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 27 August 2014 (IRIN) - Budget cuts and bureaucracy have been blamed for blood shortages which have claimed several lives in Burundi and led to calls for an overhaul of the transfusion system.

Rwanda

DRC

  • BUKAVU 18 August 2014 (IRIN) - Homosexuality may, unusually for an African country, be legal in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for the time being, but gay people there also face the ostracism, stigma and exploitation, according to Paul* 27-year-old the co-founder of a gay rights organization in the eastern South Kivu Province.

IRIN Great Lakes

  • BUJUMBURA 27 August 2014 (IRIN) - Budget cuts and bureaucracy have been blamed for blood shortages which have claimed several lives in Burundi and led to calls for an overhaul of the transfusion system.

Uganda

  • MELBOURNE 28 August 2014 (IRIN) - Stigma, squeamishness and misunderstanding of anal sex is leading to research gaps and inaccurate information about the risks of this common sexual behaviour, and hindering effective HIV/AIDS prevention strategies, experts say. A move towards "sex positive" approaches could enhance social acceptance and increase protection.

IRIN Africa

  • BUJUMBURA, 27 August 2014 (IRIN) - Budget cuts and bureaucracy have been blamed for blood shortages which have claimed several lives in Burundi and led to calls for an overhaul of the transfusion system.