Maverick Citizen

Civil Society Watch 25 -31 October

Fighting illicit financial flows, the case for Trips waivers, disinformation and remembering Ahmed Timol 50 years later

United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (Unicef) discusses how disinformation not only destroys democracy but also how it impacts on children. (Photo: points.datasociety.net/Wikipedia)

The focus this week includes: a #Tech4Rights Expo; a national conference on Combating Illicit Financial Flows; the impact of Covid-19 on the existing health crisis and also African civic society organisations; the Way Forward on the Trips Waiver, a webinar on “Disinformation destroys democracy: What does it do to our children?”; public procurement risk trends; and a commemoration to mark the 50th anniversary since the murder of Ahmed Timol.

From Tuesday 26 October at 8am to Friday 29 October the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is hosting a  #Tech4Rights Expo. The campaign focuses on the impact of new technologies on different aspects of human interaction including businesses, democratic development, children’s rights, persons with disabilities, electronic evidence, strategic litigation and other key areas of human rights that intersect with new technologies. You can register to join the event here.

On Tuesday 26 October the Alternative Information & Development Centre is hosting a National Conference on Combating Illicit Financial (IFF) Flows, Profit Shifting, and Wage Evasion. There will be representatives from civil society, academia, trade unions, government, and community movements in order to shed light on the pandemic of corporate profit shifting, tax and wage evasion. It provides a lead up to the virtual Pan-African Conference on Combating IFFs to Bridge Africa’s Widening Inequality Gap, which will take place on between the 27th and 29th of October. 

On Tuesday afternoon at 2pm the Centre for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal will be hosting a Community Scholar Workshop on health rights, titled “The impact of Covid-19 on South Africa’s existing health crisis: the link between Cocid-19 and TB”. The speakers will be Siyabonga Nzimande — Director of Think, psychologist and advocate for TB and HIV Vaccine research; and Dr Lucas Ngoetjana — (PhD Philosophy UKZN), KwaZulu-Natal Christian Council CEO and Head of Church Aids Network. You can register to join the event here.

From 11am – 1pm on Tuesday the Health Justice Initiative and Mandela Institute will be hosting the third of its Trips Waiver webinars titled “The Way Forward on the Trips Waiver, What happens next?” The speakers will be Tahir Amin from the Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK), Sangeeta Shashikant from the Third World Network, Dr Hyo Yoon Kang from the University of Kent, Dr Carlos María Correa from the South Centre and Dr Alexander Beyleveld from the Mandela Institute. You can join the discussion here.

Later on Tuesday 26 October at 4pm Unicef will be hosting a webinar titled “Disinformation destroys democracy: What does it do to our children? The speaker will be Unicef Communications for Development Specialist Dr Janine Simon-Meyer. The discussion will unpack some of the unique challenges that disinformation presents for our Children while launching South Africa’s first comic on misinformation and disinformation — a children’s comic book designed to tackle these challenges. You can join in the discussion here.

On Wednesday 27 October at 11am Corruption Watch will be hosting a discussion on their Procurement Watch report on procurement risk, which aims to improve civil society’s ability to monitor public procurement. The speakers will be Karam Singh, Head of Corruption Watch Legal and Investigations and Prof Geo Quinot from Stellenbosch University and African Procurement Law Unit. You can register for the discussion here.

On Wednesday evening at 5pm, The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and the Timol family are hosting a  commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the murder of anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol. At the event, a booklet on Timol’s life will also be released. You can RSVP to attend at [email protected]

On Thursday 28 October at 4pm the Socio-Economic Rights Project (Serp) at the Dullah Omar Institute, University of the Western Cape will be launching Serges Djoyou Kamga’s book titled Illicit Financial flows from South Africa: Decolonial Perspectives on Political Economy and Corruption with a dialogue. The speakers will be Prof Serges Djoyou Kamga from the Thabo Mbeki African School of Public and International Affairs, University of South Africa; Prof Cephas Lumina, Former United Nations Independent Expert on the effects of foreign and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights; Asha Ramgobin — Executive Director Human Rights Development Initiatives; Dr Gerald Kamga — Senior Lecturer and Coordinator of the Research and Postgraduate Division at the Free State Centre for Human Rights, University of the Free State; and Marianne Severin, Researcher at the Center for African Studies, Les Afriques dans le Monde (LAM)/Science Po Bordeaux (France). You can register for the launch here.

Thursday 28 October Epic-Africa and @AfricanNGOs will release a new report titled “The Impact of Covid-19 on African Civil Society Organisations: Ongoing Uncertainty and a Glimmer of Optimism” highlighting the disruption caused by the pandemic and acute resource shortfalls among African CSOs at a time of increasing demand for their services. You can register to participate in the discussion here. DM/MC

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