Written by Bariton Cletus Lezabbey, Communications and Research Intern, Kiisi Trust Fund-TrustAfrica
It’s been over sixty years since oil was first discovered in Nigeria, approximately 25 years since oil operations were disrupted and halted in Ogoniland due to public unrest, and 24 years since human-rights activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and some of his Ogoni kinsmen were arrested, tried by a military tribunal and hanged by the Abacha regime on highly disputed allegations of complicity in the murder of four Ogoni chiefs. The oilfields and installations have since largely remained dormant, though major oil pipelines still cut cross Ogoniland and the environmental damage done to the land remains an issue of contention today. In a 15-year period from 1976 to 1991 there were reportedly 2,976 oil spills of about 2.1 million barrels of oil in Ogoniland, accounting for about 40% of the total oil spills of the Royal Dutch/Shell Company worldwide.
Ogoniland is made of up 6 kingdoms (Babbe, Gokana, Ken-Khana, NyoKhana, Eleme and Tai) and covers close to 1,000 square kilometers in Rivers state, Nigeria. Approximately 1 million people currently live in Ogoniland with close to 220 communities that extends across Khana, Gokana, Eleme and Tai local government areas.
TrustAfrica is pleased to announce the acceptance of its staff member, Briggs Bomba into The WELLBEING project. This project is an initiative co-created with Ashoka, Easelen, Fetzer Institute, Impact Hub, Skoll Foundation and Synegros for civic leaders’ personal development.
TrustAfrica has co-organized the 1st ECOWAS People’s Agriculture Budget Summit The event, which was held in Abuja, Nigeria, on Wednesday, 12 December 2018, was organized in collaboration with the ECOWAS, ActionAid Global Secretariat, ActionAid Nigeria, Coalition of Non-State Actors on CAADP and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources of Nigeria. TrustAfrica was represented at the meeting by M. Chinedu Nwagwu, Project Director. The overall discussion of the meeting was centered around highlighting the current situation of agriculture investment and expenditure within member states, its effect and impact and how best to increase the quantity and quality of agriculture budget for 2019/2020 fiscal year to benefit women and smallholder farmers in the ECOWAS region.
Ms. Coumba Toure, Chair of the Board of TrustAfrica and Coordinator of the Africans Rising Movement for Peace, Justice and Dignity was the guest of the weekly program of Sud FM 98.5 on Sunday, 16 December 2018.
During the program, Coumba Touré focused extensively on the vision, mission and objectives of TrustAfrica as well as recent intervention initiatives of the organization. She also spoke about TrustAfrica’s pan-African activities and highlighted recent achievements of the Trust.
TrustAfrica is an Africa-wide grantmaking foundation that is dedicated to fostering democratic governance and equitable development and works principally through collaboration and partnership with like-minded institutions and donors. It is incorporated in the United States as a 501(c)(3) taxexempt organization and has a location agreement with the government of Senegal. It has program presence in several African countries, maintains partnerships with several of Africa’s leading institutions, and has built a formidable reputation as a strategic grantmaker and an effective convener.
TrustAfrica has successfully completed its second training of media professionals in Banjul, The Gambia. The training programme which was held from 12-16 November 2018, was organised by TrustAfrica in partnership with The Netherland Embassy in Dakar. The aim of the meeting was to build the capacity of media personnel from a select number of West African countries to effectively report on and create constructive public debates on transitional justice developments and international criminal justice at the local, national, regional and international levels.