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TrustAfrica established the International Criminal Justice (ICJ) Fund in 2012 to support civil society’s efforts to improve accountability mechanisms for grave crimes in Africa. We work at national, regional and international levels, where we use different strategies to foster justice and reconciliation, often following protracted conflict.

At the national level, we have placed victims at the center of our engagement and enhanced the work of key organizations in Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, and Uganda.

At the regional and international level, we have sought to address the declining legitimacy of the International Criminal Court and seize opportunities presented by new African accountability mechanisms (including the African Court for Human and Peoples’ Rights as well as the proposed African Union Transitional Justice Policy Framework) by facilitating cross-continental experience sharing and learning.

These activities have contributed significantly towards building a well-networked and robust advocacy movement capable of addressing the challenges facing the implementation of international criminal justice in Africa.

In 2015, Fund activities included building the capacity of civil society organizations; fostering the development of research and data on African ICJ and transitional justice processes; and supporting strategy workshops, cross-continental learning initiatives, and joint advocacy missions at key regional and international meetings. At the center of this work is the need to re-focus attention on the plight of victims and governments’ responsibility to provide redress, a strategy that has proven effective in mobilizing constituencies to advocate for criminal and transitional justice.

One such initiative has been our engagement with the trial of Hissène Habré before the Extraordinary African Chambers in Dakar, Senegal. Since the trial began on 20 July 2015, the Fund has been working closely with a consortium of civil society organizations and Senegalese law graduates to monitor, document, and share information on proceedings across various platforms. The ICJ Fund trained a group of law graduates from Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD) in Dakar, Senegal, to monitor and provide daily reports on the proceedings in both French and English. The work of these students provides an invaluable resource to activists and legal experts working on criminal justice issues in Africa and beyond. As the trial reopened on 8 February 2016, the media and other key partners highlighted TrustAfrica’s work in supporting documentation and monitoring of the ground-breaking trial, and developing the skills of young Africans to lead justice and accountability processes on the continent.

A 2015 interim evaluation of our work found that by bringing together major human rights grant-makers the Fund has been able to expand the operational scope and diversity of their investments in Africa. The evaluation also noted that the Fund has been adept in its response to the evolving climate for international criminal justice work on the continent and has supported fresh and bold advocacy initiatives.

The Fund continues to help sustain the efforts of its partners and to explore opportunities to expand its work in parts of Central Africa where accountability processes are just beginning. It is also deepening its engagements with continental mechanisms, including improving the African Court’s international criminal justice mandate – according a special role for victim participation and engaging groups working on documentation to improve these for litigation.


The ZimAlliance is a donor collaborative formed in 2010 to seize the opportunity created by the constitutional reform process and general elections to strengthen the role of civil society in influencing the country’s transition to democracy.

Emphasis has been on strengthening the capacity of civil society to advance informed and effective citizen participation and secure human rights and democracy.

The alliance’s grants, convenings, capacity building and technical support have enabled civil society partners to design creative, coordinated responses that have built regional and international solidarity, amplified the voices of marginalized groups, and educated citizens to mobilize others and engage with policymakers.

In partnership with Magamba Network, we used our Changemakers Hub platform to convene several discussions to catalyse youth to promote democracy and social change in Zimbabwe. Themes included arts for social change, new media, citizen journalism and freedom of expression.

We recently offered a skills training workshop for youths, citizen journalists and community organizers that explored how to use information communications technology (ICT) and geographical information systems (GIS) in campaigns to enhance social service delivery and monitor the political environment.

We also commissioned leading academics and thinker-activists from a range of disciplines to contribute to a book entitled Beyond the crisis: Zimbabwe’s prospects for transformation [link to order book], and  hosted a high-level national convening to launch the book and promote dialogue on the theme.

We are also investing in efforts to strengthen community-based organizations through a series of residents’ forums in partnership with Amandla Network.

Our aim is to contribute to rebuilding a permanent national civil society platform that has the ability to hold the state accountable to all of its citizens.


