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Commonwealth observers share initial findings on Nigeria elections

The Commonwealth Group observed followed the pre-election campaign, voting, counting and collation processes

The Commonwealth Group observing Nigeria’s general election has concluded that despite difficulties faced during the vote, “for the most part, Nigerians had the opportunity to express their will and exercise their franchise.” In its Interim Statement released today, the Group called on political parties to reject violence, while also commending…

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CORRECTION: Former President of Tanzania to head Commonwealth Observer Group for Nigerian elections

The former president of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete, will lead the Commonwealth Observer Group for the general elections in Nigeria, scheduled for 16 February

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, constituted the observer group following an invitation from Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Members include politicians, diplomats and experts in law, human rights, gender and election administration from across the Commonwealth. An advance group of observers was deployed to Nigeria on 29 January, while…

Source: Commonwealth Secretariat |

Ground-breaking deep-sea exploration to boost good ocean governance

Commonwealth governments are set to benefit from a ground-breaking scientific research expedition into the unexplored depths of the Indian Ocean

First Descent, a collaboration of ocean research institute Nekton, the Commonwealth and other partners will launch a multidisciplinary exploration of never-before-accessed ocean territory. The expedition ship, a floating research station, will set sail from Seychelles in March equipped with cutting-edge subsea technologies, including a submersible capable of descending hundreds of…

Source: Commonwealth Secretariat |

Zimbabwe begins process to re-join Commonwealth; observers invited to July elections

To re-join, Zimbabwe must demonstrate that it complies with the fundamental values set out in the Commonwealth Charter, including democracy and rule of law plus protection of human rights

Zimbabwe has applied to re-join the Commonwealth. The proposal came in a letter dated 15 May to Secretary-General Patricia Scotland from Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa. The Secretary-General was delighted to receive the letter.  “I whole-heartedly echo the sentiments of Heads of Government who have said twice, in 2009 and subsequently…

Source: Commonwealth Secretariat |

Secretary-General “delighted” with Zambian opposition leader’s release

The decision to release the Zambian opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema, will help to progress peaceful dialogue, Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said in a statement today. The Secretary-General was responding to the news that Zambia’s Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) had decided to stay the treason case against the leader of the…

Source: Commonwealth Secretariat |

President of Zambia and opposition leader agree to peaceful dialogue

This follows extensive consultations with Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland, who arrived in the country on Sunday as part of a peace and relationship building tour of Africa

President Edgar Lungu and opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema have agreed to engage in a peaceful dialogue to address the country’s political tensions. This follows extensive consultations with Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland, who arrived in the country on Sunday as part of a peace and relationship building tour of Africa. During…

Source: Commonwealth Secretariat |

The Commonwealth to observe National Assembly elections in Lesotho

Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, will send observers to support Lesotho’s National Assembly elections scheduled for 3 June 2017, the Commonwealth Secretariat announced today. This follows a formal invitation from the Independent Electoral Commission of Lesotho and consultations between the Secretary-General and a broad range of stakeholders during her maiden visit to the…

Source: Commonwealth Secretariat |

New phase for Hub and Spokes trade initiative which aids Africa, Caribbean and Pacific

An innovative trade initiative which is expanding opportunities for business, employment and prosperity in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries will be extended to February 2019

An innovative trade initiative which is expanding opportunities for business, employment and prosperity in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries will be extended to February 2019. The Hub and Spokes programme is a joint initiative of the European Union, ACP Group Secretariat, Commonwealth Secretariat and Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie. Through…

Source: Commonwealth Secretariat |

Commonwealth African countries to discuss priorities for reviving world trade

Since 2014, world trade has declined by more than US$3 trillion with Sub-Saharan Africa’s combined exports falling by about 40 per cent - from US$403 billion to less than US$250 billion

Amid an unprecedented global trade slowdown, African policy-makers, negotiators and trade analysts will meet on 25-26 May 2017 in Mauritius to discuss priorities for reviving world trade and strengthening their trading capacity. Since 2014, world trade has declined by more than US$3 trillion with Sub-Saharan Africa’s combined exports falling by…

Source: Commonwealth Secretariat |

Commonwealth Secretary-General to visit Lesotho

Her visit from 24 -27 April is part of the Commonwealth’s long-standing engagement with Lesotho

Secretary-General Patricia Scotland will meet with political leaders in Lesotho to reaffirm the Commonwealth’s support to the country ahead of general elections on 3 June. Her visit from 24 -27 April is part of the Commonwealth’s long-standing engagement with Lesotho. Assistance to the country has included support with the development…