Looking ahead, youth movements are proving effective in promoting democratic change, but what support will they need as they seek to foster economic change? Are there conceptual challenges? African democracies have been called “choice-less democracies” (Mkandawire) in that they rarely lead to framing economic and social policies that break with the neoliberal paradigm. Yet major structural transformation will surely be required to reduce poverty and social and economic inequalities.
Other questions remain. How will youth movements influence and be influenced by those engaged in environmental struggles at the global level and by other social movements of youth and women? How will the youth movements negotiate new bases of citizenship and belonging?
Cynical politicians in many parts of the world use the myth of “the dangerous other” to sow fear and drum up support. The youth movements described here, however, demonstrate a different and powerful reality: that positive change is possible in unity. Given the fact that young people form the vast majority of Africa’s population, prospects are good, and philanthropy can play a key role in supporting this positive transformation.
This conviction is behind TrustAfrica’s decision to make movement building a specific focus of our work. More on this can be found in the pages of this annual report – together with highlights from across our programs, from advancing economic and agricultural policies that benefit poor producers, to improving higher education on the continent and much more. In the coming months and years, we look forward to working side by side with our partners as we advance our vision of transformative change for Africa and Africans.
In celebration of its tenth anniversary, TrustAfrica has published Claiming Agency: Reflecting on TrustAfrica’s First Decade in partnership with Weaver Press. Edited by Halima Mahomed and Elizabeth Coleman, the book takes an in-depth look its work as an African-led foundation that set out to do things differently.
Founded in 2006, when solutions to Africa’s challenges were often developed outside its borders, TrustAfrica sought to practice a kind of philanthropy that both benefits Africans and actively supports their agency.
By 2015, lagging economic growth and the collapse of Africa’s major currencies had begun to undermine the ‘Africa rising’ narrative. Add to that the vast toll of the Ebola virus and resurgence of conflict in places like Mali, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Northern Cameroon and Burundi.
But 2015 brought positive news as well. While international experts forecast a renewal of election-related violence in Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria, both presidential elections were conducted in a peaceful manner. And in neighboring Burkina Faso, citizen mobilization brought down strongman Blaise Compaore, ushering in a new era of democratic governance and popular participation.T
Edited by Tendai Murisa, Tendai Chikweche
Over the past years, few African countries have been the focus of discussions and analyses generating a vast array of literature as much as Zimbabwe. The socioeconomic and political crises since the turn of the century have deeply transformed the country from the ideals of a vibrant freshly independent nation just two decades earlier. These transformations have necessitated the call for the restructuring of Zimbabwean society, polity, and economy. But this literature remains exclusively within the realm of academic thinking and theorising, with no concerted effort to move beyond this by explicitly drawing out the policy implications.
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This book contains findings of eight of the several research projects sponsored by the Investment Climate and Business Environment (ICBE) Research Fund in Uganda. It’s an effort to provide evidence to inform policy that improves the business environment in Uganda. The findings coincide with the efforts of the government to implement policies and programs targeting private sector development, solving daunting problems of unemployment, economic growth and development. The studies have been carried out by Ugandans and address issues pertinent to the Ugandan economy, but also to other developing countries.