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

Rwanda

DRC

  • GOMA 23 July 2014 (IRIN) - International NGOs have rebuffed a recent offer by the UN Stabilization Mission (MONUSCO) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to use drones for humanitarian information gathering, saying this could represent a dangerous “blurring of the lines” between military and humanitarian actors in the conflict.

IRIN Great Lakes

  • BRAZZAVILLE 29 July 2014 (IRIN) - While the ceasefire signed in Brazzaville on 23 July by the two principal armed factions in the Central African Republic (CAR), the ex-Seleka and anti-Balaka, was widely greeted as a positive step forward, analysts are sceptical it can lead to lasting peace.

Uganda

  • MELBOURNE 29 July 2014 (IRIN) - Inaccessible health services for people with disabilities (PWD), combined with social stigma and violence, contribute to high HIV risk - a gap that must be filled if the disabled are not to remain disproportionately vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, say health experts and activists.

IRIN Africa

  • CONAKRY, 1 August 2014 (IRIN) - Medical teams struggling to curb Ebola in West Africa have been discouraging bush meat consumption, believed to have caused the outbreak, but some rural communities dependent on the meat for protein are determined to continue their traditional hunting practices.