Welcome to the APPG on the Great Lakes Region of Africa

Welcome to the website of The UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Great Lakes Region of Africa. This is a political website, but not party political: all members are passionate about the development of a region so vital to the future of Africa. Most people agree that the UK government is doing a good job on development, but people across the spectrum feel equally strongly about the desperate need for progress in the Great Lakes region. There’s a lot parliamentarians can do to keep pressing for more resources and more development assistance, but also for increased political goodwill towards implementation of key reforms. We try to do that by producing our own reports on the region, by convening working groups, by flagging up latest developments, by lobbying ministers.

The Great Lakes Region is the heart of Africa and potentially its driving force. But it has been wracked by years of conflict. In 1994, the Rwandan genocide shocked the international community, which did little effective to stop it. Since then, the region has seen wars ranging from the long-running conflict in Burundi to the devastating rebellion of the Lord's Resistance Army in northern Uganda. More than 5 million people have died as a result of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the most devastating war since the Second World War, and one that few people in the rest of the world know of. Now, after almost 20 years of remarkable economic reconstruction in Rwanda, after diversely credible elections across the four countries, hope across the region for a brighter future still needs all the support it can get.

On this site you will find information and update on discussions and debates about the big issues facing the region.

APPG co-hosts meeting on EU legislation on transparency in extractive industries

APPG Great Lakes Member Paul Uppal MP chaired on 24 January a meeting on the EU proposals on disclosure of payments by extractive and logging companies.

The meeting was co-hosted by the APPG Great Lakes and the APPG on International Corporate Responsibility, in association with the Publish What You Pay Coalition.  The panel included Gavin Hayman, Director of Campaigns at Global Witness, Vanessa Herringshaw, Director of the London Office and Director of Advocacy and Capacity Development for the Revenue Watch Institute  and Elodie Grant Goodey, Head of Societal Issues and Relationship at BP and Member of the EITI (Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative) Board. The meeting discussed the need for such legislation within the EU framework, the proposals’ effectiveness in their current form, the challenges that could arise from their implementation, as well as potential complementary measures.

Burundi

  • BUJUMBURA 17 April 2014 (IRIN) - As Burundi gears up for elections at some yet-to-be-determined date next year, several issues are setting the crisis needle twitching: politically-instigated violence; restrictions on opposition activities and the press; the erosion of a power-sharing peace deal; and the president's allegedly unconstitutional bid to run for a third term.

Rwanda

  • GOMA 11 April 2014 (IRIN) - The Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) has long been one of the most significant armed groups active in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where it has been based ever since its founders fled neighbouring Rwanda after playing a key role in the 1994 genocide.

DRC

  • GOMA 11 April 2014 (IRIN) - The Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) has long been one of the most significant armed groups active in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where it has been based ever since its founders fled neighbouring Rwanda after playing a key role in the 1994 genocide.

IRIN Great Lakes

  • BUJUMBURA 17 April 2014 (IRIN) - As Burundi gears up for elections at some yet-to-be-determined date next year, several issues are setting the crisis needle twitching: politically-instigated violence; restrictions on opposition activities and the press; the erosion of a power-sharing peace deal; and the president's allegedly unconstitutional bid to run for a third term.

Uganda

  • KAMPALA 08 April 2014 (IRIN) - Aid agencies are giving out food relief in Uganda’s arid northeastern Karamoja region earlier than usual due to greater food insecurity, which locals and experts blame on the failures of a key government food security plan launched five years ago.

IRIN Africa

  • BUJUMBURA, 17 April 2014 (IRIN) - As Burundi gears up for elections at some yet-to-be-determined date next year, several issues are setting the crisis needle twitching: politically-instigated violence; restrictions on opposition activities and the press; the erosion of a power-sharing peace deal; and the president's allegedly unconstitutional bid to run for a third term.