Over the past five years, TrustAfrica has provided critical support for Liberian civil society organizations engaged in pro-poor policy advocacy. Support has included organizing national policy convenings as well as providing technical assistance and flexible grant-making, with more than 50 grants for groups seeking to advance democracy, human rights and media development.

Now in its third phase, the initiative is focused on harnessing civil society’s collective voices to monitor the lucrative extractives industry in Liberia.

Over the last ten years of peace, the Liberian government has attracted an estimated US$19 billion in foreign direct investment mainly from natural resources extraction. While some progress has been made by the state, affected communities continue to decry the slow or negligible benefits they receive from the exploitation of their communal lands. This has led to continuing community discontent and communal violence around concession areas.

Activities of the initiative focus on providing partners with the resources to enable ordinary citizens to campaign for their rights and benefits while conducting advocacy with high-level government officials and institutions. The aim is to create a workable framework for channelling community feedback on concession conflicts and violations to the Liberian government.

Local partners include the Liberia Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative, Publish What You Pay Liberia and the Liberia Peace Building Office. In addition, we have vigorously engaged the Liberian government through the National Investment Commission, the National Bureau of Concessions and the Forestry Development Authority.

The Concessions Working Group (CWG), our diverse coalition of international and local actors working on the extractives sector, serves as a clearinghouse for ongoing discussions and advocacy on natural resource governance within Liberia. It has also launched several advocacy campaigns against human rights violations of ordinary citizens in concession areas and given community feedback to the Independent National Human Rights Commission of Liberia and is considered as a community of practice on natural resource governance in Liberia.

We have also aired civil society’s positions on current concessions agreements at high-level meetings with the Liberian legislature. As the country heads toward elections in 2017, we will pursue the development and adoption of a natural resource manifesto or agenda by political actors.

Local actors in Liberia now have access to more reliable and rigorous governance and concessions data with our geo-spatial map of Liberian concession agreements which  was developed by Aiddata, one of our international partners.


TrustAfrica works to support civil society coalitions and networks to conduct advocacy around regional organizations such as the Pan-African Parliament and the African Court on Human and People's Rights, in an attempt to expand and secure basic freedoms in countries where democracy is under attack. In the past we have worked with regional organizations such as ECOWAS, SADC, IGAD, COMESA, ECCAS, EAC and AMU in an effort to improve the economic climate and ensure collective security. One outcome of this program is our ARO Wiki (click on News and Ideas below), an online database of more than 150 African Regional Organizations.


Issue areas: Philanthropy landscape interpretation, connector, leveraging donor resources, managing donor-advised funds

There is new interest in African philanthropy due to the phenomenal growth of foundations and increased recognition of African forms of giving. TrustAfrica has played a supportive role in this effort by helping to establish the African Philanthropy Network and through research on historical and cultural forms of giving across the continent as well as philanthropic trends.

We view the field ­– and the development of African philanthropic resources – as a key aspect of African agency. Our work includes support for philanthropic institutions; knowledge production and influencing practice; piloting innovations for giving; and encouraging philanthropy to take on issues of democratic governance and creating equity within societies.

We also provide a full set of advisory services to other donors – both individuals and institutions. This includes donor-advised funds formed by several institutions, such as the Nigeria Anti-Corruption and Criminal Justice Fund, and funds that consist of one main donor, such as the Kiisi Trust.

Some results of this work:

  • We helped establish the African Philanthropy Network in order to develop a community of practice and strengthen the growing field.
  • Our participation in global philanthropy platforms – including conference presentations, journal papers and magazine articles ­­– has contributed to a better understanding of Africa’s vibrant philanthropy tradition as well as its potential.
  • We have produced seminal publications on philanthropic trends such as Giving to Help and Helping to Give: The Context and Politics of African Philanthropy, and, in concert with UBS, Africa’s Wealthy Give Back, on giving by high-net-worth Africans.
  • Our book, Claiming Agency: Reflecting on TrustAfrica’s first decade, examines the work we’ve done with our partners – in an effort to better understand the kind of philanthropy that is based in Africa and prioritises African agency.

