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London: CIIR conference on Southern Africa

 After the successful Futures for Southern Africa symposium in Namibia last September, CIIR and partners have organised a follow-up conference, to be held from tomorrow to Saturday, 1 to 3 April, at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, London. This second symposium aims to promote greater inter-regional understanding, strengthen links and activities between North and South civil society groups and help ensure policy is directed at understanding and responding to problems in the region. Peter Vale's Comment paper, Whatever happened to the post-apartheid moment? and the report of the September symposium by CIIR advocacy coordinator for Africa and Yemen, Dr Steve Kibble, will be available at the conference. Dr Kibble said: 'The concerns are likely to follow on from September's conference: the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the political, social and economic crisis in Zimbabwe and the lack of firm regional response. 'The intention is to move from addressing ideas to seeing that policy is directed at understanding and responding to the major challenges. The starting point for many in the North and South is that existing development paradigms have largely failed and new thinking is required.' Speakers will include Janah Ncube, Yvonne Mahlunge and Amin Kamete from Zimbabwe, Peter Vale, Chris Landsberg, Laurie Nathan and Fiona White from South Africa, Henning Melber from Namibia, Manuel Paulo and Assis Malaquias from Angola and Firoze Manji of the Fahamu organisation. Nathanael Areseb and Cathrine Chirima of the CIIR Southern Africa team will present on HIV and AIDS work in the region. The will be joined by Ian Linden, CIIR's former executive director, who will talk about progressive religion in an age of fundamentalisms. For further details, please contact Helen Barratt on 020 7354 0883 or at helen@ciir.org