Justice and Reconciliation Project (JRP), one of TrustAfrica’s grantees, has organized a successful Regional Dialogue meeting to discuss challenges that survivors of conflict are facing. The meeting took place on 31 October 2018 in Gulu Town, Uganda. Victims, policy makers, activists and local leaders from across the Northern part of Uganda attended the event. Please read an article by Sophia Neiman
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Welcome and thank you for being here. It is indeed heart-warming to see your strong interest in Transitional and International Criminal Justice issues which are at the very heart of our national discourse.
I would also like to appreciate TrustAfrica for organizing this important training. This is further evidence of the potential impact that could be generated by cooperation between States and Civil Society Organisations. I would most importantly like to thank, H.E Ambassador Theo Peter, for being present today and the Kingdom of the Netherlands for supporting this great initiative.
Today marks the beginning of a 5-day training on Transitional and International Criminal Justice for Journalists. Journalism has very often been referred to as the ‘Fourth Estate”, a recognition of the crucial role the media plays in a democratic society. The media throughout modern history has played a crucial role in upholding free speech and protecting democratic practices.
Fundamental human rights are reported to have diminished in almost two-thirds of the 113 countries surveyed for the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index. This backlash against human rights coupled with a global trend of closing civic spaces creates serious challenges for funders and their grantees. In 2015, 12% of global human rights funding was for work to benefit Sub-Saharan Africa, and included grants from seven Africa-based funders.
This session will discuss a shift towards the more multi-stakeholder end of the philanthropy spectrum, emphasizing participatory philanthropic models. Philanthropy as:
Citizens’ mobilizations in several African countries, including Burkina Faso, Senegal, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Congo Brazzaville, and Madagascar to name a few, have revolutionized democratic processes. These social movements are often born on the eve of elections in opposition to recalcitrant incumbents and the will of certain elites to perpetuate themselves in power.
Globally, there are increased constraints on external funding and even criminalization of CSOs work. To counter this narrative, an emerging discourse around “participatory philanthropy” is being championed and innovated by civil society activists. Making the shift from external to local resources is one part of this.
In Sub Saharan Africa, the field of organized philanthropy and efforts to developed it has been dominated by Anglophone influences and practices and there has been far less investment in building local philanthropy in Francophone Africa.