Current Projects:

African Philanthropy 

Nigeria Anti-Corruption and Criminal Justice Fund 

Kiisi Trust to Benefit the Ogoni People 


Issue areas: pro-poor economic policy, poverty and inequality, resource rights, corporate accountability, domestic resource mobilization, social policy, gender justice

Through this cluster of work, we seek to:

  • Expand economic opportunities for all, especially for marginalized groups such as women and youth
  • Enhance the delivery of social services such as education and health for those treated unfairly in their provision – in both rural and urban areas
  • Rectify inequity and injustices in the distribution of Africa’s productive resources by advancing accountable governance

Broadly, our goal is to foster demand-driven change in pursuit of socio-economic justice. Our work addresses policy gaps and challenges and seeks to influence continental frameworks as well as national policies.

Some results of this work:

  • We established a multi-country coalition of civic actors who are ensuring that their governments follow through on commitments made at continental level to boost sustainable agriculture, including better policies for smallholder farmers.
  • We contributed towards the adoption of the Africa Mining Vision as part of the African Union’s strategic programme with the aim of ensuring that the continent’s rich resources do more to improve its people’s lives.
  • We helped coalesce a Pan-African advocacy movement to stop illicit financial flows out of Africa. The issue is now part of the AU’s Agenda 2063 and a number of countries are crafting policy interventions.
  • In higher education, our work to convene national and sub-regional stakeholders culminated in a ground-breaking continental summit to revitalize the sector. Its action plan is now spurring policy action at the African Union and in several countries.
  • In order to strengthen small and medium-scale enterprises and improve local participation in value chains, we supported the development of evidence-based policy research recommendations in a dozen countries.

Current projects:

Agriculture Advocacy

Illicit Financial Flows

Early Learning Innovations

Revitalizing Higher Education


Issue areas: Human rights, rule of law, citizenship, gender justice, transitional justice, political participation, public accountability

Politics in Africa remains unstable as arbitrary constitutional changes weaken democratic practice and new laws limit civil society activities in several countries. The need to promote citizen participation in the deliberation of public affairs – at local and national levels – is more pressing than ever. This culture of responsible citizenry must be met by improved performance by public officials and respect for human rights. We see an opportunity to encourage policymakers to draw on the considerable expertise of African researchers, advocates, and civil society to address these challenges.

Some results of this work:

  • At the continental level, we helped set up the Centre for Citizens Participation at the African Union (CCP-AU) to observe and track the implementation of AU resolutions.
  • In Liberia and Zimbabwe, we provided support to civil society groups at crucial political moments in each nation. We sought to ensure that citizens have the capacity to exercise their right to hold leaders to account for public policy choices, especially governance reforms.
  • We have built the capacity of those working in the international criminal justice field, including in Francophone countries such as Mali and Côte d’Ivoire, and helped victims of atrocity crimes become involved in important dialogue processes for restitution.
  • In order to instil confidence in Africa-led criminal justice processes, our support ensured that the recent trial of the former president of Chad in Dakar was properly observed and communicated across the continent and globally.

Current Projects:

International Criminal Justice Fund
Liberia Civil Society Initiative
Zimbabwe Alliance


TrustAfrica Now
 
October 2011
In This Issue  

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Greetings from Dakar!

With your help, TrustAfrica is reaching out more than ever to make an impact around the continent. We are convening and sponsoring meetings (our grantee spotlight comes from the recent gender conference we co-sponsored), writing books to help strengthen civil society and the legislative process and making videos about the amazing strides our grantees have made combating gender violence. Earlier this week, the news reported the death of Dr. Wangari Maathai, a great activist and the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize for her work on the environment, women's rights and human rights. While we mourn her loss, one can't help but reflect on her story--a poignant reminder that the work all of us do can impact the world in unimaginable ways. The TrustAfrica/Liberia office, in collaboration with ActionAid/Liberia will be holding a vigil in honor of Dr. Maathai on Thursday, November 29. More details to come. In the meantime, we hope you'll take a look at what's below and keep us informed of your latest developments.

