Juil 02 2012

TrustAfrica Now - July 2012

TrustAfrica Now
July 2012
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Greetings from Dakar:

TrustAfrica is making an impact! Perhaps you're not aware, but we have been reaching out to partners, stakeholders and interested parties all over the continent. Last month we were in Tunisia, discussing the drivers that led to the Arab Spring. In May we were in Zimbabwe, rapping, painting, dancing and debating about how the arts can encourage change. Here in our own Senegal we were lending a few neighbors a helping hand through our community grants program.

To really get a feel for some of the work taking place, check out the homepage of our Website and click on the "Impact" link just underneath the photo gallery or just click here. You'll see, hear and read news directly from our partners about the important work they are doing.

We are only as effective as the stakeholders we support. We hope you'll take a moment in your very busy day to take a look at some of the efforts taking place across the continent. We guarantee it will erase your sense of frustration and inspire you to advocate for changes in your own life. Impact is something that everyone can achieve. Whether on the local, national or Pan-African level, we encourage you to take action!

Call for Proposals for the Early Learning Innovations Fund
Deadline extended to August 15, 2012

TrustAfrica in partnership with the Hewlett Foundation, is inviting applications for grants to design and implement early learning innovation projects from organizations in Kenya, Uganda, Mali and Senegal. We are seeking organizations with a credible track record in the area of designing and implementing learning innovations, to submit applications for funding partnerships. At this stage, our 'Early Learning Innovations Fund' is at the pilot phase and we are looking at disbursing grants averaging US$55,000 for projects that can be implemented over 24 months, starting from October 2012.

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.

Applications for the grants can be found in both English and French on the TrustAfrica Website.

Dialogue in North Africa Offers Opportunity to Discuss a Way Forward for Social Change
Participants from Workshop in Tunisia

Leading scholars and members of civil society gathered in Tunisia to debate critical issues related to the recent social and political unrest in various parts of North Africa during a workshop entitled "Major Drivers of Social Change in Africa-Overview and a Way Forward." The workshop, organized by TrustAfrica, brought together researchers, university professors, activists and civil society practitioners both to discuss and challenge existing practices related to social change.

Africa continues to face daunting challenges in terms of governance issues. While the events during the recent "Arab Spring" opened the door for popular movements promoting democracy and citizen-focused efforts to challenge existing government norms, the growth in citizen confidence and agency is not universally welcomed. Some governments feel the expanding civic space poses a threat to their previously unfettered control and hegemony. In several countries, governments have adopted autocratic and authoritarian responses to citizens' demands for more transparency and accountability while others stealthily seek to lengthen their terms in office. A number of governments have also introduced legislation designed to constrain, weaken, or even close down civil society organizations. Without doubt, this democratic recession poses a major threat to Africa's future stability and development.

The workshop was intended to discuss in detail the context under which the Arab Spring took place, and provide a platform for a dialogue between countries in North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. Participants were drawn from Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, Mozambique, and Senegal. During the workshop there was a clear demand for more platforms like these, as well as the need to network the youth across the various countries of Africa. The youth are a critical factor to pay attention to during this time in Africa's history.

There were deep discussions also on religion and how it has been politicized. Another theme that came through strongly was that of the "post-modern coup." This new form of coup involves tactics by dictators on regulating the social media and using that space to target social activists.

In addition to the workshop, the meeting offered an opportunity for a preview of a new book edited by TrustAfrica. The book, entitled "(Dis)Enabling the Public Sphere: Civil Society Regulation in Africa (Volume 2)" is part of a three-volume series focused on the regulatory environment for civil society. Volume 2 focuses on North Africa and includes thematic discussions on the main drivers of change in the region, in particular, youth, women, religion and social media, based on the events that took place around the Arab Spring. The book builds on Volume 1, released in 2011, that focused on Southern Africa and some countries in Central and East Africa. A final volume covering West Africa is due out in 2013.

TrustAfrica's Neighborhood Support Program Helps Strengthen Communities
Women processing cereals

In an effort to play a greater role in supporting local communities in Senegal, TrustAfrica has established a Neighborhood Support Program (NSP). The first grant of the program was awarded to a women's group that processes, packages and sells local cereals. GIE and Defar Yaraax (GADY) is located in Hann Village, one of the poorest areas in the Dakar region. Through its Equitable Development program, TrustAfrica aims to improve the social and economic status of women in their community. It has awarded GADY a three-year grant for a total of $25,000.

