Meet Omotade Akin Aina - affectionately known to his colleagues as “Tade”. Tade just finished his final term as a Trustee of the TrustAfrica Board during our last Board meeting in May. We only thought it appropriate to share his illustrious track record with you as we the bid farewell to Tade in his official capacity as Board Trustee and welcome him into the TrustAfrica Diaspora family! It has been a delight and honor to have you walk alongside us for the past 9 years and look forward to continued collaboration as we work together to shape the future we want for Africa. Godspeed Tade! We’ll see you at family reunions!
For over 10 years now, TrustAfrica has joined with philanthropic partners who espouse the meaning of solidarity in setting up and running Zimbabwe Alliance as a collaborative funder-civil society framework supporting work towards democratization in Zimbabwe. Schooner Foundation was inspirational in the naming of the initiative and Wallace Global Fund has proven a steadfast partner in exploring the opportunities for advancing democratic participation and contributing to a vibrant civic space in Zimbabwe. Other partners such as IDEX now known as Thousand Currents, American Jewish World Service, and many others have joined at different stages, but these two have demonstrated what we call a solidarity partnership. In 2011, ZimAlliance supported technical expertise to support the landmark Constitution making process in Zimbabwe, which eventually gained support through a national referendum in 2013. Since then, ZimAlliance has supported electoral monitoring processes using the Africa-based Ushaidi platform developed in Kenya; seed funded several of the most prominent civic organizations operating in Zimbabwe today; and developed an emergency response fund to support human rights defenders at risk in Zimbabwe.
The trial and conviction, in 2015-2016, of the former Chadian president, Mr. Hisséne Habré, was hailed as a turning point for the justice system in Africa. Coming at a time when Africa had conflicting relations with the International Criminal Court, the African Union’s (AU) decision to set up a hybrid criminal court to try a former head of state was a historic example of leadership in promoting accountability for international crimes at the regional level. It demonstrates the regional organization’s determination to fight against impunity for international crimes in Africa.
Working through collaboration is central to our approaches at TrustAfrica. From our experience, collaboration has meant managing a complex set of relationships with like-minded groups working together to achieve common goals. Oftentimes this has entailed working as part of consortiums, networks, learning groups, communities of practice, strategic alliances, partnerships and coalitions. For us, collaborations have enabled innovation and served as a means to greater collective impact in tackling some of the continent’s most complex development challenges.
In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit countries across the world, we witnessed the withdrawal of International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) from Africa, removing expatriate staff and closing down offices, including a restriction of funding if it was not directly related to health services or in some way directed to Covid-19 responses. This meant that local actors and organizations like TrustAfrica had to step in and fill the gap left by INGOs and other bilateral aid institutions, raising local resources and mobilizing efforts, and in many cases increasing the profile of regional champions and philanthropists.
Our dear colleague and friend, Sibongile Mkhabela, a member of our Board of Directors, has been honored with Chevalier de l'ordre de merite (National Order of Merit for outstanding contributions to social development), a very high distinction awarded by the Republic of France. TrustAfrica, celebrates this great achievement and has prepared a message to celebrate the accomplishment.
This is a well-deserved recognition of Bongi’s exemplary performance in the transformation and development of post-apartheid South Africa. As you know, she led the building of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, both of which she co-founded and headed as Chief Executive Officer for many years. From April 2020, she began establishing a new corporate initiated but independent foundation, The Barloworld Empowerment Development Foundation.
Please join us in congratulating Bongi.
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The Covid-19 pandemic exposed, at a global level, the abnormalcy of prevailing social, economic and political systems – particularly their failure to protect the most vulnerable. At TrustAfrica, we are clear that there is no going back to the old normal. Accordingly, our current focus is on building forward better. We need new models across our economic, social and political systems that will protect the most marginalized and work for everyone. Earlier this month we concluded our strategic retreat, where we reaffirmed the theme of our strategic plan for the period 2020-2024 as Shaping the Future we Want for Africa!
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TrustAfrica in collaboration with EM2030 jointly hosted a virtual training in data driving advocacy, on May 3-4-5, 2021. Many women's rights organizations face resource and capacity gaps that prevent them from effectively doing their work. How to collect and effectively use data and evidence is one of the pressing issue they face to strengthen their advocacy. During the three day training, 18 champions have seen their gender advocates skills strengthening in the basics of data research, analysis and evaluation. They now have a clearer understanding of how to use data in their advocacy work. This was a good moment of learning that reinvigorated women leaders, especially in the social movement. As advocacy must be data driven, it was important for our champions to learn how to meet GBV data requirements before it can be collected, analyzed and communicated. This three days was also an opportunity for women’s leaders from different countries and different context to learn from others.
On May 29, TrustAfrica will host a webinar titled "Amadou Mahtar Mbow and the Emancipation of Peoples in Africa and Around the World."
The webinar, which will feature a panel discussion with TrustAfrica's Executive Director, Dr Ebrima Sall, Dr Jean-Bernard Ouedraogo, journalist Barka Ba, and Vincent Foucher, is part of a series that started on March 27, 2021.