Conference Inspires Innovative Business Approaches
 
"The Business of Social and Environmental Innovation" to take place in Cape Town, November 14-16
Text messaging has been an used as an innovative approach to commerce

How can you inspire innovation while making a contribution towards achieving some of the Millennium Development Goals? TrustAfrica is proud to be a co-sponsor for a conference entitled "The Business of Social and Environmental Innovation" (BSEI) which will take place at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business in Cape Town, South Africa on November 14-16, 2011.

The conference will bring together academics, entrepreneurs and practitioners who will present scholarly contributions, as well as case studies, on the projects they have been working on to address these challenges. BSEI seeks to identify and highlight some of the existing partnerships, both formal and informal, that occur between the private sector, governments, civil society and academia; share best practices; and inspire creative thinking and innovative approaches to pressing social and environmental issues.

The conference will start with an optional fieldtrip to explore some of the Cape's townships where participants can get a feel for the social needs and business opportunities there. During the proceedings, participants will be able to choose from parallel sessions where scholarly papers will be presented; dedicated sessions and dynamic discussions with entrepreneurs and practitioners will also be offered.

Seven of the papers that will be presented are from studies paid for by the Investment Climate and Business Environment (ICBE) Research Fund, a project supported by TrustAfrica and the International Development and Research Center (IDRC).

For more information on the Conference, including how to register and costs, please visit the Conference Website. A reduced conference registration fee is available to students.


Spotlight on Dr. Nestorine Compaoré: Gender Activist/Minister for the Promotion of Women, Burkina Faso
 
Former grant recipient crosses over and shares her thoughts on fighting the good fight
Dr. Nestorine Campaoré, Minister for the Promotion of Women, Burkina Faso

On the outside, Dr .Nestorine Compaoré has the comportment of a high-ranking government official. Intelligent, thoughtful, well-dressed, articulate, she is at ease speaking to everyone. One could easily believe that she came to her current position as a civil servant through the usual channels. However, once Dr. Compaoré begins to discuss her favorite subject, gender, the activist in her emerges. Her eyes light up, her speech quickens and you can almost see the ideas travel through her as she transmits them to the listener.

Her story is unusual in that there was no straight line that took her to where she is today. From 2002-2009, she was working three full-time jobs: gender advisor for the Center of Democratic Governance in Burkina Faso, gender consultant at the Dutch Embassy, and lecturer on gender at the University of Ouagadougou. However, she was dissatisfied with the available information on gender in Burkina Faso and realized that her country needed better gender resources. She decided to end her consultancy and create the Center for Research and Intervention in Gender and Development (CRIGED). Using her own financing, as well as fundraising, little by little she developed the center to where it is today.

"I realized that most experts have good ideas, but if you don't have a site, people can't transform their ideas into action; they lose energy," she said. "When I worked with civil society, it gave me an opportunity to push for a cause I believed in. That's why I changed my position from the donor side to civil society."

CRIGED is a technical center for research on gender and development; it provides technical support to all stakeholders including government, civil society, universities, women's networks, etc. It also provides monitoring and evaluation on issues of gender and development, and serves as a tool for capacity building of organizations, including advocacy work and activities related to impacting gender policies. With the support of TrustAfrica (including several grants to build capacity for gender organizations) and a host of other donors, CRIGED has become the "go-to" resource for information on gender issues in West Africa.

After developing such a successful organization, one would think Dr. Compaoré would at last feel satisfied, but fate had other plans. In early 2011, she was asked to be Minister for the Promotion of Women.

"When I changed sides to join civil society, I realized I lost a lot of power, in terms of the consideration and attention I had from previous colleagues and ministries because I was no longer a donor--just someone who wanted change."

Dr. Compaoré views her position as Minister as a chance to work within the system to affect change. "This position gives me an opportunity to improve the legal provisions, build capacity of actors, CSOs, ministries, the first lady, even the President himself. It is important to sensitize people on gender."

Few people can work for civil society, donor organizations and the government on a cause they feel passionate about. Her experience has afforded Dr. Compaoré a unique vantage point on how to win in the struggle for gender equality. "I started to understand things differently, because sometimes I think we judge people without knowing their constraints. When you know their constraints, instead of being confrontational, which discourages them and affects them in the wrong way, you can be more comprehensive and constructive."


