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Archive for the ‘Africa’ Category

Being a LGBTI person in African countries

January 26, 2015 Comments off

Being a LGBTI person in African countries
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

More than 4 African countries out of 5 of have laws criminalising homosexuality, or even punishing LGBTI rights advocacy. Only in 2014 tougher laws were passed in Nigeria, Gambia and Uganda.

As recent developments in Europe show, having non-discriminative laws doesn’t prevent homophobic feeling; but when this feeling is encouraged or not punished by the authorities, it can favour violence towards LGBTI people, including rapes and killings. Furthermore it leads LGBTI people to live in hiding which increases mental or physical health problems among the population.

On several occasions the European Parliament has reminded the EU of its commitment against all forms of discrimination in all the places it acts.

New From the GAO

January 22, 2015 Comments off

New From the GAO
Source: Government Accountability Office

Reports

1. Job Corps: Assessment of Internal Guidance Could Improve Communications with Contractors. GAO-15-93, January 22.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-93
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/668016.pdf

2. African Growth and Opportunity Act: USAID Could Enhance Utilization by Working with More Countries to Develop Export Strategies. GAO-15-218, January 22.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-218
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/668035.pdf

Reissue

1. Higher Education: Education Should Strengthen Oversight of Schools and Accreditors. GAO-15-59, December 22.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-59
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667691.pdf

On January 22, 2015, GAO reissued this report to revise the first sentence of footnote 11, page 49.

Africa Energy Outlook

January 20, 2015 Comments off

Africa Energy Outlook
Source: International Energy Agency

Sub-Saharan Africa’s energy sector can be improved to unlock a better life for its citizens. This report describes one of the most poorly understood parts of the global energy system, offers an authoritative study of its future prospects, broken down by fuel, sector and sub-region and shows how investment in the sub-Saharan energy sector can stimulate rapid economic and social development across the region.

Foresight Africa: Top Priorities for the Continent in 2015

January 9, 2015 Comments off

Foresight Africa: Top Priorities for the Continent in 2015
Source: Brookings Institution

The year 2015 will be an eventful one for the more than one billion people living in Africa. From elections to the post-2015 development agenda, the Brookings Africa Growth Initiative experts and colleagues identify what they consider to be the key issues for the continent in the coming year.

Country Analysis Brief: Libya

January 8, 2015 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Libya
Source: Energy Information Administration

Libya joined the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 1962, a year after Libya began exporting oil. Libya holds the largest amount of proved crude oil reserves in Africa, the fourth-largest amount of proved natural gas reserves on the continent, and it is an important contributor to the global supply of light, sweet (low sulfur) crude oil, which Libya mostly exports to European markets.

An LRA for Everyone: How Different Actors Frame the Lord’s Resistance Army

January 5, 2015 Comments off

An LRA for Everyone: How Different Actors Frame the Lord’s Resistance Army
Source: African Affairs

During the last decade, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) became a regional problem in the border area of the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic, involving multiple national and international actors. This article explains why these actors often present diametrically opposed images of the LRA instead of developing a unified vision. More specifically, the article discusses how the Ugandan and Congolese governments and armies, and the US government and advocacy groups, each frame the LRA differently. These various frames are influenced by the actors’ interests and by the specific historical development of political relations between them. Politically influential constituencies played a significant role in this endeavour. In the US, lobby groups such as Invisible Children, Enough, and Resolve had an important impact on the way in which the American government framed the LRA. Conversely, the lack of such a powerful constituency in the LRA-affected countries gave these governments ample space to frame the LRA in a variety of ways. The lack of reliable information about the current capacities of the LRA, combined with the LRA’s lack of a strong and coherent image, further contributed to this situation. In short, the ways in which the LRA is framed enabled these key actors to pursue goals that may remain distant from the reality of the LRA.

New Comparative Law Report — Approval of Medical Devices

November 14, 2014 Comments off

Approval of Medical Devices (PDF)
Source: Law Library of Congress

This report describes the approval process for medical devices in the European Union and fifteen countries, and also indicates whether or not an expedited approval procedure is available. Many of the countries reference EU law, including France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. Israel more readily approves devices with a CE mark (indicating approval in the EU) or an indication that they are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In many nations, particularly those influenced by the EU, part of the review process is conducted not by the government but by private, independent organizations called “notified bodies.” These organizations are designated by EU Member States.

In most of the countries in the survey, medical devices are categorized based on the risks associated with their use, and the approval process varies by category. For example, in the United Kingdom, manufacturers of low-risk devices may register with the government agency and simply declare that the devices meet the requirements to be approved. Devices classed as higher risk must undergo more detailed review, by a notified body.

On the question of an expedited approval process, Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Spain, and Switzerland permit some sort of rapid review in particular cases, often when a device is required for an individual patient and no substitute is available. Mexico has provided for more rapid approval of devices if they have already been approved in either Canada or the United States. No such procedure exists at present in Brazil, France, Israel, the Russian Federation, or the United Kingdom. The Russian Federation did have a rapid approval system in place prior to August 2014. Germany provides for temporary approval of devices in limited circumstances. South Africa is now considering draft legislation that would include expedited procedures in specified situations.

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