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The COVID-19 pandemic has had far reaching impacts on African economies, food insecurity and general well-being of African communities. Apart from the obvious health implications and disruption of livelihood, the pandemic has also disrupted food supply and left many people in real danger of acute starvation. As many countries adopt WHO[1] recommended procedures to limit the movement of people and goods to reduce the spread of the infection, small scale farming communities are bearing the burden of the major disruptions to the food supply systems, as well as unprecedented lost income, harvests and livestock. Fragile land tenure arrangements, especially for women farmers have contributed to increased vulnerabilities. As world food trade is coming to a halt, the pandemic has exposed how dependent African food systems are on global food imports, now buckling under border closures.  Investments in safeguarding local farmers’ rights, food systems and increased production are very low, leading to high food prices and widespread food insecurity and hunger in the region.

On Thursday, April 30, 2020, the Pan-African Foundation, TrustAfrica, presented a cheque of 6,000,000 Fcfa (Six million Francs CFA) to the Senegalese government to support its efforts toward combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. Amadou HOTT, Senegal's Minister of Economy, Planning and Cooperation, who received TrustAfrica’s contribution from Dr. Ebrima Sall, Executive Director of TrustAfrica applauded the gesture.

The minister while receiving the cheque said: "On behalf of the government of Senegal and His Excellency President Macky Sall, we thank TrustAfrica, its staff and all its partners for this outpouring of generosity."

He explained that the president’s call to action has been heard, and contributions have been coming in from international organizations and conglomerates as well as from ordinary citizenss.

Dear Friends,

May Day Greetings to you all. We trust you are all safe and well.

International Labour Day, also known as International Workers’ Day, or simply May Day, is a day when the world is invited to remember the hard working and living conditions of workers, not only during the industrial revolution but also, for most workers, in today’s world as well, despite the fact that they form the bedrock of the economy and of society.

Here is a fascinating article chronicling the history of May Day.  www.history.com

By MAHMOOD MAMDANI

Prof Mahmood Mamdani pens a farewell tribute reminding us that Prof Thandika Mkandawire was "both a complete intellectual and a complete human being".

By Yusuf Bangura and Nyon, Switzerland (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) April, 2020

The news of Thandika’s passing on 27 March came as a big shock, even though I knew he was unwell in the last few years. His casual but forceful personality and unbounded energy made me believe that the laws of nature might not easily apply to him. He always seemed to bounce back from adversity with renewed vigour and focus.

He survived two cancers in 2004 and 2009 when he was at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), but continued to work diligently, giving inspiring lectures around the world, writing brilliant academic papers, and generating insightful and provocative ideas. Always sharp, witty and booming with insights, I felt he would survive the third attack, which, sadly, turned out to be fatal.

One of Africa’s foremost development economists and icon of African unity, Professor Thandika Mkandawire passed away in Stockholm, Sweden, on 27 March 2020 after a long battle with cancer. He was laid to rest on Wednesday, 15 April 2020, in Stockholm.

Thandika was an intellectual giant who understood the importance of building a truly pan-African intellectual community and devoted all his life to building that community. Professor Thandika Mkandawire, a former Executive Secretary of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) and former Director of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development was a prodigious scholar and highly respected voice in the global intellectual community.

Dear Friend,

As the COVID-19 global pandemic rapidly spreads across the African continent, we worry, because in many African countries health systems remain weak, and incapable of meeting the demands this crisis will place on them. The COVID-19 pandemic will put immense pressure on under-resourced and under-equipped regions and communities, even as the effects of the worsening health crisis are felt by everyone. 

At TrustAfrica we have remained at the frontlines, promoting responsible citizenship in our communities, nations, and in the world. We are grounded in the belief that we are responsible for one another, and for what happens in our communities and our world. While we recognize the special responsibilities of those entrusted with the stewardship of national and global affairs, we are convinced that civic engagement is necessary to complement the efforts that governments and other key actors are making to make life better and the world safer.

Dear Partners and Friends,

We want to reach out to express our solidarity during these unprecedented times.

As a pan-African philanthropic organization founded with a commitment to strengthening African agency in addressing the continent’s most pressing challenges, TrustAfrica empathises with all our partners affected directly or indirectly by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

As we watch this crisis deepening every day, we are fully aware that our partners are constantly challenged to revise and innovate business continuity strategies—as we are doing within our own organization. We also acknowledge and understand that restrictions to physical interaction and travel and the ever-increasing lockdowns, inevitably mean necessary changes must be made to standing plans and to how we work.

On the eve of International Women’s Day, 2020, we women and girls facing Discrimination based on Work and Descent (DWD) and hailing from Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, call out for recognition, inclusion and adoption of DWD inclusive policies and implementation of all legal mechanisms for ensuring the equality, justice and dignity to all across the globe. We stand unitedly to reaffirm our faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women in the spirit of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) 1979.

Women across all societies face discrimination and violence unleashed on them by patriarchal structures. This results in inequalities in social, economic and political development as well as in their enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedom. Beijing Declaration (1995) laying the benchmark for women’s equality, development and human rights committed collectively to ensure the full enjoyment by women and the girl child of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and take effective action against violations of these rights and freedoms.

TrustAfrica is an independent Pan-African Foundation headquartered in Dakar, Senegal and strongly believes that Africans must set the agenda for the Continent’s development and take the lead in implementing it. As a Foundation that is firmly grounded in civil society, transformative governance, and equitable development, TrustAfrica’s main mandate is to secure the conditions for democracy and justice across the African continent. TrustAfrica operates from a firm belief in democratic principles, a deep commitment to social justice, and a clear understanding of the need for economic vitality.

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