Enhancing Women's Dignity Documentary Gives Voice to Disempowered Women
 
Video Seeks to Showcase Projects on Ending Gender Violence

We are proud to showcase our latest video, a documentary on our Enhancing Women's Dignity project, which seeks to stop gender violence and increase women's political participation in seven French-speaking countries in Central and West Africa.

The film was shot on-location in several of the project countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal and Mali, where it documents the activities of women who are leading the way to improve their socio-economic conditions and increase their political representation. The project began in June 2009 with an MDG3 Fund grant from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since then, TrustAfrica has administered grants to organizations that work to increase women's participation in politics and public administration and halt violence against women. In total, there have been 39 grants, impacting the lives of thousands of women.


"Advancing International Criminal Justice in Africa: State Responsibility, the ICC, and the AU -- Towards an Effective Advocacy Response"
 
Strategy Meeting Seeks to Engage Civil Society and Other Stakeholders in the Growing Backlash Against the International Criminal Court

In an effort to strategize around the growing dissatisfaction with the structures of democracy and governance in Africa, in particular the roles played by the African Union (AU), the International Criminal Court (ICC) and others, TrustAfrica is convening a strategy meeting on the ICC and Africa in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation and the Center for Citizen Participation on the AU. The meeting, organized under the theme "Advancing International Criminal Justice in Africa: State Responsibility, the ICC, and the AU--Towards an Effective Advocacy Response," will take place in Nairobi, Kenya on November 14-16, 2011.

The meeting provides an opportunity for stakeholders, including CSOs, policy experts, scholars and individual activists to devise a civil society advocacy strategy that will effectively respond to the ICC backlash in Africa and give funders a better sense of how to engage in collaborative grant-making around these issues. Kenyan Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga has agreed to deliver the Keynote speech. Participants will be drawn from all five geographic sub-regions of Africa, as well as the African Diaspora.

Coming at a time when African States under the AU have threatened to withdraw from the ICC, the strategy meeting aims at developing ways to promote more constructive debates about the ICC within the AU and move the discourse towards promoting national-level accountability for international crimes through entities such as the ICC.

For further information regarding the outcome of the meeting, please check the TrustAfrica Website.


New Publication Assesses the Legislative Environment for Civil Society
 
Analyzing challenges and opportunities in 18 nations
Civil society books

Together with the Southern Africa Trust, we have published a 429-page book about the legislative environment for civil society in 18 countries in Central, East and Southern Africa. Edited by Bhekinkosi Moyo, our program director, (Dis) Enabling the Public Sphere: Civil Society Regulation in Africa (Volume 1) also features a foreword by Graca Michel. It is available in hardcover, softcover and PDF format. The book was formally launched at recent dialogues in Dakar, Senegal, and Pretoria, South Africa.


Our Team is Growing
 
Meet our newest staff members
apartment

Ezekiel Pajibo joined TrustAfrica in September 2011 as the Project Director for the Liberia Civil Society Initiative. Mr. Pajibo comes to us from Witts University where he was a Research Fellow for the Encyclopedia of Genocide in Africa project. A graduate of Howard University in the US, Mr. Pajibo has a remarkable track record in the fields of civil society advocacy and policy research. In the early 1980s (during the military rule of Samuel Doe), he served as the president of the Liberia National Students Union (UNSU) and was imprisoned by Doe and spotlighted by Amnesty international as a prisoner of conscience. He also worked for the Africa Faith and Justice Network as well as the American Friends Service Committee and as a consultant for AFRODAD, MWENGO and Human Rights Watch. At the end of the Liberian civil war in 2003, Mr. Pajibo returned home and worked as a consultant for the Open Society Institute and subsequently served as the Executive Director of the Center for Democratic Empowerment. He has written extensively and seminally on civil society issues and is a highly-respected champion for human rights in Africa. He speaks English, French and Krao.