The objective of the grant is to establish a cereals processing unit and provide training so that selected members of 25 women's groups will be able to pass on their skills to other women in the community. These efforts are intended to directly increase women's income and perhaps open the door to further opportunities for skills sharing and product distribution.

The trainings will take place in conjunction with the Institut Technologique Alimentaire (ITA), a local institution that works on research and development for food and nutrition.

Most recently, the project launched its activities during a ceremony that was attended by the Mayor of Hann, project participants and TrustAfrica staff. The hope is that through hard work, word of mouth and continued training, the project will quickly start to bring in profits that will not only benefit the community, but increase demand to the extent where the business can be self-sustaining.

Create, Inspire, Change Lights Up the Artistic and Activist Communities
Zimbabwe Alliance Harnesses the Power of Arts and Culture to Spark Fresh Ideas, New Approaches
Briggs Bomba at Create, Inspire, Change

As part of its strategy to use the arts and cultural activism as a means to advance social and political change, TrustAfrica's Zimbabwe Alliance, in conjunction with Magamba Cultural Activist Network and Pemberi Trust organized an exciting program in Harare Zimbabwe, May 1-6. Entitled "Create, Inspire, Change," the festival offered a platform to the usually marginalized youth voices and created an inspiring space for a wide range of artistic expression, including Hip Hop, Reggae, Graffiti, spoken word, painting, and theatre as a mechanism for addressing issues related to democracy, governance and social justice. As part of the program, artists, activists, academics and civil society actors attended critical discussions and workshops that offered practical skills sharing and collaboration and witnessed public performances that capped off the activities.

One highlight of the event was an interactive discussion session featuring the celebrated Senegalese musician, filmmaker, organizer and PanAfrican activist, Didier Awadi. Drawing on his experiences and background in combining the arts, politics and social causes, Awadi shared valuable experience and insights on the role of arts activism and protest in defending democracy in Senegal during its recent presidential elections.

New Fund Engages Civil Society to Advocate for International Criminal Justice

TrustAfrica is pleased to announce a new project, "The Fund to Advance International Criminal Justice in Africa." The project is a follow-up to a series of meetings on International Criminal Justice, the most recent of which took place in Nairobi, Kenya at the end of last year. The $1.15 million, multi-donor effort seeks to ensure greater collaboration and accountability among African states to transform the field of international criminal justice in Africa.

In particular, through a series of activities, the fund seeks to mobilize civil society around international criminal justice in the following manner:

  • Shepherd the creation and implementation of a joint multi-pronged civil society advocacy strategy for advancing international criminal justice in Africa, particularly those that strengthen the Rome Statute system;
  • Implement grantmaking to support the advocacy strategy;
  • Foster and coordinate a productive network of organizations and advocates who will implement the advocacy strategy; and
  • Track and evaluate progress in the implementation of the advocacy strategy.

This three-year multimillion dollar effort remains open to receiving new funding partners. In the meantime, interested stakeholders should continue to check the TrustAfrica Website for further information as the project progresses.

Our Team is Growing
Meet our newest staff members
Halima Mohamed

Halima Mohamed, Philanthropy Program Advisor. Halima Mohamed joined us in April 2012 as our Philanthropy Program Advisor. Based in Johannesburg, Halima is focusing on developing knowledge building, outreach and advocacy on African philanthropy and advancing work on social justice philanthropy in Africa. She has previously worked at the Ford Foundation Office for Southern Africa, at the EDGE Institute, and as a long-term consultant to the Ford Foundation and the Global Fund for Community Foundations. She is an independent consultant and also serves on the Philanthropy for Social Justice and Peace Working Group and the Alliance magazine editorial board. She holds a Masters Degree in Development Studies, with distinction, from the University of the Witwatersrand -- with a research focus on social justice philanthropy in South Africa.

Be a Part of Our Social Network
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

Guidestar Exchange Seal
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.


Akwasi Aidoo
Executive Director, TrustAfrica

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Read 126205 times Last modified on jeudi, 16 mai 2013 13:03

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