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> Employment, enterprise and skills: Building business infrastructure for African development

Employment, enterprise and skills report

by Josephine Osikena, Anna Owen and Deniz Ugur

'Employment, enterprise and skills: Building business infrastructure for African development' is a new Foreign Policy Centre report focused on employment expansion across Africa.

With a foreword provided by the President of the African Development Bank, Dr Donald Kaberuka, the publication represents the culmination of a series of roundtable discussions which took place in 2013/14 and were supported by the UK's development finance institution, CDC Group.

Africa has become one of the highest global growth regions, boasting 16 of the world's top 30 fastest growing economies. Yet almost 78 per cent of workers across Africa either work for themselves or engage in unpaid family work. This rate of vulnerable employment is the world's highest relative to other global regions.

Productive employment does more than simply provide incomes, improve livelihoods, support welfare, promote wellbeing and tackle poverty. Jobs, and more significantly good jobs, have a transformative ability to determine the structure and impact of economic growth on wider development. Yet, the growing buoyancy of African economies is undermined by their lack of structural diversity. This can be illustrated by a number of critical questions. Are ordinary people directly feeling the benefits of record economic growth rates across Africa? What impact are economic growth rates having on the nature and structure of employment across the continent? Is economic growth translating into the development of modern productive well integrated economic sectors? Essentially, is economic growth delivering broad-based structural transformation? Given Africa's growing demand for jobs, this report attempts to explore the pivotal role played by employment in deepening and widening economic growth across Africa.

This publication and its associated events form part of a wider project series being developed by the Foreign Policy Centre entitled: Africa Rising? Building Africa's Productive Capacity for Inclusive Growth. Additional supporters include Barclays and Nestlé.


> Iran Human Rights Review: Justice

IHRR Justice

Ordinary Iranians are hurt by injustice in the Iranian judicial system and society, not only human rights activists and opposition figures, suggests the findings in a new Foreign Policy Centre publication. This latest edition of the Foreign Policy Centre's Iran Human Rights Review (IHRR) which focuses on justice brings together contributions on many aspects of legal and social justice in Iran and looks at topics often ignored in mainstream human rights and academic debates such as the state of regular prisons and the treatment of ordinary prisoners in Iran, access to healthcare and the state of labour rights in the country.

The Iran Human Rights Review:Justice is edited by FPC Senior Research Associate Tahirih Danesh and Dr Hadi Enayat (Aga Khan University), with a foreword by senior Canadian politician The Honourable Irwin Cotler PC, QC, MP. Contributors include: Nasser Asgary (Free Them Now), Stephen Aiello, Drewery Dyke (Amnesty International), Anna Enayat (St Anthony's College), Hedayat Matine-Daftary(Iran Tribunal), Dr Kavian S. Milani and Dr Shideh Rezai (Centre for Health and Human Rights), Dr Djavad Salehi-Isfahani (Virginia Tech) and Dr Silvia Tellenbach (Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law).


> Russia's drug users have a right to needles, methadone and dignity

President of the Andrey Rylkov Foundation for Health and Social Justice in Moscow Anya Sarang writes about some of the major challenges facing Russians with HIV and AIDS and those NGOs working to provide them with support.


> Britons have already said no to citizens travelling abroad to fight, no matter what the cause

In this article, four senior UK and US academics (Prof Thomas J. Scotto, Dr Jason Reifler, Prof Paul Whiteley and Prof Harold Clarke) use data gathered in a May 2014 survey they commissioned that focused on British foreign policy attitudes. The researchers asked UK respondents how the British Government should deal with UK nationals travelling abroad to fight against al-Assad in Syria, in Ukraine, and against Boko Haram in Nigeria. They found that pluralities of respondents in all three situations favour stripping such individuals of UK citizenship, and less than 20% of those surveyed believe the Government should allow its citizens to fight in any of these emerging conflicts. They argue that Home Secretary Theresa May would have public support behind her if, as planned, new measures are brought forth to crack down on UK citizens fighting for foreign armies or groups.


> New FPC Publication: Shelter from the Storm?

Governments in the former Soviet Union are routinely flouting European and international rules designed to protect refugees, asylum seekers and others who are at risk of persecution in their home countries, says a new Foreign Policy Centre publication entitled Shelter from the Storm? The publication shows that Commonwealth of Independent States member countries are putting regional ties and alleged security concerns ahead of their duties to prevent individuals being returned to face possible torture and other human rights abuses. It shows how the European Court of Human Rights can be a lifeline for those facing extradition to Central Asia, but also that Russia has flouted some judgements and extradited individuals to places such as Uzbekistan where torture and other abuse is believed to be rife.

Shelter from the Storm? reports cases where Central Asian activists have been kidnapped on foreign soil by their governments, or illegally extradited with the collusion of the Russian security services. It shows the ways in which governments from across the former Soviet Union seek to harass activists in exile through surveillance and the abuse of Interpol procedures. The publication also shows that tougher immigration rules in Europe are making it harder for at-risk activists to seek short-term refuge without applying for asylum and that asylum seekers from Russia, Central Asia and the South Caucasus face uneven treatment depending on where they make their claims.

Shelter from the Storm? The asylum, refuge and extradition situation facing activists from the former Soviet Union in the CIS and Europe contains contributions from experts including: Felix Corley (Forum 18); Elisabeth Dyvik (ICORN - The International Cities of Refuge Network); Julia Hall and Maisy Weicherding (Amnesty International); Adam Hug (ed., Foreign Policy Centre); Dr David Lewis (University of Exeter); Kris Pollett and Claire Rimmer Quaid (European Council on Refugees and Exiles - ECRE); Alex Tinsley (Fair Trials International); and Daria Trenina (MGIMO-University).