ImageSue Telingator, Communications Specialist, comes to us with over 27 years of experience in the communications field.  Most recently, she was the Development Outreach and Communications Specialist with USAID/Senegal.  She has also worked for UNICEF and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Namibia.  In addition to being an author and ghostwriter, Ms. Telingator has worked as a journalist for the Chicago Tribune, among several other publications.  She also served as President of the National Writer’s Union in Chicago, where she helped in the fight for writer’s e-rights resulting in a landmark Supreme Court decision against The New York Times.  She holds a bachelor’s degree from Barnard College, Columbia University and Master’s degrees from DePaul University in the US, and the Network University in The Netherlands.  She speaks English and French.


TrustAfrica to Take Part in First Webinar Hosted by the European Foundation Centre
 
Digital Storytelling Banner

Digital storytelling is a 21st century take on the traditional art of storytelling - and foundations have never had more tools at hand to bring their work to life on screen. The EFC's first-ever webinar will focus on the value that digital storytelling (whether produced or funded by foundations) can have in achieving greater impact, whether it be for policy change, advocacy, learning, or engaging vulnerable or marginalised groups.

Two expert speakers will present case studies of how their respective organisations are involved in digital storytelling, what the benefits have been and why other foundations can benefit from capturing the essence of their work on camera.

Speakers:
Vivian Paulissen, Youth and Media Programme Manager, European Cultural Foundation
Susan Telingator, Communications Specialist, TrustAfrica


Our Web Presence is Growing
 
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Picasa and YouTube

Social networking sites are a great way to stay in touch with TrustAfrica — and to exchange ideas with others who share an interest in democracy and development in Africa. On Twitter and Facebook, we post short, timely reflections about issues of the day. On Picasa, we showcase photos of our events and the work of our grantees. On YouTube, we present interviews and videos about our work and the challenges facing Africa.


Support our work
 

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Contributions to TrustAfrica, a 501(c)(3) organization that has earned the GuideStar Exchange Seal, are tax deductible in the United States to the full extent allowable by law. Please consider making a donation today to qualify for a tax deduction this calendar year.

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TrustAfrica is dedicated to securing the conditions for democratic governance and equitable development in Africa, and we can't do it without people like you. We hope you'll visit our Website and blog often, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, read about our workshops and grant making, and join our $100 per year campaign.

Sincerely,


Akwasi Aidoo
Executive Director, TrustAfrica

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TrustAfrica Now
 
February 2012
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Greetings from Dakar!

A new year is upon us and with that, TrustAfrica has big plans! This year promises to hold more convenings, workshops and publications than ever before. In addition, as you'll learn below, we've taken on new projects, feted major dignataries, liased on major political movements and the need to strengthen social justice. We're communicating more, reaching out more and developing more as an organization going into its sixth year. Thank you for being a part of it all and for continuing to join us as we move forward.

TrustAfrica Fosters Innovative Learning Approaches
 
Children's Numeracy and Literacy Skills Focus of New Leaning Innovation Fund

TrustAfrica is the proud recipient of a $1.5 million grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to support a project entitled "The Learning Innovation Fund." The project will provide small grants and technical assistance to local organizations in four countries to improve literacy and numeracy skills for children during their first four years of primary school.

The project will target Senegal and Mali in West Africa and Uganda and Kenya in East Africa. These four countries provide an opportunity to pilot the project in both English and French thus offering a comparative learning opportunity. Additionally, the governments in these countries have demonstrated interest in development policy reform, opening the door to possibilities for future policy advocacy and the potential for scaling up proven innovations.

The primary goal of the project is to foster innovative learning approaches and environments for early learners who are currently not well served by existing education systems. Targeting children ages 5 - 11 years-old, the project will specifically seek to:

  1. Significantly improve the literacy and numeracy competencies among early learners through cutting-edge innovations that are successfully piloted in different geographic locations and contexts;
  2. Identify the enabling factors and feasibility probability for taking early-learning innovations to scale within the focus countries through outreach;
  3. Strengthen the effectiveness of organizations that produce the early-learning innovations, through technical assistance provision, and peer-learning opportunities; and
  4. Promote dissemination of the innovation results among relevant policy stakeholders.

