplines and its relevance to Africa’s development. In recent decades, the information revolution expanded the understanding of our world and beyond. This dynamic is accelerating with advancements in data collection, storage, and data analytics such as machine learning and artificial intelligence. To make this more inclusive, open data was in-depth discussed.

 

Koen Dekeyser presenting at the conference.