The African Social Movements Baraza (ASM Baraza) was hosted with great excitement and high expectation, following the first convening which took place in 2018. The 2022 ASM Baraza welcomed social movement leaders and solidarity standers who convened in Johannesburg, South Africa to paint a picture of the future of social movements on the continent. Hosted by TrustAfrica with support from Centre on African Philanthropy and Social Investment (CAPSI) and Wallace Global Fund, the ASM Baraza gathered under the theme of ‘People Power: Reimagining the Future – Organising for Transformation’ - an appropriate foundation for collective reflection and progressive mapping. In total, 122 social movement actors from the five African regions, spanning 20 countries, participated in sessions facilitated by Nizenande Machi and interacted with panel sessions and presentations from thought leaders who included Lebohang Pheko, Everjoice Win, Mazibuko Jara and Lala Raveloarimisa.
TrustAfrica is pleased to announce the successful grantees for 2022 for the African Civil Society Support Initiative. This was after a call for applications that was issued early in the year that set out to provide core operational support for civil society organisations demonstrating a good record of accomplishment, especially in relation to policy advocacy and in elevating women’s voices on health and development concerns in Africa. Initial project countries selected were Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Burkina Faso. TrustAfrica identified and is supporting seven (7) high potential organizations as its initial cohort in the programme. These 7 organizations shown below were selected through a rigorous application process and have been awarded grants in the range of 50000 to 100000 US$ over a 12-month period.
From right to left: Janet Milongo Climate Action Network-International); Muhammed Lamin Saidykhan (Climate Action Network-International), Ebrima, Prof Youba Sokona (UN IPCC Vice-Chair), Prof Philip Trotter (Oxford University), Prof Yacob Mulugetta (University College, University of London).
As the world grapples with the critical task of “building forward better” in the wake of COVID-19 and the current geo-political crises, social movements around the world are actively exploring alternative ways of doing (and being) in relation to social, political, environmental, and economic rights.
In Africa, for example, activists and social movements from 30 different African countries recently gathered in Johannesburg, South Africa for the 2022 “African Social Movement Baraza”. Under the theme of “People Power: Reimagining the Future – Organizing for Social Change”, the gathering of social movements aimed to re-envision progressive struggles in Africa related to democracy and civic space, human rights, economic justice, and the just transition agenda.
In this month’s “Voices from the South,” we hear from Briggs Bomba (Zimbabwe) – Programs Director for TrustAfrica and co-convener of the gathering. Briggs discusses the historic moment we are living in, the need for a space and process like the “Baraza” (a Swahili word that means “meeting” or “convergence”), and the need to be daring when we collectively build the future.
Hakim Ben Hammouda is a Tunisian economist and served as Minister of Economics and Finance between 2014 and 2015. Successfully combining academic research and operational technical support, he has significant experience in development issues and global economic governance.
He holds a PhD and is accredited to conduct research in international economics from the University of Grenoble. He was awarded the 2007 Alan Powell Prize for his contribution in areas related to trade and international economy. This annual award represents the highest distinction of the discipline. This is the first time it has been won by a researcher from a developing country.
He worked at the United Nations Development Program then joined the Economic Commission for Africa, as director of the office in Central Africa (2001- 2003), director of the trade and regional integration division (2003 - 2006), Chief economist and director of the trade, finance and economic development department (2006 - 2008). Hakim Ben Hammouda then became director of the Training Institute and of the technical cooperation division at the World Trade Organization (2008 - 2011) and advisor special of the President of the African Development Bank.
Hakim Ben Hammouda has also served as CODESRIA’s Deputy Executive Secretary. He regularly teaches international economics and development economics at several universities.
Hakim Ben Hammouda is the author and co-author of numerous economic expert reports, more than twenty books and fifty articles in international peer-reviewed scientific journals, in the fields of international economics and of development.
Here at TrustAfrica we are privileged to consider ourselves embedded partners who are unashamedly passionate and active in the issues we care so much about as a foundation. We are encouraged to harness our pan-Africanism and activism in the work that we do daily. Having our activism nurtured and at the center of what we do in the workplace adds to the DNA of TrustAfrica being a philanthropic foundation that acts in solidarity with communities and proximate actors across the African continent. We seek to accompany those grassroots groups, social movements and organizations who are at the forefront of making breakthroughs for Africa’s progress in democracy and governance, in equitable development and in African Philanthropy. That’s why capacity enhancement is one of our key strategies for accompanying partners on the ground. TrustAfrica takes a bold stance of investing in nascent and unknown organizations, formations and movements across the continent with catalytic grants. These emergent outfits who show great potential often benefit from support in terms of enhancing their capacity in various areas: from organizational development to advocacy skills development, to communications and storytelling skills development, inter alia. We believe that giving a grant is just a first catalytic step in our partnerships with actors on the ground. We have seen firsthand how the potency of pairing catalytic grantmaking with needs-based capacity enhancement supports grassroots organizations, civil society, media, social movements, public sector and academia to have more outsized impact on their ecosystems. This edition of our newsletter showcases some of the ways that our capacity enhancement strategy plays out across our three program areas. Read more below about the new capacities needed for sustainable activism in our democracy and governance portfolio; capacity enhancement in our fair trade and decent work engagements in the RECLAIM Sustainability! Project and supporting media in understanding and reporting on Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) under our Equitable Development portfolio; and how collaborative capacity enhancement has been foundational building a West African Philanthropy Support Ecosystem under our African Philanthropy portfolio.
The global political moment we are facing has made it imperative for pro-democracy activists and social movements to unlock new capacities that can help bring to fruition aspirations of a more just and equitable society for all. While strategic organizing approaches, and renewed solidarity are some of the capacities which will need to be strengthened, there are others which account for the sustainability of the struggle for open societies that are being referred to as wellbeing practices.
At TrustAfrica, we strongly believe that tackling Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) has become, more than ever, a matter of survival for Africa’s development and must be treated with urgency. There is broad consensus that the funds bleeding out of Africa, which amount to over USD 88.3 billion a year, and represent 3.7 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP), could be channelled towards the continent’s development if successfully retained. This fight against the IFFs will not be won without the support of journalists, bloggers and media professionals who understand the implications of these outflows on the continent’s developmental trajectory.
CSOs Capacity Building workshop stories from Sierra Leone and Cote D’Ivoire
At TrustAfrica, we firmly believe in supporting African agency to set the agenda for national and continental development and taking the lead in implementing this agenda. It is with this principle in mind - the belief in the capacity of Africans to make their own choices about their future - that our work in the Reclaim Sustainability! Programme in Africa is focusing on strengthening the capacity of civil society, farmers, women and youth to take up critical stake in crafting and implementing inclusive policies and engaging and advocating for sustainable development within an enabling policy environment for fair value and income in value chains in nationally strategic supply chains and trade.
TrustAfrica will hold a panel discussion on Youth and the challenges of the contemporary world.
How do young Africans perceive and experience global issues such as climate change, pandemics, food security and sovereignty, the explosion of cities, North-South relationship, inequalities, labor and employment problems, the 4th industrial revolution and the tremendous development of new technologies including artificial intelligence? Are democracy and governance, African integration and security issues perceived in the same way by young urban women as rural youth?