Advocating for Criminal Justice in Africa
 
Civil Society Convenes to Strengthen Accountability in Justice Institutions
ICC Conference

Civil society organizations (CSOs) from 13 African countries, as well as several international organizations, convened in Nairobi, Kenya on November 15 - 17 for a strategy meeting on advancing international criminal justice in Africa. In light of the International Criminal Court's (ICC) focus on Africa, while ignoring crimes in other parts of the world, refusal to listen to requests to defer cases by the African Union (AU), and other issues, several AU member states have become non-cooperative and have threatened to withdraw from the ICC.

"Advancing International Criminal Justice in Africa: State Responsibility, the ICC, and the AU--Towards an Effective Advocacy Response," hosted by TrustAfrica, the CCP-AU, and the MacArthur Foundation, provided an opportunity for stakeholders, including CSOs, policy experts, scholars, and individual activists, to devise a strategic response to the ICC backlash and help engage funders in collaborative grant-making around these issues.

The convening included a candid appraisal of the historic relationship between the ICC and Africa and purposefully sought to shift the discourse from reactive to proactive, including how to address genuine concerns with the ICC's record in Africa without undermining the progress made so far on the continent.

In his keynote speech to the meeting, Kenyan Chief Justice, the Honorable Dr. Willy Mutunga called on CSOs to not lose sight of the fact that the ICC is a court of last resort, designed to step in where national institutions have failed. He therefore urged participants to work to strengthen institutions of governance on the continent, in particular robust investigatory, prosecutorial and penal institutions to deal with issues of impunity and serious crimes against humanity.

The ICC was represented by the Head of the Jurisdiction, Complementarity and Cooperation Division of the Office of the Prosecutor who gave a comprehensive description of the ICC's mandate, as well as a specific analysis of the current cases pending before the Court.

In keeping with the conference's intention to develop concrete plans for action, participating CSOs identified a range of advocacy and capacity building strategies at the national, continental and international levels. They also highlighted the need to enhance networking to effectively address cross-cutting issues. In addition, working groups were proposed to spearhead specific thematic interventions at various levels.

All in all, the conference was successfully able to focus attention on this critical issue and motivate stakeholders to continue to improve mechanisms to end impunity and seek justice, peace and reconciliation for victims of atrocities.


Bridging the Digital Divide
 
TrustAfrica Donates Equipment to Strengthen ICT in Schools
SENECLIC Donation

On January 17, 2012, as part of its mission, among others, to close the digital divide, TrustAfrica donated used computer equipment, televisions, air conditioners and cooking equipment worth approximately $20,000 to a local NGO, SENECLIC, to be distributed to needy schools. SENECLIC specializes in refurbishing used equipment and training school beneficiaries in repair and maintenance so that the equipment can remain viable.

"We believe that this batch of equipment will contribute to the wellbeing of beneficiaries," said Akwasi Aidoo, Executive Director of TrustAfrica. "An active citizen is an essential element for a prosperous and sustainable society and we hope this donation will help young children to become engaged citizens," he said.

The head of Seneclic, Mr. Ababacar Diop, added that Information and Communication Technology is a powerful tool which he hopes to advance by populating classrooms in Senegal with multimedia. "The main objective of Seneclic is to affect over 8,000 elementary schools in the national territory," he said.

Pictured, left to right, Ababacar Diop, Director of Seneclic and Akwasi Aidoo, Director of TrustAfrica, hold one of the laptop computers that was donated.


Civil Society Strengthens Role in Governance Assessments
 
Conference Emphasizes Local NGOs Involvement in Policy through Fact-Finding Tools

On November 10-12, 2011, TrustAfrica was one of the co-sponsors of the United Nations Development Programme's 3-day workshop in Dakar, Senegal on how civil society can more effectively promote accountability of governments through governance assessments. In its role as both producers and users of governance data, civil society is perfectly positioned to intervene when it comes to public institutions, actors and policies, based on the evidence before it. Governance assessments help identify opportunities and diagnose deficits in governments but there needs to be a better understanding of how to translate this knowledge into practice.

The conference brought together more than 120 civil society practitioners, researchers and development practitioners from more than 30 countries, and representatives of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It was organized by the UNDP Partnerships Bureau/Civil Society Division, the Bureau for Development Policy/Oslo Governance Centre and the Regional Bureau of Africa, with support from the UNDP-France Trust Fund together with four leading partners in the field of civil society and governance: TrustAfrica, CIVICUS, CONGAD and the African Governance Institute.


TrustAfrica Honors Nobel Laureates with Celebration Dinner
 
Liberia Civil Society Initiative Acknowledges President Johnson-Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee
Nobel Laureate Dinner

On December 5, 2011, more than 150 guests entered the doors of City Hall in Monrovia, Liberia to sit down for dinner with two very special guests. President of Liberia Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee joined dignataries, civil society representatives, members of government, friends and family to listen to music, enjoy fine dining, hear speeches and receive good wishes on the eve of their departure to Oslo, Norway to accept their awards. The occasion, organized through the Liberia Civil Society Initiative of TrustAfrica, was an opportunity to bring civil society and the government together and take pride in all the accomplishments Liberia has made since the war ended.

Pictured: TrustAfrica Staff pose for a photo with Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee (center).


SAVE THE DATE!
 
TrustAfrica Hosts Panel Discussion on Gender Financing in NYC

On February 28, 2012, TrustAfrica will host "Financing for Gender Equality: The Role of African Foundations" as a parallel event for the United Nations Commision on the Status of Women meetings held that week. The event will take place from 8:30 to 10:00 AM, at the Church Center, UN, in New York City. It will feature an exciting panel of presenters, including H.E. Ms. Bissi Adeleye-Fayemi, Co-Founder of the African Women's Development Fund (AWDF) and First Lady of Ekiti State, Nigeria, Ms. Roselynn Musa, Program Manager, Africa Women's Development and Communication Network (FEMNET), and Dr. Akwasi Aidoo, Executive Director of TrustAfrica. It will be moderated by Ms. Theo Sowa, Interim CEO, African Women's Development Fund. Hope to see you there!


Our Team is Growing
 
Meet our newest staff members
Moustapha and Timing

Moustapha Diop, Finance Associate. Moustapha Diop joined the finance department of TrustAfrica in November, 2011. After various internships in various sectors (public and private), he joined the prestigious firm of Deloitte Touche Tomatsu Limited to serve as a financial auditor for five years where he gained considerable experience in several sectors including the NGO sector. Mr. Diop has a degree in polytechnics and trade in Ivory Coast with a specialization in audit and management control. As for extracurricular activities, Mr. Diop was Chairman of the Leo Club Stella Abidjan.

Timing Lama, Administrative Assistant, Liberia Civil Society Initiative. Timing Lama joined Trust Africa in November, 2011. Previously, she was an Administrative Assistant at AEP Consultants, Inc. a private firm in Monrovia, Liberia. Timing has a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Don Bosco polytechnic (Now Stella Maris Polytechnic) in Monrovia and is currently pursuing a master's degree in Business Administration (MBA) at the University of Liberia Graduate School. She is fluent in English.


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Social networking sites are a great way to stay in touch with TrustAfrica — and to exchange ideas with others who share an interest in democracy and development in Africa. On Twitter and Facebook, we post short, timely reflections about issues of the day. On Picasa, we showcase photos of our events and the work of our grantees. On YouTube, we present interviews and videos about our work and the challenges facing Africa.


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We extend a heartfelt thanks to all who responded to our last appeal for support. Your crucial contributions sustain our work and reduce our reliance on institutional donors.

Contributions to TrustAfrica, a 501(c)(3) organization that has earned the GuideStar Exchange Seal, are tax deductible in the United States to the full extent allowable by law. Please consider making a donation today to qualify for a tax deduction this calendar year.

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TrustAfrica is dedicated to securing the conditions for democratic governance and equitable development in Africa, and we can't do it without people like you. We hope you'll visit our Website and blog often, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, read about our workshops and grant making, and join our $100 per year campaign.

Sincerely,


Akwasi Aidoo
Executive Director, TrustAfrica

e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
phone: +221.33.869.46.86
fax: +221.33.824.15.67
 
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Get in Touch

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Conferences and Workshops